Tuesday, August 26, 2003

le parcours des blogs

I spoke too soon. Robert and Kevin DID post some gems.

The Marmot, blogging from the comfort of his new burrow at blogs.com, writes about the recent SK-NK Universiade fracas here. In reference to staging anti-North protests, the Marmot writes:

OK, now normally, I'd say that international sports events are not the time to pull shit like this, especially near the sporting venues. Sports are about sports, not politics. However, this is not a normal time - frankly, this Universiade has been highly politicized from the very beginning, and most of those politics have been of the "We Are One" / "These games will help bring peace to the peninsula" extreme bullshit kind. Being that's the case, I say, fight on my brothers!

And the Marmot's fangs plunge deep into North Korea's neck:

PS: Note to the North Koreans, who are now demanding an apology and that the protestors be punished: bite me - this is a free country, no thanks to you, and if you don't like hearing free citizens voicing their opinion, then perhaps its best that you get your asses on the next flight back to Pyongyang, where you can go back to orchestrating anti-American demonstrations to your hearts' content.

Koreabloggers, I'm discovering, have long been sick & tired of the whole Korean "demand an apology" game. I'm beginning to join their ranks on this. It's part of a larger victim-culture. Chief Wiggles recently got pissed at an Iraqi arms dealer who was complaining about all that the US was doing wrong:

All day long we entertain sources bringing forth the worst possible news of the trouble running in the streets of this country. We hear story after story of weapons dealers in their neighborhoods, counterfeiting operations around the corner, stockpiles of weapons in people's bedrooms, anti-coalition meetings going on, people trying to build up armies against us, attacks on our soldiers, criminal acts going on just down the street, illegal smuggling from neighboring countries, extortion rings, people wanting permits to arm themselves, stolen property being sold, aircraft being hidden, looters, rapists, and on and on.

That is what I listen to all day long. One guy came in under the guise of having a friend who heard on the radio we were giving rewards for weapons being turned in. He was actually an arms dealer trying to find out if he could sell the weapons to us, discouraged to find out we were not in the arms business and not willing to work with arms dealers. He went on and on all about how we were making so many mistakes in dealing with the problems at hand. He was saying the U.S. was not doing this right and not doing that right, saying we weren't taking care of all their problems.

Well, I had heard enough, upset by his lack of personal responsibility for some of the problems we are facing here. He is an arms dealer selling arms to people trying to kill us, finding fault with the way we are handling the problems. So I let him have it, asking him why he wasn't doing something to eradicate Iraq of some of the ills permeating their society. Why didn't he and others do their part, why don't they go do something, as patriotic Iraqi citizens to rid the country of some of these problems?

I told him we aren't here to be out front leading the way while the citizens sit in their homes waiting for new jobs or money to drop in their laps, but assisting from behind the lead of the Iraqi people. This is their country and their responsibility to deal with the problems at hand, with our assistance.

He actually took it well, acknowledging his role in contributing to the problem and how he should do something positive to perpetuate goodness and hope.

I was content with his answer, as he asked me if I could help him get his job back where he used to work, wondering if I would write a letter to his ex-boss.

I think a lot of the Koreablogs are screaming the same thing at Korea. How many Koreans are reading and internalizing this message, though...

Like the "Star Wars" Emperor, the Eric Hoffer-quoting Kevin can fire bluish-purple lightning from his fingertips. In this edition, his Incestuous Amps strike no less than the Chinese government, which Kevin sees as covering its ass by being openly stern (cough) with North Korea only a couple days before the big talks. Rather sudden, this sternness. Kevin writes:

The fact that party sources are feeding this to western media 2 days before the talks start is a pretty clear signal that they're attempting to deflect any (American) criticism of indifference. They obviously want it well-known that they're on the right side of the table and are working hard to give themselves a "well, we did our best" response when the talks are stuck in neutral.

There has been similar speculation that the US is taking much the same approach. It makes sense for us, if we're truly not taking the military option off the table. Colin Powell must not be allowed to offer the "informal written guarantee" of nonaggression!!

There are lingering questions about how stern China will be when push comes to shove. Kevin again:

And how far are the Chinese willing to go to "ensure" that denuclearization? Participation in a blockade? Completely isolating the Norks? What level of assurance will they be comfortable with once the denuclearization process begins? Will they force the door completely open or be convinced with a few cameras and 4-5 IAEA insepctors wandering around blindfolded?

I'd normally say, "Hey, China! Put it in writing!" But this is Asia. Putting something in writing doesn't mean shit.

Come to think of it, maybe it doesn't matter if we give NK an informal written guarantee. It'll be the same grade of toilet paper as whatever other documents issue from the talks.

Kevin's conclusion about the articles he reviews:

These 2 articles are a concerted PR effort by the Chinese government, and I'd bet they're aimed at both North Korea and the United States. A warning for the former and a plea for a pat on the head from the latter. Until we start seeing concrete action instead of quotes from Commies...this isn't significant in the overall scheme of things.

It's depressing, but I agree. I don't think we can expect much to come out of these talks. NK might provide some hysterical drama, but it'll add up to little more than the usual brinksmanship.

By the way, do you spell it "brinksmanship" or "brinkmanship"? "Toward" or "towards"?

Ah. According to Webster, "toward" and "towards" amount to the same thing.

Hmmm. Same for "brinksmanship" and "brinkmanship."

If you think they're bombing the Iraq-Turkey pipeline too much, wait'll the bombers hear about this!

ArnoldWatch: More meditations on Arnold's look. I think he needs to lose that damn hair dye. That's channeling Reagan a little too closely.

America's home-grown Taliban! Killing children to exorcize demons! Yaaaaay! In this case, the demon was autism, but we won't talk about that.

France's pile of corpses...

7,000-year-old clay crotch discovered in Germany! You think I'm kidding, don't you.

At Winds of Change, the following disturbing paragraph:

Has Germany made Europeans the new cash cow for Islamofascists? The German government is refusing to comment on reports it paid in excess of $5 million to secure the release of 14 Europeans being held hostage in the Sahara. The Germans say a multinational force is being organized to hunt down the kidnappers, but if the force is only now being organized, any money that changed hands will be long gone even if the kidnappers are captured or killed.

MLK had a dream. So does Earl.

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