Pretty much the same thinking that guided Obama's policy for eight years, so why not just come right out and say it?

Susan Rice in NY Times op-ed: Oh come on, we could live with a nuclear North Korea

By —— Bio and Archives--August 11, 2017

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There used to be a bipartisan consensus in favor of something called nuclear nonproliferation.

The basic thinking was that it was dangerous enough having major superpowers with nuclear weapons aimed at each other. What we absolutely could not tolerate was for nuclear weaponry to spread such that some lunatic would get his hands on them. We couldn’t do anything about the fact that the Russians and the Chinese had them, and they couldn’t do anything about the fact that we, the British, the French and the Israelis had them. Those ships had all sailed.

But all geopolitical sides agreed that if the “global community” had anything worth coming together on, it was undoubtedly to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of, say, the fanatics who rule Iran. Or the nutjob who rules North Korea. Because the thought of nukes in the hands of people like this made everyone shudder, and rightfully so. Even Republicans and Democrats who could agree on little else could agree on this.

That’s how it once was. But then something happened. The 12-year Reagan/Bush era was followed by a 24-year period in which Democrats held the White House for 16 of those years. The nuclear ambitions of said mad men advanced to the point where this was no longer a distant, perish-the-thought concern. It was clear and present. And it became clear that it wouldn’t be enough just to declare this scenario unthinkable. Actually preventing it would require real action, which would have a cost and involve some risks. The foreign policy establishment wrung its hands. The media prepared to go into attack mode.

And suddenly it wasn’t so unthinkable to let these lunatics have nuclear weapons after all. Hey. They wouldn’t really use them? Would they? Surely not. Probably not. We don’t think.

(In fairness, when the Bush 43 Administration should have thrown down the gauntlet in 2008, it punted as well. The policies that got us to this point have been a bipartisan disaster.)

But no one was as derelict as the Obama Administration in letting Kim Jong Un get to the point where he could threaten the United States, if only because it was during the Obama presidency that the threat became most real, while Obama dithered and refused to take any real action. This was completely in line with a left-wing philosophy that refuses to see the actions of America’s enemies as worth attention, and always values diplomatic realpolitik over the deployment of American strength and resolve. And as the Obama Administration was doing nothing about the growing threat from North Korea, it was also concocting rationalizations for why it really wouldn’t be so bad to have a nuclear North Korea.

And today, former Obama UN ambassador and national security advisor Susan Rice lays out all of this to us in, of course, the New York Times:

But war is not necessary to achieve prevention, despite what some in the Trump administration seem to have concluded. History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea — the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

It will require being pragmatic.

First, though we can never legitimize North Korea as a nuclear power, we know it is highly unlikely to relinquish its sizable arsenal because Mr. Kim deems the weapons essential to his regime’s survival. The North can now reportedly reach United States territory with its ICBMs. The challenge is to ensure that it would never try.


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By most assessments, Mr. Kim is vicious and impetuous, but not irrational. Thus, while we quietly continue to refine our military options, we can rely on traditional deterrence by making crystal clear that any use of nuclear weapons against the United States or its allies would result in annihilation of North Korea. Defense Secretary James Mattis struck this tone on Wednesday. The same red line must apply to any proof that North Korea has transferred nuclear weapons to another state or nonstate actor.

Second, to avoid blundering into a costly war, the United States needs to immediately halt the reckless rhetoric. John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, must assert control over the White House, including his boss, and curb the Trump surrogates whipping up Cuban missile crisis fears.

Third, we must enhance our antimissile systems and other defenses, and those of our allies, which need our reassurances more than ever.

Fourth, we must continue to raise the costs to North Korea of maintaining its nuclear programs. Ratcheting up sanctions, obtaining unfettered United Nations authority to interdict suspect cargo going in or out of the North, increasing Pyongyang’s political isolation and seeding information into the North that can increase regime fragility are all important elements of a pressure campaign.

Finally, we must begin a dialogue with China about additional efforts and contingencies on the peninsula, and revive diplomacy to test potential negotiated agreements that could verifiably limit or eliminate North Korea’s arsenal.


The parts I put in bold really tell the story of the left’s insane thinking on this issue, and provide the breadcrumbs you can follow for how it went from basically reasonable to utterly mad.

Kim will never give up his weapons because he thinks the regime needs them to survive . . . but through diplomacy we can reach “negotiated agreements” that can eliminate the very weapons Kim will never get rid of? How’s that, exactly?

And how exactly does history show that we can live with a nuclear North Korea? Rice seems to think she can make this case by comparing the current Nork regime to the old Soviet regime - the thinking being that they had a lot more weapons than he does.

Of course they did, but the size of the arsenal isn’t the issue. Most people recognized that the Soviet regime was evil (well, not Ted Kennedy), but not crazy. They didn’t run around threatening to nuke us because they knew they would die too. They used their nuclear arsenal to give themselves a strategic advantage, but they wanted to survive every bit as much as we did. That’s why they didn’t use their nukes as their regime was collapsing in 1991. All that would have done was gotten them killed too.

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And this bring us to the other part of the left’s delusional equation here. If the problem is that you can’t have irrational people with nuclear weapons, but you’re not willing to do what’s necessary to stop it from happening, simply declare these people to be rational. It doesn’t matter if it’s true, only that you say it like you mean it. Everything about Kim Jong Un suggests that he is highly irrational, and even Rice concedes that he is vicious and impetuous. But somehow this doesn’t translate to irrationality. Why? Because if it does, then the left has to do something about him - and they absolutely will not do that.

We’re facing this crisis today precisely because previous administrations, but especially the Obama Administration of which Susan Rice was an integral part, kicked this can down the road and refused to deal with it. Now here we are. So rather than support the president who got stuck with the problem, the left wants to pretend it’s really fine for this guy who have nuclear tipped missles and threaten to hit Guam with them. Or San Francisco. Or Denver. Because hey, he probably won’t really do it. And even though he’ll never give up the weapons, we can always get a “negotiated agreement” with “assurances,” just like the worthless one we negotiated with Iran.

Oh, and never forget: Kim Jong Un isn’t irrational. But Donald Trump is. Can you imagine having convince yourself daily of the things these people believe?

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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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