“We can do dumb things…” – The Pass You Get when Building Empires

I was listening to this newscast from the BBC on the Korean troubles, when I was struck by something Dr. Robert Kelly said:

We can do dumb things in the Middle East and get away with it.

His point being that Trump’s impulsiveness may not mean much in the Middle East but may have significant consequences when it comes to North Korea. The reporter didn’t really react to the statement, and it took me a minute to figure out why it bothered me. I finally came to the conclusion that it bothered me because it was true.

We give lip service to the idea of reducing civilian casualties, but the reality is that the Middle East has been a playground for our military technology since the first President Bush and has remained that way through President Obama’s tenure. The only reason we play nice with China and tolerate North Korea’s aggressive behavior is because they can hurt us.

Think about living in a region of the world, where the most powerful country on earth believes it can do dumb shit to your plot of land (i.e. bomb cities, attack with drones, engage in nation-building) because they can get away with it.  Then imagine that they do exactly that. How would you view that country?  What would you do to change that country’s mind?

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