Saturday, April 15, 2017

What's going on? (My Thoughts on Current Events)

I haven't really written much about what I've though about the state of the world or current events as of late. Although I guess I haven't really written much at all lately. I'd like to get back to that.

So since my last post, a lot of stuff has happened. England ceded from the E.U. with Brexit, Donald Trump took office in the United States, Syria is all messed up, the president of South Korea, where I currently reside, was impeached and now the country has no president until May. This was a lot to take in for such a politically aware mench as myself.


My opinions on all this? Well my blog is mostly about East Asia, but I am of English ancestry so suppose I feel some sort of irrational connection to the "mother land" despite never having set foot in it. In short, Brexit was probably a bad idea. It strikes me as an irrational act propagated by ardent nationalists who believe that their country, identity, way of life etc. is at risk because of immigration or something.  I've heard this rhetoric elsewhere, in my country too (Canada), it's stupid, we are developed nations, our people are getting older, our birthrates a dropping, we need immigrants to maintain our current level of development because we don't have robots yet but no, "Immigration is destroying our traditions blah blah blah, send em back!" In reality of course, England had a pretty good deal with E.U. reaping many of the political benefits yet none of the economic consequences of subscribing to the Euro as they were still allowed to use their pound. Now British folks need a passport if they want to travel in Europe and will probably have to pay more for university in Prague (or wherever). Also, a bunch of European immigrants might have to leave. Good job Engles, really solved all your problems there (sarcasm, this is sarcasm, Brexit was dumb).

'sup. Guess I'm prez now.
And then there is Mr. Trump. I hate Donald Trump. Is it because I am a raging "SJW" that hates everything because liberalism and stuff? Not so much. Way before any of this running for president business, I was convinced he was an asshole. The guy tried to copyright the phrase "your fired" for his awful show about shitty people trying to work for a shitty person. It was awful. The guy opened fraudulent universities and a fraudulent charity and ended up spending a large portion of the proceeds on himself. There's a shit-stained laundry list of shitty, grimy, creepy shit this guy has done yet people were all like "Let's have this guy run the country! He said we can have jobs! And that our country can be great again!" Yeah, right guys, Trump's just gonna end global trade, America's bread and butter since day one, and pull prosperity out of his ass. Nope, cause that's impossible and as expected it's been a bloody fiasco since day one. More like "Make America a joke!" only it's not a joke because America is still way too damned powerful and now it's being run by an asshole and his team of assholes. Boooooo.

A city in Syria right now. Yup, looks about right.
Syria. Syria is an awful and convoluted situation (that's putting it mildly) that I honestly don't fully understand because I haven't spent a long time researching it. I know that there's this guy, Assad, and he's the president, and a lot of people hated him and during the Arab spring people wanted him to go away. Then, because of that he started shooting at people, but then some of his army joined anti-government forces which ramped-up the scope of the conflict and basically made it a civil war. Then a bunch of other countries decided to start funding the various military and paramilitary groups fighting in the conflict (as they do), making the whole situation even more insane. Then Assad used gas, twice, to attempt to kill rebels, which is against the Geneva Convention. Then Trump authorised an air-strike on one of Assad's bases. Was he wrong to do that? Hmm, maybe not, but I'm not really sure what America's true motivations are in this conflict so . . . yeah. It's complicated and terrible and Russia is involved, which is never good. And way too many civilians are dying everyday.

Now back to East Asia . . .

Park Geun-Hye and Queen Elizabeth II. I actually like the queen, she reminds me of my granny.
South Korea. The South Korean president, Park Geun-Hye was impeached because she was found to be guilty of the same sort of corruption that her father and subsequent Saenuri party members have been guilty of for ages. She reportedly took bribes from large corporations and offered advantages in return and apparently let her old chum, a civilian named Choi Soon-Shil, have way too much power over official policy, which pissed people off, understandably. There was a huge protest, at the pinnacle of which, no less than one-million people showed up at Gwanghamun (Seoul's city centre - more or less) to call for her resignation. It worked. She was impeached. Now, the sort of things she was doing have actually been pretty common throughout South Korea's political history, so maybe she thought she was just doing what everyone else does, but it's the 21st century and people are tired of that shit. So, yeah, that's what happens.

