The Sounds of Silence

Rarely do I delve into politics on my blog.  But I just couldn't keep quiet anymore.  In my high school days, a wise older man used to tell us, "Your actions speak louder than your words."  In this situation, what also comes to mind is:

"Silence is consent."

"Silence speaks volumes."

"The most profound statements are often said in silence."

"The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace."

All of these could be true.  Of what do I speak?  China's silence on the North Korean attack on a South Korean island and the upcoming war games of South Korea and the United States.  China has been hush-hush on the recent events, and North Korea has precious little oil, and there may be a power struggle going on in North Korea for control of the country. 

Several people have said publicly that they fear another Korean war.  There might be fighting between the two Koreas.  But I doubt it'll be what it was in the 1950s.  To me, this is a good example of knowing one's history and understanding today's geopolitics.  And listening to the sounds of China's silence.


  1. I read and heard that China has now taken a stand (well, a voice at least) and said to N Korea that they must stop immediately. It's not going to happen. N Korea has been itching for a war for a long time and their "leader" for lack of a better word is insane in my book. I hope there's not big trouble ahead, but I'm not so comfortable with it all. I think not blinking would be a good idea when it comes to N Korea and keeping an eye on them. I felt horrible for the unprovoked attacks on South Korea and can only imagine the shock and terror of the people.

  2. I'm back. I "sort of" take back what I said earlier, part of it anyway. The part with China taking a stand was really too strong a term. I just finished reading even more and it's more of a case of "saving face" by China and really all they've said is that if N Korea continues in this attacking, they (China) will no longer support them. WhoopeeDoo. Sorry, but the culture in matters like this leaves me cold. It's like being politically correct and that drives me nuts, too. But I stand by all the rest about N Korea itching for a war. The writing has been on the wall for years. If it isn't one nutso out there, it's another.

  3. Sadly I think it might be hard for China to prevent such a conflict even if they wanted to. With the North Korean leader transitioning power to his son and the South Korean leadership understanding that if they do not react their party will lose power, a truly dangerous situation has been created.

  4. The N Korean leadership may be under pressure and what better way to rally the masses than to go to was as we did in WWII (a necessary war but domestically a good move also). When people howl for action (as in the Twin Tower attack), often leaders are pushed (or allowed) to behave rashly and unwisely. BTW, the N Korean attack was not entirely unprovoked. The US and S Korea have long held war games or maneuvers off the N.K. coast and were planning to do so again. Wonder how we'd react if China and N.K. joined to do the same off the coast of Hawaii or Oregon. Watching Nations is a lot like watching first graders. One does something covertly nasty and the second hits back and whichever is caught cries, "He hit me first!" I will blame China for events in Korea about the same time I start blaming the US for the Israeli settlements. Outside powers have only so much clout with dependent states - often the very weakness of the latter provokes the brandishing of weapons.
    I agree that actions are the real issue, not words. I have said till my throat is hoarse, for example, that we need to judge the Saudi gov't on the basis of its action (the actions of individal Saudi citizens are not the government's policy any more than Tim McVeigh was controlled by the US). The government MUST satisfy its rightwing religious poplace - which is nowhere near all of them - by ranting and raving, but its actions are highly and consistently pro-US. Ronald Reagan was a master of playing to the domestic crazies and proceeding (by his lights) wisely. I really don't think China wants a war - things are going too well there. The N.K. paranoia about outsiders extends to China and thus China must act cautiously - they need neither a mass refugee situation nor do they need to be put in the position of taking sides in a hot war. If China cuts off N.K.s oil, the Koreans WILL react, and a million man, nuclear-armed army is nothing to sneer at - even for a nation as large and powerful as China.

  5. @Everyone - Well, there I go shooting my mouth off before all is said and done. I posted before China made any statement. And David has some very good and valid points. Whatever happens, I agree that having an unstable leader with a huge army and nuclear weapons is a disaster just waiting to happen.

  6. I completely agree with Loach here. David is certainly making me think more about it all.