While most reasonable Americans (like reasonable people throughout the world) recognize North Korea as one of the most despotic regimes ever to afflict a portion of our planet, Choe sees North Korea as the tragic victim of propaganda by evil U.S. imperialists. In a February 28, 2002 interview with Workers World, the official newspaper of the WWP, Choe cited U.S. antagonism toward North Korea as typical of "U.S. strategy to demonize and delegitimize popular struggles around the world."
Red Worms Boring Into Big Apple
According to city council candidate Choe, Jong Kim Il's prison state is really a wonderful place. Choe says he even spent his honeymoon there. (At least he volunteered that interesting bit of information to the New York Times six years ago, though he is far less likely to be as forthcoming today). A major concern among many Korean-Americans is John Choe's efforts to recruit Korean-American youths to visit North Korea on "friendship" (i.e., propaganda and disinformation) tours. That is one of the projects of a group Choe helped found, the Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, the stated purpose of which is to bring about the reunification of North and South Korea. Implicit in Nodutdol's message is that reunification must be on communist terms. (Nodutdol refers to South Korea derisively as "colonial Korea" — a colony of the wicked and oppressive America — while the North is ever described in sympathetic, even rhapsodic, terms.) The Nodutdol program that sponsors the propaganda tours is a subsidiary known as DEEP (DPRK Exposure and Education Program). For a frightening glimpse into the deep brainwashing provided by DEEP, please read this euphoric report, "A Journey Home: Visiting North Korea" by Kei Fischer, a Korean-American who is now one of Kim Jong Il's true believers in our midst.
Before departing for the People's Paradise, Fischer and the other pilgrims were subjected to DEEP psychological preparation. Here is Fischer's account:
To prepare for our trip, we met biweekly to read up on Korean history and be exposed to an alternative perspective of North Korea. I began to view North Korea in a different light. I read about guerillas in the north fighting for independence from Japan-fighters who, after World War II, prevented North Korea from being dominated by U.S. capitalism. Instead, North Korean revolutionary socialist ideals called for equality, self-reliance, and justice for the poor and oppressed....
The next two weeks changed my life. Not only were we greeted with the warmest embrace, much like that between long lost relatives, but we were asked time and again to recall what we saw in the north and to share that with the world. There was an amazing air of pride in the north's revolutionary history, which was evident in the beautiful monuments dedicated to guerilla fighters, the intricate mosaic murals created with messages of resistance to US imperialism.
An example of the "beautiful monuments" to which Fischer refers is provided by a photo she took of a typical Stalinist-style "heroic Communism" statue ensemble of two robust young Korean men holding aloft a torch and a hammer and a young Korean women holding up a sickle. These idealized communist icons, which dominate the landscape of every Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, epitomize the false ideals that mask the bloodiest killing machines the world has ever seen.
Although an American citizen, Fischer identifies totally with the North Korean communists. Like so many others associated with Nodutdol/DEEP, she appears only to lament the deaths and suffering of the North Koreans, and to ascribe those tragedies to the fault of the United States and South Korea. She does not seem to have a tear for the massive South Korean casualties (nearly 140,000 killed in action, over 450,000 wounded, and more than 32,000 POW/MIAs) or the U.S. casualties (more than 36,000 killed, over 2,000 wounded, more than 7,000 POW/MIA).
We've seen this many times before. Paul Hollander's excellent 1981 book, Political Pilgrims, details the cases of hundreds of American and Western journalists, students, professors, intellectuals, entertainers, scientists, and politicians who visited Communist countries from the 1920s through the 1970s. Invincibly gullible and willfully blind, they invariably returned with glowing stories of the wonders of socialism and the heroic sanctity of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Chou, Tito, Ho, Fidel (fill in your Red dictator du jour). Their eyes (and minds and hearts) were closed to the countless victims of the purges, deportations, executions, genocides, and the gulags.
How many others like Kei Fischer have been sent to North Korea to receive similar "re-education" treatment? The numbers are not readily found on Nodutdol's website, but there are other similarly alarming accounts from recent pilgrims. John Choe's personal involvement in setting up and promoting this program is disturbing, to say the least.
Venceremos Brigade Vita
In his vita provided for the Reynolds Foundation, John Choe gives a few more details about his Marxist-Leninist pedigree, proudly noting his volunteering with the Venceremos Brigade (VB), one of the oldest and most notorious of communist fronts. (He does not say whether he went with the Brigadistas to help chop sugar cane in Fidel Castro's workers' paradise, one of the VB's favorite romantic pastimes.) He also notes that he was named by George Soros' Open Society Institute as one of their NYC community fellows. In fact, John Choe has been a radical "community activist" for the past 20 years — his entire adult life — with the last eight years consumed as chief of staff for City Councilman John Liu.
Liu, as noted in yesterday's column, is attempting to move up the political food chain, seeking the Democratic spot in the September primary for city comptroller. He is now also coming under fire for his slavish support for the communist powers-that-be in Beijing — and their agents here in the United States. In response to the above-mentioned story on Choe by David Seifman in the New York Post, a writer going by the name "Laoxiong" posted a series of entries providing details of John Liu's purported activities in the PRC and the United States favoring the Beijing party line. The alarming "Laoxiong" reports can be read here (scroll down below the Seifman column).
