Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm Cheering For The N. Korean Team In The 2010 World Cup

Last Friday a friend brought up the fact that North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il has decreed that the 2010 World Cup matches will not be broadcast in his country. Only matches that his team, qualifying for the Cup for the first time since 1966, wins will be screened in N. Korea and then only edited highlights. In mentioning this example of the total dictatorial control that Kim exercises over his personal fiefdom of 29 million people, my friend opined that maybe it would be a good idea to cheer for the N. Korean team during their matches. My friend compared them to “the kids in the school sports day whose parents and friends ignore them” and further asked; People are worth it aren't they? Because if they aren't - then war is for nothing.” Sometimes I need a slap on the side of the head to get my attention. Thanks for that.

When I questioned this logic, somewhat jokingly, I wasn’t thinking of the possible implications for the N. Korean team when and if they should lose. Quite simply, I was not in a serious mood at the time. When the possibilities were pointed out to me and I finally started to think, it’s a valid point. In a regime like N. Korea and I doubt that there is another as repressive and paranoid anywhere in the world, anything is possible at the whim of one nutcase. He could have them executed, imprisoned or anything else his black little heart desires and absolutely no one to stop him. Possibly the World Cup matches will give the team members a chance to defect but would they take it? Suppose they defect, what then happens to their families and loved ones? Nope I don’t see them defecting, not if they have a bit of love in their hearts. Frankly, Kim Jong-II, makes Sadam Hussein look like an Eagle Scout and that’s saying something.

What N. Korea needs, besides getting immediate rid of the “Dear Leader” is a couple hundred thousand of these:

For the edification of any here who’ve never seen this picture, it was taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press in Bejing's Tiananmen Square
on June 5, 1989 during the Chinese government’s bloody crackdown on the demonstrations there. What you see is a skinny little student facing down a line of Chinese T-54 tanks. He actually stood there holding his two bags and stopped the tanks. When they tried to maneuver around him he moved to stay in front of them. Some say he had balls. Me? I say he had a heart too big for his slight frame. I can’t look at that photograph and think of that unknown man without tearing up. He is the epitome of courage and heart. If North Korea had a couple hundred thousand men and women like him, they could win freedom; it’s the only way they will win it. With N. Korea in possession of missiles that can reach Japan and S. Korea and in development of missiles that can reach Hawaii and Alaska, taking the country by force is about as likely as the chances of the N. Korean team winning the World Cup, slim and none. Add to that the fact that N. Korea has tested nuclear weapons in the range of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and you get possibilities that send cold chills down my spine.

Add up all the above and yes, it’s about people and nothing but people. In spite of the naysayers who whine about war and oil, war and power, ad nauseum, it all boils down to being about people. Only people, their freedom and their dignity are worth fighting and dying for, certainly not land. I don’t see us fighting for the N. Koreans, given the situation with a nutcase leader and nuclear capability, and I don’t see the emergence of a couple hundred thousand “tank men”.

So what to do? I don’t know about you, but as a start, I’m joining my friend and cheering for the North Korean World Cup Team, not for the regime, for the people because as my friend, uncon, had the heart and the wisdom to remind me; “People are worth it…” How could I have lost sight of that?

It might not make a difference, but what can it hurt? Join us.

Copyright Don Smith 2009