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Thursday, December 26, 2013

With neighbors like these...

And the winners of this year's "How the Grinch stole Christmas!" awards are:

  • Bronze Medal - To China's Politburo, for their new and improved ADIZ, unwrapped one month ahead of Christmas:

History belongs to whom draws the last maps and burns the last books (see "One Flew Over the Senkaku's Nest - Nationalist maps of Asia")

  • Silver Medal - To North Korea's "Great Leader of Songun" (or whoever runs the Barnum nowadays), for his late november - early december avunculicide*. No sign of light at the end of the tunnel(s) for DPRK:

Tunnel #1 (July 20) - Bright smile, yellow mushrooms! "Kim Jong-un radiating: he just discovered non-atomic mushrooms (non-magic?)" (20130720 - - image via @AskAKorean)

Tunnel #2 (December 16) - More tension, pink-grey squids. "Kim Jong-un in yet another tunnel. Dried squids this time. After mushrooms, what next? Frozen purgees?" (20131216 - - image via @pearswick)
Tunnel #3 (December 25) - No smile, bloody slaughtered pigs. "Escalade in Kim Jong-un's propaganda: in purge times, backgrounds get really gory"
( - 20131225 - image via @adamcathcart)

  • Gold Medal - To Japan's Shinzo Abe, for his sordid Seasons Greetings from Yasukuni:
"Ho ho ho. Bad Santa's back: (MT @justinmccurry) "Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe to visit Yasukuni shrine later today"
( - 20131226)

Just recycling an old image of the incurable shameless and unrepentant Shinzo Abe ("Germany and Japan: different ways of remembering war crimes and playing politics" - August 2013). Make no mistake: when this man says "Japan must never wage a war again - This is my conviction based on the severe remorse for the past"(see "Text of Abe statement pledging continued peace efforts, remorse for past" - Japan Times 20131227), he's just pretending to pay his entrance ticket**.
With neighbors like these, hardliners have no problem pushing their own domestic agendas, and that's precisely the aim of the game***. 

Even in South Korea, ultra-nationalists from all sides need bogeymen at their doorsteps to thrive. And again, what's the point of criticizing your neighbor's revisionism when you're not fully transparent about your own past****?

Seoul Village 2013
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* see "JANG Sung-taek "sledge-hammered" out (tu quoque, patrui mi?)", following our "Exclusive interview with KIM Jong-un"
** see previous "Abeignomics" episodes, for instance "The Elusive Independence Day - When will Japan officially proclaim its Independence from Imperial Japan?"or the already old "Dear Japan, Please Say No To Abeignomics".
*** all episodes are first about national politics: a token for the hard line following the party plenum in China, a power/money struggle at the top of the North Korean camorra, Shinzo Abe losing momentum at home
**** see for instance "The Sejongno Insult"

ADDENDUM: North Korean Tunnellology, a 2013 retrospective in one image:

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