North Korea has threatened to use Nuclear Weapons against America in a pre-emptive strike; you can blame yourself, America.
For the last 70 years America has sat at the top of the world power charts, and since the fall of the USSR it has been completely unopposed. It has always been the kid who could punch hardest, and the one that owned all the toys so could pick them up and storm off if it didn’t get its way.
The US’ controlling manner however has won it few friends and its gigantic military budget (larger than the combined military budgets of the next 18 highest military spenders) has helped contribute to its eye watering debt. The US no longer has the financial clout to control the world with its military any more and nor can it rely on allies as its constant military intervention has won it few friends and many enemies.
Foreign policy realists have long warned of the threat of blowback, as America believes it can dictate how other countries behave along with its regular military excursions cause resentment and anger which eventually boils over into retaliatory action. Yet Hawks and Neo-Cons refuse to learn the lessons of the past – The future of Iran, and the horrors of Iraq are obvious examples that springs to mind – and so are condemned to repeat the same mistakes but now with even larger consequences.
US military actions radicalising its opponents and helping Al Qaida spread its terrorism even to America’s shores was bad enough, but now North Korea has threatened to use Nuclear Weapons against America in a pre-emptive strike.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The enemies of the US quickly realised that the only way to be certain of their safety was to acquire Nuclear Weapons. The US could not be equalled conventionally and constant military action made leaders of many ‘rogue states’ fear their very existence. Only the ultimate threat of the ultimate weapon is enough to keep the US at bay.
Even then America did not learn, it has played a dangerous game of insults, condemnations, sanctions, threats and provocations. North Korea will have seen how the US and Israel bomb Iran whenever they feel like it, invade Iraq against the will of the UN with impunity and turn on former friends like Gadhafi and fund revolutions when they are no longer useful. North Korea has also experienced US politicians attacking them verbally and threatening their destruction, it is no different for a North Korean politician to threaten to nuke America than it is for American politicians to threaten to nuke them. Seen from their angle, US threats against them are just as worrying (and worryingly credible) from them as their threats are for us.
America does not have some God given right to launch pre-emptive strikes around the world, in fact it has no more legitimacy to do so than North Korea. Yet time and time again America initiates conflict with other countries then plays the victim when they fight back or others threaten them. North Korea are only saying now what America has said to them many times before, is it really so surprising when you poke and push and threaten that eventually your victim will snap?
Fortunately North Korea’s comments are probably just empty words. It likes to make bold claims with little action, unlike America whose politicians make bold claims and more often than not follow them through with acts of aggression. However, we need to learn from this incident fast, more of the same will keep bringing back worse and worse results as years of insult, sanction and threat pile on top of each other threatening to spill over. America needs to back off, to leave other countries alone, to conduct itself like it is in a community of equals, not a ruler lording over subjects.
If America stops giving people reason to hate it then they won’t, however every aggressive action by the US, every sanction and insult, every bomb bullet and threat just make things worse, give ammunition to its enemies and increase the risk of disaster. We have been on the end of terroristic violence and threats of Nuclear attack and it is not nice to say the least, let’s not do it to others or indeed give them reason to do it to us. If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past then the future we are pushing toward could be no future at all.