The latest rallying point for the right against the Democratic government appears to be Bill Clinton’s visit to North Korea to secure the release of two American citizens from North Korean prison. Some are claiming a link between Clinton and the Obama administration and state that this was a diplomatic visit officially organized by the US government. They also claim that the visit showed weakness on America’s part.
First of all, Mr Clinton was actually asked by former vice president Al Gore, who employed the two Korean women, to go to North Korea and ask for their release. It is true that Clinton is a former Democratic president but this doesn’t necessarily entail that he represents the current government. In fact Clinton’s most recent appointment is United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti and so he has stepped outside of the strictly American political scene to a more global approach.
More importantly though, it begs the question what if Clinton visited North Korea on an official diplomatic visit? Considering he returned with the two prisoners unharmed, without starting a war, and in a very short period of time, it seems that the visit was a real success. Whether he went independently or not, it was still a success and two American citizens received their freedom. Should we not be happy that our citizens are now free, because somehow it showed weakness on the part of the US?
One could hardly describe the visit as a sign of weakness. While we do not know the specific details of the visit, by all accounts it looks as though Clinton flew into North Korea, chatted with Kim Jong Il briefly, and then walked out with the prisoners in tow. If anything it seems more to be a sign of strength. North Korea had sentenced the two women to 12 years hard labor and then Clinton shows up and not only do they have their sentences commuted, they are released to return to America as free citizens.
If only conservatives stopped looking for criticisms and instead focused on the positives of this situation then perhaps we could celebrate the freedom of these two American citizens. The visit was a success and is an excellent example of how diplomacy can work in international relations. If we could become involved in more exchanges such as this then maybe we could secure the release of other prisoners and hostages around the world. Our priority should be on the safety of American citizens and not on partisan bickering and grandstanding.