Sign of hope in DPRK?

Video shows North Korean dissidents fighting regime: rights group

Posters of Kim Jong-Il in North Korea were defaced and filmed in November. It’s made its big-screen debut in Seoul to roars of approval.

“Down with Kim Jong-Il,” read a poster filmed by the dissidents pasted on the inside wall of a factory in Hoeryong, a city in Hamgyong province some 500 kilometers (300 miles) northeast of Pyongyang.

Another poster on the cement wall of a bridge pillar in the North Korean city urged citizens to fight for democracy.

“How long must we die of hunger and poverty? Along what path are we being guided? Let the people fight to regain freedom and democracy,” it said.

Let’s assume that these are legit cases, and not the shady work of over-eager documentarians. (As if!)

What do we think happened to the brave soul who wrote those truths?

Nothing, probably. Probably, no one knows his identity.

Of course, if anyone DOES know, he’s dead dead dead. And maybe his family and a few close friends for good measure.

This seems even more meaningful to me, coming as it does the day after we recognize the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. But we need to keep in mind that, as violent as the American South was in King’s day, and as hostile as his enemies were, it was not public policy nationwide to kill King and any who supported him. This is pretty much how things are run in the bad places of the world.

I wrote in November of 2003 about over dozen Iraqi high-school students that disappeared forever in 1981 because of some graffiti:

This brings up a point that is often lost on the anti-war crowd. I’ve been asked several times why non-violent demonstrations and peaceful protest, a la Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr., wouldn’t have been a better approach to the human rights issues in Iraq. (In fact, someone mentioned that Iraq was on the verge of sweeping revolution because the people were fed up with Saddam, and that our invasion probably ended any hope of that happening.)

The reason that the Gandhi approach hasn’t worked in Iraq (or in Iran or in the USSR or in DPRK etc. etc.) is that the potential Gandhis are usually killed off immediately. MLK and Gandhi staged their campaigns in areas oppressed by the United Stated and Great Britain. As oppressive regimes go, we’re softies. There probably were hundreds of Gandhis in the days after the Russian revolution. Those that survived (and their families, friends, and distant acquaintances) ended up in Siberia. Lech Walesa and others were able to achieve success at times, but only because they managed to survive long enough to get the spotlight onto them and world opinion on their side. For every Lech Walesa, there have been thousands that tried. Not cases of tried and failed. Cases of tried and died.

King did great things. Gandhi did great things. This unknown person in North Korea has done a small but great thing. And the risk was greater still.

Frank Warner writes:

Someone in North Korea senses Kim is weak.

Yes. But even the weak, trapped rat is dangerous. More dangerous, in many cases, than one that is not weak or trapped.

So I see this a as a good, brave statement. But not necessarily a harbinger of change. (Originally via Instapundit)

Comments

  1. It’s amazing what a taste, sight, or touch of freedom will give the courage to do in an oppressive dictatorship. And torcik, don’t get your undies in a bunch, I know North Korea is somehow our fault too(according to you), but I think overall America is the inspiration for democracy and liberty. I know, I’m probably just a small minded ignorant pawn of our reppressive regime, but I wonder what the North Korean dictators would call this dissident?

  2. I was just making a point torcik. It seems like every time someone posts about an advance in democracy somewhere, you bring up places that you seem to think we should be involved in to make the world ‘better’. I wish we could enforce democracy in Rwanda, Sudan, N. Korea, China, Cuba, The whole southern and northern hemispheres, but then we’d just be an imperial dictatorship. Personally, I’d love to see it happen, but then America wouldn’t be the place I love anymore. N. Korean citizens are going to have to come to democracy themselves. Same for Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and most of the third world. Pakistan had a democracy, but it was so corrupt, it collapsed on itself. The only viable system of government in that country, for the time being, is a military government. This is not what I would prefer, but the military was the least corrupt system in place. When the Pakistanis are ready for a democracy, and hungry for it, it will happen. Will they be ready for it? I doubt it, but you never know. Afghanistan really surprised me, and I’m very encouraged by the reports coming out. When that high a percentage votes, then you have true hunger for democracy. Would I like to see that worldwide, yes, will it happen in my lifetime, I doubt it. Would I like to see the U.S. stop the massacre of civilians the world over? Yes, but I am not willing to hear the U.N. after 12 years piss and moan over how we straightened things out ‘unilaterally’.

