Wednesday, May 27, 2009

North Korea: Events Make Hash of Policy

Early yesterday morning, North Korea detonated the inviting promises of appeasement with earth-shattering force...the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted an underground nuclear test...of a 10-to-20 kiloton warhead....Obama’s first statement merely told the nation that still calls itself the “Hermit Kingdom” its “behavior…will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation...Later that morning, he rushed out a second statement, claiming DPRK missiles “pose a grave threat to the peace and security of the world”...And then, according to the L.A. Times and the Drudge Report, he went golfing....Tested, Ben Johnson, Front Page Magazine, 5/26/2009

When the United States, in the 1950s, totally dominated the world in military readiness, economic wherewithal, and political prestige, President Eisenhower might go golfing during a crisis. What did a little power's fist pounding matter to the most powerful nation in world history?

In the 1950s, the same President could advance the largest construction project in world history (the Interstate Highway system) in full confidence that a country with a huge, positive balance of trade, as creditor to the entire world, possessing vast foreign reserves, and a booming economy, could afford to build.

President Obama, things have changed. When a country that has sold weapons systems to rogue nations (who arm terrorist organizations) comes into possession of weapons that could kill a million Americans in thirty seconds, playing golf and speaking a few high-minded, empty words are not qualitatively different from either fabulous delusion, or astonishing stupidity.

When a nation owes the world trillions of dollars, depending on the good will of a major competitor to meet its federal budget, and, not so incidentally, to build most of the consumer products Americans would like to have, plunging into trillions of dollars of new spending, and trillions of dollars in new taxation, are not qualitatively different from either gross malfeasance in office, or mind-boggling, narrow-minded arrogance.

And you are also about to find out that unqualified violation of the Fifth Amendment regarding unwarranted government seizure of private property is not something you can get out from under by lecturing Americans on their driving habits, or secured bondholders on their “speculations.” The latter is particularly offensive given that most secured bondholders represent pension funds and other retirement investments, not a few of those union and public employee accounts. Unlike the Congress and the Executive Branch, such fund managers can't substitute rhetoric and hot air for fiduciary responsibility. Those who do end up in jail.


No comments: