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We should encourage Japan to re-arm and take on North Korea

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This time the missile went right over Japan again, and another 1,370 miles further. North Korea wants to show the world it can punch above its weight. Nukes and ICBMs will place it in a select club that demands more responsibility than the hermit kingdom has shown. Such a hissy-fit of threats only proves that Kim Jong-un lacks the maturity to handle the world’s most powerful weapons.

As Konstantinos Roditis wrote, we shouldn’t give in to the shake down. But it’s more than a shake down. North Korea wants a confrontation with the United States. They want to show the world they can take on the greatest foe, the world’s only mega power, and win. Their next move might be to kill someone, because human life is meaningless to them (except for Kim’s).

We shouldn’t give North Korea the satisfaction of taking on America. Japan has been questioning its role in the world and in national security lately. Germany has a military, and they sell submarines all over the world (notably to Israel). Japan has a military, but is constrained by its Constitution from taking any action except in immediate self-defense. That plays to North Korea’s advantage.

President Trump signaled this month that he wanted Japan, along with South Korea, to bolster arms spending. In a Twitter post two days after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, Mr. Trump said he would allow the two countries to “buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States.” (New York Times)

What’s clear is that the best path to avoid a catastrophic war for the United State and South Korea is to deny North Korea a target other than an outright and direct attack. The saber-rattling will continue until they kill someone, and will likely stop if China intervenes on the side of the world. In other words, the North can’t afford a 2-front war with China backstopping the Yalu river and a cruise-missile-armed Japan to the east.

The advantages of a re-armed and offensive-equipped Japan are to stabilize the Pacific rim without the U.S. playing babysitter and universal target.

Perspectives

After new missile test, U.S. says North Korea threatens whole world |Jack Kim, Susan Heavey, Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles/united-states-says-north-korea-endangers-whole-world-after-missile-test-idUSKCN1BP35BWASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused North Korea on Friday of threatening the entire world, after Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan for the second time in under a month in defiance of international pressure over its missile and nuclear programs.

“For those … who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option,” he said, adding that it would not be the Trump administration’s preferred choice.

 

White House press briefing after North Korea fired missile at Japan – CBS News

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/white-house-holds-press-briefing-after-north-korea-fires-missile-live-updates/This latest test comes after the U.N. Security Council recently added sanctions. President Trump earlier this week claimed the toughest-ever sanctions against the regime are, This latest test comes after the U.N. Security Council recently added sanctions. President Trump earlier this week claimed the toughest-ever sanctions against the regime are, “no big deal.”

“There is a consensus among all key nations that denuclearization of the peninsula is the only acceptable objective,” McMaster said.

Haley said North Korea will be “front and center” at Mr. Trump’s first U.N. General Assembly in New York next week.

 

How North Korea Is Militarizing Japan  | OZY

http://www.ozy.com/presidential-daily-brief/pdb-80659/rising-sun-80676He’s playing the long game. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be the most hawkish leader in Japan’s postwar era, but when it comes to dealing with North Korea, he’s armed with little more than tough talk. Yet the Japanese people’s growing fear of their belligerent neighbor has served one key policy aim of Abe’s right-wing government: “normalizing” the militarization of the constitutionally pacifist state. Since Abe’s been in charge, there’s been an annual increase in Japan’s Self-Defense Forces budget, meaning North Korea may be helping rearm its historic rival to the east.

 

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Final thoughts

North Korea’s Juche religion paints the United States as the world’s biggest devil. The U.S. should deny any confrontation to the Norks other than the one that annihilates them. That should be reserved for an actual attack. We should, as Konstantinos noted, shoot down any future missile attempts that are possibly in range of our interceptors. We should also encourage Japan to change its constitution. World War II has been over for a very long time, and Japanese Imperial military doctrine–the era of the Shogunates–is over for good.

Japan has been singled out to be World War II’s final casualty, wedged between the United States, China, and North Korea. It’s time for Japan to be a stabilizing counterweight in the Pacific rim. After being South Korea’s shameful and inhuman occupier, they might become the Korean people’s best defender.

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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It isn’t Never-Trump or Always-Trump destroying conservatism, it’s Sometimes-Trump

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One of the craziest—or should I say laziest—accusations leveled against me by Trump’s die-hard loyalists whenever I dare to call him out for breaking a campaign promise, getting caught in a lie, or promoting unconstitutional non-conservative ideas, is that I’m a liberal. Sometimes, they go so far as to accuse me of working for George Soros.

As I’ve said many times in response, I don’t work for Mr. Soros, but since money’s been a little tight at the Strident Conservative lately, if anyone has his number, I’d appreciate it if you’d send it my way.

It’s a sad reality that these pathetic taunts are what passes for political discourse in the Age of Trump. Gone are the days when differences could be civilly discussed based on facts instead of emotion.

