Commentary by Austin Bay
Strategists know trying to see the geopolitical battlefield from an adversary’s point of view is useful, particularly the view of an adversary with a couple of nuclear weapons and a legacy of provocative violence.
I can’t really enter the mind of North Korean dictator and chain-smoking lard tub Kim Jong Un, so his point of view, rendered as a geopolitical scenario, must be surmised.
Surmised, however, within reason. Invoking reason in these sketchy times stretches credulity, but I’ve reports attributable to Kim himself and sourced by somewhat reliable wire services, reliable South Korean media and subservient North Korean propaganda outlets, the last of which, of course, are Un-reliable.
Full stop. The pun captures North Korea’s vicious totalitarian context. Unfortunately, it has American domestic political and constitutional implications. Examples: Jeff Bezos-Reliable Amazon servers shutting down free speech outlet Parler. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-Reliable New York Times/CNN/mainstream media refusing to cover the Hunter Biden-communist China corruption story until after the election.
Background. Amazon’s Bezos-Reliable servers denied center-right social media platform Parler access to its servers. That constitutes a brutal, hideous attack on free speech, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. A nuke attack? In digital and financial terms, yes, it was a nuke wipeout of Parler.
If you don’t know what I just referenced, then you live in an information-contaminated silence zone—with Amazon the likely silencing system.
I urge you to escape the destructive silence.
Unlike North Korea, Amazon didn’t threaten a nuke attack on free speech. Amazon just did.
We return to the Korean peninsula. The physical devastation of North Korean nuclear weapons is a threat to life in East Asia and North America, and a threat to the global economy, as nuking South Korea, Japan, the United States—aye, China—would murder millions and cause a global economic depression.
Alas, billionaires like Bezos, Amazon’s tech and marketing white-guy genius and biggest shareholder, would likely sleaze through the nuclear economic wreckage.
Maybe. Mr. Bezos—may I call you Jeff? Jeff, listen to me, even though I’m a Republican. Silicon Valley, California, is on Kim’s target list, just like Austin, Texas, where Samsung has its Western Hemisphere lab and where I live.
Kim hates Samsung because it’s a free-enterprise success.
Amazon is a free-enterprise success.
Jeff, bubba. Free enterprise is directly connected to freedom of speech. Check Tom Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith—super-genius dead white guys.
Shutting down Parler, Jeff, which you did via a corporate cutout (Amazon), tells me you don’t think of the U.S. Constitution as your protector. Do you really think sucking up to a Democratic Congress and administration will protect your corporate bottom line?
See 1938 and appeasement with Nazi Germany. Did suck-up Neville Chamberlain buy peace in his time?
Back to North Korea: Jeff, play it safe and build a bunker in the Falkland Islands. Check the range of North Korean missiles. In the Falklands, you hunker in a South Atlantic British territory, safe from all but a lucky Kim intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) hit. Plus, you’ve access to courts that more or less protect human rights and your bank accounts. Don’t sweat the Argentines; they don’t have nukes. And you can buy their leaders off with $3 billion or $4 billion.
Don’t you dare argue that one. Look at what the Chinese did with Hunter Biden for a few measly million. You and your pals squelched the Biden corruption info before the election, but, Jeff, it’s a blackmail dagger at the throat of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
We return to Kim Jong Un, Little Rocket Man.
In 2021, it appears Kim doesn’t know quite what to do. President Donald Trump’s coercive diplomacy put him in a bind. Trump told Kim he should seek condos, not craters. The concept dazzled him. My theory: Kim likes knockout lookers, just like you do, Jeff. And lookers like condos with swimming pools, not bloody craters.
Oh, yes, the wire service evidence. At the Workers’ Party Congress in early January, Kim acknowledged North Korea faces multiple crises. He said he intends to expand his nuclear arsenal. But, Jeff, Kim’s lost.
North Korea faces a COVID-19 crisis. It is also totally broke. But between you and me, Jeff, he knows Beijing has blackmail goods on Joe Biden.
It’s a guess, Jeff. Go ahead; kick me off your servers.
Austin Bay is a colonel (ret.) in the U.S. Army Reserve, author, syndicated columnist, and teacher of strategy and strategic theory at the University of Texas–Austin. His latest book is “Cocktails from Hell: Five Wars Shaping the 21st Century.”