Here’s a thought. Imagine you’re North Korea, one of the last independent communist states standing. You’re far from perfect and you tend to abuse your citizens, but relatively to the rest of the world, you’re doing OK and you’re keeping to yourself.
Enter the USA, a hawkish state notorious for its continuous and thinly-veiled attempts to smother any ideology that does not align with its interests. They set up a military base just a stone’s throw away from your fragile country just to flex their bombastic muscles in southeast Asia’s face. Their media does all it can to get the rest of the Western world afraid of you. You are now officially evil, and the welcome support you get from Satanic overlord Putin and the borderline republic of China only makes you look worse in the eyes of our manipulative press. Your leader is also a tad on the “goofy comic book villain” side.
So you start building up a defense, in the spirit of the old Mutually Assured Destruction times. Your mad dictator tries to flex his muscles at the behemoth that is the States, which only gets you into deeper trouble, so you increase weapons production, you start testing, you need to prove to the West that you won’t let them overthrow your government and bring mass consumerism to your people.
Since the USA began stirring up chaos in the Middle East, it’s worked out well for them financially. Gaddhafi’s socialist government was overthrown and he was killed in the most humiliating way imaginable – that’s what you get for giving your people free access to resources instead of handing your oil over to those who need it most: hard-working Americans.
Saddam Hussein didn’t want to cooperate with US oil companies. Look what happened to him.
Assad? After decades of steadily improving1 the lives of the Syrian people (under one condition: don’t challenge my regime), he is boiled alive by the Western press for authoritarianism and allegations of crimes against humanity. For we, for one, can not stand idly by while a Middle Eastern leader governs under an ideology that’s completely different to what we believe is right, progress or no progress. ‘Murica!
Kim Jong Un doesn’t have any oil, but he sure isn’t a fan of the United States either (especially after they wiped out 20% of the Korean population in the 50’s). There is no way he’s letting North Korea’s most despised country boss him around like they’ve done with everyone else, and he is prepared to let his people starve if that’s what it takes. Though their government may be ugly and totalitarian, they would be happy to just be left to their own devices. No one wants America’s “help” anymore; the world has seen what that leads to. Well! We’re just going to go about our oblivious, meddling ways anyway, thank you very much.
Kind of makes more sense if you look at it like that, doesn’t it? Our media doesn’t give much of an explanation as to why North Korea is being such a pesky threat, only that it just is. Oh no, the lives of 100,000 Americans in Guam may be in jeopardy ’cause of crazy Kim. Did this idea just pop into his head out of nowhere? Is he trying to conquer the world, in highly ambitious competition with the US of A? Is he preparing a mass terrorist attack on us? Nope, we haven’t managed to frame him for anything specific yet.
To be honest, I think the question we should be asking is why does the United States keep pushing the international community’s buttons and then justifying their actions with the classic “he started it!” routine.
And once again, we see a tactful, rational response from the Russian president begging everyone to chill out on military buildup and economic sanctions, and to please keep in mind what type of weapons we’re playing with here. And once again, our press takes a joyride with those statements: “The Russian leader has been unusually outspoken about North Korea”. Clearly there is something fishy about hoping for a diplomatic solution to a very delicate issue that threatens about half the world’s population.
Visualise a bunch of suited men and women in a pressroom trying to wrap their heads around not having a juicy war to report on. Now there’s a lightbulb above their heads: get everyone on the same page about the North Korea problem. Soon there will be overwhelming support for waging war on those pesky, reclusive communists. In the name of worldwide democracy, people! Fire and fury, fuck yeah!
1 Like his father had done after the Battle of Hama, Bashar initially made conciliatory moves to his opponents, including allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to resume political activities and withdrawing most of the Syrian troops that had occupied strife-torn Lebanon. But, while he legitimized his position through an election, he quickly showed that he was also following his father’s authoritarian path: ‘Run your own lives privately and enrich yourselves as you wish, but do not challenge my government.’
During the rule of the two Assads, Syria made considerable progress. By the eve of the civil war, Syrians enjoyed an income (GDP) of about $5,000 per capita. That was nearly the same as Jordan’s, roughly double the income per capita of Pakistan and Yemen, and five times the income of Afghanistan, but it is only a third that of Lebanon, Turkey, or Iran, according to the CIA World Factbook. In 2010, savaged by the great drought, GDP per capita had fallen to about $2,900, according to UN data. Before the civil war—and except in 2008 at the bottom of the drought, when it was zero—Syria’s growth rate hovered around 2 percent, according to the World Bank. In social affairs, nearly 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary or secondary schools and between eight and nine in 10 Syrians had achieved literacy.
The lack of political participation, fear of public demands, and severe police measures made the regime appear to be a tyranny. This and its hostility to Israel led to large-scale, if covert, attempts at regime change by outside powers including the United States.