One of the easiest ways to realize just how dangerous men like Jimmy Cater are to the health of the nation is to listen to the stories told by survivors of North Korea's gulags. Listen to Jimmy Carter blame America for the living conditions of North Koreans, and then read about Shin In Geun's burning, bubbling flesh inside Camp 14 of the North Korean gulags.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Shin In Geun’s story, you should. All of it. Shin is a survivor of the North Korean gulags, and his experiences offer the world another example of just how evil the North Korean regime really is. It’s 2012, and there are still places in the world that actively seek to strip people of their humanity in ways that are difficult to fathom. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t realize it, a situation that’s made worse by “comedians” like George Lopez. (He spends his time comparing Sarah Palin to genuine tyrants.) In recent memory, I can’t think of a better example of the “useful idiot” than Jimmy Carter, who went into North Korea, only to come out and hold a press conference to announce that the United States was guilty of war crimes!

Read these excerpts from Shin In Geun’s story, and then think about Jimmy Carter’s surreal North Korean conclusions:

His first memory is an execution. He walked with his mother to a wheat field, where guards had rounded up several thousand prisoners. The boy crawled between legs to the front row, where he saw guards tying a man to a wooden pole … Guards stuffed pebbles into the prisoner’s mouth, covered his head with a hood and shot him. …

The chief’s lieutenants pulled off Shin’s clothes and trussed him up. When they were finished, his body formed a U, his face and feet toward the ceiling, his bare back toward the floor. The chief interrogator shouted more questions. A tub of burning charcoal was dragged beneath Shin, then the winch lowered towards the flames. Crazed with pain and smelling his burning flesh, Shin twisted away. One of the guards grabbed a hook and pierced the boy in the abdomen, holding him over the fire until he lost consciousness.

Shin awoke in his cell, soiled with excrement and urine. His back was blistered and sticky. The flesh around his ankles had been scraped away. As his burns became infected, he grew feverish and lost his appetite.

Shin guesses it was 10 days before his final interrogation. It took place in his cell because he was too weak to get up. For the first time, he found the words to defend himself. “I was the one who reported this,” he said. “I did a good job.” His interrogators didn’t believe him. He begged them to talk to Hong Sung Jo.

Shin’s fever grew worse and the blisters on his back swelled with pus. His cell smelled so bad, the guards refused to step inside.

Knowing that there have been millions of stories just like Shin’s, what would prompt Jimmy Carter to do anything other than to condemn the heinous regime responsible? How could Carter blame the United States for anything involving the plight of North Koreans? Food meant for starving people went to the military—not the kids looking for undigested kernels of corn from inside cow crap. (Again, read Shin’s story.) There is literally no excuse whatsoever for pointing fingers at anyone other than the animals in charge of the North Korean asylum…and yet Carter did so anyway.

Every day I try to give my political opponents the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe they’re well-meaning, but dangerously-naive folks. When George Bush was in office, liberals attempted to portray the man as someone who looks into the mirror each morning as his shaves and wonders how to make the world a more despicable place. I never wanted to think that way about my ideological opponents, but Jimmy Carter has to know the truth. He has to. And yet, through his words and actions over the years he’s found new and inventive ways to blame the United States for the litter left behind by dictators and despots.

Perhaps Jimmy Carter should have consulted Kang Chol-Hwan, another gulag survivor and the author of The Aquariums of Pyongyang, before he sat in front of a microphone and served, however briefly, as the mouthpiece for the North Korean regime. The only thing that I can think of is that Carter is a seriously deranged, mentally ill old man. But that still doesn’t explain his time in office… Regardless, all Americans should keep Carter’s track record and sick statements in mind when the occasional liberal pundit calls him “the best former president” we’ve ever had.

Update: My review of Escape from Camp 14

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

20 comments

  1. There’s no explanation for homicidal insanity, or the insanity of Carter, his minions and fellow travelers.

    Keep your eyes open — and your knees loose.

  2. For conservatives, the name “Carter” is like waving a red cape in front of a bull, so I guess it’s no surprise that you failed to understand what Carter was doing, or even bothered to try to understand it. There is nothing in his speech that specifically defends the North Korean regime, and if you listen carefully, you’ll notice he explicitly refers to the needs of the “Korean people” when criticizing western powers for not providing food aid, not the needs of the government. Carter wasn’t in North Korea to saber-rattle, he was there to help get food to starving North Koreans. That’s pretty obvious to anyone who doesn’t have their ideological blinders on. I’m certain he understands full well how monstrous the North Korean regime is and how they created the crisis to begin with, but he also understands that if he wants to quickly help people who are in desperate need, he has to set the political posturing aside and encourage western powers to do what he believes is morally right. Carter also knows that the North Korean government is listening to him, and that if he starts attacking them publicly, any chance of getting food aid to Starving North Koreans would be lost.

