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(The Atlantic)   Why do we laugh at North Korea but fear Iran? Is it because Kim Jong-Un looks like Moe Howard mated with an Oompa Loompa and Mahmoud Ahmacrazyman looks like Christoph Waltz?   (theatlantic.com) divider line 253
    More: Interesting, North Koreans, Iran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, American Empire, Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee  
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8683 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Apr 2013 at 12:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-07 10:06:50 AM  
I don't fear Iran. Anyone that does has absolutly no understanding of the Iranian government.
 
2013-04-07 10:13:02 AM  
We don't face the same challenges with NK as we do with Iran. Once you look past the superficial "enemy with nuclear ambitions" facade, you find very different countries capable of very different levels of mischief.
 
2013-04-07 10:23:59 AM  

Dinki: I don't fear Iran. Anyone that does has absolutly no understanding of the Iranian government.


vygramul: We don't face the same challenges with NK as we do with Iran. Once you look past the superficial "enemy with nuclear ambitions" facade, you find very different countries capable of very different levels of mischief.


Both of these.  Iran does have the potential to make good on its threats, should they ever get a charismatic leader in office again.  North Korea is just trying to maintain their society's siege mentality, AFAIK.  They have far less potential to be truly problematic, their entire treat being that they could bring China into a war against us again.
 
2013-04-07 10:45:59 AM  
Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.
 
2013-04-07 10:57:16 AM  

Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.


NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.
 
2013-04-07 10:59:39 AM  

Dinki: Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.

NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.


Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.
 
2013-04-07 11:07:59 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.


I'd be highly surprised. Back in the 50's the Chinese Govt. was much more ideologically driven. They had no love for the West, and no real incentive to be accommodating. Not so much these days.There is too much riding on a peaceful US-China relationship, economically speaking. The Chinese know the NK regime is a dead end. They know that oppression (even if they occasionally use it themselves) is a losing policy.
 
2013-04-07 11:12:41 AM  

Dinki: Benevolent Misanthrope: Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.

I'd be highly surprised. Back in the 50's the Chinese Govt. was much more ideologically driven. They had no love for the West, and no real incentive to be accommodating. Not so much these days.There is too much riding on a peaceful US-China relationship, economically speaking. The Chinese know the NK regime is a dead end. They know that oppression (even if they occasionally use it themselves) is a losing policy.


Also, China at the time was very weak and the Communists still didn't have a strong hold on the government.  There was a vocal China First faction within the US that was pressuring President Truman to take military action against the ChiComs.  The Chinese and Russians were content to let Kim Il Sung push the UN forces off the peninsula, but when the UN forces pushed back and MacArthur started talking about using nukes, the Chinese intervened.
 
2013-04-07 11:13:05 AM  

Dinki: Benevolent Misanthrope: Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.

I'd be highly surprised. Back in the 50's the Chinese Govt. was much more ideologically driven. They had no love for the West, and no real incentive to be accommodating. Not so much these days.There is too much riding on a peaceful US-China relationship, economically speaking. The Chinese know the NK regime is a dead end. They know that oppression (even if they occasionally use it themselves) is a losing policy.


Let's hope so.  But wars are generally known for involving nations who really shouldn't have a dog in the fight other than they had an alliance with one side or the other.

We'll probably never see, anyway - I'm pretty sure this is Kim's way of convincing his people that the siege is still on, that his threats made us back down, and he's in charge just like his father and grandfather.
 
2013-04-07 11:15:08 AM  
When was the last time North Korea threatened to destroy Israel?
 
2013-04-07 11:15:43 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Dinki: Benevolent Misanthrope: Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.

I'd be highly surprised. Back in the 50's the Chinese Govt. was much more ideologically driven. They had no love for the West, and no real incentive to be accommodating. Not so much these days.There is too much riding on a peaceful US-China relationship, economically speaking. The Chinese know the NK regime is a dead end. They know that oppression (even if they occasionally use it themselves) is a losing policy.

Let's hope so.  But wars are generally known for involving nations who really shouldn't have a dog in the fight other than they had an alliance with one side or the other.

