By Barry Rubin

Now appearing in Pyongyang: North Korean missile; Iranian nosecone. Ain’t international cooperation wonderful? Joshua Pollack, a very smart arms’ expert, has just published an article and a paper on cooperation between these two countries which is well worth reading.

One point really caught my eye. Iran’s news agency reported a speech given by Tehran’s military attache
describing his country’s military strategy as being based on “deterrence, revolutionary spirit, and tireless self-sufficiency.” Pollack notes, “These principles would sound familiar to North Koreans, for whom songun (military-first policy), deterrence, wholehearted unity, and juche (self-sufficiency and freedom of action) are national slogans.

Yes, regardless of their specific ideology and themes, these dictatorial systems have a great deal in common. Just to see North Korean Communist dictator Kim Il Sung’s portrait next to that of Iranian Islamist dictator Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the photo shows the contemporary unity of totalitarian ideologies (and don’t forget their apologists and followers in Western countries).

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Wasn’t Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bragging recently on the success of U.S. policy in defusing the North Korea nuclear threat? Wasn’t President Barack Obama bragging recently on the success of U.S. policy in countering nuclear proliferation? These people don’t seem too concerned as their (and, more importantly, our) enemies get together for the purpose of gobbling as much of the world as possible, smashing liberty, and destroying democracy.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict, and Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan), Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle Eastand editor of the (seventh edition) (Viking-Penguin), The Israel-Arab Reader the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria(Palgrave-Macmillan), A Chronological History of Terrorism (Sharpe), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).