A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Why would North Korea fire on South Korea? Because they can -- and because they are confident the Obama Administration will do nothing more than posture in public, issue a "stern" warning and ... well ... that's IT!
All the behind-the-hand-snickering we have heard from the world’s rogue state leaders was an indication that they understood Obama had loosened their leash.
First there is a missile launched off the coast of California a few days ago. (You may choose to believe it was the contrail of an aircraft, if you wish. I do not.) I have to believe that was a Chinese missile and it served its purpose, which, I believe, was to say to Obama: “Hey, we’ve got you by the cajones ... and don’t you forget it! Now – about Taiwan … “
Oh, this is just the beginning. Things are going to get rowdy around the globe until we get a new sheriff in town or, if you will, a new Chief of the Global Police.
For Instance: When Jimmy Carter was President we had the Iran Hostage situation. Within minutes of Ronald Reagan being sworn in as President, those hostages were freed.
They may be rogues, but they understand power and they understand and respect the application of power, and they understand when a US President decides to bring the hammer down, they are going to be smashed.
There is Syria, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Venezuela, the Palestinians, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, not to mention Al Qaeda or The Balkans, all capable of creating trouble at a moment’s notice. Of course, I did not mention Iraq or Afghanistan because we already have boots on the ground in both countries.
It is a fact that man is basically evil. We humans are capable of anything including appalling cruelty to our fellow human beings. As a conservative I understand that, so I expect my fellow man do such unthinkable things as initiating a war on a whim.
Man is a rebel. As people of faith the world over understand, man rebelled first against his own Creator. As punishment, man received the gift, or curse, of free will. The mixture of free will and a rebellious nature is explosive. We have been at each other’s throats since the children of the first couple became a murderer and the victim of murderer.
Nothing much has changed since that fateful day. Now, we murder in much greater volume and with much greater efficiency.
Over time our tribes became klans and then countries. Countries initiated governments and governments initiated laws in an attempt to control man’s rebelliousness and conduct all that energy into productive channels that would benefit the population of the various countries.
Obviously, some countries became better at it than others. Some thrived while others did not prosper as well. We became a planet of “have” and “have-not” countries or nations. It wasn’t long until the “have-nots” decided to take what they wanted from the “haves.” Or the “haves’ decided to simply take the “have-not” country and make it a part of its greater self in order to make better use of the natural resources of the aforementioned “have-not” nation.
In the case of the former, it never worked – at least not for long. In the case of the latter, it did work often enough that great empires were born such as the empire of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire.
But man is a rebel – remember? Tell him he cannot have something and that is the thing he wants most. Call it covetousness, or whatever; the plain truth is that man is never satisfied. He hungers for that which he cannot have.
There are two primary hungers, which have eaten at man since the Garden of Eden: freedom and power. Even today, in the twenty-first century, the desire for freedom and power burns within the heart of man with the fiery brilliance of an atom bomb explosion. And that gift, or curse, of freewill is the lit fuse on that volatile mixture.
I explain all this, as best I can, to try to explain that one must understand these basic facts of human nature before one can understand all the strife between nations the of our modern world.
And it is here that conservatives and liberals disagree, fundamentally, on how a powerful nation, such as the United States, must approach its enemies and the nations that continue to create, cause, and even fund worldwide mischief.
Conservatives understand that you cannot negotiate with someone who will not negotiate. You cannot talk to someone who will not talk. You cannot take the word of a liar whether that liar is an individual or a government.
Conservatives, unlike liberals, also understand that war can, and often does, solve a host of problems. It is also true that war sometimes creates a host of new and unexpected problems. Conservatives, who do not seek an unobtainable Utopia on earth, understand this and accept that it is a part of the human condition. We do not accept the delusion that man is basically good and kind. We know that wishing it so does not make it so.
The US has been the leader of the free world, on planet earth, since it was granted that position by, well, default. However, we have often made mistakes. But they have been mistakes we have quickly corrected or made amends. Making a “pilgrimage of apology,” bowing and scraping before the leaders of other countries, does nothing but demonstrate a nation’s weakness. When the leader of the United States makes a point of doing just that, America must expect mischief to be forthcoming.
The current President of the US, unfortunately, is seen around the globe as a weak leader. As a result America, and the free world, are just beginning to see emboldened enemies probing, trying, and testing his fortitude.
So far, in his tenure in office, President Obama has acted more as a politician than a leader. He is a great orator, a great politician, but a poor leader, especially on the international stage. The world knows this, even if his own political party does not.
There will be more incidents such as the North Korean shelling of a South Korean Island in the months ahead. “While the cat is away, the mice will play” is an old axiom with a great deal of truth attached to it. Until the US elects a new cat -- there will be much more activity among the mice. Count on it.