He still talks about the canaries …
Every time my father talks about his trip to South Korea (back in the 80’s) he talks about going to the 38th parallel and touring one of the tunnels between the North and South demarcation point. Apparently, the South Korean military kept canaries in cages down there. Apparently, they still do. Why? Because they’ve been under the threat of a chemical attack from the North for generations, now. And just like in coal mines, canaries will breathe the air first and die. A dead canary lets you know …it’s ON.
One of the cautionary tales advocating for wars having absolute victors is the tale of North Korea. On the very heels of World War II (a struggle between totalitarian fascism and freedom), the struggle between communism and freedom broke out. And in 1950, American troops were called on to help the people of South Korea break from the chains of totalitarian rule. Nothing really changed on the Korean Peninsula, however. And in 1953, all the M.A.S.H units wrote out “Goodbye” in stones and flew home on their helicopters.
The prevailing thinking was, leave this alone. Let sleeping dogs lie. As long as one small country can be contained and isn’t a threat to the world at large, why risk any more lives? We tried again in Vietnam. But, again, with no clear victory. And these wars have become shining examples (to some) of what not to do.
One of the issues where my Libertarian brothers and sisters and I part ways is with geopolitical conflicts. I am a live and let live person. I’m not real concerned about what you put in your body or how you conduct yourself or who you marry or don’t marry or who you sleep with or how many of them there are or anything like that. I’m all about the most freedom for the most people. Let everyone live as they see fit …then deal with their own consequences. This existential philosophy colors my world view.
But when it comes to dictatorial rule, communist regimes and totalitarianism, I actually DO sometimes believe in meddling in other countries. The globe is connected like never before. Slave trading in Thailand may or may not affect people in the United States. But it should be stopped. Period. It’s a moral issue that transcends national borders. And I take it personally. Why? Because one of those slaves might be carrying the cure to cancer in her brain. Someone under the thumb of a ruthless dictator might be harboring the next great symphony or iPhone idea. And yes, some oppressed peasant in North Korea, who’s hair is turning prematurely gray from malnutrition, might be the person who could cure Angelman Syndrome, my daughter’s disorder.
If you believe in the individual, freedom is an imperative for the human race to progress. Even God gives people a choice. Can you imagine how much farther along the United States of America would be if we’d never had slavery? How many ideas and concepts and remedies were beaten out of people relegated to picking cotton and bailing hay? I believe this concept applies globally.
One of the issues that always bugged me during the Iraqi war days, was the constant protests by AMERICANS against their own nation. It was reported that Saddam Hussein would turn on CNN and see the protests against Bush, and think HE (Hussein) was actually gaining public support. I often wonder how differently he might’ve behaved if he’d seen the entire world protesting HIM instead.
See, George W Bush might not have been the president you wanted. He might not have made the best decisions in every circumstance. But he wasn’t operating systematic torture camps. He wasn’t gassing his own people. He wasn’t taking over countries and enslaving the residents.
People used to talk a bout how (when Hussein was in power), at least the trains ran on time (as if that is some amazing feat to be applauded). My thought was always, “yes …and then when you got off the train, you might get dragged into a rape room.” Somehow, we got all mixed up on who the good guys and bad guys were.
My rule on how to figure out good guys from bad guys is as follows: Ask yourself ONE question …what happens if THESE guys win? The answer to that one simple question will always tell you who you should be rooting for.
Personally, I always root for the United States. Once American troops or assets are committed somewhere, I want them to win. Because I know what will happen if they do. More liberty for people. More care for people. More democratic rule for people. Those are my values and yes, I have no problem with those values being spread around the world. Why would I? Why would you?
We’ve appeased the regime in North Korea to its final conclusion. The insane strong man at the top can now reach New York City with a nuclear weapon. All our measured, calm responses have finally played out. The reckoning is upon us. And I’m hearing people, again, want to blame OUR president for inciting this insanity. Personally, I find this offensive. When a 22-year-old kid was imprisoned and then returned to us, having been so tortured that he died in OUR care, that could’ve been seen as an act of war and it wasn’t Donald Trump who did that. That happened before he’d even gotten used to the White House soap.
This has been bubbling for a long time. President Obama reportedly told President elect Trump that THIS was the worst issue he was leaving him. All presidents have had to deal with this weird family in North Korea for years and years. But none of them have had to deal with direct threats and actual capabilities. It is now upon us to face the weird guy in the alley we’ve been avoiding all our lives.
If you are wringing your hands and clutching your pearls, hoping WE don’t incite that crazy, little fat-ass dictator punk to drop a nuke on Guam, then congratulations …you’ll make someone a great battered wife someday. It’s time we stop shaking in our boots, hoping the wrong string of words from our president doesn’t make Kim Jong Un wish us into the corn field. Personally, I would love to have Abraham Lincoln at the helm on this one. But we don’t. And at this point, it might not even matter.
My great grandmother had a saying: It’s a poor frog that won’t croak for his own pond. Well, MY pond is the United States of America. And Kim Jong Un didn’t threaten Donald Trump. He threatened New York City and Los Angeles, California. And I take that personally. I may have problems with President Trump. He might not deal with things the way I would deal with them. He might be brash and unpredictable and all the things his critics say he is. But HE didn’t start this nonsense. It was started decades ago, when a man declared himself and his family absolute deity and enslaved an entire country. And the world looked the other way and said, “cool …we’ll give you our lunch money …just don’t blow us up.”
Well the lunch money is spent and the time has come for choosing. I’m on OUR side on this one. I’m not completely thrilled about our spokesman …but he’s ours. And he’s actually right. You don’t get to threaten us. WE’RE on the correct side of history. And if you don’t know that, good luck with the alternatives.