Is the American Empire Worth the Price?

By Pat Buchanan

Kim Jong Un
War on the peninsula would be a catastrophe, and a growing arsenal of North Korean ICBMs targeted on America is intolerable, the question must arise : Why not move U.S. forces off the peninsula?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” Samuel Johnson observed, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

And the prospect of a future where Kim Jong Un can put a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city is going to cause this nation to reassess the risks and rewards of the American Imperium.

First, some history.

“Why should Americans be first to die in any second Korean war?” this writer asked in 1999 in “A Republic, Not an Empire.”

“With twice the population of the North and twenty times its economic power, South Korea … is capable of manning its own defense. American troops on the DMZ should be replaced by South Koreans.”

This was denounced as neo-isolationism. And, in 2002, George W. Bush declared the U.S. “will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.”

Bluster and bluff. In 2006, Pyongyang called and raised and tested an atom bomb. Now Kim Jong Un is close to an ICBM.

Our options?

As Kim believes the ability to hit America with a nuclear weapon is the only certain way he has of deterring us from killing his regime and him, he will not be talked out of his ICBM. Nor, short of an embargo-blockade by China, will sanctions keep him from his goal, to which he inches closer with each missile test.

As for the “military option,” U.S. strikes on Kim's missile sites could cause him to unleash his artillery on Seoul, 35 miles south. In the first week of a second Korean war, scores of thousands could be dead.

If North Korea's artillery opened up, says Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the U.S. would be forced to use tactical atomic weapons to stop the carnage. Kim could then give the suicidal order to launch his nukes.

A third option is to accept and live with a North Korean ICBM, as we have lived for decades with the vast nuclear arsenals of Russia and China.

Now, assume the best: We get through this crisis without a war, and Kim agrees to stop testing ICBMs and nuclear warheads.

Does anyone believe that, given his youth, his determination to drive us off the peninsula, and his belief that only an ICBM can deter us, this deal will last and he will abandon his nuclear program?

Given concessions, Kim might suspend missile and nuclear tests. But again, we deceive ourselves if we believe he will give up the idea of acquiring the one weapon that might ensure regime survival.

Hence, assuming this crisis is resolved, what does the future of U.S.-North Korean relations look like?

To answer that question, consider the past.

In 1968, North Korea hijacked the USS Pueblo on the high seas and interned its crew. LBJ did nothing. In April 1969, North Korea shot down an EC-121, 100 miles of its coast, killing the crew. Nixon did nothing.

Under Jimmy Carter, North Koreans axe-murdered U.S. soldiers at Panmunjom. We defiantly cut down a nearby tree.

Among the atrocities the North has perpetrated are plots to assassinate President Park Chung-hee in the 1960s and '70s, the Rangoon bombing that wiped out much of the cabinet of Chun Doo-hwan in 1983, and the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, killing all on board in 1987.

Kim Jong-Un North Korea
Kim Jong-Un North Korea

And Kim Jong Un has murdered his uncle and brother.

If the past is prologue, and it has proven to be, the future holds this. A renewal of ICBM tests until a missile is perfected. Occasional atrocities creating crises between the U.S. and North Korea. America being repeatedly dragged to the brink of a war we do not want to fight.

As Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Sunday, such a war would be “catastrophic. … A conflict in North Korea … would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes.”

When the lesson sinks in that a war on the peninsula would be a catastrophe, and a growing arsenal of North Korean ICBMs targeted on America is intolerable, the question must arise:

Why not move U.S. forces off the peninsula, let South Korean troops replace them, sell Seoul all the modern weapons it needs, and let Seoul build its own nuclear arsenal to deter the North?

Remove any incentive for Kim to attack us, except to invite his own suicide. And tell China: Halt Kim's ICBM program, or we will help South Korea and Japan become nuclear powers like Britain and France.

Given the rising risk of our war guarantees, from the eastern Baltic to the Korean DMZ — and the paltry rewards of the American Imperium — we are being bled from Libya to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen — a true America First foreign policy is going to become increasingly attractive.

Kim's credible threat to one day be able to nuke a U.S. city is going to concentrate American minds wonderfully.

 

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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oldvet
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oldvet

Trump considering pardon foe Sheriff Joe Arpio . What is the holdup DO IT yesterday already!!!!!

Janek
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Janek

Maybe Rep. Henry ‘Hank’ Johnson can introduce a bill to tow Guam out of harms way? LOL

The Revelator
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The Revelator

He would never do that!!!

It might tip Guam over……..