Another sad reality of this behavior is that it’s a sign that the end of conservatism is near, as Trump’s small army of loyal followers attempt to rebrand conservatism by spreading the lie that he is a conservative and, using binary logic, accusing anyone who opposes him of being a liberal.

This rebranding effort has had an impact. Last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel warned Republican hopefuls that anyone who opposed Trump’s agenda would be “making a mistake.”

McDaniel’s threat was issued following the GOP primary defeat in South Carolina by conservative Mark Sanford after he was personally targeted by Trump himself. Sanford’s crime? Disloyalty to the NY Liberal.

Another source of damage to conservatism has come from evangelicals and the so-called conservative media. In the name of self-preservation, they choose to surrender their principles by promoting the lie that Trump is a conservative. Some of these voices have taken to labelling conservatives who oppose Trump as Never-Trump conservatives, or worse, branding them as liberals and/or Democrats, as was recently written in a piece at TheFederalist.com:

“Trump may be an unattractive and deeply flawed messenger for contemporary conservatism. But loathe though they might be to admit it, what’s left of the Never-Trump movement needs to come to grips with the fact that the only words that currently describe them are liberals and Democrats.”

Then there are those who have adopted a Sometimes-Trump attitude about the president, where everything Trump does is measured using a good Trump/bad Trump barometer. While it has become fashionable for Sometimes-Trump conservatives to stand on their soap boxes condemning both Never-Trump conservatives and Always-Trump faux conservatives, I believe that this politically bipolar approach to Trump is the greatest threat of all to Constitutional conservatism in America.

Sometimes-Trump conservatives have accepted the lie that it’s okay to do a little evil in exchange for a greater good. Though they may fly a conservative banner, their lukewarm attitude about Trump is much like the attitude we see in the Laodicean church mentioned in the Book of Revelations (3:15-16).

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Trump is a double-minded man unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). When lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives choose to overlook this reality, they end up watering-down conservatism to the point that it has no value or power to change America’s course.

As lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives point to the Always-Trump and Never-Trump factions as the reason for today’s conservative divide, remember that it’s the unenthusiastic, noncommittal, indifferent, half-hearted, apathetic, uninterested, unconcerned, lackadaisical, passionless, laid back, couldn’t-care-less conservative imposters in the middle who are really responsible.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Conservative Picks for the Nevada Primary

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Nevada is full of competition. There are no shortage of quality candidates in Nevada, only quality politicians. Nevada isn’t a strong blue state or red state. It usually sides with the winner in a presidential election. In fact, given Trump’s upset, it was surprising Nevada wasn’t one of the states where polling was wholly inaccurate. Nevada is home of Las Vegas, the country’s fastest growing metropolitan area. So the future political leanings of the state are up in the air. This primary features vacancies which offer a nice opportunity to grow conservative ideals among the population.

Best Picks: Danny Tarkanian, Joel Beck
Worst Picks: Mark Amodei, Cresent Hardy
Best Race: District 3
Worst Race: District 4

US Senate

Dean Heller is an incumbent Republican and in all likelihood will keep his nomination. Heller is running on a rather unimpressive Senate record showing that he is part of the problem, not the solution. There are four challengers but only a few are worth talking about. The first is Sarah Gazala. She is somewhat running as a conservative, but her emphasis on education shows that she isn’t the right fit for the Senate. A local office would be a better calling. Then there’s Vic Harrell. The only discernible fact about Harrell is his devotion to Trump. This zeal isn’t wrong but it doesn’t make him a good candidate. The strongest challenger is Tom Heck. Heck ran and lost in 2016 in a tight race. It’s very possible Heck could maintain the seat, and probable that he would do a superior job.

Conservative Pick: Tom Heck

District 1

Two challengers seek to red pill this district. The first, Joyce Bentley, has a decent platform and is like to side with Trump on several key issues. The issue is whether she will deviate when necessary. The second is Freddy Horne. He is likely the more viable candidate here having a history of running a campaign, but its a moot point in this district.

Conservative Pick: Joyce Bentley

District 2

Mark Amodei has held the seat for a while and is a RINO. He faces three challengers. Sharron Angel is the first. She was a failed Senate candidate in 2016 losing to Heck. She seems as though a strong Conservative. But she may be a weak candidate. Joel Beck is a veteran running on a solid small government platform. He has a more thorough understanding of veterans issues and immigration than most. Beck would be an outstanding defender of the Constitution.

Conservative Pick: Joel Beck

District 3

This vacated seat has caused a feeding frenzy of an election. but this race is between Scott Hammond and Danny Tarkanian. Hammond is a State Senator with a decent record and the backing of the NRA. But from this article which he promoted, he doesn’t seem to be a strong defender of liberty, though its hard to get a clear picture with the bias writing. In a rare instance of strategic planning by the Trump administration with regards to the 2018 race, Team Trump convinced Tarkanian to seek the House as opposed to the Senate. Danny Tarkanian, being a team player, obliged. Nothing wrong with that. Playing along earned him a Trump endorsement. And while Heller gets by with one less challenger from the right, Tarkanian has a better chance at reducing government spending as he campaigns heavily on. Overall, Tarkanian may be a sycophant, but Hammond is more likely a RINO climbing the ladder.

