Saturday

Obama urges "make love not war". N. Korea laughs.



Maybe North Korea's rhetoric is nothing more than hollow posturing. Maybe it is the ranting of an insane leader. But lest we forget the lessons of the past we should listen closely and keep a wary eye on North Korea’s saber rattling.

The folks within the cross hairs seem to have a heightened sensibility to the “improbable”. North Korea has defiantly tested several missiles in the last few weeks despite our president’s elevated rhetoric concerning “consequences” for such actions.

Is it any wonder the citizens of Alaska are worried? We have a president that has appeared more concerned with winning the hearts and minds of extremists who hate us than with protecting us from obvious threats. Maybe what we need is a good old fashioned 60's love in.

North Korea and Iran have seized on the indifference of this administration to strengthen their positions. With an impotent response thus far from the United States and the international community they would be remiss to do otherwise.

While our leaders sit around talking, these rouge nations are developing the capability to inflict mortal damage on our country. When will our leaders awaken from their state of blissful ignorance and acknowledge what the people already know; we need to stop these madman before they strike.

The following article from MSNBC highlights the fact that while Obama continues along seemingly unaware of the threat the people are beginning to take note (article excerpts in bold):

Alaskans fired up over North Korea’s missiles
Many not buying Gates’ assertion that proposed test is no threat to U.S.

ANCHORAGE - Alaskans are getting fired up over the prospect that North Korea is getting ready to test a long-range missile that could reach strategic targets in their home state.

And they're not buying Defense Secretary Robert Gates' assertion during a visit this past week to one of Alaska's many military installations that the missile is not a threat to the United States.

"I think we would definitely be a target because of the oil and the military," said Dale Walberg, owner of a small greenhouse business in Eagle River. "They are just so secretive. What do we really know?"

Such prophetic ponderings from the unwashed masses. Why is it that our highly educated and well informed ruling elite seem to miss this fact?

There's been no direct threat against Alaska or anywhere else, but the missile North Korea is believed to be assembling for a test may have a range of 4,000 miles, putting Hawaii and much of Alaska within reach.



NO direct threat? I guess that would translate to “we have not received an e-mail stating that they intend to launch missiles at us yet. But rest assured when we do we will fail to act accordingly”.

Alaska's two largest cities, Anchorage and Fairbanks, have both Air Force and Army bases. There's also Fort Greely, home of the Missile Defense Complex. The U.S. plans to store 26 ground-based missile interceptors in silos at the base, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks.

Other high-profile targets would include Prudhoe Bay, the nation's largest oil field, or Valdez, the terminus of the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline.

Without wandering to close to the fringe and indulging in conspiracy theories and speculation, it seems that these would be worthwhile targets for rouge nations and terrorists alike.

Bert Cottle, mayor of Valdez where 16 percent of the nation's domestic oil production is loaded onto tankers for delivery to the West Coast, said he checked with two military leaders in Alaska to get their take on the developing missile situation and was told everything is status quo.

Let’s avoid the phrase "status quo" and use a more familiar military euphemism SNAFU. If you are not familiar with the term take the time to look it up. While you’re fumbling around on www.urbandictionary.com look up another applicable phrase BOHICA.

"We will wait for further updates," he said.

Let’s see, they have nuclear capability, they have short range missiles and they are testing long range missiles. What are the updates they are waiting on, mushroom clouds rising along the Alaskan skyline? Ah yes then we will have to look up FUBAR to describe ANWR. I’m in an acronym kind of mood today, forgive me.

‘Sending the wrong message’In the meantime, the state's political leaders are using the missile situation to send a message to the Obama administration: Maintain a strong military presence in Alaska.



Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, sent a letter to Gates urging him to reconsider a decision to not complete construction of a second missile defense field at Greeley and to place a cap on F-22 fighters at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

"We are sending the wrong message to our enemies by stopping the placement of these interceptors," Young's letter said. "While 30 interceptors may be enough to counter the current threat from North Korea, it is clear that it will not be enough in the future and these interceptors will need to be fielded to ensure our ability to counter all missiles threats from rogue nations."

We are sending the wrong message by pretending that these whack-jobs won’t use this technology against us. If diplomacy was the answer I imagine we would not be watching the con-trails of long range missiles criss-cross the North Korean skyline.

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said he would continue to push for the installation of the final 14 interceptors.

"It may be just one missile positioned today, but who knows what surprise North Korea will announce next?" Begich said.

Dan Goure, vice president of defense studies at the Lexington Institute in Alexandria, Va., said Alaskans should be outraged by the Obama administration decision to scale back Greely's missile defense program.

They should be more enraged by Obama’s apparent inability to address the North Korean government. Thus far our response to this obvious provocation has been to encourage an open dialogue. Thus far North Korea’s response has been to launch more missiles and conduct additional nuclear tests.

"The most desirable targets these guys can hit are all in Alaska and the system that is being deployed is inadequate," Goure said. "You may say I will trust the president to stand up to that threat, but do the people of Alaska want to be put on that front line?" William English, 72, of Eagle River, thinks the threat from North Korea's long-range missile is real.

If the missile is real and the nuclear armament it carries is real then we can safely assume the threat is real. If it walks like a duck and leaves a mile wide smoldering crater when it quacks, well then I guess we should duck (and cover).

"I think they are going to find a target to shoot it at, right here. You lose Prudhoe Bay and the state is gone," said English, who worked as an electrical engineer on the North Slope for 26 years.

English thinks the North Korean leader is "crazy as hell."

Well at least one American has made the correct assessment, too bad he isn't president.

Bluffing or real threat?



About 15 miles east of Fairbanks, the town of North Pole has just 2,100 residents but Mayor Doug Isaacson thinks it would likely be on North Korea's list of attractive targets. It's less than 10 miles from the Army's Fort Wainwright with 7,180 soldiers and from Eielson Air Force Base with 3,010 military personnel. It also has two oil refineries.



"I am sure that if anybody is looking at strategic locations North Pole is probably on the radar," he said.



Isaacson said he has contacted public affairs officers at Fort Wainwright and local borough officials and department heads to discuss emergency plans.



"Right now, I don't think there is much consideration that there is a serious threat, but having said that, everything is possible and every eventuality needs to be looked at," he said.

In Hawaii, where the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ushered the U.S. into World War II, people are more concerned with the state's high unemployment rate, which has doubled over the past year, and the governor's order furloughing state employees to cope with a sharp revenue decline.

Hawaiians also doubt North Korea would fire a missile at the U.S.

"I think it's bluffing," said Tim Luster, a 45-year-old in the music retail business. "It doesn't really make sense to me that they would directly attack the United States. It seems a little outlandish."

I’m thinking that the idea is no more outlandish than say…A few hundred Japanese aircraft appearing on the horizon and bombing the hell out of Pearl Harbor. Or maybe a dozen nut bags flying planes into the twin towers and the pentagon.

It seems that the old adage is true, especially now: Pride comes before a fall.

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