Belmont Club

Come Back Shame, Come Back

The Guardian reports on “a new signature song for youthful leader Kim Jong-un … The anthem – catchily titled Onwards Toward the Final Victory” is guaranteed to set toes tapping everywhere.  You can watch the video at the link.

“The song hardens the will of the Korean army and people to devote their all to the prosperity of the country with high national pride,” said state news agency KCNA.

But there’s more than one signture song for young Kim. Here’s another one featuring his equestrian prowess — “Lets Defend General Kim Jong Un With Our Lives!” Watch him gallop around.

North Korea is actual proof that of propaganda can at least temporarily not only triumph only over reality, but also over sanity. The Guardian article notes the importance of music in building up patriotic support for Kim Jong-un.

The tune previously associated with Kim Jong-un – Footsteps – did not include a specific reference either, but was issued while his father was alive and before he had a formal position …

“There’s still, definitely, a massive campaign to pump up his image and credentials… [Omitting his name] is probably related to the fact that he’s so young they have to phase in the larger than life elements of his public persona.”He said he was also intrigued that the song referred to the North as a powerful and prosperous “country” – rather than the more commonly used “great power”.

KCNA claimed in 2009 that Song of General Kim Il-sung and No Motherland Without You, Kim Jong-il’s signature tune, were being beamed through space following the North’s satellite launch. Other countries said the device had never made it into orbit.

Propaganda can make a nonentity out to be a great leader. All you need is lies and more lies and reports that the world is applauding back after learning the truth from a satellite that doesn’t even exist. Thank God the American people live in a country where a free media tell the truth.

If you were a North Korean why would you believe you were living in a “powerful and prosperous” country instead of in a poverty-stricken worker’s paradise whose people and army only eat because they subsist on food aid from its hated enemy the United States?Maybe because the United State is acting, for unaccountable reason, like it owed it to Pyongyag to feed it.

So you’d think ‘maybe it is true that Kim Jong-un is the Marlboro man, look at how the Americans are falling all over themselves to cater to his every whim’. What they don’t realize is that American liberals are doing this because they are enlightened.

The Atlantic recently ran an article upbraiding America for failing to supply food to Kim Jong-un’s regime. It asks: “Why Is the U.S. Withholding Food Aid From Starving North Korea?” Well, if you ask why is North Korea starving? the answer you might get is because mean Republican Congressmen want punish the people, kittens, teddy bears and penguins of North Korea.

Last month, Congress denied food aid to a half-starved nation. Some Senators tried to pass legislation blocking nutritional assistance to North Korea. A determined effort by Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar …

But waiver or not, neither Congress nor the administration seem to want to give food aid to North Koreans when they need it — now. …

North Korea has almost incessant food crises, although the nature and extent of them are often difficult to verify. Nonetheless, it is clear that the situation in many areas was bad last year, particularly for children, lactating mothers, and the aged; reports from the UN suggest that nearly a third of children in North Korea have been showing signs of dwarfism caused by malnutrition. Long-term exposure to starvation and the breakdown of infrastructure have also led to a rampant spread of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, further deteriorating the health of children and other vulnerable members of society.

Not sending food the North Korea is just plain mean. The Atlantic article closes by saying: “By our own standards of human rights and humanitarian principles, the United States should stop stalling on the issue of food assistance and work toward a solution. If Washington is too uncomfortable dealing directly with Pyongyang, then the World Food Program and other UN agencies stand ready to communicate with North Korea on our behalf and find some way to get food to some of the North Korean people badly in need. Washington seems unprepared to take any steps — a remarkable performance for the world’s leading food donor.”

Is there any downside to being enlightened? Walter Russell Mead thinks so. He makes the point that being mindlessly enlightened is like letting all the serial killers out of death row so they can walk in the spring sunshine. Describing the aftermath of the Administration’s “responsbility to protect” actions in Libya,  Mead notes that the first thing the newly empowered Islamists have done is blow up World Heritage sites and Sufi cultural monuments that have existed for centuries because now they can.

The Islamists, meanwhile, are celebrating their win by taking a leaf out of the Taliban’s Afghan playbook. Just as the Taliban destroyed ancient Buddhist sculptures in Afghanistan, the Ansar is going after the memorials and tombs of Sufi saints and other world heritage buildings in Timbuktu.

Humanitarianism that isn’t strategic isn’t just weak; it is actively evil. It wreaks havoc on the lives of poor and powerless people so that the powerful and well connected can feel good about themselves.

Would those who insist on supporting the North Korean regime under the pretext of helping the North Korean people have sent supplies to Nazi Germany in the hope that some of it would be distributed to the Jews? Well why not? It could happen. That it was supremely improbable is beside the point. We should never lose hope that somewhere, someday, Kim Jong-un could turn out to be a secret Marlboro man.

But Mead is most likely right, “humanitarianism that isn’t strategic isn’t just weak; it is actively evil. It wreaks havoc on the lives of poor and powerless people so that the powerful and well connected can feel good about themselves.” The wonder is that they can sleep at night, though doubtless they do. Why not? The enlightened are so moral they could not commit an error even if they wanted to. Their intentions were good.

As to Kim Jong-un’s equestrian ambitions, perhaps he would improve his horse-riding video if instead of that horrible soundtrack he used this composition. On second thought that wouldn’t be enlightened.

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