Monday, October 16, 2006

We Must Not Feed North Koreans

The world's aid community says sanctions on North Korea will starve many innocents, so we must feed them. They're wrong - a siege is the most humane way of destroying the dictatorship responsible for this starvation.

The report:
Millions of North Koreans face famine and starvation over the country’s bitterly harsh winter if the international community cuts off humanitarian food aid in retaliation for their government’s nuclear test, according to UN officials, aid workers and human rights groups.

The closed nature of North Korea makes it impossible to know the extent of suffering, but evidence indicates that one in six of its 23 million people will go hungry without foreign aid. There will be a shortfall of 600,000 to 800,000 tonnes of grain, according to the UN World Food Programme.

“As the international community responds to North Korea’s nuclear test it must distinguish between the government and ordinary citizens,” said Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch. “North Korea’s nuclear weapons can have devastating security implications in the region but suspending food aid could be lethal for North Koreans.”

They're talking about breaking a siege, which is the most humane tactic in warfare.

The Brits besieged Germany very effectively in WW1, using a vast naval blockade. You can see the effectiveness of that in any display of WW2 Nazi uniforms - they're for little guys of under 5' 6", the legacy of childhood malnutrition. That blockade won the war.

Feeding the North Korean regime (which is what's proposed, since it will take any aid shipments to feed its armies), will ultimately lead to the death of millions.

Either the dictatorship will survive and use nukes, and just 20 bombs at 50,000 dead each kills 1 million. Or we will have to assault it, leading to military and civilian deaths of the same order as the last Korean War - about 3 million.

So we must harden our hearts and maintain the siege - the alternatives are much worse.