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After a year in which he tested a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM, threatened to destroy the United States, and called President Trump “a dotard,” Kim Jong Un, at the gracious invitation of the president of South Korea, will be sending a skating team to the “Peace Olympics.”

An impressive year for Little Rocket Man.

Thus the most serious nuclear crisis since Nikita Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba appears to have abated. Welcome news, even if the confrontation with Pyongyang has probably only been postponed.

Still, we have been given an opportunity to reassess the 65-year-old Cold War treaty that obligates us to go to war if the North attacks Seoul, and drove us to the brink of war today.

2017 demonstrated that we need a reassessment. For the potential cost of carrying out our commitment is rising exponentially.

Two decades ago, a war on the Korean Peninsula, given the massed Northern artillery on the DMZ, meant thousands of U.S. dead.

Today, with Pyongyang’s growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, American cities could face Hiroshima-sized strikes, if war breaks out.

What vital U.S. interest is there on the Korean Peninsula that justifies accepting in perpetuity such a risk to our homeland?

We are told that Kim’s diplomacy is designed to split South Korea off from the Americans. And this is undeniably true.

For South Korean President Moon Jae-in is first and foremost responsible for his own people, half of whom are in artillery range of the DMZ. In any new Korean war, his country would suffer most.

And while he surely welcomes the U.S. commitment to fight the North on his country’s behalf as an insurance policy, Moon does not want a second Korean war, and he does not want President Trump making the decision as to whether there shall be one.

Understandably so. He is looking out for South Korea first.

Yet Moon rightly credits Trump with bringing the North Koreans to the table: “I give President Trump huge credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, and I’d like to thank him for that.”

But again, what are the U.S. interests there that we should be willing to put at risk of nuclear attack tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Korea and our bases in Asia, and even our great cities, in a war that would otherwise be confined to the Korean Peninsula?

China shares a border with the North, but is not treaty-bound to fight on the North’s behalf. Russia, too, has a border with North Korea, and, with China, was indispensable to saving the North in the 1950-53 war. But Russia is not committed by any treaty to fight for the North.

Why, then, are Americans obligated to be among the first to die in a second Korean War? Why is the defense of the South, with 40 times the economy and twice the population of the North, our eternal duty?

Kim’s drive for a nuclear deterrent is propelled by both fear and calculation. The fear is that the Americans who detest him will do to him and his regime and country what they did to Saddam Hussein.

The calculation is that what Americans fear most, and the one thing that deters them, is nuclear weapons. Once Soviet Russia and Communist China acquired nukes, the Americans never attacked them.

If he can put nuclear weapons on U.S. troops in Korea, U.S. bases in Japan, and U.S. cities, Kim reasons, the Americans will not launch a war on him. Have not recent events proven him right?

Iran has no nuclear weapons and some Americans clamor daily for “regime change” in Tehran. But because Kim has nukes, the Americans appear more anxious to talk. His policy is succeeding.

ORDER IT NOW

What he is saying with his nuclear arsenal is: As you Americans have put my regime and country at risk of annihilation, I am going to put your cities at risk. If we go down in your nuclear “fire and fury,” so, too, will millions of Americans.

The whole world is watching how this plays out.

For the American Imperium, our system of alliances, is held together by a credible commitment: If you attack any of our scores of allies, you are at war with the United States.

From the Baltic to the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf, from the South China Sea to Korea and Japan today, the costs and the risks of maintaining the imperium are growing.

With all these promissory notes out there — guarantees to go to war for other nations — one is inevitably going to be called.

And this generation of Americans, unaware of what their grandfathers obligated them to do, will demand to know, as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan: What are we over doing there, on the other side of the world?

America First is more than a slogan.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2018 Creators.com.

 
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  1. Yee says:

    “Still, we have been given an opportunity to reassess the 65-year-old Cold War treaty that obligates us to go to war if the North attacks Seoul, and drove us to the brink of war today.”

