I don’t know how helpful it is to think about Korea in the context of the cold war. Certainly the cold war was a factor in the persecution of hostilities, and in the maintenance of the armistice, but to look at it exclusively as a cold war conflict is wrong.
Exclusively? Yes, I agree. But it is indeed the progenitor of the division of the Korean peninsula, both from a physical and ideological perspective.
Likewise, Caitlan’s take on Gabbard’s comments employs a cookie-cutter approach to U.S. interventionism. As you rightly point out, their nuclear program predates Mrs. Clinton’s misadventures in North Africa. One of the dangers of Caitlan’s incipient knee-jerk anti-Americanism is that it sees U.S. intervention as the sine qua non of conflict initiation. In Korea, the East Asian political geography makes the U.S. a factor, but to see it as “another” anything (in this case, another regime change operation) is to look at it through the wrong end of the telescope. I mean, we all get that the U.S. foreign policy is and has been stupid, malignant, etc., etc. But trying to change that foreign policy by hyperbolizing its ubiquity and omnipotence seems wrong headed and as dangerous as neoconservative boosterism.
Agreed. That’s what I see the risk of these days in these debates. For example:
- We can agree that the neocon vision of the global extension of American power is wrongheaded, without agreeing that ALL extensions of American power are wrongheaded.
- We can agree that intervention in certain (or most, or almost all) nations where US interests are not directly at risk is wrongheaded, without agreeing that ALL interventions are wrongheaded.
Obviously, that leaves me (and you, perhaps) vulnerable to the counterargument that “yea, there’s always an excuse to say that THIS INTERVENTION is OK”, but….so be it.
In other words, while its convenient to look upon North Korea as another Libya, it’s just plain wrong. And stupid.
Clearly. And dangerous.