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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Calling Colonel Stauffenberg…

… or however that name would best translate into Korean… Just make sure there is not a thick table leg between the briefcase and the psychotic dictator in need of urgent removal from the material plane of existence.

I mean seriously guys, forget the wacko ideology for a moment… if you are anyone who is anyone in North Korea, and you would quite like to still be smelling the fragrant aroma of kimchi this time next year, how much of a hint do you need that it is long past time that Chubby Chops went to meet his ancestors?

37 comments to Calling Colonel Stauffenberg…

  • Mr Ed

    “You’re fired” is lost in translation I suppose.

    von Stauffenberg failed, of course, and he had the advantage of having the ability to trust enough of his co-conspirators to be able to get within an ace of his goal. How would you even start planning such a move in North Korea?

  • dfwmtx

    News of the latest insanity coming out of North Korea is their only entertainment exports.

    That being said, I’m sure the Kims long ago learned the same lesson Stauffenberg taught Hitler, which is to never have even your generals armed in your presence. Anyone who takes a shot at Kim risks not only his life being forfeit, but that of his family as well. It’s one thing to give your own life up, but quite another when your family is at risk as well. I’m sure the families of these generals are hostages in some way.

  • Meh, I’ll not shed too many tears that the NK hierarchy is busy knocking each other off. I’ll save my concerns for the ordinary population, although Fatty being whacked would go a long way to helping them.

  • von Stauffenberg failed, of course

    Hence my advice: “just make sure there is not a thick table leg between the briefcase and the psychotic dictator in need of urgent removal from the material plane of existence.”

  • Patrick Crozier

    Has assassination ever made the world a freer place?

  • Mr Ed

    Hence my reference to his advantages,

  • Mr Ed

    Hence my reference to his advantage.

  • Sigivald

    I’ve heard speculation that it’s actually the North Korean military that already runs the country, with the Kims as figureheads.

    Which is at least as plausible as the idea of the Kims somehow running the place and tyrannizing the guys with the actual weapons and little to lose.

  • Quite possibly, Sigivald – but how much difference does it really make?

  • Regional

    There were plans by the British to assassinate Hitler till it was pointed out he was the Allies best general and some on competent could take his place and Kim is only the figure head.

  • bloke in spain

    Said this before:

    King, dictator or president. You only get to keep the job by staying the right side of the guard on the palace gate’s mum.

    And the truth is, there’ll be a whole strata of NorK society who benefit from the Kim dynasty. It’s never one man, or even a group of men.

  • Paul Marks

    I agree Perry – Kim should be killed (the regime might well fall if he was – especially if it was done publically so that

    As for the practical problems – the killing of a well protected dictator (as opposed to some low level enemy agent or Western traitor whom one pushes in front of a train) only stands a good chance of success if one is prepared (indeed planning to die) during the attack.

    Do not plant a bomb and walk off – set off the bomb yourself (knowing you are going to be blown to bits), or shoot the target in the face (knowing that if the guards do not kill you on the spot – they will take you to be tortured to death).

    Much though I despise their objectives the Islamists have a sound tactical grasp of such things.

    Although even they have failed to kill Mr Assad – in spite of years of attempts.

  • Has assassination ever made the world a freer place?

    I really cannot see how NK would be any less free if Fat Kid came to a sticky end, indeed it is hard to see how NK could be less free than it is now under almost any scenario…so it is surely worth a try 😉

  • Richard Thomas

    From the little I’ve seen, I don’t get the impression that he’s the brains behind the operation. Knock him out and I’m sure there’s a handy relative they can drop into the position. I’d imagine some kind of disagreement in the military is the only way forward.

  • Mr Ed


    it’s actually the North Korean military that already runs the country

    This issue of keeping control of a military is one that has troubled tyrants down the centuries. The Ukrainian writer Victor Suvorov, a Soviet Army defector wrote about the controls on the Soviet Army, which he likened to a crocodile held on two leashes by its trainers, the Party and the KGB. Neither trainer alone was strong enough to control the beast, but in unison they could, and could kick it to direct it against external foes. Neither trainer dared turn on the other lest they win but then lose control of the crocodile, and both knew that the crocodile needed neither of them – but like in Egypt or Pakistan, where a foreign pen friend throws huge chunks of meat called foreign aid to the croc – it could then just gobble up what it needed and sit there.

