Wednesday, February 23, 2005

North Korea and the Military

Law and Order and Something Awful: a potent combination for inspiration.The front page of Something Awful today has an article by Lowtax (a brilliant comedic genius). It begins with mocking Bill O'Reilly for being completely non-sensical. I once watched good ol' Billy discuss with a professor on the topic of illegal immigration. Bill said, "But I don't like them coming into our country and taking our resources!" "Actually, Bill, they're a net benefit both privately and publicly. I think we need to find a way to accomodate what's here rather than pretending what's happening, and I think you are the type to do it." "But they steal our health care!" Repeat ad nauseum. The man was well versed and impeccably cordial and kind, yet Bill decided to be an "ideologue", to use Bill's own impoverished and inaccurate lexicon. This is one of those rare times when I don't even think Noam Chomsky needs to humiliate this guy - Maddox did it just fine. After Lowtax pwns O'Maniac, he moves on to discuss North Korea. Some classic quotes:"NORTH KOREA SCHEDULE for the week of FEBURARY 20th, 2005:Sunday - Claim to have produced 500 thousand tons of nuclear warheads disguised as clowns statues and comically large horseshoes.Monday - Recant previous claim. Ask for foreign aid money and suggest if they fail to pay, there might be a pretty high chance of clown statues and comically large horseshoes suddenly appearing in the future. Tuesday - Announce plans to manufacture an atomic volcano which ejaculates fiery death onto enemies thousands of miles away.Wednesday - Dub America "the great conspirator to destroy everything we hold dear, a vile rat gnawing away at our chains of freedom, chains made from courage and dedication and beauty and loyalty to the glorious Communist party." Threaten American with nuclear destruction unless they agree to trade more computers and automobiles in exchange for fanciful pieces of paper saying "IOU my heart, love N. Korea."Thursday - Close all diplomatic talks to any non-North Korean countries. If any of foreign representatives get caught hanging around in the country when it closes, refuse to let them out unless they agree to date Kim Jong.Friday - Resume talks with evil foreign nations. Claim to have produced 143 nuclear bombs just last night alone. Reveal to the world that North Korean babies are being born with nuclear bombs in their heads and laser eyes. If anybody asks for proof, present them with a piece of wedding stationary that has the words "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES UNCLE JACK" scrawled across it in ballpoint pen.Saturday - Send out press release explaining all previous events this week were "just jokes, man" and that everything next week will be "totally for serious this time." Repeat.So what do we do about North Korea? Hell, I don't know, I just write stupid crap for a website that nobody anywhere reads. When screaming schoolyard bullies act up, the teacher often isolates them in a corner, forcing them to reflect upon their actions.""If any of this sounds familiar, well, you can probably credit that to the fact that North Korea has been flaunting their brand of patented lunacy for over two decades now. Much like the shrieking child in a kindergarten class who threatens to beat up anybody that either fails to give him any attention, gives him too much attention, or fails to give him too much attention, North Korea represents the quarrelsome problem child of our planet. Nobody knows if North Korea has the ability to produce nuclear weapons, as their goofy story changes every minute of the day, like a bizarro TV Guide."I do have to say that the diplomatic strategy is far more likely to break down Kim Jong Il's stranglehold on the polity and alter the country. The North Korean insanity is largely due to the fact that a) they have to save face and b) they need a credible deterrent to the US. If the US were to back off, there'd be a drastically more impressive chance that the situation would alter.Then there was a Law and Order episode about peace protesters and the miltiary. This makes me want to quantify my position on the military.The Pentagon isn't a defense institution, it is a subsidy and offense institution. The US may be better off with no army than with the Pentagon. That having been said, the military, while certainly having its own pathologies and violence, are largely constrained by political and economic factors. Often, groundpounders or even generals and officers have very realistic conceptions of the world and are honestly concerned with security, but are responsive only to generals who will become CEOs thanks to revolving doors, Congressmen who are more concerned with re-election than security (and hand the army weapons they can't use), Presidents in hoc to business elites, and corporations. It's a tidy system for everything but the grunts and the American people.My attitude is to take my issues up with management. Just like I won't harass a Wal-Mart employee, I won't harass a soldier. I know a good number of Marines, sailors and soldiers, and they are overwhelmingly intelligent and realistic.


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