Ever bent down to slap two poodles and gotten so distracted that a starving Rottweiler was able to shove a massive metal enema up your rectum? It’s happened to several elephants with big fat asses down at the local zoo in Washington D.C. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men are clearly never going to learn to spell Afghanistan, let alone put their humpty bah-dunk-a-dunks back together again.

Now, let’s move on to North Korea, a country that has been testing nuclear weapons for several years. On Oct. 9, 2006, our one-party state failed to do anything. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are maniacally laughing their lipid asses off. Dennis Hastert is greasing his stomach creases. Anthony Scalia slipped on a bribe and broke his fat ass. And North Korea has nukes.

Of course, only one country has ever detonated nuclear weapons on civilians. It was a long time ago in that very forgettable part of history. The past is gone; it doesn’t matter. We’re in the present where we won’t start diplomacy to stop other countries’ nuclear programs until they stop their nuclear programs before we talk to them about their nuclear programs until they stop their nuclear programs.

These are the most destructive weapons on the planet. They disintegrate you into dust while across town the skin melts off of your mothers and your lovers and anything else not made out of blast-proof titanium. Atom bombs vaporize cities. In a war where people were asking, “Should we kill civilians?” we dropped the bomb. We made a clear statement: The ends justify the means.

Since we dropped the bombs everybody has learned that simple English phrase. “The ends justify the means” is how the world works in the atomic era of history. And what is terrorism? Could it be the same thing as autonomy? Terrorism attempts to get something that people know no other way to get. If we are fighting terrorists – people who kill or target civilians – we are fighting ourselves. We failed to look inward and instead looked outward and lashed out like an overgrown toddler woken up from an afternoon nap.

So we invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq to stop terror. We invaded these countries to stop people from using an ends-means worldview. George gets piss drunk and he won’t back down. Texas standoff. Texas Hold ‘Em. But we’re bluffing and everyone in the global community knows. North Korea is a tell. They slipped off and constructed their means-to-an-end while we punched our bloody knuckles into the hot desert sand.

North Korea is sandwiched between a monolithic nuclear China and the 38th parallel – patrolled 24/7, 365 days a year by U.S. and South Korean troops. It is suffering widespread famine and economic dearth between two industrially booming countries. I don’t like Kim Jong-il. I think he is cruel, stupid and clearly the result of extensive inbreeding, most likely between a brother, a sister and a tube of hair gel. In a view from his shoes, he went down a nuclear road because the world left him no better means-to-an-end. We wouldn’t even talk to him. What could we really do? All our extra dollars are tied up in war. If we continue in this fashion, we risk losing our influence and history will see that future generations of Americans suffer the fate of a weak country.

So, America has two choices. Either we keep gambling that our means are always going to be strong enough to stave off our foes, or we can change. We can start respecting higher things than our own ends. Maybe that’s humanity, or maybe it means believing in something greater and nobler than yourself, and I am not talking about George’s belief that God is talking to him. There is no reason to fight our brothers. We can change the world by becoming the better man. Or we can keep playing this reckless game of poker with Destruction. Gambling is appealing, but the odds are against us. I don’t believe the U.S. can control the world forever, but I do believe that while we still have that influence we can use it to make the world a better place.

Daily Nexus columnist Eric Hedlund received a restraining order from the Santa Barbara Zoo.