Sunday, July 23, 2006

From: Kim Jong-Il
To: Ehud Olmert and Hassan Nasrallah

Dear Ehud & Hassan,

As you know, the official story surrounding my birth was one of omens, double rainbows and strange carvings appearing on trees, and it seems that reality is now catching up with that fiction, as once again magic is doing its trick in my favor. Thanks to you both, I have been able to test fire not one but several short- and mid-range missiles (not to mention continue my tinkering with things nuclear) in defiance of the international community and a handful of treaties. Thanks to you, what was starting to look like one hell of a diplomatic typhoon has skirted off my beautiful democratic kingdom. For a while, it was starting to look like Japan would obtain what it wanted, namely a set of sanctions and isolation for North Korea, and increased scrutiny on the part of the international community—namely the U.S. There even was a possibility that China, allegedly the only people we listen too, would pressure us into abandoning our un-neighborly behavior. I don't remember what my initial calculation were, but with hindsight it seems that I had gotten my numbers wrong, for people in the region and around the world bristled and wagged serious fingers at me.

But now, thanks to you, brother Hassan, thanks to your incursion into Israeli territory and the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers, our actions have dropped off the international radar. Oh my do you ever live in a hot-tempered corner of the world! Can you imagine what would have happened to my country had Japan reacted with the same generous sense of proportionality when we kidnapped dozens of their citizens? I surely wouldn't be writing to you today! I don't know if you miscalculated, too, and didn't expect that the enemy would respond the way it did, but from out here, all I can do is draft you a thick and juicy IOU. (I have yet to ask our friend Ahmadinejad in Tehran if he might not have used you as a means to deflect attention, as he, too, was starting to come under a lot of pressure. If he did, could you please congratulate him for me?)

As for you, brother Ehud, what can I say? Your reaction to the kidnapping and your military's response to the Hezbollah incursion couldn't have served me better. Even our old friend the war criminal Ariel wouldn't have done as much for me. Thanks to your brute force against Arab civilians, you've generated hundreds of images that, well, simply pushed me off screen. And thanks to your immensely efficacious PR teams worldwide, you've managed to convince half of the people out there (including your own people) that your brutality is nothing more than self-defense. And the evacuation of tens of thousands of refugees you've generated in the process should keep foreign powers busy for a while.

And you know what, Ehud, you've turned into an inspiration for me. I am really starting to think about selling some of my cars in my collection so that I can finance a world-class team of political illusion makers. I'll base the enterprise on your own lobbies. Once that team is set, I'll give it a try and indiscriminately kill a few hundred South Koreans. Add a few Canadians, just for the heck of it. My lobby will then do its magic and convince the world that we acted in self-defense. After all, we North Koreans were victims, too, of tremendous atrocities, at the hands of the Japanese, and then the American imperialists. We're victims, you and me, and as such we have the permission to act with impunity. The trick is to have good PR and to exploit the guilt of others. Once I've achieved that (perhaps you could send me some of your advisors; after all, didn't your country help and train the repressive regime in Iran under the Shah?), I should even be in a position to keep my nuclear arsenal. You're an exception to the rule on non-proliferation, and India's about to join that club, right? Why shouldn't I, too? It'll be my god-given right, just as it is yours. Because we're under threat, and were/are victims.

Anyway, just as things were starting to look bad for me, you've both saved me. No one seems to care anymore that I have mid-range missiles and oh, perhaps eight or more nuclear weapons hiding under my bed, or that I'm a repressive murderer of my own people (at least Hezbollah and Israel kill others, not their own). The Japanese are the only ones who seem to care, now, but as 99.999% of the world doesn't read Japanese newspapers, no one will know. I'll keep aiming the largest concentration of force at my southern neighbor, I'll keep developing and selling weapons, and no one will notice me. Condi's on her way to the Middle East, and what's his name—Christopher Hill—poor him; I suspect his employer at the Department of State probably won't even be returning his calls anymore. Sorry Chris; on the line with the Israelis.

All that to say (this is turning into a long letter, but as you know I am quite the prolific writer, having written 5,000 books during my school years), thanks to your kidnapping, your rockets, your impressive military (how I wish I had the free 5 billion U.S. dollar a year you get from the White House, no questions asked, to buy your death toys!) and your murdering of, what, 10 civilians for every militant you kill, you've given me an escape route with a silver lining. I have the potential to kill tens of thousands of people in the region, and no one cares anymore. Which makes me wonder: Hassan—would you mind giving me your recipe?—how can you get so much attention by kidnapping two soldiers and killing, what, 35? How do you do it? Aren't thousands of Africans dying left and right every day? Oh, that's right. I forgot. They're Israelis. (I really need to get used to this PR thing.)

If I could, I'd invite you both to dinner, but sadly I fear that an invitation to brother Hassan cannot be extended, as his presence on DPRK soil would likely result in good old Ehud unleashing his impressive military against me. I just can't be seen to be a friend of Hassan. Oh no. Not an Arab. Not a… terrorist.

So, Ehud, I guess it'll just be you and me (and bring Ariel, if he's back on his feet). What would you say to Lebanese cuisine? I hear you know how to cook your meat to perfection, though to be honest, judging from some of the pictures I've seen (not those in the newspapers, of course, which where only sanitized versions of buildings destroyed or big holes at the airport), you tend to overcook a little. Who's your chef?

Brothers forever,

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