Video: Mark Steyn on North Korea

posted at 11:17 pm on October 16, 2006 by Allahpundit

Hannity & Colmes had him on to talk about his book but they got sidetracked with the crisis du jour. Too bad. Events are, admittedly, moving quickly and dramatically, but that’s a big audience and Steyn deserved better than having to choose between “we should talk to the nut as part of a group” and “we should talk to the nut one on one.”

I guess they needed more of a news hook than “Mark Steyn’s got a new book out.”

Fortunately, he’ll be on the air constantly in one format or another for the next several weeks.

I recommend the book, by the way, although with greater enthuasiasm for those less familiar with his work. I read him regularly and recognized passages and favorite illustrative anecdotes (e.g., the Gen. Napier suttee incident) from his old columns. Recycled Steyn is still better than new most-anyone-else, but it won’t be a revelation for aficionados the way it will for newbies. If you know someone who doesn’t follow him and whom you suspect would give him a fair hearing — ahem — it’s a perfect gift. And if you order by clicking through on the banner at the top of this page, you’ll make Michelle, Bryan, Ian, and me very, very happy.

Number six on Amazon and climbing as I write this.

Update: Turns out the NorK nuke test involved plutonium, which, believe it or not, actually is good news.

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THE Chinese are openly debating “regime change” in Pyongyang after last week’s nuclear test by their confrontational neighbour.

That was very interesting and very surprising.

EFG on October 16, 2006 at 11:35 PM

After the Cindy Sheehan and Miss (Piggy) Stewart pictures, it is good to see something this good looking, with a fabulous brain to top it. Will order a few books for x-mas gifts.

Things can change dramatically, within days/weeks sometimes.

More than one Chinese academic agreed that China yearned for an uprising similar to the one that swept away the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989 and replaced him with communist reformers and generals. The Chinese made an intense political study of the Romanian revolution and even questioned president Ion Iliescu, who took over, about how it was done and what roles were played by the KGB and by Russia.

Mr Kim, for his part, ordered North Korean leaders to watch videos of the swift and chaotic trial and execution of Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, the vice-prime minister, as a salutary exercise.

What is ‘salutary’? Lil Kim is, well, Lil Kim.

For the North-Korean people and for the world, nothing could be better.

Romania now has a democratically elected government, though challenges remain. Slated to join the EU in 2007, if tough demands are met.

The reputation of the Chinese as world leaders would grow enormously.

Then for changes in their own back yard…

Entelechy on October 16, 2006 at 11:41 PM

I have to put this down as wishful thinking. I can’t see the chinese doing this anytime soon. If they do, I’ll eat Cindy Sheehan’s uterus(or my hat).

eagles5 on October 16, 2006 at 11:50 PM

eagles5, sprinkle some hot sauce on it and eat your hat :)

Sorry that I don’t know the source but I heard on the John and Ken radio show this afternoon that somehow the North Korean people are learning from a variety of sources that Lil Kim is not what he led them to believe. They’re also learning about the nuclear test and a bit more about the outside world.

Could this also be China-related? Here’s wishing that it’s more than “wishful thinking”. I would have lost every bet on the wall coming down in Berlin, the USSR collapsing and the Ceausescus being gone as fast as they were.

There is hope. Oh, what that would do to Ahmi.

Entelechy on October 17, 2006 at 12:09 AM

I’m halfway through America Alone and, just today, had copies shipped to my father and an uncle, directly from Amazon. My father, in most respects a sensible evangelical conservative, recently treated me to a lengthy defense of his favorable views of European politics. Soon his disillusionment will be complete; I have foreseen it.

My uncle, having ruined his left knee in a marathon, has plenty of time to read right now. I’m hopeful he’ll be fully assimilated into the Collective before the flesh has healed around his new, titanium parts. (Given Mark Steyn’s attachment to show tunes, I think he can scarcely complain about my casting him as the Borg Queen in this metaphor.)

Enough. I have questions for the hosts and the readership. Does anyone “question the timing” of Mark Steyn and Regnery’s release of America Alone? How far am I stretching a point by suggesting that, as publishing events go, the book counts as a bit of an “October surprise”? Given that Election Day is still some three weeks away, does anyone think it’s reasonable to suppose the book will affect the outcome of any races? I’m torn between congratulating myself on a penetrating insight and checking myself into a psychiatric hospital. Help me choose.

