Kerry Provoked by North Korea's Provocative Provocation
12:24 PM, Feb 14, 2013 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
With the detonation of a North Korean nuclear device on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry has been grappling with his first crisis.
Here are his comments in a press avail yesterday.
This is worrisome on 269 counts. That’s how many empty words are present here. The latest North Korean move, Kerry says, is a “provocation,” which “we have termed and believe” is “provocative.” Is that a tautology or simply redundant?
More alarming than sloppy talk is the chain of hollow threats that our new Secretary of State is directing at Pyongyang. North Korea has done something “impermissible,” Kerry says, which warrants “a swift and clear, strong, credible response” from the “international community.”
“This is really simple,” he continues. “It is important for the world to have credibility with respect to our non-proliferation efforts.”
Perhaps, but is it more important for the world to have credibility or for the United States to have it? And do we have it, or are we in the process of undermining our credibility through Kerry's public hand wringing accompanied by promises of deep cuts to the conventional and strategic forces of the U.S. military?
This spectacle cannot but encourage North Korea and whoever else is watching, most notably Iran. “You connect the dots,” says Kerry. That, at least, is an appropriate cliché. Indeed, let’s connect the dots.