A Dormant US Emboldens N. Korea

Since launching a series of missiles less than a week ago, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, has yet to face the promised consequences of his actions. The United States and Japan were particularly vocal in their opposition to the planned missile launches, which were known of weeks in advance. However, the collective warnings issued by the two countries must have sounded more like barking puppies to Kim Jong Il, who has long engaged the West with a far more inflammatory line of rhetoric.

The past few days have surely exceeded Kim Jong Il's highest expectations. Despite the numerous threats issued prior to the launches, neither the United States nor Japan has been willing to put a little bite behind its bark. For the North and many another enemy of the West, there's an important lesson to be learned: nuclear states can get away with anything. (Are you listening, Ahmadinejad?)

On Friday (July 7), a Japanese newspaper reported that the North's long-range missile, the Taepodong-2, which the country launched on July 5, targeted waters near Hawaii. The North immediately dismissed the report, claiming instead that the missile launches were devoid of hostile intent.

"This is not an attack on someone," argued the North's councilor at the U.N. mission in Geneva, Choe Myong-nam.

But isn't it? When one takes into account the rhetoric that accompanied the launches, Myong-nam's position is hard to defend. In fact, just one day prior to the missile launches (July 3), the North threatened the United States with an "annihilating strike and a nuclear war."

Weeks earlier (June 18), a similar threat was issued by the North, when the country promised to “mercilessly wipe out” US forces.

On Thursday (July 6), the North mocked international criticism of its missile launches and, yesterday, Kim Jong Il called the United States "our archenemy." He vowed not to compromise on the North's nuclear program, adding that his country is prepared for "all-out war" with the United States.

Still, the daily verbal assaults directed against the United States do not constitute the greatest threat emanating from the North. Instead, the United States must concern itself with the second Taepodong-2 missile that the North has already prepared for launching.

Ironically, President Bush's new-found respect for multilateral negotiations could not have come at a worst time. Rather than take the action needed to neutralize the North's ever more threatening posture, the president has appealed to the United Nations in order to diffuse the crisis. Apparently, the president overlooked the fact that passing a legitimate resolution in the UN is like passing a kidney stone -- it's slow, painful and generally unsuccessful.

Nevertheless, a resolution was circulated in the UN Security Council that called for sanctions to be placed on the North and -- as expected -- it  was met with strong opposition from none other than Russia and China.

In closed consultations Wednesday, Russia and China made clear their distaste for a resolution, which could be legally enforceable.

While China's distaste for a resolution against the North is readily understood -- China is after all the North's number one trading partner -- what exactly was Russia's excuse?

Russia secretly offered to sell North Korea technology that could help the rogue state protect nuclear stockpiles and safeguard weapons secrets from international scrutiny . . . (Washington Times, July 9)

Yeah. That makes sense.

Japan, meanwhile, decided to air a military threat of their own yesterday:

Japan said Monday it was considering whether a pre-emptive strike on North Korea's missile bases would violate its constitution, signaling a hardening stance ahead of a possible Security Council vote.

Japan's constitution precludes the country from using military force to settle international disputes. Of course, Japan lacks the military capability to carry out the threat so it doesn't much matter:

A Defense Agency spokeswoman . . . said Japan has no offensive weapons such as ballistic missiles that could reach North Korea.

Japanese fighter jets and pilots are not capable of carrying out such an attack, a military analyst said.

"Japan's air force is top class in defending the nation's airspace, but attacking another country is almost impossible," said analyst Kazuhisa Ogawa. "Japan has no capacity to wage war."

Actually, Japan can carry out the attack, but their pilots wouldn't be able to return to Japan. In other words, it would be a suicide mission, which the country's constitution would surely frown upon.

If anything, Japan's empty threat undermines the international community's efforts -- and those of the US in particular -- at reigning in the North. After all, Kim Jong Il will surely recognize that Japan's threat was the product of frustration rather than careful planning. More importantly, it alerts the North to the fact that the United States and Japan are not presently engaged in bilateral discussions on a potential military strike on the North's weapons facilities.

