North Korea: Bluff, Show-Biz Or Both?
Trump’s powerful “armada” ordered to the North Korean coast seems to have splintered. On April 19th, it was reported that part of the fleet had veered off in the opposite direction towards the Indian Ocean, another towards Australia. The Press was aghast. It expected a mini Armageddon with lots of destruction and blood, which is great for the reporting business, especially as wars permit adding tons of drama and fiction.
North Korea wiped the sweat off its brow, breathed a sigh of relief, and probably began to change gears to boast that it had won, and scared off the warmongering Americans. South Korea stopped shivering, and began to plan jacking-up its anti-North rhetoric, all the while looking back to ensure the US is still there, protecting it. China, like Alice’s Cheshire Cat, continued to grin smugly, but pleasantly, knowing that it played a positive role by making a lot of noise against the North Koreans, at no real cost to itself. The Japanese continued to be at loss as to what they should do; militarize as per Abe’s vision, or continue their wise pacifist course. Russia, continued to scratch its head trying to understand US policy, and wonder if they can trust the West, despite the dozens of slaps across the face they have received over the past thirty years. Syria, screamed angrily: “Damn, they used us as lab rats, to test their bluff. They bombed us to scare everybody else! May the wrath of heaven fall on them”. Europe, a confused cheerleader, continued to stand at attention, unsure if this represented a cue for them to cheer or boo. Finally, the Congress Hawks maintained radio silence as they desperately tried to figure out if they had lost their “Rambo”, or still had him in their clutches.
The following day, the White House, Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon rushed to announce that the “Armada” will eventually get there. Although, each gave a different twist to the forecast.
“What is this”? The Press yelled. “Does the Administration now what it is doing, or is it blundering along”?
The wise, however, were quick to respond. They smiled knowingly and explained that these were sophisticated tactics, quoting Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”:
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near”.
That explanation made a lot of sense, and satisfactorily explained everything. The matter was hence closed, and my mind was finally at rest. But then, I made the fatal mistake of asking the Doorman his opinion. His answer caught me totally off guard, returning me to square-one. He shook his head a couple times to indicate my ignorance, lowered his voice and confided, “This is all a script. Policies are no longer written at the State Department, the Pentagon, or even at Think Tanks. They are all made up by scriptwriters in Hollywood. How else would you explain all these “Cliff-hangers” that keep you mesmerized and glued to the TV asking for more”?