    There’s a strong argument to be made that what the North Korean regime is doing amounts to using its people as hostages in exchange for western aid, and that by playing into this, western powers are merely enabling the regime. But in the meantime, real people are still starving and dying. Despite more than fifty years of bellicose rhetoric and hard line policies, the regime is still there, and it still sucks. So if you want to help people, maybe a different approach is needed.

    It’s tough dealing with loathsome people you’d just as soon see wiped off the face of the earth, but the real world is a complex and difficult place, and sometimes, to do the right thing, you have deal with horrible people and make tough decisions that may not make you very popular with certain groups back home. But Carter was never particularly beloved by conservatives, so I doubt the opinions of the unhinged conservative base matter much to him.

    Incidentally, it’s true that Carter was a peanut farmer. He was also a submarine officer for the US Navy during the Cold War and was directly involved in the early development of nuclear submarine propulsion systems. http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq60-14.htm
    Agree with his politics or not, Carter has done more and sacrificed more in the service for his country than most Americans ever will.

    1. Well Said Lantz. I hate when people take something as serious as this guys story and turn it into some kind of propaganda for American politics. Unbelievably selfish and petty. I suggest you read the book again, Douglas. This time try not to be such a selfish prick.

    2. We now know what you hate, Jambo. Want to know what I love? When people comment on my blog who strain their brain and the best they can come up with to add to the conversation is to call me things like a “selfish prick.”

  3. Remember when the Clinton administration tried the “Let’s give Kim Jong Il a Michael Jordan signed basketball” approach to starving North Koreans and nukes? I hate to tell you, but it’s not me who has ideological blinders on.

    Carter’s service to his country is irrelevant to the topic at hand, since I was not denigrating his service, but questioning the sanity of a man who holds a press conference and blames the United States for the plight of North Koreans. Playing nice with Kim Jong Il never amounted to anything, and press conferences like the one Carter held are only used by the regime for propaganda purposes. Jimmy Carter feels good about himself, the gulags stay open, and the regime gets a PR victory. Real smart.

    There are ways of dealing with tyrants. Google “Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union”. If I was a betting man I’d say that a few things might pop up.

  4. North Korea is a living testament to what energy scarcities can do to a nation.

    What Carter probably means to imply is that we, as a nation of quantity, could be doing more. But as politics have shown time after time, why should our government do anything about a country that has nothing to offer us in terms of resources? Think about the American occupation of the Middle East—do you really think we care about corrupt regimes? If we did, we’d be all over North Korea. It’s always about the resources. And the only reason why we care about the corrupt regimes in the Middle East is because they make it difficult for us to get our hands on their oil. That’s why we help appoint leaders that make it easier for us to exercise some corporate control in their countries. Remember Venezuela?

    Welcome to the age of the American empire.

  5. Porlandweirdo, I have a class project for you: Try looking at satellite imagery of North Korea. Do you see that big black hole? That’s North Korea. Do you see all those sparkling lights? That’s South Korea, where thousands of American troops have ensured their safety and prosperity for quite some time. I think your theory about scarcity is a little off. Try thinking about things in terms of free societies and fear societies and you might come to a different conclusion.

    1. …Your assignment proposal just validated the energy scarcity argument of NORTH Korea.

      And as for American occupation of South Korea, if you think American troops are there simply to ensure the safety and prosperity of the South Koreans, you have a very naive outlook on our political intentions.

    2. North Korea has plenty of resources. It’s not our fault they oppress their people instead of tapping into the human capital and creativity inside them to unlock those resources. And when did I imply we were in South Korea for solely (no pun intended) the South Koreans? I didn’t, and even though you were apparently itching to call me naive I’ll explain.

      We ensure their safety, but we also do a lot more than that. An American presence in the region has served as a check on China and helped pacify an area that would be anything but peaceful if we weren’t around. It’s in our strategic interest to be there, and judging by the wails and moans any time we threaten to draw down…I think a lot of South Koreans get it too.

      You want to see a world war happen real fast? That’s exactly what will happen if the United States shrinks too much from the world stage.

    3. You wrote in response: “That’s South Korea, where thousands of American troops have ensured their safety and prosperity for quite some time.” I’m pretty sure anyone with a half a brain knows any military occupation is for their own political/economic interests.

