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Lincolns in North Korea

Filed under: International Affairs
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As you watch the hysterical, (as in hysteria, not as in funny), funeral procession of Stalinist lodestar of the 21st century, still-dead Kim Jong-il of North Korea today, take a look at the limo on top of which Kim’s coffin is being carried.

It’s a 1975 Lincoln Continental limousine, held over from Kim’s father, the very dead, but eternal President of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung. Even Kim’s mega-portrait gets a limo.

No one does cult of personality like the North Koreans. They are unsurpassed in history at totalitarianism.


  • Also notice all those buildings not built to the curb, and the hideous cobra-head streetlights!!!! It’s like everything’s frozen at 1975.

  • Alan Bedenko

    I read “cobra-head streetlights” yesterday for the first time and had to look up what it was I was supposed to be upset about. That’s such form over substance stuff that frankly EVA should be handling. I think his “landlords are being jerks” point was much more salient.

  • Jim Holstun

    Alan continues his bash-North-Korea-thon. If you’re interested in understanding the American role in producing this situation, you can read for free a substantial excerpt from the history of the Korean War by Bruce Cumings of the University of Chicago. Go here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34737893/THE-KOREAN-WAR-by-Bruce-Cummings-book-excerpt. Cumings describes the way in which the US kindly treated Korea to bomb tonnage in excess of all those dropped in the Pacific Theater of WWII–lots of napalm.

    For a little more recent history, you can read here how the Bush Administration destroyed the prospect of an anti-nuclear arms treaty with North Korea: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n23/bruce-cumings/wrong-again.

    And for more of Alan’s continuing series, “KRAZEE KOREANS! HOW RISIBLE THEY ARE!” you can check right here.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Yes, it’s the Americans’ fault that the Kim dynasty oppresses its people.

      There are plenty of Kim & Juche apologist blogs available for your perusal elsewhere. I recommend you follow them and delight there in all things family Kim.

  • Jim Holstun

    Alan, you are either a mighty fast reader, or you are engaging in more stupid name-calling. I’m guessing the latter, if you think that Bruce Cumings is an author of “Kim and Juche apologist blogs.” Really, I know it’s just a local blog, but maybe you might want to take a breath, read a few paragraphs, and learn something?

    Or maybe not. Hey, tell us about your bloggy responses to Kim’s crazy-ass haircut!

    • Alan Bedenko

      I’ve learned quite all I need to learn about North Korea from many sources.

      If you don’t think it’s interesting that a Stalinist regime is busy using 40 year-old limousines built in a country with which it has no trade or formal diplomatic relations, then I have no idea why you’d read this, much less comment on it.

      So far, every comment you’ve posted here has been to chide me for being mean to the murderous totalitarian dictator, and explain how the US was really bad to the North during the Korean War, (which pretty much jibes with the best anti-American DPRK propaganda).

      And I’ve repeatedly said that, whatever the UN forces did in the early 50s doesn’t excuse what the Kim family is doing today. Maybe we could blame Nixon for what the Khmer Rouge did to Cambodians, but really the proximate cause of that suffering was Pol Pot, not the US. Likewise, the blame for North Korea’s totalitarian misery lies solely with its own regime, not with anyone else. Quite literally, the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea (the leadership of the North Korean Communist party) could disband its army, liberalize speech, assembly, and political activity, and throw open its borders tomorrow. That it refuses to do so isn’t even George W. Bush’s fault.

  • Jim Holstun

    Alan–you may have learned all you need to for the purposes of a jejune blog posting, but how much is that, if you haven’t even heard of Bruce Cumings, the foremost American historian of Korean, Chair of the History Department at the University of Chicago, etc. etc.? Your childish rhetoric about “being really bad to the North during the Korean War” sounds a little hysterical.

    That aside, you raise an interesting analogy: of course, the Khmer Rouge was primarily responsible for the Khmer Rouge’s murders. But would they have risen to power in the form they did without Nixon’s massive prior bombing campaign (see William Shawcross, SIDEDSHOW)? You need to take a baby step beyond your Siskel-and-Ebert-style “thumbs up, or thumbs down?” approach to dictators to thinking about the role that the US may play in setting them up and propping them up.

    Why is this important? Well right now, even as we type away, the US and Israel are discussing the “triggers” for a joint bombing campaign against Iran: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/28/u-s-israel-discuss-triggers-for-bombing-iran-s-nuclear-infrastructure.html. As the war drums beat louder, it might be useful for US citizens to find out something about the history of Iran–for instance, the fact that the US and the UK organized the overthrow of its last democratically-elected government in 1954, along with invading and occupying countries on either side of it and engaging in a covert terrorist campaign inside the country. This might help us to understand their fears and hostility, so that we don’t assume that bombs are the only way to talk with those crazy people.

