Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Devil's Advocate at Large

I have been anything but jaded lately, and it's certainly been a while since I spouted off at the mouth some rather unpopular opinion. It's a fine ordinary day to rattle some cages.

North Korea is rather passive-agressive these days, wouldn't you agree? They have missiles that can hit U.S. mainland, although they wouldn't be able to drop much payload because they haven't refined their nuclear weapons enough to accomplish that. But they could certainly cause Japan some problems.

And now they're saying that they aren't bound to (what I believe is) a self-imposed moratorium on lobbing missiles over Japan's head into the sea.

They claim that they need to build up their arsenal to defend themselves in case we attack them.

Well, if you were living in North Korea, and you had the North Korean media pushing propoganda your way, wouldn't you see the logic of this?

Since WWII we've gone into (that's a light version of "invaded" for all you non-military, non-history buffs) Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Serbia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan just to name a few, and it was (at least in large part) because we disagreed with their form of government.

So we, the only world superpower still standing, have a habit of ignoring the U.N. and doing what we damned well please when it suits us, for whatever reasons suit us. And we've had some compelling reasons, in our point of view. But maybe North Korea thinks we're controlling kooks that only want democratic world domination, at the very least. And remember, they have their own spin doctors reporting "just the facts, ma'am".

Yeah, if I was in North Korea, I'd want to protect me from us, too. After all, isn't that why we-the-U.S. have a nuclear program in the first place... to protect us from everyone else that might want to destroy us?

So why is it okay for our allies to have in place a system of protection from potential nuclear war, but our enemies cannot? Surely we cannot claim impartiality or pacifism if we do not allow our enemies the same rights we demand from them? (Of course, we are not claiming pacifism....) To them we must seem like monsters. And remember, we've had a military presence 10 miles off of their border for forty years now... "just in case". That's got to be reassuring to them.

In a larger sense, think of their media. They've had more than four decades of spin to raise an entire generation that has never known a time when U.S. troops didn't patrol the woods on the other side of the 38th parallel. That's plenty of time to raise a generation of people to believe that the U.S. is impending danger at all times.

Forty years is also enough time for the changing of the guard. The next generation -- the one raised with us right over the border -- is taking command of the country. They'd be stupid not to want to level the playing field a bit.

How much you want to bet we respond by increasing our forces in South Korea? We've gotten predictable, tactically. You want to fear something? Fear that.

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