OK, That's Different.

This is much more interesting than what kind of porn Sarkozy looks at or whatever:

Wikileaks cables reveal China ‘ready to abandon North Korea’
Leaked dispatches show Beijing is frustrated with military actions of ‘spoiled child’ and increasingly favours reunified Korea

I’m not really that surprised. After all, China is getting rich off trade with the west. So, while this isn’t that shocking, it’s at least timely, which is more than I can say for the other supposedly interesting docs in the WikiLeaks dump so far.


This post occasioned me to review the years of blogging I’ve done to this nanoscopic corner of the Internet over the last decade. With respect to India/Pakistan and North Korea, I have been writing shrill, hawkish posts the entire time. Why? Do I just prefer we bomb Asians than Iraqis?

No. It’s quite simple when you’re a child of the Cold War to calculate what America’s real security interests are. In the Cold War it was figuring out a strategy of preventing a nuclear conflict with the USSR, even if that meant fighting a number of proxy shooting wars; even if meant dedicating a huge portion of our economy to building a military.

Come on. It really would have been the end of the world. Maybe humanity would have gone on, but civilization as we know it would end. A 2006 update of the theoretical work on nuclear winter suggested that it would take even fewer detonations to basically starve everyone that previously thought.

So, aside from an alien invasion or an asteroid strike (things we have no control over) there is no bigger threat to the world than nukes. But it’s almost like we’ve completely forgotten they exist, unless it’s some scenario where al Qaeda gets one and blows up one city.

Yet as scary as the USSR was, they played the great game. I’m not so sure North Korea, Iran, or a future Pakistani regime will.

This is why it was folly, retarded, stupid, idiotic, self-destructive, almost treasonous to invade Iraq. They didn’t have nukes; no way. The goalposts were moved to mustard gas later, but the sell was they would give bin Laden a nuke to use on US soil. That was never going to happen, and even if it was the situation in North Korea was always worse. The situation in Kashmir has always been a bigger threat.

And you can complain about liberals or whatever, but any idiot had to know there would be political blowback from a hack job of a war. Even World War II generated a great deal of political fatigue. So, when you use the U.S. military for a large scale war, you have to know that it will limit the ability to use it again. That’s just reality. Wishing or arguing that it weren’t so doesn’t make it that way.

So, as vehemently as I disagree with the Pacifist Left about Iran (I haven’t heard many arguments against taking a hard line with North Korea, but I’m sure it’s out there), I understand where they are coming from. How can elite opinion on this issue be trusted after Iraq? It has instant cachet. Politically, though, dovishness on Iran would lead to another McGovern moment for Dems when Americans are actually called to live with the consequences of a nuclear Iran. We won’t be thinking about all the people that didn’t die in a war we didn’t fight, we’ll be thinking about the total chaos of our energy supply, the total disruption of foreign relations with the Arab world and the end of any kind of negotiated peace in Palestine. From a policy point of view, it probably means the end of the Pax Americana or at least the breakdown of nuclear non-proliferation of nation states.

Even if Iran won’t hand Sunni al Qaeda a nuclear weapon, it will cause other states to arm themselves. Pakistan’s nuclear policy is based on minimum credible deterrence. So is India’s. So is China’s. So, if Pakistan is now threatened by a nuclear Iran, it will have to increase its stockpiles. But, just because Pakistan is getting more because of Iran doesn’t matter to India. They will have to get more. Then so will China. This may result in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia nuclearizing.

The problem there is, the more people have buttons, the more mistakes can be made. The US and USSR came very close on several occasions to accidentally launching on each other.

Why risk this?

We have to do everything to prevent proliferation, even if it means wars. But Bush and the Neocons created an antiwar movement against these wars before they even became necessary, including a renewed isolationism on the Right.

Fucking stupid. It’s almost certainly the crime of the century and it was only in the third year of it.