Slave to the Blog: The History Repeats Itself Edition
“The first time is tragedy, the second time is farce.”
--Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
Well, with sincere apologies to Ambassador Mark Lippert, we’ve clearly reached the farcical stage. A knife-wielding nutcase imagines himself as some latter day Ahn Jung Geun. It takes lunacy of operatic intensity to draw equivalence between the assassination of the consul of an occupying power and an attack on an ambassador to a wholly free, independent, and democratic country. To make matters worse, North Korea praised the attempted murder as “a knife attack of justice” and “just punishment for US warmongers” underlining the moral bankruptcy of the North Korean regime. It is hard to imagine anything more odious.
As a species, we need people who are held inviolable regardless of circumstance. It is essential that there is a mechanism through which countries can talk. An unprovoked attack on a diplomat is an attack on civilization itself.
But farce always seems to play well north of the 38th parallel.
North Korea bans foreign runners from Pyongyang Marathon over fears of Ebola.
North Korea re-opens Pyongyang Marathon to foreign runners.
(I wonder if James Pearson's health insurance policy covers whiplash?)
Perhaps North Korean diplomats engage in useful intercourse with people from other countries. But reading the paper one would be forgiven for thinking that they are mostly devoted to scams. To wit: news last week that Son Young-nam, the first secretary of the North Korean embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh was arrested trying to smuggle into the country almost 60 pounds of gold worth nearly $1.7 million. The BBC reporting is worth quoting at length to get a flavor of the episode:
“Mr Son initially refused to allow customs officers and police to examine his luggage.
'He insisted that his bags cannot be scanned because he's carrying a red passport and he enjoys diplomatic immunity,' Moinul Khan, head of Bangladesh's customs intelligence department told AFP.
Mr Khan said the diplomat was told that more than 2kg of gold could not be brought into the country.
'After more than four hours of drama, he gave in and we found gold bars and gold ornaments weighing 26.795kg (59lb), which is worth 130 million taka ($1.67m, £1.1m),' he added.
The gold was confiscated and the diplomat was released under the Vienna Convention.
However, Bangladeshi authorities have said they plan to prosecute Mr Son.
Mr Khan added: 'It's a clear case of smuggling. We believe he would have sold the gold to a local criminal racket. He is being used as a carrier.'”
Son was indeed expelled from Bangladesh on Monday.
Cheering on murderous cretins. Diplomats serving as mules for South Asian gangsters. The final fumes of juche.