McCain: It’s time to start talking about regime change in North Korea

posted at 12:16 pm on November 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

Not through military means, he’s quick to add, but through … what, then? Diplomacy? John Bolton floated this idea in an op-ed the other day but there’s no reason why either North Korea or China would entertain it. The Kims aren’t about to hand over the keys to their kingdom; they’d have to be deposed by the military first. And even then, the new military rulers would probably rather continue on in North Korea as a governing junta than reunify with the South. North Korean society is already based on the principle of “military first”; why would the junta trade that for absorption by South Korea, which would relegate most of them to nobodies and might mean international tribunals for a select few? As for China, a unified pro-western democratic Korea next door is as much a headache for them as Japan is. Assuming they can keep North Korea from doing something so crazy that it’ll touch off a war — which, granted, is a big assumption — they’re better off keeping the Koreas divided and propping up the North as the bad cop to their good cop vis-a-vis other powers in the region. McCain complains here that China isn’t acting like a “responsible” world power, which may be true, but so what? They’re acting like a self-interested power. Surprise.

One way you might nudge North Korea towards reunification is by offering aid in exchange for expanding markets inside the country. The regime has already made halting, primitive moves on that front; if they went further and the country grew wealthier, the “military first” doctrine would weaken and the military itself might decide that the prospect of an even higher standard of living in South Korea is worth laying down their guns. Or maybe not. Maybe they’d stay put and enjoy the filthy lucre gained from skimming huge sums off the top of trade revenue. Or maybe they’d try to become China Jr., balancing nationalism, authoritarianism, and capitalism to grow the economy (and the military) while keeping social impulses towards liberalization in check. What could go wrong?

It’s nice to think that carrots alone might lead to reunification or regime change, but realistically, I think, the only thing that would make it viable for the military lords who rule the North is if the alternative is death. And needless to say, no one wants to break out that particular stick. So here’s China urging new six-party talks this morning, eager to defuse the situation and return to the good cop/bad cop status quo where North Korea freaks everyone out but never does anything so nuts — like this? — as to cause real problems for the Chinese. South Korea, as you might imagine, seems underwhelmed by the offer.


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Do you suppose he wants to vie for the position of Supreme Leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea?

Tommy_G on November 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I wish McCain would go away. The only way a regime change will take place is militarily. That’s a great idea…lets start another war. We don’t have enough of them going on at the moment. Our military has just been sitting around doin’ nothing…just waiting to kick some a$$.

Why does the US insist on getting in everyone’s business? Why do we continue to be the world police? Everybody hates America, right? Lets see how the world responds when America decides to not get involved.

China wants to be a big player on the world stage, let them handle this problem. They have more to lose when it all blows up.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

An open invitation to one of the military goons over there to whack the younger upon the death of the elder? If so, would it really be an improvement?

michaelo on November 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Not through military means, he’s quick to add, but through … what, then? Diplomacy?

Yup. “reach across the aisle” or whatever.

forest on November 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

McCain may be right, but he’s such an insufferable d*ck that I just don’t care what he thinks about anything. What is it about fossilized turds like him and Lugar that they just don’t know when to shuffle off and retire?

Extrafishy on November 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

An open invitation to one of the military goons over there to whack the younger upon the death of the elder? If so, would it really be an improvement?

michaelo on November 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Hmmmm. Planting seeds. I think you might be onto something.

portlandon on November 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Going from Dear leader to Sweet leader doesn’t count as regime change?

BL@KBIRD on November 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

It is PAST time to start DOING something about regime change in The United States of America, (and in the GOP RINO establishment, while we are at it).

LegendHasIt on November 28, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Why is McCain smiling?

slp on November 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

My Friends….

portlandon on November 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

What’s another few hundred billion and wasted lives right

You know cause obviously we will fight this war correctly. Src.

blatantblue on November 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

If there´s a way to do it that doesn´t cost a lot of American lives and treasure, yes. I just cannot think of one. Otherwise, we have our own problems right now. The regional powers can deal with North Korea for a change.

el gordo on November 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

We’ve lost our credibility, China, and everyone else, knows we are broke and cannot sustain a war, and that our military is stretched thin and near the breaking point anyway.

The only excuse for a war now is an actual existential threat.

McCain is always channeling TR. War abroad, The State here at home, and it never ends.

Enough.

