Few people realize we liberal UU's have given so many Sec Defs over the years. There have been three and one of them suggested we get the job because we're reasonable. Rev. John Buehrens wrote in UU World,
I once went to call on the late Elliot Richardson, a staunch birthright Unitarian, who had served briefly as Secretary of Defense. It was shortly after William Perry, another UU, resigned that office, and President Clinton had named as his successor William Cohen, still another UU. So I asked Richardson why, with our relatively small numbers and our liberal values, three Unitarian Universalists in three decades had been placed in charge of the world's largest military establishment. He replied that our commitment to the use of reason might have something to do with it.May look reasonable from Boston but if you're in Seoul with the North's artillery pointed at you, it may not offer much reasonable comfort. Cheney has it right,
"If you're going to launch strikes at another nation," Cheney told CNN in an interview, "you'd better be prepared to not just fire one shot."Sure glad Reagan's Star War's gave us some options besides responding with a surgical or maybe devastating first shot.
Also, check Jack Pritchard in today's Wash Post writing Don't Blow it Up,
If you were Kim Jong Il and saw a buildup of American forces on the Korean Peninsula before an announced preemptive air-strike, would you be thinking that it would be only a limited strike and not the start of an effort to bring down your regime?I like Perry. He uses reason. But it takes more. One needs some wisdom dealing with a manic and understanding that one-shot half-solutions don't solve it. ...and the last thing you want to do is announce your intentions.
Before the Iraq invasion, we were concerned that Saddam Hussein would use human shields to prevent U.S. air-strikes on critical facilities. The same holds true for North Korea. Under the Perry plan of prior notification, you can imagine that, rather than evacuating its engineers from the missile test site, Pyongyang might instead erect bleachers and bring in schoolchildren to watch the launch. Worse yet for U.S. security is the prospect that Pyongyang might bide its time and retaliate by transferring weapons-grade plutonium to al-Qaeda, along with a map of New York City.
So we should step back and take a breath, and give our chest-thumping, feel-good opinions a rest.