Friday, April 5, 2013

Why Do We Laugh at North Korea But Fear Iran?

    Friday, April 05, 2013   No comments

In the United States, we make fun of Kim Jong Un and the North Korean regime's over-the-top propaganda machine. The regime may have launched a massive cyberattack on South Korean banks and TV stations last month, but we were circumspect that they were capable of such a thing. When former basketball player Dennis Rodman visited the country in February we giggled. How silly, we thought. Kim Jong Un is a Dennis Rodman fan - how out of touch! Soon after, a video emerged from North Korean state television showing Kim welcomed by jubilant masses of soldiers sprinting to welcome him as he visited a posting from whence rockets were launched in a brief 2010 skirmish with South Korea.

Again we chuckled at how staged it seemed. Just a week or so previous, a propaganda video came out showing images of Barack Obama and American troops on fire, and just before that, a sleeping Korean dreaming about a rocket destroying an American city. At these, we guffawed. We mocked the use of "We Are the World" and music from the video game Call of Duty as a soundtrack; we called one video " bizarre from start to finish"; " hilarious and disturbing "; "hilariously low-rent"; " cartoonish ." When the United States beefed up its missile defense network in California and Alaska to protect from a possible North Korean attack, we noted they wouldn't have the brains to actually hit us, and asserted that " no one's taking them that seriously." The propaganda, the rhetoric, it's all seen as a grand joke. Desperate, harmless hyperbole from a scorned and neutered country.

A man starves his own people and threatens to start a nuclear war, and Americans laugh. What a bizarre thing to do.

Meanwhile, we shirk in fear at the unhinged other leg of former President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" tripod: Iran...


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