Some of those in conservative circles predicted chirping crickets from the liberals regarding the incarceration of Laura Ling and Euna Lee by the North Korean government. They made snide remarks that the libs cared more about foreign terrorists being pampered by the U.S. than two Americans being sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for unspecified crimes.
Thankfully, this is not true, and it seems that there is bipartisan support for the immediate release of these two women. But the question will be, how will the current administration handle the situation? As Gotham Chopra wrote on the Huffington Post:
"Considering the unprecedented stakes and circumstances surrounding their case, Laura and Euna's predicament is fast evolving into a tricky political situation for President Barack Obama who has made clear his steadfast belief that smart diplomacy can be a panacea for almost all problems facing nations around the planet. It would appear now more than at any prior time in his presidency, Mr. Obama's covenant will be tested."
Of course, Chopra went on to say that America has no standing because of how we have treated prisoners at Guantanamo -- as if there is any kind of comparison. This is no time for posturing. We must show that we, as a nation, will not stand for this outrageous treatment of these women.
There has been talk that Obama is thinking of sending Al Gore to negotiate their release. Seems fitting, since it was a report for his network that the two women were working on. But when I think of how poor a communicator he is to anyone who doesn't also view the world through "green-colored glasses," I sincerely fear for these two women if their fate is in his hands. No joke.
I'm thinking whoever pleads their case is going to have to get tough. And will probably have to turn to China for help. We can only hope that China -- in the interest of staying off the top of the human rights violators list -- can help us out.
I fear that in the end it will probably involve at least some kind of butt-kissing of NK, and when they are freed, oh isn't that Kim just the nicest, most reasonable guy? I think the Ling and Lee families have shown great restraint in their pleas. They have apologized on behalf of their loved ones, and said that it must have been an accidental infraction, showing great humility and undue respect.
If I were in their shoes, I'd want to scream from the hilltops what an unbelievably incomprehensible injustice this whole scenario is and that I was coming after Kim personally!
But while the world awaits to see what the furute holds for these women, and while the pundits trade jabs as to what will or will not work -- let us not forget the tragedy that the two journalists were trying to expose. The fact that they were reporting a story about human trafficking seems to be an afterthought in most news stories.
And when we hear "human trafficking" it's all too easy to appease our minds with images of people in trucks being secreted away, stuck in a strange land unable to get back home. That would be terrible enough. But what we are talking about here is young women -- children -- being forced into prostitution. Forced to live a hellish life, away from their loved ones with no idea how long they will be considered "useful", and what will become of them once they're not.
These are daughters. Girls who should be in school learning, singing songs, and playing games. Not being sold and abused like a slab of meat.
While awaiting word on the outcome of the nightmare that Ling and Lee face, let us remember the young women who don't have vice-presidents willing to step in on their behalf to rescue them.
I learned about an organization that works toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation thanks to Stephen Baldwin. (It's his designated charity for his appearance on "I'm a Celebrity...")
It's Love 146 at www.love146.com
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