    What a joke! The South Koreans would like nothing more for your troops to get lost…

    So would the Germans, I expect.

    • Replies: @Johann
    , @anon
    , @Weaver1
  2. Randal says:

    China shares a border with the North, but is not treaty-bound to fight on the North’s behalf.

    In fact it is, but then China is a direct neighbour of North Korea, rather than being half way around the world from it and sharing no land border, as South Korea is in relation to the US.

    Eventually the US will be forced out of the Korean peninsula (its presence there is an anachronistic relic of its post WW2 global dominance, now beginning to fade into history) and SK will deal with China on its own terms. US belligerence and routine reliance upon military aggression brings that day ever nearer. The only question is how much damage the US will cause in trying to cling on.

  3. Renoman says:

    I’ve noticed that President Trumps sales strategy seems to be:
    1. Make a big noise.
    2. Say something threatening/ignorant.
    3. Leave the room and let it fester.
    4. Soften and start talking again.
    5. Leave the room again.
    6. Let it die a natural death or wait till the buyer returns.

    It is my philosophy when trying to sell/change an idea to
    1. quietly plant the seed of the idea.
    2. Go away.
    3. Wait for time to work it’s magic.

    This has been very effective for me and is not so different than President Trump’s method although his sales record is more impressive.
    Time is the magic, the press don’t understand this.

    • Replies: @Da Wei
    , @jacques sheete
  4. Da Wei says:
    @Renoman

    Renoman, you counsel wisely and, I believe, appraise President Trump’s strategy accurately.

    You are right: what is needed is patience, or as you call it, the magic of time.

    Personally, I prefer less bluster and as an alternative suggest that after the seed is planted, a sign is posted showing what will come up there. It doesn’t have to be a neon sign, but something to keep the idea in people’s minds. Call it advertising, or call it brainwashing, which is really effective advertising, but people forget over time.

    The press doesn’t understand time or patience, because they have their own neon shell game to play. The business of the press is to entertain, distract and control, not to inform. It’s a business.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  5. Yee says:

    Patriotic Americans don’t need to worry about lack of crisis to support their troops. The next on the attack list will be Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan…

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  6. Kim Jong-un is entirely right to acquire nuclear weapons that are a kind of insurance for his regime to survive. Looking at the US and its aggressive foreign policy, Kim would be stupid to trust the US, which is an unreliable partner, and a hazardous one. Look what the US aggressor has done in the Middle East. If Saddam and Gadhafi had had nuclear weapons, both would be alive and be kicking. Both countries would have been better off than now.

    The US should take its troops home from South Korea, Japan, Germany and many other countries. Everybody would be better off. All these countries are wealthy and they could defend themselves if they feel threatened. The US should terminate all these old treaties and should tell these copycats to take care of themselves. The best thing would be to dissolve NATO the most aggressive military alliance in the world and an instrument in the hand of the war-prone US military and Intel elites.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  7. MEexpert says:
    @Yee

    Patriotic Americans don’t need to worry about lack of crisis to support their troops. The next on the attack list will be Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan…

    The US has been trying to surround Iran from all sides since 2001. The goal is still to attack Iran. The original plan was to put bases in Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Iraq. Turkmenistan and Turkey refused to allow them to use their bases to launch attack on Iran. US got bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq but they will never leave these countries until they achieve their elusive goal. The American soldiers will continue to die needlessly.

    Now they are trying to open up another front in Pakistan. They want to attack Iran from the Baluchistan side. They are also worried about the Pakistani Nukes and want to take over the control. Remember, Trump wants to one up Obama. Obama inherited Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and started his own wars in Syria and Libya. Trump now inherited Obama’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya and wants to start his own wars. He is already involved in Yemen. He wants to add Iran and Pakistan to that list. Talk about North Korea is just a diversion.

  8. Yee says:

    MEexpert,

    I know it’d be Pakistan only because additional Chinese troops and supplies were deployed to China-Pakistan border region 6 months ago during the border stand off with India. The news came out confused a lot of people because the troops were sent to an opposite direction.

