Dear gods…

Something I came across today while working: Students for War.

As far as I can tell, they’re serious. And personally, I find this very disturbing – the attitude of people who very obviously have never been anywhere close to an actual war. Or if they have, and still have this attitude, then this is even more fscked-up than I thought.

Incidentally, they don’t seem to be advocating any particular war. Until fairly recently, their site was advocating war with Iraq; now they’re advocating war with North Korea, and on their site are hints that they’re interested in Syria and Iran soon afterwards. Now, while I may agree with some (most certainly not all!) of their individual statements, the idea of forming a group for the simple purpose of advocating bloodshed in general seems somewhere between lunatic and demoniac.

Perhaps I’m reacting too much to an (amazingly) ill-conceived name; but these people seem like the exact sort of people I would like to keep the hell away from.

Published in: on July 14, 2003 at 21:01  Comments (9)  


  1. At the risk of banishment…
    I’ve personally been quite against the policy of military action as a last resort. Often, the last resort means that all other options has been exhausted and that people have suffered or have been murdered needlessly while ineffective political or economic options were exhausted, often at the expense of the very people whose behalf the international community is supposedly acting on.
    While I think that the owner’s of the site may have taken things a bit too far, I have to admit that they present some very accurate information and I agree with their conclusion with regard to a few regions/nations.
    Especially DPRK.
    I think this is less of them advocating bloodshed and warmongering but more of a call for decisive action rather than the policy of appeasement that “rapprochement” has become.

  2. Oh, I won’t argue that – my problem is more in their approach, and their slightly cavalier attitude towards the whole thing. It just gives me the sense that they don’t really understand what’s involved in going to war; it just sounds “politically cool” to them to be hard-asses.
    I do agree that there are times that war is the lesser of several evils; but like Poul Anderson said, the lesser of several evils doesn’t stop being evil on that account.

  3. But, what is that decisive action can be? A war with possible two or three million casualties?
    Also, I think their reasoning is a bit shallow. I agree that current regime in DPRK is a bad one. I also agree that we should somehow prevent them to sell nuclear weapons to terrorists. But, their view seems something like : Well, Kim Jong-Il is a bad guy, the guy had some crazy history. Therefore he is making bombs to blow off good people, so we should destroy him. I think this view too simplistic. I don’t think Kim is some idiot, blood thirsty monster. Rather he is a desperate dictator to hold on to his power. Under current Us foreign policy (Pre-emptive strike without agreement with international community) he definitely feels heat from Washington especially after Bush call north Korea one of the axis of evil.
    One says “Cornered mouse can bit cat.” Kim is definitely an idiot, but he is desperate. Since he is an idiot he will try to maintain his power through the only way he knows- blackmailing. Now, we can also be the same level idiots to counter him, or we can be more clever.
    There are signs everywhere that north Korean regime is shaking. Many believes we can successfully convince north to cooperate on nuclear issue while at the same time we can wait till the regime is self destroyed. Even Kim knows that he can not maintain completely closed society. He is trying to import capitalism in his country mainly after China’s successful make over.
    Now, clever man knows how to swallow his pride for bigger goals. I believe we can be clever men in this case.
    Demian H.J. Cho

  4. And what do you propose that we do that we haven’t done already?
    Or should we merely do nothing?
    The problem is that DPRK has repeatedly lied to the international community and has gone back on their word on agreements.
    They have no honor. They cannot be trusted.
    How do we know that they will not use nuclear weapons or use nuclear blackmail?
    We do not know; we cannot know.
    When dealing with weapons of mass destruction, one runs out of options quickly.
    I doubt that the casualties for war will run into the millions. We need not resort to sensationalism.
    Let us assume, however, that the casualties are, in fact, as high as you stated – two or three million people – if a war broke out on the peninsula.
    How many casualties would there be if a nuclear weapon landed (or was sold to terrorists and exploded) in Tokyo or Los Angeles? Ten or twenty million?
    A strong case for pre-emptive measures, that.
    As I asked earlier, what do YOU propose that we do? It is easy to criticise. It is much more difficult to develop a viable strategy.

