by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Crossposted from PressTV
March 12, 2013
Western so-called news media coverage of the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula is like watching a cross between a bad James Bond movie and a cheap horror flick about flesh-eating zombies.
It would be funny if the danger of war was not so serious and imminent. The disturbing direction of the Western media coverage is to set up North Korea – a poor impoverished country – for an all-out military attack by the world’s nuclear superpower psychopath – the United States.
Paradoxically, this danger is being incited by “news” corporations that pompously claim to be free-thinking bastions of independent journalism, when in reality they are nothing more than progenitors of the worst kind of pulp fiction.
Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea who took over from his late father in 2011, is being cast as an insane villain whose Western media persona resembles that of a putative Doctor Evil. His projected character is fit for a role in an early 007 movie.
Days ago, Kim was reported as threatening “preemptive nuclear war” against South Korea and its patron the United States. How evil!
Scarcely mentioned were the facts that Kim was forced into this position of making a staunch defense of his country, under immense pressure of relentless imperialist aggression. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been slapped with yet more US-led sanctions aimed at ostracizing the country from any international contact.
It’s the equivalent of solitary confinement of a prisoner, subjected to sensory deprivation. But this is torture of an entire nation with no reprieve.
Yes, North Korea conducted an underground nuclear weapons test in mid-February.
This was after the US tightened the thumb-screws with yet more sanctions; and after years of Washington refusing to reciprocate with a negotiated settlement to end more than six decades of crippling trade embargoes in addition to the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation against North Korea following the 1950-53 war with its American-backed Southern neighbor.
No other country has been threatened with nuclear Armageddon as often as North Korea – and always by the US – for more than 60 years.
Western media have now highlighted the North Korean leader ordering his massed troops to prepare for “wiping out” a South Korean island by turning a craggy maritime outpost into “a sea of flames.”
Do you see the innuendo here? Wiping out an island? Well, Kim must be an insane megalomaniac, right?
The island in question is the disputed territory of Baengnyeong, which is actually located off the North Korean mainland, but which the US forced into South Korea’s possession following the 1950-53 war. It has been used since, provocatively, as a staging post for American surveillance and forward planning for attack against North Korea.
No doubt the island will be used this week during the US perennial war planning maneuvers that simulate the invasion of North Korea, but which Washington euphemistically calls “defensive measures.”
Befitting the caricature of arch-villain, photographs and footage have abounded in Western media showing Kim Jong-un clad in black long overcoat and black gloves, peering through binoculars apparently towards South Korean and American forces across the Demilitarized Zone of the 38th parallel.
Just in case the Western public fail to pick up on the demonic Dr Evil caricature, there is another sub-plot being instilled – the North Korean flesh-eating zombies.
In recent weeks, there has been a rash of stories regurgitated by the same Western media of outbreaks of cannibalism among the allegedly starving people of North Korea. These stories of cannibalistic gore and nihilism have not just been printed by the voyeuristic tabloid gutter press. They have also been published prominently by supposed quality outlets, such as Britain’s Sunday Times and Independent, as well as one of America’s paper of record, The Washington Post.
Significantly, these macabre stories began circulating in Western media outlets at the end of January – some two weeks before North Korea conducted its underground nuclear explosion.
That suggests that the flesh-eating horror claims in North Korea are the work of a Western intel psychological campaign aimed at adding pejorative technicolor to the present crisis.
It makes for difficult reading. Not because of the alleged gruesome details, but because these stories are so obviously concocted and regurgitated in reflex manner by supposed news organizations. The horror claims all come from one source: allegedly an undercover team of journalists from an outfit called the Asia Press, based in Japan, who were allegedly spirited secretly into North Korea and allegedly interviewed various anonymous farmers and Communist party officials.
It’s so bad you could not make it up.
Yet the Western media presses have gone into overdrive to pump out these unconfirmed and unverifiable accounts of purported bloodcurdling cannibalism among the North Korean population.
In one version published by Britain’s Daily Mail, the headline runs, “North Korean parents ‘eating their own children’ after being driven mad by hunger in famine-hit pariah state.”
Daily Mail readers are told of how starving adults are kidnapping and murdering children. One man was allegedly executed by firing squad after his wife found out that he had killed their young daughter and son “while she was away on business;” when she returned to the starving family homestead her husband greeted her with the welcome news that “they had meat” to eat.
In another ghoulish tale, printed as serious news, an elderly man is reported to have dug up the graves of his grandchildren and eaten their rotten flesh.
The truly disturbing thing about these reports is that not only are they sordid sensationalism passed off as credible reports by supposedly serious news organizations, but worse is that this propaganda is apparently believed by droves of the Western public who read or watch such media. Check out some of the readers’ comments below the stories printed in the above mentioned media and you will find all sorts of denunciations of North Korea and its “sick people.”
But it’s not the people of North Korea who are depraved: it’s the Western media and their gullible subscribers who indulge in this odious character assassination of an entire nation.
The Western media coverage of North Korea recalls stories of babies being ripped from hospital incubators by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait, which was a crucial tipping point for Western public opinion to support the American-led war on Iraq in 1991. More than a decade later, the same Western media ran scare stories of weapons of mass destruction that paved the way of the American genocide in Iraq from 2003-2012.
The same Western propaganda press repeats endless claims about “sinister Iranian nuclear ambitions” that serve to justify a criminal American-led trade embargo on Iran that may result in a US/Israeli military attack on the Islamic Republic.
The same Western propaganda press is now doing the same hatchet job on North Korea. A nation of flesh-eating zombies led by an evil personality cult who wants to blow up islands? “Yeah, go on Chuck, nuke those mothers!”
The Western public are being played like fools to go along with the most depraved behaviour of military barbarism – a nuclear superpower itching to destroy an impoverished nation that threatens no-one.
Truly, Western imperialist reality is more perverse and sick than the Western fiction.
Finian Cunningham, is a columnist at Press TV and a Featured Writer on Dandelion Salad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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They will stop at nothing to strike at North Korea and Iran eventually. I can’t help but feel that if I were in their position and constantly being threatened by the U.S. or Israel that I’d want a nuclear weapon too.