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Nuclear Stupidity: Tillerson Says Diplomacy Continues Till First Bomb Drops

North Korean Missile Tests

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump wants him to push forward on diplomacy with North Korea “until the first bomb drops.” (Bloomberg)

 

Brilliant! That means until the first entire city is destroyed. At least, that is what it could easily prove to mean … unless he means until the US drops its first bomb.

I’m sure this policy is predicated on the belief that North Korea will test-drop a bomb before it actually uses a bomb and that it will do this somewhere “harmless.” The DPRK may, for example, launch a nuclear-tipped missile somewhere into the Pacific far over the heads of Japanese fisherman. Then, if the DPRK successfully tests an actual bomb or warhead, we’ll go straight to war. Until then, we’re letting them know we’ll stay with diplomacy.

However, the belief that the DPRK will test a bomb before it uses a bomb may be entirely misguided. Maybe the first dropped bomb or missile gets “tested” on Honolulu — a metropolitan US city that is already easily within reach of North Korean missiles.

I also have to wonder at the emphasis that everyone places on whether or not a missile can reach the mainland. What difference does that make? Would the loss of Los Angeles or San Francisco somehow be more important than the loss of Honolulu? Are the people of the US so parochial in their thinking that they regard Hawaii as a mere territory outside of the country … or as somehow a less significant part of the US than the other 49 states? What difference does it make if a missile can reach the West Coast — the seemingly all-important red line — unless we think Honolulu is somehow more easily sacrificial?

With almost a million people, Honolulu would be as massive of a human catastrophe as the loss of Seattle. And with the greatest number of military forts/bases per square mile of any piece of real estate in the US, it would be a military loss even greater than Seattle or Los Angeles. It is still central command for everything in the Pacific Basin. Strategically, it would be a greater loss than any West Coast city. Do we think North Korea is unaware that Honolulu is the United States’ Pearl of the Pacific?

 

Does anyone remember Pearl Harbor?

 

Are we really historically ignorant enough to forget the pre-emptive Japanese attack on Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor in 1941? Have we forgotten that this one act awoke the sleeping giant to join a world war that lasted years? Or are we just stupid enough to think no Asian country would ever try that again?

Why were we so cocky back then as to leave so many ships at ease in one place? Because we thought Japan would never dare attack Pearl Harbor with all of its protection. After all, an attack on Pearl Harbor would drag the US into direct war with Japan? Why would they risk that kind of provocation?

If we think that would not likely happen again, we have developed to become far stupider now than people were in 1941, given that 1) we have the advantage of history to teach us that it can quite easily happen on any given Sunday; 2) unlike the Japanese, who attacked by total surprise, North Korea has already told us it’ll throw test missiles either Guam’s way or Hawaii’s just for fun and provocation and just to show it can; 3) the Island of O’ahu, which would all be effectively destroyed by a Hydrogen bomb, is more built up militarily now than it was back then, making it an even more desirable target.

Are we also seriously stupid enough to believe North Korea would never use the element of surprise by actually putting their first test “bomb” aboard one of those missiles they launch over the top of Japan? Some pacifistic fool might retort, “Oh, but they wouldn’t do that because they know they would be annihilated in assured mutual destruction.” Well, if we really can count on assured destruction (mutual or not) being enough to stop them, why are we worried at all?

Pearl Harbor once, shame on you. Pearl Harbor twice, shame on us!

 

Kim Jong-un watching submarine's test missile launch.

Kim Jong-un watching submarine’s test missile launch.

Nuclear-powered stupidity

 

Even the fairly liberal Bloomberg asks “until?” Keep up diplomacy until the first bomb drops? Even Bloomberg appears to recognize that diplomacy might be a little long in the tooth by that point. Yet, that point could easily be tomorrow … or today.

With both North Korea and Iran, the US has for decades been dedicated to a policy of waiting until the very last possible minute on nuclear development before using military means of stopping their nuclear progress. While the risks of using a conventional attack on the nuclear facilities of either nation are huge to other nations around them, I have to wonder how waiting until they actually have and test a nuclear bomb is somehow safer.

