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From the Gonzo

. . . somewhere near the event horizon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Russian polls, North Korean ramblings

Scanning the Pravda Web site I found this article about a poll of Russians conducted by the polling agency VTSIOM, which I think was actually taken over by the Russian government a few years back. The poll concerns foreign assistance with the promotion of democracy, which, suffice it to say, Russia could use some assistance.

Here is the relevant information on the poll from the article:

"The survey conducted by VTSIOM shows that 70% of the youth from 18 to 24 years old are happy about foreign teachers of democracy. From 53% to 56% of the middle-aged and senior citizens are in favor while 26% of the polled strongly object to foreign assistance in the promotion of democratic values. The figures change when America is mentioned as a democracy teacher for Russia. Every second respondent is against the U.S. assistance to Russia in terms of democracy promotion. Every third one is in favor. The pros and cons among the youth are 46% and 42% respectively."

Either people don't like America interfering in Russia or the government wants everyone to think that.

Speaking of other nations hating the American government.

North Korea's state-run news agency Web site is always a laugh, in a four horsemen of the apocalypse kind of way.

There were a couple amusing pieces on the Korean Central News Agency's (KCNA-linked above) story list for Dec. 20. The first one that caught my eye was headlined, "U.S. Adventurous Attempt to Attack DPRK Assailed."

"The Washington Times and the Washington Post, leading papers of the U.S., a few days ago reported that the U.S. Defense Department would present a "report on 4-year defense strategy," the win-win strategy approved by the U.S. military authority, to the U.S. Congress in February next year.

What is noticeable in the strategy code-named "1421" is military interference in different areas of the world, simultaneous performance of two wars and complete occupation of a sovereign state. Rodong Sinmun in a signed commentary today says that one of the main targets of the U.S. imperialists' new war strategy is the Korean Peninsula. It discloses the U.S. attempt to make a preemptive nuclear attack on the DPRK including the recent U.S. military decision to deploy the latest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier "George Washington" in the U.S. military base in Yokosuka, Japan."

That's just the first two paragraphs. But you get the idea, it's a bit over the top, even if George W. Bush is president.

The second headline I noticed at KCNA for Dec. 20 read, "DPRK Foreign Ministry Denounces U.S. Anti-DPRK "Human Rights" Racket."

"A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry in a statement issued Monday blasted the frantic anti-DPRK "human rights" racket kicked up under the U.S. supervision. The U.S. instigated its allies to railroad the anti-DPRK "human rights resolution" through the Third Committee of the 60th UN General Assembly this year and recently brought together riff-raffs in Seoul to stage such farce as the "international conference on north Korean human rights performance," the statement said, and went on: The U.S. plans to stage a similar farce in Brussels next year.

It can not but be a tragedy in the 21st century for the U.S. to talk about human rights as it has the world's poorest human rights record and is an empire of evil."

The article goes on to decry the U.S. for invading Iraq but it fails to defend why blasting North Korea's human rights record is such a travesty.

But does North Korea hate us or what? Heh.

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