North Korea today is by all accounts a fairly unpleasant place to live; short on food, big on tyranny, and with a
psychotic musical marionette
for a leader. Amongst the political class, however, it is like a soothing aromatherapeutic balm of gravitas and consensus. North Korea is a rogue state run by evil men with nuclear weapons. Everyone agrees, which is why a
recent essay by Bruce Cumings
in the London Review of Books is so refreshing.
It's a scholarly tour of the recent history of the nation, that reminds the reader how entangled the US already was on the Korean peninsula leading up to the Korean War. Unlike say Kuwait, or Somalia, where the US inserted itself as a white knight, in Korea the US was already there in the wake of the Japanese defeat in WWII.
The American role since 1945 raises another enormous problem of balance and bias, beginning with the simple fact that Rhee, Park and the KCIA's Kim would not have come to power without American backing, and continuing with the common assumption that the US has been an innocent bystander for the past sixty years, having nothing to do with the nature of either Korean regime. Rhee was 70 in 1945, a patriot of the old school who would have been a leading politician in a right-wing regime, perhaps, but had no real political base in the country. In August 1945, the State Department recommended to the American occupation command that Park and Kim be purged for their servile collaboration with Japan (Park got a gold watch from the puppet [Chinese] emperor P'u Yi). Five years later, the US joined the Korean War and carpet-bombed the North until every man, woman and child was living in a tunnel or a cave. Five years after that war ended, the US installed nuclear weapons in the South and kept them there until 1991. Any rudimentary attempt at balance must account for these well-known facts.
This is accompanied by a partisanship more usually associated with another much talked about expeditionary force: he considers Clinton to be the only US President with a worthwhile Korea policy.
There are a few disappointing moments where partisanship disintegrates into boorish culture war - one would think that an academic at the University of Chicago would be able to look up the meaning of "defeat in detail" rather than dismiss it parenthetically - but I still found it a good read. His similarly partisan
2003 breakdown of the North's nuclear capability
is also interesting.
More Reading on North korea
Most Popular on South Sea Republic
The articles that have been viewed the most:
Most Popular Restaurants in Phoenix
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Most Popular Hikes in Arizona
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Alternate Australian Constitutions
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
Archives For South Sea Republic
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
Who Is Cam Riley
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.
Websites Worth Reading
Websites of friends, colleagues and of interest;