Do we just assume that they will have only one bomb when they make their first actual “test” drop? Is that even a reasonable assumption? Might they not have several other bombs or warheads that are instantly ready to launch if they actually do try a test first? That way, if the US dares to retaliate against a test bomb — as it has told the North it will — the DPRK can just annihilate the west coast.

How are we safer to wait to go after North Korea or Iran conventionally until after a test drop … even if they actually do follow the US protocol of testing before using? (And why would they?) Moreover, how do we know with certainty when the first test will be? Could it not be tomorrow? Maybe even today? If the test is a success and they have a half a dozen other ready “bombs” (or translate the generic “bombs” as “armed missiles”), does that make a conventional military attack against these nations safer?

Each day that we get closer and closer to the test, we are also making certain that military combat, if it is ever to be used, is far riskier. We are increasing risk exponentially based on positive thinking, not diminishing it. A conventional attack on either nation’s nuclear facilities will most certainly not be safer because of our having waited.

Even if North Korea does only have one bomb on the day it first does a test drop, it will almost certainly have many ready before conventional combat finishes the job of disabling the North. Look at how fast they’ve moved along already. If the plan is to wait to use conventional military force to take out their nuclear facilities until after they successfully test a bomb drop somewhere (versus the bombs we cannot see that have already gone off underground), how does that make Seoul safer … or Honolulu happier?

I will actually be surprised if North Korea’s next test missile that flies innocently over Japan does not blow up beneath the waves of the Pacific (“Peaceful”) Ocean. I will be surprised if the the next test missile doesn’t heave that peaceful oceanic bosom upward in the mounded form of a bodacious nuclear mushroom cloud. On that day, we will instantly know that North Korea can send its next missiles — already locked and loaded — to any US city west of Chicago.

Will we, after such a test, feel safer about moving from diplomacy to attacking NK’s nuclear facilities by conventional means? Does waiting until that point not actually increase the likelihood of a mutual nuclear war?

It seems to me the only safe place for diplomacy to end was about ten years ago as soon as the first nuclear test took place and long before the development of better bombs and longer range missiles. Waiting and grunting about it the extra decade accomplished NOTHING, except making certain that they now have a hydrogen bomb, instead of an old-fashion A-bomb. We’ve had a quarter century of diplomacy over this issue and a decade of diplomacy since their first nuclear test. Are we in a better place because of it?

I think we are simply hugely afraid of doing the ugly business we have long known needs to be done. As the saying goes, we need to either ___ or get off the toilet.

  • jakartaman

    Thought I would drop in and see what was happening.
    Reads like you got infested with some liberal globalists pukes.
    There are a lot of Alex Jones kooks who are all in on American hating and tin hat theories.The fact that this guy is evil is not even debatable – had a young women defector from NK and she is praying the USA takes this guy out – people are living in squaller and dying of starvation.
    But we are the bad guys to these idiot posters – We ahe done more good for the world than any 10 other countries in history – not perfect but dam good

    • Thanks, Jakarta. Many nations would have died a long time ago without US support. Others, like Japan, badly damaged by the US and then supported have become great friends of the US and of Americans because they are able to recognize their own fault in certain matters, which does not mean the US has no fault; but to diminish the evil of someone like Kim Jung-Un, who is every bit as vile as Hitler by claiming he is doing what he should in light of US evil is, in itself, a form of evil. If the US wanted to control North Korea, it would have taken that war to victory a long time ago. If it wanted to use NK nuclear weapons as a pretext for war, like it did with WMD in Iraq, it would have done that when NK tested its very first nuke. Clearly, we have been patient far TOO LONG, and that is why the situation has gotten completely out of hand to where it now truly is cataclysmically dangerous because of fools who were afraid to destroy NK’s nuke plants when the Kims had only conventional power.

  • jakartaman

    Kim’s missle program is for blackmail – not use.
    He knows that its actual use would mean his and his countries death.
    American is finally being a leader and seriously addressing this Clinto/Albright problem.
    As we speak China is amassing a large army on NK border. China does not want Nukes dropped in its frontyard. China will be the one who brings kim down.

  • John

    “…Does anyone remember Pearl Harbor…”

    People should remember that it was FDR and his backers who intentionally manipulated Japan into “firing the first shot” in order to get the US into the war. They knew in advance that the Japanese fleet was headed to attack Pearl Harbor and withheld that info from the base commanders. See “Day of Deceit” by Robert Stinnett.