Thanks a lot for foisting this corrupt old open borders Tides Foundation Moron on us again, AZ. Seriously.

rightwingyahooo on November 28, 2010 at 12:38 PM

That sound you hear is the rest of the world laughing at you, McCain. How well did a non-military “regime change” policy work for us in Cuba? Iraq before 2003?

AngusMc on November 28, 2010 at 12:39 PM

It is definitely time for a regime change — in DC.

If war breaks out in Korea, The Won will get a huge boost in popularity (at least at first). Americans close ranks against external enemies.

GnuBreed on November 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

The last honorable thing John McCain ever did was hang up his USN uni.

rightwingyahooo on November 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

This looks like a job for Team America.

Emperor Norton on November 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I guess a non-military method may one that completely isolates North Korea from the rest of the planet.

No trade.
Don’t allow flights into N. Korea.
Don’t allow flights out of N. Korea permission to land.
Cut the phone lines.
Cut the roads.
Cut the train tracks.
Build big, solid fences the length of the borders.

In other words, give them exactly what they want.

BobMbx on November 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

If war breaks out in Korea, The Won will get a huge boost in popularity (at least at first). Americans close ranks against external enemies.

GnuBreed on November 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

..beside, President Fat Lip is fresh off the court with heightened street creds or something.

The War Planner on November 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Speak big, and carry a soft stick.

Yawn.

beatcanvas on November 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Not through military means, he’s quick to add, but through … what, then? Diplomacy?

Did you not see the HA post of Charles K. saying that we ought to begin to send nuclear weapons to SK & Japan? That would startle the Chinese into decency.
Beijing to Obama: “You keep the nukes away from SK & Japan, & we’ll get rid of Kim Dung Hill.”

itsnotaboutme on November 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Here’s a compromise plan:

Let gays into the military and send them all to Korea.

I think MegMac would approve.

profitsbeard on November 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

We are in a no-win situation.

The North Koreans are a clear and present danger, if not now to us they will be eventually.

They are immune to political change – citizens have little to no access to the outside world, not that they would openly embrace it given their indoctrination.

They are rightly skeptical that military challenge would come from us. We are involved in two (one and a half) wars already. We are weary of our foreign expeditions.

Our leader is not a leader at all, rather he is feckless. And I mean that in the worst sense of the word. We would be better off without a leader at all than to have him.

So that leaves us with no viable options, really.

If they decide to throw a nuke over to the South, will we respond in kind?

I doubt it. Obama would just freeze. He would do nothing.

turfmann on November 28, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Did you not see the HA post of Charles K. saying that we ought to begin to send nuclear weapons to SK & Japan? That would startle the Chinese into decency.
Beijing to Obama: “You keep the nukes away from SK & Japan, & we’ll get rid of Kim Dung Hill.”

itsnotaboutme on November 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Beijing to Obama: “You keep the nukes away from SK & Japan, & we’ll get rid of Kim Dung Hill Stop buying your debt and crash whats left of your economy.”

portlandon on November 28, 2010 at 12:52 PM

This is the genius who thought the MSM would give him a fair shake if he got the nomination. Retire, you old fart.

SurferDoc on November 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I am an Arizonan and did not vote for McCain( didn’t help)
I have had this weird feeling about him since his presidential bid, it was like he didn’t want to win (he wouldn’t let Palin bring up anything about Obama’s past or friends) which might have helped people know more about who Obama was.
McCain is a progressive and any action on this now would further weaken our defense here at home, he’s had many years to seal the borders to no avail and leans heavily towards ammnesty. Divide and conquer.
With who knows the hell is flooding across our borders I’m afraid it is just a matter of time before we are attacked again.
SEAL THE G***ammed border.

concernedsenior on November 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

John McCain/Lindsay Graham ’12

portlandon on November 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Why does the US insist on getting in everyone’s business? Why do we continue to be the world police? Everybody hates America, right? Lets see how the world responds when America decides to not get involved.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

THIS! For the life of me I cannot understand why we feel the need to babysit half the globe – especially when our homeland is on the brink of collapse!

It’s high time we let a few nations ‘grow up’. No empire lasts forever, and leaving behind a massive power vacuum is a recipe for disaster.

Dark-Star on November 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Let gays into the military and send them all to Korea.

Andy Levy has already been there. :)

conservnut on November 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

He’s so ronery.

Bugler on November 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

China wants to be a big player on the world stage, let them handle this problem. They have more to lose when it all blows up.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

The thing is, this isn’t a problem for the Chinese. North Korea is a never ending spring of opportunity for China.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Go away, McPain, go away, go away, go away…

OmahaConservative on November 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM

THIS! For the life of me I cannot understand why we feel the need to babysit half the globe – especially when our homeland is on the brink of collapse!

