When Wired published its article, “The Plot to Free North Korea with Smuggled Episodes of ‘Friends,’” it probably hoped that its impressionable, politically ignorant audience would not pick up on the underlying facts and their implications, and simply see a “cute” anecdote poking fun at the besieged East Asian country while inflating their own sense of unwarranted cultural superiority.
What they missed, of course, is the fact that the program peddled by Wired as the work of “the North Korea Strategy Center and its 46-year-old founder, Kang Chol-hwan,” is in fact funded and organized instead by the US State Department.
Indeed, the North Korea Strategy Center is partnered directly with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the US Department of State, the US State Department’s Radio Free Asia propaganda network, and the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a defacto “department of regime change” backed by Wall Street’s Fortune 500, solely for the interests of Wall Street’s Fortune 500.
Readers of Wired’s latest, long-winded spin on US-backed sedition abroad also most likely missed the fact that if TV shows from America are considered a tool for social engineering in North Korea, they are most likely being used as a tool of social engineering in the United States as well. The degradation of American culture, the family, and weakening of local communities, versus the growing centralized dominance of corporate-financier monopolies and their increasingly draconian police and surveillance state is a direct result of this.
Wired would admit in their article that:
Kang likens the USB sticks to the red pill from The Matrix: a mind-altering treatment that has the power to shatter a world of illusions. “When North Koreans watch Desperate Housewives, they see that Americans aren’t all war-loving imperialists,” Kang says. “They’re just people having affairs or whatever. They see the leisure, the freedom. They realize that this isn’t the enemy; it’s what they want for themselves. It cancels out everything they’ve been told. And when that happens, it starts a revolution in their mind.”
Indeed, convincing a population to be self-absorbed moral and social degenerates is “mind-altering,” however it has little or nothing to do with the pursuit of freedom. The weakness sown amongst populations encouraged to break up first their families, then their local communities, is tantamount to a domestic military campaign of sociopolitical “divide and conquer.” Local communities that are incapable of organizing themselves, because individuals themselves are incapable of building families, reduces the potential of competitors rising up and challenging the status quo established by Wall Street and Washington.
More importantly, it encourages servile dependency on a particular type of consumerist paradigm perfected and exclusively dominated by Western interests that best feeds the sort of self-absorbed behavior endlessly promoted across Western media.
Essentially, NKSC is not working to “free” anyone. Instead, they are working to corral North Koreans out of one cage, and into another. Some might argue this “other cage” is more comfortable, but it is still a cage nonetheless. It is not done for any altruistic purpose, but simply to enroll millions more from yet another region of the planet into Wall Street’s global-spanning, unsustainable, exploitative consumerist paradigm – one which strangles the environment, society, and individuals.
How can NKSC Show People the “Truth” if it Can’t Even be Honest About Who is Behind its Work? It is also a consumerist paradigm admittedly being built up and sustained with US taxpayers’ money, through the US State Department whose mission is allegedly to represent the American people and their best interests, but which is instead demonstrably imposing US corporate-financier interests on other people, through tricks when possible, and through force when necessary.
Wired’s article, like many others it has written to spin what is essentially colonialism 2.0, is meant to give readers a sense of moral superiority over the West’s many perceived enemies.
That Wired never mentions the US State Department’s role in this particular propaganda campaign illustrates that not only are people being manipulated, they are being manipulated through an extraordinarily dishonest campaign. Would Kang’s sedition be as palatable to North Koreans if they knew it was in fact fully funded, supported, and even the creation of the US State Department? Would that bolster Kang’s allegations that North Korea is unreasonably paranoid regarding American designs to subvert, destroy, and overrun the nation? Or does the fact that his work is fully underwritten by the US State Department undermine entirely the lies he uses to defend it?
When offering “freedom” to others, truth and transparency is essential. The ill-informed or misinformed cannot make truly honest decisions about their future. If North Korea’s crime is deceiving its people about the state of the world beyond its borders, than Kang and the North Korea Strategy Center’s campaign to show them the “true world” with propaganda funded by the US State Department – a fact never mentioned by Kang and the NKSC – is just as deceptive.
As is often said, two wrongs don’t make a right – and that’s if one foolishly assumes the US State Department is seeking to make a right in the first place.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.