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club
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VE Veteran - Old Man's Club

I just want to know where Kim Jong Un gets his hair cut, that way I won’t make the same mistake. Not only is he a chunky butt, but he has a perennial bad hair day.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@VE Vet, I’d send the fat little ba$tard a case of Slim Jim snacks and a case of Kools (as a token of our esteem), if I thought that it would help. Smoke up Kimmy!

oldvet
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oldvet

@WB… I would say add some smokeless tobacco but he already has cancer of the mouth kind of.

oldvet
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oldvet

@VE …I read where he only allows three styles of haircut in that country.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@oldvet, that reminds me of “haircut day” in BCT. They said you could have a #1, #2, #3; and it was all the same haircut. The barber asked me if I wanted to keep my sideburns. (This is the oldest gag in the U.S. Army!) I said yes, so he cut one off and handed it to me! That barber knew a dumb farm kid when he saw him.

oldvet
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oldvet

@WB …I remember well. And while we were standing in formation waiting, a female D I marched a flight of young W A C’s in and you should have heard the grief she gave that flight. IT partially concerned what was all around them and what they weren’t going to get. Wager Colonial Girl could tell some stories.

oldvet
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oldvet

For ammoland D I = Drill Instructor, W A C= Womens Army Core. That should have been W A F’s = Womens Air Force.

oldvet
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oldvet

@WB…Well they are moderating my comment again, we shall see if it ever gets approved. I would like to know what words or series there of triggers moderation.

oldvet
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oldvet

@WB well that comment seems to have disappeared. It was nothing earth shaking , it involved a female D I a flight of W A F’s at Lackland in a place called the Green Elephant. We went in as so called Rainbows (our civies were all colors) and came out carrying our complete issue but no hair. That photo made me look like a convict.

XX
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XX

Yes, Old Useless Bill, he sure did. Not Colonel material at all.

oldvet
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oldvet

@xx …well at least he improved himself whats holding you back, nothing to work with.

The Revelator
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The Revelator

well Oldvet, XX has been THINKING about military service for a while now you know..

But he’s working without tools.

oldvet
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oldvet

@WB …I don’t know if they will let my other comment will get out I wasn’t even talking about that Fat Bat Rasturd.

Silence Dogood
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Silence Dogood

American Imperium?

Pat, you’re way off base with this postulate as the basis of your argument. The United States of America has never has any desire, nor need, for an Empire. Pat, you’re just thinking like your fellow-travelers in the British Foreign Office. And, you both are just plain wrong.

Pat Kelley
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Pat Kelley

Rather than encouraging South Korea and Japan to “go nuclear,” we should advise the Chinese that we and our allies have no alternative but to deploy American tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan (with the consent of those countries, of course). We removed those weapons from South Korea ostensibly to keep the Korean peninsula nuclear weapons-free, and to deter North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. See how well that concession worked. Now that North Korea has violated their side of the agreement,and Korea is no longer free of those deadly weapons, AND the U.S. is being threatened, it’s… Read more »

S. Upchurch
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S. Upchurch

It would really help if these journalist would spenf 1q3 month’s in the military in Korea. They might just change thheir tune!

Colonialgirl
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Colonialgirl

You can “thank” Carter, Bush, and Clinton for letting the NK develop their nuclear capability. The fat pig running that country is a spoiled idiot who hates everyone that doesn’t kiss his rear end.

JDL
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JDL

Mr. Buchanan you are missing one important fact that undermines your recommendation – the South Korean government is almost as unstable as the North. While economically they are in better shape than 1950, sociologically and politically thay are just as unstable now as they were then.

Colonialgirl
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Colonialgirl

I call complete BS on your idiotic claims.

Clark Kent
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Clark Kent

Coming from you; the expert in BS……

The Revelator
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The Revelator

Hey Buddy! While you are so busy dishing out the “BS” safety badges, would you care to explain to all the kind folks about your own pile and why you have been hiding from your comment here?

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

Now, Clark, CG has been to the ROK. Have you been to the ROK?

oldvet
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oldvet

@CG… Didn’t know you were an expert on CK!!!

Trent
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Trent

During the original Korean War, the Norks, as clients of the Soviet Union, was a blatant challenge to the US Eastern Asia policy by Joseph Stalin, who used Koreans as his spear-catchers. The South Koreans were economically unprepared for this invasion and, to counter Stalin, the United States had to back them, or lose all of East Asia. Nowadays, South Korea is MUCH more powerful than it was in 1950, so the need to back her with boots on the ground is not nearly so severe. Also, let’s not kid ourselves: Both Japan and South Korea are but one or… Read more »

tony
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tony

The world can and should deal with this little man now or we will be forced to later. If the money were right I feel sure there is a qualified man with the right rifle willing to end this mutts plans. Show the bounty money and Josh Randall will come.

marc disabled vet
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marc disabled vet

@ tony
spot on, I said the same thing in an earlier post .
Canada claims to have the best long distance shooter ,
in the world ! Let them put their money where their mouth is .
I like the bounty idea, Makes it like ( I Spy ) It lets the ,
USA. Claim no accountability for someone’s actions .
Put it up on the merc.websites there will be an overload

oldvet
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oldvet

@Mark… I’ll contribute the first $100.

