Ignorant Antagonisms and Petty Aggression: Stephen Harper’s Naive Condemnation of Kim Jong-il

The Dear Leader had died; rejoice. The man who best typifies the modern-day super-villain is no more. Another in a long line of recently departed ruthless dictators. What a year it’s been!

I am happy this man is no longer breathing, he was a cancerous growth preventing the integration of a small, impoverished nation. He was a kleptocrat. We must shed ourselves of such people if our species is to have any hope for continued evolution.

But to his people, to the North Koreans, he was a living God-King. A contemporary Pharaoh. He, like is father before him, exercised absolute control over a small and nearly completely closed society. Existing in total isolation, the North Koreans are prisoners of their own peversely manipulated minds. They should not be condemned to suffer for the crimes of those who ruled them mercilessly.

This is why I am shocked with Canada Chairman & CEO Stephen Harper and his ‘tough-guy’ comments regarding Kim Jong-il’s death. They are the comments of a foolish individual pretending to understand the significance of this seminal event.

Generalissimo Kim’s death may lead to a new period of détente between the Korean halves, especially considering Kim Jong-un’s youth and European education (he may be legitimately interested in pursuing a reformist agenda, but not if we continue to demonize his father and grandfather). Yet Harper, demonstrating his near total lack of comprehension of the plight of the North Korean people, decided the best approach would be to remind the North Koreans it is their responsibility to choose a new and better alternative to the despotic regime they toil under.

It is not a choice, Mr. Harper.

And, what’s more, the North Koreans cannot hear you. Their media is thoroughly controlled by their government, and we are very, very low on the list of concerns and priorities of the DPRK. So if they aren’t paying any attention to us, why rattle some sabres?

It is the perennial Canadian inferiority complex, manifested by individuals hell-bent on restoring the apparently missing machismo of Canada. Perhaps its because we’ve never started a war for fun and profit, perhaps because our nation was not born of blood and savagery between men on battlefields at home and abroad. Either way, we, unlike many other prominent world leaders, decided not even to suggest that this was a situation worth monitoring, or, that it provides an opportunity for renewed diplomatic efforts. No, quite the contrary, Harper used typical corporate newspeak to describe the ‘moving forward process’ that’s ‘in the hands of the North Korean people’, as a PR hack might in the same fashion after a senior executive is charged for insider trading.

What Harper fails to realize is that the People of North Korea have no choices. Yes, they are slaves. So why condemn them to some awful fate as a result of the decisions made by the kleptocratic oligarchy created by the cartoon character above and his equally unstable father?

And why didn’t a well-respected nation such as our own extend our condolences to the clearly bereaved North Korean People? Whether we agree with their bereavement or not is immaterial, a good chunk of their population can be assumed to be legitimately upset by his passing. And if we want change in the Korean Peninsula, why not open a new door to dialogue with the inexperienced Kim Jong-un?

We know who Kim Jong-il was, the people of the DPRK do not.

For me, this is not that different from Rick Perry’s now infamous Kim John II gaffe.

We should demand a higher awareness from our elected officials, and at least a modicum of decency, diplomacy and above all else sympathy for a mislead people.

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