Conservative Pick: Danny Tarkanian

District 4

Congressman Ruben Kihuen will not seek reelection as the result of a sexual harassment scandal. This presents a golden opportunity to flip this blue seat. Many Republicans have entered but there is no clear frontrunner. First up is Jeff Miller. He’s running to prevent Nevada from becoming East California. With all the candidates, the Las Vegas Review-Journal made this one easy. The former Congressman refused to answer. If Cresent Hardy believes he’s too big to answer yes or no questions, he probably thinks he’s too good to talk to his constituents. The only thing that is concerning is the question on DACA recipients.

Conservative Pick: Jeff Miller

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Conservative Picks in the South Carolina Primary

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South Carolina is one of the nation strongest overall states for Conservatism. Out of nine representatives, eight of which Republican, only two are complete RINOs (Joe Wilson and Lindsey Graham). Conservatism is strong in South Carolina just as it is in North Carolina. This primary presents a good opportunity to maintain and grow. Trey Gowdy is exiting, presenting a good chance for an upgrade at the position. Since the GOP took the Whitehouse, Gowdy stopped being fiscally Conservative, and is an unfortunate voice of support for the expensive Mueller investigation.

Best Pick: Mark Sanford
Worst Pick: Katie Arrington
Best Race: District 4
Worst Race: District 7

District 1

After five years, Mark Sanford has been a solid Conservative. He is being challenged. His main opponent is Katie Arrington. Arrington is a full blown Trumpist. If she had a shred of Conservatism in her she would be satisfied with the performance of Sanford. But instead she is challenging him because he, like most decent Conservatives, has been reasonably critical of Trump. Arrington’s fanaticism is not worth the risk of losing Sanford.

Conservative Pick: Mark Sanford

District 2

Joe Wilson is an unchallenged product of the swamp. He is running to complete his second decade.

District 3

Jeff Duncan is a steadfast Conservative who didn’t compromise under Obama and has remained strong under Trump. He is unchallenged.

District 4

There are numerous candidates seeking to fill Trey Gowdy’s shoes. The first of which was written about back in February, Mark Burns. I had a lot to say about Trump’s top pastor:

I remain optimistic about Mark Burns joining the ranks of Congress. Previously, Burns announced he was praying about challenging Lindsey Graham, a notorious warmongering RINO. But it appears either prayer or opportunism has landed him in a different race. Due to his political amateurism, not many of his positions are clear. Oddly enough, he has suggested Federal takeover of public school security. Though his heart seems in the right place, his position shows a lack of localism which small government believes in. It’s safe to speculate that Mark Burns isn’t all that fiscal conservative which isn’t unfamiliar.

On social issues, however, Pastor Mark Burns could be a strong tool for conservatives, so long as he can graduate from being a Trump surrogate. Burns has a more unifying persona than a lot of Republicans adding the possibility of broadening the base. On the issues of race and abortion, Pastor Mark Burns is a powerful voice. Though a strong personality does not make one the best candidate, Burn has tremendous potential to make a difference in DC.

Another formidable candidate is Lee Bright. He has the backing of Steve King (IA) and Thomas Massie (KY). Massie is a strong Conservative so this endorsement means something. Bright’s political career was put on hold when he got primaried in 2016. To be frank, he got voted out probably for being a nutjob. This guy is all rhetoric and no substance. He will maybe vote the right way, but he is not a leader on Conservative legislation. Furthermore he is a weaker candidate due to his propensity to act a fool. Bright isn’t likable but he at the end of the day, he wouldn’t be a RINO.

Then there’s William Timmons. He has the endorsement of Marco Rubio which indicate that he is the RINO in this race. Timmons campaigns on fiscal responsibility but champions Trump for it who has not been fiscally responsible this year. Either he’s pandering or misinformed. Either way, it’s an indication he will e a big spender. His attack ads on Dan Hamilton are baseless, though he is likely correct that Hamilton is not that Conservative. But Timmons record isn’t Conservative either.

Conservative Pick: Mark Burns

District 5

Ralph Norman is unopposed. He’s actually been solid in his brief tenure.

District 6

Gerhard Gressmann is the only Republican running.

District 7

Tom Rice has been a halfway decent Congressman but not without fault. He is being challenged by Larry Guy Hammond. Hammond is running from the right but not with a level head. Tom Rice isn’t fantastic, but populism won’t do the job better. And Hammond is more populist than Conservative. His website offers no real solutions. It merely trashes the state and asks for money.

Conservative Pick: Tom Rice

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