The Western world faces a major handicap in its dealings with the North. Democratic nations tend to be excessively transparent. The North, by contrast, is exceptionally secretive and is far more deserving of Winston Churchill's quip, "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," than Russia ever was.

Even less is known of Kim Jong Il, which precludes the West from determining his intentions. His decision to launch the missiles in spite of the mountain of warnings that he was issued may have been a cry for attention. After all, the world's focus had long since shifted away from him and his country, concentrating instead on developments in Iraq and the growing threat emanating from Iran.

Then again, Kim Jong Il could have been looking to convince his followers that his backbone is intact. After all, his late father set the bar of tyranny rather high and, until recently, Kim Jong Il never managed to shake his father's domineering reputation.

Finally, it's possible that Kim Jong Il simply recognized an opportunity and took a chance. With the United States mired in war overseas, and a shortage of troops at home, Kim Jong Il probably figured he could get away with launching a few missiles.

More importantly, Kim Jong Il's escalated rhetoric and missile launches come at a time when the number of US troops in South Korea and neighboring states are at a low -- as part of the Pentagon's preparations for the potential threat posed by China as well as the ongoing War on Terrorism.

Pentagon figures show just under 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea, compared with 37,000 two years ago, with some troops being deployed instead to Iraq. In its biggest reorganization in two decades, the U.S. plans to bring down the number further to some 25,000 by 2008.

Whether those plans stand to change in light of the North's renewed hostility has yet to be announced.

Despite the diminishing US troop presence in the region, President Bush could still launch a strike on the North's missile test bed. In fact, the former secretary and assistant secretary of defense, William J. Perry and Ashton B. Carter, who together served under President Clinton, encouraged President Bush to do so. In a June 22 Op-Ed published in the Washington Post, the former officials went so far as to lay out the plans for an attack scenario:

[If] North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. But the effect on the Taepodong would be devastating. The multi-story, thin-skinned missile filled with high-energy fuel is itself explosive -- the U.S. airstrike would puncture the missile and probably cause it to explode. The carefully engineered test bed for North Korea's nascent nuclear missile force would be destroyed, and its attempt to retrogress to Cold War threats thwarted.

The officials made their argument prior to the launching of the first Taepodong-2 missile, but considering the North's preparations to launch a second missile, the plan is no less valid today.

Mike Allen and Romesh Ratnesar of Time Magazine, however, cast serious doubt on the notion that President Bush has any plans to engage the North militarily. Indeed, the title of their feature article speaks volumes: "The end of cowboy diplomacy."

The authors note that the days of President Bush's "zero tolerance warnings" are long gone, only to be replaced by appeals for diplomatic solutions. His new approach is all the more baffling, considering that the Bush Doctrine has long advocated a policy of preemption through military means. 

While some Americans may favor President Bush's new approach to resolving international conflicts, others will rightly recognize the inherent deficiencies of altering his foreign policy approach this late in the game. Indeed, Iran is closely monitoring the US response to the North's "provocations," the term used by the Bush Administration to downplay the current crisis.

More importantly, no US President should stand by while an overtly hostile enemy regime has made preparations to launch a missile that is capable of reaching US soil.

The president's continued refusal to take action against the North poses a grave danger to US citizens and leaves me to question his ability to lead our nation.

Related Articles: "N. Korea Missile Targeted Hawaii" and "Where's The Response To N. Korea's Missile Launch?"

Posted by Dr Politico at July 11, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #166688

Use diplomacy or not to use diplomacy. Bush is faulted for trying diplomacy and faulted for using force. I don’t like the war in Iraq no more than anyone else but we are there. NK being a threat. I’d worry more about what China has in mind.

Posted by: Rich at July 11, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #166690

Take it easy, Doc. Jumping the gun on that (dog eating) dictator is not going to do us any good. If people keep crying about diplomacy, then diplomacy has to take place. That’s what we’re doing with the six-party talks and we’re going to the UN security council; to (yet again) prove to the world that the UN is (completely) impotent and (down right) useless. “Puppy Chow” has proven he has worthless weapons and if indeed he does fire missiles that last more than a minute, we’ll shoot those puppies (pun intend) down. It’s (really) that simple.

