Another day, another dozen Facebook posts about how wrong the President is. I keep reading how he is bringing us to the brink of War with nK. I’m curious what people think would happen if he remained silent. Would Kim suddenly back down? Would he stop developing nuclear weapons? Would he stop threatening his neighbors? Would he want to live in peace? I think not.
How many years has the U.S. been relatively non-confrontational toward nK and what good has it done? Kim continued to develop nuclear weapons and continued to threaten his neighbors. Now Kim is nearly to the point (if he’s not there already) that he has the resources to follow through on his threats.
It’s really irrelevant who the U.S. President is. If it was Obama or Bush or (Bill) Clinton, he still shouldn’t be silent. Bullies (like Kim) don’t back down any more when their opposition is silent than if they’re vocal. Does the schoolyard bully give up when everyone turns and walks away? No, he chases down the weak kids and hits them in the back. Those who walked away may feel good because they took the path of non-violence, but the kids who got hit in the back are feeling the pain. If the bigger and stronger kids in the group would have stood up to the bully, there still may have been some pain in the short-term, but at least the bully would have been stopped from continuing to inflict his painful will on the weak and defenseless.
It’s not the President’s rhetoric that is putting the region at risk, it’s Kim Jong Un.
Kim is the bully. The South Koreans, and other regional nations, are the weak kids. The U.S. and its allies are the bigger and stronger kids in the schoolyard who can protect the weaker kids by stopping the bully.
The U.S. can’t be silent. The U.S. can’t be uninvolved. The U.S. can’t turn its back on its allies in the region. The U.S. can’t think only of itself and its own safety. Along with the wealth and strength of the United States comes the responsibility to protect our friends from aggressors like Kim.
Let me quickly add that I’m not rooting for war. As a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have no desire that our country enter another significant combat operation. But at the same time, we have a responsibility to “the least of these” who we have committed to defend. We can do nothing less. Diplomacy hasn’t worked. Sanctions haven’t worked. Partnerships haven’t worked. It seems that the only thing that will stop a thug like Kim is war.
War is costly. Cities and villages will be destroyed. Many Military members will return home lifeless. Civilians will die. There is a price that war demands, but it is the price for peace. Being a peacemaker sometimes means making peace through war. When everything has been tried without success and the threat continues to grow, we need to be prepared to resort to war to bring about peace. We have to be prepared to eliminate the threat, to defend our neighbors, to protect our friends, and to bring stability to the region.
By beginning this post by referring to what people are saying, I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t speak out. As citizens of a Constitutional Republic, it is our responsibility and duty to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. However, we often act as though the information the news provides to us is as good as the intelligence our generals and President receive. It’s not. It’s easy (and safe) to be an armchair general and boldly assert that the President is wrong, that our foreign policy is faulty, and that our military strategies are flawed. But those assertions are based on incomplete data.
It would be presumptious of Burger King to try to tell the Colonel how to prepare his chicken because the King doesn’t know the Colonels secret blend of eleven herbs and spices. No, Burger King concentrates on his own business and lets the Colonel tend to his. The King shouldn’t meddel in the Colonel’s business, hoping his efforts will fail.