BULLYING NORTH KOREA?

 

Yes, the DPRK (North Korea) is a dreadful place with an absolutely dreadful dictator, but I can’t get the over the feeling that the huge media driven fuss we’ve had about the Seth Rogen comedy (concerning a CIA plot to kill Kim Jong Un), the actual hacking of Sony Pictures computers and the ostensible “freedom of speech” concerns, is just hypocritical overreaction if not outright bullying of North Korea. Even President Obama’s reproach of Sony for initially pulling the film, didn’t really ring true: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States”.

Oh yeah? What about Chinese pre-censorship of such Hollywood films: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Battleship, Iron Man 3, Men in Black 3, the disaster film 2012, Red Dawn and many others, ensuring that “…a generation of Western film-goers will basically get only a positive, sanitized view of the Chinese in their films.”

I’ve discussed this issue before so there no need to go into it in any depth, but perhaps a plot outline of the last film mentioned is necessary since it involves North Korea. Red Dawn is a remake of an 80’s film where Russia invade America. In the new 2012 version, MGM initially had the PRC doing the invading till the Chinese pre-censors raised their eyebrows and the DPRK was hastily substituted. So far I have not heard of any American politician chiding anyone for imposing such pre-censorship on the United States.

Setting aside hypotheticals on freedom of speech, what about the actual hacking of Sony pictures computers (allegedly) by North Korea? Wasn’t that a real crime, a cyber-terrorist attack? Perhaps, but China has hacked US weather systems, satellite networks, major corporations, research facilities and even the Pentagon. China stole actual U.S. weapons systems designs and U.S. military war plans from the Pentagon, and not just emails of Sony executives as North Korea is alleged to have done.

The American government has responded to the cyber attacks by PLA’s Unit 61398 – whose well-guarded 12-story white headquarters on the edges of Shanghai has become the symbol of Chinese cyberpower – with a surreal policy of “naming and shaming” , which according to a N.Y. Times report has proved devastatingly ineffective.

According to South Korean Intelligence Service (NIS) it appears North Korea’s cyber attacks were commited under China’s tacit consent, if not actual supervision. NIS described seven North Korean hacking organizations and a network of spies operating in China. It is also claimed that  that there are about 1,700 North Korean hackers and 4,200 supporting agents active in China. That number is said to be increasing.

Holding small third-world dictators up to ridicule is a way for a Western filmmakers to strike provocative and topical poses while still playing it safe. Trey Parker and Matt Stone in their yahoo-jingo Team AmericaWorld Police (2004) performed a wholesale demolition job on Kim Jong Il and for good measure on Hollywood liberals who opposed the Iraq invasion.  Sacha Baron Cohen poked safe and profitable fun at tiny Kazakhistan with his “Borat” (2006) and later at a non-specific Arab despot in “The Dictator” (2012).

Someone in China who saw “The Interview” commented online “If we made a comedy that said ‘Assassinate Mao’ the result would be unimaginable. Don’t ‘like’ my post or I’ll get detained.” It might have crossed his mind why intrepid filmmakers in the “Free World” were constantly making movies about taking down Kim or some other third world dictator, but never Mao or Xi Jinping, and perhaps made him reflect on the wisdom of the old Chinese observation “man shang qi xia” (flatter the strong and bully the weak).”

Comments

  1. Joe | December 28th, 2014 | 3:06 am

    NAILED IT ! As you always do !

  2. TENPA | December 28th, 2014 | 12:04 pm

    Thank you Jamyang Norbu la. I agree. I was embarrased for President Obama as he tried to put up this posture of standing for democracy and freedom while cowing down to CCP, the most powerful force that is behind almost all that is wrong in the world today. What hypocrisy! No one is condoning North Korea’s crazy evil empire but this is bullying someone who cant retaliate and poor subjects end up suffering more.

  3. karze | December 28th, 2014 | 1:33 pm

    Obama was forced to host sate dinner to Hu. While Obama condemn the brutality else where in the world by small time dictators like Kim, Mugabe etc yet when it comes to China he barely condemns China and instead support China through such a utterance we support sovereignty of China over Tibet before speaking meekly about Human Rights in Tibet.

    Its our naivety to believe that good behaviour aka non violent approach will win in the end. Its brute force and $$$ that chart the course of the history.

    While Obama lectures Kim and his types while he kowtow to much bigger despots in China and Saudi Arabia.