Dark-Star on November 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM

A large portion of our prosperity is based on the trade that wouldn’t happen without said “babysitting”. You want to see the US economy really collapse? Put our military back and let everything explode.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

A large portion of our prosperity is based on the trade that wouldn’t happen without said “babysitting”.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Yeah, China so desperately needs our protection…

Dark-Star on November 28, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Cheap talk about catastrophic consequences.

Speakup on November 28, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Such a plan could work, if the Red Chinese would discuss honestly with us and get on board. They would agree to isolate and let the North eventually fall to the South, in exchange we would agree to never station troops or build bases North of what is now the N-S border. Free trade between a united Korea and Red China would explode.

The South would have to agree to an amnesty for the entire NK government and military, with the Kims in exile. We need that to eliminate the nothing-to-lose problem. There’s also a danger that Northerners eventually voting would tilt the nation to the left that we have to think about. It’s not all win for us but on balance a plus for the region.

slickwillie2001 on November 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Andy Levy has already been there. :)

conservnut on November 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

is andy levy gay?

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 1:36 PM

A united Korea would have a combined population of 75 million people, be American ally with a well trained, well equipped army that is almost as strong as the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. They would be wealthy, nuclear armed and right next door.

Yeah, I can’t see any reason at all that the Chinese wouldn’t help with this project! /s

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 1:41 PM

The thing is, this isn’t a problem for the Chinese. North Korea is a never ending spring of opportunity for China.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Not if it blows up in their face, which it will. China is not prepared, at this stage, to be a major player on the world stage. This might actually do some good in helping them “refocus” their priorities.

A large portion of our prosperity is based on the trade that wouldn’t happen without said “babysitting”. You want to see the US economy really collapse? Put our military back and let everything explode.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

I disagree. While we may feel some pain temporarily, we do have trade agreements with other countries. China is purposely deflating their currency to make production cheaper …all at the expense of the US. Downgrading our trade with China and upgrading it with say…Mexico would actually benefit the US. We still get to keep relatively cheap goods and Mexico gets a boost to their economy that will help keep their people in their country instead of having them jump the border to this country and live off the American welfare system. Win-Win-Win for everyone.

The US really needs to stop being the world police…if only temporary. Even if we only temporarily got took ourselves out of the world policing business, it would help bring our “allies” closer to becoming actual allies.

Our “allies” in the world depend on the US military might. You know why Europe has a big, fat socialist system with free “everything” and the US doesn’t? Because Europe doesn’t need to pay for a big military like we do…they consider our military their military and expect us to come to their rescue when they need defending.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

I now! Let’s draft Meghan McCain!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on November 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Yeah, China so desperately needs our protection…

Dark-Star on November 28, 2010 at 1:23 PM

They do derive a substantial benefit from the US protecting trade routs, but that’s kind of beside the point.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Having protected world trade routs substantially increases the prosperity of the US. If that trade gets cut off, you are looking at a huge reduction in production, period.
Also, what is the down side of China selling us things cheep?

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

A united Korea would have a combined population of 75 million people, be American ally with a well trained, well equipped army that is almost as strong as the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. They would be wealthy, nuclear armed and right next door.

Yeah, I can’t see any reason at all that the Chinese wouldn’t help with this project! /s

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 1:41 PM

First of all, there is absolutely no indication that a united Korea would be a nuclear Korea. The South has avoided developing nukes even in the face of Northern aggression. Why would they build nukes absent that aggression?

The same goes for the South maintaining a half million man army. Take away the North, and I seriously doubt that the ROK would feel a need to spend 3% of their GDP on armed forces, especially since they would be spending the next ten years rebuilding their basket-case brethren.

Seriously people… Mao is dead. The idea of the PRC spreading Communism worldwide via the Red Army died shortly thereafter. China’s goal isn’t worldwide revolution; it is regional hegemony, built largely through a unique form of Chinese state capitalism.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Having protected world trade routs substantially increases the prosperity of the US. If that trade gets cut off, you are looking at a huge reduction in production, period.
Also, what is the down side of China selling us things cheep?

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Protecting trade routes is one thing. I don’t think anyone would argue against maintaining a muscular worldwide naval presence.

