Video: North Koreans weeping in the streets over Kim Jong-il again

The funeral was this morning. Alleged quote from a NorK soldier, via state media: “The snow is endlessly falling like tears. How could the sky not cry when we’ve lost our general who was a great man from the sky? As we’re separated from the general by death, people, mountains and sky are all shedding tears of blood. Dear Supreme Commander!”

Don’t miss the Atlantic’s photo spread of tears flowing freely for the “great man from the sky.” Number 12, especially, is heartbreaking as it shows how effective the indoctrination is even at a very tender age. One thing I wonder about Orwellian spectacles like this: Who’s the intended audience? The people crying might believe that the outside world is impressed by their tears, but does the leadership, which has a better sense of international opinion, understand how creepy and contemptible this looks to its enemies? It’s the most pitiful, cultish case of Stockholm syndrome on this scale that we’ll ever see (I hope). Or is the spectacle not aimed at foreign audiences at all but exclusively at the inmates of the North Korean gulag? These lines from Michael Totten stick with me: “Especially in full-bore Stalinist systems like North Korea’s, would-be dissidents feel like they’re completely alone, that no one else has any idea the emperor is naked. That’s why these regimes will mobilize massive state resources just to locate and punish a single graffiti artist. It’s critically important that everyone who hates the government feels like they’re the only people who do so.” If you’re a dissent-minded North Korean watching this clip, that’s precisely how you’d feel.

Exit question: Why is the UN lowering its flags to half-mast for this monster?