The very public execution of Comrade Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, reminds us of the brutal nature of dynastic power and what totalitarian Communist dictators do.
"Lil-Kim" Jung Un inherited his evil dictating business. Before he died in 2011 his dad, Kim Jung Il, bequeathed the job to his youngest son. Per the state-controlled news agency (MS-North Korea), Kim Jung Un had his uncle killed for "unwillingly standing up from his seat and half-heartedly clapping" when Kim Jung Un was being honored.
It came out later that Un felt his Comrade Uncle Jang drank and womanized too much. In American politics, that gets you a plum Senate committee chairmanship; in North Korea it gets you shot. That's the Dear Leader's job.
Jang's wife, the sister of Kim Jung Un's dad, was spared and maintains her role in the Worker's Party. Some say she green-lighted the execution, which is always quicker and more conclusive than a divorce.
Earlier this year, Lil' Kim received special envoy Dennis Rodman to his country. Kim's advisors live in such fear they could not bring themselves to tell Un that Rodman was not President Obama.
Rodman fits the pattern for Un, where the bizarre is the norm. Un did invite Rodman to return to North Korea, hopefully for good, so Rodman can teach the state basketball team what he knows about winning: pass the ball to Michael Jord-Un.
In addition, Bill Clinton went to North Korea in 2009. He brought back two young women journalists. Imagine that.
North Korea has been under communist rule since the 1940s. There is little electricity, free health care (but no one can see a doctor or get medicine), and the government starves its people and tells them what they can eat. It is as if Obama had been running the country for 20 years.
Kim Jung Un will have his scientists killed if they cannot figure a way for him to take a bubble bath with his medals on his chest.
The West's willingness to ignore the inhumanity in North Korea has served to embolden its despotic leader. South Korea does not want Un removed from power for fear of having to deal with an influx of 24 million North Korean refugees.
Tribalism and faux Communist brotherhood keep China from doing anything, while the U.S. dances a delicate dance with China on human rights. It is like you know your landlord is beating his wife and kids, but you owe him so much back rent you cannot pay that you are afraid to say anything or he will start eviction proceedings.
The plight of the people of North Korea under command-and-control rule should be educational to anyone paying attention. Man will always want to control others by any means necessary. It can be done by a Communist dictator or by religious fanatics, like in Iran. It can also be done slowly, via populist politicians who engage in class warfare and "give" people health care. It never ends well for a country.
Embarrassed by its dysfunctional Communist economy, Un said that his country has developed a smart phone. It turns out the phone was built in China and shipped to North Korea. In fact, when you ask the Siri a question, it turns you in to the police.
Those concerned about the regulators, czars, Obamacare and heavy-handed government measures need not worry. Jay Carney's North Korean counterpart said that there was a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea at which Uncle Jang was found guilty of crimes that day, and executed that afternoon. So it sounds like he got a fair hearing.
Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator.