Do not forget Otto Warmbier.
June 19, 2018 will mark the one year anniversary of Mr. Warmbier’s death.
Otto Warmbier was a 21 year old University of Virginia college student, on his way to study in Hong Kong, when while on a guided tour through North Korea, he did something that can be attributed to youthful whim, and the ignorance of the world outside of his comfortable Ohio upbringing: He attempted to pilfer a propaganda poster from the wall of the hotel he was staying at in Pyongyang.
He was a little drunk. He was far too mischievous. He thought it would be a goofy souvenir to take home from his trip abroad.
He was arrested without incident at the Pyongyang International Airport, as he was about to leave. An official stepped aboard the plane before takeoff and informed the group that he was “very sick” and had been taken to the hospital.
Instead, he was put on trial, and in a tearful press conference, admitted his guilt and begged for mercy and forgiveness.
He begged for mercy and forgiveness in an atheist, Communist society.
He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on March 16, 2016, after a 1 hour trial, in what Human Rights Watch called a “kangaroo court.”
When he was released on June 12, 2017, in a vegetative state, his parents reported that he was deaf, blind, howling and jerking uncontrollably, like an animal.
They don’t know what had been done to young Mr. Warmbier while confined in a North Korean labor camp, but a coroner’s exam showed that he died of a lack of oxygen and blood to his brain. Otherwise, his body bore 10 scars, with one of them appearing consistent with a tracheotomy.
There was no autopsy, as it was considered that not much more would have been discovered about his mysterious condition than scanning and imaging had already revealed.
Now I tell you that story as a reminder of the regime President Trump has so lavishly praised this week.
Apparently, the human rights abuses of the North Korean people and the Christian community in particular doesn’t have the right emotional punch. Maybe a young, American college student, with a promising future cut short by a heartless foreign regime is what will give emphasis to Trump’s short-sighted appeasement of Kim Jong Un.
Or the danger of his oft-repeated mantra of “fake news,” trotted out again on Wednesday.
“So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN,” Trump tweeted.
“They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have ‘begged’ for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!”
So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN. They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have “begged” for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
Russia meddles in our elections and acts aggressively with their neighbors, in an effort to gain more power on the world stage.
China is guilty of espionage against our nation and has violated sanctions against nations like Iran and North Korea, but Trump still makes deals with them, regarding his family business.
So many enemies that Trump is willing to rub elbows with, as long as they flatter him, but our American media (as well as our nation’s intelligence community) is apparently the biggest enemy.
In the disputed documents signed by Trump and Kim, it gave no specifics for denuclearization, only stating that it would happen “over time.”
It was vague and otherwise meaningless. Meanwhile, the U.S. was committed to “unspecified securities,” which could mean anything from relief from sanctions to the ending of readiness drills with South Korea (which Trump has already announced he is doing).
Our president’s priorities are screwed up. He doesn’t have a clear view of who the enemy is or why he seeks to label our American institutions as such.
If you want to find the real “enemy” of the U.S., start with incompetence, and compromised targets of hostile foreign players, then work your way down.