Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

When Will We Learn?

After six years of war, 4265 dead soldiers, and more than $600 billion flushed down the toilet, you’d think that the American people would have learned that military action should be the absolute last resort.  A story from Politico would indicate that the American people still haven’t learned that lesson.  

Despite the broken economy and strained military, 57% of respondents in a recent survey by Rasmussen expressed support for military action on the Korean Peninsula.

American voters across lines of age, party and gender support a military approach to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Sunday morning – and conducted in the two days prior to North Korea’s test missile launch on Saturday.

The poll shows that 57 percent of all voters support such a response, while just 15 percent oppose it. A military response is favored by a majority in both parties – 66 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats – and by 57 percent of both men and women.


Do these people seriously believe that we can drop a few high-tech bombs and make the problem go away?  Haven’t we learned anything over the past eight years?

North Korea may be tiny and impoverished, but it is also armed to the teeth.  Let’s say that we decided to bomb the North into submission.  Pyongyang is years away from being able to attack the United States, so it will aim its 1 million plus troops and short-range missiles toward South Korea.  Seoul will be obliviated.  Our 30,000 troops stationed there won’t be able to do much to prevent that from happening.  While we are bombing the North, impoverished, starving North Koreans will flee north and attempt to cross the Chinese border.  We would unleash chaos that would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

Almost as disturbing as the willingness to go to war is the unwillingness to make the sacrifices necessary to prevent such a conflict.  From Rasmussen:

Only 27% say the United States should help North Korea rebuild its economy if it is willing to abandon its missile program. Fifty-one percent (51%) are opposed to such financial aid. These findings are largely unchanged from mid-February.


Only 27% of Americans are willing to commit to the hard work it will need to create a sustainable peace.  After all this country has lost, a majority of our fellow citizens still don’t get it.

Given the political dialogue in this country over the war in Iraq, these results are not surprising.  The right talks about preemptive conflict and the need to chase terrorists all over the map.  There is also the hyping of threats from weapons of mass production that don’t exist or can’t reach us.  At the same time, we on the left have not been completely honest in how we ended up in Iraq.  We have spent too much time focusing on Bush and Cheney lied about the intelligence and never confronted our country’s willingness to be frightened into invading a country that never attacked nor posed a threat to our homeland.  

Early on, the American people supported the Iraq war in large numbers and now seem willing to attack another impoverished third world country that does not have the technology to harm us.  It’s time to stop pretending that our foreign policy mistakes were the result of dishonest leaders and a complicit new media.  There is a problem with American culture and we need to confront it.


  1. ragekage

    North Korea… hmm. It’s such a difficult situation there, moreso than anywhere else, I think. While I don’t think we should go winging into North Korea bombing the crap out of everything, I gotta say I don’t think that rebuilding the North Korean economy if it’s willing to abandon it’s missile program is the answer, either. Kim Jong-Il has to go- but, fark, those people have been brainwashed for going on sixty years now. Sigh. No good answers here.

  2. nrafter530

    they only oppose wars they don’t think they can win.

    The only reason why they turned against Iraq is because it didn’t go well.  

  3. creamer

     Whatever it cost to feed the North Koreans, it would cost more to go to war. Kim won’t live forever, maybe his replacement won’t be wacked.

    We seem to stuck with this superpower role of saving everyone from themselves, (and saving the world for multi-national corporations). We get hammered for having such a huge military budget, and we get critizised for not coming to terms with North Korea or Iran.

    When to we get to tell the world we are going home?

  4. There was some confusion about just what was meant about a missile launch. Apparently, a lot of people took that to mean an attack. Of course, most people would think a military response would be justified in that situation.

  5. I’m one of the 51%, most likely, and it isn’t that I’m unwilling to commit to the hard work it will need to create a sustainable peace.  North Korea is a walking (crawling) contradiction and there is no more reason to think that sending resources (money, food) there will help solve the problem than sending ballistic projectiles.  There, frankly, doesn’t seem much hope whatsoever to believe that any given approach will have a positive outcome – perhaps there is nothing at all to be hoped for other than delaying the inevitable as long as possible in hopes that some new alternate possibility can appear.

    It is not likely that there are sane individuals in that country, and I mean that most literally.  If any individual in most of the rest of the world had spent three months under the conditions that are normal there they would be in for a lifetime of therapy, what we have is an entire nation of shock and torture victims.  Even the “elite” leadership has to be pretty well barking mad just from learning to survive inside it.

    North Korea is doing it’s best to be able to reach the US with a ballistic missile.  It has detonated a nuclear device that it is close to being able to deliver to Atlanta.  North Korea is the only state even remotely batshit crazy enough to be semi-believable in threats to launch a random nuke (Iran won’t when they make theirs).  None of these things are really good signs.

    What do we do with Kim and his crazies?  Damned if I know.  But everything we do that helps support Kim in power for one day guarantees that 65,000 years of human suffering occurs in North Korea (27.8M population/365).

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