North Korea & Iran 1

What will President Trump do now to stop North Korean aggression?

The Daily Mail declares that –

South Korea and the US are now planning “military action” to be taken against North Korea “as soon as possible”, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Are the words “military action” and “as soon as possible” in quotation marks to indicate authenticity, or that they are said but not fully believed?

The hydrogen bomb [detonated in a test yesterday] – which is powerful enough to destroy a city – sparked a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake amid an “escalating” nuclear crisis. …

Or maybe not escalating?

The terrifying tremor was detected in the northeast of the country where the Punggye-ri test site is located – but was so strong that it shook buildings in China and Russia.

But the raw power of the bomb – which has a 100 kiloton yield, around five times bigger than that dropped on Nagasaki – isn’t the only threat it [presents] to the US.

North Korea’s state news agency warned that the weapon “is a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack“. …

An EMP – electro-magnetic pulse – is a wave emitted from nuclear explosions that scrambles electronics, much like a sudden power surge can overload a power outlet.

But an EMP is far, far worse; a nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere could knock out the power grid across a swathe of the continental US – or even all of it.

North Korea has threatened an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the US. A nuke detonated high above the ground could produce an EMP that would knock out all electrics within a vast radius – the higher the detonation, the wider the effect. (The miles on the map are measurements of height.)

That would leave hospitals without power, civilian and government agencies unable to coordinate, and the fabric of society unraveling fast. …

The regime frequently flaunts its intercontinental ballistic missile technology and has repeatedly tested hydrogen bombs – but has so far been unable to combine the two into a lethal weapon.

However, Jong-un claims the latest explosive – which seismologists calculated to be eight times as damaging as the Hiroshima nuclear bomb dropped by the US in World War II – could be packed into a warhead and fired towards US territory.

We would say – not keeping calm at all – that if US military intelligence knows (and surely it does!) where the nuclear and missile facilities are in that nasty little country, bomb them now.

And it seems President Trump is thinking along those lines:

He has threatened Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury, such as the world has never seen”. The world needs to see it now.

To wait is to let the danger become far worse.

If Kim Jog-un, the chubby little dictator of North Korea, has these lethal weapons to play with, it won’t be long before the mullahs who rule Iran have them too.

Iran has the money to buy them – thanks to Barack Obama.

The two regimes are already in alliance:

Last month North Korea’s nominal “president” Kim Yong Nam whose official title is Chairman of the People’s Assembly was given red carpet treatment during a 10-day visit to Tehran at the head a 30-man military and political delegation. He was granted a rare two-hours long audience with Khamenei. During his stay, he inaugurated North Korea’s new embassy which includes an expanded military cooperation section.

From Gatestone, by Amir Taheri:

Seen by Khomeinists, who pretend to be sole custodians of “The Only True Religion”, the Kimists, who regard religion as “confused mumbo-jumbo”, must be regarded as adversaries if not outright enemies. And, yet, such is their mutual attraction that the little matter of religion seems to have had no effect on their love fest. The Kimists have even allowed the Khomeinists to set up a mosque in Pyongyang provided they do not try to convert North Koreans.

In the spring of 1979, Kim Il Sung, the founder of the dynasty and grandfather of the present Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, was among the first to congratulate Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini on the seizure of power by mullahs.

A few weeks later, Khomeini, then stationed in Qom, broke his rule of not talking to foreign emissaries by receiving North Korean Ambassador Chabeong Uk for a long session during which the ayatollah dictated a message of friendship to Kim Il Sung, in which, he invited “the masses of Korea” to expel the Americans from the peninsula.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in September 1980, Kim Il Sung was the first to offer assistance to the Islamic Republic by supplying its version of the Soviet SCUD missiles. In January 1981, invited by Iran, the North Koreans set up a military advisory mission in Tehran to help the newly created Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops (IRGC) develop tactics and strategies in the war against Iraq.

One tactic quickly adopted by the Iranians was the sue of “swarm attacks” by masses of teenagers sent to clear Iraqi minefields at the cost of thousands of lives, a tactic that Kim Il Sung had developed in the Korean War against the Americans.

North Korea became one of only two nations to sign a military pact of sorts, including joint staff conversations, with Iran. (The other is  Syria which signed in 2007.)

Iran’s top contact man with the North Korean military mission was Khamenei, then a mid-ranking mullah operating as Deputy Defense Minister. The new friends started “military cooperation” in 1982 with special emphasis on helping Iran develop a range of missiles.

Getting to know the North Koreans, Khamenei developed a profound admiration for their “discipline and readiness to sacrifice for their struggle”. But it was not until six years later that Khamenei, by that time named President of the Islamic Republic, could express that admiration directly in a state visit to Pyongyang.