But we’re not talking about protecting trade routes now… we’re talking about providing defense for countries all over the world that can easily provide for their own defense, while we bankrupt ourselves. There is no amount of benefit we get from trade that can possibly make up for the fiscal deficit we run as a cost of doing so.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

But we’re not talking about protecting trade routes now… we’re talking about providing defense for countries all over the world that can easily provide for their own defense, while we bankrupt ourselves. There is no amount of benefit we get from trade that can possibly make up for the fiscal deficit we run as a cost of doing so.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

If they will let themselves be overrun rather than spend the resources defending themselves, it amounts to the same thing. You can try to egg them into better protecting themselves, but you are just asking for trouble if you do something that looks like abandoning them. Besides, having a friendly military presence in countries around the glob makes it possible to intimidate bad actors into behaving, which saves you money in the long run.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 2:05 PM

First of all, there is absolutely no indication that a united Korea would be a nuclear Korea. The South has avoided developing nukes even in the face of Northern aggression. Why would they build nukes absent that aggression?

They wouldn’t need to build them as North Korea already has them. The question is why they would get rid of them with a nuclear armed China next door to them? That isn’t something South Korea would find any more comfortable than China would.

The same goes for the South maintaining a half million man army. Take away the North, and I seriously doubt that the ROK would feel a need to spend 3% of their GDP on armed forces, especially since they would be spending the next ten years rebuilding their basket-case brethren.

I imagine for the same reason Vietnam spends 2.65% of their GDP on a 400,000+ army, or why Taiwan spends a great deal of money to maintain a powerful armed forces.

Seriously people… Mao is dead. The idea of the PRC spreading Communism worldwide via the Red Army died shortly thereafter.

Now they have slowly morphed into something related to national socialism. Whether they will continue that transition towards a fully open society is questionable.

China’s goal isn’t worldwide revolution; it is regional hegemony, built largely through a unique form of Chinese state capitalism.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Regional as in the Korean peninsula right next door?

Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Long past time, but how it is to be achieved? The world might be a much improved place with the removal of the Kims.

jeanie on November 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM

This is just the case of a small gorilla rattling his cage. NK is demanding more money the only way it knows how and we are expected to respond with a suitable basket of bribes, pronto. If China wanted to solve this problem it would be solved tomorrow as all of the fuel and food NK needs to exist runs through the China-NK border. So one or two “maintenance problems” and Kim is history.

I’d, therefore, say the US should do nothing and see what happens. After all, it’s not in China’s interest for a war to break out and there is nothing else NK can do to move the situation. Let them make all the noise they want. No more bribes.

Fred 2 on November 28, 2010 at 2:12 PM

To the point, the people who run China are interested in continuing to run China, and all of the things they direct China to do largely conform to maximizing the chances of doing just that.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 2:13 PM

But we’re not talking about protecting trade routes now… we’re talking about providing defense for countries all over the world that can easily provide for their own defense, while we bankrupt ourselves. There is no amount of benefit we get from trade that can possibly make up for the fiscal deficit we run as a cost of doing so.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

If they will let themselves be overrun rather than spend the resources defending themselves, it amounts to the same thing. You can try to egg them into better protecting themselves, but you are just asking for trouble if you do something that looks like abandoning them. Besides, having a friendly military presence in countries around the glob makes it possible to intimidate bad actors into behaving, which saves you money in the long run.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 2:05 PM

What JohnGalt said.

The problem with your scenario is the rest of the world doesn’t see the US as intimidating the bad guys. We are the bad guys. And that hurts us in the long run.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Having protected world trade routs substantially increases the prosperity of the US. If that trade gets cut off, you are looking at a huge reduction in production, period.
Also, what is the down side of China selling us things cheep?

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

I agree we benefit from protecting trade routes. However like JohnGalt said upstream, this isn’t about protecting trade routes. This is about providing defense to the whole world. A business we should not be in.

As for the cheap goods…I have no problem with the cheap goods. I’m saying we benefit more by having those cheap goods come out of South America than China. We don’t have the Chinese crossing the border in the millions to live off our welfare system.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM

The problem with your scenario is the rest of the world doesn’t see the US as intimidating the bad guys. We are the bad guys. And that hurts us in the long run.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Some people pretend to see it that way for their own self interests. It doesn’t “hurt us in the long run” relative to abandoning them.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM

From the Wikileaks thread:

Update: More rocking of the North Korean boat: The Times’s overview article mentions that the U.S. and South Korea have discussed how to bring about reunification on the peninsula. That’s firmly in the “stuff everyone suspected” category too, but if North Korea’s looking for a new pretext to justify a further provocation, an alleged foreign “plot” to dissolve the DPRK could be useful.

