Obama's Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay
It's a pity North Korea's Kim Jong Un had to spoil the party last week. Rockers at the White House should not have had to listen to disturbing news stories about rattling sabers and missile launches
Here's a satellite photograph that East Room party-goers should study, for at least five minutes.
The astute reader will see in this image of the Korean peninsula by night some very interesting things. There is a sharp line between the lighted portions and the darkened portions of Korea. That line runs along the 38th Parallel of latitude. That was the Truce Line agreed to after years of bitter and contentious negotiations between North Korean and Chinese Communists and the UN. For, in those halcyon days, the United Nations was actually willing to use force to counter Communist aggression. In reality, it was the Americans who constituted the vast majority of UN forces engaged on the Korean peninsula between 1950 and 1953.
That Truce Line is better known as the demarcation for the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ).
This DMZ has long been regarded as one of the most dangerous places on earth. The world's longest truce has just recently been disavowed by the new young dictator of the Hermit Kingdom of Korea, that is, Communist North Korea.
Look at the region north of the DMZ and you readily note it is all dark. South Korea is ablaze with light in the night sky, lighted by the lights of a freedom bought with American blood, American treasure.
Now, let us consider the tough talk of our new Sec. of State, John Kerry. He addressed these comments to an eager world press corps:
"If Kim Jong Un decides to launch a missile, whether it's across the Sea of Japan or some other direction, he will be choosing willfully to ignore the entire international community, and it will be a provocation and unwanted act that will raise people's temperatures."
Unpacking the secretary's bold declaration, we see this penetrating analysis:
Kim Jong Un would be choosing willfully to ignore the entire international community.
O the humanity! Does not the satellite photo tell even the most obtuse observer that Kim John Un and his father and his grandfather never gave a rip about the entire international community?
They have been perfectly content to starve millions of their own people. They shoot North Koreans who own a Bible. They are helping Iran obtain a nuclear weapon.
Raising peoples' temperatures? Is that what Kim Jong Un is doing? Is that what the threat really is, Mr. Secretary? Go lie down. Take two aspirin and call the UN in the morning, sir.
What these fatuous remarks demonstrate is that we have no foreign policy. John Kerry might have been the worst nominee for this post, except for the last nominee for this post.
The fact that his nomination sailed through the Senate is a national disgrace.
But this is an administration that is all about style and never about substance. The first act of President Obama was to sign -- with elaborately choreographed pomp and circumstance -- his Executive Order closing Guantánamo Bay. Oh, the show it was. Within one year, this "recruiting tool for al Qaeda" would be history, we were assured.
Well, is it? Or is Mr. Obama's bootless, fruitless Executive Order Zero the real dead letter? And because it's a dead letter, how seriously does anyone take the words of this administration?
When Ronald Reagan warned the striking air traffic controllers they must return to work -- as provided in federal law -- or be fired, they balked. He fired them. The world took note. "With Reagan," the KGB told the Soviet Communist bosses, "words are deeds."
With Obama, with Kerry, with Hagel, words are just words.
Kim Jong Un is doing what he is doing for the same reason Bill Clinton did what he did:
Because he can. To confirm in his febrile mind that he can do what he likes, our newly-minted Sec. of Defense, Chuck Hagel, canceled an American missile launch.
We did not want to raise tensions with Kim while he was busy raising temperatures. But what else could have concentrated the young ruler's mind better than to tell him we would launch two missiles of our own in a "test" of our guidance systems -- and land them in the sea just outside the Three Mile Limit on either side of the DMZ.
Kim Jong Un might be restrained by such a show of force. He might be restrained by the thought that we could target the "command and control" facilities where he is taking his ease and hit them hard.
He will not be restrained by empty words and emptier gestures. If we had a foreign policy, it would defend America, and scare tin pot dictators like Kim Jong Un. While Kim arms and menaces, he sits on top of the DMZ. And our Commander-in-Chief is sittin' on the dock of the bay, wastin' time.
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.