Pat Buchanan Asks "Is The American Empire Worth The Price?"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via,

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” Samuel Johnson observed, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

And the prospect of a future where Kim Jong Un can put a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city is going to cause this nation to reassess the risks and rewards of the American Imperium.

First, some history.

“Why should Americans be first to die in any second Korean war?” this writer asked in 1999 in “A Republic, Not an Empire.


“With twice the population of the North and twenty times its economic power, South Korea … is capable of manning its own defense. American troops on the DMZ should be replaced by South Koreans.”

This was denounced as neo-isolationism.

And, in 2002, George W. Bush declared the U.S. “will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

Bluster and bluff.

In 2006, Pyongyang called and raised and tested an atom bomb. Now Kim Jong Un is close to an ICBM.

Our options?

As Kim believes the ability to hit America with a nuclear weapon is the only certain way he has of deterring us from killing his regime and him, he will not be talked out of his ICBM.

Nor, short of an embargo-blockade by China, will sanctions keep him from his goal, to which he inches closer with each missile test.

As for the “military option,” U.S. strikes on Kim’s missile sites could cause him to unleash his artillery on Seoul, 35 miles south. In the first week of a second Korean war, scores of thousands could be dead.

If North Korea’s artillery opened up, says Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the U.S. would be forced to use tactical atomic weapons to stop the carnage. Kim could then give the suicidal order to launch his nukes.

A third option is to accept and live with a North Korean ICBM, as we have lived for decades with the vast nuclear arsenals of Russia and China.

Now, assume the best: We get through this crisis without a war, and Kim agrees to stop testing ICBMs and nuclear warheads.

Does anyone believe that, given his youth, his determination to drive us off the peninsula, and his belief that only an ICBM can deter us, this deal will last and he will abandon his nuclear program?

Given concessions, Kim might suspend missile and nuclear tests. But again, we deceive ourselves if we believe he will give up the idea of acquiring the one weapon that might ensure regime survival.

Hence, assuming this crisis is resolved, what does the future of U.S.-North Korean relations look like?

To answer that question, consider the past.

In 1968, North Korea hijacked the USS Pueblo on the high seas and interned its crew. LBJ did nothing.

In April 1969, North Korea shot down an EC-121, 100 miles of its coast, killing the crew. Nixon did nothing.

Under Jimmy Carter, North Koreans axe-murdered U.S. soldiers at Panmunjom. We defiantly cut down a nearby tree.

Among the atrocities the North has perpetrated are plots to assassinate President Park Chung-hee in the 1960s and ’70s, the Rangoon bombing that wiped out much of the cabinet of Chun Doo-hwan in 1983, and the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, killing all on board in 1987.

And Kim Jong Un has murdered his uncle and brother.

If the past is prologue, and it has proven to be, the future holds this. A renewal of ICBM tests until a missile is perfected. Occasional atrocities creating crises between the U.S. and North Korea. America being repeatedly dragged to the brink of a war we do not want to fight.

As Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Sunday, such a war would be “catastrophic. … A conflict in North Korea … would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”

When the lesson sinks in that a war on the peninsula would be a catastrophe, and a growing arsenal of North Korean ICBMs targeted on America is intolerable, the question must arise:

Why not move U.S. forces off the peninsula, let South Korean troops replace them, sell Seoul all the modern weapons it needs, and let Seoul build its own nuclear arsenal to deter the North?

Remove any incentive for Kim to attack us, except to invite his own suicide. And tell China: Halt Kim’s ICBM program, or we will help South Korea and Japan become nuclear powers like Britain and France.

Given the rising risk of our war guarantees, from the eastern Baltic to the Korean DMZ — and the paltry rewards of the American Imperium — we are being bled from Libya to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen — a true America First foreign policy is going to become increasingly attractive.

Kim’s credible threat to one day be able to nuke a U.S. city is going to concentrate American minds wonderfully.


GUS100CORRINA Unknown Rider Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:57 Permalink

Pat Buchanan Asks "Is The American Empire Worth The Price?"My response: We need to define the word EMPIRE. What exactly do we mean by EMPIRE? Is it like the ROMAN EMPIRE of the 3rd and 4th centuries?I thought and believed that America was a Constitutional Republic. I guess far be it from me to believe that America is a Constitutional Republic.Welcome to FUEDALISM!!!! 

In reply to by Unknown Rider

sinbad2 Unknown Rider Fri, 08/11/2017 - 21:37 Permalink

You like history, so I guess you know that the first time the US attacked Korea, was 1866?The US shelled Korea, until the Koreans agreed to trade with the US.The US wanted Korea as a slave state for a long time, and got its big chance at the end of WWII, when it split Korea in half, and grabbed the south.The US didn't want to split Korea, the US wanted the whole country, but the Russian army was up north fighting Japan, and you know how scared Americans are of Russians.

In reply to by Unknown Rider

JuliaS VWAndy Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:02 Permalink

All of our geopolitical allies should understand that by assisting us, they're moving themselves up the dinner menu. We aren't going to stop until the world collectively stands up and takes away the box of donuts from the world policeman whose retirement is long overdue.

In reply to by VWAndy

Bai Suzhen Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:27 Permalink

Price?  You're asking about price?  There is no limit on the price that these neocons are willing to tender, using poor bastard American lives as currency.   