  5. True. However, I think it’s safe to assume that casualties will be on the high end of the scale, even without the question of nonconventional weaponry; the artillery layout the DPRK has on the DMZ border is pretty impressive. Based on that, we have to realize that the cost to any military solution is likely to be very high.
    Based on previous actions, I’d say that DPRK’s operational plan is to use military blackmail to get people to give them money and respect, with occasional shows of force (missile tests or minor engagements, as the case may be) to back up that they really do have their collective screws loose enough to blow things up. On the side, their arms dealership business is both a good source of cash and a good way to get some (extremely dubious) allies. Which works well with the ideology that the US is their sworn enemy.
    Given that experience also indicates that they’re likely to increase their blackmail levels whenever paid off, I agree that we need to act pre-emptively. But such action isn’t necessarily military in nature. One possibility I see is to play the negotiation and blackmail and so on game full-volume, to keep them pleasantly occupied and believing that their Master Plan(TM) is working, while in the background working to subvert the regime and bring the situation to a “soft landing.” Techniques could involve social destabilization (sneaking radios into the country which can be easily hidden and tuned to outside frequencies…), careful intelligence work to try to find transient vulnerabilities of the regime which could be capitalized upon (e.g. political official X seems to have invested a lot in this one bridge project, it would be a pity if it were to collapse…) or even less savory means like subtly queering the “humanitarian aid” wheat supply to reduce its nutritional value and destabilize through famine.
    My point is, this is not a short-term engagement; we’ve been dealing with these people for 50 years, and there isn’t necessarily a need to find a method for dealing with it in the next week. (Although a backup plan for doing so is always good to have) When playing a more long-term game, all-out war is less likely to be the best strategy; smiling, nodding, and backstabbing may work much more to our interests.

  6. I disagree. I believe casualties will be very low. Slightly higher than Iraq, but not the catastrophic numbers that everybody predicts.
    I know what’s on the DMZ. Think outside the box.
    Remember, people predicted tens and hundreds of thousands US casualties alone in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Think outside the box. This can be handled decisively without significant casualties.
    With large-scale famine and civilian casualties already occurring within the borders, I’m not sure how effective economic measures will be at all. I’d be more concerned that further delay would have counterproductive results.
    I disagree. I don’t believe that we have very much time at all. The equation changes drastically when the DPRK produces its first mushroom cloud. They’ve already got the ballistic missile technology. It won’t be long before they develop the warhead to ride atop those missiles.
    It will be too late for invasion then.

  7. That optimism is exactly what I am worrying about in this case.
    Comparing to NK Iraq and Afghanistan is a joke. Yet, many americans have confidence over this war because of their “claimed” success in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Again I agree with Yonatan on using other tactics first. NK shows many signs of political instabilities. They are very isolated (China has more economical tie with south than north, for example.) What many south koreans anticipating is something like germany case. Remember NK and SK is one blood, and it’s quite thick – I know this.
    In this regard their strong nuclear blackmailing (which has many different interpretation) is yet another sign of their instabilities.
    I of course worry about the possibility of exporting nuclear weapons to terrorists. But, I rather believe that it’s easier to detect and prevent those activities than engaging in full scale warfare.
    BTW regarding terrorists activity in this country I worry more about small scale terror like targeting air plane with shoulder launching missile than large scale nuclear bomb attack. It’s cheaper, more tractable, and at the same time almost as effective as the other. The aim of terrorists is not topple the country. They create terror.

  8. Perhaps you should read more on the subject.
    Iraq had a very formidable military. Roughly on par with DPRK. I would hardly call it “optimism”, but a realistic assessment of our military capabilities.
    Pointing out DPRK instability only bolsters the case for invasion. It is much easier to deal with an unstable government BEFORE they develop nuclear weapons.
    You are incorrect. Your beliefs are contrary to facts. It is much easier to invade a nation and stop their nuclear development than it is to prevent and track nuclear proliferation.
    Again, you are incorrect. Terrorists attempt to achieve their objectives through the use of terror tactics. Those objectives vary. In many cases, the objective is the destruction of a political order or nation. Never is it merely to create terror.
    If you believe that terrorists, should they get their hands on nuclear weapons, would not employ them against the United States, then you are naive.
    I remember, a few short years ago, when people scoffed at the idea that terrorists were planning widescale attacks against the US on American soil. It has since been demonstrated just how naive people have been.

  9. the little commercial for their site was disturbing at first i must admit, but after i had to fight off the human urge to oppose them right off without thinking of the opinion given i was able to truly take into account what they were trying to say.
    Man its troublesome war as horrid as it is sometimes is the answer
    but not once has it been the solution
    thats kinda scary
    but anyways i can go back and forth on the issue on any given day
    (this depends on what ever fine female is present and what her opinion happens to be)

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