Bill Clinton is Back on the World Stage

Congratulations to our nation’s forty-second President, Bill Clinton, as he successfully obtained the release of the two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been held hostage for the past four months by the North Korean regime. Mr. Clinton did a masterful job in obtaining the release of these Americans who have been held against their wills by a crazed dictator. The Obama Administration also deserves credit because, other than Jimmy Carter, no former American President would attempt such a mission without the support and coordination from the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama also deserve credit for something else today. They also engaged in an action that helps to legitimize a rogue nation that not only has nuclear weapons, but is actively attempting to export their related technology to other outlaw states. By sending the former President of the United States to pay a courtesy call to North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Il, President Obama has allowed a crazed dictator to share the world stage with the once most powerful man on earth. This lends credibility to Mr. Kim and it will, of course, be used by him as propaganda both at home and abroad.

Imagine some other third world dictator sitting in his palace in Tehran, for example, reading about this or watching it on CNN International. He could not help but believe that by continuing to engage in bad behavior, maybe, some day, he too will be able to meet with President Clinton. It is doubtful that either former President Bush would want to be photographed with Kim Jong-Il. George W. Bush was, after all, the one who, correctly, declared that North Korea was a member of the Axis of Evil.

It is not surprising that President Clinton would allow himself to be used as a prop by the North Koreans. He had, of course, allowed himself to be used like this while he was in office. Remember, he is the one who sent his Secretary of State to Pyongyang. Who can forget the entertainment at the large outdoor stadium with the starving people of North Korea all flipping their cardboard signs in unison and on cue. And, don’t forget about the goodies that Secretary of State Madeline Albright brought to Mr. Kim. As a Chicagoan and long time Chicago Bulls fan, it was somewhat insulting that the gifts included a Michael Jordan autographed basketball. (I wonder if Mr. Kim has sold that basketball on E-Bay in an effort to raise hard currency for his fellow North Korean citizens. I tend to doubt that.)

During the Clinton Administration, the North Koreans develop their first nuclear weapon. As a reward for that, President Clinton extended the courtesy of having his top diplomat pay a visit. It was under President Clinton that the North Koreans signed an agreement to discontinue their nuclear program. Despite a signed piece of paper, they didn’t stop. And, Mr. Clinton, like his two successors, did nothing (unless you believe that the old adage of “Stop or I’ll say stop again”, is doing something – I don’t).

I am very happy for Ms. Ling, Ms. Lee and their families. If it was my daughter who was being held hostage, I would demand that the US government do everything in its power to ensure her safe return, including sending a former President to help negotiate her release.

However, for the rest of us, I’m afraid that today’s mission of mercy may have unintended consequences. The North Koreans do not act out of selflessness. Something must have been promised to them in exchange for the release of the hostages. In the years to come, we will find out if a secret deal has been made. If I’m right and something was promised, hopefully, it will not be costly to our national security. And, whether there is a secret deal or not, the world’s most dangerous dictator got to spend the day, in full view of the TV cameras, with the former President of the United States. Not a bad way to spend a few hours and, at the same time, make yourself a more credible figure to your partners in crime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Missed and overlooked in this entire escapade is the fact that the 2 ladies crossed a border illegally and were arrested properly by the authorities. There's a teaching moment here for President Obama, our authorities should be arresting illegal aliens who cross our border from Mexico!!!