“Full of Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing”

Dictator Kim Jong Un has been rattling his saber in North Korea with enough warmongering threats to go around. Though U.S. national defense and U.N. security officials recognize that the situation brewing in Pyongyang is serious, they also recognize it as ceremonious. There is a traditional rhetoric in these rumblings from a young leader, portrayed by the American media as frightening because it is foreign. Or so Americans like to think. What is truly frightening is that such rhetoric should be all too familiar.

The escalating threats of the supreme leader of North Korea directed toward South Korea and the United States may well be a customary strategy of bluff and bluster. Kim Jong Un is yet untested and unproven, and such tactics may inspire the admiration of the people and the awe of enemies. By exaggerating the havoc they can wreak externally, they may become more united internally. The situation in Korea, however, may be too unstable for such intense “beneficial” provocations as Kim Jong Un is demonstrating.

nkorea-kim jong unOn December 12, 2012, Kim Jong Un authorized a long-range rocket test to demonstrate North Korea could launch intercontinental missiles. Two months later, he ordered an underground nuclear test, despite U.N. sanctions banning such activity. On March 11, South Korea and the U.S. held annual military drills, which North Korea condemned as invasion preparation and voided the 60-year-old armistice ending the Korean War. In a muscle-flexing response, on March 28 the U.S. sent two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers to join the military drills and dropped dummy munitions on a South Korean range. The next day, Kim Jong Un held a midnight meeting of senior generals to sign a rocket-preparation plan and ordered his army on standby to strike the U.S. mainland, South Korea, Guam, and Hawaii, proclaiming that “the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S.” He then declared that, “inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war,” and would retaliate against U.S. and South Korean provocations without notice and to nuclear extremes. On April 3, North Korea barred South Koreans from their borders. Also last week, officials reported evidence of missile transport. “The moment of explosion,” says Kim Jong Un, “is coming.”

When? Perhaps someone should ask Dennis Rodman who visited recently. Until something more materializes, this is still a great game of appearances. Once past the alarmist headlines, the news coolly describes Kim Jong Un’s rocket-readying as mere brinkmanship—or even showmanship. This perspective inspires wonder for these series of purported stunts. Such political posturing is typical of North Korea, but American media presents it as a curiosity. Most analysts agree that North Korea, barring some unknown advance in their arsenal, do not have the capacity to launch a weapon outside the Korean peninsula. Why all the big-talk from Kim Jong Un, then? Why the stunts?

Barack Obama shooting at Camp DavidUnfortunately, Americans can look for answers closer to home than North Korea. The one thing clear from Kim Jong Un is that he does not want to be ignored—and that is where a striking similarity appears between Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship and Barack Obama’s presidency. The Obama administration is similarly self-conscious, with motives that are at best, strange, and at worst, suspicious. Like Kim Jong Un, dramatic political stunts and overt personality propaganda are standard procedure for Obama; but few seem to question his obvious persona cultivation. After the Newtown massacre, President Obama signed a series of executive actions for gun-violence laws with suppliant children looking on, having written him letters pleading for a reaction. Why the emotional exploitation, Mr. President? Why the stunt? Obama is a king of such image sculpting, accepting the Democratic nomination on a stage resembling a Greek temple, or taking a bow for Osama Bin Laden’s death—or even replacing the stars on Old Glory with his face. Why the pomp and ceremony? Why the stunts? Moreover, why the public acceptance of it all? The simple answer is that this nation is rife with Obama sycophants, or worse, worshipers of the great “O.” They make grade school children sing songs of praise about their Dear Leader. Whether based on white racial guilt, liberalism, or government dependency, the widespread embrace of Obama-drama is as disturbing and strange as anything out of North Korea.

obamaStunts are means by which the leader of a personality cult maintains his followers. Obama is hailed as a messianic figure—the One, as his campaigns branded him. The quasi-religious devotion that Obama receives is precisely what one might expect to find in a North Korean theocracy. Kim Jong Un employs the well-worn methodologies of the Kim Dynasty personality cult to secure the loyalty of his people. The media manipulation, the staged interviews and photographs, the hyperbolic demonstrations all conspire to paint an idealized image to generate hero worship. This is, of course, an artifice—it is a stunt. Though Obama does not enthrall his people by rearranging missiles and international saber rattling, he still enthralls them with fail-safe programs that fail, moralistic over-regulation, and bald-faced budget bluffs. And Americans love a dog-and-pony show as much as North Koreans apparently. The national devotion towards Obama does not measure up with the national debt that will destroy the dollar. But he does everything as a smiling father, a stern commander-in-chief, a dashing celebrity or whatever role is required to appear powerful and presidential.

