Wednesday, 27 May 2009

In Passing

“When a crazy man with a gun tells you he’s going to shoot you, the smart move is to act as though he really will do it”


...If we had taken Hitler at his word in the early 1930s, WWII and the Holocaust would never have happened.  But instead of acting as though he really meant what he said, the European Powers claimed that he was really just being belligerent to score political points.

This holds true for North Korea today.  “Oh,” they scoff, “Kim is just trying to score more loot from China and lower sanctions from the U.N.  He’s not really a threat to anyone; half his country is starving. Besides, North Korea makes threats all the time.”

Only, the half of his country that isn’t starving is the military...
 - Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades HQ
There’s a case for taking the threat-makers at their word and acting accordingly, if only pour encourager les autres (Sorry you got flattened; next time, don’t make threats!).

Unfortunately, a political class that routinely accepts and engages in... erm... misrepresentation for political point-scoring and election-winning leaves us particularly handicapped when it comes to judging the veracity of the fulminations of madmen.

So, 1938 redux?

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