Two Movies to See
Posted by Berk webmaster on August 4, 2017 at 1:43 PM

I add historical context to two recent movies which I encourage everyone to see. Dunkirk and The Zoo Keepers Wife. You can listen now or download the podcast for future listening.

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Reply john smith
7:44 PM on September 6, 2017 
So, here's my question. You've spoken of Dunkirk, and the forces that were in action that led to the evacuation. We are now faced with Kim Jong-un, who seemingly, very similar to Chancellor HItler, is building up the military, instilling an almost rabid sense of national pride in his countrymen. The democracies, much like those during the 1930's, seem to dither while Kim Jong-un singlemindedly pursues his own national (and daresay international agenda). Despite protestations of force, any military intervention would be a humanitarian disaster, as hundreds of thousands (and perhaps more) would die from a massive conventional assault launched against Seoul as a first response(as a target, a military 'chip shot' a mere 20 miles away). Does it not seem inevitable, therefore, that the democracies, much like Neville Chamberlain, will sit down at the table with Kim Johg-un, give him a seat at the economic table of the world, and pat themselves on the back for achieving another 'peace in our time'? But my question is this: do you not think that, much like Chancellor HItler, if this does come to pass, he will simply use any economic leverage gained to further improve the infrastructure of his country, help raise the standard of living, but then, perhaps 5 - 10 years from now, resume his bellicose ways by demanding that the Americans leave South Korea, that South Korea become united under his rule with North Korea, and that he will threaten his then somewhat more advanced nuclear armaments and delivery systems upon the US? And can we not forget about Iran, which will be free (the Obama timeline will have elapsed) to go full speed with their plans, which would logically include an alliance with North Korea? Do we merely postpone a terrible, terrible outcome by our inactions of today? And do we not foist upon the world a terrible outcome today if we do not submit to inaction?
So, with your perspective as a history professor, I'd appreciate your take on this situation.
P.S. I don't buy the theory that, if Kim Jong-un is given a true economic standing in the world, vis a vis trade partnerships, etc. etc. that perhaps he may feel that one day he has more to lose than to gain by waging war, in short, I do not believe that he can be socio-economically maneuvered into a state of responsibility and respectability. And yet, I fear that's our only real world option, to hope against hope.