With the plethora of topics about which one can post, I find it necessary to return to a subject of almost exactly one year ago. But it isn’t my fault. The blame lies with the soccer team ( women’s) of the University of North Carolina. About this time last year they won their 19th national championship ( out of 27) by defeating a previously undefeated team in the finals.
Fast forward ( no pun intended) to 2009 in chilly College Station, Tx. Th opponent is undefeated Stanford in the finals. Doggone it, history managed to repeat itself and the Lady Tar Heels won it all, with a 1-0 victory achieved by a Jennifer McDonald goal. So again we salute the team and program for its 20th championship. Seniors Tobin Heath, Whitney Engen, Casey Nogueira,Ashlyn Harris, Caroline Boneparth, Kristi Eveland, Sterling Smith and Ashley Moore who have been a part of 3 titles in 4 years. Now, if the men’s team can beat Akron, who knows , we may have twin titles.
News broke today of a “surprise” trip to North Korea, Bill Clinton doing his best Jimmy Carter imitation. He apologized to Kim-Jong II for the behavior of American tv reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee who were arrested in March while reporting on refugees fleeing from North Korea into China. They were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for their alleged offences. It is great that these ladies have been released and will be able to return to their families. But what price was paid and what will it cost in the long run? And, should it be considered as negotiating with terrorists?
There is doubtless a lot behind the surface but let’s just look at a few aspects of this endeavor. Mr Clinton is said to have expressed sincere words of apology(for what?) for the”hostile acts” committed by the 2 journalists against the DPRK, so said North Korea’s state run new agency. Their report went on to say that Clinton carried a message from Obama expressing his thanks and hoped relations between the 2 countries could improve. Meanwhile, back in DC, Press Secretary Gibbs said no message of any kind was being conveyed by Clinton. Following so far? Good. Oh, gotta get this next in, it is just too good.
” The measure taken to release the American journalists is a manifestation of the DPRK”S humanitarian and peace-loving policy.” Right!!! Maybe there was something lost in the translation.
Ok, 2 comments from slightly differing points of view. First is Daniel Sneider, an Asian expert from Stanford. He said that the release was preceded by weeks of quiet negotiations between the State Department and the North Korean UN mission. Clinton, said he, did not do the negotiating, he just reaped its fruit. Well, who did the negotiating, Hilary, George Mitchell, Joe Biden, whoops, slipped up there. If there were weeks of negotiations, gotta think the White House had an inkling.
Now, opinion #2 from an admitted hard liner on North Korea, John Bolton, former UN Ambassador. He says that we are rewarding bad behavior and further that Bill contradicted some of the things that Hilary has said with regard to North Korea. For example, she had attempted to de-link the case of the journalists and nuclear disarmament. Ok.
So, who do we believe and what do we believe? Don’t really know yet. But I doubt very seriously that North Korea will hesitate if it wants to launch a test rocket any time soon. And chew on this thought. What impact might it have on future foreign journalists in the country?
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