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Words are all we have

Dictatorships seem to have the kind of language that the rest of the world seems unable to come up with.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2012 22:45 IST
Hindustan Times

You can always bank on dictators to add some spice to the otherwise weary diplospeak with their straight-from-the-shoulder remarks. Take, for example, the belligerent North Korean warning to the South on Monday of facing "special actions" and preparing itself for a "sacred war" for defaming its leadership. No ornate rhetoric or diplomatic protocols in this alert; it was a clamorous uproar —the North will "reduce" Seoul "to ashes in three or four minutes… by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style" — which is quite typical of dictatorial States since time immemorial.

But we must give it to these nefarious despots for conjuring up cataclysmic scenarios where 'skies will spew fire', 'gutters will be full of blood' and 'no mercy will be shown to anyone'. We still remember how the late and unlamented Muammar Gaddafi challenged the US that a foreign intervention in Libya will lead to a "bloody war". And how the maverick Iranian leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made it clear that the Iranian armed forces will inflict "heavy regret and shame" on whoever defies the Islamic Republic. To be honest, by now we have heard such warnings so many times that if each of the gents had actually talked the talk, the world would have witnessed one apocalypse per year.

But not all is lost yet. We, edit writers, can help the poor tyrants who aren't taken seriously by anyone despite their fiery speeches. We have a suggestion for Kim Jong-un and gang, which will help them ensure that their future warnings do not meet the same fate as the rockets their country test-fired recently. Rather than issuing virulent warnings, they could just call us up and give us their messages. We will re-package them into something more 'respectable' and acceptable and make sure that rather than brushing them aside as the ravings of a lunatic, the world may just quake in its boots.

First Published: Apr 24, 2012 22:43 IST