    Pakistan is different than North Korea. The chance of war is more real.

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  9. MarkinLA says:
    @Da Wei

    Except why continue to up the ante? Why put B-2 bombers on Guam just as the North and South are talking? Why not just stay out and see what happens?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  10. Rurik says:

    Iraq and Afghanistan: What are we over doing there, on the other side of the world?

    what are we doing over there?

    bolstering the fortunes of evil men

    but even evil men will face their reward, some sooner than others…

    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  11. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Or, commenters,
    Trump is a good president trying to do the best he can for the country, and
    1.Pakistan, as he points out, hides terrorists and thus American funding for their corrupt national police should be cut.
    2.Again as Trump says, the people of Iran are great, intelligent people ruled by an oppressive religiously based regime that’s not to be trusted with nukes.
    3. Again as he already pointed out, NATO is indeed a flawed, bloated organization and the U.S. isn’t going to continue to fund so much of its cost.
    4. Mr. Kim is bad in every way, and NK is a prison state which overtly insults and threatens the U.S. with nuclear attack. One couldn’t come up with a clearer or more difficult and pressing problem needing to be firmly addressed.

    Or – naaaaaaaah. Let’s just have fun making the obvious seem more complex with political analysis.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  12. peterAUS says:
    @MarkinLA

    Except why continue to up the ante? Why put B-2 bombers on Guam just as the North and South are talking? Why not just stay out and see what happens?

    Well…perhaps….because there is The Real Intention and all the rest (this skating team/talk) is simply a part of the process?

    It’s interesting to see how people grab “peace” straws where the buildup is slowly, but surely, going on.

    Take a look at any recent war/conflict. Plenty of “peace talks”, initiatives, positive thinking….while the buildup was going and then shooting started.
    Even while there was shooting every now and then it was a “peace talk”, initiative etc.

    There is only one rule here:
    What changed in core issues?
    And the second rule:
    How is the buildup going on?

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  13. MEexpert says:
    @Yee

    Don’t forget the roll of India. The US has been selling weapons to the Indian military as well to be used in case of Chinese intervention.

  14. bluedog says:
    @anon

    Hmm and I don’t suppose Pakistan’s central bank setting it up so that China and Russia can trade with Pakistan using their own currency had a thing to do with Trump cutting the aid,but again he had to have some excusae other than the truth…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  15. Johann says:
    @Yee

    I read an article several years ago in which it stated that the South Korean government had to maintain a 24/7 guard around a statue of General MacArthur at Inchon because it had been attacked by vandals so many times. So much for the Love Americans inspire in the rest of the world.

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “What vital US interest is there on the Korean peninsula that justifies accepting in perpetuity such a risk to our homeland?”

    Absolutely nothing at all. However the pentagon does not want its budget to be cut.

    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
    , @anon
  17. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Yee

    If that is true then why don’t they just get the US to leave?

  18. Weaver1 says:
    @Yee

    SK enjoys the KORUS bribe and somewhat appreciates the human shield of US troops.

    I certainly hope the US leaves; The occupation of SK is expensive and harms US interests.

  19. Yee says:

    anon,

    “If that is true then why don’t they just get the US to leave?”

    Haven’t you noticed that none of the South Korea president end well? Few of the Japanese prime ministers lasted long?

    This shows the control the US has over them. Of course, economic dependence plays an important role too. They have little choice but do as the US says.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  20. Yee says:

    MEexpert,

    “Don’t forget the roll of India. The US has been selling weapons to the Indian military as well to be used in case of Chinese intervention.”

    India is a nobody in this fight. They’d be stupid to get involved.

    But Pakistan is more likely just yield to the US and give them the military bases at the Iran-Pakistan border they want, to avoid all the bombing in their country, either by “terrorists” or by US troops.

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  21. @Renoman

    Time is the magic.

