Thursday, April 20, 2006

North Korea

Another in my periodic inarticulate expressions of rage about the giant gulag that is North Korea.

Instead of screwing around with Saddam--a piker compared to Kim Jong Il--we should have put our energies into doing something about the unimaginable horror in North Korea.

History will not judge us kindly if we do not at least make some serious effort to do something, I know not what.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

It makes me think of the 30,000 US combat deaths and the billions spent to win and maintain the freedom of the South Koreans, who now live in peace and prosperity and seem pretty ungrateful about it.

Another one down the memory sinkhole. (I myself know little about it except what I've dug up in a recent fit of curiosity.)

Was it worth it? Hell, I don't know, WS. The price we paid was intolerable by any standard we hold today. (But not be WWII standards.)

History seldom reveals its alternatives, but it has in this particular case: look at the North Korean gulag. South Korea would be part of it today. Perhaps other places, too.

No pontification on this one. War sucks. We are at "peace" with North Korea. That sucks. 2 million died in the war. Millions more die in the gulag. Pick your poison.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, let me get in a non-pontificatory comment now, since yours might unleash a firestorm...

I think you make a great point here ("History seldom reveals its alternatives, but it has in this case...").

I think that standing up to tyranny is very rarely the wrong thing to do, and that force is very often required, and that lots and lots of deaths are sometimes inevitable.

The U.S. did a good thing in Korea. Something to be proud of. And, as you point out, something one might predict that SK would be a little more grateful for. But, as I understand it, the older folks are.

I fear that North Korea, though, is the human rights Kobayashi Maru. They're too fucking crazy to reason with and too powerful to attack without just making things worse. So we have to just sit around and watch millions of innocent people tortured to death in an insane parody of a civilization. It's like something out of Hellraiser. Its as if the Holocaust were happening all over again, and here we sit, watching, with little interest.

By God how I'd like to get my hands around the flabby neck of that stupid sonofabitch KJI...

8:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, I never hear much unless the stakes are low. I do appreciate the nobility of your buffer, sir. I'd welcome a firestorm, or any discussion whatsover, seeing 1950 through 21st century eyes, because what we did in Korea could not happen today. We could discuss principles without the heat of current issues, and mebbe shed a little light, about what we feel, what we value, and what is true.

I honestly don't know where it would lead. I'm a 21st century guy, too. The Korean War was appalling.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Alexander Wolfe said...

You know we don't have to begin dealing with by attacking or invading them. Bothering to care about what's going on over there would be a nice start.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Been there, done that. See above.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

You're absolutley right, X. But I think we've got little hope that we can reason with KJI. War is not really an option in this case, but even if it were everything else should be tried first.

6:59 AM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

We can of course work to improve our relationship with the entity with the most influence there, namely China. Perhaps embarrassing their leader during a visit is not the way to go; perhaps recklessly borrowing money from them is not the way to go; perhaps pissing on our painfully-earned honor at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo is not the way to go; perhaps talking about first use of nukes against Iran is not the way to go. Of course our floundering wavering diplomatic efforts in dealing with NK haven't been vaguely professional either.

8:29 PM  

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