We'll probably never see, anyway - I'm pretty sure this is Kim's way of convincing his people that the siege is still on, that his threats made us back down, and he's in charge just like his father and grandfather.


And here I thought Dinki's point was that NK couldn't be a regional power because China was the regional power, and Iran didn't have that problem in their region.
 
2013-04-07 11:16:03 AM  
I can not picture the citizens of Iran supporting a war with the U.S. much at all. Best Korea on the other hand...
 
2013-04-07 11:17:37 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Dinki: Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.

NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.

Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.


Not even remotely likely, I promise.
 
2013-04-07 11:17:53 AM  
Because even the stupidest person can't be convinced North Korea is full of scary Muslins ready to bring Sharia Law to the Skeeter Holler Potluck and Mudlympics.
 
2013-04-07 11:25:54 AM  
We fear Iran? When did this happen?
 
2013-04-07 11:28:04 AM  

Peter von Nostrand: We fear Iran? When did this happen?


"Fear" as in "I'm afraid we're going to have to kill you now."
 
2013-04-07 11:48:28 AM  

Altair: Benevolent Misanthrope: Dinki: Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.

NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.

Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.

Not even remotely likely, I promise.


You know, one of the quick tricks I use to determine if I should take someone's politics seriously is this: if they call the People's Republic of China "Communist China", I know I can safely ignore them.

There's no way in hell China is going to let North Korea cause a problem for 3 of their biggest trade partners. Mao is dead.  The people in charge now want that less than anyone else.

Besides, it stirkes me that as shiatty as North Korea's missile technology is, if they do attempt to lob a missile at the United States, or even at Japan, there's a pretty good chance they end up nuking China instead.
 
2013-04-07 12:01:28 PM  

jake_lex: Altair: Benevolent Misanthrope: Dinki: Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.

NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.

Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.

Not even remotely likely, I promise.

You know, one of the quick tricks I use to determine if I should take someone's politics seriously is this: if they call the People's Republic of China "Communist China", I know I can safely ignore them.

There's no way in hell China is going to let North Korea cause a problem for 3 of their biggest trade partners. Mao is dead.  The people in charge now want that less than anyone else.

Besides, it stirkes me that as shiatty as North Korea's missile technology is, if they do attempt to lob a missile at the United States, or even at Japan, there's a pretty good chance they end up nuking China instead.


I know this and I'd love to think that it would preclude people doing stupid shiat.  But as I said before, wars are kind of known for creating strange bedfellows, drawing in nations that have no business there and generally making nations do things you wouldn't think they would consider.

Hopefully, my nagging doubts are all for naught.
 
2013-04-07 12:06:15 PM  
I'm more afraid of Iran in a "Oh shiat, they're going to talk us into going to war with them, aren't they?" kind of way.
 
2013-04-07 12:08:38 PM  
Israel.
 
2013-04-07 12:14:01 PM  
I had no idea that I feared Iran...
 
2013-04-07 12:17:09 PM  
I laugh at both of them.  Their "leadership" anyway.
 
2013-04-07 12:18:31 PM  

CaptSacto: When was the last time North Korea threatened to destroy Israel?


Well, he regularly destroys matzo soup, so it's best to be careful.
 
2013-04-07 12:18:53 PM  
Because Iran is governed by Muslim fanatics.
 
2013-04-07 12:19:59 PM  
Iran has always been a regional power. The Fox news people are deluded if they think they weren't already. There are plenty of nutjobs who'd like us to flatten either Best Korea or Iran, but they're the kind that thinks America is the greatest country in the world, but Obama is a secret Kenyan muslin communist who'll sell grammy's liver to a Turkishman.

I think we should just give China a few billion for them to roll south and turn Best Korea into a Wal-Mart manufacturing hub.
 
2013-04-07 12:20:55 PM  

skinink: Because Iran is governed by Muslim fanatics.


Oh, ok. Now I'm frightened. Any word on when they are invading, and can I say goodbye to my family?
 
2013-04-07 12:21:12 PM  

JerseyTim: I'm more afraid of Iran in a "Oh shiat, they're going to talk us into going to war with them, aren't they?" kind of way.


