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Trump vs. Clinton: The feud continues even after the election

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 07:45
It’s been 343 days since the presidential election, but even still President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton haven’t stopped their bickering.

War with North Korea Is Neither the Best Not the Only Solution

Cato Recent Op Eds - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 07:10

Doug Bandow

The Cold War was marked by hysteria over the potential for nuclear conflict. School kids practiced getting under their desks, and families built bomb shelters in case the missiles fell. Although there were moments of acute danger, most notably the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world seemed to enter a new age when the Soviet Union collapsed. Small wars continued, but the famed nuclear doomsday clock finally moved backward.

Yet the possibility of nuclear war again is dominating international headlines. A foreign government is building nuclear weapons and ICBMs to target the U.S. And the president of the United States in turn is threatening to destroy that nation. People have begun to share their parents’ fear of nuclear warheads raining down upon American cities.

Fear-mongering is hardly new in American politics. But President Donald Trump’s decision to match North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un insult for insult and threat for threat creates a serious risk of misjudgment and mistake. Neither the U.S. nor Democratic People’s Republic of Korea desires war, but the spectacle of the two nations’ leaders behaving like participants in a cockfight demonstrates that these are unusual times.

Most analysts who know the Korean peninsula realize that war is not an option, at least absent a well-grounded belief that conflict truly is inevitable and the only question is how it starts and is conducted. There are some—Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) comes to mind—who suggest that a Second Korean War wouldn’t be such a big deal because it would not be “over here.” Of course, the U.S. military would be involved in any fight, and the North probably has the capability to hit American bases in the region.

Policymakers should reconsider Washington’s current strategy, which needlessly risks the lives, wealth and security of Americans for the interests of other nations.

Even if Pyongyang currently lacks the ability to hit the U.S. mainland, it could loose murder and mayhem on South Korean and Japanese territory. Too bad the senator doesn’t believe those lives count for much. Most war games discount claims of North Korean forbearance or an otherwise easy victory. Casualties surely would be at least in the tens of thousands and perhaps many, many more. And if the conflict’s impact flowed over the North’s borders into China and Russia, Washington would face additional significant geopolitical dangers.

Yet some analysts as well as politicians, like Graham, appear to believe that the only choice is war or living with a dire and growing North Korean nuclear threat against the American homeland. In which case war, especially if it could be kept “over there,” would be preferred.

Those might appear to be the only choices because the U.S. insists on remaining militarily entangled in Northeast Asia. However, it is Washington’s commitment to South Korea which has brought America into potential conflict with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. So long as the U.S. intervenes militarily to protect the South from the North, the latter must prepare to offset Washington’s overwhelming military might. Which makes nuclear-tipped ICBMs the obvious weapon of choice.

However, nothing requires Americans to remain forever on station in the Republic of Korea. The ROK was a wreck in July 1953 when the armistice was signed. South Korea trailed its northern adversary in economic strength and political stability until the 1960s. But over time Seoul lived up to the Biblical promise that the last would be first. Today the South vastly outranges the DPRK, enjoying a 45-to-1 economic edge and 2-to-1 population advantage. Long ago South Korea gained the ability to field a military capable of deterring the North and defeating the latter’s forces if deterrence fails.

Maintaining the unnecessary “mutual” defense treaty with the ROK is what makes America a potential North Korean nuclear target. Without the Cold War context, South Korea no longer matters significantly to U.S. security. A renewed Korean conflict would be a humanitarian tragedy and highly disruptive to Asia, but neither of those problems warrant either triggering a conflagration on the peninsula or making America’s homeland a nuclear target.

Of course, the problem of South Korea defending itself against a North armed with nuclear weapons would remain. Yet that represents a more general problem of Washington’s tendency to promiscuously hand out nuclear umbrellas as well as conventional guarantees. It isn’t in America’s interest to risk Los Angeles, Honolulu, Seattle, Phoenix and perhaps a host of other cities to defend Seoul—or, frankly, Tokyo, Taipei and Canberra.

Which suggests that Pyongyang’s acquisition of a nuclear arsenal is an appropriate time to consider encouraging nations threatened by the North, most obviously meaning the ROK and Japan, to develop countervailing deterrents. Seoul started down the nuclear path a half century ago before being forced to halt by U.S. pressure. Although President Moon Jae In opposes the idea, a range of officials, politicians, and commentators back a South Korean bomb.

That would force Japanese policymakers and people to consider doing the same to confront growing challenges from the North and People’s Republic of China. The opposition to nuclearization would be stronger in Japan than in the ROK, but Tokyo could no longer rely on Americans performing the most important function of government everywhere, providing for the nation’s security.

More important, if Washington allowed China to share the nightmare created by North Korea’s nuclear developments, Beijing might feel forced to do more to constrain the North’s nuclear ambitions. The possibility of America’s friends going nuclear might energize the Xi government.

