Two intrepid reporters have been arrested in North Korea for the crime of entering that country illegally. You have surely heard about this one. They are Laura Ling and Euna Lee. These two young ladies were reportedly researching a story about the treatment of refugees along the China/North Korean border when they entered North Korea. It is extremely difficult to know the true story but there is some information here that needs to be discussed.
These ladies appear to be working for some sort of media organization owned by Al Gore. But this isn't about Gore. It isn't even about the North Koreans. No this is about two rather naive people putting themselves and their country in serious jeopardy. They were of course tried and convicted of the illegal entry and then sentenced to twelve years in prison. Now the fun begins.
Because of their actions, we will now have to give the North Koreans many concessions in order to get them released. Negotiations have already begun. This fits right into the North Korean's plan. Instead of more sanctions, we will probably wind up giving them money, food, and who knows what else just to get these two ladies out of there. For us it is a nightmare. For the North Koreans it is a propaganda coupe. All of this because of two silly young girls being somewhere they shouldn't be doing something they shouldn't be doing.
What should be our response? How much should we give up to spring these women? I am tempted to leave them where they are and let them serve out their twelve year sentence as an example to others who would take these stupid chances. They remind me of the idiots who went to Iraq and decided to put themselves in front of our soldiers in order to protect the people of Iraq. We know what happened of course, Saddam used them to protect not the Iraqi people but instead as protection of his army and his weapons. They were lucky to get out alive.
No, we will not let them sit in prison. Just like we did not let the young lady reporter stay in prison in Iran. We negotiated her release by giving up who knows what. Again I ask the question, why was she there? She surely knew that Iran has declared war on this country and will not rest until we knock some sense into them.
I think this is what should now happen. First we do what we have to do to get these two women out of North Korea. When they get back here, they should not get a ticker tape parade. No they should be sent to one of our prisons to serve out their twelve year sentence. If that sounds harsh, I'm sorry. We cannot continue to allow people to put themselves and this country in jeopardy by stupid actions. The next thing we should do is clear. We should punish North Korea in such a way as they would think twice before messing with an American citizen ever. I am not talking about sending them a nasty letter from the UN. I am not talking about blockading their ports. No I am talking about taking out a serious amount of their real estate. They and the rest of the world need to know that we will not allow these types of actions to go unpunished.
The reason these little third rate countries do what they do is they believe it is in their interest to do so. They do not think there will be any penalty. Why would they? We don't have a very good record of retaliation, do we?
These ladies, the two in North Korea and the one who was just released from Iran are not heroes. They should not be treated as such. They are people who for whatever reason, put America in peril. Their actions were not heroic. Who knows what the cost of this will eventually be?
Finally everyone needs to understand the reality of today's world. These are not normal intelligent people with whom we are dealing. These are tyrants who would think nothing of slaughtering people by the thousands. The sooner we all come to this realization, the better off we will be. America needs to let the rest of the world understand that there is a price to pay for crimes committed against us.
Ron Scarbro June 8, 2009
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