Robert Sweeney
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Robert Sweeney

I’m not sure I understand the point Buchanan is making; is he saying Johnson, Nixon and Carter were right, and that our response to North Korea’s threat should be to chop down a tree?

Budlangpapa
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Budlangpapa

No, he’s saying bring our troops home and give him one less reason to claim he’s being threatened. But this idiot in North Korea wants a fight he’s just trying to prod someone else into starting it.

JDL
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JDL

Agree – he seems to be advocating the same beta-male attitude of Carter that failed so miserably. Sometimes you jave to stand up and fight off threats – ignoring them will not make them go away.

JR Bailey
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JR Bailey

My dear fellow after having read the straightforward article by Buchanan, and reading your response, I have only one thing to say:

Put the pipe down and step away from the bong!

oldvet
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oldvet

@JR…Which fellow would you be referring to?

JR Bailey
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JR Bailey

Old Vet…. The Sweeney fellow, he hasn’t really got a good grasp of History!

oldvet
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oldvet

@Sweeneey … where did the tree come from?

Al
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Al

So our parents and grandparents were wrong? They went to Europe to fight two wars. Should we have just said, buck up Europe and handle it yourself? I am disappointed on how the mind deteriorates and then others tell them they are still current. It’s time to retire and enjoy what you so rightly earned.

JDL
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JDL

Agree! Well said!

JR Bailey
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JR Bailey

Snarky little fellow aren’t you? How about you pull your head out and actually address the points in Buchanan’s article? You haven’t refuted a single point that Buchanan made, how about you go down that road first, before going to the snark? His scenario for withdrawal, replacing the honors of protecting South Korea on the south Koreans themselves, make all the sense in the world! They are a rich country, and they have the responsibility of protecting their own people, we don’t! We and our allies at the UN save their butts during the first Korean War, they have been… Read more »

Clark Kent
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Clark Kent

So who will be the next nation we chicken out from defending? Israel? Japan? Canada?

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@Al, Are you saying that we should get out of your way so that you can make the decisions? I’d have to read your resume and areas of concentrated expertise, first.

JR Bailey
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JR Bailey

AI, We Americans have spent too much blood and too much treasure on behalf of a mass amount of people, who are a bunch of ungrateful pricks! No more American blood to be shed, no more American treasure to be spent, no more nation-building, and certainly not on the behalf of a bunch of people who hate our guts! Pull every last American out of South Korea, reinforce our Japanese bases, and call it good! Then we need to withdraw from the treaty between South Korea and ourselves, disallowing development of nuclear weapons by South Korea. We need to tell… Read more »

Silence Dogood
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Silence Dogood

JR Bailey…sadly, you’re naive and know little of history. Luckily, you’re not in any “policy-making position.” So, the Republic is safe.

JR Bailey
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JR Bailey

You may have gotten some emotional gratification from partially venting your spleen, but you didn’t refute a single point I made, which is standard fare for people who really do not have a clue concerning clausivitzian, or bismarckian geopolitics! Nor do you have a clue concerning Machavelliand uses of power: all you can do is whine and avoid the issues at hand! You’re also incorrect on the issue of my understanding of History: I’m a professionally trained historian, with concentrations in modern African and modern Russian/Soviet history! The Graduate portion of my academic career was a concentration in modern German… Read more »

KeepAwake
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KeepAwake

Patrick, in all due respects, you are usually level-headed. However, this time, you have entirely missed the current deterrence that the United States Military has over North Korea. If the United States Military “Pulls out”, there will not be enough time for South Korea, Japan, and even Taiwan to build up a nuclear deterrence before North Korea threatens to invade, or actually invades these sovereign countries. Furthermore, North Korea will never be satisfied until they can “nuke” the United States. All American patriots simply can not allow this to happen. Therefore, the only option to end North Korea’s suicidal madness… Read more »

Larry Brickey
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Larry Brickey

The idea is to build them up prior to leaving.

oldvet
Guest
oldvet

Gil raises his ugly head again

oldvet
Guest
oldvet

@LB…Hey do you get paid a separate stipend for each name you use? Pretty good scam does soros know?

oldvet
Guest
oldvet

@Lb …do you get paid cash under the table, is he paying taxes on your wages????

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@LB, We tried that idea. Nixon called it Vietnamization. It did not work out. I don’t believe that it would work out if we tried it for the ROK, either.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@KA, I can’t help but agree with most of it. NoKo is a proxy state for China. NoKo would not be doing any of this if China were not telling NoKo to. China wants the S. China Sea and control of the sea lanes. China will try to get it during an Asian land war on the Korean peninsula. Our allies are Rok, providing millions of infantry; Japan providing Navy assets; Tiawan providing air force assets. NoKo will have China providing Army, Navy, missile and Airforce assets and threaten our Pacific and Pacific coast; Iran will keep us busy and… Read more »