Whack North Korea, Before It Can Protect Itself?
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
07/10/06 -- - Finding itself in Republican sights and with no
Democratic power center to offer protection, National Public Radio
is turning into an upscale version of Fox "News." Nevertheless,
information still gets out if the listener is sufficiently
On July 5, NPR's "All Things Considered" interviewed two warmongers
for their views on the North Korean missile test. One was Ashton
Carter, a Clinton administration Assistant Secretary of Defense, now
at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. The other was
Ambassador Christopher Hill, an Assistant Secretary of State in the
The Clinton DOD assistant secretary is coauthor of a recent article
advocating an unilateral US military attack on North Korea. HIs
first pitch on NPR was that the whole region, not just the US, is
threatened by North Korea and that everyone should gang up on North
Korea to make them behave. The NPR interviewer asked Carter to
reconcile his multilateralism with his own recommendation for the US
to unilaterally attack North Korea. Carter replied that North
Korea's missile was developed to attack us, so we had to protect
When the NPR interviewer asked Carter why deterrence would fail with
North Korea when deterrence succeeded in the case of the more
powerful Soviet Union, Carter agreed that North Korea was not
sufficiently insane to launch an attack on the US. So, if the US is
not in danger of being attacked by North Korea, why does Carter want
to attack North Korea?
The answer is, well, you see, if we permit North Korea to develop
any weapon with which they might be able to stand up to us on some
issue critical to North Korea, well, they might not do as we want
them to do. Carter could not conceive of a world in which any
country existed that might be able to behave differently than the US
Ambassador Hill agreed, but he came at it in a different way. Hill's
view is that it is China's, Japan's, and South Korea's
responsibility to make North Korea behave as the US wants it to
behave. Both Hill and Carter agreed that no country, with the
exception of Israel, has a right to any interests of its own unless
it is an interest that coincides with US interests. No other
interest is legitimate.
Listening to the pair of hegemonic maniacs, I realized that the US
is the new Rome--there is no legitimate power but us. Any other
power is a potential threat to our interests and must be eliminated
before it gets any independent ideas. The US, however, is far more
dangerous than Rome. Rome saw its world as the Mediterranean and,
for a while, Northern Europe, but the US thinks the whole world is
its oyster. The Bush regime is busy trying to marginalize Russia,
and neocons are preparing war plans to attack China before that
country can achieve military parity with the US.
Gentle reader, consider what it means when our government believes
other countries have no right to their own interests unless they
coincide with US interests. It means that we are the tyrant country.
We cannot be the tyrant country without being perceived as the
tyrant country. Consequently, the rest of the world unites against
How is the US, which has spent three years proving that it cannot
successfully occupy Iraq, a small country of only 25 million people,
going to control India, China, Russia, Europe, Africa and South
It's not going to happen.
What it does mean is that the US government in its hubris and
delusion is going to continue starting wars and attacking other
countries until a coalition of greater forces smashes us. Even among
our European allies we are already perceived as the greatest threat
to world peace and stability.
Our power is not what it once was. We are weak in manufacturing and
dependent on China for advanced technology products. We are
dependent on China to finance our wars, our budget and trade
deficits. How long will China accommodate us when China reads about
Bush's plans to prevent China from achieving military parity?
The Bush regime thinks that it can have every country under its
thumb. Neocons are fond of proclaiming that it is a unipolar world
in which the US is supreme. This is a fantasy, and it is rapidly
becoming a nightmare.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the
Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street
Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.
He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached
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