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