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By Geoff Metcalf

July 28, 2003

Despite all the ubiquitous picking at nits over why we went to war in Iraq, the reality is there was a compendium of reasons and rationale for effecting regime change and deposing a brutal psychotic genocidal madman.

A nexus rationale for the preemptive attack was the perception and threat that IF or when Hussein gathered his weapons of mass destruction 'stuff' together he WOULD use it. IF/WHEN he used it�it would represent a clear and imminent danger to the region and a significant strategic threat to the United States.

It was the right thing to do regardless of assorted partisan Monday morning quarterbacking and geopolitical gamesmanship.

However, if Operation Iraqi Freedom was the right thing to do in light of the 'perception' of a threat�what could/should we do when confronted with an unveiled, significant, direct threat from a known nuclear power controlled by another egomaniacal dictator?

The chronically saber rattling North Koreans now claim they will start testing nukes.

North Korea's deputy ambassador to the UN, Han Sung Ruol, said if the US doesn't lighten up on pressure, North Korea would take counter-measures�"for example, a nuclear test."

This is not a disputed report about 'maybe' getting some weapons grade nuclear fuel from Africa. This is the real deal�prime time�the sports franchise. IF the US doesn't provide a non-aggression promise in return for abandoning Pyongyang's nuclear program, North Korea claims it is prepared to announce it has become the world's 9th nuclear power. Duh!?!?

So? Regardless of whether or not North Korea 'announces' their membership in the nuke club; it is already known they ARE nuke capable. The diplomatic blackmail is a paper (albeit nuclear) tiger.

The conventional wisdom is that they already probably have six to eight nukes or will have by years end. That cheery news means Japan, South Korea, Hawaii and even the continental United States are at risk targets. Diplomatic masturbation notwithstanding, US/North Korean relations are dysfunctionally out of control.

The last thing the Bush administration wants as a prelude to the 2004 elections is being forced to slap down North Korea. Even William Perry, Clinton's former secretary of defense, warned, "The nuclear program underway in North Korea poses an imminent danger of nuclear weapons being detonated in American cities." However, if the administration stalls military action to accommodate perceived political necessity, they run the risk of squandering the benefits of deposing Hussein in Iraq.

If we pre-emptively strike North Korea critics will assail the President for being a cowboy or arrogant imperialist.
If we DON'T chill Pyongyang's jets we are wimps�tough talk with no guts for action.

We have already assembled a ten-nation coalition to intercept any suspicious North Korean exports. A State department honcho claims the interception program is "ready to rock and roll�all we need is actionable intelligence." Good luck! Pyongyang claims any effort to impose sanctions or a blockade would be treated as a "declaration of war".

Excuse me but although few people choose to accept facts already in evidence, WE ARE STILL AT WAR with North Korean and have been despite a protracted 'time out'.

Russia and Japan are hinky (and with good reason). Pravda reports, "testing of the civil defense resources has already started in the districts bordering North Korea." Japan is considering a 'do over' of their post-war pacifist position. Again the Bush administration seems conflicted with the appeasers in the State Department equivocating and others bluntly stating, "we will not give in to blackmail".

When Israel was faced with the prospect of an Iraqi nuclear power plant (thanks to the French) coming on line they determined "that dog won't hunt" (or the Israeli equivalent thereof) and they eliminated the threat with a surgical strike. We diplomatically chastised them with a "tut-tut" and a "wink-wink/nod-nod" ATTABOY. Now it is the Pentagon considering a "surgical strike" for North Korea.

North Korea has already been labeled the third member of Bush's "axis of evil" (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea). North Korea has routinely lied and broken promises on a Clintonesque scale.
They kicked out international inspectors
They rebuilt a nuclear facility
They reprocessed up to 800 spent fuel rods in order to prepare plutonium for nuclear bombs.
Consensus is they already have 'some' nukes The administration is between the rock and the hard place and grasping for facts not in evidence. The timing is exacerbated by multiple annoyances.
Iraq and Afghanistan are still not resolved.
Liberian situation is deteriorating
The War on Terrorism continues.
US forces are already getting spread thin
Politics�both geopolitical and domestic

Frederick Douglass once observed, "Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

If the White House hopes China, South Korea and Japan can help slow the pace of events they are in for a reality check. Given multiple (and mutually exclusive agendas) the only solution to this classic 'Catch-22' is going to be LEADERSHIP (and stones).

� 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. . Visit Geoff's Web Site: While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail:






"North Korea has already been labeled the third member of Bush's "axis of evil" (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea). North Korea has routinely lied and broken promises on a Clintonesque scale."