Two American women, imprisoned by North Korea for alleged crimes, are today free and back in America. Former President Clinton is basking in the glow of his successful rescue mission. When Dennis Kneale had Yaron Brook on CNBC last night, Kneale called Clinton a hero for getting the two American women released. The Obama Administration presumably looks upon this as the first fruits of its foreign policy of being willing to talk with America’s enemies. All of that is what is seen. Now let’s look at what is not seen.
These two women were nothing but bargaining chips to Kim Jong Il. He used them because he wanted to get something from us. Perhaps he wanted more than he got. But he got two very substantial things: one, he got America to negotiate with him in an obvious blackmail situation; two, he got no less than a former President of the United States to come and sanction him as someone worthy of such an honor. The enslaved people of North Korea will be seeing images of the two talking together cordially, seemingly the best of friends. Those heroic souls in North Korea who still dream of help from America in deposing the despot, instead see us come, hat in hand, begging the Dear Leader to release two American women from prison. Not a word about any North Korean political prisoners, let alone any forthright demand for the total dismantlement of the criminal regime.
The result is that Kim Jong Il is strengthened in his position, and his heirs after him. Further, he is encouraged to use this successful tactic—taking hostages and then making demands—by our rewarding him with what he wanted. As in all capitulations to hostage takers, in saving one or two people, we have increased the chances that many others will be kidnapped in the future.
That is what is not seen, either by the Administration or its fawning cheerleaders in the media. While Obama and Clinton pat themselves on the back over this so-called success, Kim Jong Il and other criminal regimes are plotting their next move, secure in the knowledge that blackmail works against America.