  3. I was just making a point torcik. >>>>>If you wish to make a point, at least attribute to me something I did say It seems like every time someone posts about an advance in democracy somewhere, you bring up places that you seem to think we should be involved in to make the world ‘better’ >>>I just pointed out that the US has a double standard when it comes to promoting democracy while supporting repressive countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt . I wish we could enforce democracy in Rwanda, Sudan, N. Korea, China, Cuba, The whole southern and northern hemispheres, >>>I thought that most countries in the northern and southern hemispheres have democracies. Does the US have an imperial dictatorship. but then we’d just be an imperial dictatorship. >>>>How can a dictatorship promote democracy? Isn’t that an oxymoron Personally, I’d love to see it happen, but then America wouldn’t be the place I love anymore. N. Korean citizens are going to have to come to democracy themselves. >>>>Of course they are. The US is not going to mess with a country that has nukes. Besides there is no oil there Same for Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and most of the third world. >>>>Why not put some pressure on them. The US does nothing to criticize those countries, Has Bush ever criticized the Saudis. All I ever saw was Bush and his Father cozing up the Saudi royal family. Is Bush trying to get some pointers from the royal family when he sets up his imperial dictatorship? Why is Eygpt the second largest receipent of US foreign aid. Is that how you promote democracy. Why didn’t the US say a word when the father of Islamic bomb, Abdul Khan, got caught selling secrets to North Koreans, Libya and Iran.I guess it is ok for our allies to spread WMDs, but not Iraq. How is the hunt for WMDs going in Iraq by the way. Pakistan had a democracy, but it was so corrupt, it collapsed on itself. The only viable system of government in that country, for the time being, is a military government. This is not what I would prefer, but the military was the least corrupt system in place. When the Pakistanis are ready for a democracy, and hungry for it, it will happen. >>>Be careful what you wish for. If Pakistan becomes a democracy, the overwhelming majority will vote for an Islamic republic and they will have Nukes Will they be ready for it? I doubt it, but you never know. Afghanistan really surprised me, and I’m very encouraged by the reports coming out. When that high a percentage votes, then you have true hunger for democracy. Would I like to see that worldwide, yes, will it happen in my lifetime, I doubt it. Would I like to see the U.S. stop the massacre of civilians the world over? Yes, but I am not willing to hear the U.N. after 12 years piss and moan over how we straightened things out ‘unilaterally’. >>>>>I guess stopping massacres of civilian though out the world is really not worth it if you have listen to the UN moan. So much for the American respect for life(except fetuses). I wonder. What would Jesus do?

  4. Oh, and Torcik, America has stopped more massacres of civilian populations out there than anybody else. I was saying that now our enforcement of U.N. sanctions is being called ‘illegal’. Every time America tries to help someone, somebody else gets all pissed and says we shouldn’t. We’re in a no-win situation here. Saudi arabia is having local elections this year, BTW. Don’t tell me that the state department hasn’t been putting pressure on them. We do on most of our ‘allies’ to act in a responsible, and humane way. Do they all listen, no. Do we try, yes. You just want something to piss and moan about. Are you even an American?

  5. You obviously didn’t read and comprehend some of my second comment. Sometimes a country is not ready for democracy, and we can’t force it on them. Not without military force, and that’s not always necessary. Look at how far democracy has come since WWII. It takes time.

  6. Oh, and Torcik, America has stopped more massacres of civilian populations out there than anybody else. >>>Care to give some examples I was saying that now our enforcement of U.N. sanctions is being called ‘illegal’ >>>By Whom . Every time America tries to help someone, somebody else gets all pissed and says we shouldn’t. >>>>More examples please We’re in a no-win situation here. Saudi arabia is having local elections this year, BTW. >>> If the people of Saudi Arabia were given the freedom to choose their own representatives, in the current climate of anger at the United States throughout the Arab world Americans probably would not like the outcome.BTW the elections were delayed Don’t tell me that the state department hasn’t been putting pressure on them. >>>Have we stopped giving foreign aid toEypgt. Has the US stopped selling arms to Pakistan and publicly criticized Pakistan for selling nuclear secrets We do on most of our ‘allies’ to act in a responsible, and humane way >>>>Which of our Allies are not acting in a humane and responsible way. Do you mean Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Eygpt . Do they all listen, no. Do we try, yes. You just want something to piss and moan about. >>>>I am just following your example. You piss and moan about the UN constansly(Are you a member of the John Birch Society). I recall that you wanted to blow it up, Osama would be proud. Are you even an American? >>>>As apple pie

  7. Torcik: Examples? How about trying in Somalia, Panama, Liberia(diplomatic effort), Afghanistan, Iraq,…… Kofi Annan Indonesia Have you talked to many people from that region lately? I have. Sure, there’s some anti-american sentiment, but you’d be surprised at how many of them actually are behind us. It’s not the ‘little guy’ that has a problem with us, it’s the religious figures, Jihadists, and al-jezeera types. No, but do you slap your friends around if they do something you don’t like? No, you try to set them right in a manner that allows you to keep an open dialogue. Oh, BTW, I said we should kick them out, then burn it down. Notice the kick them out part. If I did not use those words exactly, I beg forgiveness, I never meant destroy the building WITH PEOPLE INSIDE!