Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lie Another Day

Selig Harrison sounds so much like a "Juche apologist" that frequent One Free Korea commenter david woolley wonders aloud if SH is not a pseudonym for KJI:
Why is there no wikipedia entry for Selig Harrison? Is it because the no-vilification rules are unavoidable — or is he, in fact, a figment, a convenient name for an editorial actually penned by Kim Jong Il, much as Stalin wrote for Pravda under a pseudonym? Inquiring minds and all that.
While Mr Harrison is clearly some kind of nom, I don't think he's a nom de plume. If you follow this link to where I've skewered him in the past, you'll find a video of him on PBS's Newshour. There is a real person behind Dr Evil's advocate.

But hold the phone... Wasn't there a James Bond movie where the villain used extensive plastic surgery to change his appearance from Asian to a nordic European? (Indeed, it would appear the streets of Seoul and Tokyo are full of such villains.) And wasn't that villain a... wait for it... North Korean?!

Maybe Mr Woolley and I are onto something. But would this grand ruse require the kidnaping of a Kangnam-area plastic surgeon? No, not with the advent of the hyper-realistic SPFX masks, those that are so convincing that a Polish immigrant had bank employees certain that he was a Black man as he robbed them.

In fact, an "elder" mask was recently used by a Chinese immigrant to get into Canada to seek asylum (it's in the same link above). And that means we must ask the inevitable: Could Selig Harrison be a North Korean operative with good English skills using a specially made "old man mask" to more effectively spread pro-Pyongyang propaganda?

I don't know about you, but now I'm convinced there's no other explanation.

I forgot, no mention of a James Bond movie is complete unless I include a picture of one of the hotties. And while thoughts of Halle Berry are always enough to warm me up at Christmastime, Die Another Day included one of my all-time favorite Bond girls from the same movie, Miranda Frost (played by Rosamund Pike).

Jack Pritchard, president of the Korea Economic Institute, has an article in the January 5 edition of the Korea Herald which also skewers Mr Harrison's proposal for the US to give South Korean territorial waters to North Korea.


  1. It seems there is finally a Wikipedia entry for Selig Harrison. I am guessing that this has only just gone up.


  2. Hmm... maybe someone had taken it down and it was only now put up again. The section under "Reputation" is quite intriguing:

    His reputation for giving “early warning” of foreign policy crises was well established during his career as a foreign correspondent. In his study of foreign reporting, Between Two Worlds, John Hohenberg, former secretary of the Pulitzer Prize Board, cited Harrison’s prediction of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war 18 months before it happened. Hohenberg wrote: “What Harrison foresaw came to pass, and when it happened, American editors suddenly rose up in their wrath – as they always do at such times – and demanded, ‘why weren’t we told about all of this?’ They had been told at great length, but because too many editors were bored with a place like India, they weren’t listening.” Terming Harrison “one of the few correspondents in all of Asia who was able to maintain a balanced point of view,” Hohenberg called him a model of the “first-rate correspondent who knows the past of the area to which he is assigned, writes with clarity and meaning of the present and has an awareness of the future.”

    More than a year before the Russians invaded Afghanistan, Harrison warned of this possibility in one of his frequent contributions to the influential journal, Foreign Policy. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he was one of the earliest to foresee that the Soviet Union would withdraw its forces and become a leading advocate of a two-track policy designed to promote a withdrawal through a combination of military pressure and diplomatic incentives. He was also one of the few who predicted that the Kabul Communist regime would not fall immediately after the withdrawal. Rep. Stephen Solarz, chairman of the House Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, introducing him at a hearing on February 21, 1989, one year after the withdrawal, observed that “with each passing day his reputation as a prophet is enhanced. I am sure it wasn’t easy for Mr. Harrison, in the face of a phalanx of analysts, academicians, and others who were all saying the opposite, to maintain his position, but he had the intellectual fortitude and moral strength to stick by his guns, his analytical guns, and I think he deserves credit for that.”

    Though I think his recent op-ed (in the first link above) is utter hogwash and it indeed sounds like he's doing Pyongyang's bidding, I suppose if he ever predicts the impending collapse of the DPRK regime (like Joshua Stanton recently did), then we should sit up and take notice.

    Truth be told, though, if Joshua Stanton is right about the six months, then I submit that I predicted that collapse one year ago (and here and here), as a direct result of the Great Currency Obliteration of 2009. But Joshua Stanton sorta already predicted it as well. If anything happens in six months, it is a direct result of that.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.