State Of Nuttiness

Copyright © by Len Holman, 4/4/13


  OK, it’s official:  the planet has lost its mind.  The North Koreans have officially declared a state of war with South Korea, which is about as meaningful as the local middle school football team challenging the Baltimore Ravens to a game. Kim Jong Un is issuing threats almost daily, and WE, the United States of America, the world’s most intrusive superpower, are responding with almost-daily preparations for a war that can never happen, barring a major, stupid, unconscious blunder. 

  The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea has proven that—with help from Iranian science and lots of good old-fashioned Asian luck—it CAN fire a missile off and get it into some kind of orbit.  The Pentagon has responded by announcing it is beefing up its west coast missile defenses by adding 14 interceptor missiles to the 26 we already have installed at Greely, Alaska, just in case the North Koreans can get a missile to come down anywhere near the west coast of the U.,S.  If it DOES get one near, the pier at Santa Monica is in serious danger of heavy splashing, since the odds are that—given the state of the Korean missile technology—one could come in end over end or sideways, creating havoc for the lifeguards who will try to keep the tourists, flocking to the water’s edge to watch the show, from getting their flip-flops wet. 

  We hear that Guam and offshore islands and Japan and even Austin, Texas, are in missile range, even though the Texans know that Kim Jong Un is a lot more hat than cattle.  We have “military exercises” going on (what a coincidence!), with stealth fighters and bombers on patrol; we have warships and another radar platform moved in for a closer look.  The North Koreans have disconnected one of the “hot lines” to South Korea, while CNN showed video of Kim expertly riding his horse.  Spokespeople for the administration are publicly concerned about the North’s “nuclear capabilities” and we shudder to think what might happen if Kim and his generals decided to go for it all, if the North’s massive army were to try to cross the most mined strip of land in the world.  It seems inconceivable that Kim’s generals—who are old enough to remember the Korean War well—would submit their country to an assault which would make North Korea glow in the dark for a hundred years. 

  It seems inconceivable that a country in which its citizens eat tree bark for snacks would be so fearsome to such a massive imperial power as America.  Now, it could be that Kim is just playing the part of the stern, manly leader to impress his military and look good to those aging generals.  It could be that they are trying to coax us into some kind of a deal for food, fuel, or whatever they may need—which is just about everything.  It could be that the North Is just trying to rattle our cage—which is easy, since our cage is easily rattled.  It IS foolish to do that because we have long since abandoned any pretense of diplomacy—well, we DO pretend:  ask Hillary and John Kerry, but do we really mean it?  China has the most influence on the North and while in the midst of a reassessment of their pathway to success, the U.S. moving into the South Pacific, their growing housing crisis, and their reconsideration of the one-child policy, they have a young, inexperienced leader in North Korea to deal with, a man who is obviously shaky in his confidence, extremely mindful of his legacy, and scared as hell HE’LL end of eating tree bark for a snack. 

  In our country (which is supposed to be a democracy), the citizens are supposed to make big decisions about things like going to war.  To ensure that we all make the RIGHT decisions, we have the administration’s Spin Machine, we have the internet, news shows, “leaks” to reporters, and the constant assurance that the paranoid Right will go along with anything which smacks of a perceived threat to God’s country. We have entered the era of “imminent threat” and retaliation for things a country MIGHT do, for things an individual is THINKING of doing, and we, the people, either don’t care much, or don’t know much, or don’t get TOLD much, or all of the above.  Either way—among other countries we are keeping a gun sight trained on (Syria, Somalia, Iran, for example)—we are watching North Korea play at being a transatlantic power. 

  There was a photo in the media of Kim seated at a desk conferring with some old man in a military uniform (was that a Bic pen he was holding?), while behind them was a map which was identified by a reporter as that of the U.S., with missile strike points named by city, such as Washington, D.C. and,  oh yeah,  Austin Texas.  It didn’t look like a map of the U.S. to me, but then again, I’m not a specially-trained Pentagon analyst, or a casually-trained media breather of teleprompter news—but even if it were, well, we all make lists, hang them up or put them on the fridge with little magnets, and then…well, some of them get done and some don’t.  Having a nice wall map is a bit away from raining nukes on Texas.  North Korea is called “The Hermit Kingdom,” but real hermits don’t freak out the military brass in Washington like Kim and his friends do.  Korea, in its present dilapidated condition, probably shouldn’t be called a state at all, but if it must be called so, let it be called the State of Nuttiness.  And for getting so wound up about these folks, that’s what the psychological condition of our leaders should be called, too.


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