    The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.
    Leo Tolstoy Bk. X, ch. 16

    Time makes more converts than reason.
    Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Introduction. (January 10, 1776)

  22. Yee says:

    Weaver1,

    You should understand that those who make policies and the those getting send to S Korea aren’t the same people. They obviously have different interests.

  23. MEexpert says:
    @Yee

    But Pakistan is more likely just yield to the US and give them the military bases at the Iran-Pakistan border they want, to avoid all the bombing in their country, either by “terrorists” or by US troops.

    Not very likely. That is their trump card. No pun intended.

  24. TRex says:

    It is not a true statement that “China shares a border with the North, but is not treaty-bound to fight on the North’s behalf.”

    In 1961, Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea, and Zhou Enlai, the first premier of the People’s Republic, concluded a bilateral treaty that remains in force to this day. Article 2 of that treaty included a mutual defense provision; China would help North Korea should it face attack and North Korea would do the same.

  25. Yee says:

    MEexpert,

    “Not very likely. That is their trump card. No pun intended.”

    Well, anyway, Pakistan is going to be under tremendous pressure from the US, giving in will seem more attractive as time goes by.

    Let’s see how tough the Pakistani are. And don’t forget there’d sure be some in the high places who received US money.

  26. There will be no war in Korea.
    There will be no war in Persia.
    The best US can do to declare embargo in shipping in both places.
    And increase economic pressure.
    That is it. Period.

  27. MarkinPNW says:
    @Anonymous

    Hmmm, so maybe the “…vital US interest…” is the pentagon budget?

  28. @Rurik

    The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones

    • Replies: @Rurik
  29. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Ludwig Watzal

    The US should take its troops home from South Korea, Japan, Germany and many other countries.

    It would be nice if the US could take its troops off Australian soil as well. I’m not keen on the idea of being under military occupation by a foreign power.

  30. Bliss says:

    Moon rightly credits Trump with bringing the North Koreans to the table: “I give President Trump huge credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, and I’d like to thank him for that.”

    Trump also deserves huge credit for bringing about Saudi Arabia’s abandonment of radical Wahhabism, which was the inspiration for Islamist terrorism.

    He also deserves much credit for the defeat of ISIS.

    And all the credit for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel..

    • Replies: @bluedog
  31. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @bluedog

    anon is an Indian poster who is obviously biased in wanting their enemy toppled.

    Obviously Indians can’t doit themselves, so they want America to do their dirty work for them.

  32. bluedog says:
    @Bliss

    Yes indeedy all the credit in the world hehehe…

  33. @Yee

    Pakistan has nuclear weapons you idiot much more than north korea and it also has the china as an ally , pakistan if it seesitself losing will also nuke india wherin in india nukes pakistan and then theres a catostrophe withh hundreds of millions dead all because of orangedotard , I dont think the orangedotard is that stoopid .

  34. And dont forget israel is also within range of paks nukes so in other words the sun will turn dark before orangedotard attacks pakistan.

    • Replies: @greysquirrell
  35. Rurik says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    yes Duke, too true

    but..

    once the evil man is interred, and his flesh begins to rot, and his organs putrefy as the foul gases fill his rancid chest cavity, *then*, that tongue in that moldering hole of his rotting face will begin to crumple…

    and it will tell no more lies !

    and his evil little heart, now the color black, (as it’s always been) will menace no more innocents

    as the bacteria gets to work, and his mortal existence finally, at long last is doing something’s some actual good, (even if it is only spores and bacilli), at least we can all begin to forget that the rotting carrion is no longer our countryman. No longer must we breath the same air that John McCain also breaths. No longer must we admit to being Americans, when John McCain also claims that epithet.

    Sure, the enormity of his evil have left their scars, God only knows. Millions of people have lost loved ones due to his depraved vanity and his serial treasons. POWs left in Vietnam to languish and die. Survivors of the USS Liberty- ridiculed and mocked by “their” Senator as he is feted by the very cowards who murdered them.

