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I will admit to being afraid.  I wasn't afraid when we invaded Afghanistan, or at any point in the lead up to the Iraq war.  The media and government did their best to try to make my terrified of "terrorists" but they failed.  

Today while dropping my girlfriend off at work, I mentioned N. Korea to her.  It is likely they will test a ballistic missile tomorrow.  

Though I am ashamed to admit this strange thoughts have raced through my head lately.  Why wouldn't we preemptively strike N. Korea.  A threat appears imminent.  They have weapons of mass destruction and threatening the means to actually attack us.  Perhaps we should strike them first.  

Setting aside the obvious geopolitical implications of such an act (Russia and China), this has to be a backward and dangerous way to think.  Why haven't my thoughts been on diplomacy?  Why do we need back channels with N. Korea in New York? We will only talk to them in six party negotiations because they are "bad".  Fair enough.

I had a conversation with my girlfriend (we live in Seattle, Wa.) about what we would do in case of nuclear war.  Honestly we are so close to Seattle that odds are we would die immediately but, just in case, we made a game plan.   The odds that N. Korea could hit the US mainland are almost nil.  Still we talked about.  

Which brings me to my point...

The media is doing a hell of a job selling North Korea as an imminent threat.  They are wild and unstable.  The new leader Kim Jong Un is unpredictable and dangerous.   They have nuclear weapons, a means to deliver them, and even if they do not they have the 4th largest army in the world.  Many Americans died during the last Korean war.  

Only thing is I've heard this before.  Recently.  That Saddam Hussein was gathering weapons of mass destruction.  That he was an evil, unstable dictator.  Many Americans died during the previous Iraq war and better to fight him before he develops the means and capability to attack the US homeland.  

I started thinking.  Is N. Korea justified in being afraid of a US invasion?  They claim that our war games with S. Korea is preparation for an invasion.  Are they irrational in believing so?  

Perhaps.  Still, President Bush labeled the N. Koreans as a part of an "Axis of Evil" along with Iraq, and Iran.  I watched the video of Saddam Hussein being hung (grisly btw).  Over 1 million Iraqis lost their lives in our long occupation.  I haven't even mentioned Afghanistan whose people are continuously victims of Superpower domination.  (Russia in the 80's).  

After 9/11, man Americans, including a younger version of myself, wondered why we were attacked.  Nothing can justify the murder of innocent civilians.  But to say we were attacked "for no reason" is simply not true.  

We have been the instigators this time around with N. Korea.  Ignore the rhetoric and observe the actions.  We have a meeting with N. Korean diplomats last month in which we demand the status quo unless they rejoin the 6 nation talks.  We apply harsh sanctions (China included) because of their nuclear test.  We begin war games with S. Korea.  After tensions increase, we fly B52'sacross the peninsula.  We send carriers and missile defense to the region and toGuam.  

Our actions have been to increase the tension. While our words and the print media say that we want to lessen the tension with the crazy dictator.  Perhaps it is some sort of chess game against China.  Perhaps a way to test of missile defense and show Russia and China firsthand?  

Over the last few days I've been a victim of amnesia.  I had forgotten that our media is not so different than the ridiculous propaganda the N. Koreans are forced to read.  We have been lied to before.  We have been duped into war before.  If North Korea test fires a missile that appears headed for Japan (or not) it is possible we will be duped again.  

Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe the N. Koreans are crazy and dangerous.  Still, if China and North Korea began war games in Vancouver, Canada I would be very afraid.  

I don't really care which side is the agitator or the aggressor.  I don't want war.  If there is anything our government can do to stop this madness I think we should implore them to try.  11:55 to midnight according to the doomsday clock and it is because of N. Korean nuclear arms.  Our strategy against them has not been working.  

WWI began with the death of just one man.  It is a possibility war with N. Korea could lead to war with China.  It is possible to trigger a nuclear holocaust and that danger is not worth the risk.  

This is my opinion tonight.  My hope is tomorrow the Koreans do not test fire their missile.  That we do not shoot it down.  That we do not go to war.  

If we do go to war than God help us all.   Just wanted to get my thoughts out and see what the rest of the DailyKos community thought about it.  Maybe you all well ease my mind.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  The U.S. will never strike North Korea first! (8+ / 0-)

    Killing innocent people in anticipation that their regime may do something horrific to you is never good policy.  North Korea has been reeling ever since the failed civil war in the 1950's. The last thing we as the US should do, is make it worse by provoking them with a preemptive strike. The U.S. simply needs to continue to support south Korea, maintain cordial relations with China, and work to peacefully end the North Korean regime.

    Seattle is not in danger from North Korea!

    North Koreans are good and decent people with a wonderful culture and history and I do not wish ill upon any of them... Someday the two halves of the great nation of Korea will unite, but this is only possible through peaceful means.