  4. ngawang chophel | December 28th, 2014 | 1:59 pm

    Politically it is a right step in dealing with China by dealing with North Korean first. It is the trend most efficiently used in throughout the history of the world beginning from first world war to all the minor war that America fought for, and this calculated moves by US is major step in bringing China and its allies on its knee. I am impressed about how the America political maneuver was played out especially through United Nation this time. Keeping in view all the requirements that we need daily, such as cheap shoes,cloths, computers and toys, it is an impeccable decision to continue making shoes for us, but rather dismantle and isolate them to reduce their influence on the world.
    More the world isolates China , more leverage we can have on them including war.
    Ngawang Chophel

  5. Jamyang Norbu | December 28th, 2014 | 4:55 pm

    Gabriel Hartnell posted this on Facebook. To add to the list of sanitised views of the CCP, Transformers 4 (spoiler alert: don’t bother watching it) is a terrible offender here; half of it is set in HK just to attract Chinese audiences, and the CCP are presented as benevolent professionals who come to save Hong Kong. And this was released during the protests and probably got more media space… China must love US companies’ willingness to ditch freedom of speech and X amount of other ‘ideals’ for cash, and now they can just help North Korea with hacking while the US can blame somebody other than China and keep hold of the cash; all the suits are happy!

    This ‘honest trailer’ makes this point and everything else wrong with Transformers 4 well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5vEfa7UvI

  6. padmaLand | December 28th, 2014 | 5:05 pm

    Has time come for Tibet to launch an all out offensive tactical war on China. Is any Tibetan serious enough to oust Chinese from Tibet by all means…and claim back Tibet. Is it time to chart another course for the Tibetan movement….one that is detached from Buddhism, egoism and procrastination…a true revolution…I think it will come soon and it is a question of when, not if. I can’t wait for the time, when everything for China is going wrong….websites hacked, dams blown, troops killed, markets bombed, leaders assassinated … and this is whoever is reading in Tibet …..་བོད་རང་བདག་བྱེད་རྒྱུར་ཚེ་སྲོག་གཏོང་དགོས་རེད་ འོན་ཀྱང་་་་་རྒྱ་རོ་ཚོར་འདོད་རྔམས་གྱི་གཟི་བའི་དབང་འདོད་མ་གཏོགས་སྙིང་རྗེ་གཏོང་གི་མ་རེད་ ཁོ་ཚོར་དུད་འགྲོའི་བློ་ཞིག་མ་གཏོགས་མེད་ཙང་ དུད་འགྲོ་ལྟར་བཀོལ་དགོས་པ་རེད་

  7. TENPA | December 28th, 2014 | 5:06 pm

    Its just my opinion but i feel that besides some humanitarian work UN exists as a platform so that US and China both can make deals to further their agenda.

  8. karze | December 29th, 2014 | 11:56 am

    @4 That is classic case of American and Western hypocrisy. US is in fact arming China with MNF status and virtually every thing on American mall shelves are made in China.

    Now Chinese even censor American on its own soil in heart of its democracy – university campus through Confucius Institute. The much acclaimed Stanford even refused to give doctorate to one its student for his strong opposition to Confucius Institute.

    Confucius Institute sets agenda like what can and cannot be taught, who can and cannot speak on American soil.

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  10. whiteiscolour | December 31st, 2014 | 5:25 am

    Today’s world is all about money and power and self-interest driven politics. Everything is else is just a show.

  11. karze | December 31st, 2014 | 1:04 pm

    @10 The world has been always like that – its only we Tibetans blah blah all sentient being – in reality we are so naive.

    50 years ago Palestinians and Tibetans were almost in similar predicament. Today they have moved forward is almost close to achieving independence. But we have regressed from independence to autonomy to uncertainty …..

    China has garnered the support of all business, government, media and even the intellectuals.

  12. ? | December 31st, 2014 | 4:42 pm

    One day, the Buddha sat down in the shade of a tree and noticed how beautiful the countryside was. Flowers were blooming and trees were putting on bright new leaves, but among all this beauty, he saw much unhappiness. A farmer beat his ox in the field. A bird pecked at an earthworm, and then an eagle swooped down on the bird. Deeply troubled, he asked, “Why does the farmer beat his ox? Why must one creature eat another to live?”

  13. Gabriel | January 1st, 2015 | 6:06 pm

    Good point above about Confucius Institutes; not only does the US allow the CCP to insert propaganda into its films, but even into the minds of it’s youth. But not North Korea; just as barbaric, but ‘co-incidentally’ don’t have any money.

