to Death: Wall Street Journal’s Solution to
By Mike Whitney
18, 2017 "Information
- The editors at the Wall Street Journal have
settled on a plan for ending the crisis in North
Korea. Starve them to death.
kidding. In an article titled “Options
for Removing Kim Jong In”
the WSJ’s editorial board suggests that the US use
“all of its tools to topple the North Korean regime”
including, of course, vital food imports which keep
women and children from facing an agonizing death by
starvation. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
North is especially vulnerable to pressure this
year because a severe drought from April to June
reduced the early grain harvest by 30%. If the
main harvest is also affected, Pyongyang may
need to import more food while sanctions
restrict its ability to earn foreign currency….
the regime survived a severe famine in the
1990s, today the political consequences of a
failed harvest would be severe. …. The army was
once the most desirable career path; now
soldiers are underpaid and underfed. North
Koreans will not simply accept starvation as
they did two decades ago.
Withholding food aid to bring down a government
would normally be unethical, but North Korea is
an exceptional case. Past aid proved to be a
mistake as it perpetuated one of the most evil
regimes in history. The U.N. says some 40% of
the population is undernourished, even as the
Kims continue to spend huge sums on weapons.
Ending the North Korean state as quickly as
possible is the most humane course.”
(“Options for Removing Kim Jong In”, Wall Street
The WSJ editors think that depriving people of
enough food to stay alive is humane?
how cheery they sound about the fact that “40% of
the population is (already) undernourished”, as if
they’re already halfway towards their goal. Hurrah
for the US embargo, still inflicting misery on
innocent people some 6 decades after the war!
these people who grow up in our midst, attend our
schools and universities, live in the same
neighborhoods , and go to the same churches? Where
do these monsters come from?
reminded of what Harold Pinter said in his Nobel
has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we
ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they
refer to a term very rarely employed these days
– conscience? A conscience to do not only with
our own acts but to do with our shared
responsibility in the acts of others? Is all
as hell is dead at the WSJ, that’s for sure. Dead as
And what is
starvation supposed to achieve anyway? What’s the
change, of course, isn’t that what it’s always
about, installing a more compliant stooge to follow
it is. But how’s it supposed to work, after all,
depriving people of food isn’t like giving them guns
and training them to topple the regime, is it?
not, in fact, there’s not even the remotest chance
that the plan will work at all. None. But it will
help to punish the Korean people for the behavior of
their government. It will do that. And it will
generate more suffering, unhappiness and misery.
That much is certain.
if the shoe was on the other foot and North
Korea had the power cut vital food supplies to
people in the United States. Sure, it’s far
fetched, but just think about it for a minute.
How would you react? Would you gather your
neighbors and friends together to concoct a plan
to overthrow the government?
The idea is
ridiculous, isn’t it? The editors at the WSJ know
that. These are educated, intelligent men who
understand how the world works and who know the
impact of particular policies. They know that
starvation isn’t going to lead to revolution.
That’s just not going to happen.
support a policy that won’t work?
question, but that’s where we have to veer into a
very gray area of analysis, that is, trying to
understand why some people are so morally malignant
that they seem to enjoy inflicting pain on
others. Why is that? Why are there so many cruel
people in positions of power and authority?
Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a
contributor to Hopeless:
Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK
Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle
can be reached at email@example.com.
article was first published by
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