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Archive for the ‘Despots’ Category

Cambodia, and destroying the world

I found this on Instapundit today. It’s so sad, I almost wept reading it.

When Khmer Rouge forces seized Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, the couple was living with eight of their children in a rural town called Kampong Chhnang. Three days later, the guerrillas arrived and residents — including Younly — cheered, relieved the war was finally over, his 86-year-old widow Som Seng Eath recalled.

But within hours, everything changed. Every soul was ordered to leave on foot.

The Khmer Rouge were emptying Cambodia’s cities, marching millions of people into the countryside to work as manual laborers. Their aim was to create an agrarian communist utopia, but they were turning the Southeast Asian nation into a slave state.

Younly “didn’t believe what was happening. He kept saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon, don’t pack much,’” his widow said. She ignored his advice, and took as much as she could — including five of her husband’s school notebooks, and several blue ink pens.

As gunshots rang, they joined the departing hordes, cradling their young children and whatever they could carry. As they walked into the night, people wept.

Sadly, we forget so quickly just how evil humanity can be.

Go read, and remind yourself of the dangers we face when people decide that they can reshape society to their ideal, by whatever means they deem necessary.

Related, is this via Patterico. You can click through and read the letter to which this is a reply, but I think the reply pretty much speaks for itself, and the state of politics today.

Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

Worth pondering, I think.

Kim Jong Il, supreme incarnation of the revolutionary moral obligation

It’s really hard to parody this sort of thing.

Pyongyang, December 19 (KCNA) — The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK on Saturday announced the following notice to all party members, servicepersons and people:

A separate announcement will be made to the military one presumes, which will outline exactly the circumstances in which civilians can be shot in this time of change..

The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK notify with bitterest grief to all the party members, servicepersons and people of the DPRK that Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, passed away of a sudden illness at 08: 30 on December 17, Juche 100 (2011) on his way to field guidance.

Curious how his death is in year 100 by their reckoning.

Interesting that they have their own reckoning!

He dedicated all his life to the inheritance and accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche and energetically worked day and night for the prosperity of the socialist homeland, happiness of people, reunification of the country and global independence. He passed away too suddenly to our profound regret.

I’m sure that the people he failed in starving to death aren’t so regretful.

His sudden demise at a historic time when an epochal phase is being opened for accomplishing the cause of building a powerful and prosperous socialist state and the Korean revolution is making steady victorious progress despite manifold difficulties and trials is the greatest loss to the WPK and the Korean revolution and the bitterest grief to all the Koreans at home and abroad.

Must be tricky, making sure that the NK people are kept in the dark about the Arab Spring and all that stuff.

Kim Jong Il, who was born as a son of guerillas on Mt. Paektu, the holy mountain of the revolution, and grew up to be a great revolutionary, wisely led the party, the army and people for a long period, performing undying revolutionary feats on behalf of the country, the people, the times and history.

He died performing undying feats. One a family blog one wouldn’t like to speculate as to what those feats might be but I’m sure it had nothing to do with rugby, or a local real estate firm.

Kim Jong Il possessed of personality and qualifications as a great man on the highest and perfect level was an outstanding thinker and theoretician who led the revolution and construction along the path of steady victories with his profound ideologies and theories and remarkable leadership. He was also peerlessly political elder and outstanding and illustrious commander of Songun and peerless patriot and tender-hearted father of the people who recorded the whole history of the revolutionary struggle with ardent love for the country and its people and noble dedication.

Funny how that “path of steady victories” has so many bodies strewn along it. But I’m sure with his noble dedication he was able to hold his own against the stench of his putrid government.

Considering it as his lifelong mission to carry to completion generation after generation the revolutionary cause of Juche started by President Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il pushed forward the revolution and construction in line with the idea and intention of the President as the dearest comrade and the most loyal comrade-in-arms of the President.

That “president” would be his long-dead father.

