The Natural Order
Obama's response to North Korea's fizzled rocket test was no different from what Bush would've said, for that's the imperial manager's function: reminding weaker nations who's allowed to own the big sticks. Comes with the gig. The notion that North Korea is an ominous threat to the world is another imperial talking point, taken seriously by Serious People, who speak of dangerous end games, the globe on the brink, and related dramatic rhetoric.
It's all bullshit, aimed at keeping We The Servants afraid and beholden to our owners. You'd be hard pressed to find any media commentator mentioning the millions of Koreans the US massacred from 1950-53, primarily in the North, where entire villages were erased and cities reduced to rubble. Massive destruction that was perhaps a step or two shy of an actual nuclear assault, though that too was under serious consideration among Truman's advisers. In the end, despite the mad Douglas MacArthur's raving about hitting the North with 30 nukes, it was felt that conventional dismemberment was more than enough, which it pretty much was.
Of course, the smoldering rubble and open mass graves did not seriously affect North Korea's perceptions of the US, just as if the roles were reversed, we wouldn't hold any grudge against a larger country that flattened numerous American cities and towns, killing tens of millions. And the idea that we would seek some kind of defense or deterrent against a future attack is ludicrous, which further shows just how crazy and paranoid North Korea remains.
So, a la Bush, Obama laid down the "rules," as he put it, bellowing about perilous threats and the rest. But whereas Bush would add that the US seeks only freedom, peace, and unconditional love, Obama took it to the next level, calling for a nuclear-free world.
A planet free of nukes. Wow. Awesome. Like Miss America praying for world peace and lots of hugs. The beauty of this approach is that no one can really disagree with Obama. Who wouldn't want nukes dismantled, other than lunatics and terrorists (i.e. North Korea and Iran)? That Obama admitted that such a state would probably not be seen in his lifetime, making his rhetoric even emptier, matters little to the faithful. The point is, Bush wouldn't have said it, or he wouldn't have said it as well. To countless liberals, that's all that really matters.
My old pub pal Juan Cole not only found Obama's nuke-free spiel "visionary," "pivotal" and "epochal" (beware of liberals clutching thesauri), he also says:
"The speech does not refer to the Middle East, but it has potentially big implications for that region. The logical conclusion is that Obama not only wants Iran to cease its nuclear enrichment program (which may not now be aimed at making a bomb, but could one day be used for that purpose), but he also wants Israel to give up its nuclear arsenal of 150 warheads."
Really, Juan? And just how, politically and militarily, will Obama convince Israel to go nuke-free? For this to actually work, Obama would have to insist that Israel undergo the same inspections forced on Saddam's regime. I mean, to achieve a post-nuclear world, all nations holding bombs must be treated equally, right? So not only Israel, but India, Pakistan, Russia, China, England, France, and of course the US would have to submit to inspectors and outside enforcers. I'm not sure who would enforce the dismantling of all these weapons (unless one thinks that the nuke nations would unilaterally disarm), but Obama's speech was so elevating, so life-changing, petty details like that are junk food for cynics and non-believers.
Pass the ketchup.