The memory of that pizza in Geneva leads me to today's topic: the situation in and around the Korean peninsula.
We are all familiar with the Vietnam experience where in General Douglas MacArthur's immortal words we asked out troops "to die for a tie." Despite the restrictions on the use of our power, the political meddling by the "best and brightest," the misreporting by the US and international media, and the actions of certain "winter soldiers," the US military won a stunning victory against the communists in Vietnam. The much-ballyhooed Tet offensive, for example, proved the end of the Viet Cong as an effective force and demonstrated conclusively that the North Vietnamese army could not stand up to the US military in head on combat. The US Marines' successful battle to save Hue from the North Vietnamese army is as heroic and stirring a feat of arms as any battle one can care to name. That overwhelming communist defeat and triumph by the US military was horribly misreported, deliberately twisted, and used to convince us that we could not win the war. And the rest is history.
If only Vietnam were the only example of the results of half-measures and deliberate sabotage. Readers can come up with any number of other examples such as Woodrow Wilson's imbecilic handling of the putative end of World War I, the Berlin Airlift, the Bay of Pigs and the subsequent half-measures used against the evil Castro regime, etc. Most examples of American foreign policy half-measures come from Democratic presidents. Most, that is, but not all. President Bush's (41) handling of the first Gulf War led inexorably to the second Gulf War as much as did Wilson's handling of the "end" of WWI lead us into WWII. The Reagan administration's failure to act decisively against the Sandinista gangsters left a horrible legacy in Central America which continues to haunt us. It produced the worst of all possible worlds: the negative blow-back for being interventionist without the benefits of victory over a vile regime that has helped destabilize the region.
The, however, truly stunning example of half-measures and unfinished business coming back to bite us is the Korean War. We, once again, see the consequences as Kim Jong-Un, a gangnam-style Pillsbury doughboy with a bad haircut, threatens to rain nuclear weapons on our Pacific bases and even our cities. Little Kim is the dictator of a decrepit country of zero importance to the world. This repellent little communist monarchy stands across the DMZ from the Republic of Korea, one of the truly great political, economic, and social success stories of the past seventy years. North Korea's leaders, however mad and absurd they might appear, know how to play with Western reluctance to apply total solutions. They look at the current leadership in Washington, and what do they see? The most anti-military President, Secretary of State AND Secretary of Defense in our history, i.e., the Three Stooges of the Apocalypse. They see us babbling about nonsense, and openly vowing to destroy our own military in order to provide free stuff to people who vote for Obama. We have a pompous, lying, rich boy, blowhard as Secretary of State who vows to do "whatever is necessary"( Note: In a style reminiscent of "Genghis Khan," eh?) but who has a record of opposing whatever is necessary, and has committed public acts of treason. We have the irony of having the very liberal Democrats who so opposed anti-missile defenses now being forced to move into place those very systems they sought to abort. The same bunker buster bombs which the Democrats opposed developing are being loaded into B-2s and would play a critical role in case of war against North Korea. The military which the Democrats have for years sought to cut and make into a playground for their social experiments now stands as the defense for Los Angeles, and other Democratic-governed urban centers. The ironies go on and on.
This is what happens when you go hunting to wound the bear.