Almost without exception, news media experts, foreign policy strategists, and even some of our most illustrious military leaders are all proclaiming the same thing — that nothing can be done with North Korea’s effort to miniaturize atomic bombs, to set them inside the nose cone of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and if they want, to fire them at will at the United States, Japan, Guam, or anywhere — at China and Russia for that matter.
What to do about this new reality emerging in our world?
Do nothing but to monitor the new missile launchings and to measure the intensity of the most recent atomic bomb test.
And also to go to the UN Security Council.
We are told time and again, there is nothing that can be done.
For the past two months we have been told by high-ranking members of our military, including General Mattis, our Defense Secretary, that the train has already left the station.
“Diplomacy is what we are attempting. The military solution is potentially very costly,” is a summation of what Mattis has said.
Military intervention is always very costly.
In this case, the most repeated reason mentioned nearly everyday by the talking heads in the media is that Seoul is within the range of North Korean artillery.
Therefore nothing can be done.
Check and mate, just like that.
Really. What a surprise.
What would Claude von Clausewitz have to say about such a situation?
Not what our leadership is telling us.
What can be made of Russia and the Chinese telling South Korea and the US that anti-missile systems recently installed need to be removed because this is making the North Koreans uptight?
Let the North Koreans miniaturize their atomic bombs. Allow them to test atomic bombs. Allow them to test fire and build intercontinental ballistic missiles while at the same time they tell us we should lay down our arms.
If we try anything to stop the North Korean atomic and missile advance, they repeat over and over, the North Koreans will fire their artillery at Seoul. Millions will die. Damage will be catastrophic.
Ergo, nothing can be done to stop the coming nuclear menace.
What we do not hear from nearly everyone commenting on the matter is the potential catastrophe about to befall the world if North Korea is not stopped from achieving all of its nuclear and missile ambitions.
We also do not hear that Seoul could be evacuated. The North Koreans could then send artillery shells onto empty buildings and homes everywhere — and when they were finished in a few hours, and their artillery battered by US bombers, and their ability to resupply their troops destroyed by US bombers, and their infrastructure bombed into the Stone Age, their bridges and tunnels bombed, their sea front areas and ports mined, it is North Korea that would collapse — not South Korea, and certainly not the United States.
We do not hear about such possibilities because no one in the area is willing to sacrifice anything to stop the North Koreans — least of all the Chinese.
I am not a diplomat. I am not marinated in bad policy and endless negotiations with North Koreans who do as they please — and with Chinese who pretend to want to help.
Even the simple-minded among us understand that the Chinese have no interest in deterring the North Koreans because the Chinese don’t want a unified Korea as a democratic, independent state on their border.
But what happens if we act? What happens when the Chinese understand we are not bluffing about containing them and making it impossible for them to launch atomic warhead-loaded ballistic missiles?
What happens when or if we bomb only their strategic military installations, radar and missile delivery systems, as well as their atomic weapons sites?
Will the Chinese get involved then?
Certainly they will act, and forcefully at this point, for the Chinese mainland could face a possible Armageddon.
If the North Koreans set off an atomic bomb near to the DMZ, about 38,000 US troops will be exterminated in a matter of moments.
After such an act, what will we do?
Get back to the negotiating table?
Sing a John Lennon song for peace? Start a flower memorial in front of the White House?
Or will we do something the world has not witnessed since 1945?
Let your mind wander on this scenario.
This is what is being risked with the Chinese refusing to act, the US too timid to act, and everyone too worried that Seoul could suffer damage.
The greater risk, the ultimate risk, is allowing the North Koreans to move forward unfettered and undeterred.
You won’t hear this on CNN, or read this in the New York Times, or any of the nation’s great publications and news websites.
Instead, we are told almost universally that we need to get back to the negotiating table with North Korea.
It is our only hope.
If this is in fact our only hope, we are heading for a heap of sorrow and retribution such as the world has not witnessed.