North Korea is too far away for Greeks to preoccupy themselves with events unfolding there. Our country’s woes are enough, with the destruction of the economy and the shortcomings of the Greek political system which, out of necessity, has aligned itself with European norms, but is being torn to shreds in Parliament as if it were a Roman arena.
This column does not seek to evaluate the dangers to regional or (even more so) global stability that derive from the madness of a ruthless dictator.
Nor does it attempt to weigh whether the North Korean missile or nuclear program is indeed what it claims to be, or if it offers the US the opportunity to expand its military protection to neighboring countries, which will of course pay the necessary cost for this.
There is, however, an issue of major importance which is none other than the deterioration of the prestige of leaders of countries of undisputed power.
The warnings issued by any American president or Western leader and others do not lead mad dictators to change their behavior. If anything, they increase their provocativeness.
It has become clear that the containment strategy that was employed successfully throughout the duration of the Cold War is no longer valid.
The Soviet empire collapsed without a bullet being fired. However, when it came to crushing tribal dictators, Western military involvement was required.
Kim Jong-un is not the first of them, as he was preceded by Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, while Bashar al-Assad remains in Syria.
Without a doubt, the Great Powers have always acted in the same way.
The huge difference between the past and the present, however, is that then, after an opponent was crushed, a functional system of governance was put in place. This was the case after World War II with the mutation of Germany and Japan. This is not the case anymore today.
The “ideal” of globalization and the “democratization” of regimes simply led to lawlessness and chaos.
What is most worrisome of all is that the West has been disrupted in its totality. US President Donald Trump is being attacked mercilessly by the eroded American establishment.
Europe is threatened by the rise of anti-systemic parties. It is the age of all types of troublemakers.