  14. karze | January 4th, 2015 | 10:16 pm

    Maoists in China given New Life by Xi Jinping:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/world/chinas-maoists-are-revived-as-thought-police.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

  15. What Dreams May Come | January 5th, 2015 | 6:20 pm

    Are there many political, academic, business, private, institutions left in the West that hasn’t sold out to China for money, and opportunities?

    I remember Yahoo aiding and abiding the brutal Chinese regime, by producing Email evidence against Chinese Rights activists, the better to convict them in a Chinese kangaroo court. Later, CCP still kicked Yahoo out for not swallowing all of it.

    Now Facebook slobbering after China and willing to do whatever to bamboozle the people of the world. They are itching to sell out the beliefs and values which nourished and sustains their youth and culture. Google regularly deep six “sensitive” sites, like China Uncensored. Poor Chris!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf6__FS6Y-0

    Speaking of Chris, there is another Chris, Chris Bolton, who, when asked by CBC, if he had, “left a dark cloud hanging” because of his sudden resignation as the Chair of the Toronto District Schools which secretly signed an agreement with the Chinese regime to brainwash Canadian kids said, “What dark cloud? I only see sunshine and opportunities!”

    What would such a person not compromise for opportunities? Frightening thought. Would he sell out Canada? Ofcourse he would, and did, and blamed the Confucius Institute controversy on the falun gong haha.

    Many say, this is the ground reality, as if such idiom was written in stone and therefore inviolable. The ground reality argument is usually employed to justify the status quo, other than that, its a weak argument to bolster social darwinism of the princes. Sure the ground reality is what it is in nature, what the sciences tell us what they are. Animals are trapped in their ground reality I guess, but the human animal is a thinking, social creature. The world is what we make of it and that is why we live in a house, and not in a cave. A caveman could have drawn that to live in a cave is the ground reality and he would have been right still if there were no such things as Change, evolution of human intelligence, great thinkers and ideas.

    Ofcourse like Chris Bolton, we are all self serving hypocrites, and maybe this is human, all too human.

  16. karze | January 7th, 2015 | 1:05 am

    PRC’s 50 cent bloggers busted.

    http://qz.com/311832/hacked-emails-reveal-chinas-elaborate-and-absurd-internet-propaganda-machine/

  17. What Dreams May Come | January 8th, 2015 | 6:45 pm

    Here is a tube clip of orville schell’s take on what China really thinks about a genuine relationship with the US, and the rest of the seemingly free, democratic world.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mze919OMAwk

    Poor pro demo loving people of Hong Kong, CCP will just mess with their heads but will never actually give them an inch of freedom. Got to keep pushing back.

    Meanwhile the free world will continue to kowtow and cower under CCP pressure, just as the West and especially large segment of the western mainstream media cower and balk at publishing Mohammed cartoons.

    Understandable with the Charlie Hebdo Murders and the assassination of Danish cartoonists before but the primary threat to the free world comes from China and not so much from those stupid religious fanatics. I mean, what was the point of the murders? Now even more people are goggling Mohammed cartoons then if the murders never took place. Ofcourse it could be religious/political thing, we all know how potent that is haha.

    I guess all religions breed fanaticism to some degree, it comes with the territory you might say. But some religions are over the top with extremists. Ofcouse I have read and heard many times that Islam is a religion of peace.(unless you happen to draw a cartoon of their pedophile prophet.)

    Has Islam learned nothing from all those back thumping inter-faith religious sessions and exchanges that goes on every year? I guess not.

    The Onion makes a good point but if you are a man(or woman)of god/faith, or, pious or/and prudent, I pray you, DON’T CLICK THE LINK BELOW!! Just some arrogant atheist antichrists at the Onion making fun of us as usual. 🙁

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-murdered-because-of-this-image,29553/

  18. What Dreams May Come | January 8th, 2015 | 6:48 pm

    jesus what the hell, ok try again

    Here is a tube clip of orville schell’s take on what China really thinks about a genuine relationship with the US, and the rest of the seemingly free, democratic world.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mze919OMAwk

  19. What Dreams May Come | January 8th, 2015 | 6:49 pm

    Poor pro demo loving people of Hong Kong, CCP will just mess with their heads but will never actually give them an inch of freedom. Got to keep pushing back.

    Meanwhile the free world will continue to kowtow and cower under CCP pressure, just as the West and especially large segment of the western mainstream media cower and balk at publishing Mohammed cartoons.

