“The liquidation of colonialism is a trend of the times which no force can hold back.”
- Kim Jong-il
“The North Korean side will participate as scheduled in the fifth round of six-nation talks. North Korea is committed to the denuclearization of the (Korean) peninsula.”
- Kim Jong-il
Last night Nancy and I sat in across the street from the fairgrounds and watched the July 4th fireworks display. And what a show it was, perhaps the best we’ve seen in our seven years here in Emporia.
We got home and found out that Kim Jong-il had given the folks in North Korea and the rest of the world a really big show. By the time Nancy and I went to bed at about eleven three scuds and a Taep’o dong II had been launched from the belly of the communist beast into the Sea of Japan. This morning I turned on C-Span and discovered Kim had launched another three. That makes the current count seven.
It’s now 8:35 in the morning here in the quiet Kansas Flint Hills and I’m wondering what’s next. The pundits are telling us not to worry too much. After all, the big one was a real disaster, only managing to fly for less than a minute after launch. Well. I feel better already! So do the Japanese, the South Koreans, the Singaporeans, the Filipinos, and the rest of the folks in Asia.
The Bush administration is considering options, including bringing the crisis to the United Nations Security Council. The Japanese are already applying sanctions. The South Koreans are outraged.
Democrat Joe Biden seems unfazed by it all, as the following blurb from Reuters demonstrates:
“Asked on CBS’ “The Early Show” whether Washington should have destroyed the missiles before launch, Biden said, “I would rather have seen it do exactly what it did, demonstrate to the whole world that it is in fact a paper tiger.”
Well, that puts the lid on the jar, doesn’t it? Let’s just all go back to sleep and stop worrying. Thanks, Joe!
Maybe I’m missing the big picture here. I can guess that some of my fellow Christians or the few talking heads that might be reading this post are thinking that I’m getting a bit overworked about the situation. Let me reassure my Christian brothers and sisters that I take great comfort in the fact that heaven awaits, and let me reassure the talking heads that I take great comfort in their superior wisdom. If I could genuflect to them I would. But, the thought of my children, grandchildren, the children of South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, and yes, even North Korea, being incinerated in a nuclear conflagration does trouble me more than a little bit. I find the notion of thousands and thousands of North Koreans starving while Kim blithely launches missiles quite troubling indeed. It may not bother Joe Biden, the pundits, or Kim at all, but it does bother me.
I grew up in the era of Bert the Turtle. How well I remember the weekly exercises when I and my classmates would crawl under our desks. It was a Cold War rite of passage for my generation of Americans. I doubt Joe Biden remembers those times. I’m sure the pundits and talking heads of today don’t. And Kim Jong-il? He couldn’t care less. He eats steak tartar, drinks Johnny Walker and giddily fires missiles one after another while his people are starving on a diet of field grass.
I’m sitting here against the backdrop of a beautiful Flint Hills morning trying to triangulate it all. I’d like to paint an imaginary picture of diplomatic and nuclear roses, but all that seems to be coming off the easel right now are mushroom clouds and Bert the Turtle. The more I think about the situation the more insane it seems. In fact, I don’t know right now who’s more insane. I know Kim is a real fruitcake, but I’m beginning to think that men like Joe Biden and the talking heads don’t have a real firm grasp on sanity either.
I did a little one man Q&A a while ago, trying to make sense of it all. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Q. Is Kim Jong-il a madman?
Q. Would he use nuclear or chemical weapons on South Korea, Japan, the United States, or any other enemy of the people?
Q. Is he working the back channels with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Council of Guardians and the Assembly of Experts?
Q. Do you think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Council of Guardians, and the Council of Experts are fruitcakes?
Q. Do you think they would use nuclear or chemical weapons against Israel, the United States, or any other enemy of the People’s Revolution?
A. Without a shadow of a doubt!
Q. Do you think that Kim and Mahmoud are in cahoots?
A, Of course they are!
Q. What can we do about it?
A. Not much.
Q. Are you insane? We’ve got to do something, don’t we?
A1. No, I’m just a guy in the lonely Flint Hills waiting for the sirens to sound.
A2. We should have done something a long time ago.
Q. What are the options?
A. They aren’t pretty. We can add more sanctions and more North Koreans will starve to death. We can go to the United Nations and China will block any international effort to bring Kim to account this provocation and the daily atrocities he commits against his own population. We can take military action and the North Koreans will attack South Korea and Japan and thousands, possibly millions, will die. Or we can do nothing (the preferred option of talking heads) and wait for the inevitable attack from the two remaining points on the Axis of Evil.
Rosy scenarios, one and all, aren’t they? And Joe Biden is basically telling us to go back to sleep. Thanks Joe! And, thanks to the Democratic Party of my youth. Thanks to them, and Jimmy Carter in particular, we’ve now got ourselves stuck in the tar pit.
It’s all eerily reminiscent of the fifties and “duck and cover.” The only thing missing is Bert the Turtle. But I suspect as this all unfolds he’ll soon be coming back into fashion.
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