25 August 2013

Gareth Morgan becomes propaganda tool for the child torturing fiefdom of the Kim family: UPDATED 2

When Gareth Morgan's group got permission to enter the DPRK by motorcycle I was surprised, but then it is being accompanied every step of the way in the country.  I was also surprised when he got permission from both the DPRK and ROK sides to cross the DMZ.  I think the DPRK is also surprised by this, as it has several times used crossing as a propaganda trick, knowing the other side would arrest and detain anyone undertaking it (those who do it are typically DPRK sympathisers after all).  

So now he is in the country, and not surprisingly the New Zealand media is reporting none of it, even though North Korean media actually is.  Unless some celebrity is involved, or it involves a sports team or a disaster, then it isn't of interest.  Of course he'll get coverage when he returns, but it will be of the "wow amazing wasn't that cool" type of questioning.

You see Morgan's group is now being used for propaganda and this slave state will milk the propaganda value of peace loving sympathetic Westerners coming to learn about their country's "history" and how they struggle against the yoke of foreign aggression (when all of the aggression comes from the mafia family that runs the place).  

Gareth Morgan is now a tool of a slave state.  I doubt he'll ask about children being kept in gulags.  

The state/party daily newspaper has a photo of him on its visit here and here.  It reports on Morgan's group learning about the country.

His visit has included paying reverence to the murderous war-mongering Kim Il Sung, who set up the abominable personality cult led slave state that it is today, started the Korean War, and has manufacturer such a complicated web of lies about the place that it is difficult to know where to start.

For a start Kim Jong Il wasn't born on Mt Paektu, he was born in Russia in Khabarovsk.

Kim Il Sung did not lead a gang of guerrilla fighters based at Mt Paektu to led the Korean people to victory against the Japanese, he did led a small group based in Manchuria that tactically fled to the Soviet Union, where he was when Kim Jong Il was born.  Kim Il Sung was a Soviet selected stooge put in place to follow Stalin's order and occupy the land.  He successfully took all he learnt in the USSR and then some, started the Korean War and ended it building a cross between Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World.

So if you want to follow Gareth Morgan, read the Rodong Simnum and the Korean Central News Agency, or listen to Voice of Korea's English broadcasts online, which are reporting on these adventures (all pretty much similar).

Meanwhile Porirua based Anglican pastor Don Borrie continues to felch the regime, and it continues to render his reputation to be equally vile.

UPDATE:  So the West needs to "rethink" North Korea now, says Gareth.  It wasn't just a motorcycle trip. His head has gone soft and he has taken in all the lies and thinks they are awfully nice folk.

The thing is, the guides are.  The people you see are nice, as they are privileged members of the elite painstakingly trying to make sure their country is seen in a good light.  

You don't need to try to demonise north Korea.  He claims it isn't a great big prison camp, but who gets to leave Gareth? Who gets passports?  What about the domestic passport system that ensures no one can leave their village or town unless they belong the elite? 

He talks of how everything is tidy and clean and everyone has a job. The Potemkin world he got to see. Escorted the whole way, he claims everything he saw was real, and told was real. 

He then touts the Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo reunification scheme (not by name) of Kim Il Sung as the solution to reunification, except for removing US troops from south Korea.  Naively thinking the north Korean regime actually could survive any extensive contact by north Koreans of south Korea, but also wanting China to protect the slave state's sovereignty.  He even uses the language that has been uttered in DPRK English language propaganda since the 1970s over this.

Gareth talks of why he and his wife could travel across Korea, but Koreans couldn't.  Yet North Koreans can't own motorcycles and drive anywhere they want in the north.

Until now I thought he was just a bit naive and actually would come out and acknowledge that he didn't know what was true, what wasn't and what he was shown and not shown.  No, the fool appears to have swallowed the Kim gang fiction hook line and sinker, and not only that, is even endorsing the sustenance of the regime by giving it propaganda.

I question his sanity.  

