What About Next Time?

The fact that the dictator of North Korea wanted Bill Clinton to visit, in exchange for releasing hostages, shows that the United States matters to the dictator. The U.S. still has moral clout, in his eyes. The ex-President spent this clout by meeting the demands of a dictator–of a kidnapper. It’s ironic, if you think about it. Bill Clinton’s presidency, and the American presidency itself, matter less now that they were squandered to rescue two women who willingly took the risk of entering the most dangerous area on earth. The next time North Korea, or any insane dictatorship, puts Americans into a prison camp, there will be less to gain for an ex-President–or even sitting President–to cave in to those demands. The more you cave in to the demands of a bully, the less you can count on appeasement “working” the next time around. And there will be a next time.