Friday, May 29, 2009

Korea expert Aidan Foster Carter's hack job

Aidan Foster Carter is a long time Korea watcher. For the past 40 years he has written and commented on matters Korean. His thinking is much sought after, especially in parlous times as today's. Surfacing the web, Guamdiary came across Foster Carter's ingenuous thoughts in Singapore's 'Straits Times', entitled 'Pyongyang's many faces of menace'. It is not worthy of Aidan Foster Carter. He has dragged up every accusation against that 'evil Kim Korean dynasty' for the last century. It is the work of a hack who should have known better since it avoids dealing with the facts.
North Korea's a 'rouge state', says he. Well how different is it from George Bush's US in invading under false pretenses and well laid lies Iraq? But that's much the point. Nowhere does Foster Carter deals with the causes of the current standoff between Pyongyang and the US & co. Nowhere does he lay the blame where it belongs in the White House's Oval office. President Barack Obama reacted badly to Pyongyang's launch of a telecommunication satellite in early April 2009, even though North Korea had announced in advance its intentions.
The US then seized the UN Security Council calling for sanctions against Pyongyang in violation of Resolution 1718. Mr. Obama's interpretation is open to question and legally challengeable. Nonetheless, the US was able to ramrod through the call for sanctions unanimously, with Pyongyang's ally Beijing voting for sanctions!
Kim Jong il reacted swiftly. North Korea did three things immediately. It slammed the door on the six party talks in Beijing; it reactivated its nuclear programme; and it pushed for development and testing its sophisticated short, medium, and long range missiles. Lo and behold, it lived up to its words. No one thought it would, but it did. And there was little Mr. Obama & co company could do but wail and gnash teeth and come up with threats of more sanctions.
Now as Aidan Foster Carter full well knows Pyongyang sees the world through a prism of menaces. It remembers all too vividly the massive destruction the US military under the UN flag did to destroy much of North Korea during the Korean War. He is also aware that North Korea is fiercely nationalistic and has a beseiged fortress mentality. Mr. Obama's call for sanctions simply revived old memories and re enforced North Korea's long isolation from the world community.
None of this is found in Foster Carter's musings. In fact, he goes over the top in bundling Kim Jong il with the lies of Muammar Qaddafi and Nicolaie Ceausescu...and by the way why not Hitler or Stalin or any other dictator for that matter?
Missing from Foster Carter's scold is Mr. Kim's tearing up the 1953 Armistice Agreement, thereby potentially turning a frozen Korean War into a hot war which no one really wants.
Korea expert Aidan Foster Carter goes one better. Instead of looking to cool hot tempers and lower anxiety attacks, he is calling for more sanctions and restrictions against Pyongyang. Which in effect is simply asking for an escalation of threats and meances. And before Guamdiary forget, expert Foster Carter says, ah, the key to all this is Beijing. Wrong. Although China is protecting in its own way its ally North Korea, the key to unlock the crisis is the US. Washington has to talk directly to Pyongyang, there is no two ways about it.
Mr. Kim's shredding the Armistice Agreement, allows President Obama with an opening to do a Richard Nixon like gambit with the question of the Koreas, by calling for a reconvening of a Geneva Conference on a 2 party, 4 party, and 6 party formulae which would settle once and for all more than a half century problems unresolved and begging for resolution.
Well gentle readers you won't find this in Korea expert Aidan Carter's contribution in 30 May 2009's edition of Singapore's 'Straits Times'. On the contrary, you will find him grand standing and mouthing the same old claptrap the curious reader would if he had the inclination to go through endless 'opinions' on or about or against North Korea for the last 50 years.
Aidan Foster Carter you may have won Girl Guide points for being a hack, but you certainly did a disservice for trying to use your long experience by trying to see away to easing of tensions on a divided Korean peninsula. Let your friends in high places reward you for hackery, but quite honestly, no one really can rely on you when push comes to shove.

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