Jimmy Carter Feeds Pyongyang

“One of the most important human rights is to have food to eat,” Jimmy Carter declared in Pyongyang yesterday.  No, he wasn’t screaming at brutal dictator Kim Jong-Il.  He was talking to you, Mr. and Mrs. America (and Mr. and Mrs. South Korea) while speaking on behalf of the regime.

“For the South Koreans and the Americans and others to deliberately withhold food aid to the North Korean people because of political or military issues not related is really indeed a human rights violation,” America’s worst ex-president continued.

Well, you’ve got to admit, North Koreans know plenty about starvation due to “political or military issues.”  Their ruling family has been starving them for decades, while it accumulated palaces, nuclear weapons, and artillery pieces it occasionally uses as murder weapons.  Or are all those nuclear facilities the North has been constructing supposed to be part of a massive program to develop edible uranium?

Carter insists North Korea wants to “improve relations” with the United States, and warned they won’t give up their nuclear program without “some kind of security guarantee from the U.S.”  It’s another performance of the weird, unfunny global satire that portrays the United States as just chomping at the bit to wipe out the terrified overlords of a disgusting little dungeon state. 

Never mind the innocent people Kim Jong-Il blew away with those artillery barrages a few months ago, or their unprovoked attack on a South Korean warship, in which 46 sailors died.  The man’s backed into a corner and afraid for his life!  The world has become so cold and cruel that a pampered tyrant can’t commit acts of war with confidence anymore.

Fox News reports Korea’s foreign minister saying, with exquisite tact, that “both South Korea and the U.S. government are a little bit wary of Mr. Carter trying to represent North Korea in a better light than it actually is.”  That’s a wonderful service you’re providing for the imprisoned victims of tyranny, Mr. Carter. 

Meanwhile, actual humanitarians with wide-open eyes connected to functioning brains have been staging “North Korea Freedom Week,” to “raise awareness of the abuses by the Kim regime and compare their work to fight it,” as the Wall Street Journal describes it.  One of their protest signs reads, “Silence Is Death For North Koreans.”  Silence would be a mercy for those suffering people, if it descended over James Earl Carter.

The community of civilized nations is forever grappling with the concept of “legitimate” governance.  Are Kim and his son the “legitimate” rulers of North Korea?  Is Bashar Assad the legitimate ruler of Syria?  Why are these characters more legitimate than Moammar Qaddafi, whose Certificate of Live Dictatorship has been officially revoked? 

There is a point at which support for the population of a dictatorship becomes support for the dictator.  Jimmy Carter crossed that line when he dismissed the outrages of the Kim regime as “policies of the North Korean government, which I don’t think any of us on the outside can change,” but condemned great humanitarian nations like the United States as human-rights criminals for their reluctance to take over Kim’s minimal duty to his people.

If the Kim family cannot feed its people, let them admit their failure – no, make them admit their failure – and depart Pyongyang at once.  The civilized world is not obligated to feed the slave labor trudging into Kim’s munitions factories and nuclear weapons plants.  The products of the regime Carter is trying so hard to prop up will someday kill a lot more than 46 people at once.  We won’t shut those factories down by freeing up more resources for Kim to pour into them, or paying him more blackmail money.  We don’t need Carter feeding Pyongyang what it really craves.