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Truth-O-Vision . . .

If you read Popular Mechanics some years back, you would remember the fanciful ads for “X-ray Vision glasses” that would give one the power of seeing through flesh and clothing.  That sort of wishful technology (fakery) would also come in handy when reading through newspapers or watching TV news.  Imagine if we had “Truth-O-vision” glasses that would show us how things really are, what could be seen.

I thought, considering the recent news about South Korea’s Democratic United Party and their strange version of reality and short memory (the Uri Party promoted this base to begin with), what would we see if we looked at pictures of their protests in Jejudo over the naval base and a slanderous tweet from a Unified Progressive Party candidate calling the naval base on Jejudo a “pirate base”.

PHOTOSHOP WORK REMOVED BY ROBERT KOEHLER.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • cm

    I think it’s all good. They’re shooting themselves in the feet. The election is around the corner.

  • cm

    Their main argument is that this is going to piss off China, and that Jejudo will be under Chinese attack if the US navy using the Jeju base, gets into a war with China. Even when the US has nothing to do with this base, they insist on dragging the US into this issue. Their roots are completely buried in anti-Americanism. Yet they have not said one word about the Chinese deportation of North Koreans, the marauding Chinese sea bandits, and China’s plans to incorporate all the sea right up to the Jeju island, territory of China. And furthermore to add insult to injury, they paid their homage to Kim Jong Il when this animal croaked.

  • enomoseki

    Arrest them for treason and calling their own fellow countryman’s navy soldiers as pirates.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Just to explain, Photoshoped pictures that make DUP chairwoman Han Myeong-sook to look like an agent of the Chinese government is precisely the kind of satire that will get me sued/criminally prosecuted.

    And allow me to also say that while I find “Korea University Girl”‘s statement offensive—especially so given the recent sacrifices of the ROK Navy—I find it even more offensive that she’s got to deal with harassing defamation lawsuits (from a state agency no less!) for exercising her right to free speech. The fact the Kang Yong-suk—my opinions of whom I will keep to myself, given his own proclivity to use Korean defamation laws—is also involved in this mess should tell you something:

    http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120309000947

  • cm

    I don’t think they would have sued you, Robert. They would have been proud of that photoshop work, to be connected with their good friends in Beijing and Pyongyang.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    cm—I can assure you they wouldn’t be.

  • gbnhj

    I find it even more offensive that she’s got to deal with harassing lawsuits for exercising her right to free speech.

    Perhaps, but then again, the law is what it is. After all, she did make the comment. From a practical standpoint, given the existence of the law, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some might seek to invoke it. I see it as yet another example of how some people act out before thinking.

  • characteristic

    #1- I don’t know if they’re shooting themselves in the foot… there are enough people deluded enough to vote for them. The DUP is probably correct in thinking that their stance on the FTA and the Jeju “pirate” base will garner enough votes to put them in power. Unless the conservative parties unite and find themselves a leader with brains and balls (unlikely at this stage), then the DUP and their far-left UPP allies will definitely become the dominant force in Korean politics.

  • DLBarch

    Robert’s probably right to be concerned about being sued, but like the Michael Breen (sp?) case, I suspect high profile expats like Robert overestimate the actual risk involved in any complaint going forward.

    After all, there are still an awful lot of Western journalists in Seoul who would LOVE to pick up such a story and have it carried in the FT or the LA Times.

    And then just see who’s afraid of whom.

    Alternatively, if Robert ever decides he needs to re-register his website under a new name here in the States, he knows where to look. I would take unlimited enjoyment in using the full force and effect of California’s Discovery Act to fight any defamation lawsuit here…with ample opportunity to demonstrate just why characterizing any particular Korean shenanigans as (fill-in-the-blank) is perfectly within my state and my country’s awesome, First World free speech protections.

    As for that JoongAng article claptrap, someone needs to hire a new editorial writer. In an article about the Jeju base protests, I counted references to the FTA, welfare spending, Korea’s conglomerates, and…well, pretty much everything EXCEPT any real analysis of just why, exactly, this base is needed.