    You can go almost anywhere you want if you just keep walking

    by tharu1 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:27:06 PM PDT

  •  Seattle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If any city in the US is vulnerable to a North Korean nuke, it's Seattle. I'm a world away, in Florida, but I've visited Seattle several times and it's a nice city. I hope it is not attacked, and if it is I hope it will not be too bad. It's unlikely Kim's missiles can even make it that far, and even if they do you be looking at a fission (A-bomb) and not the much more powerful thermonuclear (H) bomb.

  •  Yes, you are being played (22+ / 0-)

    This is what TV networks do. Keep the American public in a state of fear and you can get them to do almost anything - like let bankers take all their money.

  •  part of our problem (8+ / 1-)

    is that we just don't know.  Our media lies to us.  Our government lies to us.  Their "leader" is crazy, or so we are told.  But he has no demonstrated habit of killing people.  Our President is the adult in the room, or so we are told.  He has a demonstrated habit of sending drones and special forces around the world killing people.  They have nuclear weapons, a few at least, and that's bad.  The two most belligerent and evil nations in the world (based on the number of countries they have invaded and occupied in the past 50 years) have nuclear weapons, lots of them, but that, we're told, is, if not "good", at least OK.

    And our idea of "seeking peace" with North Korea is to boycott, embargo and starve.  Perhaps I'm just perverse, but that wouldn't make me more friendly or more peaceful.

    You don't want a war, I don't want a war.  But I'm not at all sure that our government and MIC isn't just itching for another one.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:40:52 PM PDT

    •  Yes, "demonstrated habit of killing people". (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, DeadHead, HeyMikey, Catte Nappe

      Sources outside our own government and media report that North Koreans are still getting gunned down for trying to travel across the border with China. The gulags are slow-motion killing fields. Then there was that thing about shelling South Korean civilians.

      Skepticism is healthy but North Korea is a genuinely bad place.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:03:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Info available for those who look. (0+ / 0-)

        4 reasons we won't invade North Korea (unless they attack South Korea first, and maybe not even then):

        1. North Korea has the world's largest army. You read that right--over 9 million active, reserve, and paramilitary.

        2. North Korea doesn't have oil.

        3. North Korea borders China. It just wouldn't pay for us to escalate tensions with China.

        4. Mutual Assured Destruction kept NATO and the Warsaw Pact from going to war for decades, until the Warsaw Pact collapsed. Given that track record, we're likely to try MAD with North and South Korea, too.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 04:53:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  hr'd for revisionist history (0+ / 0-)

      of a hostile and murderous regime.

  •  More money for defense (5+ / 0-)

    That's my cynical take on what the US reaction has been all about thus far. For what it's worth, the anti-missile systems allegedly being deployed to 'protect' South Korea, Japan, and our own bases in the area.... DO. NOT. WORK.

    After a demonstrable inability to carry out the task for which they were designed, these systems will, of necessity, have to be 'upgraded' at the cost of untold further billions of dollars. On top of everything that's been wasted on them so far.


  •  Yes they are . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AuroraDawn, Andrew F Cockburn
    Are they irrational in believing so?  
    And its just bull shit posturing . A dog barking like mad from inside a window .  

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:15:37 PM PDT

    •  But with the risk of miscalculation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spider Jerusalem, Kickemout

      One plane making a navigational error, one trigger-happy artillery crew, one more DMZ incident -- if any of those happen while everyone's on high alert, it could be hard to lower the temperature in time.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:06:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you mean like a civilian airliner blundering (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeadHead, Andrew F Cockburn

        into hostile space or even venturing too close to another country's fleet or maybe a spy ship venturing into another country's waters or maybe another country's navy taking out one of our spy ships or shooting down one of our spy planes?

        All of that has happened in the past and each time the countries involved managed to muddle through  

  •  Its been the 10th for over 13 hours . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, defluxion10

    Current Time    Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 1:23:22 PM KST

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:25:51 PM PDT

  •  Is N. Korea justified in being afraid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    Is N. Korea justified in being afraid of a US invasion?

    Do they have any OIL?  Seriously, there's nothing to be gained and everything to lose by attacking them.  Just because China has taken a harder line to North Korea doesn't mean they want US missiles literally on their border.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:27:58 PM PDT

  •  I think N. Korea does this almost every spring. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    begone, Praxical, Andrew F Cockburn

    Their provocations coincide with the joint military exercises of the U.S. and S. Korea.

    Of course there are two newbies in charge of both North and South but I doubt that their inexperience would lead to an attack. Their military commanders are old hands.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 10:27:59 PM PDT

  •  There's really zero reason to be afraid.or (4+ / 0-)

    ...Unless you live on Guam or maybe HI, in which chance you should be about as worried as you are about getting hit by lightning.  If you live in SK within artillery range of NK, then you should be about as worried as the average Israeli.

