George W. Bush claims to not know what 'Lil Kim Jong Il's motives for testing missiles were. "It's hard for me to know what's on his mind. He lives in a very closed society."
Wait a second... Which president is talking about which again?
But I digress.
The massive, terrible missile that was supposed to be able to reach the mainland of the United States fell somewhat short of carrying the range of a John Daly tee shot, particularly if Daly polished off a few beers on the front nine.
It's certainly theoretically possible that he engineered a spectacular public failure to deceive us into thinking his missile program was weak. But considering that the financial livelihood of his nation depends on being able to intimidate us into squeezing off some concessions, not to mention their missile sales on the international market, that seems unlikely. I know if I was a second world tyrant looking to scare the bejeezus out of my neighbors, I certainly wouldn't look for a missile that had less range than my 300 pound co-worker's wind sprints.
So the idea that this was an intentional public failure... Silly bordering on ludicrous.
So now we're down to it... The real reason for the test launch. Whichever senior staff member gets stuck with the task of briefing the president can march into the Oval, crayons in hand, and sketch out the reason for him. Ready for it?
Because that's how you find out if they work.
We've tried drawing stick figures on the chalkboard into cartoons that all contain the word "BOOM!" at the end, but found that there was little substitute for actually firing a few. We've test fired missiles a few times ourselves. In fact, the nigh-unparallelled failure of the Taepodong II makes me wonder if the geniuses that designed our missile defense system are moonlighting to pick up some extra pocket money.
So, as usual when this White House is involved, there is nothing to fear but fearmongering itself.