The Samson Option: Nuclear Strategy for North Korea
October 25, 2006
“Samson said, let me die with the Philistines…so the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” (Judges 16:4-30)
1. The Perception Gap
For the month of October this year, there has been vociferous gaga among nations over the nuclear test of the North Korea that panjandrums of pundits, scholars, anchorpersons, and analysts of every colors pitched in their high opinion about what to do with the pariah state.
In other words, the Western mass media constantly tell us how Americans see the nuclear proliferation in the Far East region in their own perspective and the same outlet rarely tell us much about how others living in the region see it.
The gap between perceptions on the issue is so enormous that people are confused and misinformed of the situation that might develop into the nuclear brinkmanship and eventual nuclear conflagration in the Korean peninsular and vicinity.
For the better understanding of the situation, we have to wear two pairs of shoes from both sides on the equal footing, the US and the North Korea, not like the Western mainstream media that propagate and spin only the one-sided story from the US government, depicting the North Korea an unstable, irrational, and rogue regime ruled by crazy man, Kim Jong-il.
Now let’s begin putting ourselves into the Uncle Sam’s shoes…The United States want the North Korea to stop immediately the nuclear programs, because the regime of Kim Jong-il is one of the axis of evil that threatens the world peace.
In addition to economic sanction against the North Korea, Uncle Sam immediately exercised the piracy on high seas under the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) that violates the international law, and the US Defense Secretary strongly demanded his counterpart from the South Korean Government that the South should take part in the PSI operation against the North, that is, the US want their lackey regime joining to escalate in war footing against their Northern brother.
In sum, the US determine this time not to engage in peaceful negotiation but to bring about their ultimate objective of another “regime change” operation against the sovereign country as they exercised, for years, against many countries numerous times around the world, various Latin American countries, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, et al.
From North Korea’s perspective on the other hand, its nuclear program is a fundamental element in their national defense and security.
Therefore, there is little likelihood that Kim Jong-il would give up the weapon of last resort.
Just for a moment imagine what you would do if you were put in the North Korean shoes…for them, scrapping the nuclear program is like throwing out the life jacket from the typhoon-wrecked vessel in the middle of the ocean that would be one and only tool to save them from drowning in the sea of enemies, Japan, South Korea, USA et al.
Would you give up one and only bargaining chip before sitting down with the 800-pound gorilla with megatons of nuclear, hydrogen, and chemical bombs who has been historically harassing, sanctioning, shooting, bombing, killing, and “regime-changing” at will the poor and weaker nations around the world?
Thinking from more rational perspective, you’d be quite easy to comprehend why the North Korea decided to possess the nuclear bombs, if you turn your attention toward the Israeli decision to become the member of the Nuclear Club in early 60s when Israelis felt its survival was on the line. (The media rarely compare Israeli situation with North Korea’s because they for decades conspired to remain silent on Israeli’s nuclear arms.)
The Israeli Government in early 1960s adopted the Samson Option as their basic defense policy against the Arab enemies, realizing that nuclear weapons are one and only equalizer in order to survive in the situation encircled by Arab Muslim nations.
“Never Again!” reasoning that Holocaust occurred in part because Jews in Europe did not resist became a zeitgeist that Israel would never passive in the face of its enemy attack even though they face total annihilation.
2.The Samson Option: 1st Edition
The Samson Option refers to Samson’s choice, the Biblical namesake in Judges 16:4-30, who brought down two main pillars of a great temple when he was cornered by the Philistines, killing both his enemy and himself.
The basic defense policy of Israel since its birth was to build the strongest military power in both conventional and thermo-nuclear arms, and it would not hesitate to flex her muscle when dealing with her neighbors, Arab countries.
According to Seymour Hersh, the author of “The Samson Option”, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in the 60s pondered about the Dimona nuclear programs the practical ones because the Dimona project was costing upward of $500 million a year, more than 10 percent of the Israeli military budget.
He was initially worrying about the money not being spent elsewhere: “I don’t have the money for it. How many children will go without shoes? How many students will not go to university?”
But for Ben-Gurion’s eye, the Father of Israeli State, “the nuclear project was holy”, assuming sacred dimensions…and the American Jews, from the billionaires to the father of H-bombs in the US, led a secret campaign for the Israeli to acquire the atomic bombs, raising billions of dollars and providing the nuclear technology.
Above all, it was an undeniable fact that the US, Great Britain, and France were conspired to provide Israelis with materials, money, technologies, and acquiescence, in order to position a teeny small Jewish nation a nuclear gendarmerie in the region.
