TURNING BLIND EYE: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks more like a demented Cabbage Patch doll than a 'god on earth'.
TURNING BLIND EYE: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks more like a demented Cabbage Patch doll than a 'god on earth'. Wong Maye-E

Demented Cabbage Patch kid far from a 'god on earth'


THEY say that a person's character can often be judged by the friends they keep.

Could this more aptly be demonstrated by the relationship between China and North Korea?

Perhaps I'm viewing this purely from a Western perspective but it remains a mystery how Beijing sees their wider interests and international standing best served by being the Hermit Kingdom's only friend.

When you look at it, one cannot even regard North Korea as even being a communist state by Chinese definition.

Since the foundation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (and you know that when any country that starts with "Democratic People's" has much in common with democracy or its people as the Trump Administration's "Alternative Facts" have with actual facts) in 1948, it has known only three leaders. All from one family. Grandfather, father, son - the next one more despotic than the last. A dynastic form of rule hardly shapes up to Beijing's idea of a communist state, one would think.

And then there's the issue of the Kim's being worshipped as gods on Earth by their starving subjects. (Though it's hard to look at the latest Kim incarnation as looking like a Thor. A demented Cabbage Patch Kiddie, perhaps.) It's difficult to equate how this even equates to the Chinese atheistic concept.

So, why does China tolerate the excesses of the Kim regime? It's a small country and hardly makes for any effective physical barrier to any Chinese paranoia about American expansionism. So why has China persisted to support North Korea? Does it simply come down to an idea that at least the humanitarian horror chamber that is North Korea at least makes China's sad and sorry human rights record look more "respectable"?

But who are we to judge? It's not like we in the West aren't guilty of turning a blind eye to the excesses of some regimes we've regarded as "friends".

Since the end of World War II, Australia has basically followed America in terms of the criteria we've put in place concerning our alliances. Sometimes, that has meant we've had to drop our own standards in order to cosy up to some leaders you wouldn't even consider inviting around to Sunday lunch.

It's a situation we should really consider reviewing because America can by no means now be considered to be the glowing light of moral piety. It's become the nation that has slumped to the extent that they are prepared to decimate education, health and environmental expenditure in order to boost the fortunes of the military industrial monolith.

It's predicted that over the next four years, there is going to be an exodus of America's best and brightest in the academic and medical research fields. So perhaps the picture isn't all that bleak if our own government has the foresight to absorb this potential. That's if Peter Dutton has no objections. Yes, America. The land of the free and where one dresses child abuse up and calls it entertainment, if Dance Moms is any indication.

One wonders how long the Saudi royal family would have retained absolute power without America's support. Although, America's thirst for oil probably made that a given. Despite being everything America's concept of freedom and democracy isn't, the West seems reluctant to do anything more than occasionally tap the Saudis on the wrist. It is a moral failure on the part of countries such as ours that we are so willing to turn a blind eye to the institutionalised abuse of 50% of that country's population. I suspect that the West are yet to rue the decision of treating the Saudis on such friendly terms. For what it's worth, I reckon they are playing us. On the surface, joining us in the war on terror but I suspect under the surface, being one of the major financial and material backers for the other side.

The fact that this week, Saudi Arabia was elected to the UN Women's Council barely raised a ripple in the Australian press is disappointing. The fact that a country that treats women no better than cattle can be elected to a body concerned with the welfare and advancement of women and girls is a disgusting indictment on how low we have slumped.

They say a person can often be judged by the friends they keep. Perhaps the type of friends we are prepared to tolerate are part of the reason the world is in such a mess.

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