I have a lot of thoughts about the North Korean situation. Well, not a lot of thoughts. But I do have 5 thoughts:
Thought 1: We should probably be more worried about this than we seem to be — it should be a huge story, involving as it does the potential for someone using nukes for the first time since we provided a couple of teachable moments to the empire of Japan. (You’re welcome, Japan. Let this be a lesson to you.) Instead, most people’s reaction to this whole situation is muted, and I think that’s because this is a classic case of the boy who cried wolf. Since November 9th the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) has been so deeply (and laughably) immersed in drama queen anti-Trump mode over every tiny story, no one is listening any more.
Trump gets petulant about the size of his inaugural crowd?
MSM: He’s a dictator! Dictators do that! It’s the END OF THE WORLD (EOTW, for short)!
Trump compliments the looks of the French president’s considerably older wife?
MSM: That kind of sexism is what sexist dictators do, and it causes millions of women to have anorexia and low self-esteem, and probably shingles and psoriasis! It’s the EOTW!
Trump says that he’s going to withhold some federal funds from sanctuary cities who defy ICE and proudly break federal law?
MSM: This is the first step dictators take when they commit genocide! First they force people into the shadows, and then – yada yada yada – Auschwitz! EOTW!
Trump responds with juvenile insults to the juvenile insults from Mika Consonant-filled-last-Name? (If you think I’m going to spend my precious time looking up how to spell Mika’s ridiculous last name, you are crazy. I know her dad had the same last name, but that was balanced by one of the coolest first names ever: Zbigniew. The fact that no rapper has taken that as his stage name – Z-big — shows just how stupid rappers are.)
MSM: He’s punching down! You know who else punches down? (The bored-out-of-his-skull union camera operator mumbles, “Dictators?”) That’s right – dirty, rotten, down-punching dictators. EOTW!
So now, when an actual dictator actually does threaten to use nukes, we’re all watching Game of Thrones and tuning the MSM hysterics out.
Thought 2: I also have a hard time taking North Korea seriously because I’ve seen Team America: World Police a dozen times. This probably does not speak well of me, but what can I say?
If you haven’t seen that movie yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. Yes, it is a puppet movie. And yes, the puppets’ every movement and gesture is as awkward and graceless as you would expect. Yet it transcends all of that and provides what can only be called an eerily accurate presentation of Islamic terrorists (Fun fact: Arabic vocabulary consists entirely of the words, “Dirka dirka, Mohammed jihad!” True story.) and of whichever Kim was dictator at the time. (Does it really matter? Am I alone in thinking that poor North Korea has been ruled by a series of interchangeable Kims for 1000 thousand years?)
(And if you mean to tell me that there is a better name for a Korean improv comedy troupe than “Interchangeable Kims,” I can only say an emphatic, “Good day, sir!” and slam a metaphorical door in your face.)
Seriously, Team America has the three essentials for drama that Aeschylus first laid out 500 years before Christ: 1. Rising tension between protagonists that is eventually resolved in the final act. 2. Disturbing puppet sex. 3. Hans Blix (“Brix”) being eaten by a shark.
Plus, it features what has to be the most impressive, nuanced performance of Matt Damon’s career.
Anyway, enough about the movie. I’m just saying that once you’ve seen one of the assorted Kims wandering the over-sized palace hallways — in those ginormous Harry Caray glasses, singing, “I’m so ronery! So ronery! So ronery and feering so brue.” – it’s hard to feel threatened by North Korea.
Thought 3. One other reason it’s hard to be too worried about North Korea? They threatened to shoot a missile at Guam.
Not Hawaii. Not San Francisco or LA or stately Simpson Manor.
Now I don’t mean to disparage Guam, or the Guamians. (Guamese? Guam-bats? I don’t know.) But is it unfair to note that Guam has not occupied a preeminent position in the thoughts and hearts of the West in general, or Americans in particular?
Is there a Guamian dream that stirs your heart? Have you ever choked up at the first notes of the Guamian national anthem (“Guam, Guam, Uber Alles” for all you know), or found yourself reciting the national motto of Guam (“Vive la Guam?” “Semper Guam?” “Live Free or Get out of Guam?”)? I think not.
