March 27, 2009

Why we should care about North Korea's missile

North Korea is poised to [test] launch a missile. Why should we care? Well, I’m in the middle of a book titled One Second After which details what happens to a small North Carolina town after an EMP attack on the United States. “EMP,” as you might know, stands for “electromagnetic pulse.” All nuclear detonations produce them, but they’re most dangerous when a nuke is exploded high above the atmosphere. The atmosphere itself acts as a sort of “magnifier,” strengthening the pulse and making its effects disastrous. The attack on the US in One Second After includes three nukes which effectively shuts down the United States. That’s right – shuts down! Anything electronic ceases to function if it’s plugged into a socket, and anything with any size computer chip will have that chip fried (hence it will shut down too).

Whereas a ballistic missile defense system is a good idea – to prevent a nation like North Korea from actually managing to get a nuke missile over the US in the first place – a better idea is to prepare our electronic network for just such an attack. This means “hardening” [especially] vital networks, like defense and financial systems, but also preparing for the chaos that inevitably will ensue to small town America when virtually everything is shut down. Consider: no power means no water treatment plants. Plumbing ceases to function. Fried hospital equipment means dead patients in minutes or hours. Food gets spoiled. Disease becomes an imminent concern. Just about the only things mechanical that will keep functioning after an EMP are things like pre-computerized cars (usually pre-1980).

It’s really hard to imagine life in the US now without computerization. An EMP attack would basically turn the US into what it was around the turn of the century – the turn of the 18th or 19th century. This is why we should worry about countries like North Korea or Iran developing a long-range missile that can reach the continental US. The leaders of those two governments surely are aware that enough of the US military (like nuclear submarines) would survive an EMP to utterly destroy them. But so what? They’d already have wiped out the US as a world power and thrown the entire world economy into a tailspin. Their goal would be achieved, period. And we’re not talking about rational people here, after all!

Back to eliminating the threat: We already have the means to knock out a launched missile if we want to:

The U.S. and Japan have jointly invested billions of dollars in outfitting their navy destroyers with the Aegis missile defense system. The Aegis interceptor, called the Standard Missile III, was used last year to destroy an errant satellite in orbit. It is perhaps the most successful and (among the military) the most popular of the missile defense capabilities.

And Democrats, typically considered the more “dovish” of the two major political parties, have been rather hawkish on North Korea’s growing missile capabilities in recent years:

The very last time we were in this situation was in the summer of 2006. Just as North Korea was fueling the missiles for test-launch, William Perry and Ashton Carter, respectively secretary of defense and assistant secretary of defense under [Bill] Clinton, advocated preemptive strikes on the platforms in a striking op-ed in the Washington Post. "Intervening before mortal threats to U.S. security can develop is surely a prudent policy," they wrote:

Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

It’s unclear how President Obama will react; hopefully, his Secretary of State’s (Hillary Clinton's) attitude is an indicator: Clinton “has reacted forcefully already, saying that the U.S. will consider North Korea's missile launch, in violation of Security Council resolutions, as a ‘provocation,’" which is rather strong language from the country’s diplomatic arm. Still, I have my doubts. After all, Obama is the guy who has mandated that the terms “war on terror,” “enemyl combatants” and even “terrorism” be changed to something more “palatable.” In addition, he’s sent a video message to the Iranians discussing our “mutual respect.” I have a problem with a guy who does all that, yet turns his political minions loose on a fellow American like, say, Rush Limbaugh, referring to him in terminology that is now forbidden against our real enemies!

Posted by Hube at March 27, 2009 05:26 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I was with you, Hube, until you got down to defending Rush Limbaugh. He doesn't deserve your defense. His latest insult is referring to Obama and wife as "Barack Ogabe and his angry wife". What ails this man?

The EMP threat is a real concern to me. I appreciate the education you gave in your well written and researched piece.

Posted by: Perry at March 27, 2009 06:20 PM

No Perry, ANY American w/mere differing views deserves such a defense. Why does Obama and his co-horts come down harder on an American conservative and the GOP than terrorists and terrorism?

Posted by: Hube at March 27, 2009 07:01 PM

Well, Perry, given that your buddies over at Delaware Liberal are no suggesting the hanging of a member of Congress for her opposition to the Obama Regime, I can't say I see a problem with a little defense of Limbaugh, whose "crimes"are daring to disagree with Obama and speaking of him with the contempt.

But then again, you and your ilk believe that dissent ceased being the highest form of patriotism and became high treason when Barry Hussein became president, so I suppose I shouldn't be too shocked by your protestations.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 27, 2009 09:18 PM

Rhymes, I have no control, nor do I deserve control, over DL or you. But it sure would be great if you exerted a little more self control over yourself, because your comments are often outrageous and full of hate, of which I've come to expect from you. And you are a Social Studies teacher! My goodness!!

Posted by: Perry at March 28, 2009 02:03 AM

Hate? Point to it or retract that statement.

Seems to me that your libels and slanders of political opponents make you the person that needs to exercise significantly more self-control.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 28, 2009 07:31 AM

And Perry, I don't see you at DL counseling them to reign in their hate -- expressed in terms of a call to execute a member of Congress for speaking against Obama in terms not dissimilar to those used by Thomas Jefferson -- so I would have to label you a hypocrite. After all, neither Hube nor I have called for the killing of our political opponents.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 28, 2009 07:33 AM

Rhymes: Don't bother. It is well established that Perry is a hypocrite of the highest order.

Posted by: Hube at March 28, 2009 08:26 AM

Rhymes, here's your example, right here in this very thread: "But then again, you and your ilk believe that dissent ceased being the highest form of patriotism and became high treason when Barry Hussein became president, so I suppose I shouldn't be too shocked by your protestations."

First of all, I never said such a thing, so you lied, and second, your lack of respect for our President is full of hatred and vitriol. What words would you choose to characterize this outburst of yours, Rhymes?

Posted by: Perry at March 28, 2009 03:49 PM

Honesty, integrity, and patriotism.

You, on the other, have defined dissent as hate. Proving my words.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 28, 2009 08:29 PM

Stop twisting, Rhymes, as you attempt to characterize your outburst falsely. And yes, your version of dissent is hate, as I perceive it, and not telling the truth, as I pointed out.

And you have yet to show me where I said something to the effect that "dissent ceased being the highest form of patriotism and became high treason" when someone of your ilk dissented.

Finally, you characterized yourself with the words "honesty, integrity, and patriotism". I will stretch to give you the patriotism, but that's it, as your comments in this thread, and on others, speak otherwise.

I hope in the classroom you use a different approach than this here, where honesty, integrity and patriotism really shine by example, for your students to model themselves according to your exemplary behavior, of which I am sure you are well capable as you have demonstrated at other times.

Posted by: Perry at March 28, 2009 09:19 PM

"your lack of respect for our President is full of hatred and vitriol"

This is rich, coming from you. What came from the Left the last 8 years if not these very things?

Posted by: Hube at March 29, 2009 08:50 AM