    More than any other war pig I can think of, (and they are legion!), this maggot has done more to get innocent people killed all over the planet than even presidents and neocons. Death and suffering and misery enough to fill an ocean with the tears of his victim’s loved ones.

    so yes, it’s true that his enormities will live on long after his flesh is cannibalized by maggots, but at least he won’t be able to commit any more atrocities and war crimes and inhumanities and treasons.

    may he rot in hell forever, and may his legacy be one of vile ignominy

    and if they plop his corpse in Arlington, I suspect the rest of the honorable denizens there will curse our souls for defiling their sacred resting place, formerly.. a place of high honor.

    perhaps I’d even make a pilgrimage there just to relieve myself on the memory of John McCain

    as I’d equally tremble in homage at the terrible and ultimate sacrifice all those others (better men than I) have made.

  36. Robert Dunn says: • Website

    All excellent points Pat and if I might add another it is this – Given US sanctions against China and Russia and all the saber-rattling since Bush II neither of those two countries trusts us to limit our nuclear response (and there would be one) to North Korea only! They might not be obligated to defend North Korea (and I agree with you we should not remain obligated to the South) they are obligated to their own survival and will err on the side of sending their missiles to US as soon as we send ours to NK!

  37. The Kims have been far less murderous than the last 40 years of US presidents.

  38. MarkinLA says:
    @peterAUS

    Shooting by the US? The US is the biggest impediment to any reconciliation between the north and south as far as I can see.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  39. peterAUS says:
    @MarkinLA

    Shooting by the US?

    Shooting is always done by all parties involved in a war.
    If any shooting starts it will be US first, I guess, immediately after that North Korea and then South Korea.
    Will some other parties get involved remains to be seen.

    Doesn’t matter who started it; besides, actual first shot has nothing to do with who really wants to start shooting.

    Now, in THIS particular case I don’t, actually, believe either party wants to start shooting.
    But, there is dangerous logic in this confrontation.
    Neither side is willing to blink first so…..I guess that, if nothing of substance happens there, we are likely to see some shooting.
    US buildup appears to be going as planned.

    The US is the biggest impediment to any reconciliation between the north and south as far as I can see.

    That’s one way to look at it.

    Another is to see that ruling cabal of the cult in the North as the biggest impediment to anything rational there. Goes with being a cult I guess.

    • Replies: @Bach
  40. Thirdeye says:
    @Yee

    Haven’t you noticed that none of the South Korea president end well? Few of the Japanese prime ministers lasted long?

    This shows the control the US has over them. Of course, economic dependence plays an important role too. They have little choice but do as the US says.

    Given the gnarly history of South Korean politics, particularly with Rhee and Park, it doesn’t surprise that transition of power tends to be messy. Clashing dissent and power plays were business as usual. They have democratic structures but not democratic political culture. The Italians are worse off than either in terms of government stability, but nobody tries to pin that on the US.

    South Korea is not nearly as dependent on the US, in both economic and security terms, as they were 30 years ago. The US is their largest export market, but if that equated to economic dependence, China would have to be called economically dependent on the US. But South Korea is also diversifying their business interests throughout east Asia, with China a large and growing partner. IMO South Korea can pretty much write their own ticket if they play their cards right with China.

    • Replies: @Bach
  41. Thirdeye says:

    I suspect that Chinese interests have a role in moving DPRK towards a thaw with ROK. DPRK is a burden for China and recent years have seen intergrowth of Chinese and South Korean economic interests. China does not want the economic crisis or the humanitarian crisis on their border that a war would precipitate. A divided Korea would no longer serve China’s interests if not for US military presence. Inducing a more neutral stance from ROK, ending the presence of US troops, in exchange for DPRK foregoing nukes and moderating towards ROK (with the economic benefit of no longer having to solely carry the DPRK economic burden) would be a huge diplomatic coup for China. And since Trump hasn’t exactly been confidence-building for ROK, it opens them more towards working with China and DPRK.