Kralizec on October 17, 2006 at 12:28 AM

THE Chinese are openly debating “regime change” in Pyongyang after last week’s nuclear test by their confrontational neighbour.

EFG:

That was very interesting and very surprising.

You’re not actually buying that line are you?

Egfrow on October 17, 2006 at 12:30 AM

Kralizec:

Think of the European languages! Out of French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, etc., how many will be clearly dying in another generation? All. Will the new “Europeans” condescend to speak the languages of dead infidels? No. Is it going to far to suppose that many of the European languages will be dead in another century?

No.

All these languages are dying but they will not be replaced by Arabic, but rather by English. German will be the first to cease to exist. It already has a huge percentage of English in it today. Now even the French and Italian (and really all others you listed) magazines begin to be sprinkled with English words.

Trying to say that Europe is destroying or allowing its cultures and languages to be destroyed, but not only by Muslims or their culture.

Just ordered 5 Steyns and a couple of Fallacis. Sounds so goooood!

Entelechy on October 17, 2006 at 12:45 AM

I’d like very much to comment on this thread.

However, that advertizement of Robin Williams’s movie Man of the Year has me spooked.

It looks like Popeye wearing a wig.

Once I gain my composure, I’ll be back.

Kini on October 17, 2006 at 1:23 AM

Uh. Allah. This is awkward…but my TV is broken…so what I would like to request of you–and Ian–is, um…every single Steyn appearance on TV. Uncut. On this site. I tell you what, I’ll get a new one as soon as I can and let you know as soon as I do. But until then…Thanks! You’re the best!

p.s. Steyn is soft on immigration. But I agree, he’s a good starter for amateurs, I have at some in mind.

p.p.s. Every appearance!…You’re awesome!

Alex K on October 17, 2006 at 1:29 AM

Entelechy (on October 17, 2006 at 12:45 AM),

Thanks for reading and commenting. Your yes/no replies are the ones I was cautiously approaching as I wrote. On the other hand, as causes of dead languages, linguistic borrowings and national extinction don’t seem to have the same rank. Still, you seem to be right that Arabic won’t emerge as the leading language, especially given the diverse origins of Europe’s muslim immigrants; I hadn’t thought of that.

I just finished a long comment on two words of page xvi, by the way.

Kralizec on October 17, 2006 at 3:11 AM

p.p.s. Every appearance!…You’re awesome!

Perfect rhetoric! But … well, then, who knows?

I’m officially out of book money. HTF am I going to keep up now? I’m not even caught up on Sowell.

Will work for books.

Axe on October 17, 2006 at 3:11 AM

PS: Have great internal organs, and type A+ blood. Also have elderly family members with a lot of scrubbing left in ‘em.

Axe on October 17, 2006 at 3:16 AM

PPPS: Will trade Sowell books for TV/Xbox 360…

Alex K on October 17, 2006 at 3:52 AM

I’ve been reading Steyn regularly for quite some time, and his book is phenomenal, but his material is definitely not as shocking for me as it seems to have been for others. If one had read his “It’s the demography, stupid” column that appeared on the WSJ’s Opinion Journal site in January of this year, these ideas of his should be familiar. That column changed how I looked at the war with Islamism. Fantastic. It’s great seeing him get so much attention, however, and I always like seeing him on the tv. On account of his man-candy status, of course. Always hotter than I assume he should be, with a brain like that.

I loved the answer to Hannity’s inquiry about our allies in the world:

“Forget Europe, they’re doomed.”

Excellent.

violet on October 17, 2006 at 5:25 AM

I doubt China will do anything about Kim, but how cool would that be? Kim has his guns facing south, China comes in from the north. Replaces Kim with a softer commie dictator, but still a commie, and in our lifetime we see Korea reunified with a Democratic Seoul as it’s capital. Maybe within a few years of that we’ll see China dump communism for Freedom Capitalism. If it can happen with East Germany and the USSR, it can (and WILL) happen in N.K. and China too.

Tony737 on October 17, 2006 at 5:56 AM

If China dumps the Kim it could be because his antics might cause Japan, Taiwan, Australia, etc to go nuclear themselves. This would make future anschluss’s on the part of Bejing very difficult indeed.

dhimwit on October 17, 2006 at 6:27 AM

“Forget Europe, they’re doomed.”

