May 25, 2009
Speaking Ill of the Dead
Yes, yes, I know: "De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est" (do not speak ill of the dead). But why not? I say, go ahead and speak ill of the undeserving dead.
Erstwhile South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun is dead. He threw himself off a cliff today, coward that he was, because he was afraid to face the legal consequences of his corruption. Good riddance to very, very bad rubbish.
As we spoke ill of him several times in the past, we shall remain consistent and speak ill of him in death:
- A Rock And a Hard Peace
- No Samurai Spirit Here!
- Japanese Prime Minister Defies Asian Pressure
- Honda's Chinese Accord
- Next Time, Listen to Your Mother
Roh was not an evil man; he wasn't important enough (or, as is now obvious, brave enough). He was a wicked man however, though you'd never guess from his fawning obituary in the Associated Press. He rose to power as a demagogue, riding -- and fanning -- a wave of anti-Americanism in South Korea, the country which owes its very existence to American blood.
Roh repeatedly insisted that America and Japan were the Republic of Korea's greatest enemies, that we wanted to enslave them, that we had ravaged their countryside with war for no reason, and that we are today allied with the World War II oppressor of Korea (as if the current Japanese government is the same as that of Tojo). Paradoxically (and incoherently), Roh has also condemned us as war criminals for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
(He also once stood at an international conference to deliver a long speech denouncing Japan for trying to colonize Korea; but for a change, he wasn't talking about the Japanese military dictatorship of the 1930s and 40s... he was furiously condeming them for the invasions carried out by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late sixteenth century. Roh Moo-hyun was also, atop everything else, a weirdo.)
In addition, he is most famous for his many acts of petty bullying of the weak and appeasement of the strong:
- Roe made repeated overtures of appeasement and submission to Kim Jong-Il, "president" of the neighboring Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a.k.a., Stalinist North Korea. (Actually, Kim is emperor of North Korea, a position he inherited from his father, Kim Il-Sung, as is customary in monarchies.) On Saturday, Kim referred to Roh as his little buddy... rather, his "lifetime democracy movement comrade":
Roh maintained liberal predecessor President Kim Dae-jung's "sunshine policy" of offering North Korea aid to facilitate reconciliation, holding a summit in Pyongyang with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 2007, the second such meeting between leaders of the two countries that technically remain at war.
"I lost my lifetime democracy movement comrade. I feel like half of my body has collapsed," Kim said, according to an aide.
- Roh precipitated numerous military confrontations with Japan, knowing the Japanese would never fight back; typically, Korean warships would bully, capture, or even sink unarmed Japanese fishing vessels. Once, Roe even threatened to sink a Japanese scientific survey ship if it continued on a planned mission to the Japanese island of Takeshima... which the South Koreans have claimed since 1954 (with no international support), and which President Roh tried to seize by force in 2006.
- Roe did nothing about North Korea's incessant kidnapping of South Koreans and their indefinite detention in prison camps up north; needless to say, he said not a word about North Korea's kidnapping of Japanese, either.
- And in 2007, in response to demands made by the Taliban after capturing seven South Korean missionaries and holding them hostage, Roh ordered his government to pull all of its troops out of Afghanistan -- they were scheduled to leave anyway, but we were in talks with Roh to extend their stay... talks which he abruptly quit after accepting the Taliban's demands. And as part of the deal with the kidnappers, he also promised to prevent Korean Christian missionaries from ever again evangelizing in Afghanistan.
He rode to power on the claim that he was, as AP put it, "a 'clean' leader immune to South Korea's traditional web of corruption." Then he was enmeshed in a scandal and accused, with mounting evidence, of accepting as much as $6 million in bribes:
He previously acknowledged that a local businessman indicted in December in a separate bribery scandal - gave his wife $1 million, which he did not consider a bribe. He also said he was aware the man gave $5 million to another relative but thought it was an investment.
Prosecutors suspect all $6 million eventually reached Roh, and were expected to announce soon whether they would seek to arrest him. His wife and children also were summoned for questioning, and last week his elder brother was sentenced to four years in prison in a separate bribery scandal.
Like many bullying thugs, he turned out in the end to be a craven; he was so afraid of being arrested, tried, and convicted that he left a suicide note on his computer, then went for a walk (with his security detail) and flung himself into the void.
Roh was not a "bad man" in the sense of his demended North Korean soulmate, or even a "strongman" like Oogo Chavez, Robert Mugabe, or Muammar Gaddafi. But he was an enabler of bad men, a coward who led his country into cowardly, dastardly acts, a slanderer of truly good countries like the United States, and a despiser of friendly relations with his nation's allies -- though he certainly seemed to long for submissive relations with his country's enemies. He was a vain, pompous, truculent, dishonest, corrupt, dangerous fool; and the world is better off without him.
As I have said many times, every human life has value, but sometimes that value is a negative number. Sic transit Roh Moo-hyun: Out of sight, out of mind. He will not be missed by many, and the world, including his lifetime democracy movement comrade, will forget him in ten minutes time.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 25, 2009, at the time of 11:25 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/3653
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
...and the world, ... will forget him in ten minutes time.
That would be a shame; We can't learn from the errors of others if we forget them. And this man made so many fundamental errors of judgment, he should be remembered. He could become a benchmark, an icon, an example to future generations, like Quisling, Tojo, Arnold or Fawkes.
The following hissed in response by: Geoman
Remind me not to let you write my obit.
That said, every word you've written is true - his death is no great loss to anyone. I wonder that such an obvious nut could be elected to the highest levels of Korean government, I mean, we would never...ahem...uh...yeah. Never mind.
The following hissed in response by: Jewel Atkins
What is the current relationship like with S. Korea? And what is their current relationship like with Japan?
The above hissed in response by: Jewel Atkins at May 26, 2009 10:41 AM
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