Tuesday, April 16, 2013


This is a good word to describe the speeches we are hearing from North Korea these days. That country's leaders are making loud but ineffective threats against South Korea, the United States, and other countries. The USA wisely takes these threats seriously, although we well know that any act of war from North Korea would result in retaliation, which could virtually obliterate that country's future. There are some critics who believe that we should just ignore the bluster emanating from Pyongyang. The threat of war by the North Koreans, they insist, has no teeth. Even Kim Jong Un, the youthful leader of that country, they aver, would not be so foolish as to start a war of anything other than one of words. On the other hand, I would stress that we should not forget the lessons of history. WWI started because of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir presumptive to succeed the Austro-Hungarian Emperor. What began as an act of defiance by Serbia soon grew into a war involving many major powers, and resulting in millions of battlefield deaths.. It seems to me that any relatively minor incident, such as an hour's shelling of a South Korean city, could be the spark that would light a fuse leading to a far wider conflict. The United States would likely be caught up, in support of its South Korean ally. In turn, this could force China to enter the fray. Soon, we might be involved in the kind of nuclear war of which we have thankfully been free since 1945. I do not think we should, in turn, engage in 'sabre rattling', but I do think that our government is doing the right thing by showing the world that it is ready to respond to North Korea's threats

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