“Well I suppose most everyone got what they wanted here ultimately.” That’s what I told my mother who asked me about the whole North Korean/American Journalist thing. She wasn’t too sure what I meant but she called me not long after Laura Ling and Euna Lee landed at a Burbank airport not too far from her home. It was the initial topic of conversation. Do you think they paid North Korea, she asked.”
I went on to explain to mom that North Korea wanted respect. They are viewed as a rogue nation of tyranny for the most part. The leader Kim Jong Il is a wild man to say the least. Their nation is rather poor in the whole scheme of thing but they spend much money on a strong military. They want to be a superpower but their rep as missile shooting fools trying to perfect nuclear weapons doesn’t help them get the love they want. North Korea does want love from the nations that’s for sure. But they want it on their terms no doubt. So if that means threatening everyone in the world who opposes them they will do just that.
In the midst of the latest world tensions they get something that they can use for an advantage. Two female American journalist. Puts them back front and center. Jong Il likes front and center. Anyway, some trumped up charges and a 12 year sentence of hard time, throw in some negotiations later – they get to “pardon” the women, get a former American president to show up, and they can look… dare I say, ‘benevolent.’
“No mom…they didn’t pay North Korea. That would make them look like a terrorist state. North Korea wanted street cred with the other nations. Believe me, before Bill Clinton got on the plane it was a wrap. This was no Jesse Jackson going to Iran on his own neck and dime to bring back some hostages. Things were already worked out. With North Korea pardoning the women, the charges stick and they admit to nothing wrong. Jong Il gets Clinton to fly his ass all the way out there for the photo op. (Why not Hillary the S of S? Cause she isn’t a present or past president and she’s a woman.) No rogue nation can pull that off. I mean did you see that pic of Jong-Il smiling? Smiling?” He looks like he’s taking his 5th grade school picture! “Dial it back emporor! Try to look a bit more communistic!” Well the point is, Kim Jong Il got what he wanted.”
…Continuing, “In the meantime, Bill Clinton, always looking for a way to shine knew it was shooting fish in a barrel. I mean your talking about ‘Sweet Bill Willie from East Philly, a true political diva.’ The hard negotiating had been done by Obama’s people. He didn’t say that he brokered the talks, but he didn’t have to. Many news organizations are doing that for him. This goes into his post presidential legacy. The fees just went up to get him as a speaker and another incident with this much juice will call for another major book deal. – So he got what he wanted.
In the meantime, what most Americans like you and me care about is that the two journalist made it home safely. Reasonable minds knew they wouldn’t spend 12 years doing hard time in North Korea. They just got caught in the political mix and were truly pawns for North Korea leadership. They had to wait till all the power players jockeyed for their positions. – That’s the story mom.”