    The base may or may not be a good idea, but the ‘tards at JoongAng need to do a better job of arguing their case.

    DLB

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Considering that Breen was pursued by Samsux in an increasingly expensive litigation until he proffered not one but two humiliating public retractions/apologies, it seems more like he UNDERestimated the risk of provoking a defamation/libel claim .

  • DLBarch

    Interesting. Did Breen actually have large litigation bills as a result of the Samsux complaint?

    My recollection — and correct me if I’m wrong — was that Breen showed up to his court date only to discover that his hearing had gone off calendar and Samsux had withdrawn its complaint.

    In my little corner of the litigation universe, I’d count that as a HUGE win, and a pretty humiliating retreat for a huge conglomerate like Samsux…humiliation being an apt outcome for such an odious, patent-infringing, and thoroughly sleazy company.

    And, yes, I have dealt with litigation against that third world company, and been very pleased at the result.

    DLB

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    I don’t know what Breen’s final bill was, but he was pretty open about the prospect of enormous bills being a motivating factor is his agreeing to settle by apologizing. Samsux only withdrew its complaint because of the proffered apology, and only then after they had gotten Breen to pen a second one after they found the first one insufficiently repentant. That doesn’t sound like a (legal) loss for Samsux, even though the whole episode made them look both bullyish and foolish.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’ll tell you, this Godae Girl is a real piece of work:

    김씨는 “제주 해군기지가 동아시아에서 제국주의적 해양 지배를 하려는 미군의 ‘합법적 해적질’을 돕게 된다”고도 했다.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/03/09/2012030902545.html?Dep0=twitter

    It’s OK, cm, feel free to throw stuff around your room. I am.

  • cm

    What kills me are the fact that these guys who are saying these aren’t just your ordinary people, they are major candidates of parties aspiring to be the next government of South Korea. Who wants to fight for this country if this is the official attitude of possibly the next government? Not one word about the Chinese who are the Beijing supported pirates, yet it’s those who are guarding and protecting South Korea are doing the pirating? How do they make sense of this, yet they are totally unapologetic about this? It will be a disgrace from hell if these dupes for Beijing gets elected.

  • silver surfer

    @DLB

    Just why exactly is this base needed?

  • R. Elgin

    . . . Photoshoped pictures that make DUP chairwoman Han Myeong-sook to look like an agent of the Chinese government is precisely the kind of satire that will get me sued/criminally prosecuted

    I *seriously* doubt they would commit political suicide by going after you, which would make their recipe for idiocy famous. Besides, if they got you, the prosecutors would probably get me as well and then I could teach you how to play spoons and card games while passing time in jail.

  • cm

    #15 – because Korea needs to protect the southern flanks from increasing Chinese menace, including China government sanctioned illegal fishing. There’s also a territorial dispute between South Korea and China regarding the Socotra Rock (Iodo Island). China has increased its rhetoric about protecting their waters, increased patrols, and sent more ships to the area, in order to harass and intimidate Korea. South Korea just can’t stand there and do nothing to protect its important sea lane, while China continues to assert their control and domination in Korea’s southern flank.

    And just like the FTA, it was the Roh Moo Hyun government in 2007 who approved the naval build up on Jeju. At that time, there wasn’t a peep from anyone. Now that it’s the Lee government wants to follow up on it, the same people who said nothing in 2007 decides this is a matter of cruel military dictators enforcing its will by forcing Jejudo to become a horrible military base, trashing the island’s environment and angering their Chinese and North Korean allies.

  • cm

    This map in the article below illustrates how Chinese territorial claims gets bigger by the day.

    http://news.donga.com/Inter/3/02/20120310/44663280/1

  • characteristic

    #16 – but given the DUP’s (and especially UPP’s) anti-Americanism and twisted hyper-nationalism, it wouldn’t be so far-fetched to think they’d go after Marmot… it wouldn’t necessarily be political suicide for these guys because it will probably pump up their base.

