Rooney: U.S. Should've Attacked North Korea, But Now 'Ineffectual' UN Should Handle It

At the end of Sunday's 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney expressed bafflement over why anyone would worry about a nuclear weapon in the hands of a communist tyrant: “I don't understand why we think it's okay for us to have a nuclear weapon, but it isn't okay for some other countries to have any.” And he went on to assert a very naive and dangerous view: “I don't think any country should have nuclear weapons. And that includes ours.” Noting how many “are in a tizzy” over North Korea's nuclear weapon test, Rooney rued that “we're a little late getting exercised about this. North Korea has always been more of a threat to world peace than Iraq ever was and if we were going to attack someone three years ago to make the world safer, we should have attacked North Korea, not Iraq.”

He then rationalized how “it's not hard to understand why North Korea wants the bomb. If we Americans lived in North Korea instead of here, do you think we'd be in favor of our little country having it? You're darn right we would.” Rooney acknowledged that the UN has “been an ineffectual organization,” but contended that's why “we've got to give it more power and the way to give it more power is to give it more responsibility,” so though a minute earlier he suggested the U.S. should have attacked North Korea instead of Iraq, he argued “the UN should take the bomb away from North Korea; we should not.”

Rooney's commentary at the end of the October 15 60 Minutes, based on the text posted on CBSNews.com, but corrected to match what he actually said on the program:
“I served in the United States Army for four years during World War II, so I never feel I have to worry about sounding unpatriotic when I’m critical of something my country does. Right now, I don't understand why we think it's okay for us to have a nuclear weapon, but it isn't okay for some other countries to have any. I don't think any country should have nuclear weapons. And that includes ours.

“Seven countries admit having them. They are the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, China, India and Pakistan. Israel may have them, but hasn't said so. North Korea has recently set off a nuclear bomb of some kind, and the leaders of the countries with the bomb -- that includes us -- are in a tizzy about that.

“We're a little late getting exercised about this. North Korea has always been more of a threat to world peace than Iraq ever was and if we were going to attack someone three years ago to make the world safer, we should have attacked North Korea, not Iraq.

“We're not so much afraid that North Korea will use the bomb against us as we are that they'll sell their nuclear technology to some little country or group of individuals who will use it on us. It could happen. It's not hard to understand why North Korea wants the bomb. If we Americans lived in North Korea instead of here, do you think we'd be in favor of our little country having it? You’re darn right we would.

“President Bush did the right thing when he presented the United Nations with our complaint against North Korea instead of declaring war on them. I'm not a big fan of the UN. It's been an ineffectual organization, but we've got to give it more power and the way to give it more power is to give it more responsibility. The UN should take the bomb away from North Korea; we should not.

“I've said it, and I'm glad.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center