    Understandable with the Charlie Hebdo Murders and the assassination of Danish cartoonists before but the primary threat to the free world comes from China and not so much from those stupid religious fanatics. I mean, what was the point of the murders? Now even more people are goggling Mohammed cartoons then if the murders never took place. Ofcourse it could be religious/political thing, we all know how potent that is haha.

    I guess all religions breed fanaticism to some degree, it comes with the territory you might say. But some religions are over the top with extremists. Ofcouse I have read and heard many times that Islam is a religion of peace.(unless you happen to draw a cartoon of their pedophile prophet.)

    Has Islam learned nothing from all those back thumping inter-faith religious sessions and exchanges that goes on every year? I guess not.

  20. What Dreams May Come | January 8th, 2015 | 6:50 pm

    The Onion makes a good point but if you are a man(or woman)of god/faith, or, pious or/and prudent, I pray you, DON’T CLICK THE LINK BELOW!! Just some arrogant atheist antichrists at the Onion making fun of us as usual. 🙁

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-murdered-because-of-this-image,29553/

  21. What Dreams May Come | January 8th, 2015 | 6:52 pm

    Admin please can you clean up this mess? My one long post didn’t go thru so I chopped it to bits. So, can you like, clean it up? Thank You.

  22. What Dreams May Come | January 14th, 2015 | 12:32 am

    China lauds Facebook’s blocking of dissident’s account

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/8/inside-china-china-lauds-facebooks-blocking-of-dis/

  23. karze | January 14th, 2015 | 12:11 pm

    Why blame China we Tibetans even in exile laud Xi Jinping.

  24. What Dreams May Come | January 15th, 2015 | 6:03 pm

    Strange for a Tibetan to say,’why blame China’,but i get your point about us lauding Xi in the slim hope of obtaining a dialogue with the might is right(oops, I mean the Rule of Law loving)tyrants in Beijing.

    It may seem there is no difference between us Tibetans sucking up to China and Facebook sucking up to China but there obviously is a big difference as almost 200 Tibetan self immolators have demonstrated with their very lives in the dream of a non oppressive Tibet for Tibetans.

    Meanwhile, the billion dollar facebook corporation just want to make more money, and if it takes selling facebook user information to China and other governments like the USA, and censoring Facebook users,playing politics, well, they probably consider that good business practice.

    Facebook is accountable to no one but profit, and in that endeavor they wouldn’t think twice about aiding CCP jail Tibetan and Chinese Rights activists/intellectuals/lawyers in the future, while we Tibetans in exile ARE accountable, are responsible for trying to alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Tibet.(Even though we in Exile have by and large been unsuccessful in this regard, many have good intention)

    Surely the difference is in the motivation, no?

  25. karze | January 20th, 2015 | 10:47 am

    Of course we to blame ourselves. We can’t protest or shame Chinese leader or burn Chinese flag because there is too many restriction placed not by Chinese.

    Why Palestinian got global attention and support because they cried, protested and fought while we want to calm, peaceful, dignified while Tibetans are butchered left and right in Tibet yet we do not want to embarrass Chinese.

  26. What Dreams May Come | January 28th, 2015 | 5:07 pm

    You are a good man Mr. Chu.

    Chu Fook-keung, former Director of Government Records Service of Hong Kong said, “A coward would not want to let you know what he has done.”

    Ofcourse he was reacting to the Chinese regime’s masterful politics of falsehood that never sleeps, and maybe from the regime’s perspective, a small sacrifice, if that is what it takes to keep the people from dreaming of real change.

    Thought provoking article on how far HK law and politics are compromised…….

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1226294-seeking-to-save-record-of-occupy-central-from-destruction/

  27. Buddhist outsider | February 28th, 2015 | 5:10 pm

    I don’t understand why people still stick soo much and claim Buddhism is against armed struggle..it isn’t!!!

    Non-violence is not equal to non-struggle!!!

    people please weak up!!

  28. Ngawang Lungtok | February 24th, 2016 | 12:46 pm

    I felt somewhat same way but didn’t took the research as you did. You nailed it! Literally! I believe it is humans’ subconscious mind that erupts with humor only when a inferior quality or class is mocked tinged with little absurdity. Similar is with the films these days where the truth has gone so out of style that for the views and money, people are neglecting the very basis of art and creativity. The motive behind this movie at first was to mock CCP-I heard- but didn’t happened due to poof! You all know it… Censors— USA is afraid of China as it seems and it keen on bullying gulf and poverty ridden states were they could have initiated better steps towards real improvement rather than just bombarding and creating movies like “Dictator” and “Borat”

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