Wednesday, April 10, 2013

North Korea's latest hissy fit

This happened last week I think. But basically North Korea, or really just Kim Jong Un, decided he wanted to stir some shit up and said some stuff about bombing the US or something. I don't really know the details because I don't pay close attention when these things come up. I don't want to completely ignore what could be real consequences that are related to this issue. One of those things is certainly the horrible situation the North Korea people live in. And there are probably some long term, large scale IR issues to be taken seriously (such as the safety of South Koreans). But I wanted to suggest that we shouldn't pay much attention to this type of nonsense.

The media loves this stuff. A crazy dictator saying crazy shit is a great way to fill time on cable networks. My suspicion is that it's also a way for Americans to sit back and relish in how awesome we are while laughing at the crazy. But I don't think we should pay much attention to the crazy shit talk because that is the only information most people get about foreign countries. And that shapes their entire opinion about policy toward those countries. So when the leaders of Iraq (formerly), Iran, North Korea, etc. make their ridiculous threats Americans, their heuristic is a crazy person that they fear. And when Americans fear things, it's not too long before a significant number of them want to bomb it.

So my solution to future hissy fits by foreign heads of state is to treat them like children throwing a hissy fit. Ignore them. They want to get a rise out of us because a reaction from us strengthens their hand. It legitimizes their actions and thus makes them look good to their own people. So just let's just treat it as the empty threat it really is and focus on the people who are actually doing much more horrible stuff, such as Assad in Syria.

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