Maybe I'm showing my age
You are, which means you remember the Cold War. Which was the reason for the responses you cite. Times are different now.
Yes they are. We are even MORE timid. Do you honestly expect to see a response like the Cuban missile crisis , or Operation Praying Mantis , or ANY of the "WOG-bashing" action that occurred during the Reagan years? I think that being at war since 2001 has sapped any interest in "risky" operations.
We have as a culture learned to embrace "fictions". Like legal fiction that allows us to consider a corporation as a "person", we see China as a "friend" , even though they have technically been at war with us since 1951. Russia is our friend. All of the middle east are "our friends". We have so many friends that we forget what an enemy , or at least an adversary, is. We rarerly speak harshly of anyone ,let alone take punitive action.
Today, the west in general , and the USA specifically is so concerned with offending nations and peoples generally the best action is simply to wait it out , and let others solve the problem.
So Moose, you are right. It's not ww2. It's not 1950. Or 1968.Or even 1986, let alone 1991. It's 2013. A not-so brave , not really new , world.
First, it's not a legal fiction that a corporation is a person. It is a person. A very specialized type of person, but a person under the law. Not a natural person. A corporation can do many things--own a fleet of aircraft, sue someone, hold a copyright, own a dog--but not other things. It can't vote, marry, hold a pilot's license, or commit murder. These things have been true at least back to the 18th C. in the English system. That a certian candidate, a graduate of the Harvard Law School, inartfully said without context or appreciation for his audience that corporations are people doesn't make it untrue. They are within the definition of the word as he used it.
Second, we are not at war with China. There is disagreement if we ever were (they insist they were never at war in Korea; all their soldiers were volunteers), but widespread agreement that we are not now, despite the media's constant repitition of the statement "the Korean War never ended." The truth is fascinating and quite complex. There is no universal agreement among international law experts whether an armistice can survive 60+ years, especially when some of the signatories do not exist any longer. At worst there is nearly universal agreement that whatever legal structure exists now as a remnant of 1950's Security Council and General Assembly (once the USR came back from the men's room and started vetoing) actions, none of it applies to any of the parties not since acting as if there is an armistice. To wit, the USA, China, and the two Koreas. Nobody asserts Turkey is "at war" with China, despite them being a party to the armisitce.
If interested, I found a quite succinct, but a bit dense and legalese-ish, document which serves as an excellent summary of the history of the legal status of the conflict and the armistice. Korea was perhaps unique among all modern wars in that it was completely a UN artifact, not a conflict fought under unilateral or multilateral sovereign authority. It was literally a police action under the UN Charter, at a time when we all were still in the honeymoon phase on the UN.
The link to the document--which I urge anyone participating in this thread to read--is
Third, and last, I do not agree we are timid. We never have been such as a nation. We have been jingoistic at times, we've blustered and beaten our chests, but we've never been timid. That is not necessarily the opposite of jingoistic. Quiet confidence is. We have ironbound defense treaties with South Korea and Japan. They are perhaps co-equal with the NATO Treaty in the degree of importance given them by every US president since WWII or the Korean War. We WILL go to war to defend either or both. So why do we need to proclaim this to yapping pups like the Boy Wonder? What is achieved? What do we gain? If we respond to his threats and rhetoric we give him power.
Nations have interests, not friends. Our relations with China have evolved constantly throughout my life and yours, and they will continue to do so. The China of 1980 is not the China of 2013. In the past their interests have aligned with North Korea's; there is substantial evidence now that is changing. We have some ability to steer that evolution, but not much. China has its own problems. Where our interests align, however, we would be foolish to reject this due to events from 60 years ago, the same as we reject the Tojo government's actions 70 years ago.
The situation in Korea could go in many ways. I personally do not expect the current leader to the leader one year from today. If he is not what follows might be worse. If it is we'll deal with that.
I think the current dust-up has the effect of making many Western observers forget the truth that the situation in Korea cannot stand much longer. The disparity on each side of the DMZ is growing too great. South Korea and the First World are accelerating away from North Korea in terms of wealth, of tech, of medicine, of military ability. NK, even with China's patronage, is not long for the world. It has too many contradictions. HOW it evolves to its next phase is far more important than bluster over missiles moving. It's going to end, and pretty soon. It can do so in a spasm of violence, or it can go the way of East Germany. Getting to the latter route is a far more important job for US and Chinese and South Korean leadership than responding to every raving comment emanating from the North. If they want to fight they'll get a fight. They'll lose, but a lot of people will die and a lot of South Korean progress will go up in smoke. It doesn't have to be that way, but it might be. In the meantime, we stay quiet and project strength.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 4/9/2013 3:36:34 AM >