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March 16, 2005
We're Rubber And You're Glue

The North Korean government issued one of its silly contradictions today, backing away from multilateral talks after agreeing to them earlier because Condoleezza Rice won't take back her description of the Kim regime as an "outpost of tyranny":

"It is quite illogical for the U.S. to intend to negotiate with the DPRK without retracting its remarks listing its dialogue partner as an outpost of tyranny," the spokesman said in comments published by the North's official KCNA news agency. ...

"This is, in the final analysis, little short of indicating it will not to hold the six-party talks. She can make nothing but such outcries as she is no more than an official of the most tyrannical dictatorial state in the world," he added.

Yes, when we have multiparty elections, the Dictatorial Party always ensures the same outcome. This schizophrenic break from reality typifies the response one gets from tyrannies once they get challenged by democracies willing to stand up to their thugs-in-chief. Plain speaking inevitably leads to shaming the tyrants and exposing the weak-kneed among ourselves and our allies. We saw it when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the "Evil Empire," a description that caused the Western Left to moan and gnash their teeth but gave hope to the victims of Soviet oppression that America meant to do something to help, after forty years.

The same has held true for plain speaking in the Bush administration. Bush called Iran, Iraq, and North Korea the "axis of evil" early in his first term, and moral relativists the world over professed their scorn for such simple-minded terms like "evil". They would rather avoid such terminology, because evil identified becomes either evil opposed or evil embraced. In Kim's case, after having starved ten percent of his country's population to death, the shoe fits, and the world needs to choose whether it embraces Kim's rule or opposes it.

Words matter, and tyranny means something rather specific. Kim's playground games with Rice only shows the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the DPRK. Her statements reflect the reality of Pyongyang and the need for North Korea's neighbors to hold the Kim regime to account.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 16, 2005 6:59 AM

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