According to those who accompanied Khamenei in the visit, the future “Supreme Guide” saw North Korea as the “ideal state” that only lacked religious faith.

“Khamenei was impressed by how everything (in North Korea) worked like the clockwork,” says Hassan Nami, a member of the entourage. “The fact that in North Korea the individual was dissolved in the collective symbolized by the Supreme Leader overwhelmed Khamenei.”

“Overwhelmed” him with admiration, is implied.

Khamenei’s visit to North Korea, in May 1989, was the first to give him the feeling that he was the rising leader of a rising new power on the world scene. The North Koreans declared a holiday for schools and factories to mobilize a million people to line the streets to greet Khamenei. In a rare gesture, Kim Il Sung himself went to the airport to greet the visitor. The North Korean despot then chaired a special session of the People’s Assembly to hear Khamenei’s speech which included a thinly disguised invitation to Koreans to return to religious belief.

In the end, however, the North Koreans adopted nothing from Khomeinism while Khamenei adopted much of Kim Il Sung’s ideology.

What did the Muslim learn from the Communist?

Kim’s “juche” (self-reliance) shibboleth became Khamenei “eqtesad muqawemati” (Resistance Economics). Khamenei also adopted Kim’s reliance on missiles, caused by the fact that North Korean had no access to modern warplanes, as the main plank of his defense doctrine. The revival of the Shah’s nuclear program, scrapped by Khomeini but revived under Khamenei, was also inspired by Kim who believed a weaker nation enhances its position by owning “the ultimate weapon“.

When it comes to Khamenei’s rejection of compromise with domestic or foreign adversaries, again Kim was the teacher.

Reports of the Kims’ manner of dealing with “domestic adversaries” reaches the West from to time, and “ruthless” describes it. They have them killed.

Kim preached “absolute independence” which meant total disregard for international law, something that Khamenei has made an article of faith for the Islamic Republic.

Going down the list of Khamenei’s beliefs, including his reliance on the military for the survival of the regime, one could see that in many cases the real teacher was Kim Il Sung, not Khomeini.

And now there is open military co-operation between the two regimes.

If ever the might of the American superpower was needed to be brought to bear on an axis of evil while there was yet time to crush it, it is surely now.

In the flames of Communist paradise 3

There are millions of people in the Western world, hundreds of thousands of them in the universities, the media, the “Occupy” movement, in comfortable houses and apartments in the great cities, and at  least a few hundred in the present US administration, who “think” that Communism is really really good. The best. The ideal. The golden future that good people must work to establish.

Yeah, yeah – Paradise on earth.

They may know how the Russians suffered under Stalin, the Chinese under Mao Zedong, the Cambodians under Pol Pot. But they won’t allow such right-wing narratives to change their minds. No siree! “Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,” they declare bravely to each other over their well-loaded dining tables, “we’ll keep the Red Flag flying in our faithful hearts and hopes and dreams.” Besides, they say, that wasn’t true Communism, what Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot did.

You know the names of some of them: Anita Dunne, Van Jones, Bill Ayers, Bernadine  Dohrn, Saul Alinksy, Richard Cloward, Frances Fox Piven, Noam Chomsky …

They love humanity and Che Guevara. They feel sorry for the poor and downtrodden and are willing, eager, to kill policemen. They wish heroically to overthrow the rich, capitalism, bankers, the military-industrial complex, dead white men, Bush, Sarah Palin, and … and … you know …

Here’s an extract from an article by Jeff Jacoby at Townhall. It provides more information about life under Communism for them to brush aside:

SHIN DONG-HYUK grew up in North Korea’s Camp 14, one of the monstrous slave-labor prison complexes in which the world’s most tyrannical regime has crushed hundreds of thousands of its citizens, working them to death in conditions of excruciating brutality and degradation. Though the North Korean concentration camps have lasted far longer than their Soviet or Nazi counterparts did, Shin is the first person born and raised in one of them to have successfully escaped abroad. His story is told in journalist Blaine Harden’s Escape from Camp 14, a heart-crushing reminder that man’s inhumanity to man has no limit.

It is a book filled with harrowing passages. At the age of six, Shin was forced to watch as one of his classmates — a short, slight, pretty girl — was beaten to death by their teacher when he discovered five kernels of corn in her pocket. When Shin accidentally dropped a sewing machine while working at the camp’s garment factory, half of his middle finger was chopped off as punishment. Time and again he sees other inmates maimed or killed when they are forced to work under appallingly dangerous conditions. And time and again he joins in collective punishment, unhesitatingly obeying when ordered to slap and beat a classmate or some other prisoner singled out for abuse and discipline.

