Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday a North Korean nuclear test would bea very provocative actand the United States would have to assess its options should it be carried out.
Rice’s warning, at a news conference in Cairo, reflected widespread concern within the Bush administration. She stressed, however, that a North Korean test was an issuefor the neighborhoodand not just for the United States.
It would be a very provocative act,she said. Still, she said,they have not yet done it.
Rice did not elaborate on the options she said the United States would consider if North Korea followed through on it threat.
Now, I reject, root and branch, the whole terror-empire geopolitics that are so proudly endorsed by both the ruling Right and the Cold War liberals who dominate the Loyal Opposition. But suppose that you take those ideas on their own terms for a second. The strategic question that Rice’s blustering raises is this. Even granting the legitimacy of the enterprise, given the way the United States is hopelessly mired in ever-worsening civil wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention whatever the endgame for the increasingly bellicose diplomatic confrontation with Iran may be, just what
options does the United States realistically have left at this point?
Everything has limits, even global
superpowers. The War Party, especially in its more bellicose factions, fantasizes that the United States has the muscle, resources, know-how, and will to sustain itself as the head of a geopolitical power structure which amounts to world empire in everything but name; and it is precisely these people who are most fond of passing themselves off as hard-nosed policy realists against the saccharine dreams of hippies, pacifist zealots, moonbats, the terminally clueless, and countless other denizens of whatever La-La Land they imagine you have to be from to possibly have doubts about the latest march to war. But they are wrong, dead wrong, and their pose is growing more evidently absurd every day. Unfortunately, we, not they, will be forced to deal with the human consequences of the colossal disasters they are pulling us into.