Friday, April 23, 2004

Those Silly North Koreans

Overlawyered notes the National Lawyers Guild's take on North Korea: "That Kim Jong Il regime, so misunderstood -- if the poor dears misbehave, it's only because the evil United States drove them to it."

This position is quite similar to that of a speaker we had at the law school some months ago named Bruce Cumings. He described how the North Koreans enjoy bullying and threatening us because it makes them feel good. But he also noted they are apt to pull back on occasion and pretend to be reasonable. Cumings then said something to the effect of "this is just how they are." The North Korean government is very insecure, you understand, so their emotions sometimes get the best of them. Cumings then noted that the answer to the problem wasn't to judge them, but to understand them. He used the word "misunderstood" a lot, as I recall.

All this talk makes me think that the term "rogue states" just doesn't capture their essence well. They aren't like Mad Max; they're more like Molly Ringwald. Some candidates to replace the term:

Passive-aggressive States
States With Anger Issues
[insert 80's John Hughes movie title here] States
States Whose Father Didn't Love Them
"God, you just don't understand mom!" States
States Who Didn't Take Their Ritalin
Unpopular States
States Who Identify With Winona Ryder (then and now)

I'm open to better suggestions.

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