Orson Scott Card has a most interesting piece about Korea. (Yeah, yeah, of course Instapundit linked to it first. So what else is new?) Card offers an analysis I haven’t seen elsewhere, that this Korea problem is basically going to be up to China to solve. This is premised on quiet threats from W and his team to the Chinese, saying (in my paraphrase), “look, you created this monster, so fix it, because if we go in and fix it, you won’t like what we have to do.” I’m not sure the US team is actually playing this level of varsity hardball. But it sounds plausible, and I hope so. Even better is Card’s answer to the inane query now circulating among various handwringers and dimwits, who think they have scored some kind of debating point by asking, in a smug “gotcha” tone of moral superiority: “Well, why isn’t Bush going after North Korea instead of Iraq?” You wanna slap ’em. Card puts it well:
…Of course, you can take that as a self-answering question. Let’s see – which is safer to invade, the country that almost has nukes, or the country that already has them?And this:
Foreign policy is conducted in the real world. In the real world, madmen like Saddam Hussein respond only to credible military force – and sometimes not even then. For the safety of our friends and allies in the region (notably Israel, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait), and to protect the First World’s vital oil supplies from domination by a ruthless enemy, it is reasonable to strike that enemy before he wreaks devastation again.
In that same real world, however, there are opponents whom it is simply too dangerous to fight, unless you are forced into it. If China or Russia attacked us, of course we would defend ourselves. But we would have to be insane to provoke either of them into war.Wow, rationality about the limits of power, the tragic fact that even moral-grounded action faces intractable limits, that it is stupid to attack a guy who has nuclear weapons already, etc. Too bad so many people think that waiting around for some imaginary state of moral purity is an adequate substitute for necessary, concrete action within the limits of what’s possible. Fortunately, W does not suffer from this particular malady. He’s not smart, sophisticated or “nuanced” enough, I guess. Thank God.