Thingish Things

A .50-Caliber Fantasy

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Oct• 07•11

A terrible image acquired from an essay I once read about The Great Famine in Ireland comes to mind whenever I read about starvation: dead children scattered along verdant roadsides with hands and mouths stained bright green.  They ingested grass by the fistful to stave off hunger pains before dying.

That haunting image returned this morning while reading about the growing food shortage in North Korea. Winter is coming,  and relief agencies fear that a lot of North Korean families will starve — again. It’s the children one thinks about first. 

The UN and the US are reluctant to pour aid into North Korea because its dictator, Kim Jong Il, always siphons it off to feed his army and divert resources into acquiring more weaponry. He has shown complete disregard for human life in past famines — other than his own — in this “worker’s paradise” of his. 

A brief digression: There is a beautiful stone, one-room Quaker Meeting Room down the street from where I live that I had to see inside. The Quaker service I attended toward that end was lovely, utterly tranquil. Four or five of us sat in front of a fireplace in silence for an hour, and that was that. No mass was given, but I left feeling that I had been to one, if you know what I mean.

I departed with the obligatory pamphlet stuffed in my coat pocket, which I was more than happy to read.  It laid out the tenets of Quakerism, which all sounded swell, except for the biggie at the bottom of the list. Quakers are pacifist. No-kidding-around pacifists. I respect that. It must take great strength to be pacifist.  I could never be that strong, not in a world where murderous tyrants like Kim Jong Il  allow children to starve by the sides of roads.

I know this isn’t practical. It would cause huge international turmoil — and possibly the shelling of Seoul — but I have to blurt it aloud, if only for argument sake.  Instead of sending grain and formula to North Korea, how about dropping from high altitudes 100 or so .50 calibre sniping rifles into the North Korean countryside with instructions for how to point them effectively at the “Dear Leader.”  He’d be a puny target — he stands about five-foot-zip — but the things are damn accurate up to a mile away.

If the U.S. government can’t do that, I can think of several US philanthropists who would gladly do it in its place.  And maybe, just maybe, one of those rifles would fall into un-Quaker-like hands.  

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  1. Daniel Suib says:

    Don’t be so politically correct Bill when you say “It would cause huge international turmoil”. Who freakin’ cares. Kill the bastard. We should have done it years ago. Why kindof country is the United States to stand by and witness this type of acrion from another country. Everyone says…”Why is it that the United States feels they need to stick their noses into things everytime there is mistreatment of people or an abolishment of human rights?”. Because WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!! That’s why. We are better and know better than sitting on the sidelines and being witness to humanitarian disasters.

    “…and that’s all I have to say about that.”

  2. Daniel Suib says:

    Probably not…LOL. But…I agree with you. Sometimes we just have to act…

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