Thursday, December 20, 2007

North Korea and the Axis of Evil

We had a comment troll stop by to ask, in a thread on a completely different subject, if I "still think" North Korea doesn't belong in the "Axis of Evil". The proper answer is, "What axis of evil?"

The comment troll's confusion apparently emerges from the fact that I have previously commented on the use of the term "Axis of Evil" as a propaganda tool. The term is an allusion to the Axis powers of WWII, and is meant to suggest cooperation, collaboration and conspiracy. As anybody with a whit of knowledge on the subject knows, there is absolutely no coordination between the three nations named by Bush - Iran and Iraq had been in conflict for decades. Why was North Korea dragooned into the "Axis"? A common explanation is that the Bush Administration didn't want the "Axis" it to be all Arab or all Muslim, thus preferring North Korea to a nation like Syria. Another is that he simply pulled in the names of the three nations against which he most wished to pursue military action. But in no meaningful sense is there an "Axis of Evil" comprised of those three nations.

The question of whether the government of North Korea is evil? While evil is a loaded word, in North Korea's case the question is not a hard one - it's among the world's most vile governments. But my disdain for Kim Jong-il doesn't inspire me to buy into propaganda spun by dishonest politicians. I guess that's where the comment troll and I part company.

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