That old “Axis of Evil” guy is at it again, blowing up atom bombs underground and firing his pop-gun missiles into the air. And the media are doing their customary war dance in response. But don’t worry; be happy. George W. Bush is no longer in the White House so the threat of war is remote. You will probably remember how Bush and Condi used to rant against Kim Jong Il, promising to blow him and his country to pieces if he didn’t stop provoking them. Thankfully, those days are over. Nice to see you, President Obama.
While the new President is justifiably “concerned” by Kim’s antics, he is extremely unlikely to lose his cool over them. For one thing, he can read a map (see the one below), and he recognizes that Kim’s nuclear swaggering poses no immediate physical threat to America. See those two giants looking over North Korea’s shoulder? One is China; the other is Russia. And the leaders of both countries appear to have lost patience with Kim. If the North Korean despot goes too far, it will be sayonara for him.
Kim Jong Il is quite clearly off his rocker, and he might fire a missile at some neighboring country some day – if he lives long enough (he is apparently very sick). But the experts I found on the web don’t think he will. They think he is trying to get President Obama’s attention and extort financial aid from the world community. Sadly, his bluff is not likely to work… “sadly” because the people of North Korea desperately need aid. They’re starving. Their kids are dying of malnutrition and disease while their “Dear Leader” devotes all of their resources to building up his army and making his bombs. It’s a cruel world that punishes innocent people for the sins of their demented rulers, but that’s the way things work.
The only real danger I see from Kim Jong Il is the possibility that he might let some of his nuclear arsenal slip into the hands of terrorists. That would be bad news. But with South Korea joining the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, which will intercept ships suspected of carrying nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, materials to make them, or missiles to deliver them, that threat is diminished.
I know, North Korea for years has warned the South against joining the U.S.-led blockade. And North Korean leaders said last week that joining the PSI would end in South Korea’s “self-destruction.” But if you believe that threat, there’s a bridge you might be interested in buying. Kim isn’t that crazy. He knows the guys who run China and Russia aren’t impeded by humanitarian scruples, and if he steps out of line one or both of those heavyweights will likely wipe North Korea off the map.
Contrary to the delusions of ex-president Bush, America is no longer the world’s Big Brother. Uncle Sam can breathe a sigh of relief and step aside, letting the squabbling brats settle their own differences. Of course, a lot of Americans will find this statement insulting, but facts are facts. Things change, and sensible leaders deal with events as they are, not as they would like them to be. That’s one reason it’s reassuring to have a grown-up in the White House.