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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Gregoire: North Korea Missile Launch Threat = Pull Out of Iraq

Posted by on June 20 at 10:42 AM

Postman has an interesting quote from Gov. Christine Gregoire regarding the threatened long-range missile test by North Korea. Check out this map of the North Pacific and you’ll see why our governor is now speaking out on U.S. foreign policy. Or check out this sentence from today’s New York Times:

U.S. officials have said the missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2, has a firing range of 9,300 miles and could reach as far as the U.S. West Coast.

Think Tim Eyman is scary, Washingtonians? Meet Kim Jong Il. Here’s what Gregoire said at the end of her regular media availability yesterday:

I’ve wanted to respond to the very disturbing news this morning of North Korea and a three-stage rocket that literally could reach Seattle. And I wanted to do so by saying to people of the state of Washington, this reinforces me and the state that our security is going to have to be at the forefront of our thinking and our attention that in fact out there remains considerable risk around the world. Not just to Washington state but to the entire country. And I think that also tells me very clearly, in talking to General Lowenberg, that it is very important that we, as timely as we possibly can, ensure that we are turning Iraq over to the Iraqi people and bringing our troops home so they are ready and prepared to do whatever is necessary to defend this country.

“I’m disturbed by what we’re hearing. It is not the news that I think any of us should have to hear from North Korea and I want Washingtonians to understand the security risks to the nation and to us, but to understand that we’ve got to remain ever diligent and I ask every Washingtonian to be smart about their own personal security, and again any time they see something that raises a concern they get to law enforcement right away.”

I don’t know that the Washington National Guard, even with all its troops home from Iraq, has the capability to stop (or clean up after) a direct intercontinental ballistic missile strike on Seattle. But it’s interesting to hear how the governor is connecting the dots on this issue.


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The reality is that the National Guard, back home, can do a lot of good - putting out forest fires, rebuilding roads damaged in floods, that sort of thing.

But in Iraq they can't do squat. Except dig us deeper and deeper into the Quagmire that even the US Embassy admits is turning into Vietnam each and every day, as evidenced by cables sent in mid May and mid June.

It's time to pull the plug, like Italy and Japan just did, and call it a day.

You see a missle headed towards the Bank of America tower. You:

1) call 911
2) get under a desk
3) say your prayers

It breaks my heart that we've known about this FOR YEARS and it just gets worse. If ever there was reason for the west coast to succede...

I like what Gregoire is doing about the National Guard troops, but they can't defend against a missile strike. No, that responsibility falls to George W. Since he's been pouring billions of our tax dollars into missile defense, we should all be able to rest easy. Surely the "son of Star Wars" system they've been building will protect us. Surely it hasn't been the waste of tax dollars and the handout to the military-industrial complex that we've worried about, but a real, functioning shield?

National Guard troops would be needed for the *aftermath* of a missile strike.

The national guard can't stop a hurricane either but I think Lousiana would've preferred to have all its national guard troops at home (with their equipment) to deal with the mess in the following days.

FAS estimate of the Taepodong-2 range is under 2,700 mi, well short of the 4,600 mi needed for NK to reach as far as Makah Point.

So... is this a real threat, or more Bush&Co. propaganda? Those guys orchestrate everything to keep us all frightened and distracted from their disastrous government. Perhaps Gregoire is connecting dots, or perhaps she's falling for their terror-mongering.
If it's true, that Seattle has a missile heading its way, Bush&Co. care about us as much as they did New York City on 9/11. They'll have another big PR boost. Of course, if it hits Alaska instead, they'll be sad... all those GOP fans up there, and the potentail oil fields, gone.
This pisses me off. I smell a big fat Rovian rat's ass here.

Hooray!! Cold War!!

Oh, come on, it's not like George and crew would purposefully make us all live in Fear just to get votes ...

oh.

wait.

never mind.

p.s. it's the firestorm that kills you, not the radiation.

The range of this missile is estimated between 2400 and 9300 miles, according to Wikipedia. The lower range comes from the Federation of American Scientists, which is generally reliable. The 9300 mile estimate seems to come from USA Today, which is generally not. The longest-range estimate from someone who might actually know what they are talking about is Jane's, which estimates a top range of 9000 km, or about 5625 miles. Seattle is about 4800 miles away from the nearest point in North Korea, SF is 5200 miles away, and LA is 5600 miles away.

So, if the worst case estimate is correct, we'd be within range, but more likely we're not. In any case, this is hardly a case for alarm considering we survived the much bigger threat of the original Cold War.

Great, ok if I have them target your house, Cascadian?

Firestorms don't care where they started ...

Nuclear weapons are bad and can hurt people. I get that. I just don't see why North Korea is some special threat, when their technology is flaky at best, there's nothing strategically gained by a first strike, and they're only likely to strike out in panic if backed into a corner. The best response to their supposed threat is to wait out the end of their regime, and use diplomacy in the meantime to keep them--or Bush--from doing something stupid.

I'm glad that Governor Gregoire is attacking Bush's idiotic foreign policies. I just wish she wouldn't overplay the threat, which in the long run is probably more dangerous than the threat itself.

What makes North Korea a threat is their leaders. Kim and Co. have demonstrated that they will act irrationally when pushed. Attacking Seattle would be suicide. But, Kim is the type who, if he knows he is going down, will try to do as much damage as possible just to snub his enemies. Frankly, I would not be surprised if Kim decided to order a nuclear strike on receiving a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

They have, at most, six nuclear weapons.

If they fired ONE, we'd probably carpetbomb their entire country, which given its size would probably take about 20 minutes. Even if they were pissed, I'm sure China would understand if we reacted violently to an attempted nuclear strike.

And amidst all this, we assume that one of NK's nukes is actually reliable and functional enough to reach us, let alone strike its target right on the money... without significant testing. Or that we wouldn't shoot it down or, at absolute worst, send a fighter jet on a suicide mission to take one for the team and meet it head on.

Despite his harsh rhetoric, does everyone seriously think Kim Jong-Il is stupid enough to risk his entire country's existence just to fire a nuke at the US?

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