Wednesday, July 05, 2006

North Korea May Create A Political Tidal Wave In The U.S.

Things had looked far better for Democrats this November. They had a great chance on capitalizing on the public discontent with the Iraq War, as well as inspiring voters with generally far better positions on domestic issues than many Republicans. But North Korea has decided to create a tidal wave of fear politics across the earth in order to further some political goals of this rigidly hardline Stalinist regime.

Now national security issues that generally favor the Republicans or more "hawkish" Democrats more in the style of Joe Lieberman may find themselves far more in the public favor than "dovish" and antiwar Democrats. Suddenly Iraq may fall back to second place in issue concerns, if nuclear or war fears from North Korea become a top voter concern.

This morning, FOX News is even raising the question whether the North Korean missile crisis could even lead to world war. The Dow Jones average is down nearly 100 points. World oil prices are up slightly to a little over $74 a barrel.

Being "dovish" is not in vogue if a hostile regime such as North Korea could be on the verge of creating a serious war, unless the situation calms considerably. Just like the aftermath of 9/11, both the White House and Republicans stand to gain the most from appearing strong on national security issues. Democrats have painted themselves as good on most domestic issues that Americans care about, but a serious war threat could certainly change this playing field. Provided that the Bush Administration constructively engages North Korea, and the situation does not spin out of control into a full blown war, then both the White House and Republicans will see a huge public approval bounce that will probably last well through the November election cycle.

The political landscape is always open to sea changes based on events. And nothing shakes up this landscape like a serious war threat. Americans like a good minimum wage and other domestic concerns, but could certainly shift back to preferring Republicans once again if this party makes them feel safer from a North Korean threat. George Bush had a nearly 90% approval in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

With submarines, North Korea does not need to be able to launch an intercontinental missile. Their submarines can fire a missile 2,000 miles and leave West Coast American cities looking like burned toast if they have the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on these missiles. This is indeed a very frightening prospect. Even potent chemical or biological warheads should put a cold chill down the spine of the average American. This situation with North Korea is indeed very serious and where it is headed is far from certain. It would be a mistake to assume that it may be indeed be little more than mere posturing from the Pyongyang regime. This regime is both hostile and sharply antiU.S. It has been the fond dream of Kim Jong Il to defeat the U.S. in a war since his childhood. It is not out of hand to assume that if this regime thought it could match the U.S. in enough in military regards or has a strategy that North Korean generals feel is viable, that it could launch a serious attack of some sort in the Pacific and create a huge regional war.


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