Tuesday, November 23, 2010


In 2007 I wrote:
Kim Jong Il is unlikely to live up to any diplomatic agreement. Eventually, he will bring things to the brink, where he (and most narcissists and psychopaths) like to operate. And, he will be counting on the West and in particular, the U.S. to take the step back and give in when he does. He has every historical reason to be encouraged that this will happen. Jimmy Carter did it; Madeleine Albright did it; Bill Clinton did it. The Democratic leadership currently in Congress is dying to do it.

The conservatives like John Bolton who are criticizing the agreement are doing so precisely because they recognize the essential nature of North Korea's lying, deceitful leader.

If you make agreements with such leaders, there are several key psychological points to keep in mind when dealing with both the narcissistic grandiosity of the dictator/tyrant and the shame-avoidant culture that nourishes him.

First, with regard to the narcissistic grandiosity it must be remembered that what you are confronting is basically a bully (a bully with nuclear weapons for sure, but still a bully). And a bully will only stop bullying when it is absolutely clear to him that he cannot win. In other words, a show of overwhelming force that is direct, clear and unambiguous is what is needed. In the context of an agreement, you must make any rewards directly attached to the behavior you expect; and if the behavior does not meet your criteria, then there must not be any reward. In fact, there should be specific negative consequences clearly delineated for that eventuality.

The bully must understand that he will not get away with his bullying; that it will not be tolerated-- or there will be catastrophic consequences for him personally.

Bullies like Kim Jong Il will watch carefully to see if the West really means what it says in this area, and if he senses any ambiguity or lack of resolve on the part of the international community or within the US, he will snicker at his cleverness and exploit our indecision to the fullest possible extent.

That is what Saddam believed would happen in Iraq. That is what Ahmadinejad and the malignant mullahs believe will happen in their own confrontation with the West. They have seen the indecision and the lack of will and are certain they will prevail against such weakness.

So it is incredibly important that militarily the US or the international community step up to the plate.

The malignant narcissist who is dictator of North Korea, with the help (encouragement?) of his heir apparent, have not only gone ahead with their plans for nuclear weapons--despite agreements, accords, promises and whatever; but now have committed an act of war against South Korea in a deliberate and calculated attack.

We should not be surprised or shocked. We should have always expected this because it is what happens when a madman rules, especially when he knows he can pretty much get away with anything and the U.S. is unlikely to do much to stop him. We knew he was a madman, and yet we tried to reason with him and pretend he would keep his word.

And right on cue, the U.S. condemns the action and "shows restraint."

Yes, that should work splendidly.

Obama et al need to realize that Iran will be watching this situation very very closely to see what we do. If we permit the North Korean regime to militarily bully and kill its neighbors in Asia, how soon do you think it will take Iran and the Mullahs to flex their muscle in the Middle East?

The U.S. (and the world) has already shown considerable restraint for the shenanigans and bizarre international behavior of Kim Jong Il. We need more than "outrage" from Obama, we require some real leadership.

Of course, now I'm expecting some sort of "leadership" from the narcissist who leads the U.S. and I'm making the same mistake U.S. diplomats have made in expecting the narcissist who leads North Korea to hold to his agreements.

It simply ain't in the nature of the beast.

UPDATE: A final nail in the coffin of the "Obama Doctrine"? Let's hope so.

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