The Boy Who Cried Wolf: A guest blog from Jared Molton
My parents grew up in the shadow of nuclear war. For forty years the Soviet Union and the United States played a dangerous game of brinksmanship with thousands of nuclear warheads aimed at one another’s major cities. This terrifying reality created a real sense of danger about nuclear weapons and the prospect of nuclear war. Those who’ve grown up in the wake of the iron curtain collapse do not have this sense of real danger and Kim Jong Un’s rhetoric further diminishes how seriously my generation takes these threats.
Over the past few weeks the White House has responded to North Korean threats appropriately, first by providing military and intelligence support to South Korea and then as recently as last week deploying an anti-missile system to the US base in Guam. Still, the media continues to report that there is little validity to Kim Jong Un’s threats. They say that as a new leader he is being overly aggressive in order to gain prestige and respect among his people. South Koreans insist that the US should take North Korea’s threats with a grain of salt as business remains as usual in Seoul. While all this may be true, nuclear war is not a threat to be taken lightly.
It is unclear how far North Korea’s nuclear reach extends but the fact remains that they have powerful weapons that can devastate their neighbors. The combination of powerful weapons and an unpredictable ruler who is trying to prove himself is a very dangerous one. North Korea represents the peril of nuclear proliferation; a hazard that we Americans’ have grown assimilated to, a risk that no longer keeps us up at night. Kim Jong Un may be bluffing this time, he may bluff next time, but sooner or later history dictates that he will not bluff and when that happens will we be prepared?
The aggressive behavior of North Korea and the language of their government in regard to nuclear warfare further undermines real nuclear threats that exist from elsewhere. Iran, who funds terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas, is believed to be developing nuclear weapons. Pakistan, where terrorism organizations continue to prosper, already has nuclear weapons. A nuclear weapon could very easily get into the wrong hands in Pakistan and Iran and if that were to happen it would mean destruction to the west. These are serious global issues that the media doesn’t like to remind us about and issues that‘Generation Me’ doesn’t ever consider.
The United States government and the worldwide media must remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These weapons can alter the course of history. Any time that nuclear war is threatened that threat must be squashed. This is our world to create; this is our world to destroy.