What would happen if we launched one?

What do you think would happen if the USA launched an empty ICBM at north Korea?

Their government is “trying” - we don’t have to try. Should we remind them of that? What would happen? Just a dummy, empty cylinder “bonk” – lands in an unpopulated area, but close enough to have done some damage were it live, we wouldn’t even have to say “there are hundreds more where that came from, not just five or six”. What do you think would happen then? Would it be war? Would they pipe down? Would the world hate us worse then they already do? Or would they pipe down too? Naturally something tells me this is a bad idea, but nothing tells me exactly why it is such a bad idea. We already look like a toothless scarecrow anyway, what could it hurt? I do NOT advocate it either, but why can they do this to us and it is no biggie, but if we did it – “look what the evil USA has done now!” All of a sudden the USA would be seen as the aggressor. And the American press would eat it up like candy. I can see the NY time headlines now “USA is just a evil as we always said it was, tisk tisk”. Now it’s OK for folks in the Middle East to make a show of force, they have no problem buzzing the homeland of the countries that support their enemies with heavy weapons, the message is clear “Watch it” – they simply don’t care what the rest of the world thinks. So, why should we? So again, what do you think would happen if we hucked an empty can at them, KNOWING ours would make it?

I’d wipey wipey, then flushie flushie.

Oh…launching one of THOSE!
We’d ship a giant catcher’s mitt to (insert target country) and tell them to put it where they wanted it. I’d like to see if we could hit it.

I always liked the idea of flying a B-2 or F-117 over the North Korean capitol building, in the middle of the night and dropping a whole bunch of red, white and blue paint cans on the courtyard in front of it.

Sort of a non-lethal way of pointing out that they could have been bombs…

I like the humor guys, but what would happen? The paint can thing is GREAT by the way. Internaional “Pull my finger”… Heh.

Well, I think a big part of the issue is that we’re discussing ICBMs here. They just have a very powerful connotation towards mutually assured destruction. People would react badly because of the implication that it’d escalate beyond just Korea and likely compel Russia and China to take notice.

A wiser and more likely (though still not likely, just more likely) display would be a tactical, and harmless, conventional attack by a cruise missile and or stealth weapons. Something which would display how easily we could preemptively eliminate their military infrastructure at virtually no risk to ourselves.

In short, I don’t think it’s the “display of power” that would cause the extreme backlash, though there would be some, it’s the use of ICBMs in any way, shape or form that’d freak everyone out.

You know, Janx, there are many brands of decaffinated coffee that taste just as good as regular. Maybe you should look into them.

But meanwhile, you might want to lighten up on the martyr complex. People aren’t really sitting around all day thinking up new ways to hate America.

Just to clear things up, North Korea didn’t launch a missile at the United States, empty or otherwise. They launched another missile (because they’ve been doing this since 1988) into the Sea of Japan. If it makes you feel better, we could launch a missile into the Gulf of Mexico or Lake Michigan in response.

Oh BTW, I have NO DOUBT it would make it. We might miss that open field and (oops) hit something important. But hey, rocketry is an art, not a science.

Wanna bet?

So, then why is this such a big deal? But all that aside I didn’t want to know what you thought of my brand of Crack, I wanted to know what you thought would happen.

Yeah, that’s right. I knew it would be a bad idea! I also get the “implication” factor, so why are we making such a big deal out of it? To hear the newsies tell it, the end of the world is upon us. Could it be what they are telling us is not true? If it is such a massive threat, why don’t we just throw a rock at them and say “shut up”. Oh, we would be bullies then. Sorry. What was I thinking.

Does the phrase “look at the bright shiny object” sound familiar?

Empty? As in take out everything but the engines? Then you have no way of knowing where the damn thing would go. Oh, not quite empty, then…leave in the guidance package? Still gonna have problems, because the weight/ballistics of the missle are all screwed up. Add a dummy warhead, so it flies right? Congratulations, you just spent a few million dollars to improve the NK missle program, as they happily dissect the missle to reverse engineer improvements to their own technology.

Put another way: Really bad idea.

Now ** Oakminster **

That’s the stuff I was talking about! But not really. I can’t say I am such a simple mind,
(you can feel free to say so), I knew this would be a bad idea but wasn’t sure WHY.

So far we got:

A) ** It would totally freak the whole world right out of existence. ** And that would be bad. (Omniscient).
B) ** We would be tipping our hand. ** Giving them the technology they lack which could be used to REALLY mess us up. (Oakminster).
C) ** I think Janx is an idiot ** and I just wanna poke the bunny because I’m really bored and have nothing of substance to add to the thread. (Little Nemo).

So I guess we can skip “C”, though it is entertaining. (you go girl!)

There was something that I didn’t really look at. Like “B” – now that is a perfectly sober treatment of the question. If we did that, in a few years they could do that too, fool! They can rant and rave all they want, but now the most they could hope for is sending a nuke to one of the last islands in the Alaskan chain. That is when they actually get nukes.

