The United States hard stand against dictators and oppressors is a long standing tradition.
A tradition that had a pin put in it while the Obama administration’s lily-livered stance on everything even vaguely resembling foreign policy spread like a virus.
His noodle-spine reputation gave those overseas the opportunity to take advantage of America and not treat American citizens with the respect that we’ve been afforded in the past.
President Trump has made great strides to fix that problem though. His hard-lined stance with world leaders may not be well loved, but it must be respected.
The President has done more to fix our reputation in his first few months in office than many presidents have done in their entire term.
One of the incredible things that he’s done is to secure the release of several United States citizens that have been being incarcerated over seas.
One of the most frustrating dictatorships of our age is that of Kim Jong Un of North Korea. He’s seen as a completely unrelenting and unstable petulant toddler with no intention of meeting anyone’s needs but his own.
Through some stroke of diplomacy (or force, we don’t quite know yet) President Trump has secured the release of an American citizen being held in North Korea.
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson did his best to keep the Americans’ eyes on the issue, even though most had all but forgotten about the American student that made a stupid mistake. Carlson also predicted that President Trump might try to secure his release:
This is some of the most recent information about the release of Warmbier:
Via Chicago Tribune:
University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who has been detained in North Korea for 17 months, has been medically evacuated from the country in a coma, his parents told The Washington Post Tuesday.
Warmbier, who is 22, is due to arrive home in Cincinnati on Tuesday evening, having been evacuated through an American military base in Sapporo, Japan.
Warmbier had been in a coma for more than a year, since shortly after his last public appearance: during his trial in Pyongyang in March, 2016.
There hasn’t been any information about what has caused Warmbier’s coma, how long he’s expected to take to recover, or even if what’s happened to him is something that can be recovered from, we only know that he will be brought back to the United States where he can hopefully receive treatment.
His release was announced by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington Tuesday morning. Tillerson did not discuss Warmbier’s medical condition.
Warmbier was on a New Year’s Eve tour in North Korea, en route to Hong Kong, where he was to do a January study-abroad trip.
But on his final night in Pyongyang – New Year’s Eve – Warmbier appears to have gone to a staff-only floor of his hotel and attempted to take down a large propaganda sign lauding the regime.
He was charged with “hostile acts against the state,” and after an hour-long trial in March, 2016, sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.
I suspect that the North Korean standards for hard labor are a little bit more than what the American standards are, considering that these are people who really have no idea what freedom is like anymore.
Just the fact that they would sentence someone to years of hard labor for taking something from a hotel (something we routinely joke about as an act commonly done) is a glimpse into the mindset of those in power.
Apparently, they haven’t caught up with the progressive idea that the punishment needs to fit the crime.
In April and May, North Korea detained two other Korean Americans, both of them affiliated with the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a private institution run by Korean American Christians.
Previous detainees have been released after visits from high-profile Americans, including former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
But efforts to convince North Korea to release the men currently held had not been successful until Warmbier’s release Tuesday.
It’s been America’s policy to not pay for the release of our citizens because that would essentially put a target on the back of every American in the jurisdiction of some country that would like to secure a little extra funding.
However, using diplomatic means or trading for prisoners from their country is fair game.
The President will no doubt work on the release of the other Americans overseas as well, but we can all hopefully take heart in this victory for now.
The damage done to America’s reputation and the status of its citizens by the previous administration is going to be hard to recover from, but we’re getting there.