Welcome to the third installment of my new War Is Boring column. As I’ve said before, I’m here to clear the air. One of the things that seems to baffle people is why I pick fights at sea. I asked David Axe if he was interested in an article on this. He initially declined, but after a brief period of uncontrolled weeping declared it the best idea he’d ever heard. I would recommend him as an editor to any sociopath despot seeking an outlet for his views.
by KIM JONG IL
Between 1999 and 2009, I have sent my antiquated navy to the so-called sea border numerous times. These usually end up as staring contests between one ship and another, but sometimes gunfire is exchanged. Although there was one instance where my navy managed to sink a South Korean ship, usually it doesn’t fare so well and I end up having my ass handed to me.
You might think that a losing streak like that would be an intolerable loss of face. Guys like me don’t handle failure well. You might think that having my ships back down or come off second-best would be a personal outrage, and that not only would heads roll, I would throw more money at the problem and, you know, actually make my navy good.
The truth is, I couldn’t care less.
Why, might you ask, do I bother picking a fight when the odds are against me winning? Well, let me ask you a question: do I look stupid? What would I possibly have to gain by winning? Why would I even want to win, when my opponent will always build bigger, better ships? And even if I were to wipe the mat with South Korea’s navy, the U.S. Navy will come to their rescue. Game over. Forever.
When I want to make a point, I make it at sea. I prefer it at sea because it’s easier to control. If I send one hundred troops over the border to turn up the crazy and break the knob off, they could cause a panic if they’re too successful. The Americans and their lackeys might worry that I have one hundred thousand troops in the area — they just can’t see them. Then, somewhere a WMD detector accidentally goes off, a flight of birds is mistaken for one of my An-2 Colts loaded up with a nuke, and suddenly I’m getting bombs dropped on my head.
It’s easier to see the enemy coming on open water than it is in the mountains of the DMZ. Do you think I’ve ever caught the South by surprise with my sea raids? I doubt it — actually, I hope not. Can they count exactly how many ships I have in an area? Yes. Can they see more ships coming, if I send them? Absolutely. I can make the point that I want to make, with little room for misinterpretation. Especially the misinterpretation that gets bombs dropped on my head.
Woody Allen, an American film director who shares my passion for Korean girls once said, “Ninety percent of life is just showing up.” How true this is. It does not matter if I win or lose at sea. In fact, it’s better for me if my ships sink, or at least limp away trailing smoke. Yes, my navy was beaten, and sent home with its tail between its legs. But at least it was there.
What is the point of all this? That I am a force to be reckoned with, not because of my military power (which even I will admit is turning into a joke) but because of my unpredictability. The loose cannon is the one that gets attention. All of this low-level stuff is meant to get across the idea that while I’m not crazy enough to start a war, I am an unstable element that needs to be dealt with. You can deal with me with a war or by just shoveling foreign aid at me.
That may sound like a dangerous choice, but I think we all know what’s cheaper for you. Funny thing, that’s what I prefer, too.
(Photo: Atlantic Council)