    As odious as this crazy girl’s statement is, I still believe she shouldn’t be sued for defamation.

  • R. Elgin

    Per #19, you over-estimate their “base”. People want issues and beating up on a hanbok-clad foreigner is just too strange and obscure a taste for a popular mandate.

  • cm

    What #16 said, could happen, especially right after DUP’s another sudden lurch to the left. The main opposition party DUP has just concluded a long negotiation with the radical leftist party UPP, agreeing to field unified candidates to win the next election. Now that they’re joining forces, their chances are getting better and better. The UPP has only about 4 percent of the vote, but that could give a huge shot of support to the DUP in a very close race against the ruling New Frontier Party. They’re promising to judge and punish LMB, once they get in power, and promising wholesale changes with their radicalized agendas. They’re militaristic violent protest filled people with huge chips on their shoulders. It doesn’t hurt to be cautious and safe.

    So what happens to a country when the lunatics take charge? It becomes an asylum.

  • cm

    Sorry, I was referring to the comment by characteristic, on post #19.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    People are allowed to exercise their right to free speech.

    People are also allowed to exercise their right to sue for defamation.

    end of story.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Another round of “Oh those progressives are communists.” Never mind the fact that this administration operated surveillance programs on private citizens and attempted to cover up that fact, just to give one example of China-like behavior.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    I didn’t see the C-bomb being dropped in this thread. Who’s making shit up again, especially considering that no korean govt in living memory hasn’t gone after its political opposition enemies.

  • silver surfer

    @cm

    I wonder if existing naval facilities really are inadequate to deal with petty disputes over Chinese fishermen, which, after all, have been going on for years. Is the current South Korean navy incapable of projecting power such a short distance away?

    And if anything did go down over Iodo, it’s hard to see South Korea acting without U.S. support, new naval base or no.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    Is the current South Korean navy incapable of projecting power such a short distance away?

    true… Korea is a very small country, you would think the Korean navy and airforce would be able to protect such a small country.

    However, they do have many people who hate them on all four sides, so I guess because of that another naval base wouldn’t hurt.

    Perhaps they should make friends with the country to the south, and then the base wouldn’t be needed.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    Only in “that” country to the south – http://tiny.cc/mh7zaw

    But then… only on Dokdo… – http://dok.do/h9XqMv

  • R. Elgin

    One point of this thread is that the DUP leadership are not honest, responsible Korean citizens, rather they work for the benefit of China more than their own country and have failed to demonstrate how their policies are more than just contrarian positions to their political opponents.

    The DUP offers South Koreans (or the world) nothing of any real benefit. If this naval base if carefully managed, it at least has a chance of helping the tourism economy of Chejudo, which is much more than what any DUP policy can offer.

  • cm

    #28 – it’s funny and you will find it ironic, the oppositions only only opposes the Jeju naval base, but nobody opposes the proposed another naval base on Ulleungdo, an island close to Dokdo.

    #26 – and it’s not the matter of capability, it’s the matter of growing Chinese threat, which needs to be countered. Look at this map below.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/03/10/2012031000226.html

    Korea needs every little naval advantage it can muster when the Chinese are expanding their power, and have included the Socotra Rock as part of China’s territory to patrol with their growing list of naval ships and an aircraft carrier. If South Korea doesn’t do more patrolling of their own claimed EEZ, China will just expand without a challenge, and Korea’s EEZ will shrunk without a challenge.

  • cm

    #24 – theKorean, what are you talking about? I didn’t accuse anybody of Communism. But when official candidates who aspire to be the next government, who should be responsible with words, say irresponsible stuff like “한국은 미제의 식민지”, and the “pirate” comment, (all the while totally ignoring Chinese and North Korean provocations) what am I supposed to think and say?

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Can we even call North Korea communist? It seems more fascist to me.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I didn’t see the C-bomb being dropped in this thread.

