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.
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)