Page 15

Nov Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE 813 VOL. 75 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2017 accomplish by goading the North Korean regime, even in the best of scenarios it is most unlikely to be this. His means may unfortunately yield a scenario that is much worse. Of course, on what was to be his last flight before retirement to earthly pursuits, “Rocket Man” dies. As the son describes: Well, it wasn’t Mars, and it wasn’t Venus, and it wasn’t Jupiter or Saturn that killed him. We wouldn’t have to think of him every time Jupiter or Saturn or Mars lit up the evening sky.10 This was different. His ship had fallen into the sun. And the sun was big and fiery and merciless, and it was always in the sky and you couldn’t get away from it. So for a long time after my father died my mother slept through the days and wouldn’t go out. We had breakfast at midnight and lunch at three in the morning, and dinner at the cold dim hour of 6 A.M. We went to allnight shows and went to bed at sunrise. And, for a long while, the only days we ever went out to walk were the days when it was raining and there was no sun. Nuclear fusion fuels the stars, including the sun, by which “Rocket Man” was consumed. Nuclear war, a nuclear blast, or indeed even “conventional” warfare is big and fiery and merciless, and launched on the Korean Peninsula it would consume not simply Kim Jong-un but millions of others who literally would not be able to get away from it. Even for those of us not consumed in a conflagration, if Kim Jong-un is destroyed as Trump wants him to be, we will not be able to relegate thinking about it to the odd occasion when a planet crosses the night sky; we may see a blaze that envelopes the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and those of us with a moral compass will regret it and mourn. Childish insults and tweets may be fun for those uttering them in the moment, but have no place in the mouth or at the fingers of a president in a dangerous world. ENDNOTES 1. Evan Thomas, “The Brilliant Prudence of Dwight Eisenhower”, The Atlantic (September 19, 2012), online: <www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/ 2012/09/the-brilliant-prudence-of-dwight-eisen hower/262556/>. 2. American mathematician and humorist Tom Lehrer’s ode to nuclear proliferation “Who’s Next” starts: “First we got the bomb and that was good / ‘cause we love peace and motherhood / Then Russia got the bomb, but that’s OK / ‘cause the balance of power’s maintained that way! / Who’s next?”: “That Was the Year That Was” (Reprise/Warner Bros Records, 1965). 3. Some of the criticism now directed at North Korea was in the 1950s directed at China when it was developing its nuclear program—Khrushchev complained that Chinese leaders were “like children”, unsuited to control of a nuclear arsenal; US Secretary of State Dean Rusk bemoaned the possibility of a “billion Chinese armed with nuclear weapons”; and in 1967, US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara suggested an anti-ballistic missile system to defend the United States from Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles. 4. Joby Warrick, Ellen Nakashima & Anna Fifield, “North Korea Now Making Missile-Ready Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Analysts Say”, Washington Post (8 August 2014), online: <www.washingtonpost.com/ world/national-security/north-korea-now-makingmissile ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-


Nov Advocate 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above