I recently spoke to a seasoned libertarian and expressed to him my concern regarding North Korea’s actions and provocations. I explained how war with North Korea seemed inevitable. He began to tell me that there was no justification for such a war, but on this I actually happen to disagree: attempted aggression is just as bad as the very act of aggression. Failing doesn’t absolve the perpetrator.
North Korea Has Attacked
When North Korea develops weapons systems and claims that they will attack South Korea or America, they are in effect making clear their intentions. When they launch a missile toward the U.S.A and then claim that it is just a test, it becomes quite clear that it is a test in attacking the U.S. mainland.
Now, imagine if I told you that I had a gun, and I happen to shoot at someone but miss. Can I claim that I did not attack them because of my inability to hit my target?
North Korea is adamantly claiming that they are developing weapons systems to target America, and are acting in accordance with this very claim. How is this not a clear violation of the NAP? Does the U.S.A have to wait for someone to successfully attack before it mounts a proper offence? Do I need to wait for an assailant to shoot me, before I shoot him?
Of course, this is not something that I advocate without reluctance. The situation in Asia is fraught with tremendous risk.
We have players who are bent on increasing antagonism because of legacy policies that no longer reflect our current world. For instance, China will back North Korea because a united Korea would be against its interest.
Why does China fear a united Korea? It is well understood that without Chinese patronage North Korea would have been attacked by the US and/or South Korea long ago. The only thing keeping these countries at bay is China. Furthermore, Japan is a wild card that often gets left out of the discussion. Remember Japan, the former imperialist empire that almost conquered the entire south pacific? Japan may very well take North Korea’s actions as a justification to develop their nuclear weapons and military defenses.
Japan has only been allowed to have a defensive military since World War 2. I am sure libertarians will argue that this is a violation of their natural rights to self defense. I would somewhat agree but I am also glad that they do not have a military.
Given the players in this current arrangement of political brinkmanship and ancient rivalry, how do we avoid an all out war?
North Korea has already created the conditions to justify American allies mounting an attack against them. Can we really say that the international community has no business being involved in whether or not North Korea or any other country has nuclear weapons? Such a position denies the reality that it is fundamentally impossible, given the current scheme of geopolitics, to apply a true isolationist position.
America is in fact an empire, and as the ancient Greeks have taught us, it is dangerous to let go of an empire once it is obtained. Thus, it appears that the only way this situation ends is with North Korea being attacked.
Gary St. Fleur
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