DON'T PANIC By Andisheh Nouraee
You know, things arenâ€™t like they were when I was coming up. People today are big babies.
Back in my day, we didnâ€™t have peanut allergies. No siree maâ€™am. If you suffered anaphylactic shock after eating a peanut, it was cause you were a sissy.
And we didnâ€™t have this â€œInternetâ€ thing making everything so easy. If you wanted something, you had to work for it. You had to leave your house to steal music. You had to look a cashier in the eye when you purchased pornography. And you had to go to a library and hand copy text out of a book when you wanted to plagiarize.
And back in my day, people had principles and honor, too.
For example, when one country fired a shot at another country, the other country would shoot back. You didnâ€™t question it. You just did it.
â€œOh, a scruffy Serbian terrorist assassinates the Austrian crown prince? Well, then, we will plunge an entire continent into a war that leaves 16 million dead and ends in a stalemate that will resume 20 years later with an even bigger war that leaves 60 million dead. We will call them Worlds Wars I and II.â€
With that in mind, youâ€™ll understand why Iâ€™m so disgusted by South Koreaâ€™s wussified non-response to the recent torpedoing of its ROKS Cheonan warship.
On March 26, Cheonan was patrolling the Yellow Sea, one-mile from Baengyeong, a South Korean island just 10 miles from North Koreaâ€™s west coast. Baengyeong is near the so-called Northern Limit Line, the disputed sea boundary dividing South Korean and North Korean territorial waters. The line is an extension into the sea of the land border militarized land border dividing the two Korean states.
At 9:22 P.M. an explosion rocked the ship. Minutes later, the Cheonanâ€™s captain contacted fleet command reporting the ship was under attack. By about 9:30, the ship was underwater. Thermal images published on a Korean-language news site depict the ship breaking in two. 46 sailors died, as did one of the divers looking for survivors.
Why did the Cheonan sink? South Koreaâ€™s forensic investigation determined the ship was hit by some sort of explosive from the exterior. Who would do such a thing?
Gee, I donâ€™t know. My sources at the U.S. Department of the Blindingly Obvious suggest the sinking may be North Koreaâ€™s doing. The countryâ€™s navies have had at least four clashes near Baengyeong since 1999. Also, North Koreaâ€™s foreign policy in recent years consists largely of well-timed, dramatic explosions. In October 2007 and again in May 2009, North Korea detonated nuclear weapons. And itâ€™s constantly testing ballistic missiles in the general direction of Japan and the U.S.â€™s Pacific coast.
North Korea, of course, denies itâ€™s had anything at all to do with the incident. Its English language propaganda web site claims â€œpuppet military warmongers, right-wing conservative politicians and the group of other traitors in south Korea are now foolishly seeking to link the accident with the north at any cost.â€
But thatâ€™s not actually true. South Korean leaders have largely kept their bulgogi holes shut; mourning the loss, assuring the public that the responsible party will pay, but never actually naming North Korea.
Why is that? Well, maybe itâ€™s because South Korean leaders have no principles and honor, like people used to back in my day. Back in my day, if a Commie Asian ship so much as pointed a shuffleboard cue at you (see Gulf of Tonkin incident of August 1964), the honorable reply was to start a massive war with well-over 1 million people dead (see Vietnam War).
Or maybe thereâ€™s a better explanation. Maybe South Korean and U.S. leaders are being patient. Despite their anger, it may just be that they realize thereâ€™s no point in starting a war with North Korea. Even if South Korea and the U.S. toppled the North Korean regime, the toppling would likely come after North Korean unloaded thousands of tons of conventional, chemical, biological and maybe nuclear weapons on South Korean cities, and probably Japan, too.
Sissy? Wise? Sometimes itâ€™s hard to tell the difference.