As far as “empty” is concerned – yeah’ I meant a big old ICBM that had no teeth, but upon further reflection, and input from the level heads involved – it would be a bad idea, why bother, and there are more effective ways to demonstrate “stealth directives”. Cool. I agree. So then I guess what escapes me is WHY this is such a big deal. Why does it even get any air time? Why would it change oil prices? And in the end, what would happen if we just tossed a rock at them and said “shut up” – be it an (unrealistic) “empty” ICBM, a “drop” of red white and blue paint on the capitol, (which I think is a fantastic idea), or a drone that takes out an empty but “important” house. So that’s that, why all the air time to an emperor that has no clothes, when with all the bombs we have here, all across the country, the hundreds of nuke armed submarines we have in any place at any time, plus the ability to send something like a Tomahawk from hundreds of miles away, we still have to listen to this “saber rattling” You know as well as I do the US could win any war with out even sending in soldiers. Yet we still have to be “civil”. What’s up with that?
After 9/11 Afghanistan was prone within a month, beat that place into submission, the hang up is going in and “rebuilding” the country as we did with Europe and Japan, back in the 1940s. Is the structure here so obvious that the US couldn’t “level” a country and then just let it rot after the “big-bam-boom”? I know we couldn’t do that – other countries can because they don’t have the responsibility we have, but I been thinking that “responsibility” is a straw man as well, it never gets us any where, except messed with.
So what if? What if we did that - wasted entire regions and did nothing to clean up the mess? We could you know. And they know we could too. But we don’t. WHY. Others do, all the time. It would make it hard for Americans to take vacations beyond their borders, but other than that, what would be the impact? Would China quit supplying Wal-Mart? Would Honda stop sending cars? Would all the “tech phone lines” start being answered by folks in the USA instead of India? Really. In the end if the USA truly exerted itself, where would we be? Would the sun not come up? Would the stars fall from the sky? So why do we take this shit, why are we asked to believe things like the North Koreans having a weapons program is a “major threat” – why are we asked to feel like we have too much. Why would anyone want us to think that we are wrong, and that we can be defeated? Why? So cant we just throw a rock back at the heathens over the hill and say “shut up” – No Janx, we could never do that - the ACLU would never except it, the New York times would say bad things, the politicians wouldn’t get their money, and think of the message we would be sending to our children! We really ought to be more subservient to the will of the rest of the world, get with the program man! Janx, old bean, we are better off having nothing for anybody than something for somebody, silly goose!
So what if that somebody is you. No, give us your life’s work and get up against the wall,
Where you belong.

Now do I have it? That is where we are going right? That is the end game right? I just want to make sure I have it. No matter whom says whatever BS is in their head, the USA is wrong, its model is wrong and we have no right to be who we are – right? And so we should all be ashamed to be Americans – isn’t that what I am supposed to believe?

At least, that is the message I am receiving lately. I just want to make sure I am with the program. Wouldn’t want to teach my kid that the USA is the greatest country on earth for a reason. That would be bad. Right?

I just want to be clear on this. Little bitty Communist country gives its finger to the USA
Is a GOOD thing, USA giving the smack down to any belligerent little country is a BAD thing. My religion is WRONG. Their Religion is RIGHT, so it is OK if they kill my family, but I can not kill theirs. I have prosperity, that is WRONG. They are poor, that is RIGHT.

So to be on the same page with the rest of the world, I should be POOR, I should have NO PRIDE, I should be SUBMISSIVE to my government even if my government is based on religion or the ideas of a minority. I should NEVER think for myself and I should never be allowed to think that my ideas have merit. Should I express my ideas, I should DIE. Is that it? That’s where I see us headed.

Feel free to correct me. I anticipate it.

All things considered. Maybe we should just ship North Korea a bomb, let them have at the technology – I mean, why prolong the agony.

It’s a great idea except ten percent of precision weapons go astray, I hope there’s a good fallback plan in case it lands in China or Russia :rolleyes:

Janx, a few questions to hopefully clear some things up.

Could you explain exactly what you mean about other countries wasting entire regions and not cleaning up the mess? Are you talking about World War II?

Can you explain why we should launch a missile into North Korea when they haven’t launched one at us?

Can you give an example of a country that’s attacked the USA with no response being made? Germany sank some of our ships in 1918, Japan attacked Hawaii in 1941 and Afghanistan supported an attack on us in 2001. And we declared war on all of them and won every time. I think pretty much every country in the world knows it’s a bad idea to attack the United States.

Seriously, what the hell are you talking about?

While the idea is silly for the reasons already mentioned by others, this isn’t one of them. Given the speed it would hit at - 4 kilometers a second accoring to the ICBM Wiki page - I doubt there would be anything left but finely divided scrap metal.

I also expect that even if the ICBM landed in one piece, it would perhaps not be a great idea, why the hell would you give them for free an example of a missile that works ?

Well, when N, Korea saw it coming, they may go ahead and launch one that is loaded at Tokoyo.

Maybe not with a nuke, but maybe with one.

Also remember that China, seeing the inbound ICBM, may think it is coming at them.
Oh and even if nothing ‘bad’ happened, all we would prove is that we are ahead of N. Korea in tech. Big Freaking Deal. Everybody on the planet, including Kim Jong Illing, knows that.
KJI, would use it as a propoganda gold mine to convince his people that America is out to destroy N. Korea. It would stregthen his power over his people.

I like the stealth fly-over idea but instead of paint cans drop leaflets with a great recipe for shish kabob on the back of a picture of a 4th of July barbeque.

The message would be clear. “Tired of seasoning your daily ration of rice with your favorite pet?” Throw a part for Kim Jong IL and bring your friends.

Back in “the Commies are going to blow us all to Kingdom Come” 1950s, when I was growing up, there were a couple of generally accepted givens:

  1. Both we and the Commies could track an ICBM from shortly after launch, and using ordinary ballistic calculations, would have a pretty good idea of where it would come down 15-30 minutes later.

  2. It would take either us or the Commies less than 15-30 minutes to launch a massive counterattack that would result in our Mutually Assured Destruction.

Assuming that there’s at least a grain of truth in #1, I think the reaction of the Russians, Chinese and/or North Koreans to the news that there’s an ICBM heading toward east Asia pretty much guarantees #2.

If you see someone aiming a gun at you, you don’t usually wait around to see if it’s loaded.

Right and because N Korea has a border with China, why would either of them wait to see which side of the border it fell upon.

N. Korea, may not be able to hit us but they can probably hit Japan and NK hates Japan.