New York, North Korea, and the sum of all fears

Posted: October 14, 2006 in Socio-Political

Leave it to TV news to find a tenuous link between the New York plane crash, the North Korean nuclear testing and terror attacks in the Philippines.

When news of the New York plane crash that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle reached the Philippines, there was speculation on the possibility of another terrorist attack similar to 9-11. After all, the events at the World Trade Center are still fresh in the minds of many people.

The New York plane crash was ruled an accident and had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, despite visual similarities with the 9-11 attacks.

But somehow, the event was used by some enterprising news programs to invoke public fear of another terrorist attack. How?

We have our favorite US ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney to thank for. In an interview on national TV, juxtaposed with the backdrop of a smoking Manhattan building and the death of a major league baseball player, Kenney reminds us that terrorism can strike anywhere. Yes, even in the Philippines.

Not content with the super stretch-of-the-imagination segue from Manhattan to domestic terrorism, Kenney goes on to warn us of the potential dangers of the recent North Korean nuclear testing. According to her, ONE nuclear warhead in the hands of a “rogue state” can pose serious threats to Asia.

Great. Thank goodness most of the world’s nuclear weapons are concentrated in the US. We sure are lucky that the world’s number one superpower possesses around 6,500 active nuclear warheads, on top of 1,100 tactical nuclear weapons. We can all feel safe knowing that the US is the only country in the world to ever actually use nuclear weapons on civilians — not once but twice! And yes, the US is at the forefront of nuclear testing, including potentially hazardous atmospheric detonation.

Truly, the US diatribe and proposed sanctions against North Korea is the ultimate hypocrisy. It’s like having a junkie teach teenagers about the hazards of substance abuse. Or Gen. Palparan teaching vigilante groups to respect human rights.

While many are probably aghast at the nuclear test conducted by North Korea, we should at least try to understand the incident within the context of US-Korea relations over the past 50 years. These include the Korean War, the death of 4 million Koreans, the division of Korea, inhuman economic blockades, military encirclement, and constant provocation and threats at the 38th parallel.

The leaders of North Korea probably believe that the only deterrent to all-out US aggression would be acquiring nuclear capability.

One would probably ask, wouldn’t the presence of nuclear weapons in North Korea be used to justify a US invasion? After all, weren’t Saddam’s nuclear weapons the reason why the US invaded Iraq?

Ah, but there lies the main difference. The US successfully invaded Iraq on the pretext of nuclear weapons that were not really there to begin with. It’s an altogether different situation in North Korea which DOES have nukes. The US will probably think twice now.

So who’s terrorizing who? The North Koreans with their nuclear testing? Or the US with its penchant for invading countries that don’t agree with its foreign policy?

A peaceful solution to the standoff can be reached only if the US backs off.

Comments are closed.