    From the description: “Photoshoped pictures that make DUP chairwoman Han Myeong-sook to look like an agent of the Chinese government

    The DUP offers South Koreans (or the world) nothing of any real benefit.

    Except for the democracy you currently enjoy. You’re welcome.

    But when official candidates who aspire to be the next government, who should be responsible with words, say irresponsible stuff like “한국은 미제의 식민지”, and the “pirate” comment, (all the while totally ignoring Chinese and North Korean provocations) what am I supposed to think and say?

    I hope you apply such exacting standards to your own party, and think about all the people who died at the hand of their own government based on the allegation of being communists.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    What we really need is some more 박정희대통령의 통치철학:

    https://twitter.com/#!/rjkoehler/status/178348840750026752

  • spartacist

    #29, how does a naval base help tourism?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @33

    LOL that’s it – a reference to “chinese” in an explanation by the moderator for his redaction of a picture. Get some integrity.

  • cm

    #33 LOL… oh my god. … lol…. god almighty…. lol…

  • characteristic

    #33- “I hope you apply such exacting standards to your own party, and think about all the people who died at the hand of their own government based on the allegation of being communists.”

    Who is “your own party”? I doubt anyone here is a partisan for the Saenuri party as you are for the DUP, and the crimes that which you speak of were from decades ago, which no one here would support. The conservative establishment parties are filled with corrupt, influence-peddling, greedy SOB’s and they need to be purged or defeated… but what explains TK’s consistent defense of or at least silence on the DUP’s agenda being hijacked by the more radical, but much smaller UPP? The DUP’s predecessors helped bring about democracy to Korea but why are they besmirching that legacy by associating themselves with the UPP?

    Has the DUP come out to condemn this woman’s statement? What are their reasons for suddenly opposing the KORUS FTA or the Jejudo naval base, issues their leaders supported under the RMH government?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    the crimes that which you speak of were from decades ago, which no one here would support.

    Given the level of progressive-bashing here, color me unconvinced. Each political thread here is practically an 인민재판.

    The conservative establishment parties are filled with corrupt, influence-peddling, greedy SOB’s and they need to be purged or defeated…

    Apparently, you are the only conservative among the commentariat who feels this way, since I am yet to see a single occasion in which a principled conservative condemned the GNP/NFP over their many corruption scandals and their rolling back of democracy. And even you have been pointedly silent whenever I put up a post about NFP’s corruption. What explains your silence?

    but what explains TK’s consistent defense of or at least silence on the DUP’s agenda being hijacked by the more radical, but much smaller UPP?

    Here’s what explains my silence: I don’t care about this issue. I am agnostic about this base. It does not matter to me whether or not it materializes.

    It does piss me off, however, when people wantonly throw around the tired old equation of “progressives = communist.” It’s not funny. The same excuse was used to murder and torture people. If you do not like the way the progressives are approaching the base issue, say that. Don’t go around throwing bullshit about how progressives are communists.

  • cm

    theKorean, please explain what issues you do care about? Please explain to our American audience here, the blatant displays of anti-Americanism in your “democratic” party, and how that’s going to help South Korea when your party comes to power. Please explain, how your party is going to engage North Korea again, as they have promised.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    You first. You explain how your conservative president was too chickenshit to exact the revenge that he promised after having been attacked twice. Explain why he promised revenge, and quietly put away the speakers along the DMZ when no one was looking. Explain how the soft, oh-so-cowardly KDJ/RMH administrations ended up killing more North Korean soldiers than LMB ever did.

    Then explain how your president, who promised the 7-4-7 economic plan (7% annual growth, $40K per capita GDP, 7th largest economy in the world,) ended up posting worse economic numbers than his much-reviled predecessor. Explain how your president created a giant cesspool of corruption with his Four Rivers Project, his own residence, etc., and was still deranged enough to say that his administration was “morally perfect.” I will be generous and skip minor pecadillos like, oh, running a surveillance program on civilians without any warrant and later attempting to destroy the evidence, or attempting commandeer the editorial direction of the major broadcasting stations, or attempting to rig the election by disabling the Elections Commissions website.

