A Reflection on Fear

editorial-logo3It’s September 11, 2017, the sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack. Despite having a decade and a half between us and the attack, we still feel as if we are on the brink of war. The difference is, of course, that all eyes are on North Korea nowadays. Tensions seem higher than ever, especially since Kim Jong Un just threatened a “harsh response” if the U.N. pushes forward with sanctions against the country. It’s fitting that I’m writing this editorial now, on the anniversary of the most fear-provoking day in U.S. history. I’ve noticed a trend in Americans over the last five years or so: we are perfectly happy with being terrified.

I’m not sure what exactly caused this phenomenon. Maybe it was a constant barrage of worst-case sensationalism news. Maybe social media has brought us all together enough to see how messed up some of the world really is. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that a fundamental quality of being American is quickly disappearing. We are no longer the steadfast embodiment of perseverance. In fact, we’re pretty sure we’ve already lost. We aren’t sure what we’ve lost exactly, but we know we have. I’m not saying that we should act like nothing bad can ever happen to America. This day serves as a reminder of true threats to our national security. But let’s take a step back and look at the current international situation.

First, let’s dispel the notion that Kim Jong Un is insane, or that he doesn’t know what he is doing. Un is a dictator. Dictators do not exist to lead a country, they exist to capitalize off of one. The fact that North Korea is doing weapons testing should be no surprise to anyone. They’d have to be idiots to not do so. The country has a long history of saber-rattling in order to appease the nationalist generals and officers in the military, as well as to put on a front for the populace. North Korea’s threats have put increasing strain on Western countries’ relations with China, which is economically dependent on the United States (just as we are dependent on them). Eventually, China would be forced to step in. Even now, China has publicly announced that they are under no obligation to help North Korea, militarily. Un has to have a usable nuclear arsenal, even a single missile, in order to ensure he is left alone. The man spends his days at millionaire parties while state news outlets speak of how ready he is to deliver “swift destruction.”

Put simply, North Korea will cease to exist the moment they attack anyone, and a nuke is Un’s only hope of not being removed by his ally.

I’m not saying that Un being completely insane is impossible. He’s certainly ruthless, and sanctions the U.N. Would place on the country could instigate a retaliation. I just doubt they will. Un isn’t so dumb that he couldn’t defend a kingly lifestyle from more zealous factions of his own government. The man has everything he could ever want there, surrounded by a populace that literally think he’s a god. I just don’t see him throwing that all away knowing that he would immediately lose an armed conflict.

Ultimately, this whole North Korea situation and the resulting fear is just an example of a deeper societal issue. Sixteen years ago we came together in tragedy, repaired our country as best we could, planted our feet in the ground, and let the world know that America would not be intimidated. Today, we are convinced there’s a Nazi epidemic because a few hundred Nazis drove from all across a 326 million population country to be at a protest. Britain imposes increasing surveillance of its own people, Russia’s outskirts are desolate wastelands, dozens of European countries face near-constant terrorist threat, China’s air is poisonous, and Canadians are legislating morality and manners based off of internet comments. In our time, America stands resolute as the greatest, safest country in the world. It’s time we start acting like it. If at the end of the day the worst were to happen, I’d wager we will come together as we always have, help our fellow countrymen, and show the world we will not be driven by fear.

Because that’s what Americans do.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor

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