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What if shoe were on the other foot?

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By José Abeto Zaide

There’s nothing more dangerous than a new kid on the block with a nuclear toy. After claiming a series of successful tests, North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un is getting too big for his britches and starts saber rattling. Neither does it give the rest of us much comfort to hear US President Donald Trump stare down the international juvenile delinquent and threaten a High Noon showdown.

One of the favorite war games of serious strategists is played by imagining the situation reversed. By exchanging positions, our strategists are able to out-fox the adversary because we anticipate what options and alternatives the enemy has or might recourse to. One such practitioner of reverse psychology war gaming is my deep throat source George Thomas Clark, who plots the scenario in reverse, thereby getting insight into what the adversary may think. He imagines the US of A finding two Mexicos separated by a DMZ – a North Mexico, which is a pawn of USA, and a South Mexico, a friend and protégé of China.

***

The scene opens with the China-friendly President of South Mexico ruminating: “Frankly and without self-pity I tell you that I have a dangerous and therefore stressful job as president of South Mexico. For years, with the help of our Chinese allies, we have been holding off capitalist hordes in North Mexico and the United States.

“To help you understand, let me briefly review essential events after World War II. In 1950, our belligerent brothers to the North, backed materially by the United States and Canada, attacked and battered us and would have plowed us into the sea if not for the quick return of Chinese troops who, with peaceful intent, had withdrawn to their military facilities in Hawaii.

“Our able warriors and the Chinese counter-attacked the North Mexicans, knocking them back north toward the Rio Grande River. The Americans repeatedly warned us to stay away from the Rio Grande and never consider crossing it. I confess my South Mexican forefathers and our Chinese comrades wanted to crush North Mexico and unify the nation. Their goals were noble but, alas, their intelligence suspect, and a few hundred thousand Gringo soldiers first slipped and then charged south across the Rio Grande, forcing us to retreat and again almost pushing us into the sea. We did recover, of course, and counterattacked and mauled the invaders back onto their side of the internationally recognized border, the DMZ. That’s where everyone is today, bristling on each side of the most dangerous line in the world.

“And now, as surely everyone in the world is aware, the North Mexicans have developed a nuclear weapons program no one has dared try to stop, lest they obliterate Mexico City with fifteen thousand artillery pieces and rocket launchers positioned in hardened places.

“We and our Chinese allies must also consider what the United States would do if we either bombed or invaded their tyrannical and oft-starving ally whose economy is sustained only by wetback TNTs. We believe, though are by no means certain, that any military action by South Mexico would, at minimum, trigger massive artillery barrages onto our capital city, and quite possibly frighten the North into initiating a nuclear conflagration.

“The Chinese have often stated they will destroy North Mexico if it strikes us, and would of course do so if the North, using its rapidly developing ICBMs, launched a suicidal attack against China, as the North often threatens to do. Would the United States risk annihilation to save North Mexico if the latter started the war? We’re not sure, and neither are you. Therefore, we tell – and I should more accurately say entreat – our Chinese allies to respect our dictate that ‘No military action in Mexico shall be taken without the prior consent of the government of South Mexico.’

“We in South Mexico are weekly more concerned by frequent Chinese statements that destruction of Mexican cities, North and South, would be preferable to the loss of a single city in China.”

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Remembering a bard’s counsel on co-habitation, (‘The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley’), I hope that no one gets itchy fingers for the red button.

SERIOUS SENIOR MOMENT. I woke up on December 9 to realize that I had missed on Immaculate Conception Day the golden wedding anniversary of my classmate Braulio and Amelia Tansinsin at the San Miguel Pro-Cathedral. Their children Joy and Ivan, Justin and Vivian, and Jansen and Joecie hosted the event followed by a reception at the Roma of Manila Hotel. Dunno if bride threw a jump-ball for the bouquet. Gomenasai, and may the newly re-weds be blessed with more grandchildren!

FEEDBACK: joseabetozaide@gmail.com

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