One of the axioms for anyone entering a twelve-step program such as that pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous is that first the participant must have hit rock bottom
The concept of rock bottom is important in the 12 steps and treatment in general because it serves as a touch stone and a reminder. Addicts and alcoholics are very good at altering the world they see to match up with what they wish it were. Without an end-of-the line in clear view, it’s very easy to pretend things are better than they are – or that they won’t continue to get worse if left to themselves.
Ladies and gentlemen we are there. When hackers, identified by the FBI (aka F-ing Bunch of Idiots in a lot of circles) as being based in North Korea, sucked Sony’s digital record trove dry Obama promised to respond:
President Obama said on Friday that the United States “will respond proportionally” against North Korea for its destructive cyberattacks on Sony Pictures, but he criticized the Hollywood studio for giving in to intimidation when it withdrew “The Interview,” the satirical movie that provoked the attacks, before it opened.
Deliberately avoiding specific discussion of what kind of steps he was planning against the reclusive nuclear-armed state, Mr. Obama said that the response would come “in a place and time and manner that we choose.” Speaking at a White House news conference before leaving for Hawaii for a two-week vacation, he said American officials “have been working up a range of options” that he said have not yet been presented to him.
What does Obama do?
The Obama administration has sought China’s help in recent days in blocking North Korea’s ability to launch cyberattacks, the first steps toward the “proportional response” President Obama vowed to make the North pay for the assault on Sony Pictures — and as part of a campaign to issue a broader warning against future hacking, according to senior administration officials.
“What we are looking for is a blocking action, something that would cripple their efforts to carry out attacks,” one official said.
So far, the Chinese have not responded. Their cooperation would be critical, since virtually all of North Korea’s telecommunications run through Chinese-operated networks.
It is unclear that China would choose to help, given tensions over computer security between Washington and Beijing since the Justice Department in May indicted five hackers working for the Chinese military on charges of stealing sensitive information from American companies.
A lucid person would have to ask two questions: what are the odds that the North Koreans did this hack that they intended to get international attention without the ChiComs being aware– given, as the report says, North Korean internet access is sort of controlled by China; and what does helping us get the ChiComs?
This is the same type of strategic thinking that decided that Russia would make a jim-dandy intermediary in our talks with Iran about its nuclear program. I mean, who better understands the thought processes of a rogue nation, ruled by psychopaths who hate us that a rogue nation ruled by psychopaths who hate us?
The longer Obama is in office the more dangerous the international environment becomes, not just for the US but for all players who are abiding by international norms. What he is a creating is an international system when terrorism and law breaking are rewarded and where no alliance with the United States is much more than used toilet paper.
American foreign policy has hit rock bottom. We are relying on our adversaries to help us rein in their client states. The only question is if the Obama administration can drop the crack pipe and bottle of Night Train, knock the crust of coagulated vomit off its shirt, crawl out of the refrigerator carton and realize it needs help or if it decides everything is just fine.