Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, March 04, 2005

What a Bunch of Evil Scumbags

      The Los Angeles Dog Trainer (registration required, and no, it's not worth it) has a story on North Korea that is so bad it amazes even someone as cynical as me:
North Korea, Without the Rancor
A businessman speaks his mind about the U.S., the 'nuclear club' and human rights issues.
By Barbara Demick, Times Staff Writer

      In that great tv series The Prisoner, there was an episode where Number Six "ran for office."  He gets asked a few questions by the Village reporters, then the camera pans over to a news stand selling a paper with the headline "Number Six Speaks His Mind," printed and on sale before the reporters have finished their questions.  I never expected to see a real life companion piece, but that's what this is.

BEIJING — He arrived at the entrance to a North Korean government-owned restaurant and karaoke club here in the Chinese capital with a handshake and a request. "Call me Mr. Anonymous," he said in English.

This North Korean, an affable man in his late 50s who spent much of his career as a diplomat in Europe, has been assigned to help his communist country attract foreign investment. With the U.S. and other countries complaining about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its human rights record, it's a difficult task, he admitted.

"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."

So, in an effort to clear up misunderstandings, he expounded on the North Korean view of the world in an informal conversation that began one night this week over beer as North Korean waitresses sang Celine Dion in the karaoke restaurant, and resumed the next day over coffee.

The North Korean, dressed in a cranberry-colored flannel shirt and corduroy trousers, described himself as a businessman with close ties to the government. He said he did not want to be quoted by name because his perspective was personal, not official. Because North Koreans seldom talk to U.S. media organizations, his comments offered rare insight into the view from the other side of the geopolitical divide.

      First, this moron Demick should know that if this guy was an ambassador, it means he's a member of the Party, and considered politically reliable.  She should also know that the only "businessmen" in North Korea are tied in with the govt.  Finally, as anyone familiar with the history of totalitarian regimes should know, the odds are gazillions to one that this guy is speaking with the knowledge and approval of his government, giving out a prepared set of positions.

      Or perhaps she does know, but just doesn't mind helping to spread lies intended to further the purposes of mass murderers.  Walter Duranty didn't, and he even got a Pulitzer.

He said better relations with the United States were key to turning around his nation's economy, which has nearly ground to a halt over the last decade amid famine, the collapse of industry and severe electricity shortages. "For basic life, we can live without America, but we can live better with" it, he said.

Yet he voiced strong enthusiasm for his country's recent announcement that it had developed nuclear weapons. The declaration, which jarred U.S. officials, was not intended as a threat, he said, but merely a way to advance negotiations.

      Too stupid to require comment, and it will in any case be contradicted in a few moments.

"Now that we are members of the nuclear club, we can start talking on an equal footing. In the past, the U.S. tried to whip us, as though they were saying, 'Little boy, don't play with dangerous things.' "

A colleague, a 55-year-old man also visiting from North Korea, nodded.

"This was the right thing to do, to declare ourselves a nuclear power. The U.S. had been talking not only about economic sanctions, but regime change," the businessman said. "We can't just sit there waiting for them to do something. We have the right to protect ourselves."

      Well, a bit of honesty.  They're worried that the U.S. will overthrow their grotesque repressive system.  I hope we do, for the sake of the starving people of North Korea.

      By the way, notice the colleague who is visiting, but doesn't say much of anything.  A minder, to make sure the "businessman" doesn't say anything not approved.

The North Koreans said they were keenly attentive to the language used by Bush administration officials in regard to their country. They were relieved that in this year's State of the Union address the president didn't again characterize North Korea as part of an "axis of evil," as he did in 2002. But they were greatly offended that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called North Korea an "outpost of tyranny" during her confirmation hearings.

"We were hoping for change from the U.S. administration. We expected some clear-cut positive change," the North Korean said. "Instead, Condoleezza Rice immediately committed the mistake of calling us an outpost of tyranny. North Koreans are most sensitive when they hear that kind of remark."

      Almost honesty.  The North Korean govermentt hoped we'd back down, and are disappointed we didn't.  So they're trying this propoganda stunt, which is so transparently inept that it would only fool writers for the Pet Housebreaker.

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."

