Thursday, March 03, 2005

... The Worst of Times

The LA Times has become a propoganda machine for arguably the most tyrannical, despotic murderous nation in the world.

Hugh Hewitt's expose of the day: LA Times passes on some N Korea propoganda. Amazing. Unbelievable. Sick. What is the primary message we need to get about North Korea? They're misunderstood. They're misunderstood.

North Korea, Without the Rancor [Context: This is a front page article]
This is an interview in China with an "anonymous Businessman" from North Korea, a former N Korea diplomat who now tries to promote commerce to the country. He has "been assigned to help his communist country attract foreign investment." Unbiased source? Of course.

Incredible quotes [my comments in italics]:

[Beginning of the Article] "There's never been a positive article about North Korea, not one," he said. "We're portrayed as monsters, inhuman, Dracula … with horns on our heads."

Bless them, apparently the LA Times is trying to start filling the void.

"He believes that Americans have the wrongheaded notion that North Koreas are unhappy with the system of government under Kim Jong Il. "We Asians are traditional people," he said. "We prefer to have a benevolent father leader.""

I'm not Korean and I'm not Asian. But I did grow up in South East Asia. Yes, most Asian societies tradiationally are and still remain strongly patriarchal, especially compared with those of the West. However, id non sequitor: it does not follow that they are naturally drawn to appreciate the positive aspects of oppressive dictators that destroy the country's economy, oppress its people, violently enforce population control, and suppress political dissent in labor camps. What is amazing is that if I were to make this sort of comment in one of my history classes, all hell would break loose. "Roman women and slaves were traditional people, they preferred to have benevolent father figures despite the fact that they had to endure physical and sexual abuse without legal recourse." Or to drive the point home: "African slaves came from traditional societies, they preferred to have benevolent father figures to provide them with food, shelter and clothing, despite the relatively difficult working conditions." I almost never use this word, because of how much it is overused, but this is racism cloaked in the language of ethnic ideological profiling. It is paramount to stating that Asian people deserve dictators: it suits them. Even if most North Koreans don't have any other perspective, and actually believe their propoganda, it does not follow that they would continue to do so given another option, nor that it is an inherent Asian characteristic. This is the kind of thing that the Times, in any other context, would pride itself on condemning. Not here, however. Why, I don't know, but they are irresponsible and I am disgusted. FRONT PAGE.

"The most important point the North Korean said he wanted to convey in the conversation was that his nation was a place just like any other. "There is love. There is hate. There is fighting. There is charity…. People marry. They divorce. They make children," he said. "People are just trying to live a normal life.""

Here's whats unbelievable: even the editorial comments do not try to correct any of the crap, they perpetuate it. For example:
"But he faulted the United States for the collapse of a 1994 pact under which North Korea was supposed to get energy assistance in return for freezing its nuclear program. The agreement fell apart after Washington accused North Korea in 2002 of cheating on the deal, and the U.S. and its allies suspended deliveries of fuel oil."

Why did the United States break off talks? The North Koreans were secretly continuing to build nukes. This is common consensus--nobody is an angel in negotiations, but clearly it was North Korea who was not keeping their side of the bargain. They shot themselves in the foot. The North Korean Government is the reason their people are starving and eating grass. Take a look at a defector, Kim Duk Hong, perspective from 2003.

Just for reference, the U.S. Committee's report on Human Rights in North Korea. This describes the different types of detention facilities, and what goes on there as detailed by escapees' testimonies.

For instance:
"In the kwan-li-so [long term detention camp], tens of thousands of political prisoners — along with up to three generations of their families — are banished and imprisoned without any judicial process for usually lifetime sentences. Their sentences entail slave labor in mining, logging, and farming enterprises in the valleys of mountainous areas in north and north-central North Korea."

"But some prisoners are “political” in that they are convicted for actions that would not be normally criminalized: one woman interviewed for this report, for example, described being convicted of disturbing the “socialist order” for singing, in a private home, a South Korean pop song."

I don't need to say any more. I wish I had a subscription to cancel. How can one interpret this newspaper? Charitably as idiotic or are they downright evil?

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