Hawai'i inconsequential and it's a consolation
|||Hawai'i speaks up on threat of war|
By David B. Lee
|David Lee is a longtime Honolulu small-business man and community volunteer.|
When that happens, the restraining power of retaliation is vitiated and the grim logic of mutually assured destruction crumbles. The dreadful rationality that held the Americans and Soviets in check can be viewed only with nostalgia.
In the face of this qualitatively different challenge, the American government is moving from containment to pre-emption against Iraq and is sliding from incoherence to containment against North Korea. Pre-emption may follow there as well.
These events underscore Hawai'i's powerlessness and irrelevancy. Our economy remains the most vulnerable in the nation, but its size makes it an asterisk in any national reckoning. Hawai'i is a small boat with an unstepped mast in rising seas. We still have oars, the capacity for unified self-reliance and sharing but without selfless, serious leadership rising within our community, we will surely founder.
This president's inherent lack of gravitas requires the American people to do the heavy lifting, to invest the hard business at hand with purpose and resolution.
To paraphrase George Orwell's observation about Lord Halifax: Iraq and North Korea are serious threats even though George Bush says they are.
The time is rapidly closing when we can contemplate whether forbearance or war is the best course. The prospects are lamentable in either case.
If our attacking forces discover or are subjected to weapons of mass destruction, then their mission will have been justified. But we will be faced with the horrific prospect of repeating the same scenario as we confront the seepage of weapons of mass destruction across the globe.
In Hawai'i our small consolation will be that we are so inconsequential, we will likely be overlooked as a target. In these times, it is best to be small, distant, and not "world-class."