Kim Jong Un is no more of a political charlatan than Barack Obama, which makes them equally dangerous. Even if the particulars differ, the rhetoric of Kim Jong Un and Barack Obama is fundamentally the same—to dupe a nation into believing in him and him alone. Americans look to North Korea and wonder at their puppet-master nationalism, judging Kim Jong Un unstable and power-hungry. But would an honest analysis of our own leader yield a different conclusion? Both are devious stuntmen whose stunts fuel their cults and their agendas for government control.

Just as North Korea is Kim Jong Un, so is the United States Obama—or so would Obama have it along with a high percentage of Americans. The United States was conceived as a nation of laws. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were widely, if not universally, popular men whose power of character could have been exploited to establish a dictatorship. But this was not their vision for the nation. They envisioned a nation whose government was of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not Obama Nation. Not Obamacare. Not Omerica. They intended, instead, a nation of liberty and justice for all.

Even this seems like a strange saying nowadays, unhappily refuted by the ravages and atrocities that are politically sanctioned in this “nation under God.” There is an abundance of news detailing the peculiarity of life in North Korea. There is almost nothing detailing the insanity that prevails in the United States. The murder of unborn millions and same-sex unions has become part of the new American dream. We always see the mote, but never the beam. We fear the very thing that we are.

North Korea has claimed that the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. Perhaps someone should inform Kim Jong Un that the U.S. is doing just fine settling its own account.

Sean Fitzpatrick


Sean Fitzpatrick is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and the Headmaster of Gregory the Great Academy. He lives in Scranton, PA with his wife and family of four.

  • Caroline

    A very mean-spirited, illogical, and uncharitable attack on a democratically elected president. The efforts to draw parallels between Kim Jong Un and Obama are patently absurd. If you want to find a swaggering, war-mongering, threatening parody of Kim Jong Un in an American president, Obama would not be your best option.

    • poetcomic1

      Yes, it was very mean-spirited and uncharitable attack on our president – Obama is NOT Korean he is ‘Manchurian’ to use a movie reference.

      • Bono95

        Mr. Fitzpatrick didn’t say Obama was Korean, he just compared him to a Korean dictator. Would you have preferred a comparison to a Chinese dictator (Mao), a Russian/Soviet dictator (Lenin, Stalin), or what? They’d all work just fine too. Insert your comparison dictator of choice here:

        • Phil

          The reference wasn’t to Manchuria but to a film about a presidental candidate who was brainwashed in communist Manchuria. I agree that its a ridiculous thing to say, however.

    • tom

      Leftists are Leftists. Un’s a Leftist, Obama’s a Leftist. what’s left?

    • Bono95

      Well then, if we can’t lay all the blame on Obama here, because he was elected democratically, shall we then blame everyone who voted for him as well as him who was voted for? How’s that for a fairer and more democratic accusation? Guilt and stupidity, not just for one, not just for some, but for all.

      • dch

        Your welcome! Sore loser. Yes we elected him. He massively beat both McCain and Romney. That must have really hurt.

        • Bono95

          Not really. McCain and Romney didn’t have much respect for unborn children, old people, the middle class, or religion either. The last 2 elections weren’t good (M and R) vs. bad (O), they were bad (M and R) vs. worse (O).

      • cestusdei

        I do blame the idiots who voted for him.

    • cestusdei

      Oh, after 8 years of unrelenting Bush hatred that is amusing.

