"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

29 July 2010

North Korea

While taking an evening walk (and being eaten alive by mosquitoes; I seem to be especially tasty this year), I listened to a slightly out of date news broadcast on North Korea. In the wake of a North Korean experimental missile launch this news show had some muckity muck government specialists on North Korea on air blathering on about North Korea's nuclear program.

The main points:
1. North Korea having nukes is bad.
2. North Korea wants to talk to us.
3. Because North Korea is being naughty we should talk to them (ie. give them what we think they want.)

This is basically a regurgitation of the same policy we've had toward North Korea for about as long as anyone can remember. I don't think anyone in Washington would really give this a serious questioning, no matter how idiotic the whole thing is on anything more than a surface view. Let's think about this for a minute:

1. Why is North Korea's nuclear program intrinsically bad? I'm sure it is the nuclear program (rather than North Korea's human rights abuses, which are on a par with those of Hitler, but we're not batting an eye at that, now are we?)that earned North Korea's place on Bush's "axis of evil" list. Apparently the international rules are nobody is allowed to have nuclear weapons or technology unless they're a big enough dog to make the rules. It's okay for our sovereign nation to have any kind of technology we want, but not for other sovereign nations. Clearly North Korea (and every petty dictator looking for a fight) would consider that unreasonable. Meanwhile, North Korea starves and tortures its own citizens, utilizes forced labor on a scale second only to Nazi Germany (actually, it could surpass Nazi Germany; nobody knows the numbers), surpresses the free expression of religion (or of any other ideas), and publically executes anyone who stands in their way. All the while the world looks on and cries foul about technology. Nuclear technology is a red herring, folks.
2. And why would North Korea want to talk with us? Is that not the most self-important idea a nation could put forward. North Korea sees the United States, along with Japan, as public enemeny number one. They have no interest in talking to us, though they'll gladly accept our food aid (and fail to distribute it to actual hungry people in their country). They know that if they upset our apple cart they may get slapped with temporary sanctions for non-essential items, but the food will keep flowing, the world will eventually forget, and if they're lucky they may just end up a little better off than they started, maybe we'll offer some incentive to disarm, which they will do for a while and then resume the program all the while cashing the American check. They don't want to talk to us, they want to distract us from the real issues.
3. But no, we decide that we can talk this through. North Korea is throwing a tantrum, let's go talk to them. A slap on the wrist with minor sanctions if that's our current policy. An incentive to play nice (which they may do but only briefly) if that's our current whim. Always about technology they have a right as a sovereign nation to develop. Never about the real issues.
Who controls the game here? If you think its the more powerful nation, think again.

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