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Ed Driscoll

‘The Story of Oh’

July 17th, 2012 - 12:37 pm

One of the fun aspects of blogging about the latest hijinks from the far left is that we know that they don’t believe their own rhetoric. Al Gore compares global warming to Kristallnacht, and yet when asked in a Senate subcommittee hearing if he will rollback his lavish lifestyle and live the way he espouses to the rest of us (when he’s not hosting rock concerts), he immediately demurred.  Barack Obama tells us, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,,” and every Earth Day — heck every day he’s campaigning for reelection — consumes tens of thousands of gallons of fuel jetting around the country to remind us of the importance of reducing our consumption. A generation ago, Jane Fonda sat on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun and told the world, “If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become communist.” Then she flew back to Los Angeles and a made a fortune in movies and exercise videotapes, before marrying broadcasting mogul Ted Turner. Avengers producer Joss Whedon is free to natter on about the joys of socialism, but as Zombie writes in response at the Tatler, “If you really look forward to a socialist America, Josh, put your money where your mouth is, and sign over your entire personal assets to the central government.” Don’t hold your breath waiting for Josh to implement that advice.

In contrast to all of the above leftwing poseurs, Oh Kil-nam is the rare man of the left who believed his own Barbra Streisand, with disastrous consequences to himself and his family, as Richard Fernandez writes at the Belmont Club

The BBC tells the melancholy story of Oh Kil-nam, a South Korean man who, convinced by his Marxist education that North Korea was a worker’s paradise, decided to defect there with his wife and two children in 1986. Oh, who had just completed his PhD in Germany in Marxist economics and who “had been active in left-wing groups” had no reason to doubt the beckoning invitation of North Korean officials who promised him free health care and a government job, like certain other people you may know.

He chose poorly.

Aged and broken, Oh now concludes that his “life was ruined by his decision to defect to North Korea. Seventy years old, he still does not know the fate of his wife and daughters – either dead or imprisoned in a labour camp.” His wife, who lacked the benefit of a European education, suspected something was amiss from the first. She was aghast when he told her of his plan to defect.

“Do you know what kind of place it is?” she asked. “You have not even been there once. How can you make such a reckless decision?”

But Oh replied that the Northerners were Koreans too – they “cannot be that brutal”, he told her.

Ha ha ha.

Hee, hee, ho, ha, ha ha! LOL. He thought they couldn’t be that brutal. Those are the famous last words.

But being the dutiful wife, she followed Oh with her two children. As soon as he arrived at the Pyongyang, Oh realized that he had not read the fine print. “Communist party officials and children clutching flowers were there to meet them. But despite the cold of a North Korean December, the children were not wearing socks and their traditional clothes were so thin that they shivered. Then he began to suspect that they didn’t have any warm clothes. “When I saw this I was really surprised and my wife even started to cry.”

But there was little time for that. Ignoring his questions about the promises of the  job or the government health care, Oh and his family were whisked to a guarded camp where he was drilled in the sayings of Kim Il-Sung. They were kept in privation, the better to make them fear losing what little they had. Soon  Oh was told that if he and his family planned to keep on eating he would accept an assignment to Europe where his task was to lure more South Koreans to the worker’s paradise the better to convince the sophisticated Europeans what a great place it was. He was ready to cooperate but was stopped by the courageous actions of his wife.

she was furious. “I remember the two of us talking about it softly under the blanket. I told my wife that by fulfilling this mission, we would preserve our livelihood in North Korea. But she slapped me in the face.” Shin said they would have to pay the price for his mistakes – he could not entrap others.

Damned herself, his wife did not want to damn others. So when Oh arrived in Copenhagen, he defected to the West. For Oh it meant going back to the place he left before.  But for his wife and two children it was a death sentence. He never saw them again.

Where would he get the notion that North Korea was a workers’ paradise? Who would espouse such claptrap?

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Oh.

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