North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il is dead. His third son is believed to be in line to succeed him. Aside from the fact that Kim was a bloodthirsty tyrant, I have two additional complaints.
The first is that his name cannot be written properly in Arial, the font I use. The problem is that a capital i is indistinguishable from a lower-case L. So Kim Jong Il looks like Kim Jong the Second. The only alternatives are to write il in lower case as Kim Jong-il, or write it in Times New Roman as Kim Jong Il. This is annoying.
The second complaint is that Kim disproves the old joke that a king is his father’s son, but a dictator isn’t. Kim was definitely his father’s son, though he was also a bastard in the figurative sense. Kim Il Sung (that’s Kim Il Sung) was the founder of North Korea. He was put in power by Stalin after World War II (that’s 2), when Korea was divided into a communist North and a relatively free South.
But my real complaint is not with the Kims, but with leftists. Leftists I know claim that all the wars America has been involved with since World War II were unjustified, but were instigated by the “Military-Industrial Complex.” I asked them specifically about Korea.
● I asked whether a naked invasion by the North should have been ignored by America and the UN, and if it had been ignored, what this would have meant for the survival of freedom.
● I asked whether they would prefer that South Korea, a thriving nation with a vibrant economy and relative freedom, had been conquered by the North in 1950.
● I asked whether it would make any difference to them if the 47 million people of the South were to live in poverty, starvation, and virtual slavery, like the people of the North − while a well-fed, huge army goose-stepped.
● I asked whether we fought a high-intensity war for three years, and lost 36,940 dead, for the huge oil reserves of South Korea − which don’t exist.
But the leftists were adamant. They could see no good that came from the war. They revealed that they had not the slightest trace of empathy for the Korean people. In effect, they said, “Who cares if millions of people live in near-starvation, or even actual starvation? Who cares whether they lack the slightest shred of freedom? Who cares if they live in North Korea, the world’s largest prison? After all, they’re just Koreans.”
Was the result worth the 36,940 American deaths, plus the deaths of our allies? I believe so. But this is a value judgment, which depends on how one evaluates an American life versus a Korean life − or, to be frank, a Caucasian life versus an Asian life. Of course, the leftists don’t see it that way. In fact, they don’t see it as a question of human life or human freedom at all. They see it as leftists see everything − a question of economics.
Some people made money from the Korean War. So what? Some people made money from World War II. Does this mean that we should have left the Nazis and the Japanese militarists to divide the world between them? Some people made money from the Civil War, too. Does this mean that eradicating slavery wasn’t a worthwhile result? Looking at the world in purely economic terms leads to immoral results. Both leftists and libertarians need to learn this.
Yes, Kim Jong-il is dead. A house didn’t fall on him, but he is really most sincerely dead. What will result? Will his son loosen the death-grip of the North Korean government on its long-suffering people? Will a coup replace the Kim dynasty with something a bit less loathsome? Or will the new North Korean rulers threaten war with the South to solidify their position? And what will happen to the North Korean nukes? Who knows?
All I know is that a brutal dictator is dead. Good riddance.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.