Leonard Zwelling

         First, a small apology. Some of you know that I have been an
in-patient at Hermann after some pretty major surgery on December 9 and am just
crawling back to the keyboard.

         Second, I have been wanting to write this one for a long,
long time and I believe the events of the last week make the time now.

         So definitions first:




adjective: feckless

lacking initiative or strength
of character; irresponsible.”a feckless
mama’s boy”


3.useless, worthless, incompetent, inept, good-for-nothing, ne’er-do-well;

         Being feckless is bad.

         Now which two events of the past week have brought this fecklessness
into focus?

         The lesser of the two is the final opening of
relationships with Cuba. I lived through the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile
Crisis. I saw Bananas, 13 Days and Godfather II. I get it. And I saw President Kennedy act. The Soviets had
parked nuclear missiles 90 miles from Florida and we have been in a state of
war since. (Thank you President Monroe for your 19th century doctrine).  But why? The USSR fell years ago, Fidel is drooling on a park bench
in Havana. The Cuban people who probably wanted closer ties with us and we with
them with the exception of the bitter Cuban exiles from Kennedy’s 60s can never
forget the US’s lapse in not backing their counter revolution. But that a small
group of vocal old Cubans in Little Havana and conservative think tanks should
interfere with the US doing what is good for both us and Cuba is feckless. I am
glad this chapter of intransigent frozen nonsense has begun to thaw.

         But that’s not my favorite.

         It is my understanding that the servers and email accounts
of Sony Pictures were hacked revealing embarrassing emails and pages upon pages
of supposedly secure information. In addition the hack was accompanied by
threats of violence against American movie theaters who choose to show Sony’s
new comedy The Interview in which a plot is hatched to assassinate Kim Jun Uhn
of North Korea. The latest intelligence (hard to believe I can use that word in this piece) word has the hack originating in North Korea, the
butt of the film’s joke. (I guess if the Marx Brothers had made Duck Soup today
Freedonia would be boycotting Victoria’s Secret and underwear sales might plummet.)

         In a move that should be added to the dictionary definition
of feckless, the theater chains have all backed down in the name of “Public
safety.”  It is possible that this film
may never see the light of day.

         That is how your government, film industry and theater
owners have chosen to respond to extortion and blackmail of threatened violence
should a piece of American art (albeit low art) be displayed.

         This is simply unacceptable. This is America. We should be
willing to go to war to preserve the right to offend. Without that, where would
Lewis Black, Don Rickles and Ted Cruz be let alone the entire US Congress?

         Here are my suggestions:

1.  On the day before the official film opening, every single
theater screen in the nation should show The Interview continuously and
admission should be free. The cost would be defrayed by the federal government. Call it counter-insurgency.

2.  The government should make it clear that any
non-peaceful actions in protest on any theater will be viewed as an act of war
by North Korea on the US.

3.  A resolution of war will be sent to Congress for
immediate action.

4.  Once the war resolution is passed, the North Koreans
will have 72 hours to declare that they launched the cyberattacks, they made
all the threats and that they are sorry and won’t do it again.

5.  If this response from North Korea does not occur, make
it quite clear that the full military might of the US will be brought to bear
on North Korea. THE FULL MILITARY MIGHT! Let’s call it Operation Target

This would be a series of steps that are the opposite
of feckless and that used to be how we did business.

The only thing more offensive than these putative
actions by the North Koreans is the feckless response from Sony, Mr. Obama and
the theater owners.

Instead of using this as a moment to shine, they all
fecked up!

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