OmahaConservative on November 28, 2010 at 2:30 PM

As for the cheap goods…I have no problem with the cheap goods. I’m saying we benefit more by having those cheap goods come out of South America than China. We don’t have the Chinese crossing the border in the millions to live off our welfare system.

ramrants on November 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Well, too bad. South America is too much of a basket case to produce them at the moment. They lack the rule of law that China has, and things will not change until we seal the boarder and shut down the drug trade.

Count to 10 on November 28, 2010 at 2:32 PM

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 2:09 PM

They wouldn’t need to build them as North Korea already has them. The question is why they would get rid of them with a nuclear armed China next door to them?

For the very same reason that the RSA denuclearized, as did the Ukraine… because unless you are seeking hegemony, having nuclear weapons is more of a pain in the arse than they are worth. The moment you have nukes, someone is gong to point their nukes at you. And SoKo doesn’t want Chinese nukes pointed at them, anymore than China really wants to point those nukes at SoKo.

I imagine for the same reason Vietnam spends 2.65% of their GDP on a 400,000+ army, or why Taiwan spends a great deal of money to maintain a powerful armed forces.

Vietnam uses its armed forces not just as external defense, but also as a fully functioning arm of the internal security and economic apparatus. But even if we consider them, you defeat your own argument. By your logic, China should also fear a muscular Vietnamese Army on their border (in a far more important strategic location than Korea), and thus would actively be interfering in their internal affairs. The fact is that they aren’t. And there is no reason to believe they would be any more concerned with a similar SoKo force, which almost certainly would not exist after unification.

Taiwan?… are you serious? Modern China has never shown any interest in colonizing Korea. We both know the same cannot be said of Taiwan, and would explain their muscular military expenditures.

Regional as in the Korean peninsula right next door?

Let’s take a look at some numbers, shall we?

China spends 4.3% of it’s GDP $4.9t on defense. And that’s a GDP growing by 9% per annum.

South Korea spends 2.7% of its $1.4t on defense. On an economy growing at less than 1/2 the rate of that of the PRC.

Now, are you seriously arguing that SoKo, under those conditions, is a threat to Chinese regional hegemony? That argument doesn’t pass the laugh test.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Long past time, but how it is to be achieved? The world might be a much improved place with the removal of the Kims.

jeanie on November 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM

China. Any other solution is tilting at windmills.

China must be made to see the benefit in getting rid of the NoKo’s. The ultimate downside probably won’t be borne by the US, or even south Korea. Most likely, doing so means ending our commitment to Taiwan. The Taiwanese might not like it, but the fact is, when the rubber hits the road, the US isn’t going to war in East Asia over Taiwan, our posturing notwithstanding.

It may be time for our grand charade involving the Taiwan policy to come to an end.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM

because unless you are seeking hegemony, having nuclear weapons is more of a pain in the arse than they are worth.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons makes any plans we may have against them much more risky as would Iran’s. Is France planning regional hegemony in Europe or worldwide? Is Israel planning regional hegemony in the Middle East?

Your argument doesn’t hold water. They would keep them as a deterrent against Chinese aggression.

By your logic, China should also fear a muscular Vietnamese Army on their border (in a far more important strategic location than Korea), and thus would actively be interfering in their internal affairs.

The fact that there isn’t a muscular Vietnamese military on their border is probably why they don’t fear them. However they went to war with Vietnam in 1979 and didn’t do terribly well which was no small part of why they proceeded with modernization.

As to interfering locally, the fact that they cannot do so is why war may be more likely rather than less.

Now, are you seriously arguing that SoKo, under those conditions, is a threat to Chinese regional hegemony? That argument doesn’t pass the laugh test.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 2:38 PM

So Russia by the same argument wouldn’t be concerned about tiny little Georgia? The United States wouldn’t be concerned about little Cuba?

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

An initially non-nuclear-weapons united Korea would be table stakes for Red China, to be guaranteed by an honest UN program. The North’s ‘nuclear program’ is likely such a Rube Goldberg contraption that it will cost more to clean it up than it is worth anyway.

slickwillie2001 on November 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

This makes sense. Not sure how one could ever pull it off, but it makes perfect sense.

gary4205 on November 28, 2010 at 4:24 PM

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Your argument doesn’t hold water. They would keep them as a deterrent against Chinese aggression.

