Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Actually, It IS Rocket Science

Editor's Note: This news item would be hilarious, were it not for the fact that so many in North Korea are starving while their leaders pull these shenanigans. But while I have a great deal of sympathy for the people of North Korea, I have none at all for their leaders, who deserve all the scorn we can muster. It is our right -- no, it is our duty -- to serve those clowns with as much vicious mockery as we can bring to bear.

On Sunday, April 5, the same protean genius that brought the world nuclear explosives that don't unveiled his latest innovation: a communication satellite based somewhere on the bottom of the Pacific. So, while the unfortunate aquatic wildlife endure North Korean revolutionary ditties in the fond hope that a fishing trawler might come to put them out of their misery, the rest of the world scratches its collective head and wonders.

What are those morons trying to prove?

You have to admit, as international menaces go, North Korea is distinctly third-rate. They threaten their neighbors with atomic weapons (that don't work) mounted on missiles (that don't work either). They menace their neighbors with tanks (that might or might not have gas), fighter-bombers (that have to share gas, if any, with the tanks), and fiercely-attired troops (who might have pawned their ammo for a burger). They have all the destructive potential of a group of slightly cranky Cub Scouts. And we're worried about Li'l Kim's latest spasm ... why? The record shows that the safest place to stand during a North Korean missile attack is the rocket's intended aim-point. Firing off an interceptor is simply a waste of ammunition, as the North Korean engineers have apparently seen fit to design their missiles to be self-intercepting.

Granted, the damn thing actually made it off the pad this time. So the first stage might actually work as advertised. But the second stage either didn't work, or just as likely, it performed an ocean-insertion burn instead of an orbit-insertion burn. It's easy to mix those two up, especially since they're both five-letter words that begin with an "O". And now that we've elected a President whose name is also a five-letter word that begins with an "O", well, they're hopelessly confused.

And let's not forget the payload of this aerospace marvel: a communications satellite whose sole function appears to be playing two songs on endless loop. Now, that's just sad. For comparison, let's look at Russia's first satellite. True, Sputnik I was basically just a transmitter, but they were in a hurry. The missile was ready before the payload, and that almost never happens. And America's first satellite, Explorer I, carried a load of scientific instruments into space. Li'l Kim decided that for his first outing, he'd regale the world with songs bragging about how great he is. It's embarrassing to see a grown man's neuroses on parade like that. That re-defines sad. That's world-championship, Olympic-caliber sad. If there was a Sadness Trophy, we'd have to retire it.

And what's it all in aid of? Developing an ICBM? "Yes! I will threaten those Yankee pigs with a nuclear missile that I have to prepare for a week in broad daylight before firing! Muahahahahaha!" Dear God, can he really believe that might actually work?

There's more, but I can't go on. On top of it all, the failed missile test is a monument to human misery. The resources wasted on this folly could have gone to feeding God knows how many of his people. He will have to give an account one day, to a far sterner judge than any human court could provide. I wonder what he'll say?

In closing, in the microscopically small chance that he's reading this, I'll repeat something I said a few years ago in similar circumstances:

Before your ego starts writing checks your army can't cash, take note of a few key facts. Before you start threatening your neighbors with atomic weapons, you must have:

1) A working atomic weapon,

2) A working atomic weapon that's small enough to put on a missile,

3) A working atomic weapon that's small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching its intended target.

You're still 0-fer on all the important points. But do try again. It enrages your friends, and amuses your enemies.

Oh, and you'd better make your first shot a damn good one. You won't get a second.

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