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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

John Bolton on Bill Clinton in North Korea

Former President Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea on Tuesday and won the release of two reporters who have been unjustly held by the Koreans for five months.

But former UN ambassador John Bolton doesn't think Clinton should have gone. He fears that the outcome of Clinton's trip could have been very different.
While the United States is properly concerned whenever its citizens are abused or held hostage, efforts to protect them should not create potentially greater risks for other Americans in the future. Yet that is exactly the consequence of visits by former presidents or other dignitaries as a form of political ransom to obtain their release. Iran and other autocracies are presumably closely watching the scenario in North Korea. With three American hikers freshly in Tehran's captivity, will Clinton be packing his bags again for another act of obeisance? And, looking ahead, what American hostages will not be sufficiently important to merit the presidential treatment? What about Roxana Saberi and other Americans previously held in Tehran? What was it about them that made them unworthy of a presidential visit? These are the consequences of poorly thought-out gesture politics, however well-intentioned or compassionately motivated.
I think there's another point that needs to be considered: What if the North Koreans had decided to take Clinton hostage too? Would the United States have gone to war to rescue him?



At 6:08 AM, Blogger Chaim said...

"Would the United States have gone to war to rescue him?"


At 6:10 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I doubt it. But Americans should not travel to dangerous countries as a rule. Travel to them at your own risk and the US shouldn't bail out citizens who deliberately decide to jeopardize their own lives and freedom.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

I miss Clinton... to be honest. He is from my home state and I'm proud of him. Bush and Clinton. Different men, but no one could doubt they love America(and Israel)... which is certainly more than one could claim for our current leader.

I'm glad he went to bring home these girls. The entire delegation now needs a good scrubbing and shower to rid itself of the filth touching the government of North Korea.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Democrats begging another dictator? really unclassy

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

north korea has played this game before...and that is all it is...a game

and bolton is a sociopathic idiot who would love nothing more than to be handed the nuclear football so he could bring about the end of the world

and biorabbi, clinton loves israel no more than obama does

what clinton learned, and obama will learn, is that the arabs dont want peace

and the only reason bush 2 "loved" israel, is that he believes that when the jews return to israel, yashkah will return, and we will all convert or die

that kind of love...i dont need or want

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Mervyn Doobov said...

Perhaps he can now go to Gaza to obtain Gilad Shalit's release.


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