Wednesday, March 17, 2004

George Bush Called It Like It Is: North Korea is Evil

Remember when President Bush labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the axis of evil in the 2002 State of the Union address? Remember how shocked the members of the media were?

Well, read this article by William C. Triplett at NRO and then try telling me that the communist regime of North Korea is not evil.

William C. Triplett on North Korea on National Review Online
Here's a few excerpts:

[German pediatrician] Vollersten writes of what he found in most hospitals, "In each one, I found unbelievable deprivation. Crude rubber drips were hooked to patients from old beer bottles. There were no bandages, scalpels, antibiotics, or operation facilities, only broken beds on which children lay waiting to die. The children were emaciated, stunted, mute, and emotionally depleted." Vollersten compared this to what he found in military hospitals, "Unlike any other hospital I visited, this one looked as modern as any in Germany. It was equipped with the latest medical apparatus, such as magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, electrocardiograms, and X-ray machines."

The doctor's conclusion? "There are two worlds in North Korea, one for the senior military and the elite; and a living hell for the rest." What applies in the case of public health is true for all aspects of life in North Korea. On one side, there are strict restrictions on ordinary people — whether it is food, clothing, housing, or transportation. On the other, as Vollertsen describes it, "The system's beneficiaries are members of the Communist Party and high-ranking military personnel. In Pyongyang, these people enjoy a comfortable lifestyle — obscene in the context with fancy restaurants and nightclubs."

Kim Jong Il maintains his luxurious lifestyle by trafficking in drugs and weapons, and receiving payoffs from other nations in exchange for "pledging" not to develop weapons of mass destruction. Of course, he's broken every treaty he's ever signed and threatens to attack South Korea and Japan whenever he doesn't get his payoffs. Only George W. Bush refuses to appease this monster. President Bush says no deal until North Korea gets rid of its nuke programs entirely.

The camps [gulags] are designed to exploit the prisoners' labor until they die. Prisoners are given difficult and dangerous labor such as mining under unsafe conditions. Children are assigned heavy work as well, such as logging. Even before the famine of the mid-1990s, prisoners, including children, were on rations that would not sustain life in the long run, much less allow for any sort of normal growth. Since the political prisoners are never released, there is no danger of them divulging military secrets; they are assigned to work on missiles and other special weapons. One camp, Camp #14, is notorious for its use of prisoners "as guinea pigs for developing chemical warfare technology," according to information obtained by the Seoul Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights.

The Dear Leader's concentration camps are very efficient both for removing any real threat to the regime and in reinforcing the system of state terror. By some estimates, the North Korean gulag currently holds 200,000 men, women, and children. An estimated 400,000 people have perished in the camps over the past several decades. Rumors of the camps-of-no-return circulate in the general population and fear of denunciation prevents an organized opposition from forming.

Besides the disparity in healthcare services and the gulag system, North Korea has also been suffering from a drought. An estimated 2 million North Koreans have also perished in the famine caused by poor management of resources and corruption. The U.N. and many NGOs insist that food aid is the only way to help the people of North Korea. But most of the money and food donated to North Korea will go right into the pocket of Kim Jong Il and his cronies and will continue to help prop up his government. Where is the outrage in the international community? Where are the calls for change?

I actually think North Korea was a greater threat to the U.S. and the rest of the world than Iraq under Saddam was, but the international community had a better opportunity to do something about Saddam. The U.S. and the U.N. were technically still at war with Iraq since the end of the first Gulf War. No-fly zones were established in the north and south of Iraq to keep Saddam from slaughtering the Kurds and Shiites as he was wont to do. His troops were constantly firing on American and British planes, acts of war in themselves.

And of course Saddam had illegal WMD and conventional programs going on. The extent of these programs when Operation Iraqi Freedom began is not fully known yet, but it's clear that Saddam was in violation of U.N. resolutions. Banned missiles were being destroyed as the war began and Saddam was threatening to use WMDs on our troops if they invaded. Saddam's forces had previously used chemical and biological weapons on the Kurds in 1988, killing thousands. For that act alone, I felt he should have been deposed long ago and indicted for war crimes. There is no statute of limitations on murder in most countries, let alone genocide.

The point is, Saddam is an evil man, a tyrant, and a criminal that had been massacring his own citizens and threatening other countries. The U.N. food for oil program was a joke, and the sanctions were only hurting the Iraqi people, not punishing Saddam. Getting rid of him was the best solution for Iraqis and for the rest of the world. There were relatively low civilians and coalition casualties, and in return the Iraqis already have an interim constitution. I only wish that a similar solution could be found for the people of North Korea.

However, an attempt to remove Kim Jong Il at this point would be very risky. North Korea has a huge, well-equipped army of about 1 million and probably already has nukes thanks to Dr. Khan. There would be heavy civilian and military casualties on both sides. The people of North Korea are so weakened and brainwashed that it's doubtful that they could help overthrow the regime of Kim Jong Il. So until a better solution can be discovered, containment will have to be the policy right now. But how long until lil' Kimmy gives a nuke or two to some bloodthirsty terrorists?

Anyway, I agree with most of George W. Bush's foreign policy decisions. I'm not happy about the lack of security at our borders and enforcement of immigration laws, but I expect that will improve if the President gets more support after his re-election. Kerry is simply too wishy-washy on his foreign policy, and kissing up to the U.N., the French and the Germans is not what I call foreign policy. IMO, there is no choice for president other than Bush if one is serious about the global War on Terror.

It's Wictory Wednesday at Blogs4Bush. If you agree with the above and want to support President Bush's re-election volunteer or donate to his campaign. It doesn't have to be a lot. I'm a starving student and I do my part by speaking out on my blog and debating my colleagues when I get the chance.

Update: Mr. Triplett continues his essay on North Korea with Aiding Kim:
International food help props up a vulnerable regime.

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