Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dim and Diane: The Odd Couple

Now that the North Koreans have used the occasion of our nation's celebration of independence to rattle the sabres and fire off seven defective I.C.B.M.'s (intercontinental bowel movements), we witness strange bedfellows crawling out of the Murphy bed woodwork, as witness California Senator Diane Finegrind (D-Cal.), with her insistence that the U.S. should agree to direct talks with the representatives of North Korea's lunatic dictator Dim Dumb-Ill (S. -- for Stalinist -- Pyongyang). For once, I side with the opposing view of Dubya and the GOP, that only resumption of the six-nation talks exclusively represented by Pacific Rim and Russian diplomats, is acceptable, direct talks being a kind of reward for the posturing and provocations of Dim, carried out without question by his millions of blind, brainwashed followers, who think him a God ("Dear Leader").

Finegrind is an idiot and doesn't know her history. England and, to an extent, the U.S., tried to appease Adolf Hitler in the 1930's to the result that they did just what Dim Dumb-Ill has done to the six nations: violate their solemn word. The Germans invaded eastern Europe and the North Koreans, after promising to curtail uranium enrichment proceedings, simply racheted up the threat to obtain more concessions. Giving into Dim now is tantamount to throwing in the appeasement towel. Shrub, and his U.N. man, John Bolton, refuse to kowtow to Dim's demands, feeling that giving in to North Korea at this point would only encourage additional threats later on. Holding direct, bilateral talks at this point is rather like paying off a blackmailer. You can't be assured he won't come around again with new demands.

And although the U.S. leadership would like us to believe that it has the man- and firepower to keep on the negotiating table an armed attack on this "axis of evil," North Korea probably has the largest standing army in the world and could attack, say, Japan, or, more likely, South Korea, its prosperous peninsular neighbor, which would certainly draw us into an apocalyptic scenario. There is a relatively narrow window of advantage (if it can be called that): the interim between these failed missile tests and North Korea's actual ability to deliver nuclear warheads. Nevertheless, insisting that Dim and Crew deal only with the six powers in talks just makes sense. The most obvious reason is that South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, et al., are neighbors. They have the most to lose.

Since when does the U.S. respond to the threats of terrorists? We never caved in to the demands of the Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar al-Qaddafi, or Hafez al-Assad (unless you count the criminal activities of Lt.-Col. Oliver North's arms-for-hostages exchange as such), we have consistently given terrorist rulers the peeled banana. And if anyone doubts Dim Dumb-Ill's qualifications for the title of "terrorist," I recommend the article by Brendan I. Koerner, "What Kind of Terrorism Does North Korea Sponsor?" (Koerner is a contributing editor at Wired and a fellow at the New America Foundation.) He claims that the North Koreans (1) sold weapons to separatist groups, (2) did an arms deal with the Moto Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, (3) bombed a (South) Korean Air Lines flight, (4) attempted to assassinate a South Korean president, (5) killed of a South Korean diplomat in Vladivostok, and (6) gave comfort and shelter to exiled Japanese terrorist groups like the Communist League-Red Army Faction, and so forth.

Add to this the growing intelligence revealing how North Korea treats its own. Literally millions have died of starvation and forced labor in Dim's gulags. Some Dim apologists like to claim he's "crazy like a fox" and is actually a shrewd and savvy leader, but in my opinion, he's just plain nuts -- and I 'm not even taking into account his having a perennial bad hair day. We know that this nitwit had secret agents kidnap movie stars and film crews from places like China so that he could feed his ego by indulgence in a favorite pastime: motion pictures. (He boasts the biggest film library, presumably on VHS or DVD, but maybe in 35mm. prints, as he can afford them, anywhere in the world. He is said to be particularly partial to James Bond movies and such slasher fare as the Hallowe'en franchise.) And if we're to believe, Dimmy Boy drinks a lot, regularly injects himself with pain killers, and stages banquets with an "Entourage of Delight" -- disco dancers ordered to strip nude and provide a floorshow for his banquet guests. (Although the dictator allows his guests to "look," they are not permitted to touch the dancers, "for these are my children.")

The NewsMax story is based on a published account by the tyrant's personal chef of 13 years, a Japanese named Kenji Fujimoto, who claims that Dim indulges in such pricey delicacies as Iranian caviar and sips such expensive imported liquors as Johnny Walker scotch, noting that an estimated 2.8 million of his subjects starved during a single three-year famine. (Apparently, this claim has been authenticated by the BBC, which produced a documentary about Dim.) It seems that the North Korean military built up rice reserves on Dim's orders even as hordes of peasants were withering into skeletal non-existence.

The worst aspect of the situation is the notorious unpredictability of the man. No one knows what he will do next, or even what outrages he is capable of. But for a twit like Findgrind to suggest that we humor this fool in an attempt to resolve the "missile crisis" is misguided at best...and insane at worst.

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