05 August 2009

In Case You Need Yet Another Reason: Why Conservatives Are Knuckleheads ~ The Clinton Photo-Op

Photo: KCNA, via Associated Press

Here is the image of Clinton in Pyongyang yesterday. Quite a photo-op heh? It looks like Clinton's knickers are on really tight and the little dictator is a caricature. Could it be clearer that Clinton was there solely to collect the two journalists? How does this "encourage" the North Koreans? They had US citizens in custody and now they don't.

Well, the inimitable John Bolton gets invited onto npr this evening to explain why as a private citizen, Clinton is somehow not allowed to go to Korea and collect the prisoners. Leaps of logic (and paranoia) abound as John explains how the Iranians are plotting to use this episode to their advantage. He dismisses the episode as "gesture politics" which, I am certain, the two journalists and their families find persuasive. And, of course, it overlooks the fact that Clinton accomplished what he set out to do - he had a specific goal aim and it was met. Can we get some authoritarian wing-nut in a far away land to take Bolton (and some of his buddies) prisoner. Then we can apply his iron-clad 'principles.' In the meantime, why does npr insist on lending credibility to crackpots like Bolton? And why do the npr hosts let Bolton and his ilk say ridiculous things without calling them on their stupidity? This is journalism?

Well, earlier in the day npr also had had on one Gordon Chang (who among, other things, is an analyst for Fox News) who'd weighed in on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal with a line that resembles Bolton's - Clinton's trip allegedly legitimizes the regime in Pyongyang. How, precisely? His visit highlights the fact that the North Koreans had imprisoned these two women and sentenced them in a draconian way. And now it gives the entire world an opportunity to discuss how that is just the tip of the iceberg. How many people around the world are sitting at home in front of the TV news tonight saying"Gee, those North Koreans sure are swell!"? None, Gordon. Chang is the one who keeps going on about how the North Korean dictator wanted the photo-op. This is incisive analysis?



Blogger Unknown said...

Bolton is correct...

06 August, 2009 07:00  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

".... less filling!"

06 August, 2009 10:20  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Scott, More seriously, Bolton is an ideologue who cannot interpret the world otherwise than through his hateful categories. The idea that you make headway on a problem - any problem - by being inflexible (rigid?) is just false to history. Conservatives want to give Reagan credit for the demise of communism. The whole time he was - gasp! - talking to the Soviets.

That said, Bolton too assumes that other people are idiots, that they cannot fathom what Clinton has done.Clinton simply called attention to the repressiveness of the North Korean regime and collected a couple of women who otherwise faced a longer term in prison. In my view, that simple act has produced more positive value in the world than Bolton has done in his entire life.

06 August, 2009 10:28  
Blogger Transient Reporter said...

Some thoughts:

1) Why does npr led credibility to crackpots like Bolton? Because he used to be the US ambassador to the United Nations. It seems that this is less an indictment of npr and more so of the Rethuglican Party.

2) It's always fun watching the right wing doing mental gymnastics to criticize Clinton. Makes one nostalgic for the 90's...

3) KimJI looks awful. Looks like we need to prepare ourselves for Michael Corleone...

4) Kudos to Clinton. There were lots of downsides for doing this: a) serving as a distraction from official American foreign policy strategies (something that he would be uniquely sensitive to, vis a vis Jimmy Carter);
b) taking the limelight away from his wife;
c) having to endure a photo op with Dictator Douchebag;
d) becoming the focal point again of right wing wailing;
e) enduring more late night talk show snickering - flying over to pick up a couple of hot Asian chicks etc etc.
But in the end he did the right thing...

5) Jon Stewart...

06 August, 2009 19:37  
Blogger br said...

i listened to the same npr broadcast and thought that Bolton was predictably hysterical by his suggestion that the release of the two reporters would put 300 million americans at risk. It would take a team of political theorists to track the motivation and the impact of npr-style reportage and right-wing hysterics. How cowardly can they be to not acknowledge a good deed?

06 August, 2009 22:21  

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