I had a conversation with my best friend near new years of last year, reflecting back upon all the changes that had occurred, whether the next year would bring as many. That conversation has born out in ways never thought imaginable and in more than just personal life.
Who would have maintained the possibility 5 years ago that the U.S. would invade a country based on faslified data and lies? Who would have believed a year ago that the U.S. would pass laws legalizing torture and the suspension of basic human rights? Would would have thought a month ago that a republican sex scandal would be covered up and dismissed as being simply the case of a homosexual gone amok?
North Korea has the bomb and no, it isn't that the country is hip, it's that they have the nuclear bomb, the destroyer of cities in a single blast of radioactive carnage. Should america be afraid? Not personally perhaps, as the technology isn't available to attack us, but afraid for the world, yes, definitely that.
How did this come to be? How did a nation that up to 5 years ago didn't even have a working nuclear program, build one so quickly? Because the leader felt he had no choice. Get rid of for a moment thoughts of Kim Jong-Il's madness and other deprecating thoughts and focus on the fact of what has occurred. Bush's "asix of evil" speech portrayed Il as a marked man, waiting to be destroyed. How is one to be taken seriously when such words are used? Simple, have a weapon that forces everyone to take you seriously.
This of course goes beyond Bush's complete stupidity in understanding the asian mindset of honor and "face." It goes to the issue of Bush and his followers "us vs them" and "punitive discipline" thinking, as if the world was a child to be spanked. N. Korea asked to be taken seriously, they asked to be at least nominally accepted as a legitimate nation in face-to-face talks with the U.S. We snubbed them and now are paying the price.
The harm caused by arrogance and close-mindedness is not often so easily shown, but as tens of thousands die due to the horrible policies of this administration, clear examples are staring us in the face daily.
Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm