Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Kim Jong-il, and I Approve This Candidate

"I'm Kim Jong-il, and I Approve This Candidate - John Choe: DPRK shill, NYC Democrat"
by Ben Johnson
Excerpted from, April 24th, 2009

"John Choe lived through 9/11 in New York City and shortly thereafter became legislative director for a city councilman – but led protests against toppling the Taliban and still boasts of volunteering for an organization whose keynote speaker proclaimed two weeks after 9/11 “many of those who died [in the Twin Towers] were already targets of the daily violence of global capitalism.” He made two pilgrimages to Stalinist North Korea and a trip to Castro’s Cuba “to create new ways of building solidarity with the struggles of workers and people of color.” He denounced “American imperialism,” the U.S. “war” against the poor, and the torture and politically motivated murders of South Korea (but not the North). George Soros rewarded his Communist zeal with a grant to create a left-wing pressure group within New York’s Korean community – a group which Choe ran in lockstep with Ramsey Clark’s radical Workers World Party and its affiliates before joining an organization that includes "representatives" from North Korea. And now, he’d like your vote."


It’s clear why Choe would want his vitae shielded from prying eyes. The first clue to Choe’s radical views is his self-description as “a byproduct of U.S. imperialism.” Examining the organizations his CV boasts he served yields yet more. Among them:

* The Venceremos Brigades, a joint venture of Cuban intelligence and the KGB. A secret FBI report written in 1977 found its purpose was “the recruitment of individuals who are politically oriented and who someday may obtain a position, elective or appointive, somewhere in the U.S. Government, which would provide the Cuban Government with access to political, economic and military intelligence.” (Emphasis added.) Choe fits the bill today, as he did when the Brigades quoted him in a press release pledging his “solidarity” with los Cubanos. Choe said, “I am very much interested in learning about the Cuban Revolution and the way it can both inform my activism as a community organizer in New York City and also inspire me to create new ways of building solidarity with the struggles of workers and people of color here and abroad.” (The group’s itinerary that year included a “stop at the Che Guevara Memorial site in Santa Clara” en route to Havana.)

* Korea Exposure & Education Program (KEEP), which according to
an older, unsanitized version of its history, organizes trips to North Korea to “counter negative and biased portrayals of the country in mainstream U.S. media.” Choe’s own organization, Nodutdol, founded with George Soros grant money, would soon do the same. Choe still serves on KEEP’s planning team.

* Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV), a radical group which
brands the NYPD “perpetrator number-one” of “physical attacks on Asian immigrants.” The keynote speaker for CAAV’s 15th anniversary, on September 28, 2001, was Angela Yvonne Davis, a former Black Panther and current university lecturer. Davis told her audience, “The attack on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon does not annul the history of U.S. militarism…And it should not camouflage the fact that the U.S. significantly helped to create the conditions that led to the violence of September 11…The attack on September 11 has been represented as an attack against global capitalism (with the U.S. flag as its symbol). But we must consider that many of those who died were already targets of the daily violence of global capitalism.” (Emphasis added.) A year later, its publication the CAAV Voice would declaim, “the war on Iraq is a racist war.” Continuing Davis’ radical fervor, CAAV’s Youth Leadership Project offers Asian youth an “intensive 8 week summer program that engages the youth in basic organizing skills training; workshops of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, colonialism, and other systems of oppression (as well as the freedom movements to fight these oppressions).” Choe was still listed as a member of CAAAV as as of February.

Most of these activities have been scrubbed from Choe’s
campaign bio. Yet Choe proudly lists himself the founder of Nodutdol (which translates, roughly, “stepping stone”), a far-Left Korean organization the South Korean consulate told the New York Times is controlled by Pyongyang.

So too is another group Choe belongs to: the
Korea Truth Commission. The Workers World newspaper acknowledges, “The KTC includes representatives from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (socialist north Korea).” And the WWP should know; as DiscoverTheNetworks points out, KTC is a member of the International ANSWER steering committee, and was founded by Ramsey Clark's International Action Center, which is itself a front for the Workers World Party (WWP), a tiny Marxist splinter party that lionizes Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosovic, and Saddam Hussein.

Choe’s ties to North Korea run long. He first visited the North in 2000 – on his honeymoon! Eight years later, he made a return trip. He tried to minimize the importance of the trip, telling The Queens Tribune he and his new bride “spent a few days in North Korea to learn about the society.” He has emerged sounding very much like a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea spokesman, insisting Pyongyang had the right to test “civilian” rockets. (He claimed he was unaware if the rockets North Korea kept firing over Japanese airspace were for civilian or military purposes.) Choe thundered that South Korea “restricted free speech and freedom of conscience, [and] allowed the authorities to detain, torture and sometimes kill their political opponents whether they were professors, poetry, [sic.] labor activists.” He generously offered, “If a similar system is in place in North Korea, I would also oppose it.” But thus far, his ire has been directed toward Seoul – and Washington. In 2005, Choe chaired a speech given by two South Koreans who claim they were injured in a “massacre” orchestrated by the South Korean government. One of them said their purpose was to insist the U.S. government “pay reparations to the victims.”

It was hardly Choe’s first less-than-sympathetic gesture toward the land of his emigration. On Febraruy 28, 2002 – just months after his new hometown fell victim to the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history – Choe staged a rally opposing toppling the Taliban. He told the WWP’s newspaper, Workers World, his new organization Noduldol had two goals: “to showcase the fact that many members of the Korean community in New York have been opposed to the use of military forces in Afghan,” [sic.] and to make “comparisons with the way the U.S. has acted with its allies in Korea and Palestine, dividing and occupying these two countries.” Not content to merely demean his own country on two fronts, Choe insisted: “Bush saying ‘Axis of Evil’ is not just something recent. It’s been U.S. strategy to demonize and delegitimize popular struggles around the world.” In one sentence he lambasted the United States and elevated Kim Jong-il’s gulag to a “popular struggle.” A year later, Choe would insist, “the U.S. is about to launch a war” against North Korea.

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