by Matthew Vadum
How leftist fantasies and appeasement put America in nuclear jeopardy.
After Barack Obama’s eight long years of gutting America’s missile-defense capabilities, our nation has awakened to the nightmare of a North Korea armed with nuclear missiles capable of reaching U.S. territory.
Fortunately, Donald Trump, who, unlike his predecessor, takes his responsibility to defend the nation seriously, now resides in the White House, and Obama, one in a series of Democrat presidents who cleared the way for the nuclear adventurism of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is on the outside looking in.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," President Trump told reporters yesterday after applauding the unanimous weekend approval of the toughest U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution against North Korea to date. "They will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before."
Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis issued a statement urging North Korea to back off or suffer the consequences. “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people," he said. "While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed, and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth."
But not all of the blame for the status quo can be assigned to Democrats.
North Korea has long massed troops near the border with South Korea, effectively holding the population of nearby Seoul and other densely-populated areas hostage. The DPRK is thought to have the ability to quickly assault and subdue a large chunk of South Korea, with devastating consequences for the populace. The Korean War itself began June 25, 1950 but never technically ended. Hostilities were suspended when representatives from both countries signed an armistice agreement on July 27, 1953. The “final peaceful settlement” envisioned in the pact never happened. The U.S. was a major party to the armed conflict and it still has troops stationed on the Korean Peninsula.
“I think, basically, since the end of the Korean War, we’ve had a succession of administrations – Republican and Democratic – who have faced a very unhappy reality, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney told SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s “Breitbart News Daily” show.
“And that is the massive, if uneven, shall we say, North Korean military … so closely positioned at the Demilitarized Zone to Seoul, the capital of South Korea, that at will, from a standing start, they could essentially devastate the 24 or so million people who live in and around that capital city.”
Kim Jong-un “greatly accelerated the development and testing programs of all ranges of North Korea’s missile systems,” according to Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “During his five years in power, he has overseen three times as many missile launches as his father did during his eighteen-year reign.”
Kim wouldn’t actually have to incinerate a U.S. population center to inflict devastating damage on the nation. There is some evidence that the North Koreans have the ability to detonate a nuclear weapon on a satellite in orbit over U.S. territory in order to create an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse. An EMP could take the nation’s electric grid offline and fry the circuitry of everything from automobiles to smartphones to toasters.
It was President Bill Clinton who cleared the way for the DPRK to go nuclear.
Nearly two years ago, North Korea sent geopolitical shockwaves around the world by claiming to have conducted a successful test of a powerful hydrogen bomb. Without the machinations years ago of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and more importantly, those of her husband, the pariah nation may not have been able to join the nuclear club.
The announcement by the DPRK came after years of appeasement and dithering by left-wing politicians in the West. In 1994 Bill Clinton unveiled an agreement between the U.S. and North Korea that he claimed would achieve "an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula."
Under the deal, North Korea "agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program and to accept international inspection of all existing facilities," Clinton said at the time. The pact "is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world."
Years after Clinton’s presidency, North Korea today possesses what it calls its "H-bomb of justice" that can reportedly be loaded onto a missile and delivered to targets outside its borders.
Critics note that the deal with the DPRK is remarkably similar to President Obama’s loophole-ridden nuclear nonproliferation pact with the Islamic Republic of Iran. This makes sense because both Clinton and Obama share a similar core philosophy that favors appeasement and discourages national security-related preparedness.
Way back in 1999, Donald Trump presciently eviscerated President Clinton’s weak stance on North Korea.
What Clinton had agreed to “was so soft, these people are laughing at us,” Trump told the late Tim Russert on NBC. “We virtually tried to bribe them into stopping and they’re continuing to [do] what they’re doing. And they’re laughing at us, they think we’re a bunch of dummies."
On the possibility of striking at North Korea militarily before the nuclear threat got out of hand, Trump said, “You want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place, every one of them pointing to New York City, to Washington, and every one of our — is that when you want to do it? Or do you want to do something now?”
And Barack Obama was exponentially worse on nukes than Bill Clinton was.
While in office, Obama scoffed at the idea of missile-defense, that is, that a missile could take out another missile. The idea grew out of President Reagan’s Strategic Defensive Initiative (SDI), derided by left-wingers at the time and for years after as “Star Wars.”
According to the leftists at Mother Jones, the U.S. government “sank more than $239 billion (in 2016 dollars) into making some version of this Cold War daydream into reality, without much success.”
Whether that dollar figure provided by writer Bryan Schatz in January is accurate, really doesn’t even matter. It is money well-spent. And now that this research and development money has been spent, deploying missile-interception systems won’t be a terrible strain on the public purse because the hard part is over.
Making new missiles costs only a fraction of what it costs to design and develop those missiles. The interception vehicles may very well save America from ruin.
But the Left will still find a way to whine about those costs too. Every dollar not redistributed or spent on social welfare programs is a dollar wasted, as these people see it. And every dollar spent on defending America is an abomination in their eyes.
When seeking the presidency, Obama referred to missile defense programs as “unproven” and promised to cut them. As president, he was passive-aggressive about such programs. He undermined America’s missile defense, but eventually he supposedly acknowledged missile defense had some value.
But President Obama still put a great deal of energy into weakening America’s missile defense programs, which despite his best efforts have shown great promise in testing in recent months, successfully taking down an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on May 30. A long-range ground-based interceptor missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California hit and destroyed the ICBM launched from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
In 2009, Obama killed President Bush’s missile defense program for the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Then he renegotiated the New START nuclear arms agreement, which curbed the U.S. missile defense arsenal while letting the Russians add to theirs. In March 2012 Obama was caught on an open microphone telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to wait until after the upcoming election when he would be able to make even more concessions on missile defense.
Leftists like Obama don’t lose sleep worrying about such threats because they claim climate change, not potential nuclear missile attacks by rogue nations and terrorists, is a much more serious, pressing threat to Americans and the whole world. These people don’t take seriously the provocations of Kim Jong-un that could lead directly to the deaths of millions of Americans and South Koreans. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said during the election campaign last year that climate change was the greatest threat facing the United States, a claim echoed by President Obama who called climate change “a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it.”
But that frivolous view was rejected by the electorate last November and finally we have a president who, unlike the previous occupant of the White House, wants to protect America from foreign attack.
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."
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