Bill Clinton is to be congratulated on getting the two US journalists released from North Korea. The downside, of propaganda photos for Kim-Jong-Il, is worth it.
For British people, there is a contrast with our own government’s longstanding indifferent attitude to the plight of British prisoners and hostages abroad. I recall particularly the British men who were falsely imprisoned and tortured into confession by the Saudi government, which was seeking to cover up Islamic extremist bombings. The UK not only did not help them, but acted to protect their Saudi torturers against reprisals.
But I am also reminded of other photos of Clinton with a very dubious character which appeared recently.
Just why Clinton is posing with the appalling Gulnara Karimova is unclear. But it might well relate to the continued efforts by the Obama administration to improve relations with President Karimov of Uzbekistan. As reported here in March, the US has signed new treaties with Uzbekistan, on use of the country for land transit to US forces in Afghanistan.
President Obama’s Central Asian policy will prove the disaster which undermines the achievements of his administration. The surge in Afghanistan will not bring military victory, and rhe radicalisation in Pakistan increasingly spreads into urban populations. To compound this, Obama is now repeating Bush’s error of backing the vicious regimes of Soviet elites in the “Stans”
The long term evils of the drive for short term military gain in Afghanistan will haunt the West for generations.