Friday, August 7, 2009

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

We all breathed a sigh of relief when the two American journalists who were held captive in North Korea were released this week. One also has to wonder what it cost our country.
Pundits have been speculating how this action may have altered our tough stance with this rogue nuclear power. North Korea must have seen this as a winning situation for them to be viewed as gracious.
Why were these two caught crossing that border in the first place? Was it bad luck or poor judgment? There is probably more to this story.
When the three young Americans were captured last week in Iran, my first reaction was that they were crazy to be walking that border. Most of us wouldn't want to be in Iraq or Iran. Not safe. Not a good plan. Once again our diplomats will probably work to free them. We have just seen how Iran treats its citizens when they protested the election. I don't think we want to be giving them credibility or concessions. Another American journalist was recently released from a harsh prision term in Iran. This group should have been aware of that. Two women were still being held captive in North Korea when these young people put themselves in harms way in Iran.
As usual, when I get a judgmental attitude, I often find I have been "guilty" of a similar offense. A couple years ago my college -age son drove around Serbia with a couple German friends. Sometimes he told people he was Canadian. He now admits there were times he didn't feel safe, especially with the wounds of war fairly fresh in that country. They went to a bullet riddled museum that displayed a uniform of an American serviceman killed in that conflict. Now I get it. If my son had been taken captive I would have wanted to send Bill Clinton to the rescue too.

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