Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reality? The Anthropology of the Korean Crisis

In briefest prelude, I am so sick of North Korea I could puke.

How much of this is real and how much palimpsest? This comes and this goes, comes and goes. A record skipping. Or Groundhog Day. When it comes, the American media publishes the same alarming headlines, the same experts make the same ominous statements, the same idiot blogger gets annoyed to distraction. The periodicity suggests that it is not as real as it appears on the surface, that reality lies underneath. What might that reality be? I don't know but I bet the U.S. military is convinced it knows.

If North Korea is posturing, has all along been posturing, then in its posturing it is gesturing to reality. A more useful way of putting the question would be, "What does North Korea want?" If they don't want, don't really want, to attack the South or Japan or the U.S., then what do they really want? I don't know the answer to that either.

I remember the last time, whenever that was, the thinking was that the North really wanted bilateral talks with the U.S., not the five party or six party, whatever it was, that was as far as the U.S. would go. Lifting of sanctions was another thing they wanted, think. To me at the time, those real desiderata pointed to a substratum that would include things like Respect, Attention, Acceptance. Bush41 had included the DPRK in his Axis of Evil which was not respectful or accepting. Did get them attention, though. Maybe they secretly thanked Bush. The Axis of Evil set the North on its present course. They withdrew from the non-proliferation treaty and they were off. I remember writing, at the time, They want to talk directly to us? Give it to them. Our participation in the talks can consist of "No, No, No and when would you like to be obliterated?" It would have been a short meeting. I don't remember how that Groundhog Day ended.

De Facto's tweets had the same effect on the North as did Bush's speech. (The DPRK has even suggested that Trump's twitter account be closed.) Understandable. Predictable, even. There are differences this time around. Time does that. The DPRK has nuclear weapons now, they are not just embarking on a nuclear weapons program as they were in 2002, that ship has sailed, they got 'em. And this was the number one problem that President Obama warned Trump about. So, that's a big diff this time around. The other diff is that the de facto occupier of the White House now is not just stupid, as was Bush41, but impulsive. De Facto thinks that combination a becoming "unpredictability" that he wears well. What Trump's unpredictability really means is, "I don't know what I'm doing and am making it up as I go along." (The stupid take shortcuts around their stupidity which they think makes them "wiley." Bush looked Putin "in the eye" and saw a nascent Federalist Society member. It embarrassed even Putin.) Besides when he looks in the mirror I would like Trump to tell us what other paranoid psychopaths he has treated with and if unpredictability is indicated by professionals in the treatment. I bet not. Contra-indicated, I bet. That's a big diff too.

So we have two big diffs and we are closer to the cliff than we have been in some time. If it is true that this is just more DPRK posturing and is not real, then in that posturing the DPRK is gesturing toward the real-real and it behooves General McMaster to drive into his commander's thick skull that what the DPRK really wants is _______, and to shut down his twitter account.