The Axis Of Evil vs The School Bullies

Apparently, North Korea have carried out a successful test of a nuclear bomb and lots of people are unhappy about it, because they don’t like the communist regime in North Korea.

Well tough bloody luck to them, that’s what I say.

I don’t like George W Bush’s regime — in particular as it stands on the environment and on foreign policy — in the US. Plenty of other people and indeed countries feel this way. Does this mean we should have sanctions against the US until they offer to give up their nuclear arms?

No? Well why not? After all, fair’s fair.

Why do some countries — the UK, France, China, Israel, the US and Russia seem to be thought to have more of a “right” to nuclear arms than others? Frankly I’d be happier if no countries had nuclear weapons, I’d be happier if North Korea didn’t have them, just the same as I’m not keen on the idea of Iran developing them, but just because I don’t like the idea of them having them doesn’t mean I’ve got any right to tell them what to do. After all, my country has them, and why should my country have more right to them than anyone else?

Let’s not forget: the US and UK led coalition went to war in Iraq because it was believed (once you’d got sufficiently sexed-up reports, anyway) that the regime there was trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, such as biological, chemical and nuclear agents. We went to war to change the regime (much against my better judgement, but for some reason they didn’t ask me for my opinion), simply because we believed they were developing WMDs. And of course we went to war in Afghanistan to change the regime because we were told that the Taliban regime there were supporters of terrorism.

Now obviously we know North Korea has WMDs. George W Bush named them as part of the “Axis of Evil”. We went to war in Afghanistan because we were told they supported terrorism; we went to war in Iraq because there was a risk they could develop WMDs. North Korea now have WMDs. So when does the war begin, exactly?

Oh, sorry, we’re only discussing sanctions now, aren’t we. Remind me, why is that?

Is it because the UK, the US and other countries were wrong to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan? In which case, wouldn’t it be nice to see the leaders who took those decisions apologise to the international community? Some sort of tribunal to judge whether or not the leaders breached international law and should be held accountable would be nice, too.

Or, if they still believe they were right to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, that leaves us with the question of whether or not we’re going to go to war with North Korea. And if not, why not.

Don’t think for one moment I’m in favour of a war with North Korea — I’m not. I just think however that it’s morally bankrupt to decide to topple two regimes because you don’t like them and you don’t think they’ve got the military capability to hurt you, and then to back away from armed conflict from another regime which has done exactly the same sort of thing you went to war with the other two for, but is much stronger militarily.

But then again, the international community (and not just the UK and the US) have never exactly been consistent here, have they…

Genocide in Yugoslavia? Let’s send a force in — but we’ll leave it a while first. Kurds being slaughtered in Iraq in the aftermath of the first Gulf War? Ooh, sorry, we’re a bit busy now, can we get back to you in about twelve years? Genocide in Sudan? Sorry… I didn’t catch that. Arthur? Darth who? Didn’t hear you mate, sorry … sorry, it’s a bad line … BEEP.

In fact, it’s pretty difficult to construct a sentence with “the International community” and “the moral high ground” without shoehorning in “have no justification whatsoever for taking” in between them.

…but back to us. So what is it? Are we afraid of picking on someone our own size? Are we the school bullies of the international playground, picking on the smaller countries and demanding that they hand other their nuclear “dinner money” or we’ll flush our head down the toilet, but leaving the kids alone who are a bit bigger and seemingly more willing to fight back?

Note here that I’m wasn’t a supporter of either the Saddam Hussein or the Taliban, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they’ve gone; but I do however question whether one country has a right to interfere in the governance of another sovereign country just because they happen not to like it’s regime. It’s the international equivalent of running your neighbours out of the street because you don’t get on with them. If the international community — i.e. the UN — had been in agreement that this was the right thing to do, then I may have had more sympathy for the decision.

I know very little about the regime in North Korea — not that I knew much about the Iraqi regime or the Afghan one, but I know even less about the North Korean one, so I can’t really comment on it. It may be a corrupt and barbarous regime that used its resources to develop nuclear capability at the expense of feeding its populace. But equally, it may be that the communist ideology of North Korea makes it a target for the US and the pockets of Mcarthyists across the West.

It has been pointed out by organisations such as Amnesty International that there is torture, ill-treatment and systemic violations of human rights in North Korea, but before we use that in evidence to show that there is something wrong in North Korea, we should perhaps put our own houses in order first: in the UK, Amnesty reports poor treatment of terrorist suspects, and cruel, degrading and inhumane conditions at Belmarsh prison, and in the US, Amnesty reports on detention without trial at Guantánamo Bay, torture by US personnel in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq amongst many other things.

What would Jesus say?

He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at herJesus Christ (Gospel according to St. John, Ch.8 v7)

What else might he have said?

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.Jesus Christ (Gospel according to St. Matthew, Ch.7 v5)

So, where does all that leave us? Well …

  • as bullies of the international playground; or
  • as countries who were wrong to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq; or
  • as countries that will shortly go to war with North Korea.

I’d rather none of these answers were correct, but I’m afraid to say I believe both the first and second answers are probably correct. It’s Pax Americana writ large; the world will be at peace as long as you do what we say.

The US (with the UK tagging along beside) may well be able to force the rest of the world to jump to their tune, but I bloody well don’t have to like it, okay?

One Response to “The Axis Of Evil vs The School Bullies”

  1. Mike Cherim responds:

    It’s funny, Jack. I was discussing the same thing with my wife and I asked if we (US) the only ones to play games with dangerous toys.

    I don’t like regimes in general ;)

Leave your comments

Enter Your Details:

You may use the following markup in your comments:

<a href=""></a> <strong></strong> <em></em> <blockquote></blockquote>

Enter Your Comments:

|Top | Content|

  • Worn With Pride

    • Titan Internet Hosting
    • SeaBeast Theme Demo
    • Technorati
    • Guild of Accessible Web Designers
    • my Facebook profile

Blog Meta

|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.