Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

July 26, 2007

Tyranny Can Kill You

by Doug Mataconis

Yet more evidence from North Korea:

About 430 North Koreans have died of hunger in a northern region of the impoverished communist country in the past month because of chronic food shortages, a South Korean aid group said. North Korean authorities have said illnesses were to blame for the deaths, but the Seoul-based Good Friends aid agency said they were caused by long-term malnutrition. The agency did not say how it obtained the information.

430, of course, is a small number compared to the millions of victims of the North Korean regime.

H/T: QandO

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  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    There was a videotape that leaked out of North Korea a few years ago showing people literally starving to death in the streets.

    North Korea’s collective farming system, plus several years of drought conditions and poor irrigation techniques combined with a lack of arable land have pretty much destroyed their capacity for agricultural self-sufficiency. The only reason Kim Jong-il is able to stay in power right now is because he gives the lion’s share of the food resources to the military (and he has them doing a lot of work with the harvests as well). But eventually that’s not going to be enough to sustain even current production levels, and I’d surmise that as soon as the food for the military runs out, so will Kim Jong-il’s time.

  • Buckwheat

    The obligatory libertarian lite post from our resident neocon mole, Doug Mataconis.

    A for effort, Doug! You’re a real Stakhanovite.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/05/07/reparations-for-guam-insanity-squared/ Doug Mataconis

    Buckwheat,

    So you’re saying that the regime of Kim Jong Il is perfectly fine by your strange definition of libertarianism.

    I’m not talking about invading this country, just condemning its leaders for the murderers that they are.

    Hopefully, it won’t be much longer before Beijing, the last regime in the world protecting the Kim dynasty withdraws its support and the whole thing falls like a deck of cards. And, oh yea, total economic isolation should work just fine.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/05/07/reparations-for-guam-insanity-squared/ Doug Mataconis

    The only reason Kim Jong-il is able to stay in power right now is because he gives the lion’s share of the food resources to the military (and he has them doing a lot of work with the harvests as well). But eventually that’s not going to be enough to sustain even current production levels, and I’d surmise that as soon as the food for the military runs out, so will Kim Jong-il’s time.

    Agreed, although there have been rumors over the years that the Chinese may step in and remove Kim themselves if things become too unstable too quickly.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    I think that Kim serves as a useful proxy for the Chinese by rattling our cage from time to time, so until the North Korean military turns on him or until the influx of refugees from North Korea becomes a flood, I’d say the Chinese will probably not try to remove him. He’s essentially in hock to China anyway and they could shut down the country or kick him out of office any time they want by just cutting the power they import to North Korea or shutting down that trading zone they have on the border. Chinese support is pretty much the only reason that country has lasted as long as this.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    UCrawford,

    By and large, I agree with you. The refugee issue is the one thing that could cause the Chinese to withdraw support.

    In addition to that, though, the Chinese clearly have a desire to be taken seriously in world affairs (whether that is good for the world is another question), and their continued propping up of a murder like Kim doesn’t sit well in certain parts of the world. If they thought it necessary to sacrifice him, I bet they would.

  • TanGeng

    Come on! Don’t give Doug grief just because he is pessimistic about Dr. Paul’s chances. I generally think that the people aren’t ready for libertarianism. Not yet anyways. The baby boomers have been taught to tolerate government. Whereas the younger generation can see the benefits of de-regulation the older generation do not think that way. It certainly seems like an unreasonable leap of faith for them.

    I will say though, the pendullum is swinging and the future will favor us more, voluntary because they see the logic of libertarianism or involuntary because the country can no longer afford such programs.

  • Amy

    TanGeng…

    I think you may underestimate the Boomers. My mother 68 and my mother in-law 77 are both ready to pull the trigger on Paul. (These are just two examples, there are more) Why? Blame it all on the current admin. These ladies are staunch conservatives, have seen enough history to know it is tragically repeating. They both have no confidence in a democratic vote. They want a change– they are fearful for our country!! Imagine that!!

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