A frequent example in the debate on the use of torture is the ticking time bomb scenario, in which many lives are at stake, a bomb is about to go off, one guy knows where the bomb is, and the only way to get the information is to use torture.
Can (should?) the same scenario be applied to the saber-rattling in North Korea? If a dictator tells you that he is going to shoot a missile at your Country, has moved people and materials in support of that endeavor, and is acting in every way as if he wants to begin a fight, do you allow him to throw the first punch, and hope you can deflect his blow?
If he is bluffing, you risk angering the World Community. If he isn't, you risk the lives of your Citizens, amid evidence that you were warned ahead of time.
The bomb is ticking, what do you do, Jack?
Only difference is that today, the threat is real.
I'll be the first to say that i am glad I don't have to make that difficult decision. There is one man who volunteered (twice) to be in the chair to make tough decisions such as these, and is now sitting in the office that is tasked with making these decisions.
It takes no courage to make easy decisions. Real courage is on display when some agree with you, and some disagree, you take the best available information on-hand at the time, consult with your inner circle, and choose what path you take. Lives are at stake. California is in range.
I recall the Left after the 9/11 attacks blasting Bush for a Presidential Daily Briefingthat suggested bin Laden wanted to hit the US within our borders. "How could you have missed that!" they yelled over and over.
Is what is happening in North Korea today any different than thatPDB from August of 2001, assuming North Korea follows through on its threat to launch missiles?
I don't want war. I don't want to proactively harm innocent citizens under the rule of a blood thirsty dictator. However, if push does come to shove, I would rather the blood be spilledand lives be lost on foreign soil, and not to Americans in the streets of Los Angeles or San Francisco.
What do you do?