Unlike France (with Germany/USSR), or Israel (with everybody), Korea doesn’t fear an aggressive China. Once again, this isn’t Maoist China, trying to jump start the world proletarian revolution, no matter how much you want to make them into that.

The fact remains (absolutely unrefuted by you) that if SoKo wanted nuclear weapons, they would have them already. And that is in the face of a far more serious threat from the north. Absolutely no reason to believe that they would develop them under unification.

The fact that there isn’t a muscular Vietnamese military on their border is probably why they don’t fear them.

So, a 400000 man army in Vietnam isn’t a muscular force, but a 500000 South Korean force is a threat to Chinese hegemony?

Whose argument doesn’t hold water?

So Russia by the same argument wouldn’t be concerned about tiny little Georgia? The United States wouldn’t be concerned about little Cuba?

There is a big ethnic Russian minority in Georgia? There a big Chinese ethnic population the Korea that they aren’t telling us about/

And no… outside of domestic political pressures coming out of South Florida (the type of which the Chinese really don’t have to worry about), we’re not worried about Cuba. At all. And for you to suggest that we are is laughable.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

The fact remains (absolutely unrefuted by you) that if SoKo wanted nuclear weapons, they would have them already. And that is in the face of a far more serious threat from the north. Absolutely no reason to believe that they would develop them under unification.

The American alliance and the likely enemy (ethnic Koreans in Noth Korea) allow South Korea to rely on the US. If that was not the case then they might very well choose otherwise.

So, a 400000 man army in Vietnam isn’t a muscular force, but a 500000 South Korean force is a threat to Chinese hegemony?

Whose argument doesn’t hold water?

Yours!

In 2003 the US invaded Iraq and the Iraqi’s had 375,000 regulars and many more reservists. The US had far less. Obviously the US force was defeated and far less of a threat than the Iraqi one right?

That is why a South Korean army can be far more dangerous than a Vietnamese army.

we’re not worried about Cuba. At all. And for you to suggest that we are is laughable.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I would suggest you take a look at the history books and come back to me about how unconcerned the US has been about Cuba. From the Spanish-American war, to Batista, to Castro, and afterwards the US has been more than a little concerned about Cuba and it has only a little to do with Florida Cubans.

As for Georgia the Russians have also been concerned with that region long before ethnic Russians moved in.

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Too bad we didn’t get regime change in the US Senate from AZ.

ndanielson on November 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 4:43 PM

The American alliance and the likely enemy (ethnic Koreans in Noth Korea) allow South Korea to rely on the US. If that was not the case then they might very well choose otherwise.

Except the NoKo’s aren’t a “likely” enemy; they are a “certain” enemy, against which the SoKo’s haven’t developed nukes. and the Chinese aren’t “likely” enemies; they are in fact a lot closer to friends of the SoKo’s then enemies. They are, in fact, one of each others’ largest trading partners.

In 2003 the US invaded Iraq and the Iraqi’s had 375,000 regulars and many more reservists. The US had far less. Obviously the US force was defeated and far less of a threat than the Iraqi one right?

So, South Korea has spent ten years taking aggressive actions against the Chinese? They’ve been state sponsors of terrorism? they’ve been developing WMD’s?

Of course they haven’t. The Chinese have nothing to fear from the SoKo’s, your strawmwan notwithstanding. Iraq was no ore a threat to our global hegemony than S. Korea is to Chinese regional hegemony.

Fail.

I would suggest you take a look at the history books and come back to me about how unconcerned the US has been about Cuba.

yeah, I forgot how much we took Cuba into account when dealing with foreign policy issues in Mexico and Canada.

Oh wait… we didn’t take them into account at all. When they were a client state for the USSR, we took them seriously. But those days are gone, and they ain’t coming back.

Get your head out of the Cold War, sharrukin. Your glory days are over. It’s a new world, where we don’t really give a damn about Cuba, and S.Korea would like warmer relations with China, and vice versa. And North Korea is the only thing standing in their way.

And you, I and the Chinese all know it.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Except the NoKo’s aren’t a “likely” enemy; they are a “certain” enemy, against which the SoKo’s haven’t developed nukes.

They haven’t developed nuclear weapons because they haven’t needed to due to the US alliance. American troops are in South Korea so no conventional or nuclear attack would not include the US.

So, a 400000 man army in Vietnam isn’t a muscular force, but a 500000 South Korean force is a threat to Chinese hegemony?