Posted by: rahdigly at July 11, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #166692

Our options with N. Korea are limited. The North’s goal seems to be to blackmail us into giving it more aid and recognition. So far the actual performance of N. Korean missiles cannot be encouraging even to krazy Kim.

The N. Korea problem is not one that can be solved under the current circumstances, so it must be tolerated as we wait for conditions to change. This is not a satisfying answer, but it is a real one.

Posted by: Jack at July 11, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #166693

By “dormant” you must mean “militarily over extended by a bloody stupid useless war in Iraq”.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 11, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #166697
Jumping the gun on that (dog eating) dictator is not going to do us any good.
Mmhmmmm…dog….I wouldn’t mind some now; it’s whole lot better than steroid injected cattle meat. Posted by: greenstuff at July 11, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #166698

“”Puppy Chow” has proven he has worthless weapons and if indeed he does fire missiles that last more than a minute, we’ll shoot those puppies (pun intend) down.”

So while test firing missles isn’t considered an act of war (it’s ok for us or our allies to do it), shooting them down shouldn’t be either?

Franlly I don’t see any logic there.

Posted by: Rocky at July 11, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #166710

Bush’s failure in Iraq has emboldened Iran, North Korea and the Taliban in Afghanistan. None of these situations looks like it’s going to end in a net positive for the US. Bush looks like he’s trying forestall any resolution until he’s out of office in hopes he can dodge responsibility again. It’s been his lifelong pattern. He’s always needed someone to bail him out of his jams. Nobody can save the president of the US when he screws up though. That’s why the buck stops in the Oval Office. No one so irresponsible should ever hold that office.

Posted by: markg8 at July 12, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #166712

North Korea doesn’t have any oil.

Posted by: gergle at July 12, 2006 12:51 AM
Comment #166716

Kim Jong Il often surprises me with so many amazingly strong, yet hollow threats.

While not nearly as bad, I am often surprised how often the West (US, Europeans, Japan, Russia, etc.) make strong statements we don’t back up either.

Why do we make threats if we don’t have our ducks in line (re China / other) to do what we say?? Not saying all diplomacy is easy, but would prefer more openness/honesty from ‘our’ side rather than sound bites.

Posted by: Brian at July 12, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #166720

Re N.Korea, my thought is:

Japan can resolve this if/when they want to by renouncing their WWII atrocities to the Chinese, who are (I think understandably) really pissed at Japan not accepting responsibility. China could then reign in (i.e., stop helping so much) N.Korea, but are not now since although they are not in love w/ KJI either, they know he annoys the Japanese more.

Essentially, the Japanese and Chinese are playing a game of “Chicken” w/ N.Korea nukes on one side, and refusal to accept responsibility for WWII atrocities on the other.

Posted by: Brian at July 12, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #166725


Good points, all very valid. With North Korea, I think the US could very easily gain in the standing of the world by doing the following. Offer North Korea a comprehensive aid package coupled with full diplomatic recognition in return for North Korea renouncing further development of nuclear weapons and full disclosure of its current program. Part of our aid package should offer aid equivilent to offset North Korean losses from suspending selling missles etc to other regimes.

I realize that this will probably sound like caving, but it will give us a unique position of strength. The North claims to want recognition from us, so offering it with the coupled aid package would be a powerful incentive for the North. In addition, if they refuse, it will not be lost on the international community that we offered a large concession in the interests of preserving peace and the North rejected it. This will give us an immense moral high ground and make it very hard for the rest of the world, particuarly China and Russia, to oppose punitive sanctions if the North refuses.

I think this same scenario would work for Iran as well. In both cases, America can be portrayed as the local bully trying to impose its will on weaker nations. This strategy would probably work even better on Iran, as they do not yet have a bomb and claim not to be interested in developing one, insisting that they only want nuclear capability for energy production. If this is true, they would almost have no choice but to accept. If they do not, they would be revealed as liars to the world, again making any help for them from the major powers unlikely. It could also offer China and Russia good excuses to abstain from any Security Council resolutions.

In another sense, the US obligations in Iraq and Afghanistan do tie up the Army and, to a lesser extent, the Marine Corps, but do not really impede the Navy nor the Air Force. Our ability to launch strikes against North Korea or Iran remain very viable, and the “Shock and Awe” aerial attacks against Iraq have not been lost on these regimes. Our restraint against North Korea is probably based mostly on a desire to avoid retaliatory strikes against South Korea, which is a real possiblility. On the other hand, a massive first strike against the North from our forces coupled with the South could probably destroy a large portion of North Korea’s offensive artillery power in a relatively short amount of time.


The last time I checked, we weren’t explicitly threatening anybody with nuclear annihilation when we tested our missles. The understanding that we targeted the Soviet Union was there, but they were at least rational about knowing that we meant it when we stated that we were serious about deterence. In point of fact, I think that America should make it very clear that any attack with WMDs against the United States will provoke an immediate and massive retaliation designed to do nothing less than totally annihilate any nation that would launch such an attack against us. Part of what emboldens many of these rougue nations is a belief that we wouldn’t really do such a thing. Unless this is reaffirmed as our policy, then our deterence will be seen as a paper tiger.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 12, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #166728

Never in history has the geopolitical situation been more dangerous. Does anyone really think that NK or Iran is going to give up their nukes? And does anyone really have confidence that eventually this technology won’t get into the hands of terrorists? Iraq may be one of the last wars we fight before we reach the point where the losing side doesn’t set off a few nukes once they see they are defeated. You can only buy the bad guys off with diplomacy for so long. Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating war but I will make the argument that the world stage looks awful ripe for an anti-christ who can amaze the world by bringing peace to the world(at least for a time). I say this not to get into a religious debate. If this is not the case then I would suggest we are not all that far off from wiping out life as we know it once a rogue state or a terrorist fires off a nuke or 2 and starts a chain reaction of retaliation. Think about it, if instead of a couple planes hitting buildings with thousands dying we get a nuke in times square with hundreds of thousands dying just what do you think our response will be.

Posted by: Carnak at July 12, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #166730

Carnak said: “Never in history has the geopolitical situation been more dangerous.”

What BS is this? The Cuban Missile Crisis was by far more dangerous than anything we face today geopolitically. WWII was immensely more dangerous with the axis power of Germany and Japan intent on dividing the entire world in half under their dominion.

I find it amazing that some comments like Carnak’s above leave keyboards pregnant with multiple oversights.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2006 4:52 AM
Comment #166736


Carnak’s comment may have more truth to it than you realize. I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis and remember just how tense that was.

But since October 1962, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea have been added to the nuclear club. I thought, maybe, South Africa had a capacity as well, I not sure. With each addition, the odds go down that humanity can keep the lid on the nuclear genie. And, most critically, since that time, the Soviet Union has desolved, and the security of the thousands of nuclear warheads Russia and its former republics sit on has come into question.

Of all the geopolitical challenges humankind faces regarding nuclear weapons presently, I think the two most serious flashpoints are Israel (and a possible nuclear program in Iran), the other being India and Pakistan.

In no way do I want to minimize the seriousness of the Cold War of the fifties and sixties. But the Bush administration’s saber rattling vs Iran, and the strangely muted response to North Korean missle testing, almost insures a nuclear poliferation of dangerous proportions—the US won’t mess with you if you have the means to retaliate. Along with promised nuclear technology to India,and a real possibility of fanning a nuclear race in South Asia, I can’t think of a more dangerous situation—largely created by the Bush administration.

Those are the nuclear challeges we know about. The darker side of terrorism completes the picture. How many terrorist organizations are actively seeking nuclear technology? Its a sobering thought, especially since the terrorist angle doesn’t need a sophisticated delivery system— just a trunk or a suitcase, and a lot of hate.

In short, I agree with Carnak—the world is every bit as dangerous today as it was in 1962.

