Good riddance? Yes, but …

One is tempted to say “good riddance” upon hearing of the death of Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator. It is. On the other hand, personality cults tend to moderate as well as hold together otherwise rogue and unstable regimes. I recall when, as a second-grader among relatives who were politically informed and interested in foreign affairs, I thought it was time to cheer when hearing that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had died, only to have an WWII veteran uncle remark that they would find someone just as bad or worse to take his place. So true. The Cold War got a lot worse before the Soviets finally imploded. Even if nuclear armed, North Korea is not the threat the USSR was, and probably does not have the same staying power, but it’s not yet time to cheer.

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