Sunday night arrives and finds me once again watching the late game with the hopes that a player or two will really do well so that my fantasy football team won’t lose yet another game. And one of my players is in the locker room having his hand evaluated. Some weeks things just don’t go my way, lol. As I was sitting here throwing insults at the television, I was perusing the news stories, checking out what people had to say on the morning talk shows. As I did I ran across this particular story that just rubbed me the wrong way. Personally, I like John McCain. I think he is a good guy, one of the few in Washington DC that really does want to simply make things better, regardless of which side of the aisle proposes the solution. But it appears that, like the rest of the yahoos in Congress, his memory does not function in an effective way. Despite suffering blistering criticism for the interventionist policies that caused such widespread dislike for George Bush, McCain and the GOP learned nothing at all. We find McCain making the circuit calling for “regime change” in North Korea.
Let me get one thing out of the way before I say anything else. I don’t like North Korea. I served in South Korea, including quite a bit of time spent up on the DMZ. I think that the leadership of North Korea is horrid. They don’t care a single bit about the actual citizens of North Korea. They are as incompetent as can be imagined in setting a course forward that would help the country to improve. And they are completely out of control in terms of how they deal with other nations, particularly their neighbor to the south.
In other words, I also believe that a regime change in North Korea would be a good thing for both the international community and more important, for the people of North Korea. There is no harm in wishing that the country’s leadership would change hands so that North Korea could begin the long path towards a better life for her citizens. However, wishing it were so is really the extent that I am willing to go.
John McCain said on the morning shows that he is calling for a regime change in North Korea. He didn’t come out and say we should attack North Korea or that we should invade North Korea. I am glad at least for that. But he proposed that China should be exerting force on North Korea in order to get them back in line. I would not have had a problem with him saying that he would like China to initiate actions to get them under control. But he led with that term….. “regime change”.
I don’t believe that it is our place to call for a regime change in any country. We are welcome to wish for it. We are welcome to accept a new regime more warmly than the previous one. We are well with in our rights to refuse to trade with North Korea. We are well within our rights to be in South Korea, at South Korea’s request, in order to help deter the North from coming across the border, which they would most certainly attempt to do if we were not there. I am OK with our participating in military exercises with South Korea regardless of whether North Korea likes it or not.
But we don’t have the right to take action in order to cause a regime change. That includes levying sanctions, invading, assassinating, attacking, or even exerting pressure on our allies to take action to cause such (as McCain seems to be doing here).
Whether they are good or not is irrelevant. North Korea is a sovereign nation. Did the esteemed members of the GOP learn nothing from the voter’s rebuke of their “regime changing” actions in the past? We instituted a regime change under the guise of fighting terror in Afghanistan. That sure has gone well. We instituted a regime change in Iraq as another part of the war on terror. That also won huge swaths of voters over in 2008. In the past we instituted regime changes across the globe, including our pals Iran, who continually thank us for helping them in that way….
Overall, I believe that the voters in the United States are first and foremost becoming very war weary. They simply don’t want to be involved in another conflict. Heck, the majority don’t want to be involved in the two we are currently in. And more voters are also becoming less enamored with the idea that we should be facilitating or instigating a regime change in any country other than the United States, which perhaps needs a regime change as much as anyone (and I mean both parties getting kicked to the curb).
And I wonder if Senator McCain is willing to accept the premise that we have a hand in the way that North Korea is acting these days. We have helped to enforce sanctions against the country, essentially starving them to the point of desperation. With the help of the United Nations, we have crippled the North to the point where they are unable to do anything but act out. Furthermore we have responded to these outbursts in the past by granting them aide and concessions. Even Pavlov’s dog learned that ringing the bell meant goodies. In essence, we have taught North Korea that in order to get help they should act out or threaten others. What did we expect they would do?
As I said, I don’t like North Korea at all. In the past I have adamantly proposed that they are a very dangerous nation that we are going to be forced to deal with eventually. I know that the good Colonel has also gone on record saying that things like this were coming. Couple their recent mortar attacks with the reports coming out about their nuclear aspirations and realities, and you start to get an idea of how dangerous they really are.
So what do all of you think? Should we be calling for a regime change in North Korea? If you believe that we are within our rights to do so, how far is it that you would be willing to go to make it happen? If you were the one calling the shots, what would you do? I will try to weigh in throughout the day on your thoughts and further expand on my position.