Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Red Rockets Glare

Initially I wanted to blog about how I find it funny that we celebrate Independence Day on the anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence. While I realize this is perhaps the most important event in the evolution of the American Revolution into a struggle for independence from Britain, it makes more sense for us to celebrate Independence Day on the anniversary of either Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown (October 19, 1781) or, more logically, the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (September 3, 1783) which guaranteed American independence from Britain. At least until they decided to come back and get their butt’s kicked in the War of 1812, or as I like to call it The American Revolution 2: Citizens on Patrol.

Then the collection of Asiatic nimrods we like to call North Korea, in response to a bad translation of the “Star Spangled Banner,” decided to see if the whole rocket’s red glare thing really worked and in another fit of, “Ooh! Ooh! Look at us! We matter, dammit!” jackassery, North Korea decided to launch somewhere between 7 and 10 missile tests in the wee hours of the morning, local time. Included in the collection of missiles fired were Scud-C tactical ballistic missiles and Nodong medium-range ballistic missiles, both of which we have seen before. The center piece of this display of institutional moronosis was the launch of the Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile which has been the center of much concern over the last few weeks. The main reason the Taepodong-2 missile is such a concern is that this missile could conceivably be used to deliver a weapon system to the west coast of the United States (I have seen some graphics that posit the three-stage version of the missile could reach all the way to the Mississippi.) For those of you not keeping track this is a bad thing since the North Koreans are playing the, “we might have nukes,” game. Fortunately it appears that the second stage of the Taepodong-2 did not fire and the missile crashed into the Sea of Japan, or the East Sea for my Korean readers, 35 seconds after launch. To be quite honest I was getting longer flights out of my Estes model rockets when I was in grade school although none of those could deliver any thing more destructive than an egg.

In the weeks leading up to the launch some people, including former Vice President and Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale and Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Perry, were advocating a preemptive strike against the facility. The point of this preemptive strike would be to, in Mr. Mondale’s words, “…end the nuclear long-range dreams of this dangerous country.” I really do not understand this line of thinking. So we blow up one missile and its attendant support materials. While this would slow down the continuing development of the Taepodong-2 it would also serve as a massive provocation to a group which has repeatedly displayed rather twitchy behavior as well as annoy China.

I like William M. Arkin’s plan as discussed here much better.

Man these guys (the North Koreans) piss me off. What a bunch of morons.

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