Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Short American Century

Back on April 5, I posted about my concerns with the erratic behavior of Kim Jon Un.  Like David Horsey, I doubted that he could actually blow up Los Angeles, but he certainly could make a mess of that part of the world.  His behavior hasn't moderated since then, but I think there's still some danger.  It's just that my opinion has moderated a little.  Here's David Horsey's updated column on the issue.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems like a fictional character out of a satirical doomsday movie -- maybe a sequel to “Dr. Strangelove.” That fact that this immature brat and his gaggle of grim, aging generals actually rule a country and have the capacity to disturb the international order seems absurd in an era of global interdependence.

In the 21stcentury, humankind should have moved beyond this, but apparently we need a few more centuries of progress before all countries are led by comparatively rational, democratically elected leaders -– or at least by boring, one-party bureaucrats whose main goal is to preserve stability and promote economic growth.

Kim is a throwback to medieval times when young, cocky princes claimed a divine right to lord it over defenseless peasants. The only reason those princes could claim that power, in truth, was because they were surrounded by troops of big guys with swords, armor and horses with a license to kill any peasant who complained too loudly. It really had nothing to do with God’s blessing and everything to do with which family was ruthless enough to take from the poor and make themselves rich. ...

Little Kim’s belligerent threat to start a thermonuclear war that would consume South Korea, Japan and various outposts of the United States is the tough talk of a tyrant in the ancient mold. But Kim is all bluff. He does not have the bombs or the missiles to carry out his threats. His country is a geopolitical pipsqueak and an economic charity case. If the real world powers, China and the United States, chose to make it happen, his regime could be snuffed out.   [Emphasis added]

In my earlier post, I suggested that the US would have to work with the UN to rein Bratty L'il Kim in.  I still believe it will take diplomacy, but not necessarily though the UN.  We will have to partner with China.  Kim Jon Un is part of that country's sphere of influence.  And that is where my thoughts moved to.

Do you remember 13 years ago when Dick Cheney and his Merry Band of NeoConservatives took office?  Their philosophy was that since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US was the only world power and could do whatever it wanted to.  That philosophy was detailed in their Program for the New American Century ("PNAC").  And with that theoretical framework, they justified wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, paid for off-budget by loans from China.  All they needed was a "Pearl Harbor" event, which they got on 9/11, and they were off.

At the same time, our corporate behemoths began shifting jobs and increasing business ties with our largest creditor until now we are no longer the "only world power."  Shortest damned century on record!

So now we have to rely on the other world power to rein in Kim so that there is no conflagration involving South Korea.  I'm not too comfortable with that notion.

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