      Yeah, every Communist country has said something like that, until the day it fell.  Then the people tell how they always hated it, but didn't dare speak out before.
He also said that U.S. criticism of North Korea's record on human rights was unfair and hypocritical. In its annual human rights report on Monday, the State Department characterized North Korea's behavior as "extremely poor." It said 150,000 to 200,000 people were being held in detention camps for political reasons and that there continued to be reports of extrajudicial killings.

"Is there any country where there is a 100% guarantee of human rights? Certainly not the United States," the businessman said. "There is a question of what is a political prisoner. Maybe these people are not political prisoners but social agitators."

      "Not political prisoners, but social agitators."  If I were in a more humorous mood, I'd like to see the difference explained.  If the Carpet Protector had any integrity, they'd have said something about the complete lack of freedom of speech and the press, but those rights are apparently only to be defended in the U.S.

While Westerners tend to stress the rights of the individual, he said, "we have chosen collective human rights as a nation…. We should have food, shelter, security rather than chaos and vandalism. The question of our survival as a nation is dangling."

      All Communist tyrannies claim to have chosen 'collective rights.'  None has ever delivered.

      And of course, it isn't just the nation's survival that's in doubt, it's the totalitarian regime's power that might die.  Somehow, the Cat Box Liner doesn't mention that, or ask the North Korean "businessman" why his benevolent regime doesn't make an immediate deal to keep people alive, even if it means no nukes for Kim and Company.

The North Korean admitted that "it is no secret that we have economic problems," and he said North Koreans were themselves largely to blame because they let their industry become too dependent on the socialist bloc countries. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade fell sharply.

      "Economic problems" like starvation and cannibalism.

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.

      Again, if the Dog Doo Receptacle had any integrity, they'd note that the North Koreans did violate the agreement, and had been doing so for years before W. called them on it.

"Electricity is a real problem. We have only six hours a day," said the North Korean, who lives in an apartment in a choice neighborhood of Pyongyang, the capital. "When you are watching a movie on TV, there might be a nice love scene and then suddenly the power is out. People blame the Americans. They blame Bush."

He said as North Korea worked to change its state-run economy, it would look to China as an example and seek to change gradually. He didn't use the word "reform" — anathema to some trained under the socialist system.

"In the past, we were revolutionaries. But now we prefer evolution to revolution," he said. "We will try to learn from China's successes and failures."

      Yeah, when you massacre dissidents, don't let foreign news media know.  And keep your people home, especially students, so you can keep lying to the populace successfully.

As for international negotiations aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear arms program, he said he thought Pyongyang would probably show up at the next round of talks. But his country would prefer to negotiate directly with the United States, he said, rather than in six-party discussions that also include China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

      My God, what a shock!  The North Koreans don't want to participate in six power negotiations.  Why haven't we heard this before?

He said the Americans' insistence on including six countries had caused undue complications.

"If we sort out the problems with America, everything else will fall into place. The problems with Japan can easily be sorted out," he said.

      Translation: North Korea thinks it can cut a better deal if it only talks with the U.S.  I hope they're holding their breath.

The North Korean criticized some Japanese politicians' efforts to link the nuclear talks to the question of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

"This was something done by a few overly enthusiastic people long ago," he said. "We tried to make amends.

"Now people like Shinzo Abe [deputy secretary-general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party] are using it for political purposes and destroying the interests of millions of people."

      Of course, North Korea could end that problem immediately, by letting the surviving kidnap victims and their families leave, while returning the ashes of the others.  Instead, the Kim Jong Il gang prefers to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, in the hompes of intimidating its neighbors.  But the Puppy Poop Depository would never think of pointing that out.

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."

      There is love, there is hate, there is starvation, murder, and oppression, just like everywhere.

      I never thought I'd regret not having a subscription to the Los Angeles Psuedo Newspaper Called The Times, but today I do.  If I did, I would vastly enjoy canceling it.

      I don't think I've seen anything so disgusting since the last time I saw photos of Nazi death camps.

      Hat tips to Hugh Hewitt, Will Collier, Patterico, Armed Liberal and Glenn Reynolds for publicizing this disgusting display of bootlicking. (Note: I've edited this by including more links as I've found them.)

      Update: Powerline's Hindrocket has an outstanding piece on this slime, including some research into the author, Demick.

      Update: Roger L. Simon provides some personal perspective on the Demick trash.



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