Herodotus Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:33 Permalink

Truman refused to listen to the advice of General Douglas MacArthur.  He listened to his communist advisors instead.  If Truman had been smarter, the Kim family regime could have ended 65 years ago.

libertyanyday Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:34 Permalink

in 1999 kim flungdung wasnt in power, NK had no nukes and the only delivery vehicle they had was a slingshot and a ground war would have 2017, kim flungdung is completely out of control threatening the world, he has missles............this war wont need infantryWe are gonna put to use some of the most expensive military metal ever paid for.

hongdo ReturnOfDaMac Sat, 08/12/2017 - 12:05 Permalink


"Why not move U.S. forces off the peninsula, let South Korean troops replace them, sell Seoul all the modern weapons it needs, and let Seoul build its own nuclear arsenal to deter the North?"Because that means the US leaves the Asian Pacific region for good and Seoul falls in the Chinese economic sphere.I would imagine Seoul would prefer to buy Russian weapons for reliable availability of parts given US support is a political football.Japan would then come under Chinese presure and wonders about US resolve and the whole US "Asian Pivot" collapses.

In reply to by ReturnOfDaMac

monoloco Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:47 Permalink

“It is only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you come to realize that there can be value in solving problems without using violence.”— Chinese Proverb

francis scott … Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:48 Permalink

 Actung kids.As you are aware we are living in an age of old wine in new bottles.  This goes forthe ancient art of PROPAGANDA. There is a new paradigm for Gobbelsian Propaganda.  It is no longer how muchbetter and stronger we are than they.  Or how barbaric and brutal they are.  The NK propaganda we are being subjected to now puts fear in our hearts.AND THREATENS IMMINENT NUCLEAR WAR AND TOTAL DESTRUCTION

UselessEater Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:51 Permalink

THere was never any justification to go into Korea, Vietnam, or any other country to fight communism. England and America made sure the USSR got eastern europe and that Hitler was demonized for a defensive strike against the USSR. After the war America and England embraced cultural marxism (soft communism), demonized McCarthy's pursuit of commies and any sense of white pride."...the Allied leaders of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States were primarily responsible for starting and prolonging World War II-costing million of lives. Far from being the conqueror of Europe, Adolf Hitler saved it from Stalin. The leaders of Great Britain and America also adopted policies designed to force war with Germany. Britain’s unconditional guarantee to Poland led to horrific acts of violence against Poland’s ethnic Germans and, thus, Germany was forced to invade Poland to end these atrocities. Franklin Roosevelt’s numerous provocations, including a shoot-on-sight policy against German shipping and leaked plans of a U.S. invasion of Germany, forced Germany to declare war on the U.S. despite Hitler’s desire for peace."

Oldwood Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:55 Permalink

So, flying bombers over south Korea is adequate provocation of North Korea War, yet we can simply arm the south with nukes and all the rest and the North will sing kumbaya?The North has demanded reunification with the south forever, and once they are deemed to have unassailable power, they will simply forget all that. The whole point has been to deprive them of this POWER, and they are on the cusp of it. Some telling us we should demure given it is not REALLY a threat yet, and others telling us we should demure because the threat is too great.When (if ever) do we do something. Nukes over SF enough?

Oldwood ReturnOfDaMac Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:09 Permalink

Evidently their range and accuracy ain't too great and SF is an easy target for them. I really don't think they are too concerned about deaths, collateral or otherwise. Life only has value if it provides them service, within their own population or any other. They murder their own with relative ease, even family members deemed less than enthusiastic. A few hundred thousand or million SF'rs probably doesn't even give them cause to flinch. SF is pretty much commie land but still a long way from meeting Kim's standards....but keep trying!

In reply to by ReturnOfDaMac

ReturnOfDaMac Oldwood Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:23 Permalink

"Life only has value if it provides them service"  Well, looking at how many we kill, overseas AND at home each year, doesn't seem like our values are too far apart.  Shucks, here at home we even hate each other!  Especially if you are with the wrong party in our one-party-two-faces oligarch controlled system. But, alas, I'll keep trying ... sigh

In reply to by Oldwood

Oldwood TuPhat Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:16 Permalink

Nobody WANTS what is inevitable. These fools have been pursuing exactly this moment for decades, all the time we have been "negotiating" with them for peace, bribing them for peace, trying to intimidate them for peace. But that's all right. They haven't nuked anyone yet...even though they have been firing rockets over everyone's heads while TELLING  them of their imminent peril.But it's all Okay. Don't worry. What are the odds that the would fall on YOUR head, right. Fuck the Japanese and all the rest, right?

In reply to by TuPhat

Oldwood Tapeworm Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

Fine with me but what does it change? We should not instigate anything if South Korea doesn't want it, but if nukes fly between north and south, do you REALLY think we won't be drawn in regardless of if we fired them or the south? And do you think the North gives a shit if an attack is launched either from the South Koreans or US? Really?

In reply to by Tapeworm

sinbad2 Oldwood Fri, 08/11/2017 - 21:56 Permalink

Hard to know, the UN is the US, just like the IMF, is the US.The US keeps them on, to make it look like the US has support for its crimes, and maybe it does in some quarters. If the UN allowed secret ballots, the US would have been sanctioned, and branded a rogue state a long time ago.

In reply to by Oldwood

Oldwood sinbad2 Sat, 08/12/2017 - 09:44 Permalink

Seems to me that many here feel the UN is the ultimate in globalist powers, not American, other than the few participants.....many more are from Euro perspective as well as third world countries hedging for redistribution of America's remaining wealth..... stripping the polished limestone slabs from the face of the Egyptian pyramids.

In reply to by sinbad2