    An added complication in the Soviet system was the Rabkrin, or the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate, later called the People’s Control, which was Stalin’s route to General Secretary. A small organ independent of the Cheka/KGB, which policed the elite, and countered the power of the Cheka over the higher echelons, to control the bureaucracy. (A sinister echo of which was seen under that Leninist John Major – he who aspired to create a ‘Classless Society’ – with his ‘Cones Hotline’ to denounce wasteful bureaucrats). Then again, control was divided and tasks duplicated throughout Soviet power to prevent any pre-eminence emerging in the bureaucracies to challenge the Party. The Army had Political officers and KGB cells both spying on it, the KGB Frontier Troops had 9 military districts, the Soviet Army 16 military districts. The Soldiers of the Interior Ministry, outside Army command, controlled ammo dumps on large Army bases, there were two Air Forces, one for defence, one for attack, and so on. Collapse came when the August 1991 coup gave the Armed Forces a chance to repudiate Party and KGB control and to be seen to restore ‘proper’ government, with the KGB not sending troops against Yeltsin as the Armed Forces said they would shoot down KGB helicopters, and down it all fell. Oddly though, the KGB types prospered it seems, the Armed Forces withered.

    How or if North Korea has any political or security checks on its Generals, I do not know, but spawn of Stalin it is. The PRC has the 1,500,000 strong People’s Armed Police to balance the PLA.

    Think historically of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, parallel functions, the Iranian Army and the Revolutionary Guards and so on. Divide and Rule.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Making his haircut mandatory for the country’s young men is reason enough to be rid of him.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Once the regime falls, prepare to be inundated with memoirs of officials claiming to have been closet reformers all along.

  • Eric

    Anyone who takes a shot at Kim risks not only his life being forfeit, but that of his family as well.

    Sure. The problem is that can happen if you look at him funny, too. It’s getting to the point where the safest course of action for you and your family as a NK official is to make sure Kim doesn’t stay on the right side of the grass for too much longer.

  • Regional

    With Stalin it was wise not to be among the first to stop clapping when he walked into a conference.

  • veryretired

    Just reading through the posts and comments over at the Althouse blog, and she and some of her patrons are all upset because the new Brietbart California had some photo-shopped parodies of various pols, including Pelosi ala Miley doing the tongue thing.

    Its hilarious to read all the indignation and tut-tutting about what bad taste it is and how low brow etc., etc.

    This is a world in which an evil midget actually, or nominally, rules a country that has been turned into a prison, and a starving one at that.

    It’s a world in which truly disturbed religious fanatics are in possession of several nations with access to various lethal mass murder weapons, up to and including nuclear.

    This is a world in which a fool, a complete and utter fool, to steal the Commissioner’s description of Insp. Clusseau, is the alleged leader of the regime now in control of the most powerful country on the planet.

    This is a world in which countries are dismembered at the whim of this despot or that dictator, while the rest of the world watches and makes tsk-tsk noises.

    To continue to list the bizarre and deadly follies which humanity indulges would consume even more bandwidth than I can burn up without blushing, and what’s more, and sadder, it would be for naught.

    We are in a state of total civilizational moral collapse. It manifests itself in any number of ways, from political corruption to economic stagnation to cultural debasement to intellectual bankruptcy to social desperation.

    These latter are but symptoms of the larger issue, and the larger issue is very simply that we have allowed our souls to wither in a desert of moral inversion, and a deliberate refusal to demand rational intellectual, philosophical, and ethical consistency from ourselves, and, by reflection, from those who would rule us because we cannot rule our own lives.

    It is long past time for some bombs. Start with one in that moldy, cobwebbed place you keep your moral and intellectual principles in storage.

    Blow some fresh air, and some serious reconsideration, into that coffin of your ideals that used to be.

    And then do something, something real, to fix one little problem each day.

    The courage to solve big problems is built, brick by brick, by your efforts each and every day.

    Start to build the foundation. Now. We don’t have much more time before we all drown in this sewer we call “post-modern culture”.

    Post-human is more like it.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The only reason Best Korea got this far is by virtue of the Chinese tolerating their presence and using them as something to bait the West. Once the economic bubble pops it may be a different story. When the crunch comes I only hope it’ll be like the fall of the Berlin Wall, where none of the East German commanders would take responsibility to kill protesters. The worst part of these regimes is not that they exist, but they stick around for far too long, over generations.

  • simon.s

    The only problem with this I can see is how on earth do you turn North Korea into a ‘normal’ country? The South must be dreading the opportunity…

  • Patrick,

    Has assassination ever made the world a freer place?

    Arguably, the assassination of Huey Long (AKA “The Kingfish”) in the United States. Not that it was done for good motives, sadly.

  • Has assassination ever made the world a freer place?

    Maybe not – but if so, might the possible reason be that Good Guys tend to see this tool as illegitimate?

  • Laird

    “Has assassination ever made the world a freer place?”

    “Freer”? Perhaps not. “Better”? Unquestionably.