It's a bit like blaming women for dressing slutty. "She was just asking for an invasion!"
 
2013-04-07 12:29:11 PM  

r1niceboy: I think we should just give China a few billion for them to roll south and turn Best Korea into a Wal-Mart manufacturing hub.


They could already save a few billion by not propping up the Norks, so there's no reason to think that a few more from us would motivate anything.
 
2013-04-07 12:30:30 PM  
Iran managed not to totally suck balls in the 1980s when it came to war.  I don't exactly fear their military, but they actually did manage to engage in a war in semi recent history and sustain the war effort to some degree.  Plus Iran gets some bonus points for being "annoying farkheads to fund various militant Islamic groups" and their general douchebaggery in southern Iraq.

It also doesn't help that Iran's demographics seem to suggest the theocracy is not going to survive long when the younger generations come to power, and rulers sometimes start shiat with foreign countries when their grasp on power slips.

North Korea has the ability to commit one horrible act, hitting Seoul with missiles/artillery fire which will be instantly followed by the ROK and Americans smashing North Korea like the bug it is.  Some estimates say it would take less than 72 hours to overrun North Korea in terms of seizing all their military bases.  Iran has the potential to actually be a semi long term annoyance and screw with regional stability.  I don't fear them, but I do hope the CIA is busy helping the Persian youth form organizations that will lead to regime change.
 
2013-04-07 12:30:50 PM  
It is one thing to fight over real estate and resources like what is happening in Korea.  They are fighting over political ideals and power.  N Korea is mostly an atheist communist country.  It is a totally different thing when you announce that you have your god and prophet on your side.

Iran is threatening Israel.  There are Jewish bankers in the United States that have a vested interest in preventing Israel from becoming a glass parking lot.  Iran knows that if they go to war, that millions of Muslims would join the party from all over the world.

Then you have that pesky deal about oil being under the sand in that desolate part of the world.  They make trillions of dollars off of that sticky black goo. If there is a war with Iran, then we can't afford to drive our SUVs to Walmart.

N. Korea really has nothing much of value that the rest of the world wants.  If they would sit down and STFU American companies would be tripping over themselves to exploit the people of NK and pay them less than they do the Chinese and Malaysians. Hell, we are doing business with Vietnam now.  We ended our hostilities with them twenty years later than we did NK.   The beloved Kim family has held the people down for over half of a Century.  This is not going to end well for the grandson of Kim Il Suc.  Second generation businesses don't fair well.  Third generations are barely existent.
 
2013-04-07 12:32:22 PM  

JerseyTim: I'm more afraid of Iran in a "Oh shiat, they're going to talk us into going to war with them, aren't they?" kind of way.


Yeah, pretty much this, or "I'm afraid that if the US is dumb enough to elect another Republican president in the next 20 years, we'll get pulled into another war with them".

Part of the issue, too, is that Iran at least has a history of being moderately competent, and their country isn't entirely in shambles when it comes to infrastructure. You get the sense from them that if they REALLY wanted to do so, they'd have already thrown nukes at Israel (not counting Israeli intelligence preventing that from happening). They're just in the same state as NK politically where their posturing is largely for the consumption of hardliners within their own country; if they really did wipe Israel from the map (in a fantasy world where we didn't wipe them right back) they wouldn't know what to do without the big scary jewie monster to point at.
 
2013-04-07 12:33:19 PM  
just cuz.

www.japanator.com
 
2013-04-07 12:34:00 PM  

CaptSacto: When was the last time North Korea threatened to destroy Israel?


Or sat on top of or near vast oil reserves?
 
2013-04-07 12:34:14 PM  

propasaurus: Israel.


www.kabobfest.com
 
2013-04-07 12:34:30 PM  
Because that bag of shiat running the horrorshow in North Korea is just trying to keep a grip on the country.

He's going to push this staredown to the wire, then back off when the US gives him some concessions. Same old tired playbook that the human scum known as the Kim family has been using for decades.
 
2013-04-07 12:34:40 PM  
Because it's claimed Iran might attack Israel, but all NK is threatening to do is attack the US.
 