My thoughts? I really don't understand why people still think the Saenuri party (the party Park was the leader of) should hold office. They haven't done anything significant for South Korea in recent memory aside from bankrupting the country in the late 90's and souring relations with North Korea in the mid 2000's, which . . . like why?! Why would you do that!? They're right there! You want to antagonise that country with missiles right beside you? It's dumb, especially since they reversed a lot of the progress made by the opposition. The Saenuri party did a lot for the development of the South Korean economy in the early days (albeit at the expense of democracy and human rights in many instances) but now South Korea's economy has all grown up. Now they need people who are going to introduce social reforms, and I think the Minju party (the opposition) knows what's up in that department, at least more so than Saenuri seems to. There will be an election in May to choose the new guy. Which brings me to my next point.

North Korea.

Murica's a commin!
This is the second time in my life that I've been living in South Korea during a time when North Korea is being very vocal about going to war. Do I think there is going to be a war? Well, I'm still here aren't I? And neither the American nor Canadian embassies have reported a significant threat level, so I'm generally optimistic. I am however quite annoyed with what America, specifically Trump has done. So North Korea has been testing missiles, which seems to be business as usual (birds fly, fish swim, North Korea tests missiles), but this time, they launched one uncomfortably close to Japan, which has Japan up-in-arms understandably. But Trump doesn't really seem to care too much about that specifically. More so, he is worried because one of North Korea's missiles, supposedly has the capacity to reach America's west coast, and in this world, you're not allowed to have nukes unless you're America's friend. North Korea doesn't like America so America doesn't want North Korea to have them nukes. So Trump told Xi Jinping, China's president, that if China wasn't going to deal with the situation as North Korea's only official ally in the area, he would. And now there is an American Air-strike team in Korean waters. Thanks Trump.

My thoughts? This irks me because, "Hey man, what about South Korea in all this? Oh, that's right, they don't have a President at the moment" (they have a prime-minister but as I understand he has limited power over the military)! Yeah, brilliant timing buddy, you couldn't wait one frickin' month to send your boats? You really think North Korea is gonna bomb America? Really? Really? Russia could have bombed America a hundred times over back in the Cold War, but they didn't did they? Because that would have changed the whole dynamic of the conflict and then Russia and America would actually have to get their hands dirty instead of getting East Asian people to fight their wars for them (Ooooh! Did he just say that!?), and also the world might have ended. Trump sucks, boo Trump.

A not-so-subtle cry to rally against imperialist forces.
The way I see it, if they actually had a war with the United States, they would essentially be fighting a multi-national military coalition, probably alone, as China would likely claim neutrality to save their globally fuelled economy and Russia appears to have it's own foggy agenda and hasn't been communist since the 80's (something that American pop-culture doesn't seem to be able to grasp). This coalition would likely utterly defeat the DPRK eventually. This would probably make reunification really frickin complicated and shitty too, because all these other countries would have their fingers in the pie. Also if North Korea went to war, their iron curtain would necessarily have to be lifted to some degree, which would likely lead to a flood of information which could rock the regime pretty hard. It is against North Korea's best interests to have a war with America, so they probably won't. On the flip-side, every-time America, the U.N. and whoever else is interested in regulating North Korea in someway, threatens action against the DPRK it is often used by the regime as proof of the threat of foreign imperialism, thereby strengthening the regime's grasp. You can bet that images of Trumps aircraft carrier are likely circulating all over North Korean TV sets right now, with slogans like "good thing Marshal Kim Jung Un is here to save us from the nasty imperialists". So yeah, welcome to 21st century, where having a bigger cannon doesn't necessarily solve all your problems.

So that's that, had to get all that stuff of my chest. I think I will blog more. This felt good. I'm currently working on a couple of posts that are more like the stuff I usually write about. Until next time, godspeed you black emperor!