Skip to comments.Save the North Koreans!
Posted on 12/08/2010 4:48:15 AM PST by Kaslin
If North Koreans were pandas, would we have let them suffer so?
In October 1993, Edward N. Luttwak wrote a brilliant essay for Commentary magazine asking a similar question: "If the Bosnian Muslims had been bottlenose dolphins, would the world have allowed Croats and Serbs to slaughter them by the tens of thousands? If Sarajevo had been an Amazonian rainforest or merely an American wood containing spotted owls, would the Serbs have been allowed to blast it and burn it with their artillery fire?
"The answers are too obvious, the questions merely rhetorical. And therein lies a very great irony. At long last a genuine spirit of transnational benevolence has arisen, fulfilling the highest hopes of the rare pioneering globalists of the 19th century and before. No longer does this disinterested benevolence abruptly stop at the boundaries of state, nation or culture. Instead it now encompasses all of life both animal and vegetal across the entire globe, with only one exception: Homo sapiens."
Luttwak overstated how good animals have it, alas. But his point was well taken. And to America's credit, it wasn't long after Luttwak's essay that the United States and NATO (but not the United Nations) finally did something to curb the slaughter in the former Yugoslavia.
But that's probably little solace to the people of North Korea.
The West ultimately intervened in the Balkans for several reasons. The slaughter was in "Europe's backyard," and images of the sunken eyes peering from emaciated souls kept in concentration camps on European soil couldn't be ignored. The memory of World War II and the Holocaust crept into every debate. Moreover, the violence and cruelty emerged fairly suddenly, making it "news" instead of the status quo. No one could deceitfully claim -- as President Clinton would in the case of the Rwandan genocide -- that we didn't know what was going on. And, perhaps most important, ending the aggression was relatively cheap and easy. The U.S. sent no ground troops and suffered "only" one American life lost in combat.
None of that applies to North Korea. The Hermit Kingdom's regime has kept images of concentration camps and mass starvation limited. The gulag archipelago of political prisons doesn't get much airtime, nor do the women forced into having abortions or, in some instances, compelled to deliver their babies only to watch them suffocated because they contain "impure" Chinese blood. You see, the North Koreans contend they are the "master race" and have strict eugenic laws against what they see as race-mixing.
And yet, North Korea's plight is not news. It's been the status quo for two generations. Everyone knows that it is an anachronistic, totalitarian police state, and yet the spirit of "never again" finds little purchase in the Western conscience. Indeed, with the exception of some heroic human rights organizations, such as the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the debate is defined almost entirely by what some call "realism." If North Korea could be trusted to abandon its nuclear ambitions and mischief -- an absolute impossibility -- one gets the sense that vast swaths of the foreign policy establishment would be happy to call it a day.
After all, America, we are told again and again, is overextended. And we all know that the concept of regime change -- the only conceivable remedy for North Korea's plight -- is out of favor.
The simple truth: Deterrence works. The madmen running North Korea have made it clear that they will at least try to drown the peninsula in blood if their rule is threatened.
Stopping Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program is rightly a priority because of the threat it poses to the U.S. and our allies. But it should also be a priority because, if we don't, the regime may stagger on for another half-century of barbarous cruelty.
Eventually this dynasty of misery will end and North Koreans, starved, stunted and beaten, will crawl back into the light of civilization. My hunch is that it will not be easy to meet their gaze, nor history's. No one will be able to claim they didn't know what was happening, and very few of us will be able to say we did anything at all to help.
This may not be the answer to the problem, but it’s a start:
The babies suffocated at birth are much better off than the ones allowed to “live” in Hell’s nation, North Korea.
Every time I think about North Korea, I think about how miserable the North Korean people must be. They are literally starving to death—eating grass in some cases. Its no exageration to call North Korea a giant concentration camp. North Korea’s leaders are evil, pure and simple. Hopefully they will fall with relatively little violence and death but sadly, I doubt it. They will probably kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of North and South Koreans with them. Hanging after a war crimes trial would be too good for them.
On the otherhand, if they all starve, there will no longer be a problem
Attrition is a good thing
You are cold
It's depressing when one of our own is so obviously brainwashed by revisionist history. I've posted this before, but here's an old NYT article written before the propaganda began to fly:
The New York TimesThe reported never used the word muslim, did he?
November 1, 1987, Sunday, Late City Final Edition
By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times
Portions of southern Yugoslavia have reached such a state of ethnic friction that Yugoslavs have begun to talk of the horrifying possibility of ''civil war'' in a land that lost one-tenth of its population, or 1.7 million people, in World War II.
The current hostilities pit separatist-minded ethnic Albanians against the various Slavic populations of Yugoslavia and occur at all levels of society, from the highest officials to the humblest peasants.
