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Timely Observation and Analogy

Reader comment on item: Korean Delusions [of Appeasement]

Submitted by Ken Hamilton (United States), Oct 9, 2002 at 11:03

As a frequent visitor to the Republic of Korea over many years, I'm amazed at that country's industrial and technological progress, while the North remains backward and impoverished. Dr. Pipes' observations are (as always) completely correct. The ROK hopes to show the North its example and also hopes the North will concede, capitulate, and emulate its southern neighbor accordingly. This will never happen while Kim Jong Il and his cronies remain in power. Any government which represses its people, and allows its children to starve in order to maintain a privileged lifestyle based on an irrelevant ideology, cannot, and will not be persuaded easily by the democratic good works of others.

The similarities between the "Korean Delusion" and the Western/Islamist delusion are glaring. We (the West) continue to believe our good works and democratic and capitalistic societies will be universally and naturally contagious. We naively hope these Islamist-ruled countries will eventually see the "sunshine" and rush to emulate our freedom and success.

Don't hold your breath. As long as Islamist autocracies remain in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and others, with its leaders maintaining a privileged lifestyle while oppressing women and non-believers in the name of a deviant version of some backward-looking religion - the problem will remain.
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