Anonymous is hacking North Korean computers and Ian Bremmer says they should be discouraged. Christian Coleman says we can’t ignore the atrocities anymore.
“Lie down and crawl or you might get hurt? What kind of talk is that?” —Morgan Earp (Tombstone)
“Stand up to a bully” has been motherly advice since the first kid got pushed off the first ever set of monkey bars. Ian Bremmer, at Reuters, seems to be saying that’s bad advice. His advice is “live and let live”. To, once again, quote Morgan Earp: “They’re bugs, Wyatt. All that smart talk about ‘live and let live’; ain’t no live and let live with bugs.”
Disclaimer: I’m about to sound like somewhat of a hawk. I’m actually pretty dove-ish.
This is the third Kim saber-rattling and chest-thumping, while his citizens go hungry. We’ve survived two Kims and each one seems more megalomaniacal than the last.
“Anonymous knows how to hack, but it has no insight into how North Korea might respond to a cyber-invasion—and likely won’t be the target if North Korea decides it must retaliate.”—Ian Bremmer
So, I have to say that point is fairly true. I can see what he’s saying, but should we let ourselves be bullied by Kim Jong-Un? Don’t the imprisoned North Koreans deserve our help as much as, if not more than, the Iraqis and Afghanis? Since World War II, we’ve been searching for an enemy bigger than our apathy and Anonymous has a good history of bullying bullies. They put the Stuebenville rapists in the fire and on our minds. Are we to presume that rape culture doesn’t exist in Kim Jong-un’s nationwide work camp? That seems like a ridiculous assumption. Or do we just find it less important?
Two hundred thousand people are imprisoned in concentration camps in North Korea. There’s no way to know how many women are being raped in those camps, but we do know rape is prevalent, it is casual, and the alternative is death. When those women (and girls) are discovered to be pregnant by their rapists, they are killed. Writing for Women Under Siege Project, Michele Lent Hirsch offers the only hope for these women: “If she is malnourished enough to be rendered infertile, and can endure rape without pregnancy, her life is usually spared.”
Bremmer, in his article, asks if we should discourage Anonymous’ “cyber-anarchism” in fear of angering Pyongyang. The answer is incredibly complex and intelligence officials could probably empty the Bic ink pen factory answering that. I’ll answer it, though: no. The Kim dynasty in North Korea isn’t giving up its power willingly, and I find it hard to believe that a revolt by starving citizens can gain much traction against a one million person army. Pyongyang has nuclear capability (barely capable, but still capable). They’re a rogue nation. They’ll have to be brought under the rule of law at some point; I think that is unavoidable. And soldiers marching from town to town, kicking in doors, and planes dropping bombs on cities is 20th century thinking.
Anonymous is possibly the wrong group to agitate North Korea, but the idea is good and deserves to be explored. Imagine if 1st Marine Cyber Division crashed the North Korean defense grid. That’s an attack I can get behind, and no one need lose a life. Cyberwar is 21st century thinking, and we need more of that to face down evil.
Thanks to @MWaitOntheMove for the heads-up on this news story.
Photo— Flickr/ yeowatzup