    North Korea is belligerent, but not suicidal.  They know that if they fuck with the US, particularly with atomic weapons, they'll be wiped off the map.  Even if we didn't reply in kind, with bigger, better warheads, we'd blow every cruise missile in the Pacific on turning the place into a smoking hole.

    Thinking that NK would be insane enough to attack the US is similar to thinking that Saddam would have been insane enough to attack the US with the chemical weapons he didn't have.  "Evil" doesn't mean "stupid."  This is a bunch of media-induced fear; the media should be ridiculing it, except when it comes to the much more significant and serious risk of them killing a lot of people in SK through arty fire or an honest-to-god invasion, not that I think the latter likely.

    I'm honestly less worried about NK than I am about a meteor-induced apocalypse within my lifetime.  And that's not something that I lose much sleep over.

    Oh, and I also have serious doubts that China would carry NK's torch very far, particularly if NK was dumb enough to send a missile our way, again, even more so if it were nuclear in nature.  If the US went down, their economy -- along with the world economy -- would go right down the crapper and they'd be very badly off, not even considering the certainty of widespread damage from a US counterstrike -- it's a lose-lose situation all around; MAD has become even more certain.  

    •  My thoughts exactly. NK is playing this game (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seeds, Praxical

      to get attention and our media is eating it up. It should be taken about as seriously as a professional wrestling press conference.

      If anyone ought to be concerned it would be SK or Japan. If either of them thought that NK could possibly be serious the entire country would be mobilizing and on high alert.

  •  I note there is some support for a first strike (4+ / 0-)

    on NK even here at Kos and certainly a fair number of people who want the US to "do something".

    The only question in my mind is if the US is being played by the N Koreans or if we are being played by our own government.  I note 3 months ago, Iran was an existential threat to Podunk, Peoria, and Poughkeepsie.  Today, we are in quiet talks with Iran and we hear only crickets about Iran.

    Instead we are hearing that LA is under imminent threat from NK and that Japan and Mongolia may fall under N Korean sway.  We seem to forget that N Korea is literally "The Mouse that Roared" with an army roughly on a par with Saddam's in regards to its ability to fight a war of more than 2 weeks duration, much less to mount a full scale invasion.

    It would seem more reasonable, in my view to think that Un is trying to make his bones and prove his chops, that he can bring home the tribute and bacon just as much or even more than Dad or Grandpop.  Problem is, he is a bubble kid, and really lacks social skills.  So we are essentially dealing with a 12 year old personality who is threatening to hold his breath until he gets what he wants.

    Could he launch an attack?  Anything is possible but should he order his military over the border or order a missile launch, I think you would see regime change immediately.  His generals like their cushy lifestyles and ending up as war criminals in The Hague is not in their planned career paths.  Should Un be so foolhardy, I think you would see the military with Chinese help step in and quietly replace him    

  •  I also live in WA, and I can honestly say... (6+ / 0-)

    that I'm not the least bit frightened of North Korea. Their missiles do not currently have the ability to reach the West Coast.

    North Korea's claims about their Taepodong 2 and UNHA-3 missiles (the missiles they claim could reach the US) are unconfirmed and highly suspect. Even the abilities of the Taepodong 1 and  Taepodong X are unconfirmed!

    The only North Korean missiles that have been confirmed as operational, to the best fo my knowledge, are the Scud D, with a range of 700 km (about 435 miles), and the Nodong, with a range of 1000 km (about 622 miles).

    As a Washingtonian, I'm more worried about Hanford turning into our own little Chernobyl than I am about North Korea.

    The people who might have genuine reason to be afraid are the Japanese and South Koreans. Also Guam. They would be the most likely targets of any North Korean attack, not the Western US.

    I wish the TV networks would quit with the fear-mongering. These are the same people who lied to us non-stop about Iraq (twice); I don't believe a word they say.

    Not even I expected Romney to let his entitled Lord-of-the-Manor freak flag fly as proudly as he did on Tuesday night ~ Charlie Pierce

    by AuroraDawn on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 12:56:31 AM PDT

  •  Not sure about their capabilities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have a bomb and they may have a missile.

    Not sure if they can build a bomb small enough to be carried by a missile.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 04:01:24 AM PDT

  •  only playing is by the worlds biggest spoiled brat (0+ / 0-)

    what's going on is that North Korea is doing what it always does. its trying to extort aid from the world by being crazy, in exchange for temporarily putting or cork on its crazy.

    our response, from what we can tell, is to quietly but noticeably build up capability in the region to let NK and the other players in the region know that the price of this behavior is a bigger US presence there. and so far at least, there does not appear to be an offer to indulge NK with negotiations for aid.

    hard to know at this point, but it seems the Obama administration has calculated that now is the wrong time to give in to this 29 year old leader's attempt at extortion.  they seem to be playing it exactly right.

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