  • THUMBS DOWN TO ALL DICTATORS!!!

    Pundit, if you’re referring to the post I think you are, that really had Pulitzer candidate written all over it, no–?

  • Mike Chmiel

    All of these arguments by Mr. Holstun would be more compelling if Alan Bedenko was instrumental in devising US policy toward North Korea in the 1950’s, or if he was somehow also pushing the US toward war in Iran. Given that he is not, it appears both statements can be logically held:

    (1) The US Government acted inappropriately in the 1950’s regarding North Korea and possibly right now with regard to Iran; and

    (2) Kim was an evil despot whose death can be safely celebrated by lovers of freedom around the globe.

    However, I cannot abide by Mr. Holstun’s apparent argument:

    “Inappropriate actions by the US justify mass murder and suppression of human rights by a dictator some 60 years later.”

  • I see that Jim Holstun is on the Kim Jong Il “hate America” train. Hey Jim, keep up the anti-America propaganda coming from the University of Chicago, Harvard, and Columbia University, the very places that gave us Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Hussein Obama, aka Harold J. Bunnell. Great job, comrade.

  • Jim Holstun

    And I cannot abide Mr. Chmiel’s “apparent argument” that puppies should be kicked, cut, and set on fire. That’s just wrong, Mike!

  • Max

    My inner motorhead is begging me to ask: “What is the Lincoln running on?” If I’m correct, that beast had Ford’s 460 under that expansive hood and you know well it required premium – and lots of it. You can’t run a beast like that on reconstituted rice juice. Besides, the masses don’t have enough rice to eat anyway.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Max, the North Korean party apparatchiks want for nothing. If they thought it made a difference, or a higher-up demanded it, they’d go find premium gas with gold flakes in it.

  • Colin

    Alan, you should avoid trying to talk about history. You’re out of your depth.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Colin, you should avoid being a patronizing little shit.

  • Joseph Coppola

    AS A ROMAN CATHOLIC I FEEL MAY HE REST IN PEACE. AS AN AMERICAN COMBAT VET I FEEL THAT THE ONLY GOOD ONE IS A DEAD ONE. THOSE POOR PEOPLE THAT SUFFER SO MUCH FOR THESE TURDS.

    • Alan Bedenko

      The only good what is a dead one?

  • Joseph Coppola

    GIVE ME A BREAK! ANY TINPOT LIKE WHO DRAGS SUFFERING PEOPLE THROUGH THE HELL THAT KIM JONG IL DID FOR THOSE KOREANS. A EVIL DICTATOR. A GODLESS SCUMBAG. THERE MUST BE A SPECIAL SPOT IN THE DOUBLE HULLS OF HELL FOR HIM.

  • Grace

    Jim Holstun? The Jim Holstun who is a professor at SUNY-Buffalo? (Proof that SUNY-Buffalo will hire anybody, Jim Holstun?) Don’t you have better things to do than to expose the holes apparent in the liberal educations of strangers on the internet? Get a life. So, you know who the chair of the Dept of History at the University of Chicago is. WHO CARES??? You know what I think? I think that you have been a mediocre piece of crap all of your life and need someone to blame, so you decided to blame the Jews. I have read your writings. You can try to hide your criticism of Israel behind a facade of Marxism and social justice, but Jim….Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim…You are nothing but a garden variety Jew-hater. And, everything you say is just swathed in your resentment of them. Get a life. Go pick on your “intellectual equals” in your Ivory Tower in the land of Who Cares. You need a girlfriend.

  • Grace

    Academic liberals are to the Left as the Religious Right is to the Right: You get us off task with your skewed ideology, which has no application in the real world. You are an English professor. That does not make you an expert on anything else, Jim. You are an inconsequential blowhard, like a lot of people with opinions. Unfortunately, you have mistaken your job description as a license to tout your bigotries, prejudices, misunderstandings, and sophomoric political views as gospel to a bunch of impressionable teenagers and 20-somethings still with a smatter of afterbirth about them. I am sure that scores of college co-eds find you “intense,” “brilliant,” “radical,” “heroic,” maybe even sexy, but to a real woman you still have a smatter of afterbirth about you, and to a man of your age and bfi that is a little pathetic, Jim, and not at all sexy. Again, get a life.