Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blowing Smoke Back at North Korea

There have been interesting reports coming this week from North Korea. First off, any reading from North Korea, is by itself, interesting, for there is a dearth of information that flows from the dark country. There’s never any “news,” and rarely even propaganda. If it wasn’t for “Team America” reruns on cable, you could go months without even thinking of Kim Jong Il and his fourth world country.

Biggest shock on the news was the story of a 100,000 demonstrators marching, chanting for the destruction of the United States. Shocking! How could they possibly fuel the activities of 100,000 citizens in a famine-struck country? They must really be angry. That, or it was 100,000 political prisoners being forced to march by the pointy end of a bayonet pressed against the small of the back.

The politics involved in the situation is most fascinating. In North Korea, you have a brutal dictatorship of a truly backward country. This is a country that is literally in the dark, without reliable electricity for much of its territory. They have repeatedly shown an inability to grow enough food for their citizens, and its only cash crop for export is opium poppies, the profits of which they use to build crappy weapons (which, in turn, are sent to Myanmar for money to fund their nuclear research). Throughout all this despair – and believe you be, if you’re not Kim Jong Il or one of his cronies, you live in deprived disparity - somehow its government (read: Kim Jong Il) feels compelled to devote ever scarce resources to building rockets, and most probably, nuclear warheads.

All this for a country whose biggest wireless carrier is smoke signals.

The truly scary part of the entire story is the nuclear component. Earlier this week, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell dismissed North Korean threats as “silliness.” Still, the thought of North Korea; or Iran, for that matter; possessing nukes is as unsettling as having your teenage daughter locked in a sauna with the members of Motley Crüe. Nothing really good can come from it.

The reason it’s so scary is that we’ve been “trained” to think of the North Korean and Iranian regimes as being a bit crazy. We see wild happenings in the street and loud, angry proclamations we don’t fully understand. Crazy plus not understood equals scary.

What we need is scary too, and I’m not talking about the threat of the finest military in the world. No, I am referring to the unpredictable usage of the finest military of the world. We need to impress upon political leaders across the world that we’re a bit crazy too. Think of the signal we’d send if we just quickly invaded Toronto, tore the place up, then gave a big relief settlement to help with the rebuilding. We could state, “Look at us crazy motherf#*kers; look what we did up there. They’re our friends! We like them! Yeeee Haaaa!

That would send a signal, smoke or not.

Of course, that’s just this guy’s opinion.

Thanks for reading. Continue the conversation, either below in the comments or on Twitter @RayHartjen.

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