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The Damage Done

August 5th, 2009 by Chuck · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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.

4 Comments so far ↓

  • Ryan Mulkerin

    The principle of never bargaining with terrorists is widely known and largely agreed with in my experience, but when that bargaining is done with a country then suddenly it’s a heroic move.

  • Chuck

    And observe what this heroism consists of: throwing away principles, and embracing compromise and capitulation. How easy it is to be a hero today!

    The world turned upside down.

  • Mike

    Spot-on analysis. It constantly amazes me how far a pragmatist will go to avoid the use of force in most instances.

    And it goes back further than Kim Jong Il: The Korean War is still not technically over, because we feared an encounter with a million Chinese and accepted a perpetual “armistice.” Perhaps at the time it was a good idea to back off, but that was before the modern military and its use of technological force multipliers and automata. Today, all of China’s millions of soldiers would be routed by a properly trained and integrated force of a few hundred marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen. We just don’t have the balls/conviction to stand up and say “OK, that’s the end of it. Unconditional surrender or we move.”

    In fact, it goes back even further. Right now there are Native American tribes trying to govern themselves under a tangled patchwork of federal exceptions and precedences because it was deemed cheaper and/or more expedient, 100-150 years ago, to entreat and cede sovereignty with some of the tribes rather than conquering them as we did others. Ed Cline put it best in the “Sparrowhawk” series: the solution was to subsume the tribes into American civilization, not to maintain them in thousand-acre specimen jars throughout Oklahoma, NM, and AZ. Canada is partly doing it better than we did and partly doing it worse. By not having the fortitude to say “this is how it’s going to be,” we created a quagmire of sovereignty. (Full disclosure: I have partial NA ancestry).

    Robert A. Heinlein was right: the application of force is virtually always the most effective manner in which to resolve conflicts.

  • madmax

    “the solution was to subsume the tribes into American civilization, not to maintain them in thousand-acre specimen jars throughout Oklahoma, NM, and AZ.”

    This is a good point. There are definite parallels between the way we handled the Indians after the American Revolution and the way we are handling our enemies today, especially our Muslim enemies. Sadly our Indian policy was started by George Washington himself who looked upon the Indians as a type of ‘noble savages’ largely from his experiences with then as a young man.