Your argument that numbers are what matters in military affairs was childish in its understanding and I pointed that out.

So, South Korea has spent ten years taking aggressive actions against the Chinese?

Now you want to pretend that this was your argument. It wasn’t and is totally irrelevant to Chinese concerns about a powerful American ally on its border.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 5:10 PM

The Chinese aren’t going to help create a more powerful unified Korea on their border. They are not idiots and expecting them to act like naive twelve year old girls is a sure fire way of making a fool of US foreign policy.

You are a libertarian and therefore the world must bend to your naive political beliefs in order to validate your ideology.

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 5:22 PM

If only he was as concerned about our borders…

right2bright on November 28, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Where are the libtards with their “One Korea” signs? Looking…

Mojave Mark on November 28, 2010 at 5:41 PM

sharrukin on November 28, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Your argument that numbers are what matters in military affairs was childish in its understanding and I pointed that out.

Ah. And the claim that China is going to be threatened by a nation with 1/4 the size of the economy, and 1/10 the population is what… stunning foreign policy insight?

Please. Given your predictions in the last election, I’ll take your insights into politics, both foreign and domestic, with a rather large grain of salt.

Now you want to pretend that this was your argument. It wasn’t and is totally irrelevant to Chinese concerns about a powerful American ally on its border.

No. My point was that China has no reason to feel threatened by a unified Korea. It was you that brought up a rogue state 10000 miles from the US, and tried to compare them to a peaceful rational, law-abiding Korea.

Calling it astrawman simply doesn’t do it justice.

The Chinese aren’t going to help create a more powerful unified Korea on their border

Once again, your blanket prediction have left a little to be desired around here. I think I’ll let history play out, rather than claim to know what is going to happen.

You are a libertarian and therefore the world must bend to your naive political beliefs in order to validate your ideology.

In matters of foreign policy, I am a down-the-line realist. And I expect China to do the same. Unlike you, who seem to think that the PRC hasn’t moved past the days of Mao.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Please someone grant McCain the Captain Obvious(TM) award.

ProudPalinFan on November 28, 2010 at 6:24 PM

World War Two shows what happens when you allow the power hungry to eat their neighbors. They continue to eat their neighbors until someone forces them to stop. it is far cheaper to nip problems in the bud.

Besides the US as world police is far better than anyone else as world police.

Slowburn on November 28, 2010 at 6:38 PM

The U.S. needs a regime change too (come on 2012)

But let’s let SoKo deal with NoKo, they have sold enough LG appliances and Hyundai cars to fund their own FN war.

Maybe we can sell them some weapons and ammo.

Let’s put our boys on our borders.

esnap on November 28, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Send Peanut “Malaise” Carter to Pyongyang. He could get the Norks screwed up faster than Zero and would have them jumping off of buildings posthaste.

viking01 on November 28, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Let Japan rearm.

Inanemergencydial on November 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM

McCain must feel he needs the face time on tv. He gave a nice brief history lesson of the last 16 years for the moron CNN viewers who don’t know jack about history. Otherwise McCain said nothing significant. “Let’s talk” about regime change is meaningless. This was a good example of classic ‘traditional’ MSM ‘news’. A journalist and a pol talking for 5 minutes to fill air time. None of it was truly informative & Mac’s plan won’t accomplish anything. Therefore it was a waste of time.

JimP on November 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

JimP on November 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

What McCain really wanted to say is;
Kim Jong iI, tear down this wall!

unfortunately, it’s not that easy this time.

Electrongod on November 28, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Shut up, McCain. You had your chance to affect things, and you blew it.

If we had an effective policy concerning North Korea, we would stop all aid, blockade all attempts to make money by selling nuclear weapons, and force them to rely solely on China, which has its own economic problems. The only thing that will bring them down is total economic collapse. If not for aid from the West, they would have imploded already.

RebeccaH on November 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

It is unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Until Kim the elder is actually dead I don’t think anything will happen.

But then if the military has any sense at all about how life is in South Korea I don’t think it is out of the question that they would want more prosperity.

Maybe I’m projecting but military people seem to genuinely care about the country they serve.

petunia on November 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

McLame made a correct, honorable decision once in his life. He could make it two by just fading away.

retiredeagle on November 28, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Also, giving aid to NK is a waste. The people who are in desparate need of it,,do not get it. It goes to the military and ruling class.

retiredeagle on November 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

This just in on Fox: Note the language:

South Korea’s president says he takes responsibility for failing to provide protection against North Korea’s deadly artillery attack — and vows the North would face consequences for any future aggression.