Imagine if he had travelled through Pol Pot's Cambodia and did this, or Nazi Germany in 1938 talking about how misunderstood the proud German people were and they only want more living space and to be reunified with Germans in Czechoslovakia, and it isn't a prison camp, the stories about the Jews are lies, demonising them.

Well Gareth - you kind of did that.

Go get your head examined, and if you're sane, here are some books to read

(UPDATE - he has read some unspecified books about the horrors of the regime and said he has no reason to question them.  It would have been balanced had he acknowledged this publicly instead of telling me on a comment on his blog)

Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan  (for life as a child in a gulag)
Kim Il Sung - the North Korean Leader by Dae Sook Suh (for the best historically accurate and well researched account of Kim Il Sung's REAL life and what he did to fight the Japanese (a little) and what he says he did (saved the nation) .
The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia by Andrei Lankov an excellent report of how the country has changed and contrasts with the USSR, by an academic who lived there over decades and has fluency in Korean, Russian and English.

I still think despite reading some books and believing they are true, his behaviour is astonishing.  I don't understand it.

I STILL think he should...

Apologise to the hundreds of thousands who are in prison camps, including the thousands of children. Apologise to the millions dead because this regime preferred to build a mausoleum and deny farmers the right to grow more than tiny private plots of vegetables outside state and collective farms, leaving mass starvation in the 1990s.

Next time, take a holiday somewhere else interesting, but don't start describing how homosexuals in Iran have a happy life, or women in Saudi Arabia have such freedoms we don't understand, or how the people of Zimbabwe love papa Bob Mugabe.

Better yet, whatever you do, just shut up. The last specks of your credibility have been flushed well and truly down the basement toilets in the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (resting place of the DPRK's "eternal President").

16 August 2013

The problem of Egypt

Egypt has no tradition of respecting individual liberty or secularism.

Nasser was widely admired, as he took over the Suez Canal and lost the war he was about to launch against Israel (and lost the Sinai Peninsula).

Anwar Sadat bravely made peace with Israel, gaining back the Sinai, and was assassinated for his efforts (and is largely forgotten).

Hosni Mubarak set up a massive military led corporatist state of rent-seeking self-aggrandisement, whilst simultaneously suppressing Iranian style Islamists.  The same Islamists who bombed hotels, tour buses and killed foreign tourists, until Mubarak's secret police authoritarian state put enough of them in prison.  Meanwhile he appeased a moderate form of Islamism, allowing for the occasional hassling of Christians and implementation of Shariah law.

So he gets overthrown, and elections are held. The world quietly condones it and lo and behold, a plurality of Egyptians choose theocracy, as the alternative is a patsy of Mubarak.

The USA, EU and the rest of the supposedly freedom loving West celebrated democracy, not individual freedom and rights.   Not separation of religion and state.

So how could any Western politician oppose a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood?  How could it oppose that elected government trying to change the constitution?  

Indeed.  Egyptians who supported Islamism were happy.  Egyptians who supported secularism, the small Christian minority and Muslims who keep their religion in the private sphere, were not.

Neither was the Army, which has a large network of businesses which keep many of the senior officers well fed and watered.   

So Egyptians who don't like Islamism, and Egyptians with a vested interest in the Army's own corporatist enterprises, protested.

The Islamists were less than happy as the Army overthrew their authoritarians, to reimpose their own.

Now the Army is killing those who resist it, but don't be fooled.  The Islamists would do the same, given their predilection to terrorism, their predilection to criminalising apostasy, to harassing those who are not of their faith, to censoring views, cultural expressions and humour they don't like, to constraining the role of women.   Then of course there is the widespread anti-semitism, which is far more widespread.

So whilst the philosophy, politics and the motives of the Islamists are thoroughly despicable and the anti-thesis of individual freedom and the secular liberal democracy that Western civilisation is supposed to be based on, the ends - the political defeat of Islamism - do not justify the means - opening fire on civilians.

Egypt needs rulers who will allow people to live ascetic Muslim lives, by choice, or not to.  It needs rulers who believe in freedom, and who believe in separation of religion from state.

However, it doesn't have a majority of citizens who share those values...