Friday, December 19, 2014

Well, we could always hack "Lazy Cat Dinga"

Mr Obama has thrown down a red line to North Korea, vowing that we will "respond proportionately" to the Pyongyang dynasty's cyberattack on Sony Films. There are two problems here. One, Kim Young 'Un probably knows how a similar red line worked out for Bashar Assad in Syria; he is unlikely to lose much sleep over a threat by the 44th president of the United States. Two, there is the question of just how one makes a proportionate response. Let's say that Sony suffered $100 million in damages. That's in a country with a GNP of $17 trillion. What's the GNP of North Korea? Does it even have a GNP? Dollar for dollar (or won for won), that might oblige us to assess damages of, what -- thirteen cents?

I do see that North Korea has produced a few films, five of them in the 21st century. Let's say we decided to hack/suppress Lazy Cat Dinga, the latest epic from the North Korean film industry, such as it is.  It would seem that frightening Kim Young 'Un so badly that he withdraws it from circulation would be highly disproportionate, amounting as it does to nearly three years of the country's annual production, whereas Sony's flick was one of more than 1,500 produced in the United States in that time period.

There is the further problem that Lazy Cat Dinga was a co-production with South Korea, which is generally considered a friend of the United States. It's true that Mr Obama is often harder on America's friends than on our enemies, but still, wouldn't that be an unfortunate outcome?

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