My number one concern today is the treats from Kim Jong-un of North Korea. It may not be the traditional response given by others but what scares me the most is the possibility of preempted strike by our current administration. I believe Kim Jong-un is not suicidal, instead he may be one of the greatest poker players capable of extreme bluffing.
However, if we were to take any type of preemptive strike it would be devastating to the city of Seoul, South Korea with its nearly ten million people that sits just 35 miles away. In my opinion sanctions do not work and only go to aggravate the situation by increasing economic hardship on the people while creating additional hostility.
Some of you may remember the movie "The Mouse that Roared" it's about an impoverished backward nation which declares war on the United States, hoping to lose. North Korea's nuclear program has certainly put the world on a high alert. It seems to me that louder one roars the more attention one gets.
We must also remember in the middle of the DMZ are 30,000+ American troops, all of whom would be subject to any retaliation by the north.
Diplomacy must must always lead the way, there is no other reasonable answer and sanctions themselves don't work. We need to open a direct dialog with Kim Jong-un and bring North Korea back to the International community. Instead of sanctions the possibility of trade might be a much more powerful tool to peace.
I’ve been asked to give my opinion on ISIS, so rather than write a book on the subject, I will try to condense it to a few paragraphs.
I’d like to preface by stating the United States of America, as the world’s only superpower should set an example for the rest of the world, not by its military size, or its number of bombs, but as a leader in education, health care and civil rights.
In my opinion ISIS is a war on Islam, an ideology that cannot be won with bombs, especially U.S. bombs. For the most part, it’s a fight between Shia and Sunni, two branches of the Islamic faith. This hatred has existed for more than a thousand years and when ISIS is gone another group will move in to take its place.
Although Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, he was one of only two regimes in history able to hold Iraq together. His army was composed primarily of Sunni’s, who were the country’s minority. Once the U.S. and its allies toppled his regime they disbanded the army. This not only left the majority of Sunni’s unemployed and out of power, it created the Iraq of today and opened the door to a new ideology, ISIS was born.
I’ve always been against both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe you can not kill an ideology with the barrel of a gun. However, I do believe the more the U.S. is involved militarily, the more we help promote ISIS ideology and terrorism attacks within our own borders.
I believe ISIS itself does not represent a threat to our homeland, but individual acts of terrorism are. Preventing these type of acts are a function of education, intelligence and law enforcement working together with an emphasis on technology with a balance of individual civil rights. Let’s use our money where it does the most amount of good, let’s use it here at home.
It has been recently estimated the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost U.S. taxpayers up to $6 trillion, when you account for the medical care of wounded veterans. Think what just a small portion of these funds could do if used to better our own nation.
Lets stay out of other country’s politics and nation building. I believe most of you would probably agree, we have enough of our own political issues here at home. After all, depending on what side of the fence you’re on, one’s liberator can also be one’s terrorist.
Why not become the nation that inspires all other nations, rather than the one known only for our might?
Barry often says he is one of the very few that actually read the 132 page Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. After reading the deal, Barry was surprised that Iran had agreed to sign it. It required Iran to totally dismantle its nuclear arms program and fill their reactor with concrete while being monitored 24 hours a day by members of the International Atomic Energy Commission. Barry believes that it was Iran's way of opening the door to a return to the international community. Here's where we need to use diplomacy rather than sanctions which do not work.