Tepid approach to North Korea ends debate of past Iraq invasion
Anyone following international news lately knows North Korea is playing its crazy cards all at once. Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s ruler, oversees a regime that has conducted nuclear tests in direct violation of U.N. sanctions, threatened South Korea and even went as far as directly threatening America both verbally and with a video of a large U.S. city being pulverized by missile fire.
But amidst the potential for catastrophic violence and the possibility of plunging into World War III, I’m happy for at least one thing in all of this: that there’s no reason to debate why we invaded Iraq anymore.
It’s a big step, but stay with me.
The only reason it’s considered acceptable to attack another country is if that country is considered a threat to America or American interests. In Vietnam, the fear was communism would sweep through Asia if we didn’t stop the Viet Cong. The first Gulf War was a reaction to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, an American ally and a huge supplier of oil. There were risks, so we attacked.
For Iraq, the possible presence of weapons of mass destruction and the claim that Iraq was a breeding ground for terrorists were used as justification to invade.
They were minor threats at best. Logistically, it would have been near impossible for Iraq to mount any offensive against the U.S., and any attack would have brought on an invasion that Iraq couldn’t handle.
For those reasons, it’s difficult to believe that Iraq ever posed a threat to the U.S. But we invaded regardless.
Then there’s North Korea, an oppressive, nuclear-capable totalitarian regime more concerned with arming its soldiers than feeding its citizens. If a direct threat from North Korea isn’t considered enough of a threat to incite some form of military response, how is it that Iraq was?
We invade a regional power half way across the world, but shrug off a military world-player just across the Pacific.
I’m not advocating for war with North Korea, far from it. I’m only saying that if Jong Un isn’t thought of as being dangerous enough to illicit a few rounds of carpet bombing, how was Saddam Hussein?
Iraq didn’t call America out, and it didn’t even have the weaponry or manpower for an effective offensive.
Some could say the politics are different, and there is validity to that.
Mess with North Korea and most likely you mess with China. America is in no position to do that.
But the politics of the Iraq war wasn’t an international picnic either.
The way North Korea has been handled ends the Iraq War debate once and for all. The Iraq war wasn’t about weapons of mass destruction or protecting Americans from anything. There was no military threat. We invaded so we could set up a base in a turbulent and important region. If preemptive invasions were really used to stop crazy rulers from doing dangerous things with powerful weapons, we’d be at war with North Korea by now.
Daniel Serrano is a senior double major in English and journalism and a contributing writer for the Daily 49er.