Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Just a List, Get Over It

Week after week, we hear either Iran or North Korea complain because they are on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List. In some cases, they tend to complain about its more fashionable, 21st Century name, "The Axis of Evil". Seriously, get over it. Who cares about a list? What does it really mean? Didn't we learn as kids that "sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us"? Surely, we can't be so ignorant as to think that North Korea would really dismantle its nuclear program completely just to be removed from this list. Nor should we believe that Iran really gives a hoot about the Axis of Evil (they know they are evil, and the truth hurts). They don't, and it certainly shouldn't be considered a negotiating piece if Iran ever earns a spot at the bargaining table.

Sure, it would be easy for me, an American, to say I could give a rat's rear about this list. But actually, I do care about the list. It makes perfect sense. Why shouldn't we label those governments that have the capacity and irrationality to harm or assist in the endangerment of others through development, use, or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction? It seems like our duty. In the end, those nations on the list should hate being on it, as it was designed to hurt them, and in fact, to embarrass them into different politics. Our allies should embrace the list and enforce the sanctions that go along with its repercussions.

As silly as it is that we actually care what Iran and North Korea think about this list, it is even more hysterical to listen to Americans that oppose the list. Many of them blame the Bush administration for the list, or for upholding its importance. Some would say that "it is a laminated paper on the desk in the oval office that can be erased and added to as if it were nothing."

Seriously, this list has existed since 1979. It is maintained not by the President, but by the US State Department. ( )

So oft are people ignorant on these things that they often try to blame one administration, and in fact, they target the entirely wrong political party. Syria was the first state added to the "list" in 1979. Therefore, Jimmy Carter (shhh, don't tell anyone, but he was a Democrat, not a Republican or a neoconservative - how crazy?!?) passed his list through four Presidents to its current holder, W. The states on the list include Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea.

If you're interested in their rap sheets, link here ( ).

As the list stands, the last nation added was the Sudan. It was added in 1993 (hold on to your seat) by Bill Clinton.

In 2002, a speechwriter in the White House used the term Axis of Evil, and the president officially coined it. I was passed out and unconscious on 9/11/2001, but one of my friends said something horrible, even evil, happened that day. So, really, I have no idea where that name came from, or why we can't call it how we see it.

Let's just get the facts on the table before we start bashing people, and let's get off the list, its just name-calling...who does that hurt? After all, the majority of people reading this are on the Great Satan's rolls.


rhymenoceros said...

I think the list is a good idea, in spite of the jokes in class. It's a way for us to fake normalization with the hermit kingdoms, which is a big deal for them, when we actually take them off the list.

It's an easy target for jokes though.

Researcher said...

I have no problem with the list; I do have problems with the politicization of the list that we've seen. Either North Korea is a state sponsor, or not. If it is, it deserves to be on the list. If it's not, then it doesn't need to be on the list. The use of what should be an educational list for these kinds of political purposes bothers me deeply. (Also, the idea that we reneged on our agreement bothers me as well.)