Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sabre rattling

I grew up in a time when the world was drawn into one of two camps, either black or white. You were allied the United States or you were allied with the Soviet Union. My how times have changed. There are few communist regimes left in the world and the largest, China, really isn't a true communist nation any longer. Although still a highly controlled centralized state, they have discovered the successes of capitalism. And guess what; they don't want to jeopardize that new found success and wealth.

There isn't much left of the true communist states. Oh a few rogue countries in South America, Cuba and North Korea. But look at the state of their people. Their economies are completely reliant on others often with chronic food or other shortages. It has become apparent over time that the North Korean government is shaky at best and will do nearly anything to keep themselves propped up including starving their own people for yet another winter.

Those who continually propose, 'just talk to them and everything will be just fine', a blind peace-activist only position, don't understand how the real world works. You can talk to the bully down the street but when he doesn't want to talk any more or you make him feel inferior due to your intellect, the gloves come off. Any government (or person) who is in a weaker negotiating position can't argue from a point of strength. That's when talks break down.

North Korea won't sit down to talks because they have nothing to offer other than not shelling their neighbor. Give us want we want and we won't kill anyone. That's just not good enough any more. As I was formulating this ramble today I read an article concerning China's lack of influence with their ally. Even they can't strong-arm North Korea to start becoming a citizen of the world. It was suggested they could tolerate a unified Korea as long as U.S. troops were not on the ground.

The world isn't what it was in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Even communist China realizes communism doesn't work any more and it may be time to make the 'little bully' down the street put up or shut up. Wikileaks or not, you can't turn your back on your friends and allies no matter what you think of 'Uncle Sarkozy'.

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