By Kevin Wilson
I think it’s safe to say we’re all getting a little tired of this whole North Korea thing.
I don’t mean to make light of the fact that there’s a psycho with nukes who’s made a habit of launching missiles over Japan, not to mention threatening to wipe us off the map, but let’s be real here: this crap got old months ago. Hell, it got old years ago.
But here we are, still talking about it. It won’t go away. It’s not going to go away, not any time soon. Because as much as we like to talk about how we should just go and get this blasted war over with, it’s not going to happen.
Lemme rephrase that: we’re not the ones who are going to make it happen. I’ve no doubt that if Kim Jong Un decides to actually make a meaningful move, we’ll wipe him out, but that’s the only way this is going to happen. It’s not hard to figure out why, either.
Why, you ask?
The civilized world has lost its taste for war.
On the whole, this is a good thing. War is terrible. No matter how noble the cause, it all comes down to young men and women willing to get down in the mud and kill each other.
That’s bad enough as it is, but what’s worse is the fact that you can almost count on civilians getting killed in the process. It’s rarely just the soldiers who suffer the consequences of the fighting.
Whether through collateral damage, resource scarcity, or economic upheaval, war has a way of blighting everything it touches. The fact that so much of the civilized world is so reluctant to resort to it is no surprise, and that’s okay. If we were a little less eager to resort to force of arms to get things done, we probably wouldn’t have gone into Vietnam, or Iraq the second go round.
But what we’re forgetting is that, sometimes, as horrible as it is, war is absolutely necessary. There are some problems that just can’t be solved by diplomatic or economic means. And I think North Korea is one of those problems.
The people of North Korea have been subjected to the rule of mad men for decades. The Kim dynasty has visited nearly every conceivable abuse and degradation upon them; starvation, imprisoning political dissent, executing rivals, brainwashing, all of these crimes, and many more, can be laid at their feet. In defiance of international decree and increasingly harsh sanctions, they’ve pursued and obtained nuclear weapons, and have threatened multiple countries with annihilation.
There comes a time when the international community has to put aside its squeamishness and say enough is enough, and that time for talking is over, and now it’s time for a paddlin’.
But they’re not going to. Even if Russia and China weren’t likely to obstruct any resolution that called for military action, the UN is laughably ineffectual. The vast majority of the member nations are completely incapable of projecting military force beyond their own borders. Those that can are too craven to act, unless the threat is right on their doorstep.
When it comes to reluctance to wage war, there’s definitely a case to be made for too much of a good thing.
And since we’re all drowning in peace, love, and hippie body odor, North Korea is free to keep making threats until they finally make good on one. And by then, it’ll be too late for anything like a measured response. You best believe that if Japan, South Korea, the West Coast, or any US territories get hit, Mattis isn’t gonna stop at reasonable response. He’s gonna put on his big stompy boots and kick the crap out of North Korea until he can personally make Kim Jong Un bite the curb.
When that happens, and the international community is left aghast at the ferocity with which we strike, perhaps they’ll remember that they had the power to act. Perhaps they’ll remember that, if they weren’t so damned squeamish, they could have worked together to do the right thing. The US would still have probably led the effort, but with the backing and cooperation of the international community rather than with great vengeance and furious anger.
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