When Shin was 14, he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother for attempting to escape. His dominant emotion as he watched them die was not sorrow, but anger: He was furious at what they had caused him to be put through. Because of their infraction, he had been savagely tortured, suspended in mid-air over a charcoal fire as interrogators demanded information about where his mother and brother were planning to flee after their escape.

“Shin, crazed with pain, smelling his burning flesh, twisted away from the heat,” Harden writes. “One of the guards grabbed a gaff hook from the wall and pierced the boy in the lower abdomen, holding him over the fire until he lost consciousness.”

North Korea’s slave-labor gulag would be horrific even if its inmates were guilty of actual crimes. But most prisoners are guilty of nothing except being related to the wrong family.

Under a demented doctrine laid down by Kim Il Sung, the communist tyrant who founded North Korea, “enemies of class … must be eliminated through three generations.” The regime therefore fills these unspeakable camps not only with “enemies” who dared to practice Christianity or failed to keep a picture of Kim properly dusted, but with their entire families, often including grandparents and grandchildren. Shin’s father ended up in Camp 14 because two of his brothers had fled south during the Korean War. He and Shin’s mother were assigned to each other by camp guards years later as prizes in a “reward” marriage. They were allowed to sleep together just five nights a year. Shin was thus conceived — and spent the first 23 years of his life — behind the electrified barbed wire of Kim’s ghastly hellhole. …

There is no cruelty so depraved that people cannot be induced to do it, or to look the other way while it is being done.

Or deny that it is being done. Or will assure you that even if it is, it’s better than … than … being exploited in “employment” by people whose only aim in life is to make a profit. Yucks!

To eat or not to eat? 2

PART ONE.  ETHICAL EATING: THE THEORY

One of the latest fads of the elite who know what’s best for the rest of us is “ethical eating”.

The Financial Times recently carried a long article about it. Reviewing three books on the subject, the author, Simon Kuper, castigates us for eating beef, chicken, rice, and salad:

Suppose that you and your partner go out for dinner tonight. You order steak and salad while your partner has chicken with rice. Now inspect your plates. Your cow spent almost all its life in a shed, burping methane that heats the planet. It was then slaughtered, often incompetently: it may have been still alive when its head was skinned and its legs cut off. Your “salad”, doused in dressing, is really “fat with a little lettuce”.

Your partner’s chicken lived for six weeks, diseased and crammed so closely with other birds that it cracked several bones. After torture, came slaughter: the bird was shoved into a truck, taken to the slaughterhouse, and shackled upside down. It died screaming and excreting on itself in terror. The rice comes from plants bred by scientists in the 1960s. Both your meals are lathered in the extra fat, sugar, salt and chemicals to which you have become addicted. Enjoy your meal. …

“… if you’re self-indulgent and sadistic, and care not a whit for the planet”, is not said in as many words, but strongly implied.

The author goes on:

People are increasingly wondering whether they should enjoy today’s food.

Millions of animals experience horrible deaths after worse lives. Constantly sick, they give us our flu pandemics. They occupy and degrade nearly a third of the world’s land, use up and pollute water, and warm the planet. According to the United Nations [and who could possibly doubt them?], animal agriculture is the single biggest cause of climate change. It contributes 40 per cent more to global warming than all forms of transport combined…. Certainly, in rich countries, logic should impel us to close factory farms and turn meat back into a luxury food such as caviar and truffles, to be eaten on special occasions only. …

In the past [when the expectation of life was less than half what it is now, but let not that spoil the argument], “Americans typically chewed a mouthful of food as many as 25 times … now the average American chews only 10 times.” The industry has mastered what it calls “hedonics”: how to make food feel and taste delicious. The new food is also addictive, like drugs. … Many Americans now suffer from “conditioned hypereating”, wolfing down fat, sugar and salt as a habit.

Our betters despise us for that.

“Elites want elite foods,” the FT article asserts. “healthy ethical food.” Do they? Or do they just want the rest of us to eat saltless, unsweetened, undressed mouthfuls of hunted or gathered foods that need to be chewed 25 times?

This sort of moralizing is a great luxury. It should be classed with truffles and caviar.  At the same time, it’s all intensely puritan. The old puritans wanted to drain pleasure out of life for the good of your soul. The new puritans want to do the same for the good of your body.

Environmentalists go even further. They don’t want us to eat at all. The existence of the human race annoys them. We eat. We cook. We make things. Almost everything we do endangers the planet. The planet must be saved from us. For what? The animals, presumably.

Don’t they eat too?

Yes, but you see they’re good, we’re bad. We humans are a disgusting, cruel, greedy species that the earth and all the other creatures would be better off without.