Picture the scene at the White House. The latest Kim is addressing his starving, twitchy, fearful nation. Trump and his advisors and generals are on the edge of their seats around a huge oval table, watching a big screen as the speech reaches its zenith. “And if America does not agree to our demands, we will attack… Guam!”
The generals and advisors look at each other for a long moment. Then they all slump back into their chairs in relief.
Advisor 1: “Did he say Guam?”
Advisor 2: “Oh thank God!”
General 1: “I was sure he was going to say Hawaii!”
General 2: “I know, right?”
Trump (with a big sigh of relief): “Okay, how many people are in Guam?”
Advisor 3: “Dozens?”
Advisor 4: “It’s got to be thousands, at least. Right?”
Shrugs all around.
Trump: “How about the economic impact? If there was a strike on Guam’s capital…?” (looks around the room for help)
Anthony Scaramucci: “Guadalupe?”
Trump gives him a dirty look. “Mooch? What are you still doing here? I fired you weeks ago.”
Mooch hangs his head, slowly gets up, starts for the door.
Trump (to the rest of the table): “Economic impact? If Guam was hit, God forbid, would that interfere with our supply of…?” (looking for more help, while his advisors study the ceiling or their shoes)
Trump: “Out!” (Mooch shuffles the rest of the way to the door, and closes it behind him.)
Trump: “It’s not guava, right?”
Shrugs all around.
Trump: “All right, somebody Google Guam, and we meet back here in 10.”
Thought 4. It’s not the Kim haircut that makes me dismiss him. It’s the judgment call that he made AFTER getting that haircut.
He stood up and looked at himself in the mirror – the poor barber trembling beside him, sure he was going to be executed for creating such a ridiculous look – and said, “Yeah, that’s it! My biggest problem now is that once my people get a look at this, they’re ALL going to want it. General Kim? You and the other generals Kim are to issue a nationwide decree: No one else can have this haircut.”
General Kim (with a straight face): “That’s going to be a tough one to enforce. I mean, with that haircut being so awesome and all.”
Kim: “I know, right? Hey, get my publicist in here, what’s his name?”
General Kim: “Kim?”
Kim: “That’s right. I need to get some publicity shots taken right away. I’ve got to share this haircut with the nation.”
Thought 5: I don’t care for the professional wrestling language going back and forth between Kim and Trump. Kim always talks like that: “We’ll reduce you to jelly!” (Millions of starving Norks then begin salivating at the thought of sweet, sweet jelly.) And Trump is usually half-way there too (“We’re bringing Fire and Fury, baby. Believe me. It will be like nothing the world has ever seen.”) I find myself agreeing with Trump’s critics: a president shouldn’t talk like this.
But on the other hand, we all know how presidents are supposed to talk, right? Diplomacy-speak: The world community won’t stand for this. It’s in all of our interests that we avoid conflict. We can get past this misunderstanding. With mutual respect, we can move forward to a settlement…
How’s that worked out for us?
After a little Trumpian tough-talk, Bill Clinton arrived at a diplomatic coup that would appease the Norks and keep them from developing nukes. (Spoiler alert: they developed nukes.)
Bush mixed some tough talk with some diplo-speak, carrot-and-sticking the Norks to stop testing their missiles. (Spoiler alert: they kept testing their missiles.)
Obama muttered his way through the kind of banalities that most of us outgrew by the spring of freshman year (No one wins in a nuclear war, you’ll be on the wrong side of history if you don’t agree with me, the entire world community agrees that…), in an effort to stop the Norks from developing and testing longer-range ICBMs. (Spoiler alert: they developed and tested longer-range ICBMs.)
Bottom line: North Korea is a mess that threatens its neighbors, and that’s going to continue until the demented socialist regime that has been torturing their people is gotten rid of. All sarcasm aside, the recent history of NK is a devastating story of incredible suffering and almost incomprehensible evil, and it’s tragic that China has enabled it, and that no other nations have been able to stop it.
But I don’t think anyone has a clear idea of how to solve this. The only thing that seems clear is that it’s infinitely better to prevent despotic regimes from getting nukes than to try to deal with them once they have nukes.
Speaking of Iran…