Sunday, May 01, 2005

Boys and their Toys

This morning, CNN reported that the US believes that North Korea has tested a short-range nuclear missile over the Sea of Japan, drawing attention to increasing tensions over N. Korea's budding nuclear weapons program -- which was a disappointingly unimportant issue in the Bush/Kerry stand-off of 2004. What worries me about this increasing conflict is the immature dick-waving contest engaged by both President Bush and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. In a press conference before the missile test, Kim called Bush a 'hooligan' and Bush responded by calling Kim a 'tyrant' and a 'dangerous person'. Okay, Bush, we're talking about quite possibly the single most dangerous leader in the world -- a crazy man with a bunch of weapons who would have no problem launching them at the States. Is it really a good idea to get into a name-calling contest with him? I mean, isn't anyone else worried that two men, armed up the wazzoo with enough explosives to allow for the sudden and apocalyptic repopulation of the world by cockroaches are acting like a couple of gap-toothed schoolboys arguing over a Jell-O pudding cup? And lo and behold lies the problem in the States vs. North Korea (or really, the Bush foreign policy when it comes to any other 'Axis of Evil' regime) -- a basic lack of respect. There's simply no reason for Bush to fall to goading Kim with childish insults, especially with the possibility of several Big Fucking Guns (tm) aimed at the collective head of all of America. While I'm being a little sardonic, I honestly don't think any resolution can be found in North Korea until America (and any other foreign government coming the table to aid in talks with North Korea) treat Kim and his government with enough respect to give the talks real weight. Only by treating one another as equals will we find a peaceful solution -- as long as we continue to allow the treatment of the conflicting sides with such disrespect and immaturity, each side will have less of a reason not to blow each other up into the Stone Age. And part of doing that is to end the mindless propaganda about North Korea. The CNN article cited above quotes Chief of Staff Andrew Card describing North Koreans as "living in poverty -- many in concentration camps. They do not have any exercise of democracy or freedom. They are not allowed to contact the outside world. [Kim] is not the kind of leader that is comfortable with the rest of the world." Funny how a little bit of videotape can go along way to point out yet another set of vicious lies perpetuated by the US government . Filmmaker David Gordon shows 'shockingly' normal North Korean lives in his new documentary 'A State of Mind'. Not saying Communism and Kim Jong Il's regime are things to be cherished, but please -- let's keep the rumour-mongering to a minimum in this already hyper-sensitive situation?


Anonymous unfurling said...

youre entirely right to point out the effect of the trite propaganda represented by, but not limited to, the axis of evil speech.

North Korea wants international aid, but it struggles with the total humiliation it must experience before it can have it. Sensible talks without rhetoric or bluster would go a long way to sorting this all out.

5/02/2005 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

couldn't agree more... (she says unabashedly, though you are agreeing with her..., still a welcome change in my comments section of late).

however, after posting this, I got into an interesting discussion with electroman in which he pointed out that in some ways, giving N. Korea respect only encourages other foreign powers to develop nuclear weapons to get America to cave to their demands in some senses.

Nothing justifies the immaturity of the name-calling, but it's certainly food for thought.

5/02/2005 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

The annoying and patently dangerous problem with North Korea is that the West can't "win" no matter what happens. All further attention focus there highlights the benefits a nuclear weapons program has for a poor, starving country he West would otherwise ignore.

However, Bush's unnecessary vitriol towards Kim Jong Il only serves to poison an already anemic relationship. Without mutual respect (or mutual fear) nations have no reason to embrace peace. Bush needs to find real diplomacy to benefit America citizens before the next NK missile test gives its results in Long Beach, CA.

5/02/2005 07:50:00 PM  

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