It’s embarrassing now to think of my old agreement with the treatment the U.S. gave to Serbia and Slobodan Milosevic. Now I don’t know what course of action other than imitating “Slobo” in one way or another could keep Europe from becoming muslim. The right course seems especially clear when one thinks of France becoming a muslim nuclear power. For my part, I’ve reached that happy state of foresighted decency in which I could do to the muslims of Europe what I wish had not been done to the Cherokee, but how many others could I expect to find to share the work? So it seems probable that whole European nations will be lost, instead of merely reaching a nadir and then being renewed. It appears that imams and ayatollahs will acquire European technology, and right now it seems that the best for which we can reasonably hope is to have made that technology obsolete by the time they get hold of it.

“Developing….”

Kralizec on October 17, 2006 at 6:32 AM

On the test being Plutonium:

didn’t I see some talking head on tv the other day arguing that “no plutonium bomb was made,” and heralding this as a Clinton accomplishment? I wish I could remember where I heard that. Wouldn’t this news undercut that claim?

nailinmyeye on October 17, 2006 at 9:51 AM

Steyn is SO quick on his feat. The Republicans need speakers like THAT.

Mojave Mark on October 17, 2006 at 10:06 AM

Calling a plutonium bomb “good news” (vs. uranium bomb) is like calling one form of terminal cancer vs. another good news. Moreover, the triggering mechanism for a plutonium bomb has to be more sophisticated than for a uranium bomb. A subkiloton bomb requires a still more advanced detonation system, and prudence requires that NK’s test not be treated as a fizzle but as a success. With respect to Iran – if NK can provide it with detonation technology, Iran has tons of its own uranium to centrifuge out U-235, plutonium, and other fissile material. So, good news? Post it when you have it.

chsw

chsw on October 17, 2006 at 2:58 PM

Praise be to Allah for posting this.

Colmes is a nerd. Must he interrupt so much? You could tell Steyn thinks this Matthews style of incessant interruption is completely f-in rude, that’s why he rarely does TV, cept for his once a year appeareance with Brian Lamb.

sbvft contributor on October 17, 2006 at 7:15 PM

Kralizec, I envy you for the time to read, to analyze and to post, beautifully I might say. And the list of philosophers and authors…so much to read and only so many hours…

Mhhh – diagnosis yes, but what is the best prescription? That is always the tough question.

From your site:

The worst of that elite are the culture-critics who resent and hate the society, the times, or the very world they inhabit.

…and who don’t contribute much to it.

Btw, I agree with you on not mixing the dying of a civilization with language influences. The death of a language, howeve, often goes along with the death of that civilization…we’d need several thread on these topics :)

I’ll keep checking in to your site. Regards,

Entelechy on October 18, 2006 at 1:22 AM

Does Colmes really mean what he says or does he just play a stooge really well? He’s like a Democratic talking points data base. Even he has to have an idea of his own. Doesn’t he?

Hening on October 18, 2006 at 9:39 AM

So that’s what he looks like!

It’s been bugging me that I didn’t know.

tree hugging sister on October 18, 2006 at 11:28 AM

If China dumps the Kim it could be because his antics might cause Japan, Taiwan, Australia, etc to go nuclear themselves. This would make future anschluss’s on the part of Bejing very difficult indeed.

dhimwit on October 17, 2006

You give me hope! I had not thought of this! China acts only in China’s interest. To move China it must be convinced it gains something bigger than weakening Anerica.

It’s embarrassing now to think of my old agreement with the treatment the U.S. gave to Serbia and Slobodan Milosevic. Now I don’t know what course of action other than imitating “Slobo” in one way or another could keep Europe from becoming muslim – Kralizec on October 17, 2006

Kralizec, I fell for it. In retrospect, I see the manipulation:

1. The MSM promoting the “men of conscience” at the State Department who threatened to quit unless we took out Milosevic. – Now I say, was there anyone worth a dime at State? I recall watching Brian Lamb interview State dept. types weaving their web of public opinion traps

2. The MSM pounding of one sided atrocities, many of which we now know were enhanced. Someone I know was stationed in that region after the US took over and talked of a mass burial site found where the non muslim victims had been dressed as muslims before execution to fake it out. He said they were finding mostly non-muslim victims

3. The Soros connection with rent-a-mob. In general where Soros is, manipulation reigns

We should have put Soros in a ring with Milosevic and let them bite each other to death. A lot cheaper and it would have stopped the building of the islamic launch site

Europe is not doomed if it does not want to die. However, Europe has abandoned the biggest reason to fight: faith. The islamofascists are running on auto-pilot of a dogma demanding they spread and dominate. The old Christian faith demanded a fight to the death, since the fight was the reason to exist according to Christian dogma.