    Then explain how your party shamelessly co-opted every major welfare promise of the progressives when Korean people demanded better welfare system. Explain why it is not communism when your party advocates it.

    And then finally, explain how you can have a daughter of a dictator, who has been a direct beneficiary of her father’s fraudulent legacy, as the head of your party, and still expect any semblance of democracy remaining in Korea. Then we can talk.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    The Korean: bringing the spirit of dokdo diplomacy to domestic politics

  • cm

    I asked you first theKorean.

    theKorean complains about the “progressive bashing”, but how can we not bash the progressives, when you have 종북세력 leaders like 이정희, 통합진보당 대표 who would not answer the question, “who started the Korean War, the South or the North”? The same woman paid her respect to Kim Jong Il when he died. She’s a part of a group of startling number of South Korean progressive party members who mourned for KJI – a complete disgrace and a stab at the people who have suffered in NK, in my opinion. The examples of names of progressive lunatics with bizarre North Korean style beliefs, and comments, just goes on and on.. how can I not notice that your party officials are North Korea apologists? TheKorean conveniently ignores the fact that national security is very important at this time, with many Koreans, and conveniently ignores what this topic is all about, instead he keeps on going on and on about GNP corruption and “mishandling” of the economy (which has nothing to do with this thread topic).

  • characteristic

    #39- Perhaps you’re keeping tabs on what everyone says about a certain political party, but I was only pointing out that you are conspicuous in your consistently vocal defense (not merely silence) of the DUP and its leaders’ willingness to be swayed by the radical UPP, which I , and indeed many saner heads within the DUP believe is a dangerous flirtation.

    I support the progressives if it means reforming the Korean judiciary/police, ending corruption, helping the poor (but not indiscriminate, non means-tested programs), more media freedoms (including amending/abolishing the National Security law but also most anti-defamation laws), greater equality for women, rights for migrant laborers… but when the DUP allies themselves with those (a tiny party but with outsized influence) who work to undermine the ROK, I’m afraid that’s a real dealbreaker.

  • Wedge

    #9 & 10: It’s pretty clear that Mike Breen UNDERestimated the threat of a lawsuit. In Lawyer World, he may be a victorious knight in shining armor; in the real world, he faced a real threat to his livelihood.

    Mr. Koehler is 100% right to drop that photo faster than Jackie Smith drops a Super Bowl pass in the end zone. That said, can anyone provide a linkee?

    Good to see TK has his strawman factory back in operation. You can always count on him to defend the indefensible xenophobic contrarians. [The next two strawmen: "Wedge likes Saenuri, therefore he supports dictators."]

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TheKorean conveniently ignores the fact that national security is very important at this time . . .

    If national security is so important, why do you care more about mere words of a woman who is ultimately politically irrelevant, than about what South Korean government is actually doing? Is Lee Jeong-Hee capable of singlehandedly bringing down the Republic of Korea or something? If you care so much about national security, why aren’t you spending more time expressing outrage that this supposedly tough conservative president has done exactly jack shit to avenge the spirits of those who died in the two attacks by North Korea?

    I support the progressives if it means reforming the Korean judiciary/police, ending corruption, helping the poor (but not indiscriminate, non means-tested programs), more media freedoms (including amending/abolishing the National Security law but also most anti-defamation laws), greater equality for women, rights for migrant laborers… but when the DUP allies themselves with those (a tiny party but with outsized influence) who work to undermine the ROK, I’m afraid that’s a real dealbreaker.

    Fine. Go ahead and support more corruption, more oppression of the poor, more media censorship and arresting people based on their opinions, more sexism and more racism, just to maintain your ideological purity. I would expect nothing less from a conservative.

