Monday, April 6, 2009

Poll: American Voters Have Lost Their Minds With Regard to N. Korea

Should the U.S. government use military force to prevent North Korean dictator Kim Jong-ill (No, that’s not a typo!) from acquiring nuclear weapons capability? Apparently the American people think so.

Politico’s Harry Siegel reports, “American voters across lines of age, party and gender support a military approach to eliminate North Korea's nuclear capabilities, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Sunday morning — and conducted in the two days prior to North Korea's test missile launch on Saturday.”

There could only be two explanations for this unbelievable development. Either Americans don’t understand the real situation with North Korea or they have simply lost their minds. More on that in a moment.

According to the poll, 57 percent of the public would support the Obama administration if it decided to go with the military option. Only 15 percent oppose such a move. Also, the use of military action enjoys broad support in both major parties: 66 percent, or two-thirds, of Republicans, and 52 percent of Democrats. The military option is favored by 57 percent of Americans of both genders.

”A majority of respondents, 51 percent, also oppose the U.S. offering economic aid to North Korea in exchange for it agreeing to dismantle its nuclear program,” Siegel writes.

On Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a man who never misses an opportunity for a little grandstanding, informed “Fox News Sunday” that had he been the commander-in-chief instead of Barack Obama, he would have “disabled” the North Korean missile before it had a chance to launch.

As much as I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, we cannot afford to start a war with North Korea for two reasons.

The first reason is that the U.S. military has its hands full with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention thousands of troops in dozens of other countries around the world and security commitments up the wazoo.

The second reason has to do with North Korea’s military. It is estimated that the Korean People’s Army has around 1.2 million personnel in its active duty force, and another 7.7 million serving in its auxiliary components. It is also believed by many experts that President Ill commands one of the largest special operations forces in the world, with estimates ranging from 60,000 to well over 100,000 personnel.

This is not Saddam Hussein’s peasant army we’re talking about here. These guys do nothing but train for war. Approximately 20 percent of all North Korean males aged 17-54 are serving in the regular army. Each year, President Ill’s military eats up over 30 percent of his country’s GDP, a fact which makes this “Democratic People’s Republic” the world’s most militarized state.

How does war with North Korea sound now? Not very appetizing, is it?

If the U.S. attacked this little hermit kingdom in an attempt to stop its nuclear program, President Ill would undoubtedly order his army to invade his neighbor to the south, which has a military that is less than half the size of the KPA and whose security is guaranteed by Uncle Sam. Then all hell would break loose. And the 30,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines stationed in South Korea would be the first Americans to die in this war – but they wouldn’t be the last.


  1. Great article with some great points. We do not have the resources/money/troops to wage a globally unpopular war with North Korea.

    I was going to write an article about it but I'm glad I didn't because the official story has changed some since then and I would have had to do some backtracking...

  2. I would make several comments.

    First, I think you are right. Anybody that would court military conflict with a country that has over a million people under arms is crazy.

    That said, I would note that it is likely that their equipment, training and doctrine is poor, second rate and that only thing they have going for them is sheer numbers. Although, with a million soldiers, one could arm most of them with knives and spears and still overwhelm most opponents.

    So the idea of any kind of military action is nuts and not very well thought out. Although NK has been rattling sabers for years as a negotiating tactic, and the real likelihood of them actually using that power is probably slim.

    Lots of points on both sides. but I always come down on the fact that you'd have to be nuts to fool with the possibility of setting the guy off.

    Their leader IS crazy.

  3. How short are American memories? First of all; we did not fare well in the early 50s when we took them on and they were nowhere near as well prepared as they are now? have we forgotten who their major ally is? You guessed it-China. They had no problem jumping into the rumble back then and though relations are better now; there are no assurances they won't do the same thing. Finally; how many would the public like us to fight? Haven't we lost enough young men and women already, with more to come. I agree with the original question-have Americans lost their minds? My answer is an emphatic YES! One final point; some of these morons should take a look at what happened when Nazi Germany chose to fight a 3 front war-and at least that was the same war! well done my friend.

  4. There's another explanation:
    Rasmussen and Politico.
    There - that explains it.

    Beyond that - the recent rocket launch precedes South Korea's attempt to put a satellite in orbit. Dickheads like the Grinch won't say much about that but the likelihood is that Kim Jong Dong or whatever his name is wanted to beat the SK's to the punch and also to provide a little publicity for his missile business. There are other more peaceful ways to beat down his missile business without bombing his country back to the stone age...........oh wait - they already live in the stone age and we tried that in Viet Nam. We are running out of military options that actually work.

