Wednesday, August 08, 2007


North Korea lecture by Swanger

It's fortunate that Dr. Eugene Swanger, Director and Professor of East Asian Studies at Wittenburg University for 33 years and a lecturer for the Department of State, has such a calm demeanor. Otherwise, one would be tempted to run screaming into the streets after one of his lectures on China, Taiwan or Korea. Truly, I'm surprised the "Peace with Justice" people (nonviolence, social responsibility), want him around for this special week. As I noted yesterday, the truce that pulled our troops out of Korea over 50 years ago resulted in millions of deaths by starvation in the north and the most repressive regime in the history of the world. What little is known about Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, his heir, (both are considered dieties) comes from defectors who have written books. Dr. Swanger provided a bibliography:
    Fujimoto, Kenji. Kim Jong Il's Cook; I saw his naked body. WaPo review
    Kang Chol-hwan. Aquariums of Pyongyang; ten years in the North Korean Gulag. (horror and deprevation)
    Kim Hyun-hee. Tears of my soul. (Blew up an airliner)
    Lee Soon-ok. Eyes of the tailess animals. (Read a chapter)
    Sin Sang-ok. Kingdom of Kim. (Kidnapped film director)
The take away of the lecture: "North Korea has never kept any agreement with any country."


Anonymous said...

Wow, 50 years. That was my father's war. (Mine was in the early 90's and if they will have me after multiple forms, papers, and reviews of x-rays, very soon)

If our freedoms were valuable enough for my father to fight for, then I as his son must continue to protect and defend our liberties.

I will be blessed if I should be half the man my father was, and yet half again the man of my grandfather. I may evidence this by securing the liberties and freedoms we so cherish for my children. This I make my life's work.

Despite the shattered families, broken homes, and lost children; I feel that there are enough - now barely enough- to defend our nation against the attacks it faces from many fronts. If men and women of character, faith, and resolve answer the call we can vanquish the enemy within as well as our external foes.

It is as true now as it was then; "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand"; This was true for President Lincoln as it was for Jesus.

We must support the United States of America or oppose Her there is no middle ground. There are many who oppose her for a myriad of spurious reasons. Global Warming, interception of international telecommunications, Kyoto, Kosovo, Katrina... who can possibly know their reasoning. Gay Marriage, Polygamy, Welfare, Crop subsidies, Socialized Medicine, these are but a few of the many topics on which there is political debate.

However none are as important as the preservation of our Union. Preservation of the United States of America in which we enjoy freedoms unknown anywhere else in the world. The USA, a government older than any in Europe, the USA where we can speak our minds without fear of jail, or brickbats, or pillory. The USA where our greatest political opponent is a different opinion.

This is not a matter of Democrat or Republican; black or white, Christian or Moslem or Jew, it is a matter of survival. There are many who hate us for our existence, both as a nation and individually. There are many who hate us because of our success as an industrial nation: those who hate our unionized workers who earn a wage to support their families, and who hate us for our freedom to invest our wages in the corporations in which we ourselves, and others like us, work so that we may reap the benefits of our hard work, and the work of our children as we retire. These angry people hate us because we work for a living and invest a small portion in the ideas and dreams of others to build a better tomorrow for all of us.

Upon ourselves we built this nation. The bridges our grandparents built carry us to the office buildings our parents built into the offices and cubicles where we toil over our computers to use the capital - both fiscal and human - they have provided to us to build hopes and dreams for our children. This however is not to demean those who toil, most assuredly even harder than I, building, maintaining, engineering, and supporting all of the infrastructure we so often take for granted. My grandfather was a steam fitter and my father a CPA after the war. It is through their hard work that I am able to drive to my office every day and push my papers.

I wish I could do the work of my fathers, perhaps then we could all find value in what we do rather than opposing the most liberal (in the traditional sense) and lasting government in the world.

I wish the Air Force Nursing recruiter would call me back with good news. I owe it to my dad, and yours.

Norma said...

Goodness. Well said, friend. I had no idea you were planning to enlist. That makes two librarians with blogs that I know of. Not sure that can balance what else populates our profession, but you guys are trying.