Remember nuclear blackmail? Apparently, North Korea and Iran have refined the practice into outright panhandling. Let’s indulge, with a not entirely charitable examination, this new and nettlesome version of “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?”
Standing on the most conspicuous street corners the two beggarly brats can manage in our minds, they proffer their illicit cups in quest of alms, while they wiggle their nascent nuclear capabilities at our noses.
North Korea plays What The Heck’s Bad Boy and launches seven missiles obviously calculated to fly in the face of the civilized world’s most anxious hand-wringing, and Iran continues to enrich uranium while European negotiators heap ever more incentives into its cynically proffered tin.
How deserving are these increasingly irksome beggars?
North Korea has the thorny problem of watching its Asian neighbors ascend ever more successfully in the world’s economic stratosphere while its own economy rumbles along in a decrepit cart composed of dusty economic lumber that has long since proven to be inherently impoverishing. So it finds itself in desperate and really quite incriminating need of mere sustenance.
Meanwhile, Iran’s economy skids along via the oil beneath its sacred sand, with a little bit of help from the remnants of its Caspian caviar trade, but the mullahdom is hardly a candidate to join the ranks of the world’s most industrialized nations. The theocracy does, in fact, have an irritating unemployment problem, particularly among its perhaps not eternally submissive young people.
Apparently, modernity at the enterprising level does not inspirit the ever-turbaned fundamentalist as it might a more enlightened and lax attendee at the local mosque. So, despite the bountiful blessings that might be expected by placing themselves under the rule of its most pious adherents of Mohammed, the citizenry finds itself less than abundantly heaped with earthbound rewards. All the better for its wily leaders to distract them with flattering flights of unfounded egomania, especially since the distraction can elicit a plentitude of salving alms for oblivion.
Obviously, their nuclear capabilities pose a very unlikely threat. Unleashing even the worst they could ever manage would only invite the world’s more capably arrayed nuclear powers to incinerate an unacceptable proportion of their citizenry and infrastructure.
Given that their weapon wagging is ultimately a farcical pretense, will dropping a heartfelt gift in their cups get them off the street or encourage them to return again?
We think the latter. Then what else might we do as a substitute for giving into their clamorous demands for a spare dime.
Since institutionalization is more applicable to mentally defective individuals and arrest to overly intrusive ones, are there doable equivalents to rein in international panhanders?
As a ready substitute for institutionalization, we suggest letting the pretenders stew in their own waywardness by ignoring them. There is nothing they can do but brandish their weapons until they grow weary of the tactic and turn to more responsible means of support.
And, as the equivalent of arrest, we can lock them away with sanctions that fit the crimes until they realize that their new form of connivance just doesn’t pay but, in fact, results in making their unfortunate lots even more discouraging to them and their disciples.
So, while civilized nations tend to mix tenderheartedness with wariness, we really just need to steel ourselves and walk on by this duplicitous duo of irresponsible funraisers.
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