A young Army conscript of ethnic Albanian origin shot up his barracks, killing four sleeping Slavic bunkmates and wounding six others.
The army says it has uncovered hundreds of subversive ethnic Albanian cells in its ranks. Some arsenals have been raided.
Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs. And politicians have exchanged vicious insults.
Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls.
Ethnic Albanians comprise the fastest growing nationality in Yugoslavia and are expected soon to become its third largest, after the Serbs and Croats.
The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said in an interview, is an ''ethnic Albania that includes western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of southern Serbia, Kosovo and Albania itself.'' That includes large chunks of the republics that make up the southern half of Yugoslavia.
Other ethnic Albanian separatists admit to a vision of a greater Albania governed from Pristina in southern Yugoslavia rather than Tirana, the capital of neighboring Albania.
There is no evidence that the hard-line Communist Government in Tirana is giving them material assistance.
The principal battleground is the region called Kosovo, a high plateau ringed by mountains that is somewhat smaller than New Jersey. Ethnic Albanians there make up 85 percent of the population of 1.7 million. The rest are Serbians and Montenegrins.
Worst Strife in Years
As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981 - an ''ethnically pure'' Albanian region, a ''Republic of Kosovo'' in all but name.
The violence, a journalist in Kosovo said, is escalating to ''the worst in the last seven years.''
Many Yugoslavs blame the troubles on the ethnic Albanians, but the matter is more complex in a country with as many nationalities and religions as Yugoslavia's and involves economic development, law, politics, families and flags. As recently as 20 years ago, the Slavic majority treated ethnic Albanians as inferiors to be employed as hewers of wood and carriers of heating coal. The ethnic Albanians, who now number 2 million, were officially deemed a minority, not a constituent nationality, as they are today.
Were the ethnic tensions restricted to Kosovo, Yugoslavia's problems with its Albanian nationals might be more manageable. But some Yugoslavs and some ethnic Albanians believe the struggle has spread far beyond Kosovo. Macedonia, a republic to the south with a population of 1.8 million, has a restive ethnic Albanian minority of 350,000.
''We've already lost western Macedonia to the Albanians,'' said a member of the Yugoslav party presidium, explaining that the ethnic minority had driven the Slavic Macedonians out of the region.
Attacks on Slavs
Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented 40 ethnic Albanian attacks on Slavs in two months. In the last two years, 320 ethnic Albanians have been sentenced for political crimes, nearly half of them characterized as severe.
In one incident, Fadil Hoxha, once the leading politician of ethnic Albanian origin in Yugoslavia, joked at an official dinner in Prizren last year that Serbian women should be used to satisfy potential ethnic Albanian rapists. After his quip was reported this October, Serbian women in Kosovo protested, and Mr. Hoxha was dismissed from the Communist Party.
As a precaution, the central authorities dispatched 380 riot police officers to the Kosovo region for the first time in four years.
Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment called federal Yugoslavia, which consists of six republics and two provinces.
'Lebanonizing' of Yugoslavia
High-ranking officials have spoken of the ''Lebanonizing'' of their country and have compared its troubles to the strife in Northern Ireland.
Borislav Jovic, a member of the Serbian party's presidency, spoke in an interview of the prospect of ''two Albanias, one north and one south, like divided Germany or Korea,'' and of ''practically the breakup of Yugoslavia.'' He added: ''Time is working against us.''
The federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula, told the army's party organization in September of efforts by ethnic Albanians to subvert the armed forces. ''Between 1981 and 1987 a total of 216 illegal organizations with 1,435 members of Albanian nationality were discovered in the Yugoslav People's Army,'' he said. Admiral Mamula said ethnic Albanian subversives had been preparing for ''killing officers and soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into weapons arsenals and stealing arms and ammunition, desertion and causing flagrant nationalist incidents in army units.''
Concerns Over Military
Coming three weeks after the ethnic Albanian draftee, Aziz Kelmendi, had slaughtered his Slavic comrades in the barracks at Paracin, the speech struck fear in thousands of families whose sons were about to start their mandatory year of military service.
Because the Albanians have had a relatively high birth rate, one-quarter of the army's 200,000 conscripts this year are ethnic Albanians. Admiral Mamula suggested that 3,792 were potential human timebombs.
He said the army had ''not been provided with details relevant for assessing their behavior.'' But a number of Belgrade politicians said they doubted the Yugoslav armed forces would be used to intervene in Kosovo as they were to quell violent rioting in 1981 in Pristina. They reason that the army leadership is extremely reluctant to become involved in what is, in the first place, a political issue.
Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools and factories. Non-Albanian visitors almost immediately feel the independence - and suspicion - of the ethnic Albanian authorities.
Region's Slavs Lack Strength
While 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins still live in the province, they are scattered and lack cohesion. In the last seven years, 20,000 of them have fled the province, often leaving behind farmsteads and houses, for the safety of the Slavic north.
