If you were wondering where Al Gore has been in the diplomatic effort to free his two employees jailed in North Korea, Bill Clinton provided you the answer.
Gore wasn’t big enough.
It takes a former president with with enormous global charisma to do what was needed to produced Laura Ling and Euna Lee. the two journalists with Gore’s Current TV found guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in North Korea.
Jimmy Carter wasn’t big enough. Bush I and II? Are you kidding?
The North Koreans wanted Bill Clinton over for dinner. And they got him.
Once I heard Clinton was heading to see Kim Jong Il, I knew it would be just a matter of days that the pawns in question would be produced, safely in all his high drama.
Now the question is what does the U.S. give up in exchange. Clinton is a start, but it’s just the beginning to a real transition to…..?
It’s unclear. Currently, there are no official diplomatic ties between the U.S. and North Korea. So Clinton going as an unofficial offical keeps the status quo both in check, but potentially in flux. Obama and Clinton can maintain their hardline. But Kim Jong Il gets to show all his people that he still has standing, with or without nukes. He’s got Bill Clinton over for kimchee and a photo op.
Americans are supposed to be puzzled as to what’s next.
But if you’re in North or South Korea, you’ve got to be in awe.
If you’re starving in North Korea, you have hope today. U.S. recognition brings the possibility of change. If you’re in Seoul, you have to worry. If you’re in either country and you doubted the power of his hairness in North Korea, you are simply starstruck. The guy who looks like he’s on his death bed still has some juice. He got Bubba to stop b, and all the players got a little something.
Clinton got to ride into the sunset the hero. You think Clinton hesitated to be in that role, one-upping both his wife and the current president (both of whom were admittedly hamstrung). Clinton’s stock rises.
It certainly was worth it to Kim Jong Il.
And Laura Ling and Euna Lee ?
They now come home safely, with the story of their lives.