Friday, December 19, 2014

Li’l Li’l Kim takes on the Pansies.

The Sony-hacking state of NoKo made threats that 9/11 proportioned attacks would happen if The Interview was screened. Sony promptly cancelled all screenings. Some theatres promised to run Team America in its place. Paramount then nixed that idea. A movie in the works, starring the Office and Despicable Me star, Steve Carrel has been axed, because the script involves NoKo and Li’l Li’l Kim.  A swift wave of self-censorship by the movie industry.
Putting oneself in the shoes of the decision makers here, you can see that they would not want to be responsible for any bloodbath, even if the risk was small. Movie theatres are soft targets. Rather than run that risk, they decided to nix the trigger.

Carefully consider the likelihood of attack. We know NoKo was behind the hacks and the threat.  So, suppose, as is probably not the case, that they have sleeper cells, or even a single cell of agents/terrorists, that is poised to attack if Sony does screen the film. 

Now, Li’l Li’l Kim may be totalitarian scum who does unspeakable things to his own, but he is also a rational actor, in the very specific sense of being interested in his regime’s survival. He knows that should his regime topple, and he come into the hands of his populace, at least some of them would love to exact revenge for their friends and relatives in the concentration camps. Things would not be pleasant for Li’l Li’l Kim.
So, follow me here.  A few months back, Li’l Li’l Kim and his henchmen are sitting around in the NoKo War Room, considering contingences as the hacking attack planning begins to gel.

This line of conversation must have occurred: If we do attack so soon after making the threat, the only logical inference the Americans can make is that we carried through with our threats.  It’s a short step to the further inference that the Americans would react similarly to the way they reacted post 9/11 when Cowboy Bush was President. They do not take kindly to acts of war on their soil.
So, what would the likely result be for Li’l Li’l Kim and NoKo?  Yes, they have nukes. We would move to neutralize those first. Some missiles may make it out, but probably not, because we would move deliberately and publically, to shield our allies, before we would attack. And there would be a nice long buildup of forces to make him sweat, as the inevitable onslaught moves closer and closer.  Eventually, we would attack, some combo of conventional and cyber, crippling the regime in a week perhaps.

There is absolutely no chance that NoKo would prevail. There is absolutely no chance that Li’l Li’l Kim and his cronies would survive or escape.  We would probably attempt another nation building exercise with the help of the South Koreans and Japanese, maybe even the Chinese. If Li’l Li’l Kim thinks the Chinese would intervene on his behalf or allow him safe haven as he runs away, he’s a fool. But, that’s just it. He is no fool. He’s already thought all this through, hashed it out with his military and other cronies.   So, the end result is this plan:
He does what he does on an almost daily basis. Issue ridiculous hyperbolic threats, but this time only after a very thorough hacking of Sony, with attention grabbing tidbits dutifully taken up and promulgated by the intertubes and other media outlets. Given enough time, everyone and his third cousin will become aware of the source of the hack, and its depth and breadth as they chuckle at the email sniping between Hollywood folks, watch stolen films online, etc.

Only after this situation has fully blossomed does he issue the threat, making sure the 9/11 reference is included. He hopes that Sony develops weak knees and theatre chains likewise. If that happens, Li’l Li’l Kim has a win; a big precedent setting win.  If not, still a win, not quite as big, but he will have shown the capability of NoKo hacking skills, and an ability to control Hollywood’s choices from a distance.

So, now we see he has attained what is essentially the maximal outcome; a non-conventional attack on America that had little cost, and a better chance of success than any military options.
He knows we are already worried about the prospects of cyber-attacks on infrastructure and the like, once again, low cost non-conventional warfare within the reach of poor NoKo. Such serious cyberwarfare is now something we now know is within Li’l Li’l Kims ambit. He’s done such things to South Korea as recently as 2013. He has now managed to infiltrate Sony, at least, on the US net, as a sort of tease that he can do more. We now have to take seriously that possibility.

Yet this brings me back to my initial point. If he does do more, he knows we will only tolerate so much. Suppose he were to inflict serious damage to electrical or other infrastructure.  There would be consensus that this amounted to an act of war, an attack on the homeland on par with, or of greater magnitude than Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 attacks.  Hell would rain down upon his sorry sick ass.

So, let’s review:  If Li’l Li’l Kim carried out the 9/11 style threats, hell would rain down upon his ass. If Kim carried out serious cyber warfare, hell would rain down upon his ass.
He’s going to take another option.

Once again, HE KNOWS ALL THIS.  So, in the end, he will not undertake anything other than pin prick cyber-attacks against ourselves and SoKo.
To do anything more, including the carrying out the threats of the other day would be suicidal.

Therefore, Sony and others should reverse course and release and/or produce the films in question. In fact, they should go out of their way to produce more than they had initially planned. Add some Three Stooges to the Great Dictator as it were.

Don’t Let Li’l Li’l Kim dictate your choices
And speaking of Chaplain, here’s an interesting WaPo blog post on Chaplain’s the Great Dictator, and contemporary fears of release, which serves as an interesting comparison.