Macklin / Simple way to sort out the nuclear clowns

“The sad truth is that there’s a kind of clubhouse rule among national leaders that says: ‘I won’t if you won’t’ and they all sleep sounder in their beds,” writes columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

THERE is a very clear and simple alternative to the nuclear conflict that seems to be heading our way caused by the two worst haircuts on the planet: shoot one of them.

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin.

It really doesn’t matter which. They are a pair of irresponsible clowns who seem bent on a holocaust that could destroy hundreds of thousands of lives on the Korean Peninsula and perhaps even in Japan. But I suppose taking out Trump would still leave us with the problem of a Korean firing test missiles on his way to producing a nuclear “gift package” for the region. So, the elimination of Kim Jong-un is probably the more logical course.

So, why aren’t our SAS lads – or America’s Delta Force – haring over there on a submarine with orders to put him down? Well, here’s the really crazy thing – such an act is regarded as unthinkable because there’s a US Presidential executive order, signed by that very temporary president, Gerald Ford after the disclosure that the CIA planned to take out Cuba’s Fidel Castro. It explicitly prohibits US government employees from engaging in “political assassination”. Then his successor Ronald Reagan made it even more explicit. According to his order, Americans were banned from even considering it.

The Geneva Convention calls such killings a “grave breach”. But hey, is it not just a littler “graver” to do nothing and thereby permit these nutcases from killing hundreds of thousands? Of course it is and everyone knows it. But the sad truth is that there’s a kind of clubhouse rule among national leaders that says: “I won’t if you won’t” and they all sleep sounder in their beds.

There is another side to the story. Once we started killing these undesirables, where would it end? What criteria would determine their having stepped over the line? And who would decide when they were for the chop?

For example, would it be okay if they kept their disgraceful activities within their country’s boundaries? But what if they sent mercenaries across the border but absolutely denied it? Would the good guys have to prove they were responsible for the evil deed? And who are the good guys sitting in judgement anyway?

That’s when it starts to get complicated. The International Criminal Court would be the natural body to decide but all the big guys – US, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and many others are not party to the ICC, and certainly wouldn’t accept their ruling if, say, their leaders invaded the Crimea or Iraq or Tibet.

But we just can’t throw up our hands and say it’s all too difficult. We need to identify a group with a great sense of judgement, totally incorruptible and with the courage of their convictions.

Obviously they would have to be either Australians or New Zealanders. But one glance at an All Black scrum and you realise even the Kiwis are a bit sus. And committees, as we know, are always vulnerable to outside pressure and personality clashes. So it looks like it would have to be a single person of unimpeachable virtue, immaculate judgement and the courage of a lion.

The only group I can think of with all the necessary qualifications are authors of non-fiction books of Australian history. And of them, only one really fills the bill – that chap who did those books on a prominent Australian explorer and, more recently, our relations with China over the last 200 years, “Kangaroo and Dragon” I think it’s called, you know the one…

robert@robertmacklin.com

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