In Defense of North Korea and Iran

by  John Stahl
July, 2006

      The United States government is acting like a classic bully, rubbing the faces of the Iraqis in the dust. A bully does not attack an opponent with the capacity or will to make a significant resistance; a bully attacks someone sufficiently weaker so that the bully can have its way with the weaker party without fear of unacceptable consequences. This is most definitely a sexual pattern – one of the perversions which I have enumerated in my article on The Metaphysics of Sex. Of course, in the case of Iraq, the American government clearly underestimated the determination of the Iraqi people to resist this unwelcome interference into their domestic affairs. However hated Saddam Hussein may have been, the presence of the Ugly American is even more offensive. It is so clear to me that nothing about that horrible mess is going to get better until the Americans take their “stick” out of the faces and lives of the Iraqi people and go away.

     But I find it interesting that the Americans have found it so necessary for their perceived National Interest to make this war in Iraq. There might be far more egregious offenses against human dignity in unimportant little countries in Africa, but, since there are no important reserves of Oil over there, there is no urgent reason for the Americans to be involved – let them kill each other off; so who cares, anyway? But in Iraq it will be possible to maintain such a state of chaos and confusion that the price of Oil will be maintained nice and high, so that everyone involved in that industry can go on raking in Obscene Profits with their fat fingers, which is the whole point, of course.

     But, the apologists for the government will say, Iraq is not just about human rights abuses; it is about the weapons of mass destruction and the fears associated with their possible use that has caused the military interventions in Iraq. Well, I hope I do not need to further flog that dead horse! Everyone knows by now that the only reason why the Americans suspected the Iraqis of possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction was that they “saved their receipts.” (E.g., where do you think all of the anthrax that has ever been found has come from, as proven by careful analysis?) But I will leave that dead horse to the jackals, the rats, and the ants. In the present climate, there should be nothing but bones bleaching in the sun before this day is out.

     I turn, instead, to a consideration of “weapons of mass destruction,” and ask why the US government has devoted its attention to the relatively harmless Iraq when there has never been any doubt at all about the much more serious threat of weapons of mass destruction coming from North Korea? The North Koreans boast about it, after all, so it should not be very hard to believe in the presence of their weapons.

     The answer is perfectly clear! North Korea possesses a real and credible threat! No one in North Korea is under the slightest illusions about what would happen if they were to go along with the demands of the United States and surrender their program of nuclear weapons development – they would be stomped immediately. No, it is the presence of a clear and credible threat that is the only card in the North Korean deck, so there is little likelihood that they will surrender it on any terms whatsoever.

     In fact, that is the only effective way to respond to a bully. When a bully comes up to you and says, “Give me your money!” he expects you to say, “Here it is! Take my watch, too, and my credit cards! Just please don’t hurt me!” But if the “victim” says, “Oh, yeah? You and who else? If you want my money, come and get it!” To which the bully responds, “Ah, forget it, loser! I have other fish to fry!” And he goes away looking for an easier mark. Why risk hassling with anyone who is going to fight back, when there are so many easy marks out there just waiting to be fleeced for nothing?

     And now I look at the events in Iran and I am not the least bit surprised that the Iranians are doing everything they can to get a credible threat operational as quickly as possible. They see the handwriting on the wall. They can see that “Moslems” are being set up as the heirs to the “Communists” of an earlier generation, as the villains whom we must all hate and fear. It is the oldest trick in the book for any unpopular government – find a scapegoat to hate and to blame for all the ills besetting them, and everyone will direct their opposition to them instead of trying to bring down the unpopular government. No one is fooled by the claim that they are only interested in peaceful uses of nuclear power in Iran – certainly they are trying to establish a credible military threat, and that is the only thing which can save them from suffering the fate of Iraq. Perhaps if Saddam Hussein had managed to maintain a credible arsenal of biological weapons, he might have remained in power all of this time. “Yes, we have biological weapons! When we are confronted with a monstrous military machine like the United States, there is no way we can oppose firepower with firepower, but we can unleash biological weapons which will produce devastating mayhem upon targeted American cities! We have a great many independent agents all over the world, ready to unleash their horrors at the first sign of hostilities against the sovereign people of Iraq. So just you watch your step, Uncle Sam, and keep your ugly nose out of our affairs! We will not be the first to use these weapons, but if we are attacked, we will make you regret your folly!” And so on.

     So am I advocating that all of the weaker countries in the world should arm themselves as quickly as they can in order to defend themselves from the rampages of an American government which has gotten way out of control? “Mutually Assured Destruction” and all of that?

     Well, in the short term, there seems to be no other way to curb the blood lust of the Americans, who want to rule the world (economically if not politically – puppet states run by military dictators are perfectly acceptable as long as they maintain a favorable climate for Business).

     But we need to take a longer term view. If there is any hope for the survival of life on earth, there must be a whole new basis for political institutions. I stand with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and many others who are convinced that there can be no important evolutionary advance until the whole earth is united politically into some sort of cohesive whole.

     The History of the twenty-first century will be the story of the evolution from a state of chaos in which the world is over-run by a jungle full of independent sovereign states, each pursuing their own agenda for their own personal advantage, into a state of order in which the whole world is unified politically. – or else it will be the history of the last days of civilization, in which the biological health of the planet is irreparably undermined until the human race either dies out altogether, or enters a period of hardship and horror of which the current plague of cancer is only the tip of the iceberg. Our world is rapidly becoming unfit to support life, and very urgent and radical changes must happen very quickly if this slide into disease and death of the planet can be halted or reversed.

     I have some ideas of what must be done, but they are the subject of different essays.

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