  5. Oldfart, I'm not sure there really were in the first place...

    The kind of mass madness that infects NK today is the kind of thing that can only be solved by the folks that are caught in it - nobody else can do it. There WILL come a day when there will be someone - probably in the military - that will see through the madness and will know that the only way out is by overthrowing the current regime.

    Either that, or one day the people themselves will finally get fed up, and will simply refuse to go along and the whole thing collapses from its own weight. That kind of extreme social illness can only prevail for so long.

    I don't think that there were EVER any military choices that would have worked without a full scale mass invasion that only China would have the personnel to carry out.

  6. South Korea would go up in a sea of flames which is why Kim has everybody over a barrel. People need to be better educated!

  7. Great comments guys.
    Ri, you're probably right about North Korean troops being poorly trained and equipped. And yes, it would still be idiotic of us to start a war with them.
    Guitarman, I'd love for you to write a piece on what you think of this situation.
    Dean, it's not that the American people have short memories. It's because most of them don't like to read history, including their own, so they just don't know shit.
    Oldfart, interesting comment. I didn't know South Korea was trying to do that.

    How pathetic that the American people clamor for war at the drop of a hat, and it doesn't matter if that war is right or not. Remember the run-up to the Iraq War? Don't they ever learn?

  8. "South Korea would go up in a sea of flames which is why Kim has everybody over a barrel. People need to be better educated!"

    What do you think Harrison, should the military option be on the table or not?

  9. Great article. It appears we Americans have developed a taste for blood and war. I have great faith in the American military, but to take on North Korea without international backing is bad policy. I don't believe China could afford to jump in, but they could make the financial system here really shake. We must remember all the foreign debt we owe to China and the likelihood of getting more money would certainly be bad if we take on North Korea. As far as the North's army goes, numbers dont' mean much except on the continent of Korea. That many men, given a chance, could overrun South Korea easily. We would have to preemptively strike so many targets that doing so would give the North plenty of time to gather troops. We would have to unleash the real mother of all battles to stop another madman, including the use of warships and fighter aircraft capable of killing hundreds of thousands before they reach the border of the South. Not a pretty sight, and certainly one to draw criticism from all our enemies and maybe allies too. A more likely approach would be to take out Kim and hope the people of the North react with glee. I am glad Gingrich isn't president- he is a mad man too. I certainly wouldn't bargain with North Korea, they would get nothing in return for their program. They are going to continue operating it under clandestine operations anyway-why make a deal with the devil? Why not surround North Korea with a bunch of anti missile technology like we were going to do to Russia and render them incapable of launching anything short of a firecracker?

  10. My gut reaction was to say our guided missiles sure could have done some damage to that missile platform. However, your post caused me to conclude that Obama, with his plans to cut defense spending, is probably a bigger threat to our military than North Korea could possibly be.

  11. Burro obviously doesn't listen to Gates who used to be a big hero under the war-mongering Bush. We don't need all that shit, Burro. We haven't needed it since the sainted Raygun destroy the communist hordes single-handedly back in the 80s. In fact, the sainted Raygun was seen making the same kind of "get rid of the nukes" comments that Obama made.

    I-A - my comment was meant to imply that Rasmussen polls are UNRELIABLE and that Politico is just another piece of the neo-con baggage we are forced to drag with us because we are not allowed to throw them in the garbage grinder where they belong.

  12. Also, I wanna see a link to this "poll". Although, after the Bush disaster, nothing the American public does would surprise me.

  13. Here's the link:

  14. This is the question in the poll:
    3* If North Korea launches a long-range missile, should the United States take military action to eliminate North Korea’s ability to launch missiles?

    Let's reword that a little to what actually happened:
    3* If North Korea launches a 3 stage missle designed to put a satellite in orbit, should the United States take military action to eliminate North Korea's ability to launch satellites?

    That's why Rasmussen polls are unreliable. They are mainly push polls designed to push the public into the desired point of view so that Politico can then scream about it.

  15. Also, question number 2 sets the atmosphere:

    2* How concerned are you about the possible threat of North Korea using nuclear weapons against the United States?

    Then they ask question number 3 to get the response that they want.

  16. Good Point, Oldfart. Now that communism is no longer a threat, America doesn't need shit like Interstate highway systems, nuclear energy, the internet, complete naval domination of the world's oceans, and other "worthless" byproducts of defense spending.

