Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Surprise! They Are Stalinists!

Via Atrios, who's really been on fire lately, comes this excellent little expose' on Washington Times owner Rev. Sun Myung Moon's connection to North Korea's Kim Jong-Il:

An American Prospect investigation reveals that The Washington Times offices, housed in an imposing building on a northeast Washington strip otherwise known for tire shops and fast-food joints, serve as the base of operations for Moon’s diplomatic missions to his homeland. Moreover, the paper itself has served as an instrument of Moon’s partnership with the communist regime. Throughout the 1990s, as Western observers predicted that the Kim dynasty that rules North Korea would collapse for lack of hard currency reserves, the Moon organization invested tens of millions of dollars, which apparently included payments made before U.S. sanctions eased in 1999.

The Japanese press has accused Moon of involvement in an arms deal that appears to have enhanced North Korean missile-tube research -- a serious charge, considering recent fears about the advancement of North Korea’s missile-range capabilities. Indeed, Moon’s connections with the Kim regime have long been a matter of active concern for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Yet Moon remains a Washington political powerhouse in his own right, a generous friend of the Bush family, and a patron of religious-right and other conservative causes. Now 85 years old, he oversees a secretive international empire of media, religious, real-estate, commercial, and industrial entities, as well as a shifting maze of front groups with far more names than leaders.


Yes, read the whole thing; it's great.

Now, I seem to remember, during the run-up to the war, arguing with a certain rightwing jackass (ahem) who tried his very best to smear the whole protest movement as "objectively pro-Saddam", "America-hating", "useful idiots" and "Stalinist" because of its occasional and tenuous association with Ramsey Clark's ANSWER, which takes a perversely cheery line with Pyongyang. Yet this new revelation of Moon having legitmately friendly tie$ with Kim (which, I think, most on the left had intuited already) provides a nice opportunity, with much more of a factual basis, for me to turn the argument around, with a nice "fuck you" added for good measure.

There is linkage here. Moon, a propagandist for the Republican Party and G. W. Bush in particular, has financial dealings with the last Stalinist country on earth.

***

The first cult people I ever saw, or learned about, were Moonies. I never saw Hari Krishnas in Memphis, but Moonies used to sell roses on many intersections around town. "Mom, who are those people?" "Moonies. They are brainwashed, Josh." After that explanation, I couldn't stop staring whenever I'd see them, looking for the vacant eyes of the zombie. Amazing how one can learn truths at such a young age.

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