Remember when George W. Bush took us into Iraq? Remember the "Bush Doctrine"? Remember the argument for preemptive action in order to prevent a war?
Preemptive action is an act of war. If you strike first and a war ensues, it's on you.
People who argue for preemptive action often refer to Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement of Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. What they always fail to mention is that Hitler had already committed acts of war before Chamberlain made his famous "peace for our time" speech in 1938.
We have had a sustained peace in Korea since 1953. Ever since that time, we have had a large fighting force stationed on the border between North and South Korea. Ever since that time, we have heard a lot of sabre rattling from the leaders of North Korea.
Kim Jong-un is the ruthless dictator of North Korea. From where I sit, he appears insane. He is pursuing a nuclear weapons program for his country. He is also pursuing a long range missile program. He has not started any wars.
North Korea has been testing missiles and is expected to do another atomic bomb test very soon. The whole world would rather it didn't.
Donald Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria last week. He ordered the launch while he was eating what he described as the "most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen". He was in the dining room at his Mar A Lago resort dining with the President of China.
Trump's act of war toward Syria has left everybody baffled. It is unclear what our strategy in Syria is. Aside from costing us some $90,000,000 dollars, the strike did little damage. Before the strike, we alerted Russia to it.
The Syria foray actually got Mr. Trump some good publicity. Mr. Trump does not often get good publicity.
Now Trump is threatening preemptive action against North Korea over the proposed atomic bomb test. North Korea is not Syria. Kim Jong-un is not Bashar al-Assad.
I don't care how good any dessert might be, if we attack North Korea to stop it from testing an atomic bomb or if we attack it after it tests an atomic bomb, North Korea will attack someone. If it does, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people are sure to die, including a good number of the thousands of armed forces we have there.
If North Korea lashes out it will surely attack South Korea and possibly Japan and, less likely, us.
We should not attack another country unless that country first attacks us. That's worked for us over the centuries. It's still working for us.