  • Fraser Orr

    Your description of the world we live in is actually a pretty accurate description of the world we have lived in for several thousand years (except the nuclear bombs of course.)

    The idea that we are on some downward spiral into amoral hell entirely misses the point that a awful lot of things are much better today, especially in the west:

    1. International trade is much freer

    2. Society is much more egalitarian

    3. There are no slaves (in the west)

    4. Women are no longer chattel

    5. Homosexuals are no longer targets (in fact they have become bullies – ask Brendan Eich)

    6. The world abounds in the riches of man’s spectacular advances, from vastly lower cost goods, abundant availability, easy medical care and technologies never even though of a decade ago.

    Which is to say in this supposed moral cesspool we are living in, the plain fact is that the “poor” in the west live a better lifestyle in terms of health, food, goods and services than Kings did but two hundred years ago.

    These things are brought to us due to the amazing genius of mankind, and the miracle of the free market. I lament the amount of advance we have lost because of the heavy weight of government, but advance we have.

    Politicians have always been corrupt. The powerful always rent seeking, Bureaucrats always more concerned with their own advancement than the public good. Dictators always tyrannical, despots always capriciously taking over parts of other countries. It is a mistake to take the 24 hour news cycle and forget the realities of history.

  • I agree Fraser. There is much to be glad of, as well as much to fear.

  • Mr Ed

    Fraser ‘in spite of’ not ‘due to’.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Mr Ed
    I’m not sure if you are meaning “in spite of” government, in which case I would agree, in fact I think I said that.

    If you mean “in spite of” the moral decline, I do not agree. The changing prevailing morality in society has largely been good. For example, the subjugation of women and homosexuals, or “the white man’s burden” were things that came from the moral memetics of the time. Ideas like aristocracy, and some people being other people’s betters are moral positions.

    Sexual morality in the past was appalling, views on poverty, childhood, marriage, social status, and many many other moral positions that were prevalent in the past were the matrix of all these things.

    In many respects the moral revolutions of the post war and sixties are the foundation for much of the modern world. Don’t get me wrong there was lots of crap too, there always is. But the idea of revolutionary changing the world started then. The iconoclasm against government, the anarchic spirit that drove the tech revolutions of the seventies and eighties, and so forth, all have their genesis in those pot smoking, psychadelic colored, guitar playing, free lovin’ hippie peaceniks.

    Turn on, tune in and drop out, man.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The problem with assassination is not so much that it can’t produce benefits as it is that those who use it aren’t interested in ‘benefits’ that most of us would regard as beneficial. Even so, the assassinations of Trotsky and Roehm probably made the world less bad.

  • Very retired

    Mr Orr, I am relieved that I am mistaken and everything is really going so well in our society.

  • Mr Ed


    The iconoclasm against government, the anarchic spirit that drove the tech revolutions of the seventies and eighties, and so forth, all have their genesis in those pot smoking, psychadelic colored, guitar playing, free lovin’ hippie peaceniks.

    The iconoclasm was not against government, it was against the kind of people then in government, those who retained some sense of right and wrong, liberty and reason. The Left is, and always has been, in revolt against reason. Like demonstrators who carry whistles and whistle when challenged, lest they or anyone else hear reason. The ‘tech revolutions, were driven by the practical application of engineering, chemistry, physics and programming languages, not hippies.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times. People have always been like this. –Flaubert

  • The Sanity Inspector

    The assassination of Trotsky was decades too late, if it must be counted as a good thing at all. If he had departed from the scene before the Russian Civil War, the Whites might have beaten the Reds.

  • Rich Rostrom

    The analogy fails on two points.

    Stauffenberg and many others in the Schwarze Kapelle adults before the Third Reich existed, and they could and did see it was morally wrong. They served the regime only as soldiers during a war against external enemies of their country. They did not seek just to kill Hitler, but to overthrow the entire Nazi regime.

    By contrast, everyone in the NorK military grew up in the Nork state, and those who have reached high rank did so by professing and demonstrating complete loyalty to the regime’s political program.

    Also, the Nazi regime was the personal creation of Hitler, who maintained it with his immensely powerful personality. Its vilest policies were his personal goals.

    The NorK regime was created by Kim Il-Sung, who has been dead for nearly 20 years. The machine he built doesn’t need a clever or charismatic leader to run it. Kim Jong-un is neither, and his removal would not weaken it; nor are the crimes of the NorK regime more his choice than of the rest of its ruling clique.

    The good that would come of his assassination would be limited to the end of his personal crimes and the possible disruption of the regime.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Sanity Inspector, 4/10 at 2:37: Putting it another way,

    “Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,

    All centuries but this, and every country but his own;”

    –W.S. Gilbert