And I think that now, or soon, might just possibly be one of those times. A mentally ill, megalomaniacal dictator has been firing nuclear missiles into the Sea of Japan, with the likely intent of testing whether they can hit California. I think military action should, at the very least, be an option. It should be something we can consider. It should be a card on the table.
But it's not.
Thanks to the war on Iraq -- which we had no good reason for getting into and which has no end in sight -- we have (a) no military resources, and (b) no international credibility. Our military is stretched so thin it’s accepting white supremacists to fill out its ranks. And in the field of international diplomacy and conflict, we have all the credibility and moral high ground of Tony Soprano. If a situation arises in which we do, God forbid, need the army -- we are hosed. We are fucked with a chainsaw.
I'm not saying the U.S. should unilaterally attack or invade North Korea. The U.S. should not be the world's policeman. This was always one of my main arguments against the war on Iraq in the first place. The U.S. should not be the world's policeman -- for the simple reason that we suck at it. As the world's policeman, we are both corrupt and staggeringly incompetent. Our record as the world's policeman is comparable to that of Chief Wiggum.
But if there's an international consensus that military action is necessary -- in North Korea or anywhere else on this increasingly volatile planet -- we should be able to participate.
And we can't. We expended our resources -- and our respectability -- to unseat a dictator who had weapons of mass destruction a decade ago, and now we have nothing left to unseat a dictator who not only has nukes, but is actually threatening to use them.
And North Korea knows it. Every megalomaniacal nutcase dictator on the planet knows it.
So this is why you don't start pointless, unnecessary wars. It's not just for all the obvious reasons, the misery and suffering and death and evil and children with their limbs blown off. It's because you then don’t have the option of waging war when it isn't pointless, when it might just possibly be necessary.
Lucky for North Korea.