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Questions For A Docile Population

The big news yesterday was North Korea shelled the shit out of a South Korean island. According to Katie Couric of the CBS Evening News, North Korea made the choice to interpret South Korea’s participation in war games with the United States Navy as a military threat and retaliated with more than fifty salvos. The South did its own retaliation with about eighty shells. The news story didn’t specify what the South’s target was. Two South Korean sailors were killed in the attack and dozens of civilians were wounded. The news was full of pictures of plumes of smoke rising over the tiny island.

Today people are asking what the hell is North Korea up to. There is a rumor that Kim Jong Il is preparing his twenty six year old son Kim Jong Un to succeed him and instead of seeing this as an opportunity to try and persuade the new leadership to assimilate into the world’s fold, people need to know that the North will be crazier than ever. North Korea thrives on the respect it gets from other countries. If people recall, Saddam Hussein was minding his own business in one of his palaces when the United States decided to drop its big military foot on his throat because he was so unstable. Mr. Hussein was a threat to the women of Iraq and he was a destabilizing force in the region and the United States had to liberate people for their own good. Somebody had to do it and our military wasn’t busy at the moment. It was a no brainer. But Saddam Hussein didn’t have a nuclear arsenal up his sleeve so the invasion of Iraq was supposed to be something militarily easy. Who knew we’d still be there all these years later?

Now by any measure one chooses, it should be pretty obvious that Mr. Jong Il is even a bigger destabilizing force. And the fact that his country is ready to use military force to give a bitch slap to his neighbors to the south has always been a quite possible foregone conclusion. Dude just confirmed things for everybody. But instead of gearing up the old war machine and giving Mr. Il the same kind of “you got until sundown to get out of town” threat that was given to Mr. Hussein, the United States and the rest of the world doesn’t want to escalate things. Yes we know that the North did one of those preemptive strikes that were really popular with the previous administration. But this is a new time and our war machine is kind of busy so we need to make a measured response. We’ll take this to the United Nations and have some security committee write a stern letter of protest. That’ll show them. After all, the pen is mightier than a bombardment of more than fifty salvos.

The propaganda machine is kicking into gear. The North is a rogue nation. The leadership is free to wreak havoc on the world and the people of North Korea are more than happy to support their rogue regime. And North Korean analysts are on the news explaining how the government lies to its people and demands that the people conform to leadership’s wishes. The public is forced to endure whatever the government says. The Korean people are brainwashed to trust whatever their government tells them. The people are controlled. One commentator described the North Korean citizenry as a docile populace.

Right after that story, the news switched to a scene in an airport where people were standing in long lines in the traditional pre-Thanksgiving holiday rush, except now with enhanced pat downs and full body imaging to boot. There was talk that some outfit was encouraging people to protest the body scanners and opt for the pat downs in order to gum up the works. Does anybody really think those pat downs are a real improvement to being forced through a downgraded standing MRI machine? But inevitably, the story went on to show people being interviewed and saying how they don’t mind the invasion of privacy because they feel safer knowing that everybody is a suspected terrorists and the TSA is looking for the bomb that can be lurking up somebody’s back crack. Just like the North Korean people probably feel safe knowing they live in a country that won’t be invaded because they have an unstable leader. Who can point a finger at North Korea and talk about a docile populace without looking too much like a hypocrite?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts | ,


  1. You have made an absolutely awesome (and frightening) point. Bravo!

    Comment by ish | Thursday, November 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. I don’t know whether the North Korean population is brainwashed or docile. Perhaps it’s more accurate to suggest that they recognize a futility and a real danger in trying to challenge the system. I also doubt that they feel safe. Though I don’t feel convinced that we have fully accurate information from North Korea, usually governments use fear to keep people from protesting too much. If the stories about massive hunger in North Korea are correct, this would be another factor in making a population seem docile. Who has the energy?

    In contrast, undergoing a full body scan on my next flight seems like a minor annoyance. I also have no better idea about how to prevent dangerous passengers from boarding the plane, at least in the short term.

    Comment by Betsy | Saturday, November 27, 2010 | Reply

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