Probably more so.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 12, 2006 5:35 AM
Comment #166739

1 LT B wrote: “The last time I checked, we weren’t explicitly threatening anybody with nuclear annihilation when we tested our missles. The understanding that we targeted the Soviet Union was there, but they were at least rational about knowing that we meant it when we stated that we were serious about deterence.”


Wordreference.com => Deterrence: “the act or process of discouraging actions or preventing occurrences by instilling fear or doubt or anxiety”

Installing a couple of nukes I can regard as deterrence. I guess that is what we made North-Korea do: deter us. As the conservative doctrine has always included the battle of Good versus Evil, they probably anticipated the need for having to deter us a long time ago. Evil used to be spelled commies, now it’s terrorists and rogue states (and the NYT). If only all things where black and white. Surprise: they are not.

Installing huge numbers of nukes so to bomb the planet into oblivion numbers of times over and again I can not call deterrence, but just a waste of time, money and essentially… overkill.

As to NK, we simply can not go in there waving guns and cowboying the place, as the mess will be even bloodier than Iraq. Extreme conservative U.S. rethorics have made the situation more difficult to diffuse, and the Bush administration is all to blame for that. They needed that to rally their conservative base domestically (EVIL), and to get good cards in the georealpolitikal game internationally.

Driving for geopolitical diplomacy after rethorical cowboying is not just losing face imo but a strategic choice, as in holding your trump card for a later round. This “diplomacy” is handy in disturbing China’s influence in Asia - threatening China from their borders through NK, can “free” Japan’s rightwingers from their pacifist constitution AND sabotaging the peaceful unification process foreseen under the South-Korean Sunshine Policy towards North-Korea. Basically, this is bound to increase political tensions between China/the Korea’s and Japan even further.

Solution? Deal with them directly and face it that China (and even a majority of South-Koreans) will never allow (North)-Korea to become governed by a US-influenced puppet regime. Ever.

Posted by: Josh Grant at July 12, 2006 6:24 AM
Comment #166740

Told all of you think tanks we are on the verge of a major war!

Posted by: Michael C Boonacci at July 12, 2006 6:52 AM
Comment #166742

1LT B,

“The last time I checked, we weren’t explicitly threatening anybody with nuclear annihilation when we tested our missles.”

As David mentioned, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there were nukes parked on our front doorstep, and a guy (Kruschev) that liked to pound his shoe on the desk with his thumb on the button.
BTW, Kruschev also said he would bury us.

North Korea is incapable of carrying out the threat of our nuclear annihilation, we, on the other hand have, enough nukes on our submarines alone to turn the planet into a sheet of glass. and shooting down their test missiles could be construed as an act of war.

Nobody denies that KJL is a lunatic.
America, however, has a much bigger stick and we HAVE been the country that HAS “preemptively” invaded another country.

It’s time to put the swagger on the shelf, and let the diplomats do what they do best.

Shooting down missile tests is not in America’s best interest.

Posted by: Rocky at July 12, 2006 7:25 AM
Comment #166755

Josh and Rocky,

WTFK? I thought I was the one that said we should offer Iran and North Korea concessions? Josh, I gotta disagree about the overkill thing, at least at the time we were building our nuclear arsenal. Part of the idea of deterence was to always have enough weapons to survive a first strike to launch a totally crippling counterstrike. I recommend the excellent article The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, which can be found in the March/April 2006 edition of Foriegn Affairs. It gives a very interesting view of our current nuclear situation vis a vis Russia and China. As far as the idea of a credible deterence, we have far more than that in equipment, the question is if we are convincing or not when we say that we will use it. Oh, I didn’t advocate shooting down a North Korean missle, though I don’t see how that would be bad for America if we shot it down over international waters.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 12, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #166758

Part of the idea of deterence was to always have enough weapons to survive a first strike to launch a totally crippling counterstrike.
Posted by: 1LT B at July 12, 2006 09:43 AM

That was Mutually Assured Destruction.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 12, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #166797


Exactly. The article I referenced basically states that the US is very near, if not in possession of nuclear primancy, ie the ability to launch a truly disabling nuclear first strike against Russia. We’ve always had this capability against China. The article explores how incremental improvements and upgrades to the US nuclear arsenal coupled with drawdowns and increasing age beyond their intended service life of Russian nuclear weapons probably signals an end to MAD as we know it.