Replacing Christianity with a passive culture of consumption just doesn’t cut it against islamo-dogma. Especially when death is to be avoided at all costs by the rationalists as the end of consumption and all joy. Appeasement yields some consumption pleasures while a fight could end it all. Rationalist consumption also demands a population death spiral to maintain the system. Bad.

Chinese fascism would be another antidote but it also restricts the pleasure points.

entagor on October 18, 2006 at 1:35 PM

Entelechy (on October 18, 2006 at 1:22 AM),

I’ve only just read your kind remarks. Plato, Machiavelli, and Locke are some of the authors I read in graduate studies. Much of my reading in Aristotle and all of my reading in Nietzsche came later. As for the Dune series by Frank Herbert, I first read it, without anything remotely like full understanding and appreciation, in high school or college. However, I must have picked up from it more than I realized, because it seems to have helped me get through my earliest studies in Plato and Machiavelli, from whose writings I might have recoiled without my, um, Bene Gesserit training. It was much later, after I’d read Nietzsche, Aristotle’s On the Soul (in Joe Sachs’s translation), and Plato’s Sophist, that I began to suspect Herbert and the philosophers (through Nietzsche) are all talking about much the same thing.

Kralizec
http://kralizec.wordpress.com/

Kralizec on October 25, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Entagor (on October 18, 2006 at 1:35 PM),

Thanks for your remarks. I have agreements and disagreements with you, as usually happens in these matters. You said,

However, Europe has abandoned the biggest reason to fight: faith.

I think it’s better to say that some religions give reasons to fight and some give reasons not to fight. Most give a mixture of the two. It’s worth considering also that believers don’t seem to fight for faith; they fight for such things as their god, righteousness, and truth, which they may call The Faith. If you tell them they “fight for faith,” you should pray they don’t understand you, because if they do, they’ll suspect you don’t believe The Faith.

The islamofascists are running on auto-pilot of a dogma demanding they spread and dominate.

Although we do regard their opinions as ridiculous, those opinions have a tendency to promote a sort of crude success at the others’ expense. In an awful way, the muslims have good religion; it’s important to see that. Our religion must be better, in order to be at all.

The old Christian faith demanded a fight to the death, since the fight was the reason to exist according to Christian dogma.

The “old” Christian faith teaches that one should “turn the other cheek,” “not return evil for evil,” and “not resist evil.” It says the meek “shall inherit the earth,” although it doesn’t explain how this will come about. If these teachings, properly understood, are compatible with war, then it’s important they be properly taught, and not just to a few mild-mannered seminary students. As things stand, it’s altogether too easy to think that God wants His followers to turn the world over to tyrants.

Replacing Christianity with a passive culture of consumption just doesn’t cut it against islamo-dogma.

Replacing Islam with a passive culture of consumption would have been a much better idea. One is tempted to wonder whether there’s some flaw in Christianity that makes it vulnerable to such a replacement and whether there’s some virtue in Islam that’s made it more resistant to that particular strategem.

Especially when death is to be avoided at all costs by the rationalists as the end of consumption and all joy. Appeasement yields some consumption pleasures while a fight could end it all. Rationalist consumption also demands a population death spiral to maintain the system. Bad.

I agree with many details of your account. However, in the way you use the word “rationalist,” you seem to disparage reason. Yet I don’t think you mean to say that attentive observation, good thinking, sharp reasoning, profound theory, prudent calculation, broadmindedness, and foresight are what have gotten us into this mess. Instead, it seems to be some of those very qualities and habits that allowed Mark Steyn and others to foresee our problems in advance of their full maturation. It seems good for you and me to acknowledge to ourselves the benefits we’re receiving from some whose rationality appears to have surpassed our own. My response has not been to say, “Gosh, if only I had been less rational.”

Kralizec on October 25, 2006 at 5:28 AM