Tagged North Korea

The Good and “You’ve Got to Be Kidding” of John Bolton

Now that John Bolton is going to be Donald Trump’s third national security adviser in a little over a year(!), it behooves us to consider what we might expect during Bolton’s tenure. The position of national security adviser is exceptionally influential–especially given the recent tendency over the span of several administrations to concentrate significant amounts of foreign and national security policymaking powers in the White House, with policy direction flowing out to various cabinet departments and executive agencies. So, what awaits us when Bolton occupies the post?

Wimps

Apparently, we have decided to double down on cowardice. Somehow, I am not even surprised anymore.

An Appalling Act of Cowardice

Unbelievable: With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.” U.S. officials have reportedly linked a massive cyber attack against Sony to North Korea, which is at the center of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy. “We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.” [. .…

Why Don’t Evil Regimes Get Called Out as Evil Regimes?

I agree with Benjamin Wittes when he writes that “there’s a lot to be said for a foreign policy organization’s willingness to hear out, ventilate, and challenge the views of our foreign policy adversaries.” I also agree with Benjamin Wittes when he writes that during the hearing, there should be no effort to whitewash awful and despicable violations of human rights, and general bad behavior on the international stage on the part of a particular regime. Unfortunately, as Wittes points out, the Council on Foreign Relations completely failed to call out the bad behavior of the North Korean regime, thus leading to…

The Nation’s False and Dishonest Crimea Narrative

For those who believe that the recent annexation of Crimea by Russia might actually unite Americans of all ideological stripes in opposition to the thuggishness of the Putin regime, I give you this piece by editors of the Nation. It shows that even now, in the immediate aftermath of the annexation, while historical memories are still fresh, there are those who are willing to rewrite current events in order to advance a narrative filled with desperate attempts to explain away unjustified Russian bellicosity. And of course, it ought to surprise no one that the editors are willing to put forth false attempts at establishing…

Quote of the Day

One witness, a survivor of a North Korean prison camp, told the commission of seeing a guard beat a nearly starving woman who had recently given birth, then force the woman to drown her baby. Others told of being imprisoned for watching soap operas, trying to find food for their families, traveling without permission or having family members considered suspect by the government. “Because we saw so many people die, we became so used to it,” one prison camp survivor told the commission. “I’m sorry to say that we became so used to it that we didn’t feel anything.” —Michael…

North Korea Has Gotten Even Crazier

To wit. And there is more. I don’t know whether this means that Baby Leader is now so confident of his position that he can kill off family members who might otherwise be able to serve as avuncular guides, or whether Baby Leader has now become so utterly paranoid that he is killing off people who might otherwise be of use to him for fear that he might be supplanted in the near future. Isaac Stone Fish’s piece indicates that relations between China and North Korea could be harmed as a consequence of Jang’s killing, which ought to surprise no…

Congratulations to North Korea!

Those of us who hope for the downfall of the North Korean regime are forced nevertheless to tip our hats to the skill and resourcefulness of the regime’s internal security forces. They have captured Merrill Newman, an 85 year old American veteran of the Korean War, and have convicted him for “hostile acts.” Why, they have even televised his confession–one freely given, I am sure–so the North Korean allegations against Mr. Newman must be true. Reading the story, one readily sees how much of a threat to North Korean peace and security Mr. Newman must have been. The North Koreans really…

Accountability Has Become Such an Antiquated Concept

Gene Healy  on the president who is never there: “Hey, don’t look at me — I’m just the president!” That’s the common thread in President Obama’s response to his recent scandal eruptions, from IRS harassment of Tea Partiers to his Justice Department’s spying on AP reporters. Like everybody else, Obama learns about these things via cable news, according to press secretary Jay Carney.Obama’s flight from responsibility punctured the stratosphere in his recent speech on “the Future of Our Fight against Terrorism” at the National Defense University in D.C. In the speech Obama seemed to position himself as the loyal opposition…