2013-04-07 12:35:08 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Dinki: Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.

NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.

Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.


Doubtful. Even China was telling them to knock it the fark off when they were rattling sabers about two weeks ago.
 
2013-04-07 12:35:14 PM  
Was I supposed to fear Iran this week? I never get the memo.

It was so much easier when we had that chart to tell us what color our was.
 
2013-04-07 12:35:50 PM  

PseUdononymous Savagery: N. Korea really has nothing much of value that the rest of the world wants.


They have enormous deposits of rare earth metals.  If they could feed their people long enough to mine and process that shiat, they'd literally be sitting on a modern-day gold mine.
 
2013-04-07 12:36:34 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Dinki: Counter_Intelligent: Also, I haven't heard frightwingers on Fox say that NK wants to be a regional power.

NK has Russia, China, and South Korea as neighbors. It wouldn't  last 5 minutes against the first 2, and SK has the US to back them up.

Except that China was on NK's side in the last war and might be again.


Between then and now, the Chinese have discovered that they like money, and a destabilizing war on their border with a close ally of their biggest trading partner isn't something they would really like to see.    So long as the Ills rattle their sabers within their own borders, nothing is going to happen.    If NK does get out of line, it will be Beijing occupying Pyonyang, not Washington, or Seoul.
 
2013-04-07 12:36:50 PM  
Despite the fact the media wants me to fear Iran, I don't
 
2013-04-07 12:36:52 PM  

Seth'n'Spectrum: JerseyTim: I'm more afraid of Iran in a "Oh shiat, they're going to talk us into going to war with them, aren't they?" kind of way.

It's a bit like blaming women for dressing slutty. "She was just asking for an invasion!"


For the sake of clarity, by "they" I mean the neocons.
 
2013-04-07 12:37:17 PM  
He looks cooler holding a nuclear weapon.
www.maggiesnotebook.com
 
2013-04-07 12:38:09 PM  
They're equally insane, but the Kim family has the funny kind of crazy, while Ahmadinejad has the scary kind of crazy.

The biggest difference is in how grounded in reality they are. The Kim clan is clearly stark raving bonkers, the type that never really gets anywhere because it doesn't understand reality well enough to put one foot in front of the other. North Korea has nuclear weapons, but the only way they'll ever get something into orbit is to aim at the ground. Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, understands reality well enough to actually do things, and there's nothing funny about the things he wants to do. He doesn't have nuclear weapons yet, but it's easy to chart his steady progress toward one.
 
2013-04-07 12:38:34 PM  
Iran has oil.

North Korea has no oil.
 
2013-04-07 12:39:25 PM  
I stopped being afraid of Muslims last month. They are really a minor cultural group, backwards and pretty harmless.
 
2013-04-07 12:39:32 PM  
Because Israel?
 
2013-04-07 12:40:24 PM  
Iran has money, NK not so much.

Takes money to be a real threat.
 
2013-04-07 12:40:28 PM  
Listen to this as it is many times that I must be the one who provides the voice of reasoning on the website of this but you should know very much that the greatest of the leaders Emporium Kim "Carl" Jung Illest is not the individual upon which should be taken as the grain of the saltine crackers by you but instead as one who must have the serious taking before he causes the fire to fall upon the earth as if you awaken this man of the peace then not the thing will cause the stoppage of the pustular fluids doing the draining into the ends of the earth of this as the first strikes will be on both of the poles of the North one within Canada and the South one within Cold Korea as it is very much called here.  Also there will be the attack on the moon and that stupid rover on the planet of Mars will be first target of we I mean of they not we as I am certainly not the Best Korean propaganda individual.

I give the suggestion that you must do the hiding of the kids of you of the wife of you and of the husband of you because the Best Korea will be doing the nuking of the everyone around here.  Also I think we can all have agreement that Psy is the most obnoxious of all individuals on the planet and for this reason the alone no one would have the sympathy for the Slutty Korea of the South.
 
2013-04-07 12:40:35 PM  
Speak for yourself, subby. I don't fear Iran either.
 
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