    • I think the FDR conspiracy theory is one of the most absurd ones out there. Anyone who knows the US knows that the downing of a single ship is all it has ever taken to get the US into a war, so the idea that FDR set up Pearl Harbor in order to bait Japan into destroying half the Pacific fleet is absurd. It requires believing that FDR was dumb enough to think that the best way to enter a war is by breaking your legs first. It also requires belief in a ASTRONOMICAL level of human evil on FDRs part to intentionally sacrifice so many innocent American lives just to USE THEM AS BAIT for the Japanese … as well as such a level of evil on the part of everyone who would have had to have been involved in the plot.

      Some people just cannot believe such a mistake was made. There is NO proof that anyone, let alone FDR, INTENTIONALLY withheld info that Japan was coming, let alone evidence that they did it to get the US into a war. There is a much easier explanation as to how and why the info didn’t get through. But people LOVE a good conspiracy theory … even crave it.

      It’s no different than the conspiracy theory that George Bush plotted 9/11 in order to get us into war with Afghanistan and eventually Iraq. Requires belief in and unbelievable amount of evil on Bush’s part and belief that he can convince all of Al Qaeda to continually take credit for the incident for years on end and belief that none of the many people involved would ever leak the true story. It’s ridiculous.

      • wootendw

        “…FDR was dumb enough to think that the best way to enter a war is by breaking your legs first…”

        He was smart enough to move the carriers out to sea.

        • Ridiculous.

          • wootendw

            If that’s the best you can do, you shouldn’t be running your own blog and I shouldn’t be reading it. Bye.

      • wootendw

        “…conspiracy theory that George Bush plotted 9/11…”

        I don’t know who plotted 9/11 but anyone who believes WT7, which was not by any planes, was destroyed by ‘office fires’ as ‘our’ government claims is a fool. That was controlled demolition regardless of who did it. Bush had only been president 8 months.

        • Clearly that building was no hit by a jet, but just as clearly massive jet airplanes full of fuel hitting each of the twin towers at about 200 miles per hour would destroy those buildings. Fires that hot will always crack concrete and soften steel to the point of bending.

          I remember seeing a photo demonstrating this in an engineering class that shows a building completely destroyed by fire. The photos showed an enormous wooden beam that had been spanned by numerous steel girders. After the fire, the steel girders were all draped over the beam like limp spaghetti noodles, while the beam stood strong and had only burned through a little bit. (The nails that had held things to the beam were still sticking out like porcupine quills because it hadn’t even burned past the depth of the nails. A very hot fire will melt steel, long before a wood beam will burn through.

          As to what destroyed building seven, who knows; but jets clearly destroyed the others. Maybe terrorists had managed to rig bombs in building seven. Maybe the building held top-secret documents and was rigged to self-destruct in the event the World Trade Center was seriously compromised. Maybe it just collapsed (as the government claimed) due to the huge machine-gun-fire earthquake size jolts that happened as each floor of each tower pancaked and sent its own shock wave down into the ground. (Never heard the government claim it was due to office fires.)

          Regardless, the evidence is totally clear that Al Qaeda destroyed the two towers from the flight records of who the pilots were to every witness interviewed who had seen the pilots, to a calls placed somehow from a passenger on the plane, to al Qaeda always claiming responsibility. Yet, I know people who will not let go of the idea that evil George Bush plotted the whole thing. He, too, would have to be Satan Incarnate to do such a thing, and the evidence to support that is completely inferior to the evidence supporting the government’s story — all of which makes a war in Afghanistan where there is no oil and nothing worth fighting for completely justified.

      • wootendw

        The conflict leading to war with Japan did not begin with a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

      • Caleb Abell

        “Anyone who knows the US knows that the downing of a single ship is all it has ever taken to get the US into a war …”

        It depends on who does the sinking or attacking.

        USS Liberty.

  • Chris P

    I agree with most of your issues here. The only problem politicians want to get reelected and you can’t do that if you start a nuclear war.

  • Huibert Van Veen

    It would seem those who object to the reasoning in the article are required to personally attack and insult the writer-That is unfortunate. Our nation is over-due for judgement and it’s possible Mr Un will be the tool that accomplishes it. Time is short, eternity beckons, I hope everyone uses the time remaining to call out to God for forgiveness, perhaps His mercy will be extended to us yet a while longer.

    • John Roberts

      We are attacking the author because he is a warmongering fool. It is this type of thinking that leads to hell.

      • Actually, it is those who were afraid to go to war for all of the past twenty-five years who created the present situation, allowing it to grow exponentially worse as, first, NK attained a crude nuclear device, then better missiles, then a hydrogen bomb, then ICBMs. So, now because of so much irresponsible dithering and inaction for so long we have a situation that is genuinely thousands of times more dangerous than it was at the end of Clinton’s failed sanctions and failed payoffs. Now we face a complete lunatic who is most likely already armed with multiple deliverable hydrogen bombs. Your thinking is EXACTLY what got us here.

        • wootendw

          “Now we face a complete lunatic who is most likely already armed with multiple deliverable hydrogen bombs.”

          The complete lunatics were our ‘enemies’ who didn’t have nukes – like Saddam and Qaddafi.

          • We had no business going to war with either Saddam or Qaddafi. Neither directly threatened the US. Going to war with Saddam is one where I would agree that America was taking the wrong action for the wrong reasons. It was pure imperialism, whether it was as some believe all over oil or whether it was a totally misguided attempt to impose American-style democracy on a nation where any smart person would know that would only lead to huge civil wars. Qaddafi/Libya was entirely Hillary’s/Obama’s war. As I’ve shown on this website with state department documents from Hillary’s state department, she plotted the war to kill Qaddafi (or, at least, US involvement in it) for one reason only — to put a chill into Assad in Syria with the intent of starting a war in Syria and hoping that our quick overthrow of Qaddafi would would cause Assad to surrender quickly. (See my article at: http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/wikileaks-syria-about-iran-israel/ )

            All of this, her state department said in its advisement to Obama, was necessary for one primary reason — to keep Israel from getting in the way with Obama’s ongoing negotiations with Iran; i.e., to keep Israel from bombing Iran and scuttling the nuclear negotiations. Hillary also stated directly that she believed, once the war with Syria began, the Russians would stay out because they had stayed out during her husbands war in Yugoslavia. ALL CORRUPT NATIONBUILDING (AND NATION DESTROYING THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED). All pure imperialism and ALL wars that we are still fighting to this day.

  • wootendw

    “That means until the first entire city is destroyed.”

    “Are we really historically ignorant enough to forget the pre-emptive Japanese attack on Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor in 1941?”

    Higgith believes all the propaganda he was brainwashed with in elementary school.

    NK is not as evil as the USG which has killed or caused the deaths of millions during the past quarter century – for NOTHING. How many have been killed in NK’s tests of its weapons – which NK has good reason to have given USG aggression? Zero.

    As for Pearl Harbor, the USG provoked it all through 1941. In March of ’41, a US warship sailed right into Bungo Bay – kind of like a Japanese warship sailing into Chesapeake Bay.

    The most vile regime on the planet is the one in Washington, Mr Higgith.

    • Really? The lunatic who has ABSOLUTE power over North Korea who strapped his brother to a missile and blew a hole through his belly by launching the missiles is not as evil as the US government? Your hatred for America is absurd in how readily it diminishes the pure evil of Kim Jung Un as well as how crazy his entire family is. You apparently know nothing about how much the people of North Korea suffer under this despot.

      • wootendw

        “Your hatred for America…”

        The US government is NOT ‘America’. What is (or was) special about America is not its government but its relative lack of government.

        And I re-iterate: There are over a million people dead as a direct or indirect result of US GOVERNMENT wars during the past quarter century – for NOTHING. That’s a lot more than Kim has killed.

        • Solely a matter of ABILITY to kill and not of the level of evil. I do agree with you that America has fought many wars in the last quarter century that it shouldn’t have been involved in — all over America’s globalist imperial ambitions. Huge involvement in Europe with Clinton. Hillary’s wars in Libya and Syria, which are also Obama’s war. And bushes war in Iraq. (I agree with war in Afghanistan, but also always said we lost that one as soon as we entered Iraq, instead of spending the money spent in Iraq on building GOOD things in Afghanistan like we did under the Marshall Plan.)

          • Bullwinkle

            I’m surprised you can see the imperialistic motives behind wars in Libya and Iraq, but not PRK. Encirclement with military bases is the strategy, regime change the means. Encircle China by getting in their face. Kim saw what happened to countries with no deterrent, and with Iran, sees the US as an unreliable negotiator…
            … so where you see BLACKMAIL, others see DETERRENCE. Hegemony means you behave like a vanpire squid, as you are the ordained, EXCEPTIONAL nation that needs not follow international law etc.

            • I don’t like the whole exceptional thing nor the imperialism, but if the US wanted to take North Korea, it seems to me it would have finished the job in the forties and that the first nuclear blast provided all the rationale in the world to do so about a decade ago. After all, make-believe weapons of mass destruction that were believed to be mere nerve agents (as compared to nuclear bombs) were the only pretext needed for the US to go into Iraq. So, I have no idea why a nuclear WMD that was known to be real by the entire world would not have been enough in the DPRK. It doesn’t add up.

  • John Roberts

    The author of this article is clearly a warmongering jackass. NK has attacked no one since the Korean war. ‘

    On the other hand, the US has continually invaded and destroyed countries and killed millions. If Trump is stupid enough to attack NK he will open pandoras box and unleash hell.

    • He will now because of cowardly idiots who refused to take military action a decade or so ago when Kim Jung-Un’s father set off NK’s first nuclear device. The time to take real action was in 2006 BEFORE the country’s lunatic dynasty gained nuclear power.

      Thanks to people like you who preferred to dither with NK for twenty-five years, the world is now VASTLY more dangerous than it was even just ten years ago. Now we face Doctor Strangelove and who knows how many nuclear armed missiles — the creature who smiles as he blows a hole through his brother’s body by strapping him in front of a missile and then launching it.

      Now this same deranged monster is capable of strapping entire cities to his missiles and blowing holes through their bellies, and the only thing preventing him from doing so is American detente — fear that we’ll annihilate him if he ever does. But what if he wakes up with a hangover someday, isn’t thinking too clearly about consequences and, oops, there goes a city of 10 million? Of course, if it’s an American city, you’ll probably raise a cup of cheer to your preferred tinpot despot.

      • wootendw

        “He will now…”

        He might try it if he is pushed into a ‘fight or die’ position which is what many in the ‘defense’ establishment want to do. But he has good reason to have nukes as he is facing a powerful, aggressive regime that invades other countries and destroys them and hires terrorist groups to destabilize them.

        • John Roberts

          The US is not the boss of the world even though it tries.

          You are clearly a neocon and this attitude will open pandoras box and lead us to WW3

          • wootendw

            “You are clearly a neocon and this attitude will open pandoras box and lead us to WW3”

            You must have replied to the wrong comment, John. I suggest you re-read it and the neocon comment I was responding to. You should also re-read my other comments. They are all anti-neocon.

            • You weren’t responding to ANY neocon comment. You were responding to your own neocon stereotype and branding. If I were a neocon, I’d be in favor of all the wars that serve the US military industrial complex — about which I’ve written against many times here. I’d be in favor of all of Hillary’s Wars and her husbands wars in Eastern Europe, which I still have no idea why we were involved in, and with the war in Iraq, which I lost a conservative friend over by stating I thought going into Iraq would become a total quagmire (which it did) and that it was unjustifiable and that the WMD argument was an obvious contrivance to attempt to justify the unjustifiable.

              But I’m also not a simple-minded pacifist who think you can avoid all wars. America was absolutely right to be fully involved in World War II, and I don’t buy the baloney about FDR being as evil as Satan incarnate, which he’d have to be to perpetrate Pearl Harbor or the evil about GBII setting up 9/11. Conspiracy theories are easy to hatch and nearly always impossible to disprove … at least, to the satisfaction of those who have chosen to believe in them.

      • John Roberts

        NK attacks no one since Korean War. Kim sells wolf tickets.

        US attacks and destroys many countries.

        If you are a moderator, as your name says, then Breitbart is infested with neocon lunatics