Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kim Jong Illin'

I am a patriotic American. As a patriotic American, I want to be of service to my country, a country which has given me so much, especially in terms of compact discs and electronic trinkets. You see, I’m an American, not an American’t and therefore I refuse to give in to all this “Oh no, North Korea has nuclear weapons, woe is me, woe is me!” business going on in the mass media. Many times in our proud history, we have faced grave challenges and come out stronger because of them. World War II, the Suez Crisis, and that time we all saw Janet Jackson’s boobie are just some of these that I can recall off the top of my head. In each of these situations with the possible exception of the last one, ordinary Americans hunkered down, summoned their vast reserves of courage, and rose to the occasion.

Which is why I’m offering to head up a delegation that will travel to North Korea and convince Kim Jong Il that being a nuclear power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

What I propose is the creation of a multi-national, multi-disciplinary team which will be deployed to Pyongyang immediately. I will be the operational leader of this lean, versatile force and I will operate under the code name “Colin Powell” in the hopes that this will confuse the North Korean leadership as to my actual identity and status within the United States government. Crucial to our success will be the presence of one “Mr. Sponge”, a man with military experience and excellent musical tastes. His responsibility will be in coordinating and carrying out “Plan Bravo”, the contours of which will be made clear shortly. In this he will be assisted by Jet Li, a martial arts expert and well-respected actor and Natasha Le Loup, a Belgian master of disguise. Rounding out Mr. Sponge’s division will be my brother, Matthew, whose encyclopedic knowledge of all things “science” related will prove invaluable if our operation ever comes into direct contact with the nuclear weapons in question.

As the leader of “Plan Alpha”, I will be traveling with a smaller force. At my side will be my good friend Tara, who is currently earning a higher degree in psychology, rendering her invaluable when it comes to unlocking the psyches of North Korean government officials. Logistical support for our end of the operation will be provided by the mysterious Ali Wahid Hassim Al-Fadl bin Shahab, a “fixer” so secretive and well-connected that the CIA has requested that I only mention his name once in this blog post.

The success of “Plan Alpha” hinges on diplomacy. Tara, [name redacted], and myself will present ourselves to Kim Jong Il and his top advisers under the “cover story” of being top-level United States officials concerned about his recent nuclear test. To prepare for this, I will spend at least two weeks learning Korean in the nearest Berlitz school. After normal pleasantries are dispensed with, I will then proceed to apply gradually increasing pressure on the North Korean dictator. After each successive level of rhetorical fireworks, I will turn to Tara and she will offer her professional opinion on how close Jong Il is to “breaking”. We will do this in English, so that there will be no chance of our conversations being monitored. If in the unlikely event that the North Korean delegation includes a member trained in our language, we will simply conduct our discussions in Pig Latin. “Is-say Im-Kay Ong-Jay Il-ay eakin-bray?” and so on and so forth.

The specifics are still being worked on, but I believe my first approach will be flattery. I will say, “Honorable Kim Jong Il, you do not need nuclear weapons, because the might of your brave People’s Army—through proper ideology, discipline, and your father’s immortal concept of juche---can repel any attack from any source, thus rendering the decadent weapons of the capitalist system useless against the will of the gallant and socialistic population of your proud and world-straddling nation!”

If this doesn’t stir the weirdo’s emotions, I will quickly change my tactics to focus on the practical. “Kim Jong Il, your possession of nuclear weapons can only destabilize all of East Asia! You don’t need them, given that China will inevitably ensure your nation’s security needs. Furthermore, willingly disarming—much like the South Africans did in the 1980s—would be a signal of your nation’s desire to enter into the community of nations, which might lead to an eventual lifting of the crippling sanctions that worsen your country’s perennial famines and stunt your small and vulnerable economy...”

If even this doesn’t sway the stubborn dictation, I will be forced to point out that you cannot hug a child with nuclear arms.

While it is hoped that “Plan Alpha”—talking our differences through like mature adults—will be sufficient to check Jong Il’s nuclear ambitions, I know enough about global affairs not to depend on this route. This is why “Plan Bravo” will be taking shape as we try to wheedle the North Koreans into voluntary disarmament. Essentially, the aforementioned espionage grouping will come ashore in an inflatable amphibious vehicle, disguised as nuns. If a bunch of nuns in North Korea seems conspicuous, they will instead disguise themselves as rocks, trees, and birds indigenous to that area. Thus costumed, they will slip past any sentries, guards or whatnot and penetrate into the inner sanctum of the North Korean nuclear arsenal. This is dangerous work, of course, and all of them might not come back. This will be profoundly sad, but at least they died for the sake of world peace, and not just because they were old. Take comfort in that fact, Team Bravo, you crazy bastards you...

Anyway, once they have inserted themselves into the storage shed where the nuclear warheads are kept, they will quickly and clandestinely disarm the devices. At this stage of the game, I am not sure whether you’re supposed to cut the blue wire, the red wire, or the green wire, but I’m sure such details will be ironed out by the time we’re “in country”. And, besides, it’s not like I really have to worry about that part of the plan, since I’ll be many miles away with “Team Alpha”, sitting around eating dainty cakes and making small talk about hair-care products with Kim Jong Il.

That’s about as much of the plan as I can disclose to an audience of mixed security clearances. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it seems destined for certain success. Yes, there are a few details that haven’t been worked out yet—such as whether we ought to buy walkie-talkies, how to book flights to Pyongyang (Orbitz doesn’t seem to be much help here), and the all-important question of our compensation—but all in all we’re ready to roll. Now all I need is for the government to shoot me an e-mail, and we can have this “nuclear North Korea” thing nipped in the bud as early as next Wednesday.