    • Replies: @Bach
  42. So “Don’t pursue US interests because 3rd and 4th parties will commit crimes as a result.” This is somewhat less than convincing even as rhetoric.

  43. @britishbrainsize1325cclol

    If Pakistan is going to attack Israel or any other country because of US pressure, then the US can play that game too, threatening to nuke Saudi Arabia if Pakistan uses nukes.

  44. Yee says:

    Thirdeye,

    I don’t know much about Europe politics, but South Korea has been controlled by a handful of large Chaebols, waaaay worse than the US is controlled by Wallstreet and MIC. Average Koreans have even less say about their policies than average Americans. If you think the US as the world’s largest economic power and military on Korean soil hasn’t been manipulating Korea’s policies to it’s liking, you’re just naive. And I highly suspect Germany has been manipulated too, perhaps with different methods. Italy is a nobody in Europe, Germany and France is what counts, Britain is an undercover for the US.

    As for the North Korea, they really want friendly relation with the US, it’s the US who doesn’t want it, as proved by both Bush and Obama breaking agreements with NK to give up their nuke project. Russia is in a similar situation as North Korea. Russia’s fondest wish is to be friend with the US, but that’s not happening.

    • Replies: @Bach
  45. MEexpert says:
    @greysquirrell

    then the US can play that game too, threatening to nuke Saudi Arabia if Pakistan uses nukes.

    Let us see how many people shed tears about this prospect. My eyes are already filled.

  46. @greysquirrell

    man you dont know the mentality of dark haired races do you, everybody not related or family they wont care about . Also I am talking about if theUS attacks pakistan there will not be any warnings the paks will just lob, you want the orange dotard to take that risk.

  47. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Do you know this guy ? Edward Luttwak well known in circles of vultures .

    It’s Time to Bomb North Korea
    Destroying Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal is still in America’s national interest.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/08/its-time-to-bomb-north-korea/

    Over at Foreign Policy, Edward Luttwak has captured the zeitgeist with a blunt piece under the modest title, “It’s Time to Bomb North Korea.” (daily beast )

    • Replies: @Bach
  48. Bach says:
    @peterAUS

    Another is to see that ruling cabal of the cult in the North as the biggest impediment to anything rational there.

    Sure, that would be the Washington consensus and Neocon point of view.

  49. Bach says:
    @Thirdeye

    I suspect that Chinese interests have a role in moving DPRK towards a thaw with ROK.

    The DPRK has been seeking a thaw for decades. It’s the right-wing arm of the SKorean political establishment and Washington that have no interest in detente.

  50. Bach says:
    @Thirdeye

    The US is their largest export market

    SKorea’s exports to China is more than double the US.

  51. Bach says:
    @Yee

    South Korea has been controlled by a handful of large Chaebols, waaaay worse than the US is controlled by Wallstreet and MIC.

    Sure, but chaebols are in the end patriotic, unlike Wall St., which have no allegiance but to self and tribe.

    And the relation between chaebols and government is more symbiotic than bloodsucking.

  52. Bach says:
    @anon

    It’s Time to Bomb North Korea

    As an Israel Firster and author of “Coup d’Etat: A Practical Handbook”, it doesn’t surprise.

    Among his odious arguments, which includes the usual Iran angle, he tells us that the possibility of Seoul being turned into a “sea of fire” should not “justify inaction” and “paralyze US policy” for “one simple reason”: The problem is “self-inflicted”.

    SKorea deliberately failed to heed Washington’s admonition to move the capital and purchase expensive military equipment from the US and Israel.

    Thus, the US cannot allow Seoul’s self-imposed dilemma to “paralyze the United States in the face of immense danger to its own national interests”.

    When will SKorea wake up? America is not a friend and never was.

  53. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    “What vital US interest is there on the Korean peninsula that justifies accepting in perpetuity such a risk to our homeland?”

    SamsungsingsongSinger

    http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/elliott-management-hedge-fund-paul-singer/

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