Regarding the Aug. 14 letter from Matthew Hutcherson (“Have we learned nothing?”):
It is scary to consider that this guy was ever an assistant professor of a college. His naivety and ignorance of history is mind-boggling.
First, the comparison of North Korea with Vietnam is ridiculous. Vietnam did not have nuclear weapons and was not run by a homicidal lunatic.
And if the atomic bombs had not been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is generally accepted by historians that the invasion of Japan would have resulted in up to 4 million American casualties, plus as many as 20 million Japanese dead.
While the estimates for the casualties from these bombings run as high as 250,000 dead, that pales in comparison to the invasion alternative. Those bombs saved as many as 20 million Japanese lives!
He asks “who cares if North Korea is communist or South Korea is capitalist?” I suggest he visit North Korea to see for himself and hope he does not suffer the same fate as Otto Warmbier. Would he relegate the millions of South Korean citizens to the brutality and oppression of one of history’s cruelest dictators?
North Korea represents a clear and present threat. Our “strategic patience” policy of the last 20-plus years has clearly failed.
Over this time, North Korea has gone from no nuclear weapons to possibly as many as 60, according to some sources, and now has crude ballistic missiles. It is just a matter of time before they develop the capability to deliver nukes to our shores.
Given their history, do you really think they will stop with one, 10, 100 or more missiles? You can bet that each subsequent year, their arsenal will grow until one day we wake up to the reality they have the ability to rain destruction down on us. And this would be an arsenal at the fingertips of a homicidal lunatic.
At least during the Cold War, you were dealing with rational human beings interested in self-preservation. Our anti-ballistic missile systems would be our only hope, and as I clearly remember, the Democrats used to ridicule Reagan for his (as they called it) Star Wars proposal. Sadly, our prior president seriously curtailed the development of this program.
The consequences of not permanently dealing with this clear and present threat are not acceptable. As horrible as the military option would be, the threat of it is probably the only way to motivate China to stop its client state’s drive to be a major nuclear power.
I certainly agree that Trump could have been more diplomatic in delivering his message, but it is a message that had to be delivered. The reality is, it may come down to two unacceptable alternatives: a nuclear power growing its capability as fast as it possibly can, controlled by a lunatic; or military action.
While most any other option would be preferred, if it comes down to it, I do not believe it irrational to seriously consider the military option given the alternative.