In the Event

We probably should be encouraged by the news that North Korea has successfully tested a missile that’s capable of hitting any target in the USA. Previously, the range of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapon delivery systems limited its destructive capacity to targets on the Pacific Coast of the USA. Now that Washington is within reach, maybe San Diego and L. A. can be spared.

Heeding the lessons of our adventures in Baghdad, we should not assume that there will be dancing in the streets if Washington is vaporized. It does seem unlikely, however, that our outside-the-beltway population would opt for the total annihilation of humanity if the capitol were our only loss.

If you haven’t been through D. C. lately, it’s definitly worth a trip. The decadence is, in the overblown jargon of D. C. neojournalists, “stunning.” Even from the beltway you can smell the money. Corruption so infuses the atmosphere that it’s easy to doubt whether the roads and overpasses will support the weight of the traffic.

The people who dwell there aren’t aware that most of the rest of us tend to gag at conspicuous displays of wealth. As you pass the bling-studded edifices that clutter the landscape, you might wonder how people get so rich on the doings of a debt-burdened government. Wonder on. Wonder how a legislator becomes a multimillionaire after 20 years in Congress. Wonder how news reporters bring down six-figure and seven-figure salaries. Wonder who keeps the principal players in office year after year, decade after decade. Wonder why ordinary people aren’t trampling the mall bearing torches and pitchforks.

We tend to forget that a state of war continues to exist between North Korea and the USA, despite repeated attempts on their part to negotiate a peace. We destroyed their country when I was a child, and they’ve been worried that we would do it again ever since. And now we have a government that’s threatening to do just that.

We all have friends and associates in Washington, D. C., so there will be grief if the North Koreans attack. And you hate to see all that alabaster pulverized. On the other hand, if we have to sacrifice a few buildings and our member of Congress and president to ensure the survival of the rest of us, is it really such a high price to pay?