Posts Tagged North Korea
North Korea’s government is unable to stay in power by providing the people of North Korea with prosperity. Thinking about the analysis of North Korean propaganda from BR Myers, which has portrayed Kim Il-Sung and then Kim Jong-Il as protectors of the Korean people against foreign, specifically American, aggression, I guess the current aggressive actions and statements from the government there are intended for the domestic audience.
I don’t for a moment believe Kim Jong-un believes he could win a war with the US. I find it improbable to think he would actually launch a nuclear weapon at any other nation. North Korea lacks any significant ability to wage an extended war. I find it hard to believe Kim Jong-un would commit suicide. I think what we’re seeing is intended to shore up support in North Korea and to allow Kim Jong-un to step into the traditional role of protector the people.
For me, the question isn’t how do we get them to stand down but how to get them to not feel the need to make such actions again? I guess rather than seeing these actions as the actions of an unpredictable leader, I think they were predictable and they aren’t surprising.
Part of the answer is that the government in North Korea isn’t confident it can stay in power. They won’t commit suicide, they will do what they have to do to stay in power. This strategy has worked for North Korea for a long time. They’ll keep doing it till it stops working.
Image Source: NASA ~public domain
While the world celebrates Earth hour, while we have the comfort of knowing the power will be back on after 60 minutes there is the people of North Korea that “celebrate” Earth hour each and every hour of their lives. Only they do not have the comfort of knowing the juice will start flowing again because it won’t. Only in the city of Pyongyang where the ruling class lives do they enjoy the comforts electicity and energy provides.
Be thankful we live in a place were energy is abundant and relatively cheap. Without it life is hard and short. Be thankful we live in a country were we can take energy for granted so much that we can voluntarily live without it for a single hour.
Rio may have gotten the Olympics regardless of President Obama’s ill-advised junket to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Chicago did not even make the first round and it was Barack Obama himself along with Mayor Daley’s Chicago machine that caused the stinging humiliation.
Kai Holm, a former Olympics committee member, told the newspaper (translated): “The fact that Barack Obama came, could not do it. I think we lacked emotion, it seemed too empty and business-like. So when Tony Blair promoted London he was around three days to lobby and talk to people. You can not just come with the train one day and try to affect everything. People have felt that it was a lack of respect for the Olympics and sport in general. I think people felt it was too business-like to get into the way we have now seen it many times, and you would have feelings back.”
Obama came across as the classic ugly American who arrogantly swept in thinking he and Chicago were entitled to take the prize simply on Obama’s mystical powers of persuasion. Obama wrongfully thought that jetting in on Air Force One giving a speech then quickly jetting out would be enough to woo the IOC into submission. Was he ever wrong.
This inexperienced President missed the first rule of negotiations. Never send the the President to seal a deal unless you know beforehand it’s a done deal. Since Obama has never run anykind of organization he and his staff were unaware of this basic tenant or too arrogant to think about it.
The Olympics does not reach the level of negotiating with Iran or North Korea on nuclear weapons but you can bet these countries are encouraged by the real or perceived weakness of Barack Obama and thus the President’s humiliating failure has severely damaged the prestige and credibility of the United States.
Advise to IOC members, watch your kneecaps.