Kristol Calls for “Targeted Air Strikes” on North Korea

What other answer would you expect Bill Kristol to give when directly asked what the U.S. should do about North Korea? And Matthew Yglesias wonders why he keeps getting the bully pulpit to say that he’s philosophically opposed to any option but war:

As you probably know, a certain number of people are down-the-line pacifists. They believe that war is wrong, no matter what the cause. And as you’ve probably realized, none of them are major newspaper columnists or television pundits focusing on national security issues. Nobody takes the views of someone who’s a pacifist in general seriously on a specific question of war and peace. But if you’re Bill Kristol, and every time an issue comes up your idea is that we should launch a war, then you get to a Washington Post columnist and a constant TV presence. …

The latest example being his appearance on Fox where he (as well as Brit Hume) told Chris Wallace:

“I don’t rule out the possibility of us deciding — and I think it might be wise for us to decide — to knock out a few. They’re apparently rolling a long-term missile to a base to test another one, long-range missile to test another one. You know, it might be worth doing some targeted air strikes to show the North Koreans, instead of always talking about, ‘Gee, there could be consequences,’ to show that they can’t simply keep going down this path.”

Brit Hume, on the same program, endorsed Kristol’s proposal, but said he “can’t imagine” the Obama administration actually launching a military strike on North Korea. (They follow Newt Gingrich, who began urging strikes in April, calling on the administration to use “lasers” to attack North Korea.)

And damn the consequences:

Kristol and his merry band of he-men think that the United States can drop bombs on any nation it chooses without consequences. This is despite the fact that never in human history has such a consequence-free imperialism ever come to pass. If we “targeted” air strikes on North Korea (10, 20 million dead, depending on the breaks), they would bomb Seoul. And kill a lot of people. Indiscriminate projection of military force has brought us through failed wars over the past several decades and the death of hundreds of thousands. Bill Kristol views this as an inconvenience.

And why shouldn’t he? The bombs aren’t falling on him.

7 Responses to “Kristol Calls for “Targeted Air Strikes” on North Korea”

  1. tas says:

    North Korea, it turns out, is one of the worst examples of a country to engage in all out war. All of this comes from my head, so the facts I list may not be completely accurate but roughly.. Anyways, NK has the fourth largest standing military in the world. And these soldiers are tough as nails — I mean, sure, we can defeat them, but at what cost?

    The cost might be Seoul. Another problem is that we have no clue where North Korea’s nuclear launch sites are hidden. Hence we can’t “target” these sites. Does Kristol realize that is we dropped on a bomb on North Korea, Seoul would likely get nuked within 30 minutes afterwards? If Kristol doesn’t care about Korean lives, he needs to be reminded that thousands of Americans reside in Seoul right now, too. Does Kristol want them all to die just because he never grew out of playing “Risk” as a teenager?

    Back to North Korea’s standing army, another thing we don’t know is how many tunnels North Korean have dug under the border and can pop up in South Korea, behind enemy lines, during any possible battle. Could you imagine American and South Korean forces getting surrounded by a North Korea army? And also being subject to all the hidden artillery North Korea has to offer since, like the nuclear launch sites, I imagine those are also hidden.

    This is why we negotiate.

    The real question might be if schmucks like me can recite this off the top of their heads in reaction to Kristol’s tripe, why the hell is this man still allowed to write for the MSM? How many times does one have to be dead f’in wrong before editors say enough?

  2. Jack Jodell says:

    It would seem that a far better approach for us to take would be for us to lean on China to lean on the North Koreans. Unlike 1950, we are not deadly adversaries to the Chinese; they have their own scores to settle with North Korea; and they have a vested interest in making sure the North Koreans cause us no harm. As usual, the far right, jingoistic, loose cannon Bill Kristol way of solving world problems is rash and irresponsible, not to say dangerous.

  3. Kathy says:


    You are a very good fake, but you *are* a fake.

  4. tas says:

    Kathy, it’s Boogie-Mann. Continuing to act like an asshole. I’m just hitting “spam” on all of his comments I see now.

  5. j d willis says:

    Kristol, like most published neo-cons is focused on israeli interests first and foremost..
    Strog-arming any other nations seen to be pose any conceivable ability to threaten Israel.

    Together they urged and argued for the US to intervene in Irau/Iran.

    And we’re there for better or worse

  6. j d willis says:

    As a long retired WWii Navy pilot I cringe in thinking about all the arm chair fighters, particularly the Israeli Firsters who seem to be itching to take on Iran as soon as possible.

    Not a one of them ever served a day.

  7. Season Vaid says:

    Hmmm, amazing posts, I don’t really agree and I am still interested in this.

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