--Gen. Colin Powell and his pictures at UN (2003)
~How long do you think this can go on
before something happens?
~It's a circus, isn't it?
--The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Sometimes... believing is all we have
--Team America: World Police (2004)
"I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."
--Colin Powell on his UN speech, before he read it,
as reported by U.S. News and World Report (2003)
We at RAW try an avoid the daily news cycle (the media having proven that it is outrunning the facts). But the North Korean manufactured crisis du jour requires comment.
The question is not, "Does NoKo have a bomb?", but, "Do they have a miniaturized bomb that could be delivered via missile?" If we believe United States intelligence, then the answer is, "yes".
If so, the question becomes, "How did NoKo come to build and minitaturize a bomb?" Further, "Can it be delivered by means other than missile?"
Beyond that, "Can NoKo's intent to deploy the missile be verified?" If the possession and the intent has been confirmed, then, "Why do we always wait to counter such threats until they become a crisis?"
Of course, this is the same U.S. intel community that assured us that Saddam Hussein had mobile miniature bacterial warfare production facilities, run by a Frau Farbissina ominously dubbed, "Dr. Death". Because we had been so traumatized by the incessant media coverage of the events of 9-11-01, the Greatest Nation on Earth believed laughably cheap artists's renderings on an easel as evidence to strike up a war.
We and our representatives failed to demand photo intel to verify Powell's assertions. We saw the General's stripes and believed that he was telling the truth, and that he and his would protect us. He gave us what we thought we wanted and needed.
It was easy to follow him since false media-promulgated events like "The Sinking of the Maine!" and the Gulf of Tonkin (sans the Teddy Roosevelt spirit) which sparked other wars had predated Powell's presentation of the (not) Death Mobiles.
Beyond the bombastic rhetoric of Kim Jong-Un, an autocratic leader like Saddam who promised the U.S. the "Mother of all wars" in a show of unrealistic strength for the benefit of his countrymen, what have we?
RAW does not trust one bit of data filtered to us through the press, and especially nothing got via supposed government leaks.
We may use Kim's words as a casus belli, much as President George Bush did with Saddam's. Or, we may simply ignore the bravado as the posturing which it most likely is.
Let us hope the U.S. leadership takes the latter position.
Size matters, but so does intent.