In any case, the U.S. would escape the either war or nuclear threat conundrum. There is no reason to believe Kim Jong Un, however brutal, is suicidal. The North seeks to avoid American involvement, not trigger it. Stepping back militarily and allowing prosperous and populous states to take over their own defense surely would be better than starting the very war Washington has spent 64 years attempting to prevent. And it would seem to be a lot better than risking nuclear strikes on the American homeland if that war nevertheless erupted.

North Korea is the land of second best solutions, it has been said. But war is far worse than second best. And turning the U.S. into a nuclear target is scarcely better. Policymakers should reconsider Washington’s current strategy, which needlessly risks the lives, wealth and security of Americans for the interests of other nations.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

Obama EPA did not do background checks on hundreds of cyber-contractors, watchdog warns

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 06:30
Hundreds of contractors holding important information security jobs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have for years been working as high-level operators of its computer systems without the appropriate security background checks — a situation the agency is still scrambling to correct.

Federal government workers donating overwhelmingly to Democrats

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 05:46
Employees who work at federal government agencies are continuing their trend of overwhelmingly donating to Democrats for the 2018 election cycle, records show.

Now Do You Understand Mike Pence’s Morality Guidelines?

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 05:00
The lefts extreme reaction to Vice President Pences personal morality guidelines now seems even more absurd.

Assault allegations: Hillary pivots from Harvey to Donald, spotlight swings to Bill

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 04:00
Hillary Clinton is very much on the defensive about Harvey Weinstein.

Shiv-alry is not dead: Hillary says WH hopes got shanked by Comey

Michelle Malkin - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 22:49

**Written by Doug Powers

Hillary Clinton was interviewed recently by an Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist who noticed that the former presidential candidate has descended into madness. Well, the interviewer didn’t put it that way but still…

I have been following Hillary Clinton’s career since the mid-1990s as a journalist in Washington reporting on the first term of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

The Hillary Clinton I knew then would not have said publicly she had been “shivved” by the former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey.

Sure, but the Hillary Clinton the reporter knew back in the 1990s hadn’t lost to Donald Trump after an inept campaign for president weighed down by hypocrisy and arrogance. That said, Hillary basically painted an ironic picture of Comey trying to take her out in a prison yard:

She referred to Comey’s handling of the investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state, in particular the letter written by Comey days before the election re opening the investigation: “He did shiv me, yeah … we also know that opponents of mine, like former mayor Rudy Giuliani, knew something was coming.

“So there was clearly an effort to derail my campaign at the end.”

What makes that even more hilarious is that Comey is one of the reasons that Clinton isn’t one of the newest cast members of a real-life knockoff of “Orange is the New Black.” But Clinton has to keep pretending the ex-FBI director didn’t do her a huge favor when he could have made it so much worse for her.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Comey drafted letter on Clinton email investigation before completing interviews, FBI confirms

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 21:15
The FBI released documents Monday proving former FBI Director James Comey began drafting a letter regarding Hillary Clinton's email investigation months before conducting several key interviews, including speaking to Clinton herself.

NBA coach calls Trump 'a pathological liar' following comments about soldiers killed in Niger

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 21:00
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sounded off Monday against President Trump, calling him a “soulless coward” after the president’s remarks following a question about the U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on Oct. 4.

State of emergency declared in Florida county ahead of Richard Spencer speech

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 21:00
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday ahead of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s scheduled speech at the University of Florida.

Callista Gingrich confirmed by Senate as Vatican ambassador

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:30
The Republican-led Senate on Monday confirmed Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The Uses and Abuses of Hate

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
Given its prominence in current public discourse, one would think that hate, not love, is a many splendored thing.

No, We're Not All the Same

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
"Liberty, equality, fraternity" was the watchword of the French revolutionaries.

Air Force Punishes Colonel Who Refused to Affirm Gay Marriage

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
The Air Force has punished a highly-decorated and respected colonel after he refused to publicly affirm the same-sex spouse of a retiring subordinate.

Progressives Target Conservative News Site for Reporting on Their Actions That Destroyed a Pro-Trump Business

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
Were used to hearing about Antifa and radical left-wing activists attacking conservatives and pro-Trump supporters.

A New Front in the War on Free Speech

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
Hothouse flowers threw another hissy fit on a college campus recently.

Kuyper’s Manifesto

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
Anti-revolutionaries of the world, unite!

Trump Unlikely to Dwell on Las Vegas Mass Shooting

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
Trump has had to contend with disaster after catastrophe.

Is War With Iran Now Inevitable?

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
With his declaration Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is not in the national interest, President Donald Trump may have put us on the road to war with Iran.

Ireland Hails Famous Dimwit, Party-Pooper and Coward as National Hero with Postage Stamp

TownHall Latest columns - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:01
Among the many things the Irish are NOT infamous for is their dim-wittedness party-poopery and cowardice.

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