Leonard Wibberly penned a series of stories originally published in the Saturday Evening Post. These stories involved the fictional 3 mile by 5 mile country of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick located somewhere between Switzerland and France. The only commerce enjoyed by this miniscule statehood was the production and sale of their Pinot Grand Fenwick wine. On the verge of bankruptcy, due in no small part to a California vintner undercutting the price of this wine with their Pinot Grand Enwick, the country declared war on the United States with the intent upon losing and ultimately claiming war reparations. Although the immediate plan didn’t pan out, the Duchy made out quite well in the end.
And here we are today. And it is true. I miss North Korea. For a while there, amusement reigned supreme. I mean come on. Here was this little kid with this truly God awful haircut rattling his sabers at the world. And the world actually paid attention. The story veers a little off course here.
The United States hadn’t realized it was at war with the Duchy of Grand Fenwick until a full two months after said declaration. Of course these events were prior to internet, CNN and general instantaneous world wide news coverage. Suffice it to say, the world furrowed its collective brow over its crème brule and actually listened to the nyah nyah spittling of this little twerp in the cheap suit.
I have no intentions toward recapturing the complex and tortured relationships that had existed in one form or another as between the United States and North Korea. But suffice it to say, since the 1950s Washington DC and Pyongyang have not exactly been swapping spit in the shower.
All of the strom and drang that has accompanied tensions between these two nations centers exclusively around one form of military involvement and might or another. Bear in mind, North Korea was not always the bad guy in these scenarios. At one point during the mid 1990s we were this close to coming to terms with them regarding an agenda surrounding nuclear disarmament. However control of the US Congress went to the Republicans and it was summarily decided that the treaty intended to be put in place amounted to so much appeasement. And there was that incident involving the pirates and Mogadishu where the North Koreans and the US fought side by side and hand to hand against those nasty Somali pirates. But I must say, the lion’s share of the blame lies squarely upon the shoulders of North Korea which has consistently insisted on developing their nuclear program in spite of the rest of the world’s negative approbation.
Things heated up nicely, as most of you will recall, a few weeks ago when Kim Jong-Un threatened the United States by declaring that rockets were ready to be fired at American bases in the Pacific. As I am certain you will recall, the declaration was in response to two of our B2 stealth bombers that flew over the Korean peninsula the day before. The Pentagon then called for an advanced missile defense system to the western Pacific .
Of course the media made a lot of hay over this and there were people who harbored genuine concern there would be some form of violent turn out over this.
At one point the high school kids in my daughter’s classroom expressed genuine concern surrounding what they perceived could become a pending holocaust. My daughter handled it with grace and aplomb. With a dismissive wave of her hand she unrolled the class’s world map.
“Ok class. Let’s take a look at the US. Here it is. Ok? Now let’s cross the Pacific over here and see if we can locate North Korea. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Right. Here it is. Now. Let me ask you all a question. If North Korea fires even one missile at either us or one of our allies, what do you suppose would happen?”
One astute young gentleman raised his hand and after receiving an acquiescent nod from his teacher he pontificated briefly. “No more North Korea.”
Of course he was absolutely on the money.
Frankly any clear headed person of reason with half a brain would have been able to piece that one together. Yet, the media bleated consistent sound bites on an hourly basis ignoring the fundamental fact that the only reason for the Grand Duchy of Fenwick like noises emanating from the far east was an attempt to initiate negotiations towards the reduction of existing world wide imposed economic and trade based sanctions.
If my wife and I deemed it necessary to turn on the news we would invariably be treated to exposes surrounding the supposed military might of the Grand Duchy of North Korea. At one point, even North Korea’s long standing ally in China gave up on it actually drafting the decree that would soon become additional UN sanctions. This was amusement. Pop corn and Pepsi.
However at the apex of this gorilla like chest pounding, we were subjected to the Boston tragedy. For weeks we learned in depth of the victims, the suspects, the friends of the suspects, the friends of the victims, the suspects’ family members. More information than we would ever want to consider.
And then these news stories had been supplanted with the carryings on of one little worthless girl accused of murdering her husband. More news surrounding another young lady who has been re-charged with murdering her roommate. Today there’s big time news about the reclamation of three young ladies held captive for roughly ten years. And leave us not forget Chris Christie’s belly busting surgery. With any luck at all he’ll be sufficiently svelte and suave for the Republican Presidential primaries.
For some reason or another, North Korea seemed to have lost all its shining allure as a powerful and dangerous sovereign nation. More importantly, North Korea has lost all of its related status as a headline grabbing power.
Page 72 of the New York Times just the other day advised that Pyongyang had taken those missile launchers defiantly aimed toward the US and its allies and took them home to roost.
I miss having North Korea’s threats continuously flashed across the news. After all, pop corn doesn’t have all that many calories.