Can We Trust Obama on North Korea?

Posted on April 7, 2013 by

While Barack Obama took a few hits from progressives last week for signaling to republicans that he’ll negotiate on social security and for his unnecessary remark about Kamala Harris’ looks, the president faced virtually no opposition from the left on his handling of North Korea.

I wanted to hear what opponents of American military “hegemony” felt about the administration’s diplomatic and military approach to the maniacal and menacing regime of Kim Jong-un.

I found this piece by Tim Shorrock in Salon which outlines how:

The sense of hysteria and impending doom has been magnified by the Obama administration and the Pentagon. In a show of force not seen in East Asia for decades, the United States, as part of a series of war games with South Korea, dispatched B-52 and stealth B-2 bombers capable of devastating nuclear and tactical strikes screaming across Korean skies…. Meanwhile, U.S.and South Korean troops practice simulated nuclear attacks and even regime change in their massive military drills, which both governments described as “defensive.”

I suppose that’s a credible perspective; but where’s Noam Chomsky when we need him to tell us why the U.S. is at fault here.

The Korean crisis puts the American left in a bind because it suggests that there’s no alternative to Obama’s use of “smart power.” It also shows the contrast between the president’s two terms and the immunity he’s built against accusations that he’s a push-over or a sell-out.

In some way, his victory last year vindicated his “sensible” approach to governing.  Dissatisfaction among moderate progressives has softened while the president’s harshest critics from the left have just given up – once again – on the democratic party.

When Kim Jong-un does back off, it will affirm the vital role of American might in maintaining global stability.  And who can argue with that?

Comments (2)


  1. Janette Gautier says:

    Just heard a troubling theory on the Stephanopoulos program: All the North Koreans hate the U.S. and are brought up to believe that we are going to attack them, so our show of strength will just reinforce that belief. Feeling they have nothing to lose, they WILL shoot off a missile…which probably can’t reach the U.S., but will set a war in motion.
    So our show of force, regardless of the motives, may provoke just the actions we are trying to prevent. At the moment, I’m more concerned with the reality of the situation than the philosophy behind it!

  2. rick chertoff says:

    “Smart Power”! What a joke. I’d rather he’d called Kamela a “svelt bitch” and told the Republicans they will never see a penny of social security cut till his term ends- Period! As for Korea, crazy and totalitarian as they are, (as opposed to our friends in Saudi Arabia, for example) they’ve learned a lesson about the U.S.: Saddam disarmed and paid with his head; Kaddafi made a deal and disarmed- same. Clinton had made progress toward a deal and didn’t close it, Bush trashed it, and Obama has done….what he usually does; NOTHING! Why? Because he is a Passive President. If the Pentagon isn’t in the mood to reduce its Korea boondoggle, and if State is creating the new “Encirclement” of China (what a great idea!)…”Ok” says our visionary leader. Such Audacity! Such “Hope”!
    The U.S. must find a face-saving way to help these poor idiots out of their dilemma- which, by the way, was created by the U.S. in a little thing called the THE KOREAN WAR. There was not a 2 story building standing when we were through. Estimates are of over 1 million killed. (WE couldn’t do that -could we?) WE may have forgotten that – but they did not. Where is Chomsky when we need him? Where is LOUIS BLACK when we need him?

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