Another soldier has risked absolutely everything to flee across the line to South Korea. Near certain death — or much worse to escape what can be called one of the absolute worst places to live on earth.
I have many problems with American foreign policy. I can’t believe we elected Donald Trump, nor can I believe Democrats got behind Hillary Clinton, who was unquestionably corrupt and deceitful, and possibly even traitorous.
I feel helpless and alone without a voice as journalism has devolved into shallow ESPN-like entertainment. The majority of my fellow citizens are distracted by simplistic, one dimensional views and/or an onslaught of sensory escapism that has never been witnessed in the history of our species, now available at our fingertips wherever we go.
All that said, the Korean peninsula, which for many years shared a desire to one day re-unify into a country is the focal point and dividing line of human morality, if such a global idea can even be imagined.
No complicated history is required. Though I am cursed with an obsession to understand opposing perspectives while admitting I am biased, just like everyone else, I have no reluctance laying the blame and responsibility for this now nuclear powered hell on earth squarely at the feet of Russia and China.
Whether unknown hands are playing proxy chess wars, propping up these horrific living conditions, or their condition is the result of sheer ineptitude, supplied and supported by the remainder of the communist coalition that bears little resemblance to the writings of the ideologues of its founders, the result is the same.
Hell on Earth.
If humanity were sane, which we clearly are not, we could actually step out of the economic energy cold war between global superpowers and agree, simply as humans that this must not be allowed to continue.
That’s it. There are infinite angles on everything. We have become so good at propaganda and rhetoric that we flood each other with noise and apologetics and maneuvering, but strip it all off the table. Let’s just open our eyes and look.
We are not ALLOWED to make an appeal to common sense by those who write the rules of debate. Common sense arguments are considered crass, low, unacceptable — a failure, but this itself is insane, even if well intended — common sense is often ignorant.
I’ve got news for you, Academia, your snobbery and arrogance on matters such as this got us into the position we are in.
The West supports South Korea. China and Russia keep North Korea afloat, and ultimately, whatever blowhard rhetoric or failure to manage a rogue state attributed to the US, at the end of the day, it’s time to simply call them out on it.
Of course, there is the matter of our support of Saudi Arabia, it’s horrible human rights record and manipulation of the geopolitical and economic stability of the Middle East to consider — we’re far from innocent — but I call the line of “human” at the borders of North Korea.
Many parts of Africa have 3rd world problems drastically in need of attention — but this is a different ballgame. North Korea is the tinderbox that could set the entire planet ablaze.
By speaking openly with a unified, bipartisan voice, both encouraging Russia and China to help from a humanitarian standpoint and also confidently asserting responsibility for their failed foreign policies that got us to this point, we can diffuse this ever-growing threat before it reaches criticality, be it in two months or two decades. North Korea is not progressing, it is REGRESSING.
We will have to seriously consider exile rather than execution for some of the most vile criminals the world has ever known, but that is the price to pay, not only for the millions and millions of North Koreans suffering in what seems to be an intractable situation, but also for the safety and the lives for every single other human on this planet.
We must allow them to save face. We must show them a way out. Their leadership cannot remain in charge, and yet if their only option is execution for their heinous and outrageous acts, they will continue to double down, because it is their only recourse.
It’s the line where east meets west — none of us are blameless, there are far too many angles to reconcile — it will never work without war or a radical change of perspective. I vote for the latter.
Let the monsters go. Let them live the rest of their lives in a relatively luxurious but closely monitored existence — Just as the allies did for the emperor of Japan after World War II.
We must end this with a whimper rather than a bang, or we all lose.
We still have the moral high ground, but just barely. We can use what tiny international moral capital that remains and stand together, regardless of party and demand this — it can only happen through Russia and China, but we must be willing to put all other disputes aside, and we must call them out publicly — but without threat, only judgement.
The longer humanity lets this go on, the more leveraged this situation becomes, the more likely our collective moral failures will be the end of us all.
It’s called Common Sense — and that’s how Thomas Paine got the ball of freedom rolling in the first place.