  • cm

    Let’s look at what the radical socialists have promised once they get in power:

    1) Get rid of the FTA with the US (it has nothing to do with anti-Americanism)

    2) Get rid of the Navy base on Jeju Island (who cares about the Chinese taking Korean territory, “I don’t care about this issue”)

    3) Make everything free in South Korea (because that’s how it is in the advanced Western nations)

    4) Increase the corporation tax from 3% now to 25% (now that should create more jobs – sarcasm)

    5) Increase the tax on rich (or anyone who looks rich), you know being rich is now a crime in Korea, but that should solve all the funding problems for all the free stuff.

    6) Get rid of the American Military on Korea (well.. they didn’t say it, but that’s their goal).

    7) Promised to restart up the Sun Shine Policy. They’re going to tax the rich and give it straight back to North Korea’s Kim Jong Eun and his cronies so that they can make more nuclear weapons.

    8) Get rid of the National Security Law (I like this one actually, now they can all just come out in the open without fear of being arrested, instead of pretending they’re not NK sympathizers).

    9) Hang Lee Myong Bak by his throat, after he’s done as Prez. He’s a pro-American, pro-Japanese traitor.

  • characteristic

    #46 the issues I advocate are things I believe saner heads in both the NFP and the DUP can cooperate on. But allying with the UPP is a bridge too far. The UPP’s demands upon the DUP will be the DUP’s downfall. I am not, and have never been a partisan for the GNP/NFP as you have consistently been for the DUP.

    “just to maintain your ideological purity…” and you are happy to look the other way when the DUP flirts with, and are led by the UPP? You dismiss the tiny UPP but they’re already dictating the terms of their election coalition agreement with the DUP.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    @48 – when backed into a corner, wave arms and distract. So typical.

    @49,

    I am not, and have never been a partisan for the GNP/NFP as you have consistently been for the DUP.

    Who cares? Do you think it gives some semblance of fairness or something? All I know is that you save your best screeching for the progressives, based on the phantom excuse that progressives are “undermining the ROK.” In so many words, you just declared that you would support more corruption, more oppression of the poor, more media censorship and arresting people based on their opinions, more sexism and more racism, just as long as UPP belongs in the progressive umbrella. That’s not partisanship? I would rather have the opposite of all of the above and hand 15 seats in the National Assembly in the UPP.

  • characteristic

    …and keep your mouth shut when the party with whom you’re willing to form a coalition fields candidates whose party apparatchiks express admiration for KJI? Have you ever considered whether someone could have contempt for both the Right and the Left in Korea? I’ll just say we differ on whom we hold in greater contempt during this election cycle.

  • characteristic

    Oops, I meant to say “fields candidates who insult the troops/are compose of apparatchiks who…”.

    I assure you TK, I’d be more than willing to excoriate anyone who sings the praises of Kang Yong-suck, PGH, the GNP/NFP leadership, Na Kyung-won (or rather her husband), the collusion of prosecutors/judges with criminals… Would you be just as vicious in attacking anyone from the DUP who’s concerned with the UPP’s influence?

  • Pingback: S. Korea was ‘considering retaliation well beyond a local response’

  • R. Elgin

    (regarding what the DUP/Uridang has done for South Korea). . . Except for the democracy you currently enjoy. You’re welcome.

    That is pure fiction on your part. Why don’t you revise some more Korean history while you are at it.

    The 새소리당 has always been a party of self-serving liars and crooks but if the DUP were able to enact this “anti-everything-that-isn’t-our idea” agenda, South Korea could only suffer more.

    When I vote for candidates here, I vote for independents – as are more Koreans because people don’t trust either party.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I’d be more than willing to excoriate anyone who sings the praises of Kang Yong-suck, PGH, the GNP/NFP leadership, Na Kyung-won (or rather her husband), the collusion of prosecutors/judges with criminals…

    네, 네. 정말 그렇게 하시나 지켜보겠어요.

    That is pure fiction on your part. Why don’t you revise some more Korean history while you are at it.

    If you cannot even recognize the most basic historical fact, I don’t see the point of continued discussion. And oh, thank you for expressing your support for 안철수.