They really do think this way.

If it were the obsession of a few madmen it would be merely a curiosity. But it is the settled opinion of thousand of our species, many of whom have the power to regulate our lives.

Since we cannot be eliminated, or not immediately, we must at least be regulated.

*

PART TWO.  HEALTHY EATING: GOVERNMENT STEPS IN

The solution that our betters propose to the “problem” of us eating what we like, is as always a collectivist one. Government should, say the food police, compel us to eat what it deems good for us, good for our health. Healthy eating by force. The new ethics.

This is from Canada Free Press, by David Pietrusza:

The Invisible Hand moves amber waves of grain from farm to factory to freezer.

We all get fed.

Until now.

This month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand decided she would allocate another $1 billion the federal treasury on building 2,100 grocery stores nationwide. [Capitalism has been called ‘the incredible bread machine’. It works as long as it’s not interfered with. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand doesn’t know this, and wouldn’t believe or even understand it if it were spelled out for her.] She is an Obama mainstream kook. Her “Healthy Food Financing Initiative” is merely upping the ante on a proposal already found buried in Barack Obama’s 2011 budget to expend $345 billion on a similar fool’s errand.

The idea, if it may be termed that, is to provide grants and loans to fund groceries in so-called “food deserts,” areas “under-served” by the right kind of food emporia, those not providing “fresh” food and thereby fueling the national “obesity epidemic.” …

“By building new grocery stores in underserved areas across the state,” says Gillibrand, up for election this year, “we can give people the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives, save billions in health care costs, and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

Getting specific, Gillibrand estimates that her act will “create” 26,000 of those “good-paying jobs.” It’s funny how expropriating money from the private sector to fund tin-horn politicians’s hobby-horses always “creates good-paying jobs.”

Much of the rationale for combating these alleged “food deserts” relies on data as bogus as the “facts” that support the current global warming (er, excuse me, “climate change”) hysteria. Michelle Obama [she who heads the food police] has recently contended that 23.5 million people—included 6.5 million children—now live in these “food deserts,” defined by Ms. Obama as “communities without a supermarket.” Oddly enough, many of these folks are not poverty-stricken. Some are quite well to do. And thanks to the genius of Henry Ford and American capitalism many of them still own cars, so living that distance from a supermarket, translates into driving a whole 4.5 minutes more to a supermarket. …

And that translates into another federal crisis — another federal program.

But beyond jobs and geography, there is health. There is always health, nowadays.

“This initiative,” contends Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Vasquez, “is about empowering families to make healthier food choices so they live longer.” [A  perfect example of Obamaspeak, that!]

Let’s see what happens when a government “empowers” people to make the choices it wants them to make.

*

PART THREE.  NO EATING: THE END ACHIEVED

One government that tries to make the people do what it knows is best for them is in North Korea.

How has Kim Jong-il’s food solution work out for the North Koreans? These extracts come from Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick :

Kim Jong-Il had taken an even harder line against individual enterprise than his father. “In a socialist society, even the food problem should be solved in a socialist way. Telling people to solve to solve the food problems on their own creates egotism among people,” he said in a December 1996 speech, one of the few in which he acknowledged the food crisis. Other than vegetables grown at home, food was not supposed to be sold on the market. To sell rice or any other grain was strictly forbidden; North Korea considered it illegal and immoral, a stab in the heart of Communist ideology. Any private endeavor fell under the rubric of “economic crime” and the penalties could include deportation to a labor camp, and, if corruption was alleged, possible execution.

North Korea started running out of food, and as people went hungry, they didn’t have the energy to work and so output plunged even further. The economy was in free fall…

All staples are grown on collective farms. The state confiscates the entire harvest … [As famine intensified] the North Korean government offered a variety of explanations, from the patently absurd to the barely plausible. People were told [for instance] that the United States had instituted a blockade against North Korea that was keeping out food …

Enduring hunger became part of one’s patriotic duty. …

How do you tell a mother her child needs more food when there is nothing more to give? Dr Kim would write out a slip admitting the child to the hospital, knowing she had no cure for this condition. The hospital didn’t have any food either

[Many] victims of the North Korean famine … did not go passively to their deaths. When the public distribution system was cut off, they were forced to tap their deepest wells of creativity to feed themselves. They devised traps out of buckets and string to catch small animal in the field, draped nets over their balconies to snare sparrows. They educated themselves in the nutritive properties of plants. … They stripped the sweet inner bark of pine trees to grind into a fine powder that could be used in place of flour. They pounded acorns into a gelatinous paste …

North Koreans learned to swallow their pride and hold their noses. They picked kernels of undigested corn out of the [old] excrement of farm animals. Shipyard workers developed a technique by which they scraped the bottoms of the cargo holds where food had been stored, then spread the foul-smelling gunk on the pavement to dry so that they could collect from it tiny grains of uncooked rice and other edibles.

