Do-Nothing Allies or Obstructionist Enemies

On October 9, North Korea announced its entry into the nuclear club, detonating a nuclear bomb equivalent to 500 to 1,000 tons of TNT, according to French estimates, a fizzled but somewhat successful test. Just a few hours later, China condemned the detonation. And on Tuesday, China announced that it would oppose any sanctions, let alone a military strike, on North Korea. "What we should discuss now is not the negative issue of punishment," oiled Liu Jianchao, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Minister. "Instead, the international community and the United Nations should take positive and appropriate measures that will help the process of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula."

Two days before North Korea bombed its way into the news, Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in her apartment. Politkovskaya, a vocal opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was the victim of a contract killing, likely orchestrated by the Russian government. The Russian government remains as committed to dictatorship and repression as it ever has been.

Just after North Korea’s bomb test, Russia announced that the bomb had not fizzled, but dazzled, yielding the equivalent of 5,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT, 10 to 30 times larger than the French estimate. Russia also signaled its unwillingness to take any sort of punitive action against North Korea, issuing a statement indicating "its readiness to participate in joint efforts by the interested parties aimed at a peaceful diplomatic resolution of the situation surrounding North Korea."

A Chinese-Russian alliance is forming. The Chinese client state is North Korea; the Russian and Chinese trading partner is Iran. Like China, Russia is a capitalism-utilizing dictatorship with a history of Marxism and a belief in its eventual historical conquest. Like Russia, China is a Machiavellian political actor willing to play both sides of the Islamic-Western conflict against the middle. China and Russia are the global beneficiaries of the Islamic-Western clash of civilizations. They remain largely outside its purview while benefiting from its externalities. Stalinist Russia and Maoist China began as allies. History has conspired to force them once more into the same bed.

China and Russia are the powers behind the throne in North Korea. China has supported the North Korean nuclear program for years; they provide the vast majority of North Korea’s food and fuel. China has defended North Korea for five decades and will not cease to do so now. Four years ago, I warned in this column that Russia was providing North Korea with "sophisticated long-range weaponry, as well as upgrades to its aerospace technology." Now, North Korea may soon have the ability to wed its missile technology to its nuclear technology, placing broad swaths of the continental United States within range of a Kim Jong Il mushroom cloud.

China and Russia have provided Iran with its nuclear and missile technology as well. For China and Russia, handing over weapons technology to rogue states like North Korea and Iran is equivalent to state-sponsored terrorism. Iran and North Korea are irrational actors on the world stage; Iran would likely attempt to use its nuclear arsenal on Israel, and in the near future, North Korea could use her newly-developed weaponry to go after South Korea or Japan, all the while threatening to send a missile to California if the United States is involved.

All of this leaves the United States in the unenviable position of having to fight two enemies at once: Islamic civilization and the dual dictatorial phoenixes of China and Russia. Islamic civilization must be fought on the battlefields; China must be defeated economically; Russia, diplomatically. China must be made to understand that her trade with the United States is dependent on her cooperation in both the war on Islamofascism and the North Korean situation. Russia must understand that she will be held responsible for her profligate trade in weaponry — and for her internal repression. China and Russia are not our friends, and they must not be treated as such.