Not So Funny
No week is complete without a Horsey cartoon and column. Unfortunately, this edition is a deadly serious one and has Mr. Horsey very concerned, as we all should be.
Kim Jong Un is an absurdly comical figure. If he were not holding the fate of millions of people in his hands, the North Korean dictator would provide us all with nothing but laughs.
He runs a country that, thanks to the ruinous communist policies of his father and grandfather, is an economic basket case where mass starvation is always as close as tomorrow.
He has almost no friends in the world, except for the similarly outcast nutcases that run Iran. His closest allies, the Chinese, are so disgusted with him that they have signed on to United Nations sanctions against his country.
And yet, Kim acts as if he is master of a mighty nation, not king of a hermit kingdom that survives only by imprisoning its people in an Orwellian alternative reality. ...
It has always been assumed that North Korean leaders rattled sabers now and then simply to solidify their own power by stirring up the patriotic passions of their captive people. As warlike as they may have sounded, the old leaders generally did not seem crazy enough to provoke a war with the United States in which their regime would almost certainly be toppled.
The new Kim, surrounded by a huge army and a horde of sycophants, may not understand the precariousness of his position. Living amid a Stalinist fantasy as he does, Kim might actually think war would be a glorious fulfillment of his own exalted purpose on the planet, instead of a horrific, blood-soaked end to his family’s wicked dynasty.
It would be gratifying to see the pudgy-faced punk of Pyongyang meet an ignominious end. Unfortunately, it is not likely to happen without a cruel war that would be disastrous for Koreans, both North and South. [Emphasis added]
It is that last sentence quoted that is so devastating. In the past, the war-like tirades usually issued when North Korea wanted something: food for its starving citizens, even just a little attention from the rest of the world. Kim Jong Un seems to be operating under a different agenda, one that could provoke serious devastation to both Koreas and instability in that region.
Some really sophisticated diplomatic maneuvering is going to be required by the rest of the world, particularly by the US. Secretary of State Kerry and Defense Secretary Hagel will have to make it clear to "the new Kim" that in the real world, there is no way he can prevail. Member nations of the United Nations will also have to be convinced to bring diplomatic pressure on the current North Korean regime.
And, somehow, we will have to make certain that the wacky base of the Republican Party doesn't take up the war chant I fear will emanate shortly.