Which is, I believe, exactly what they said the last time. So it looks like the NorKs get a free pass this time.

crosspatch on November 28, 2010 at 10:24 PM

I’m having a hard time seeing why Dear Leader is still alive. He’s been murdering S. Koreans and others with impunity. Time for Black Ops.

scotash on November 29, 2010 at 5:54 AM

McCain and Carter are both late to the party….. again….

ultracon on November 29, 2010 at 7:48 AM

RebeccaH on November 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Agreed. And by postponing our reality check, we enabled the Iranian Theocracy with N.Korean nuclear missiles.

Here’s a disgusting thought: should war break out in Korea, the North invading the South, don’t be surprised to find Red China invading Taiwan. It isn’t as if Gates’ depletion of our military allows the US to fight on more than two fronts simultaneously. But then, Obama would simply announce PEACE in Afghanistan and pull out of Iraq entirely in order to play “war games” in Far East Asia.

No, Obama will never fight a war on a front that he didn’t “inherit”, preferring instead his safe, cowardly bullying domestication of US citizens to dhimmi status.

maverick muse on November 29, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Right. The CIA has been emasculated. Our fearless leader who was going to restore our international standing has become the butt of international jokes. If we had any cojones at all, Assange would already have a bullet in him.

pgrossjr on November 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

North Korea has needed regime change for over 50 years now, but nobody has done anything about it, so McCain isn’t saying anything new here.

Of course, Obumbler didn’t help matters by messing up a trade agreement (negotiated by the Bush Administration) with South Korea, which had been considered a done deal until Obumbler started arguing about special favors for American unions (what’s in THAT for the South Koreans?).

Obumbler lost all credibility with South Korea–after throwing their businesses under the bus, can the South Koreans count on American military aid or sanctions against the North?

What is needed is a complete cutoff in food and fuel to North Korea by the United States and its allies in the region (South Korea and Japan), that we’re tired of feeding the hand that bites us. Let’s tell the Chinese that we have no problem with them feeding the Norks, but if they want to prop up such a belligerant neighbor, let THEM pay the bills.

Then impose conditions on North Korea for foreign aid:

(1) UN inspections of all nuclear facilities
(2) Removal of all North Korean artillery from within striking distance of Seoul
(3) Free and fair elections supervised by the United Nations within 3 months.

I know, I’m dreaming. As long as it’s tee time for Obumbler, nothing will get done.

Steve Z on November 29, 2010 at 11:15 AM

First of all, there is absolutely no indication that a united Korea would be a nuclear Korea. The South has avoided developing nukes even in the face of Northern aggression. Why would they build nukes absent that aggression?

The same goes for the South maintaining a half million man army. Take away the North, and I seriously doubt that the ROK would feel a need to spend 3% of their GDP on armed forces, especially since they would be spending the next ten years rebuilding their basket-case brethren.

Seriously people… Mao is dead. The idea of the PRC spreading Communism worldwide via the Red Army died shortly thereafter. China’s goal isn’t worldwide revolution; it is regional hegemony, built largely through a unique form of Chinese state capitalism.

JohnGalt23 on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Why would they build nukes absent that aggression?

Japan… just across the water… Nationalized Korea over 100 years ago… Not a good time for the Korean people…

The same goes for the South maintaining a half million man army.

Japan… see above…

China’s goal

… is keeping things EXACTLY THE WAY THEY ARE NOW… Communist China DOES NOT WANT a unified Korea…

Khun Joe on November 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM

John McCain/Lindsay Graham ’12

portlandon on November 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

I’d hate to have the job of cleaning the Oval Office after they got through pleasuring each other.

Extrafishy on November 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

John McCain/Lindsay Graham ’12

portlandon on November 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

I’d hate to have the job of cleaning the Oval Office after they got through pleasuring each other.

Extrafishy on November 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I hear they take turns wearing the Sarah Palin getup.

slickwillie2001 on November 29, 2010 at 1:40 PM

What were the people of Arizona thinking when they reelected this nut, John McCain?

He is walking around in a perpetual state of dimentia. He is misguided, and he should be considered for the position of president of the “Not Trustworthy Organization of America.”

Why would anyone listen to this fool, McCain?

Get him a straight jacket, keep him on his meds, and put him in a padded room. He is dangerous and cannot be trusted!

William2006 on November 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM