Saturday, August 8, 2009

2 Journalists Released in North Korea

I read this today on my friend Julie Bogart's blog, and thought she captured the essence of my feelings implicitly.  Never a fan of him before, I am thrilled with what Bill Clinton has done for the female journalists and for America.

"As president, Mr. Clinton had sent Mr. Kim a letter of condolence on the death of his father, Kim Il-sung, according to a former official. For Mr. Kim, the former official said, freeing the women was a “reciprocal humanitarian gesture.”
Did you read that? Try it one more time. A gesture of human caring for someone's father (family being everything in Asia), sending the appropriate human gesture, led to a reciprocal humanitarian release. Americans rarely get how powerful it is to show respect, to honor someone's set of values, to get outside our own western, gun-slinging point of view long enough to be genuinely diplomatic! Bill Clinton! Amazing. The guy has got some of it goin' on.

Now granted, we don't know what that release will cost us. Asians have much longer memories than Americans, and they don't do anything for nothing. We can be sure this "gesture" will go on a tally sheet somewhere. Still, for now, today, a decision Clinton made in office to show respect and care came back to serve America this week. That's a lesson we all ought to internalize.

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