The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?
We come to the nub of the North Korea question. The true locus of this conflict lies between Washington and a negotiating table somewhere across the Pacific. It is a fight in defense of American primacy. It is the American policy elite resisting the limits to American power the 21st century imposes even as we speak. In this the confrontation with North Korea—which is at bottom a confrontation with China—ranks with Ukraine and Syria. The three are fundamentally similar in character. As in Europe, then as in the Middle East, so now in Asia: Washington wages rear-guard actions to preserve a prerogative that rests, finally and only, on military might.