21 October 2006

1173) The Bizarre Tale Of Two Cities - Pyongyang And Paris

Pyongyang Has The Atomic Bomb But No Electricity Paris Has Lofty Ideals Of Democracy But No Freedom Of Speech . .

THE REVIEW OF THE NEWS OF THE FRENCH POLITICIANS' PASSING THE ARMENIAN BILL
One of the two cities mentioned in the title of this article is PARIS,.Even though it has been universally accepted as being the capital of a country claiming to possess the true essence of democratic precepts, its acceptance of the fraudulent Armenian genocide bill recently has demonstrated that despite France's lofty claims of democratic ideals, the famous French slogan : LIBERTE, EGALITE , FRATERNITE seems to have been revised and reshaped to read as: LIBERTE, EGALITE AND STUPIDITE.

France's lower house on Thursday approved a bill making it a crime to deny that the alleged mass killing of Armenians in Turkey during the First World War was a genocide.

The majority of the 557 lawmakers in France's lower house didn't show up for the vote while the bill passed only by 106- 19 vote. Thus it has been proven that with this travesty France's noble claims are no longer acceptable, because they do not hitherto represent the true meaning of the words they espouse.

President Jacques Chirac's government opposition to the bill, which was introduced by the French Socialists headed by Nicolas Sarkosy was not affected because the government didn't use its majority to vote it down.

Turkey reacted angrily to the vote. Even though it's unlikely Chirac's government will forward the bill to the country's Senate for ratification. The Turkish Foreign Ministry warned it could harm relations between the two NATO allies, should the bill become a law.

"No one should harbor the conviction that Turkey will take this lightly," Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said.

In the Turkish capital , Ankara, Turks pelted the French embassy with eggs and called for the boycott of French products.

An estimated 1.5 million Armenians are said to have died in eastern Turkey during and after the First World War. The Armenians believe their people were systematically killed in a bid to extinquish the population.

Turkey vehemently denies the claim and insists the death toll has been grossly inflated. It argues the Armenian deaths were the result of an uprising of Armenian militants in a civil war within a world war where Turks were fighting on several fronts, and a hefty amount of 527.000 Turks also lost their precious lives in this conflict.

France's Armenian community of roughly 500,000 had pushed for the passage of the bill, which would set a one-year prison term and a fine of about $64,000 for anyone found guilty of denying the genocide. France has the same fine for denying the Jewish Holocaust.

However,Turks think that this is like comparing apples to oranges.In the case of the Armenian revolt there is not only a rebellion but also a treasonous back stabbing of the Turks by the Armenians who were the cirizens of the Ottoman empire whose upprising against their very own government was totally unacceptable. The Jews of Germany had never been accused to have revolted against their government and killed any German citizens.

The vote on the bill in Paris dominated front pages of most Turkish newspapers, with some reporting that thousands of Turks have promised to go to France and deny the genocide in hopes of getting arrested en masse, if the bill becomes the law.Two TV networks in Turkey broadcast the parliamentary floor debate live.

In 2001, France passed legislation recognizing the Armenian deaths as genocide and in 2004, Canada's Parliament followed suit, voting to acknowledge the Armenian genocide.

In 2000, the U.S. dropped a similar resolution after the White House warned it could hurt U.S. security interests.

Now, let us discuss the Pyongyang as being the other city in our equation. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has a population of nearly 20 million people, but only two citizens--and one of them is dead.

The Soviet Union under Stalin tried hard to erase any vestige of civil society and the important people in it, but failed. Russia was known for its famous people, even as they fell under the blade of Stalinism. But no one in North Korea is famous except for the two Kims. Led by the Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, the family also includes the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il, and the mother of all Korea, Kim Jong Suk. (Kim Jong Suk's picture crops up from time to time and place to place, but she is of little or no importance.)

So two Kims, one alive and one dead, control all aspects of life in this tiny, impoverished communist country, where Kim Il Sungism is the reigning ideology. Questioning that ideology brings banishment from the cities, imprisonment, or public execution.

All visits to North Korea start with an obligatory visit to Mansudae Hill and the 60 feet-tall statue of the Great Leader. Built in 1982 to celebrate his seventieth birthday, the statue is now the focal point for all pilgrimages to Pyongyang. Each person or delegation is expected to bring flowers to lay at the feet of the giant bronze monument, and bowing is mandatory. On either side of the statue are other massive statues of workers, peasants, and especially soldiers fighting against Japanese or U.S. soldiers in the struggle for liberation.

Two basic images of the Great Leader can be found everywhere. The standard image, displayed on all government buildings and in all homes, is the stern portrait that glares down upon the population. The new image, the "smiling portrait," was painted after Kim's death, and has become very popular.

The official portrait of the younger Kim emphasizes his seriousness while de-emphasizing his Elvis-style hair and excess weight. It hangs everywhere beside the portrait of his father, including inside railway carriages and subway cars. Hotel rooms for foreigners seem to be an exception to the ubiquity of these official portraits, but staff areas are never without them. Pictures of mother Kim Jong Suk show her wearing the army uniform she is said to have worn during the fight against the Japanese.

The national art gallery displays numerous paintings of the Great Leader and the Dear Leader giving "on-the-spot guidance" to happy workers, peasants, and soldiers. One of the newest additions to the collection is a massive work showing the Dear Leader with his Mercedes.

There are only two public pictures in Pyongyang of people who do not belong to the Kim family--in the main square are two smallish images, one of Karl Marx and one of Vladimir Lenin

The North Korea has lost over two million men,women and children because of extreme starvation. Their allotment of food and clothing goes straight to the privileged Korean army and the production of arms, including atomic bombs. But for the people there is not even adecuate simple electric power.At nine o'clock at night the whole country plunges into a truly pitiful darkness.

This is then the case of the two cities .The two of them have similar problems. North Korea has the dictatorship of communism, wheras France has been wallowing in a xenofobial bliss brought to it by the senseless minority called the French Armenians .

(An Editorial)
Mahmut Esat Ozan
meozan@turkish forum.com
Chairman-Editorial Board
The Turkish Forum- USA

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