Ever since Harry Truman’s support of the birth of Israel (there is an episode that two Jews delivered two suitcases of cold cash, 2 million dollars, to the Truman campaign train), the US government, Democrat or Republican, turned the blind eyes on the Israeli nuclear ambition and behaved like a cat that swallowed the canary when they were pushed to the limit.
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israeli defense was in danger of total collapse by the invading Arab forces, the Israeli Government threatened both Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon with the use of nuclear weapons against the Arab countries.
In the Gulf War in 1991, the US Government had provided the Israelis the batteries of the Patriot Missiles against the incoming Scud missile attacks by Saddam Hussein, fearing that the Israeli Government might engage in pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Iraq.
On the issue of Iranian attempt to develop the nuclear capabilities, it is rational, putting in terms of the Samson Option, to think that Israelis strongly feel compelled to strike first, before Iran has the ability to make its own first strike.
In sum, the fact that the nuclear capability empowered the Israel providing the leverage in regional conflicts has offered an attractive logic for other countries considering the nuclear option: the United States has never attacked a country with nuclear arms.
3. The Samson Option: 2nd Edition
Since Israel was known a country holding the nuclear bombs in the basement, India and Pakistan officially declared to join the Nuclear Club, making total eight countries membership nation.
For Kim Jong-il’s North Korea, it is apparent and logical to join the Nuclear Club that would guarantee to protect them from the Yankee harassment and insult.
It is bizarre to see why the Western nations cannot understand the North Korea’s situation while they can understand the fear that forced Israelis to hold the nuclear option.
In case of Pakistan, Uncle Sam initially regarded it as a rogue nuclear state when it test fired missiles capable of carrying the atomic warhead with North Korea’s Rodong technology.
It is also known fact that the North Korea had acquired the bomb making techniques from the Pakistan in return for exchanging missile technology, designating both Pakistan and North Korea the violating countries of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).
Pakistan is a great friend of Uncle Sam, getting billions of military aids from the US and North Korea became an evil nation that threatens the world peace.
Imagine for a moment that Kim Jong-il does not have nuclear deterrence against his enemies…the street of Pyongyang flares up frequently, at Uncle Sam’s whim, with cluster, napalm, and 500-pound bombs lobbed by Tomahawk missiles and a squadron of B-50 bombers launched from the Guam Air Base.
Imagine for a second how many North Korean men, women, and children would perish without any recourse to counterbalance the barbaric and cowardly bombing raids.
One does not need to imagine the scenario in case the North Korea with a lack of nuclear capability…the world already and abundantly experienced how Uncle Sam punished the weak countries at random in order to shape world in his own image.
Now, is there still anyone to rebuke Kim’s rationale holding the nuclear bombs in his bosom while accepting Israelis Samson Option?
In essence, the Samson Option adopted by various weak nations upset the cold war model for nuclear strategy…during the Cold War, the more you hold nuclear weapons, the more you have power and deterrence against your enemies.
Not any more!
You don’t need piles of atomic bombs to deter the enemy attack but how and when one or two bombs strategically position to strike and disrupt the core area.
Ariel Sharon, an Israeli General and ex-Prime Minister, once said: “Arab may have the oil, but we have the match.” (Since January he is in a vegetative coma state peeing and pooping in his pants devoid of his arrogance and chutzpah.)
Kim Jong-il brags: “We don’t have a luxury of cell phone, I-Pod, or HD TV, but have an A-bomb to take you to Inferno together.”
However there is a slim hope that we, if logical, sane, and reasonable, could prevent any nation to initiate the suicidal attack, since the Samson Option requires preparing for the total annihilation of the launching nation.
Kim may behave like a sewer rat, but he still has a choice of biting you when you corner him with no escape route.
On the other hand, Kim is poised, contrary to the Western media spins, no threat of launching the Samson Option on its neighbors, Japan and South Korea unless he feels otherwise no other choice.
How a nation that cannot feed its own people three-meals-a-day could engage in a war against the enemy whose conventional and nuclear arsenal could annihilate the whole population on the earth?
Don’t let the spin-doctors (the stupidity of Mr. Cho-Joong-Dong in South Korea and the arrogance of the Neo-Con warmongers in US) dictate your life!Sanctions and other efforts, like “Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” US imperial diplomacy, to isolate the North Korea are not the most effective way to deal with nuclear-armed “madman”, Kim Jong-il.
I tell people you only live this life once, whether you are an American, North or South Korean, Jew or Japanese!
We all are on the same boat.The choice is with us…and jaw-jaw is always better than war-war.
Let us resume to talk again.
Peace! Insh Allah! Shalom!