Tuesday, August 4
Former President Bill Clinton visited North Korea and managed to facilitate the release of the 2 journalist sentenced to 12 years in prison for alleged crimes against the country. Having Kim Jong Il's childish ego stroked by having a political rock-star, such as Clinton, personally come to negotiate their release was a savvy play by whoever set up the mission.
Conservative critics are already suggesting that Clinton's visit amounts to negotiating with terrorists. This is such a load of bullshit. Of course, the journalists were treated unfairly/harshly by the North Korean leader and his government. The problem was and is that, in spite of the complete infantile lunacy of Kim Jong Il, North Korea is a sovereign nation and the reporters were in the country illegally... by their laws. Is North Korea a terrorist nation? Is their behavior as a global citizen abhorrent? The answer to those questions are arguably yes. Still, they haven't actually attacked their neighbors nor did they kidnap the journalist from foreign soil and hold them hostage.
The U.S. wants North Korea to behave and put aside childish things (like nuclear weapons) and become a responsible adult. Unfortunately, North Korea, being an unruly child, thinks that if nuclear weapons are good enough for the U.S. then they are good enough for them. I'm not a diplomat (be very, very thankful) so I don't have to make the tough decision regarding how to handle the North Korea situation. I'm just an opinionated blogger who thinks that the Clinton visit was a perfect way to get the journalists released and a first step towards talks with the North Koreans.
We can all agree that Kim Jong Il is a childish twit. We just can't say it if we work for the White House. The problem is that he is a buffoon in charge of a sovereign nation and with nuclear capabilities. Getting the journalists released was a diplomatic coup for us and shouldn't have had anything to do with any other problems we are currently trying to work out with them.
Of course, I too am a buffoon, so I could be completely wrong.