Sunday, August 16, 2009

ZenTiger A Good Korea Move

Former US President Bill Clinton made a good "korea" move in negotiating the release of two US Journalists (Euna Lee and Laura Ling) held in prison in North Korea. They had serviced 4 months of a 12 year sentence for being caught engaged in hostile acts (being found near the border with film equipment).

My first thoughts were "good on him" and I was glad he could do some good. Those thoughts remain, but my second thoughts were "what was the price?" When I read nauseating statements like: State media said Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama’s gratitude. The report said the visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between North Korea and the United States. I wonder how much appeasement Obama is prepared to grant for "peace in his reign". And aside from those thoughts, my biggest reaction was actually about a peripheral issue.

With the imprisonment of these two journalists, the world heard about how brutal the conditions were in these "gulags". The world learned about how many people are locked up in these places, often without fair trials, possibly innocent of any crime. American newspapers were aghast at the conditions two US citizens would have to endure.

And now with their release, the thousands of other prisoners will be forgotten. There will be no US President advocating to release them, there is no meaningful United Nations program underway to bring North Korea into line and ending these gross violations of human rights. It's back to business as usual.

It was much the same in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people could be gassed and tortured by Saddam, and the liberal left remained largely against all moves to stop this. When we finally got the chance, because Saddam was making noises about not just threatening his own people, but others in other countries, the liberal left were not interested.

Such disinterest in allowing totalitarian governments to flourish, let alone to exist could be our downfall. I think it might even blind us to the dangers inherent in our own system. We can see the hard totalitarianism of places like North Korea, and are left to shrug our shoulders, unsurprised that the collective might of the democracies are cowed into inaction. Do we have some kind of soft totalitarianism happening around us? (I'll explain this in a separate post)

Perhaps, with the vaunted principles of the United Nations Charter drive a mandate for the United Nations to step in? Don't be daft. That charter sits in cobwebs when it comes to the big things about life and death for millions. The only exercise it gets is when there is an opportunity for western governments to justify another set of law changes to restrict freedoms or raise taxes.

Our governments are failing us, and at the same time, we are being herded literally towards a new world order. The only lesson we can learn from North Korea is that a western government may step in when there is PR value from a token action. Unfortunately, however much appreciated, there remain tens of thousands of others trapped in a North Korean prison that have little hope in being granted any freedom.

Bill Clinton rescued two people, and it was a good career move. How much better for all of us if the Western World, on a bigger scale, made a similar good Korea move? Sadly, such a move is not a priority. Carbon taxes. That will save us.

Related Link: Bill Clinton makes a good Korea move

4 comment(s):

Max Power said...

It's sad, but this appeasement has always happened. Even back in the 60's during the cold war.

Back in 1964 Ronald Reagan gave his famous "A Time for Choosing" speech. I've always loved the last four or five minute of it where he talks about the liberal policy of appeasement: Ronald Reagan - A Time for Choosing

mojo said...

A very good korea move ... any pub licity is good & if it incorporates 'humanitarian notions,' then simply not surpassable ... 'money in the bank.'

KG said...

"Do we have some kind of soft totalitarianism happening around us?"

Anybody who thinks we don't has their head in the sand.

MK said...

"Hundreds of thousands of people could be gassed and tortured by Saddam, and the liberal left remained largely against all moves to stop this."

Quite telling isn't it.

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