      I think you give the U.S. too much credit when it comes to policing global affairs. You imply by such statements as “check on China” and “an area that would be anything but peaceful if we weren’t around” that the U.S. has a hand in controlling global affairs, and that is a dangerous and misleading statement.

  6. The U.S. does—and should—have a hand in controlling global affairs. We are the freest nation to ever exist. Who would you rather fill the vacuum in our absence? China? Iran? Russia?

    And we have a Status of Forces Agreement with South Korea, which many people (perhaps even you?) don’t know about or understand. It isn’t an “occupation” in the sense you portray it. A SOFA isn’t a one-way street. It’s mutually beneficial.

    You seem quick to throw out words like ‘naive’ or phrases like, “anyone with half a brain…” when I have been rather tactful with you. Interesting… Regardless, that’s fine if you think my statements are “dangerous.” I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’ll just continue being dangerous out in the open where everyone can see.

    1. If you must know, your nationalist statements seem dangerous because they deny that we are vulnerable because we are somehow “above” all the other nations in our political ideologies. Our ideologies will do us no good if we keep an attitude of entitlement, as many American politicians have of the U.S. I would be cautious to imply any impervious stance to readers because that simply isn’t the truth.

      The key to our superpower status is cheap and plentiful access to energy. Without this, our capabilities as a global police are threatened; the American military would be reduced to a bunch of men standing around with guns. Any political intention the U.S. has stems from the most important but oft-overlooked event in American history: the peaking of American oil in 1970.

    2. The men I served with always did their best to live up to the Seven Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.

      I do not believe the American military would ever be reduced to merely “a bunch of men standing around with guns,” money or no money. You do, which is why I post almost all the comments I get on this blog. Eventually, guys like you will reveal their true feelings. Thank you.

    3. I lived in America for 5 and half years. Growing up I lived in 7 different countries, and 2 more in my adult life. The only place I felt more constrained and out of touch with reality than when I was living in America was China. What you have in the U.S. is not freedom. Everyone is forced into towing the line, supporting the war, etc. Everything is so politically correct that no one actually offers a real opinion on anything. The most advanced countries in the world are in Europe, particularly Scandinavia. Anyone who has travelled knows that.

    4. “Anyone who has traveled know that.”

      Maybe you feel constrained because all you know how to do is throw out ad hominem attacks (i.e., “selfish prick”) and make statements where the only “advanced” option is to agree with you. You’re a joke, and since you’re funny and sad all wrapped in one I’m glad you commented. It saves me a lot of time not to have to explain what guys like you are all about.

  7. You misunderstand me—I did not degrade the troops and what they stand for. I simply painted a very blunt picture that would show the realities of energy scarcities for the U.S.—our military would be severely affected. It’s not so much about money as it is cheap oil. Please do not dismiss this fact—it is too often overlooked by the public, but if more people understood this, they would see how integral cheap oil is to every aspect of the American life, instead of focusing on how gas prices affect their paychecks. It would affect national security, and global stability, too.

    If you read my previous comments carefully, I asserted the importance of energy in political intentions. North Korea suffers from energy scarcity, while the U.S. does not have anything to gain from helping North Korea other than to give into food aid demands because of nuclear threats. You must, as well as the American citizens, understand the importance of cheap energy to our role as a superpower.

  8. You misunderstand me—I did not degrade the troops and what they stand for. I simply painted a very blunt picture that would show the realities of energy scarcities for the U.S.—our military would be severely affected. It’s not so much about money as it is cheap oil. Please do not dismiss this fact—it is too often overlooked by the public, but if more people understood this, they would see how integral cheap oil is to every aspect of the American life, instead of focusing on how gas prices affect their paychecks. It would affect national security, and global stability, too.

    If you read my previous comments carefully, I asserted the importance of energy in political intentions. North Korea suffers from energy scarcity, while the U.S. does not have anything to gain from helping North Korea other than to give into food aid demands because of nuclear threats. You must, as well as the American citizens, understand the importance of cheap energy to our role as a superpower.

    1. I will take you at your word. In regards to energy, the U.S. has more than enough natural resources to take care of its needs without relying on the likes of crap-turd regimes like Saudi Arabia. The problem is that we castrate ourselves. The world laughs at us because we’re awash in natural resources, yet we tie our hands behind our back for any number of environmental concerns…

    1. And anonymous posters rarely offer anything worthwhile to the conversation. We’ll call it even.

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