As everyone used to know, when history was taught in schools, prior to 1939 Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan ruthlessly violated international treaties to arm themselves for a major war of conquest, that would become World War II.
Less well known is that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were helped, unwittingly, by western statesmen, military experts, academics, and the press, who could not believe any rational actor would risk replaying the holocaust that was World War I. Complex rationalizations were invented to explain away the words and deeds of Adolph Hitler and Imperial Japan, including their treaty violations and aggression.
Underestimation of German and Japanese military capabilities set up the allies for near defeat when war came.
North Korea’s successful September 2 H-Bomb test was preceded by years of denial behavior by U.S. statesmen, intelligence experts, academics, and the press:
— Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea’s nuclear arsenal was primitive, with as few as 6 A-Bombs. Now the intelligence community estimates North Korea has 60 nuclear weapons.
— Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea’s ICBMs were fake, or if real could not strike the U.S. mainland. Now the intelligence community estimates North Korea’s ICBMs can strike Chicago.
— Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea was many years away from an H-Bomb. Now the U.S. intelligence community assesses North Korea has H-Bombs comparable to sophisticated U.S. two-stage thermonuclear weapons.
— Just six months ago, most experts claimed North Korean ICBMs could not miniaturize an A-Bomb or design a re-entry vehicle for missile delivery. Now the intelligence community assesses North Korea has miniaturized A-Bombs and H-Bombs, and re-entry vehicles for missile delivery, including by ICBMs that can strike the U.S.
Perhaps most extreme denial behavior is over North Korea’s capability to make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack — that could destroy the U.S. with a single weapon. The blue ribbon Congressional EMP Commission has long warned North Korea has Super-EMP weapons.
North Korea confirmed the EMP Commission’s assessment by testing an H-Bomb that could make a devastating EMP attack, and in a public statement: “The H-Bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons, is a multi-functional thermonuclear weapon with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack according to strategic goals.”
Pyongyang also released a technical report accurately describing a Super-EMP weapon.
Just six months ago, some academics dismissed EMP Commission warnings and even, literally, laughed on National Public Radio at the idea North Korea could make an EMP attack.
Amazingly, some academics are still bending over backwards to deny North Korea has miniaturized warheads, re-entry vehicles, and ICBMs that can strike the U.S., inventing preposterous theories to escape reality, just like their brethren who paved the way to World War II with denial.
Just as the Neville Chamberlains of 1939 were so paralyzed by fear of a replay of World War I that they preferred to ignore or explain away Nazi Germany’s rearmament and Imperial Japan’s naval build-up, their U.S. counterparts in 2017 are so fearful of facing a nuclear-armed North Korea that some would like to pretend a nation that has the H-Bomb cannot build a simple reentry vehicle or make an EMP attack.
Most dangerous, the Neville Chamberlains of 1939 believed that because “the bomber will always get through” they could deter World War II. The Neville Chamberlains of 2017 are so fearful of nuclear weapons that they are ready to surrender to the fantasy that we can learn to live with a nuclear-armed North Korea, as we did with the USSR during the Cold War.
The Cold War is no good paradigm for survival. The world barely escaped thermonuclear holocaust at least a dozen times. (See my book "War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink.")
The U.S. and allied elites have so educated themselves about the horrors of nuclear war that we are self-deterred, and will not act militarily to save ourselves.
Our elites fantasize China and economic sanctions can denuclearize Pyongyang, but evidence is overwhelming China and Russia built the North Korean nuclear threat.
U.S. surrender to nuclear-armed North Korea by accepting Mutual Assured Destruction with Kim Jong-Un, after proclaiming this is impossible, will destroy our credibility. Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran will see such weakness as an invitation to aggression.
Most historians agree World War II could have been prevented and 60 million lives saved if the Allies crushed Hitler when his military was still weak in 1936, but Hitler seized the Rhineland anyway to test their political will.
Right now, North Korea has two satellites and fewer than a dozen ICBMs that threaten the U.S. homeland. These the U.S. could assuredly destroy in a very limited surgical strike using conventional weapons.
If Kim is so aggressive he would bring on himself a nuclear holocaust over losing so little, we better deal with him now, before he has 100 ICBMs.
North Korea’s nuclear Hitler has entered the technological Rhineland of H-Bombs and ICBMs. We must strike.
Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. He served in the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of "Blackout Wars." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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