  • dch

    “The one thing clear from Kim Jong Un is that he does not want to be ignored—and that is where a striking similarity appears between Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship and Barack Obama’s presidency. ”

    Is the article misplaced from The Onion?

  • dch

    The Onion just called, they want their article back.

    • Obama_Dogeater

      Wit just called and disowned you.

  • tom

    Sums up my thoughts, nicely. Weel done. The only fact not stressed is the power the thugs in peking hold over Un. He doesn’t do ANYTHING unless they approve. Tomorrow’s missle day for East Asia, not missal day.

  • It is quite likely that the reason Obama was reelected was that he loves poor people so much. This is quite obvious by the fact that he has created so many more of them since taking office. And these people, who are now on the public dole, are reluctant to give up “free money” (like it falls from Heaven like manna) so vote to continue getting their goodies. The welfare system/entitlement mentality in this country are as much to blame for this as emotionally swayed, intellectually eviscerated voters.

    • tom

      Right on: We have a million homeless school kids and 1/3 of kids live in a house without a father. Shame on this sham of a society!

  • Phil

    This article has single-handedly destroyed this writer’s credibility. However much Obama may have abused the political system, and however much he’s fawned over, there is simply no comparison with the Kims. To assert that one of the world’s freest countries is in any way like the world’s most oppressive is patently absurd.

    • Bono95

      There is still freedom to be found here, but America is not as free as it used to be. Yes, it’s freer than Korea, and yes, not all the mess here is Obama’s fault. The way was paved for him by several preceding administrations and policies, including several Republican ones. However, Obama sure isn’t fixing things any.

      • Nice of you to concede that America is freer than N. Korea. Did you have to reason that out first or did it just come to you?

        • Bono95

          I reasoned it out first. Oh sure, we’re totally losing freedoms left and right, and that’s not going to stop any time soon, but we’re still not quite North Korea.

          • I agree that this article is way over the top.

            • STF

              Is it way over the top to point out the exhibitionist rhetoric that the Obama administration utilizes?

            • Bono95

              That may not hold true for much longer.

    • STF

      This article merely wishes to point out a similarity in the persona-driven rhetoric of these two leaders. Some commentators have dismissed the theme without providing specific argument against it—suggestive, perhaps, of that blanket approval Obama has won from some who ought to think twice, or for themselves.

      In my opinion, President Obama is an exhibitionist and that renders him suspicious. He has a cultish following among some that I think ill befits a democratic leader, though he’s not the only U.S. president who has. Republicans still idolize Reagan and JFK has his own pedestal as well. Obama is not Kim Jong Un and the United States is not North Korea, but there are subtle parallels at play that encroach upon the principles this nation is built upon.

  • A M

    Anyone that sincerely thinks this article is absurd, needs to go speak to some folks who have come to the US from countries that are not free, and who know what happens before a free nation becomes a dictatorship, because they lived through it. People who have been through it, are horrified to see the same things that led up to the nightmares in their home countries, now replaying before their eyes on this stage.

    As for the election… anyone who seriously believes that there were precincts where literally 100% of people voted for Obama (which is what was reported)… needs to check their own thinking. That would literally mean that not one Catholic, not one republican, not one independent… NOBODY, even on ACCIDENT, cast a single vote for anyone else, in that area. That is pretty much literally impossible.

    If you believe that, you shouldn’t be reading the Onion. You might get confused.

  • cestusdei

    I thought that Obama would make everyone love us?

  • Surprised you didn’t also compare Obama to Hitler and the US to Nazi Germany. Or is that next weeks article?

  • Theorist

    The book I.F. Stone’s Hidden History of the Korean War purports to show that S. Korea instigated that war and the US just joined in order to contain Russia.

    Likewise, I think that theme fits with the present theme of both leaders trying to cook-up cold war propaganda for their own short-term political images. However, we should also keep in mind, that the US has military and missile bases in Japan and S. Korea which could pose a danger to the only, at least, quasi-conservative bastion in the world -Russia. Therefore I look upon any interference in the Far East as a danger to China and Russia who both exhibit, if not ideal, at least healthy political attitudes in their domestic and foreign policies.

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