Sunday, January 10, 2010

More ghastly news out of North Korea

Trying to comprehend 23 million people enduing this kind of deprivation is staggering.

And it’s all the more depressing giving how many people just don’t want to know about it.

I often wonder if our descendants will look back on our historical period and wonder how we managed not to pay attention to the truly massive wars and human-driven catastrophes going on in locations like the Congo and in North Korea. It’s not like there aren’t journalists and activists trying to telling us about these places.

Why do we so often fail to focus on the largest incidences of man-made human misery or death?

Sometimes such disconnects are willful.

You only need look back to the 1960s to find a time when many of the West’s academics and reformists were fawning over Chairman Mao, ten years after his economic policies had lead to the deaths of 30 – 60 million of his countrymen.

And such denials go on to this day. When I was living abroad, I knew several Western Europeans who were more than happy to claim that North Korea’s government is no more repressive than those of its neighbors.

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