    In my opinion the best military technology is the stuff we don't "need." We don't need F/A 22 Raptors because no other nation has a fighter jet that can rival it in a fight. The fact that we have a fighter that would project complete air superiority in a battle, thus diminishing the likelihood that such battle would occur, therefore making the fighter in essence obsolete since it might not ever be used in a fight, therefore we don't "need" this weapon system seems like faulty logic to me.

    In the 21st century, holding technological high ground is an imperative for our military. It is also far more likely that new energy sources will come out of defense spending than will come out of enabling companies like AIG and Goldman Sachs to develop Cap and Trade regulatory regimes.

    Cutting defense spending is probably the wrong signal to send to the larger powers (China and Russia) behind the North Korean threat.

  17. Of course, the fact that 5 or 6 $1 million dollar fighters can bring down a $140 million dollar Raptor doesn't enter your consciousness at all, does it Burr?

    BTW, the Interstate was pushed by Eisenhower, one of the last intelligent Republicans, who is also well known for warning us against the depredations of the Military-Industrial complex. Of course, no one paid attention to him and we are exactly where he warned we would be.

    But, no matter Burr. After the global free market neo-cons are done with us, there will be no American industry at all and you will be able to buy your favorite Raptor cheaper from the Chinese.

    New energy sources might come out of Darpa. Darpa was designed for far out research. But only new energy consuming sources will come out of the usual Defense procurement programs. As for Defense spending as a source for new energy sources, not if the Repuglies have their way. At the end of their budget is a picture of their idea of new energy sources: looks a lot like an old fashioned oil rig to me.

    We could cut our defense spending in half and still be spending twice as much on "Defense" as the nearest competitor.

  18. "Eisenhower, one of the last intelligent Republicans"

    Ike was the greatest American president of the Cold War Era, NOT Reagan or Truman.
    'Nuff said.

  19. IndefenseofBurr:
    I am a fan of overkill. If you can mass more men who are better equipped and better trained than your enemy you can (1) win quicker and (2) kill fewer (so long as you have a plan for the aftermath - unlike Bush). And that strategy works fine so long as you are fighting a conventional war. Doesn't work so well against terrorists or insurgents however and that is the kind of war we will be fighting for awhile - into the foreseeable future anyway. The Raptor, as an example of massive overkill, just doesn't do much against mountains and caves and wedding parties. It may be important to keep a few dozen Raptors as part of our "big stick" philosophy, but they don't help us beat Osama and his ilk. And they cost a tremendous amount of money to buy, run and service. Best to concentrate on Special Forces, drones, information gathering technology, quick hit forces - the wars we will be fighting are 3-Dimensional firefights with no front lines requiring intelligent soldiers and equipment engineered not to fail (i.e. sophisticated equipment yet tough and reliable) not billion dollar boondoggle star wars crap.

  20. Oldfart, you have given me plenty to think about, and I probably agree with most of what you are saying. However, we have strayed from the point I was making - probably my fault. The original post asked the question of whether the military option should be on the table for Korea. The assumption I was making was that N. Korea's provocation only happened because China didn't stop it. N. Korea is in their sphere of influence, and they let it happen. They probably let it happen because they have no immediate interest in stopping N. Korea from forcing us to play our geopolitical cards. Regardless of what message we send to N. Korea, the message that we send to China is probably more important.

    It essentially doesn't matter what the defense budget is being spent on or whether we "need" it. It seems like an interesting coincidence that the day after N. Korea launches its missile, Gates is all over the news announcing cuts to defense spending.

    Among the things being cut - missile defense shields.

    This is similar to the video message Obama sent to Iran. That same day, two naval vessels collided in the Strait of Hormuz. Which message probably resonated more with the Iranians?

    If I were Chinese, I would interpret Obama's response to N. Korea's new toy as laughably week. I also wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason we are cutting defense spending is because China has no interest in bankrolling their own military's obsolescence. I have no evidence to back this claim up, but it is a hunch that is worthy of some thought.

  21. Need I point out that "missile defense shields" do not work. There are no missile defense shields. The technology is not there. According to some physicists, the technology may never be there. Every "successful" anti-missile missile test I ever heard of either failed miserably or was so jury rigged to succeed (in order to stimulate more funding) that the "successful" result was worthless.

    The whole problem of detecting and targeting an incoming missle in a timely manner and accurately enough to provide an anti-missle system a chance to hit it has not been solved. There are too many inaccuracies. It's like hitting a bb with another bb. It ain't gonna happen yet. And it is not worth the billions of dollars it would suck up.



blogger templates | Make Money Online