In the last two weeks we’ve heard about how the North Koreans have, well, let’s see…
- cut communications lines with the South;
- claimed that the armistice is no longer in effect;
- claimed that it is entering a state of war with South Korea;
- and cut communications again.
These people are, quite simply put, wackos with nuclear weapons, each dictator worse than the last. The people they least endanger is America, and the people they most endanger are themselves, and their brothers, sisters, and cousins to the south. Not far behind them are the Chinese to the north. Clearly basketball diplomacy hasn’t helped at all.
The United States has a tendency to clean up messes all around the world. We get yelled at for doing so, and then people privately thank their lucky stars we do. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else did the dirty work for once? As it happens the Chinese have been flexing their muscles all over the region, from Japan to Malaysia. They’ve even breached South Korean waters. But the North they leave alone.
With lots to lose and the fact that the Chinese have been propping up this government for six decades, the Chinese will have to deal with the consequences far more so than we will. It is a problem that the United States cannot solve. Our having sent B-2s was a nice show, but if we end up in an armed conflict with North Korea, mostly South Koreans, Chinese, and maybe Japanese get hurt. That region must resolve the matter. B-2s shouldn’t do it.
You don’t get to be a leader by simply showing military might. You have to use that might to address real problems. The Chinese have feared above all that if they intervene in the affairs of others, some day it will be their turn to be on the receiving end of such interference. Their turn may come, but not because they’ve done the right thing with North Korea.