North Korea and a pacifism litmus test

I consider myself a moderate pacifist, which means deterrence and defence - national or collective - is fine, though wastefulness in it is to be avoided. Wars of aggression and military adventures are not fine at all.

This doesn't seem all that pacifistic to radical pacifists, but it's already a far cry from most people who get involved in publishing blogs, journal articles, studies or books on war, "security policy" and military affairs in general.

The often months-long propaganda barrage that builds up political support for wars of aggression or major military adventures is a fine litmus test to see who's a true pacifist - moderate or not - and who's not. Many people who claim to be against war end up being fine with war if only it hits some vilified country or leader.
I suppose we would see just another such litmus test now and in the next months if only the Trump administration wasn't so incompetent and ineffective at communicating beyond a narrow base of pro-Trump extremists. That bunch would rather stumble into a war of aggression with less preparations than even a Neocon clique.

On the one hand this is regrettable, for the masks are not taken away from everyone, but on the other hand I'm really glad that no war prepared and launched by the West seems to be in the making.

I don't consider the crisis around North Korea as a prelude to a real war anyway; it's rather a build-up of tensions where Trump thinks he can bully someone else, and eventually he will likely seek a "deal" that he can communicate to his base (via Twitter, of course) as a successful "solution", regardless of how much the fine print will actually benefit NK.
The risk is in what happens if he doesn't get a deal to speak of, nor can make one up for a change.

The future is unpredictable, but when it comes to conflicts and arrogant, stupid leaders it may get very uncomfortable. This time without the slightest upside.



  1. I hope you're right and it does just end up in a "deal/solution". The rate of death and destruction in this war would be sobering.

  2. If you look at prior NK rhetoric, you will note that they do this with every US president at some time or another. They also use similar rhetoric with the Chinese and anyone else it suits them to. Like a wasp prodding a human bein it will go too far one day the China, Russia AND the USA will take down the regime. The true litmus of how serious the situation is, comes from the willingness or not of the Chinese to protect the regime from the rest of the world and they have stopped doing that this week. According to routine NK will ramp up the rhetoric until they feel face has been served and then quietly leave the stage. Problem is, this new 'leader' has no track record of note and the potential for error and escalation very present. This one could go all the way.