When this trend is coupled with the missle defense shield we’re developing right now, the implications become enormous. MAD allowed the Soviet Union to expand and solidify its hold over other states, but it also restrained both powers. Without the threat of Russian retaliation, any complaints about the US being unilateralist now will pale into insignificance if we are able to threaten other states with nuclear strikes without the threat of a counter-strike.

With regards to North Korea, there are two ways for unification to happen. One is for the North to invade and to win. This simply won’t happen. North Korea has a larger army, but nowhere near the industrial capacity and only half of the population of the south. North Korea can hurt the South, but if it uses a nuke, we will retaliate and neither Russia nor China will risk a nuclear war with us for the North.

The other way for reunification is the collapse of the North Korean regime, which is probably not far off even without us bombing the Dear Leader. They spend upwards of 25% of thier GDP on a military that is becoming increasingly outmoded and left behind by the progress of the South.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 12, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #166807

1LT B,

“Oh, I didn’t advocate shooting down a North Korean missle, though I don’t see how that would be bad for America if we shot it down over international waters.”

I was reacting to another, less introspective, poster.

I don’t think that it would be a good idea to shoot any of their missiles down, even in international waters, unless they actually threatened America’s coasts or possessions, I would see it as a provocative act.

Besides, how embarrassing for KJL would it be to see his missiles fail one after another and fall way short if their intended range.

Posted by: Rocky at July 12, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #166831


Thanks, introspective isn’t an adjective I’ve often had applied to me. As far as shooting a North Korean missle down, I did see an unconfirmed report saying that the missle was supposed to land in the waters off of Hawaii. As a former artilleryman, I can say that we were almost certainly able to calculate where that missle was supposed to go, its basic ballistic geometry and we’ve had 50 years of experience doing this not only to calculate our own ballistic missle’s flight paths as well as in our fire finding counterbattery radars.

As far as provocatory acts go, we might take a lesson from the Dear Leader, who threatened us with nuclear annihilation, even though he’s not really able to carry out that threat. I would tend to support shooting the missle down if for no other reason than to test our ballistic missle defense system against just the type of threat it was billed to defeat, provided it could be kept secret if the attempt failed.

The biggest negative I could see out of this scenario is that it would almost certainly provoke an arms race with China. While Russia has enough missles to remain at least a partially credible threat, China does not. They have only 18 land based missles, and their guidance systems are so inaccurate that the tubes they’re stored in were drilled at a pre-aimed angle, so they can’t be retargeted. Beyond this, they’re liquid fueled, so we could see if the Chinese were fueling them and still have time to eat lunch before destroying them with our own weapons.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 12, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #166975

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara’s pet. And it was the theory that nobody lived after the button was pushed. At that time both parties were in the arms race and certain elements in this country thought it best to apply MAD. I’m sure glad we did not have to test that theory.

Posted by: tomh at July 13, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #167033


MAD was not a pet project but a fact of life. Before the Soviet Union developed the atomic bomb, the US enjoyed nuclear primacy and were able to use our sole possession of the bomb to deter Russia from aggressive acts, notably during the Berlin Airlift. Once the Soviets had the bomb, we still had an advantage in the number of weapons we possessed, but this was quickly whittled away. By the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis, both sides realized that they did not have the ability to perform a disabling first strike, and the era of MAD was born.

In point of fact, MAD did indeed work, in a sense. Because there was no way to lauch a nuclear strike without being annihilated in turn, neither side did. However, if Lieber and Press are right and we are in or about to enter a post-MAD era, the rules change completely. If the US is no longer checked by Russia (I realize that Britain and France have nuclear arsenals capable of hitting the US as well, but I don’t think anyone thinks they would ever use them on us)we could very concievably hold the entire planet hostage to our nuclear arsenal without any check on our power but our own conscience.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 13, 2006 9:30 AM
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