10/17/06 — Reason to worry: Rogue nations and nuclear weapons just don’t mix

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Reason to worry: Rogue nations and nuclear weapons just don’t mix

These days, hearing threats against the United States and its “imperialistic” and “aggressive” attempts to rule the world are nothing new.

So, sometimes when another rogue nation like North Korea threatens us or announces its decision to reject United Nations orders to cease and desist with tests of nuclear weapons, we just turn the page and keep on reading.

But there is reason to be concerned about the North Koreans and their recent announcement that they consider U.N. sanctions a “declaration of war.”

And there is reason for someone to start coming up with a tougher, more aggressive policy against those who defy international law.

A nation like North Korea is not going to have the muscle that we feared from our adversaries in previous decades. There might not even be much of a danger to this nation at all. The North Koreans might have much more immediate enemies to target.

But we have learned a lesson in recent years — and one we should heed as we continue negotiations with the North Koreans and other would-be troublemakers around the world.

Small, rogue nations led by illogical, out of control leaders do not respond to reason, threats or wishy-washy diplomacy. If you want to get their attention, and remind them that there is an international order in the world, you have to strike decisively.

And it is time to do that, now, before this skirmish becomes a battle.

Nuclear weapons and crazy leaders do not mix. Nations that place little value on human life do not need to have the ability to destroy their neighbors if the whim of their despotic leadership strikes them.

So there is a reason and justification for the United States to stand up and say “no”, even if the United Nations is still only shaking its finger and warning.

North Korea is no immediate threat to this country. And that is how this game works. You never really know what is going to happen when radicals and extremists decide to launch their next jihad.

Prevention, in this case, means stern reprimand and immediate response to posturing. It sends a message that we are not fooling around.

That is how you keep a country safe and a world at peace.

Published in Editorials on October 17, 2006 1:04 PM