Living With Losing
North Korea has three neighbors: China, Russia and South Korea. Despite the north’s nascent nukes, none of the three regard North Korea as much of a threat. It’s too small and weak to invade Russia or China. That would be like a badger attacking an elephant. As for invading the far bigger and stronger south, the north tried that in 1950 only to have its own territory utterly devastated and 20 percent of its population slaughtered. So it’s not likely to go that route again.
By contrast, the United States regards North Korea as a major threat to itself. This despite the fact it’s thousands of miles distant from America, not to mention that the U.S. has the means to wipe North Korea off the map in a matter of minutes.
Ignored whenever Washington bruits the threat from the north is why, in any case, would the Kim Jung-un regime commit national suicide by attacking the U.S.? By the same token, why would Iran want to attack Israel and/or the U.S.? Would it presumably be to enjoy a few minutes worth of schadenfreude before retaliatory nuclear strikes by Israel and the U. S. atomized their 5,000 year old civilization? And if that’s so, why haven’t they done it yet?
No, Kim and the ayatollahs are meanies but not nut cases. They have no intention of committing national suicide with the help of our Pentagon. What they do want is to remain outside the sway of the American empire. So they have developed sufficient military power to deter the U.S. And that’s what Washington cannot abide. It demands that North Korea, Iran and any other refractory state disarm, thus making it easier to control them. To put it in the vernacular what our empire wants is to be the only one bringing a gun to a knife fight.
Given the lessons of Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, that’s not likely to happen. Sixteen years later and the Pentagon has yet to defeat the Afghans. This while Syria has proved a far tougher nut to crack than our generals gave it credit it for. A tussle with Iran or North Korea would make Afghanistan or Syria look like a playground fight.
We live in very strange times. Our military has never been so lavished with our national wealth or so praised to the heavens at virtually every public event. All this for disastrously misjudging their enemies and not winning the wars they inflicted on them.