Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back-door channels and posturing

President Bill Clinton is my hero. All the back door channels and under the table maneuvering aside, who else but this man could the country rely on, to get out of a nasty situation with grace and goodwill?

I love how the media outlets are reporting on this, as if the North Koreans would love to portray this as a diplomatic envoy sent out by the Obama administration, while Obama's people insist on calling it a private humanitarian mission. Is there any doubt? Obama's been talking with the North Koreans for weeks, if not ever since the journalists were captured. What the release hinged on was what concessions the U.S. was willing to give up, and who to be the public face of all this. And who better, to lend gravity and substance to this charade, than the former President, and husband of the U.S. Secretary of State.

So, what did the U.S. have to give up? Removing battle groups from the Sea of Japan? Loosening economic sanctions? Granting U.S. visas to key members of North Korea's elite? Telling the Japs to back off? I'm fascinated and very intrigued.

World politics and diplomacy at its best. Ahh, Dr. Kissinger must be smiling at this masterstroke of international relations.

NYT article: Bill Clinton and Journalists in Emotional Return to U.S.

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