Not Quite a Reductio ad Reagan

At first I avoided reading student Benjamin Young’s Washington Post op-ed on the influence that the U. S. invasion of Grenada had on North Korean strategic thinking on the grounds that it was yet another reductio ad Reagan argument, popular among progressives. It’s actually a fairly interesting little essay on the actual significance that the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada had for the North Koreans.

I still think that our two wars against Iraq (the Gulf War and our invasion of Iraq in 2003) were probably more influential. You don’t need to hunt very hard to find analyses that Saddam Hussein was just a few months from a workable nuclear weapon when he invaded Kuwait and had he had nuclear weapons the U. S. might well not have responded as it did.

But, yes, I opposed the invasion of Grenada just as I opposed the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq. It was illegal and immoral. The use of force has consequences that may extend far beyond the scope of the conflict.

3 comments… add one
  • steve

    Everything is connected. We spend too much time focused and spending resources or time in areas that won’t help us (Ukraine, Afghanistan) which makes it more difficult to concentrate where we should. I strongly suspect this is also true of Syria/Iraq. At some point our efforts and those of Russia and Iran will probably eliminate ISIS control of territory in this area, but as soon as we leave, and we really can’t stay forever everywhere, the place goes back to chaos.

    Anyway, if was going into the dictator business I would definitely want nukes. The only way to be sure the US won’t invade.


  • Andy

    There are a couple of problems with that op-ed but the most obvious is that North Korea started building its plutonium production reactor well before Grenada.

  • Yes. He doesn’t distinguish between “pretext” and “reason”.

    Actually, I thought the most obvious problem with it was that he doesn’t seem to recognize or at least not take seriously that the U. S. has been in a state of war with North Korea over the period of the last 65 years.

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