North Korea is a bar fight, just on a global scale.
We all know how a bar fight “works”. One dude thinks the other dude is eyeing him sideways, and he feels challenged. So he has to “stand up for himself” by showing the second dude how big and bad he is. You know how it goes, big words, big gestures – arms up and out to the side and a “There a problem bro!?”
And the second dude, whether he actually meant to challenge the first dude or not, now feels challenged himself. So now he starts flapping his dick arms around and he’s saying nice calm, deescalating things like “Yeah, your mom was terrible in bed last night.”
And then everything just escalates. Both sides see every step taken by the other side as an attempt at oneupmanship. Each side makes more and more dangerous steps to intimidate the other side into backing down.
But the problem is that the words used, and even the punches thrown are seen as the same thing, upping the ante. Even if someone goes out to their car and grabs a shotgun, both sides see it as merely another minor escalation. Don’t believe me, watch this short video. And for those who can’t tell, the guy having the shotgun pointed at him is treating it as just another small escalation, and is still mouthing off and trying to show how big and bad he is.
A monkey dance cannot be “won”. You cannot intimidate or threaten the other side into backing down because being challenged is what started the whole thing in the first place. Challenging them more certainly is only going to reinforce their Monkey Dance mindset.
The only way to win is to not play.
So here’s the (global) (nuclear) problem
North Korea is the insecure guy at the bar, and the USA are the guy who walks past and glances over. Enter the Monkey Dance.
And how is each side trying to “fix” the situation? They’re both trying to win by intimidating the other into backing down. Being intimidated is what made both sides act the way they are in the first place. What do they think – for the first time in history a problem will be solved by the same thinking that caused it?
The short, unfortunate, history of North Korea
For those of you who don’t know, North Korea was subjected to massive amounts of carpet bombing and starvation. Courtesy Uncle Sam and friends. And they also had their women “mobilised” (i.e. kidnapped) to be used by Japanese troops as rape dolls. Nothing like having the women in your village taken away at gunpoint to be raped by any man who wants to when he gets off duty. Makes you feel like being calm and quiet and subservient right? Actually it turns out to give someone a strong desire to build nuclear weapons. Understandably so.
So whenever you hear US military folk threatening to kill North Koreans, that’s exactly what the North Koreans expect the USA is preparing to do at any moment. So all the rhetorical bullshit just reinforces what North Korea believes and makes them desperate to protect themselves.
What happens to countries that agree to US demands? Don’t know, let’s ask Ghaddafi in Libya and Hussein in Iraq. Oh wait, Saddam Hussein got his neck stretched. And Ghaddafi died because someone raped him with a knife while a crowd was trying to kill him.
So how much is N.K. going to think “Gee, those nice Americans, those sweet, kindly Japanese, I think I’ll do what they say”? Or how much is N.K. going to desperately feel the need to defend itself against more rape, more destruction, more deaths, and its politicians being brutally murdered?
It’s like North Korea is a hysterical rape victim, and the USA is threatening to rape them if they don’t put the knife down.
Here’s the best, most workable solution I’ve seen yet:
If you like reading: Scott Adams idea
If you like listening:
And here’s what you need to know if you want to understand the situation, and how badly it’s not being solved: