PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE this side of Pyongyang seems to be unhappy with Kim Jong Bill and Eric Schmidt. They’ve managed to unite the Obama Administration (“not helpful“) and John McCain (“useful idiot“). I’ll only link some notable examples here, but Don Kirk thinks Kim Jong Bill has handed Pyongyang “a propaganda coup” and takes a shot at AP Pyongyang for the stories it isn’t covering. John Bolton takes issue with Kim Jong Bill’s misuse of the word “humanitarian,” and tries to put it into the context of actual humanitarian conditions in North Korea (the temerity!).
It’s always nice to see a public figure remember that North Korea’s rulers are cold-blooded mass-murderers who smother racially “impure “infants, put families (kids and all) in death camps, and shell South Korean fishing villages, rather than mere props for opportunistic has-been politicians.
“Restrained” and “modest” may not be the first words you associate with Bolton, but I think he deserves some kind of divine reward for not directly comparing Susan Rice’s success record as U.N. Ambassador with his own. He does note how Rice continues to get nothing from the Security Council in the way of a response to North Korea’s violation of three Security Council resolutions, but he doesn’t point out that what Rice did get two years ago, after a nuclear test — UNSCR 1874 — is pretty much a retread of the resolutions Bolton got three years before — UNSCR 1695 and 1718. Not that China ever complied with any of them.
I should also have a co-authored piece on this coming out for publication, maybe today. More to follow, hopefully.
Anyway, optimistic sort that I am, I see more good than harm coming of this visit in the medium-to-long term. For one, it has inspired McCain to emerge as an early and forceful critic of exactly the kind of foreign policy that his pal Kerry would like to give us. That’s a hell of an improvement over what we’d have heard from Dick Lugar (crickets). For another, it reveals a widening split between the center-left mainstream and hard-core appeasers, like Richardson, further marginalizing the latter, who is no longer convenient. The greatest impact on North Korea will be Google’s. Here, I do not refer to Schmidt’s visit, which we’ll all have forgotten about in two weeks.
RED DAWN OVER SESAME STREET! Sheesh, I have to give the producers of Sesame Street the benefit of the doubt here and assume that this was the result of either pirating — they pirated Mickey Mouse, after all — or a rogue Chinese producer outsourcing to North Korea. Anyway, suspicions immediately fall on the notorious figure who just has to be behind this.
HA! HAPPY FUGGING BIRTHDAY TO YOU, TOO, fugging Comrade! Don’t try to blow smoke at me and tell me the fattest guy in North Korea is actually popular with the scrawny masses who are watching their kids’ hair turn orange from malnutrition. We’ve known otherwise for a long time. Even the initial morale boost over the missile test, if there was one, has proven fleeting.