If you got out to the mountains, you could maybe find dandelion or other weeds so tasty that people ate them even in good times. Occasionally, Mrs Song [one of the author’s sources] would find rotten cabbage leaves … She would take the day’s pickings home and mix it with whatever food she had enough money to buy. Usually it was ground cornmeal – the cheap kind made from the husks and cobs. If she couldn’t afford that, she would buy a still cheaper powder made out of the ground inner bark of the pine, sometimes extended with a little sawdust. … [Nothing] could disguise the god-awful taste. She had to pound away and chop endlessly to get the grasses and the barks into a soft-enough pulp to be digestible. … All she could make was a porridge that was flavorless and textureless. … a porridge mad out of bean and corn stalks … was bitter and dry, and stuck in her throat like the twigs of a bird’s nest…

In the year after Kim Il-sung’s death the only animal product she consumed was frog… North Korea’s frog population would soon be wiped out by overhunting. …

In a famine, people don’t necessarily starve to death. Often some other ailment gets them first. Chronic malnutrition impairs the body’s ability to fight infection and the hungry become increasingly susceptible to tuberculosis and typhoid. The starved body is too weak to metabolize anti-biotics, even if they are available, and normally curable illnesses suddenly become fatal. Wild fluctuations of body chemistry can trigger strokes and heart attacks…

The killer [starvation] has a natural progression. It goes first for the most vulnerable – children under five. They come down with a cold and it turns into pneumonia; diarrhea turns into dysentery. Before the parents even think about getting help, the child is dead. Next the killer turns to the aged … then makes its way through people in the prime of their lives. Men, because they have less body fat, usually perish before women. The strong and athletic are especially vulnerable because their metabolisms burn more calories…

The killer targets the most innocent, the people who would never steal food, lie, cheat, break the law, or betray a friend. …

By 1998, an estimated 600,000 people had died as a result of the famine, as much as 10 percent of the population. … Exact figures would be nearly impossible to tally since North Korean hospitals could not report starvation as a cause of death.

Between 1996 and 2005, North Korea would receive $2.4 billion worth of food aid, much of it from the United States… While big ships laden with donated grains from the U.N. World Food Programme started docking at Chongjin’s port in 1998, the relief was off-loaded into trucks by the military and driven away. Some food reached orphanages and kindergartens, but much of it ended up in military stockpiles or sold on the black market. …

Death was a virtual certainty for people who didn’t show some private initiative. A human being needs at least 500 calories per day on average to survive; a person subsisting on a diet of what could be foraged in the woods would not survive more than three months. …

Hyuck [a homeless boy] found a small and friendly stray [dog], wagging its tail as it followed him into his friend’s yard. Hyuck shut the gate behind them. He and his friend grabbed the animal and shoved it into a bucket of water, holding down the lid. [It took about ten minutes to die.] They skinned it and barbecued it. Dog meat was part of the traditional Korean diet, but Hyuck liked animals and felt bad, though not so bad that he didn’t try it again – although by mid 1996 dogs too were scarce. …

Among the homeless population, a disproportionate number were children or teenagers. In some cases, their parents had gone off in search of jobs or food. But there was another, even stranger, explanation. Facing a food shortage, many North Koreans families conducted a brutal triage of their own households – they denied themselves and often elderly grandparents food in order to keep the younger generation alive. That strategy produced an unusual number of orphans, as the children were often the last ones left of entire families that had perished…

In the first years of the food shortage, the children at the train station survived by begging food, but before long there were simply too many of them and too few people with food to spare…

When begging failed, the children … formed themselves into gangs to steal together …

It was a dangerous life… There were strange stories going around about adults who … would drug children, kill them, and butcher them for meat. Behind the station near the railroad tracks were vendors who cooked soup and noodles over small burners, and it was said that the grey chunks of meat floating in the broth were human flesh. …

The stories got more and more horrific. Supposedly, one father went so insane with hunger that he ate his own baby. … It does appear that there were at least two cases … in which people were arrested and executed for cannibalism…

Even without cannibals … the children couldn’t survive long on the streets…

People … spoke of the large number of bodies scattered around the station and on the trains …

At the station, employees from the cleaning staff regularly made round through the public areas, loading bodies onto a wooden handcart… Some days they removed as many as thirty bodies from the station…

Why doesn’t the government just leave us alone to live our lives?” the women at the [black] market would grumble among themselves.

THAT IS THE QUESTION.