Kim Jong Il comprehensively developed in depth the immortal Juche idea, Songun idea, fathered by the President and glorified it as the idea guiding the era of independence with his clairvoyant wisdom and energetic ideological and theoretical activities. He firmly defended and carried forward the revolutionary traditions of Mt. Paektu with pure mind, thereby giving a steady continuity to the Korean revolution.

Any rumors that he spent his days watching american movies are to be throughly refuted by firing squad.

Kim Jong Il, genius of the revolution and construction, developed the party, army and state to be the party, army and state of Kim Il Sung, put the dignity and power of the nation on the highest level and ushered in the golden days of prosperity unprecedented in the nation’s history spanning 5 000 years under the uplifted banner of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea.

Cos nothing says dignity and power like a nation where most people’s highest form of transport machinery is a wooden hand-cart.

Kim Jong Il, supreme incarnation of the revolutionary moral obligation, set a great example in perpetuating the memory of President Kim Il Sung unknown in human political history, thus making sure that the august name of the President, his undying revolutionary career and exploits always shine along with the eternal history of Juche Korea.

It’s a little know fact that North Korea’s plant life lives not off the sun, but off the reflected glory of his most-high bullshitness.

Kim Jong Il, great master of politics and illustrious commander born of Heaven, honorably defended the socialist gains, noble heritage bequeathed by the President, by dint of Songun politics despite the collapse of the world socialist system, the demise of the President which was the greatest loss to the nation, the vicious offensive of the imperialist allied forces to stifle the DPRK and severe natural disasters. He turned the DPRK into an invincible political and ideological power in which single-minded unity has been achieved and made it emerge a nuclear weapons state and an invincible military power which no enemy can ever provoke.

Yes, the dead guy turned the country invincible.

Strange how he died then.

True to President Kim Il Sung’s behest, Kim Jong Il set a gigantic goal to build a prosperous and powerful country and led an all-people general advance for attaining it, thus making the drive for a great revolutionary surge rage throughout the country and bringing about great innovations and leap forward on all fronts of socialist construction.

Well, they kept out reality TV so not all is lost I guess…

Kim Jong Il, father of the nation and lodestar of national reunification, led all the fellow countrymen to the road of independence and great national unity with his rock-firm will to implement the instructions of the President for national reunification and ushered in the June 15 era of reunification in which the noble idea of “By our nation itself” is materialized.

In other words, we want to share our slave state with the south!

How generous.

As a great guardian of socialism and justice, he conducted energetic external activities for the victory of the socialist cause, global peace and stability and friendship and solidarity among peoples under the uplifted banner of independence against imperialism, thus remarkably raising the international position and prestige of the DPRK and making immortal contributions to the human cause of independence.

I’m beginning to realise just how many words they’re using here, and just how little is actually being said.

In the whole period of his protracted revolutionary guidance, he valued and loved the people very much and always shared weal and woe with them. He continued to make difficult forced march for field guidance, making unremitting efforts and working heart and soul to build a thriving country and improve the standard of people’s living. He died from repeated mental and physical fatigue on a train in that course.

Again, nothing to do with hookers. Nothing.

The whole life of Kim Jong Il was the most brilliant life of a great revolutionary who covered an untrodden thorny path with his iron will and superhuman energy, holding aloft the red flag of revolution. It was the life of the peerless patriot who dedicated his all to the country and its people.

He dedicated his life to his country, making it serve his every whim while crushing the life out of it.

He passed away to our regret before seeing the victory of the cause of building a thriving nation, the national reunification and the accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche so ardently desired by him, but laid a strong political and military base for ensuring the steady advance of the Korean revolution through generations and provided a solid foundation for the eternal prosperity of the country and the nation.

Translation: he brainwashed an entire country into thinking it was the better-off half of the peninsula.

Standing in the van of the Korean revolution at present is Kim Jong Un, great successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche and outstanding leader of our party, army and people.

People last of course.

Kim Jong Un’s leadership provides a sure guarantee for creditably carrying to completion the revolutionary cause of Juche through generations, the cause started by Kim Il Sung and led byKim Jong Il to victory.