Until September, the majority of the Serbian Communist Party leadership pursued a policy of seeking compromise with the Kosovo party hierarchy under its ethnic Albanian leader, Azem Vlasi.
But during a 30-hour session of the Serbian central committee in late September, the Serbian party secretary, Slobodan Milosevic, deposed Dragisa Pavlovic, as head of Belgrade's party organization, the country's largest. Mr. Milosevic accused Mr. Pavlovic of being an appeaser who was soft on Albanian radicals. Mr. Milosevic had courted the Serbian backlash vote with speeches in Kosovo itself calling for ''the policy of the hard hand.''
''We will go up against anti-Socialist forces, even if they call us Stalinists,'' Mr. Milosevic declared recently. That a Yugoslav politician would invite someone to call him a Stalinist even four decades after Tito's epochal break with Stalin, is a measure of the state into which Serbian politics have fallen. For the moment, Mr. Milosevic and his supporters appear to be staking their careers on a strategy of confrontation with the Kosovo ethnic Albanians.
Other Yugoslav politicians have expressed alarm. ''There is no doubt Kosovo is a problem of the whole country, a powder keg on which we all sit,'' said Milan Kucan, head of the Slovenian Communist Party.
Remzi Koljgeci, of the Kosovo party leadership, said in an interview in Pristina that ''relations are cold'' between the ethnic Albanians and Serbs of the province, that there were too many ''people without hope.''
But many of those interviewed agreed it was also a rare opportunity for Yugoslavia to take radical political and economic steps, as Tito did when he broke with the Soviet bloc in 1948.
Efforts are under way to strengthen central authority through amendments to the constitution. The League of Communists is planning an extraordinary party congress before March to address the country's grave problems.
The hope is that something will be done then to exert the rule of law in Kosovo while drawing ethnic Albanians back into Yugoslavia's mainstream.
As I saw on my papers in school many times:
(Gross Conceptual Error)
What a provocative article. Thanks for posting
Well done Jonah
I said it then and I'll say it now, if we were going to get involved in that war, we got in on the wrong side.
We should have helped the Serbians and the Croations not the mooselimbs.
The Serbs and Croats were just fighting the mooselimbs the same way the mooselimbs were terrorizing them.
Leave it to klintoon to get it backwards and the compliant press to back him up,
I am not convinced that Croats and Serbs slaughtered them by the "tens of thousands". The Balkans War was a "Slick Willie" "Wag the Dog". There were atrocities by Muslims, Croats and Serbs, FACT. There was also a lot of "disinformation" concerning who the perps really were. The Muslims won the "disinformation" campaign. The Serbs lost the "exposure of the disinformation" campaign. Most of the claims about those in mass graves were simply wrong.
AMEN, brother... it’s amazing how “conservatives” take up the propaganda bait and still hammer one of our best allies, the Serbs. Stalin/Tito did it post WWII, and that legacy continues while the drug highway flows through the Balkans into southern Europe. We need to sink the whole state dept in the middle of the Atlantic and start over...
I agree. This certainly is not one of Jonah's better efforts. First, the Yugoslavian analogy is dubious. The underlying premise of Slav = bad, Bosnian Muslim = good is debatable at best and factually wrong at worst. Moreover, Jonah makes no effort to disclose what actions beyond the West's current “containment and engagement” policy with respect to North Korea he advocates. We are left to surmise that Jonah proposes aggressive military action. Unfortunately, it is much easier to empathize with the North Korean people than to find a rational solution to their plight, that is one that gives rise to more suffering than it seeks to end.
The article is the kind of weepy moralizing and sanctimony that often oozes from the pens of the Left. It may even support some of the Left’s criticism of neo-cons as “chicken hawks” who advocate putting our troops’ lives on the line to bring their view of utopia into fruition while risking nothing personally. One expects much better from our Mr. Goldberg.
Sometimes I think about what a miracle it is to be alive.
Somehow my ancestors survived disease, war, plagues, floods, fires, natural disasters, pagan sacrifices...
Is there a person, anywhere, that does not think on that at some point?
We had a Korean woman in our church who escaped north Korea on foot, during the Korean war. Her husband was dead, and her children were tiny. She has since passed into glory, but her children, grandchildren, and great-grand-children are a priceless legacy of a tiny, simple Korean woman.
If I be so lucky as to see that day, I *WILL* look into the eyes of those starving, stunted North Koreans and ask *WHY* they chose to meekly submit to such a evil form of leadership. I will ask them *WHY* they never resisted or revolted. I will ask them *WHY* their sons and daughters, all of which are conscripted into their military, did not accumulate enough power to organize a military coup.
And I think that they will not be able to meet our eyes very easily, either...