Cross-posted at Motley Moose.
After six years of war, 4265 dead soldiers, and more than $600 billion flushed down the toilet, you'd think that the American people would have learned that military action should be the absolute last resort. A story from Politico would indicate that the American people still haven't learned that lesson.
Despite the broken economy and strained military, 57% of respondents in a recent survey by Rasmussen expressed support for military action on the Korean Peninsula.
American voters across lines of age, party and gender support a military approach to eliminate North Korea's nuclear capabilities, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Sunday morning — and conducted in the two days prior to North Korea's test missile launch on Saturday.
The poll shows that 57 percent of all voters support such a response, while just 15 percent oppose it. A military response is favored by a majority in both parties — 66 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats — and by 57 percent of both men and women.
Do these people seriously believe that we can drop a few high-tech bombs and make the problem go away? Haven't we learned anything over the past eight years?
North Korea may be tiny and impoverished, but it is also armed to the teeth. Let's say that we decided to bomb the North into submission. Pyongyang is years away from being able to attack the United States, so it will aim its 1 million plus troops and short-range missiles toward South Korea. Seoul will be obliviated. Our 30,000 troops stationed there won't be able to do much to prevent that from happening. While we are bombing the North, impoverished, starving North Koreans will flee north and attempt to cross the Chinese border. We would unleash chaos that would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
Almost as disturbing as the willingness to go to war is the unwillingness to make the sacrifices necessary to prevent such a conflict. From Rasmussen:
Only 27% say the United States should help North Korea rebuild its economy if it is willing to abandon its missile program. Fifty-one percent (51%) are opposed to such financial aid. These findings are largely unchanged from mid-February.
Only 27% of Americans are willing to commit to the hard work it will need to create a sustainable peace. After all this country has lost, a majority of our fellow citizens still don't get it.
Given the political dialogue in this country over the war in Iraq, these results are not surprising. The right talks about preemptive conflict and the need to chase terrorists all over the map. There is also the hyping of threats from weapons of mass production that don't exist or can't reach us. At the same time, we on the left have not been completely honest in how we ended up in Iraq. We have spent too much time focusing on Bush and Cheney lied about the intelligence and never confronted our country's willingness to be frightened into invading a country that never attacked nor posed a threat to our homeland.
Early on, the American people supported the Iraq war in large numbers and now seem willing to attack another impoverished third world country that does not have the technology to harm us. It's time to stop pretending that our foreign policy mistakes were the result of dishonest leaders and a complicit new media. There is a problem with American culture and we need to confront it.