I’d suggest they look up “creditably” in the dictionary but… I’ll skip to the end. This thing is going on and on and on…

Arduous is the road for our revolution to follow and grim is the present situation. But no force on earth can check the revolutionary advance of our party, army and people under the wise leadership of Kim Jong Un.

Arduous I say! No hardship is too great to force upon the peasants! Nothing can stop us… though if we run out of peasants on which to walk we might get our feet wet.

The heart of Kim Jong Il stopped beating, but his noble and august name and benevolent image will always be remembered by our army and people and his glorious history of revolutionary activities and undying feats will remain shining in the history of the country forever.-0-

Oh, he’ll be remembered for a while. Of that we can be pretty darn sure.


Out of Iraq, ??? North Korea

Well, we live in interesting times.

No sooner have the Americans withdrawn (most of) their forces from Iraq than another leader of an axis of evil country kicks the bucket.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced.

Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.

He suffered a stroke in 2008 and was absent from public view for months.

His designated successor is believed to be his third son, Kim Jong-un, who is thought to be in his late 20s.

I’m sure conspiracy theorists will have fun with that coincidence.

Seems timely that Anti-Dismal posted this.



MP standing in for idiot activist attacked

I agree 100% with DPF on this.

The Chinese security guards obviously exceeded their brief, and there should be consequences for that. Unless Dr Norman was a physical threat to the Vice-President, they had no right to manhandle him. Keeping an embarrassing sign out of sight is not a legitimate reason.

We had much the same in Dunedin in 2008 when Pete Hodgson manhandled a protester who was holding a sign up behind Helen Clark, which the cameras could see. Hodgson was investigated for assault in that incident, and the Chinese security should also be investigated for assault.

Personally I think Dr Norman looks like a prize idiot when he acts as a lone protester rather than a party leader – but he has the right to do so.

One wonders if the the security detail knew he was an MP? Not that it matters.

Update: I do however find it mildy ironic that an MP who still supports the EFA talks like this:

“Don’t bring your undemocratic processes to our country,” Dr Norman had told the Chinese VIPs.

Venezuela revolution just peachy

Interesting titbits from the BBC:

But no amount of support from the American filmmaker can disguise a simple truth; domestic support for President Chavez’s “Bolivarian” socialism (named in homage to Latin America’s 19th Century liberator Simon Bolivar) is being sorely tested by a second consecutive year of economic recession.

Venezuela possesses the biggest reserves of oil outside the Middle East and supplies more than one-tenth of US oil imports, but still the economy has woefully underperformed against others in Latin America in the last two years.

Inflation has leapt to 30% and seems likely to rise further. The Venezuelan currency has been devalued and is still sinking amongst Caracas’s black market money changers.

‘Road to hell’

In the capital’s sprawling hillside neighbourhoods, jobs are scarce and Mr Chavez’s Socialist party is looking electorally vulnerable just three months before National Assembly elections.

So, I guess all that socialism isn’t protecting the country from the evils of capitalism?

What am I saying? It’s all America’s fault!

In his HARDtalk interview, the president blamed his country’s economic woes squarely on America’s “rampant, irresponsible capitalism” which was taking the world “on the road to hell”.

“In England and in Europe you should know this,” Mr Chavez went on. “‘You have more problems than we do.”

He quoted a stream of economic statistics to illustrate his claim that 11 years of socialism had “begun to redress the balance between a very rich Venezuelan minority and a very poor majority.”

Yep, at 30% inflation, and policies driving away the rich, everyone left will be poor in no time flat.

Domestic critics of Mr Chavez’s nationalisation programme – which has turned the oil, power and agriculture sectors into vast state bureaucracies – accuse him of creating a “Bolivarian bourgeoisie” of corrupt officials and cronies.

But Mr Chavez emphasised he intended to go further with his socialist model.

Privately owned enterprises are now being expropriated with increasing frequency – a recent controversial example involved the French-owned Exito supermarket chain after allegations of profiteering and currency manipulation.

