Monday, June 8, 2009

World Opinion

The North Koreans seem oblivious to world opinion. What ever are they thinking?
First they explode nuclear bombs underground, annoying their neighbors and everyone else. Then they start launching missiles hither and yon, as though they were some independent world power.
But they really took the cake when they arrested US journalists trying to report on refugees moving from North Korea to China. The charges were . . . acting vilely towards North Korea . . . or saying nasty things about them. Apparently, it’s a crime, or maybe even a mortal sin, to say something unpleasant about The Leader. Kind of like when the Danes published naughty cartoons about that (unnamed) figure beloved by those of the Islamic persuasion. Or writing nasty things. In those cases, of course, there was no one to arrest and put through the ordeal of a 3 ½ minute fake trial. But there’s always the Fatwah, and there’s always a cleric somewhere willing to publish a death threat against someone somewhere.
So, there they sit in a prison cell somewhere in North Korea, awaiting the inevitable swap deal—“you give us some juicy deal and we’ll give you the two lady reporters”. In past decades, we used to effect such swaps all the time. “we’ll give you your two spies, in exchange for our two spies.” And then they would arrange a midnight swap walk somewhere on the border in Berlin, and we would fly our guys out to safety. Here, since nobody ever seems to arrest any North Korean spies, we never seems to have anything worthy to trade, aside from honor, or maybe nuclear enrichment materials.
Still, the world will continue to judge the North Korean government in unfavorable terms—undemocratic at the least. And we all know they deserve to be so judged. The problem seems to be that they don’t actually care what we think of them. So good luck Hillary, with dealing with this dictatorial terrorist regime that arrests people without proper charges, denies access to legal counsel, and then imprisons without proper cause.
And elsewhere, Dickie Bird Cheney continues to defend the American practice of preventive detention at Guantanamo, torture of people who have not been charged with a crime, and sending people to black sites around the world.
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