Conflict & Justice

Kim Jong Il writes to Syria's Assad

Dear Leader,

Hi. It's me, Emily, again. I thought to write to you today because I saw that you're also sending some warm holiday messages of your own.

According to state-run KCNA media, you wrote to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to send your well wishes on the 41st anniversary of the corrective movement in Syria.

I didn't know what the corrective movement was, so I looked it up. It was a military-pragmatist takeover within the Baath Party regime that brought Hafez al-Assad to power back in 1970. 

Syria's current president, Bashar al-Assad, is the son of Hafez, and your message to him reads:

I extend warm congratulations to you and the friendly Syrian people on the occasion.

The corrective movement conducted under the leadership of Hafez Al-Assad was an event of historic significance for the Syrian people in their struggle to build a prosperous new society.

Hoping that you and your government would achieve successes in the work for defending the country’s sovereignty, security and stability, I sincerely wish you good health and happiness and the Syrian people steady progress and prosperity.

Now. I'm not sure if you've seen the news lately. But "steady progress" is very far from what's going on in Syria.

It's possible you were being ironic, but I have my doubts.

Syrian people have been revolting for eight months. The UN estimates that Assad's military crackdown has killed 3,500 people in that span of time.

November is shaping up to be the bloodiest month yet, according to reports, with well over 300 people killed so far.

Monday there were reports that 90 people were killed across the country in one day alone.

So, which is it, Mr. Kim? Were you being ironic? Or do you not read the news? 

It goes without saying that you have impeccable timing.