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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Demonizing North Korea

The New York Times does its typical job of demonizing North Korea at every turn, in an article about the latest manufactured “confrontation” with “the West” with the ship “suspected” of carrying weapons being shadowed by U.S. warships. Some aspects of the demonization are subtle (some might call them simply racist) - the scattering through the article of words like “inscrutable” and “wily”, or the claim that the North Korean ship currently being tracked by the U.S. has a “rap sheet.”

Other aspects are more substantial. The claim, asserted as fact but which is in fact an unproven allegation, that North Korea supplied Syria with “reactor parts” for Syria’s alleged “secret” nuclear program. Some claims are true, but reveal quite a bit. We’re told that the ship might be carrying small arms which are “banned by the United Nations resolution.” Isn’t that interesting? The U.S. is the biggest arms dealer in the world, and it and its clients have been involved in dozens of wars over the years. North Korea has not been involved in a war in 60 years, it’s hardly a major arms dealer on the world scale, yet it is banned from shipping even “small arms” by the United Nations? Could anything reveal more clearly the nature of the United Nations and its resolutions?

The most serious demonization concerns not the ship, however, but the upcoming North Korean missile test. The author, David Sanger, writes:

Many expect the next missile test — one the North has suggested might be aimed at Hawaii — could come on Saturday. But if your holiday plans call for spending the day on Diamond Head, it is probably not worth cancelling your plans: There is no evidence yet the North’s missiles can reach that far, and their aim is singularly unimpressive.
Imagine. The reason you’re not supposed to be worried if you’re on Diamond Head isn’t because the idea that North Korea is about to fire a missile intended to land (and presumably explode) on Hawaii is utterly preposterous, but simply that their missiles aren’t that good. Of course the reality is that the liklihood of a first-strike on North Korea (or on Iran or pretty much any other designated enemy of the U.S.) is orders of magnitude greater than a first-strike on the U.S. or its allies by one of those "enemies." Many orders of magnitude. Readers of The New York Times, however, will be left, subconsciously if not consciously, with precisely the opposite impression.

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