Both John Liu and John Choe have worked closely with Margaret Chin, a longtime spokesman for the Communist Workers Party (CWP), a militant Maoist sect and one of the most violent revolutionary groups in the country. Armed CWP cadres have engaged in street fighting with police and have acted as enforcement thugs for the PRC, breaking up peaceful pro-Taiwan rallies and beating up Chinese-Americans (and others) who protest Beijing policies and visits to the United States by PRC leaders. Chin is a candidate for New York City's 1st Council District.
"Jimmy From Brooklyn" Weighs In
One of the most knowledgeable experts on communist theory and practice, as well as communist and radical politics in New York City, is the frequent radio talk-show guest who is known to millions of radio listeners as "Jimmy from Brooklyn." Jimmy, a longtime friend of this writer, has been going to communist meetings and programs and studying the communists' literature for decades. He sees the current lineup of Liu, Choe, and Chin as an indication that Beijing and Pyongyang are pushing hard in this election to place pro-communists in vital elective offices around the country.
"It's very frustrating to see this happening because very seldom do any media reports mention the blatant pro-communist records of these candidates," Jimmy said in a recent telephone conversation with The New American. "Margaret Chin's Communist Workers Party ties, for instance, if mentioned at all, are usually treated as if it's some ancient history that's not relevant anymore. Most people are not aware that the CWP changed its name a few years back to Asian Americans for Equality (AAE), but kept the same office, same telephone number, same staff, and most important, the same communist agenda. But now they had become a 'civil rights organization,' giving them a veneer of legitimacy. They started worming their way into Democratic Party politics, and ... began tapping into federal, state, and city funding, obtaining grants and contracts for housing for 'the people.' They have become a political power to be reckoned with now; they have moderated their image, but they are still the same hard-core Maoists as before. They are very adept at exploiting ethnic differences and grievances — and even manufacturing grievances when it suits their agenda. Of course, they don't care one iota about the ethnic groups they profess to be helping; they are simply exploiting them and trying to turn them against America and against each other. It's a strong testement to many different ethnic groups here in New York — Chinese, Korean, Puerto Rican, and others — that despite years of heavy propaganda, most still haven't bought the communist line; most are still happy and proud to be Americans."
Jimmy points out that the CWP's enforcers are professional street thugs who do not hesitate to use violence to intimidate and terrorize. "It's absolutely incredible that they can get away with doing in America the same things they are notorious for doing in Communist China," he says. "I've been at demonstrations where they [CWP thugs] have attacked and beaten peaceful Chinese-Americans. These are hard, young communist guys who are obviously trained in martial arts, and they brutally attack old men and women and defenseless people, as well as engaging in street fights with the police."
Here is a news photo of John Choe sitting next to "comrade" Margaret Chin at a Communist Worker Party/Asian Americans for Equality "community meeting" for affordable housing in Flushing, New York, in September 2008.
Jimmy advises that Chin's soft image belies her hardened Maoist interior. "It's easy to be fooled by her small frame and her grandmotherly appearance," he says, "but she's right in the center of a very dangerous plot." Jimmy notes that Chin and the CWP/AAE are following a secret plan laid out years ago. "I obtained copies of their internal documents," he said, "in which they [CWP/AEE officials] explicitly discussed getting into local elective office in New York City and around the country, in order both to get access to government funds, and to use local government as a base to launch their people into state and national office."
He warns that is precisely what is happening, not only in New York, but in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities with large Chinese communities. "There is a very aggressive campaign underway, and the Beijing Boys are even willing to use murder to move obstacles out of their way, as the murder of Allen Leung in San Francisco's Chinatown shows," Jimmy said. "I think the Leung murder has to be seen as a key part of the bigger picture, which involves a major push to neutralize the anti-communist Chinese in this country, as well as to place pro-Beijing politicians in the major Chinese communities of America." (The Leung murder was the subject of an in-depth investigative report by Dr. Roger Canfield for The New American, "Terror Chinatown," April 17, 2006).
"Jimmy from Brooklyn" also noted the importance of the collaboration between the Chinese-American communists and Korean-American communists, paralleling the close relationship between the communist regimes in Beijing and Pyongyang. That relationship was evident in the brutal home invasion in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, to terrorize Dr. Peter Yuan Li. A team of four thugs, two Chinese and two Korean, carried out that criminal act (one of several recounted in The New American March 20, 2006, article "Terror in American, Made in China").
For a time in the 1990s during the Clinton administration, Americans became justifiably alarmed at the huge inroads being made by Beijing in penetrating our defenses and corrupting our political process with bribes and payoffs. But, notes Jimmy, "After the outrage over the Clinton 'Chinagate' scandals died down, America went back to sleep. But the Chinese communists certainly didn't go to sleep or back off, or slow down. Just the opposite; they've been going ahead full blast, here in America and around the world. These campaigns in New York are very important indications of their plans to penetrate American society and America's institutions."