In other words, he’s seizing profitable companies, and when investors try to leave, accusing them of manipulating the currency.

“Eleven years ago I was quite gullible,” the president said. “I even believed in a ‘third way’. I thought it was possible to put a human face on capitalism. But I was wrong.

How big of him, to admit he was wrong about letting people have economic freedom!

“The only way to save the world is through socialism, but a socialism that exists within a democracy. There’s no dictatorship here.”

Angry exchanges

Mr Chavez became visibly agitated when faced with a set of specific questions about his government’s respect for the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of the press and the rights of political opponents.

He was asked about the imprisonment of one of his fiercest critics, former defence minister Raul Baduel, and the pending charges filed against former opposition candidate Oswaldo Alvarez Paz.

The Venezuelan president responded: “You don’t know what you’re saying. Wow, does the BBC in London defend corruption. You are being used. You really don’t know what you’re saying.”

As the tension in the presidential palace rose, Oliver Stone who was seated in a corner listening intently to the exchanges – along with a host of presidential aides and one of the president’s daughters – gestured to the president with both hands.

The message was easy to read: Calm down.

Nice to see a western filmmaker complicit in all this.

Venezuelans are used to seeing an angry president. Last week he went on television to vent his fury on a judge who ruled that a wealthy businessman should be freed from detention after three years of imprisonment without trial.

Mr Chavez accused the judge, Maria Afiuni, of behaving worse than an assassin and he demanded that she be jailed for 30 years. Judge Afiuni is now in prison facing corruption charges.

Nope, no dictatorship at all.

Insights from North Korea

Interesting stuff on the BBC.

Initially I was simply irritated by our minders who seemed to have no concept of the expectations of a television film crew.

But my irritation slowly gave way to a realisation that their expectations of us were because they simply did not know any different.

North Korean TV only broadcasts hagiographies of the two leaders and pictures celebrating the country’s army, model farms, model villages etc.

Our minders had probably never seen any other kinds of news item or documentary about their country or the rest of the world.

They’re completely cut off from so many concepts we don’t even think about in the West. All just so the communists can stay in power a few more years.

They were not allowed to, and they could not, because no-one has access to the internet in North Korea.

Instead, the North Koreans have a special internal intranet which I was shown at Pyongyang University.

A postgraduate metallurgy student who spoke good English explained that he could not compare his research with a fellow student in say, London or Los Angeles, because the system would not let him.

But, he added brightly, “the Dear leader has kindly put all we need to know on our intranet system”.

But all this has consequences.

But many defectors from the North complain about how they are treated in the South.

“People look down on us here,” another recent arrival told me. “They treat us like poor, badly educated cousins with funny accents. It is hard for us to get work here.”

People in the North tell you that they long for the two countries to be united again.

“It has been 60 years since the country was divided by the civil war. Unification is our dream”, a university student in Pyongyang told me. “It must happen one day”.

A bit like the attitude of West Germans towards East Germans prior to unification, the South Koreans are not too keen of the thought of 23 million hungry and badly educated cousins pouring across the border.

Destruction (or more likely, implosion) of the north will only solve the first problem. Even if that happened tomorrow, the mark left by communism will take years be wiped away.

How the US armed Saddam Hussein

Found this via an old post on KiwiBlog.

Zimbabwe Looking Up

There can be fewer good signs of progress in Zimbabwe than the BBC being let back in.

Even better, they’re able to film the supermarkets that are now filled with food, after the US dollar was adopted.

There’s still massive problems (the food is expensive) but things are looking positive. If you’d told me that things would be this good now (with Mugabe still in command) a few months back, I’d never have believed you!

Maybe he has realised that destroying his country isn’t the best strategy? We’ll see I guess.

Russians Snub Obama?

Hard to see this as anything but a calculated insult against the President of the United States.

Can we stop pretending now? Countries like Russia and Iran are offside with the USA and other western nations because of the path they chose, not anything we’ve done.


WordPress’ top post right now features this picture, which apparently shows the local canditate’s vote going down over time while dinner jacket’s goes up.

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