Friday, April 2, 2004

Today, Slate's Fred Kaplan asks if yesterday's brutal attack on American security contractors in Fallujah was the Iraq War's Mogadishu. Mr Kaplan question, like all questions, is ultimately a question for that most supreme and enlightened of authorities, the Medium Lobster, and I have only one answer: if the United States is to have any chance of success in Iraq, it must retaliate, swiftly and surely, with full-scale invasion of North Korea.

Sometimes the most direct solution - throwing water on a fire, pulling a weed out by the roots, eliminating a terrorist organization by hunting down that terrorist organization - is in fact the wrong solution. The White House demonstrated a profound understanding of this principle in the build-up to the Iraq War. Rather than continue pursuit of Al Qaeda after the Afghanistan invasion, the Bush administration realized the best way to defeat Al Qaeda was to hit them where they weren't - in Iraq. This solution seems counterintuitive to minds of limited perception, but George Bush and his advisors realized that an alternative, holisitc approach to the war on terror was needed to finish off Al Qaeda.

In traditional, backwards-looking Western foreign policy - much as in traditional, Western medicine - the solution is always the direct, scientific, "rational" one. A tumor is cut away with a scalpel. A decentralized international terrorist organization is eliminated in a series of vast multilateral police and intel operations. But in alternative, forward-looking, holistic foreign policy - as in alternative, holistic medicine - practitioners realize that "the direct approach" does more harm than good, and that pain and indeed death are all part of the healing process. Just as acupuncture and acupressure have shown us that attentions directed towards a shoulder or a foot can ease back pain, holistic counterterrorism's "acubombing" shows us that a lengthy American military occupation in Iraq will dismantle Al Qaeda cells from Pakistan to Spain.

Which returns us to Fallujah, a moment marking a rising tide of terrorism in Iraq. We cannot afford to fall back on the failed policies of fighting Iraqi terror with police and intelligence operations. We must strike somewhere else, and allow the healing to begin. The obvious choice is North Korea, an aggressive and warlike nation ruled by a mad and brutal dictator known for supporting terror and building weapons of mass destruction. If left to its own devices, North Korea could have a nuclear bomb in the hands of Fallujah terrorists within the year. But if America takes North Korea and overthrows Kim Jong Il, we can be assured of dealing an incredible blow in the war on Iraqi terror. No doubt the North Koreans would welcome us as liberators, and Iraqi terror would decrease substantially.

Of course, there's always an off-chance of a terrorist campaign springing up from the North Korean population - in which case America would have no choice but to carpet bomb Damascus. But the Medium Lobster trusts American policymakers to see their ways to that one in due time.
posted by the Medium Lobster at 3:22 PM



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