"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)

23 November 2010

North Korea acts up again....

North Korea has the same foreign policy as a two year old up past his nap time... by now you've all probably seen the news that, in response to joint military exercises between the US and South Korea, North Korea fired on the South, marking the first attack on South Korean soil since the cease fire in 1953. 2 South Korean marines were killed and others (the numbers I've seen vary between fifteen and nineteen) were injured.

Americans, of course, are shocked. South Koreans seem more dismayed. South Korean policy toward the North took a notedly hostile turn earlier this year when a North Korean missle sank the South Korean warship Cheonan (meanwhile the North stood by indignantly claiming that no, they never saw anything and have no idea what could have possibly happened). Its part of an anti-American policy that North Korea has had since the start of the war. They see the south as occupied by Americans and controlled by evil traitorous warmongering South Koreans (their words, not mine). Joint exercises, normal military procedure, are an afront to the North.

Meanwhile saber rattling, posturing is normal military procedure north of the DMZ and with a new boy in town, poised to take the reigns of government, it should come as no surprise that North Korea is in full blown peacock mode.

What does surprise me is a little (unscientific and no doubt politically tilted) Fox News poll that revealed 47.92% of respondants think it is time to send our military into North Korea. Cease fire be damned, its time to send in the troops.

North Korea is being propped up by three nations... you might be surprised at which three these are. China is obvious. And any war in which South Korea and the US decide to go marching into North Korea is going to quickly involve China. Those of you who were alive in the early 1950's probably have tales to tell. All my generation has is the DVD series of M*A*S*H... even with Alan Alda quips, war is hell. War against a country with a billion people, which in military terms means an endless supply of soldiers from a nation which has recently come to realize it has young men to spare and then some, is probably not a good plan. The other military option is to nuke North Korea back to the stone age; a plan that would be unlikely to be well received in South Korea where as much fallout would land.

The other two supporting regimes are, ah, here's something a little less obvious... the US and South Korea. Food aid which never reaches the people is propping up the North Korean military. Literally North Korea is biting the hand that feeds it. There is no need for war against a people who have been taught that their leader is the source of all things when those things run out. Disaffection in North Korea has grown dramatically over the years. Totallitarian rule, famine, floods; these things have weakened the nation. But the people remain strong, moreso perhaps than ever. In the past decade more and more North Koreans have gained access to information about the outside world and have realized that their government has lied to them. Previously, when they were starving because of the government's mismanagement, they were told that the rest of the world was worse off than they were. No longer are they deprived of information to the contrary. More and more North Koreans slip across the border with China, where they discover a neon-bright new world awaits them.

Shortly after the Korean War, the North was the more prosperous neighbor. It is easy to see why the people could be convinced that their world was a paradise. As the paradise began to slip, it was easy to see why they would not readily realize that the rest of the world had life a little easier than they did. But as communism fell worldwide and South Korea rose to become the eleventh largest economy in the world, the contrast has become undeniable, on either side of the DMZ.

It amazes me that Americans would think it was time to go to war over a North Korean attack on the South. All out war on the North is begging for trouble. Just stop propping up their state and let their people see the truth. It amazes me that Americans are more concerned with North Korean technology (nuclear) than with North Korean human rights abuses. The latter is both the reason we should care and the weakness that can be exploited.

The US has the power to put pressure on China to stop supporting North Korean human rights abuses, to stop supporting the North Korean regime, and we have failed to do so. This mess is of our own making.

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