With his client South Korea’s president Lee Myung bak by his side, president Barack Obama tried selling an ‘Edsel’ of economic success to North Korea as the World Nuclear confab in Seoul wound done.
The Ford Motor Company’s ‘Edsel’ sold poorly and never gained buyers’ acceptance a half century ago. The gas guzzler’s unpopularity lost millions to Ford, and the ‘Edsel’ has gone down in marketing history as a failure.
Badly advised by his American North Korean clerisy, the American president, in a manner resembling imperial Britain and colonial France, extolled the virtues of South Korea’s economic success as a model for the DPRK to follow, if only they put away odd notions of theirs in political economy.
Obama’s pitch displays America’s poor grasp of North Korean history, to say the least. It was sure to be rejected out of hand, and it was. The US 44 president is known for his oratory, yet this time, it not only fell wide of the mark, but it had the effect of a slap in Pyongyang’s face.
His tack simply underscored why the US has gotten nowhere in its on again, off again dealings with North Korea. His message, to put it baldly, is a silly melange of ‘good cop, bad cop’.
Look, do as we say, North Korea: you will share in the wealth and prosperity that the US has showered on South Korea. Resist us: you will reap the whirlwind of economic disaster, starvation, and collapse.
Obama’s meaning could not be made clearer. His talking points are recycled verbiage that the US has been peddling since the creation of North Korea in 1948.
If he thought, he was striking a blow for the American way of life, he failed miserably.
We suggest that the US president go back and learn his history and the reflect on the long road of America’s failure to really get to first base with North Korea.
General DeGaulle dangled a horn of plenty before the eyes of Sekou Toure’s Guinee if he would join France’s community of former colonies. Toure refused, saying, ‘t’was better to be a free man standing on his own two feet than a slave on his knees’.
Guinee’s rebuff resulted in France’s removing even the light bulbs as it left its former colony free and independent and cut off from its benevolent colonial largesse.
Obama should reflect on this example. Is he not aware of North Korea’s proud, revolutionary history? Has he not been advised on the DPRK’s concept of ‘juche’ or the ‘Cholima spirit’? North Korea wants to do things its own way; it doesn’t want to lectured by anyone, especially the US which it sent back packing to the 38 parallel during the Korean War. [And Washington has never forgotten or forgiven Pyongyang for its being checkmated in trying to rollback Communism in Asia.]
As GuamDiary keeps noting, the US spends untold millions on training spooks, scholars, military experts, and private security advisors on tracking events in North Korea. America can only come up with the admission that ‘North Korea has been its greatest intelligence failure’, to justify its waste of taxpayers money.
Has no one, say, read Rudiger Frank? Has no one really studied and learnt the meaning of North Korea’s history? Does not anyone put a premium on what the DPRK means when it says that it is following its own star?
Well, we can only say to president Obama, it is time you got a new team of advisors on North Korea–advisors who will tell you the truth instead of telling you what you want to hear as they pocket fat pay cheques.
Otherwise, the US is doomed to sell its own version of ‘Edsel’!