Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Kudos Watch: Done The Right Way, DNI Clapper Brings Home North Korean U.S. Hostages

Kenneth Bae (L) reunites with his family at U.S. Air Force Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Fort Lewis, Washington November 8, 2014.    REUTERS/David Ryder
Kenneth Bae (L) reunites with his family at U.S. Air Force Joint Base Lewis-McChord 
in Fort Lewis, Washington November 8, 2014.  CREDIT: REUTERS/DAVID RYDER

From Denny:  Finally, President Obama decided to be more discreet in his negotiations for and retrieval of U. S. hostages without the need to dance a celebration on his enemy's head.  It's important to refrain from those celebration dances as all it does is enrage and encourage yet another hostage situation.

As both a Marine and Air Force veteran with 50 years experience in the intelligence community (IC) DNI James Clapper was the perfect choice for the job.  Why?  Because a White House official or a State Department official would have been perceived as talking heads for President Obama.

Besides, it's been tradition for decades that the more talented - and those possessing integrity engendering trust - have worked international negotiations in an unofficial diplomatic role that then easily paves the way for the State Department to gain the glory.  It's when the IC is at its best instead of relentless needless spying.  Developing relationships with people on a global scale is the way to create Peace, not endless spying that doesn't yield much useful information to help resolve issues...

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Clapper small
DNI James Clapper - Marine and Air Force veteran

North Korean military officials wanted to meet with someone they could really talk to about their current dilemma, albeit the usual Asian indirectness.  Oddly enough, it's North Korea that has made a hostage of itself, ostracizing the country from the global community.  North Korean military generals are looking for a way out, fearful of China and recently cut off financially from Russia that can no longer sustain them because of international sanctions.  The feelers are going out to the U. S. in the hope that the U. S. will broker their return to the international stage, perhaps in a unification with South Korea.  It's a tricky situation that needs U. S. help.

Look at it this way: Fund these military generals with generous pensions and provide perhaps new countries in which to live out the rest of their lives.  They know if North Korea is unified with South Korea they will lose their power, their privileges and their finances.  They probably also want legal immunity from human rights abuses carried out under their watch.  Provide that and the country can be transitioned and the nukes turned over to the U. S.

Read that as I've found North Korea reading this blog.  Come on; no one in North Korea can access a U. S. political blog unless they are military intelligence or a high ranking government official.  It ain't no civilian.  These guys are reaching out, finally ready to accept the right kind of help.  Have you noticed how the country's leadership is behaving like it's sane?  Big difference.  The young punk ain't running the show any more.

Considering it's Veterans Day this strange but welcome different attitude out of North Korea brings to mind another U. S. hostage held in North Korea decades ago.  One of my earliest mentors was a Korean War POW whose Navy submarine had been captured by the North Koreans, only for he and his fellow sailors to end up brutally tortured.  It was surprising he survived only to come home to a Pentagon that branded him a traitor because his sub had been captured.  It was like he was still a hostage but this time inside his own country through no fault of his own.

Peace Christmas Star Round Ornament

Peace Christmas Star Round Ornament

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In order to prove his loyalty to America - and especially the Pentagon leadership - he had to become a CIA assassin.  I met him years later when I was a precocious four year old.  He and his fellow assassin were hiding out at our house after killing an American politician - on U. S. soil - they believed to be a Communist.  This is how stupid the CIA culture has always been.  I guess I'm so accustomed to reckless and stupid that I just take it in stride.  That doesn't make it right or make a case for it to continue on this idiot trajectory.

You really have to ask yourself why in the hell the following:

1 - What kind of boss demands his employee house two assassins "until things cool down and blow over"?  Also take into account that said employee had a wife and two small children at home.  My mother thought it most unwise and was terrified the entire time.  Of course, my idiot father caved in and brought these two dangerous strangers into our home.

2 - Being the precocious kid I was I struck up a friendship with this Korean War POW named "Bill." Yeah, we both knew that wasn't his real name but we both stuck to the stupid script.  I figured if my wimpy parents couldn't handle this tense odd situation then I had to step up and come up with something unconventional to diffuse it or send it on its way.  First, you get to know the players before you come up with a course of action.

3 - The second guy was as jumpy as a cat on a hot roof in summer so it didn't take much to freak him out enough to leave within a couple of days.  I kept coming into his area just often enough all day long, on purpose to unsettle him, hoping to drive him out.  Sometimes, you leave people alone to calm down or put on the internal pressure to get them to make a decision to get out.  It was a tough gamble but one that had to be made because I knew my parents just didn't have the courage to deal with this situation.  They were frightened of him and for good reason.  That man was too tense and unpredictable.  He kept signaling it could have only been a matter of time before he attacked one of us.

4 - But "Bill" was different; he had a handle on his emotions and was better disciplined.  He also suffered from an ulcer.  He ended up spending two weeks with us while he lay on his bed and healed.  In that amount of time he told me about his POW experience because he recognized I understood the depths of trauma and extreme stress.  (Since then veterans of many wars have told me their stories before they told their own families.)  Because "Bill" witnessed things going on at our house he knew was so very wrong he talked about his time of being tortured and how to resist it, "be mentally tough no matter what they did to your body and how not to lose your soul or your sanity."  I took it all in as an important and valuable lesson plan for how to resist the physical and emotional abuse at home.  His concern was most welcome and his advice served me well for a life time.

Military Sacrifice Framed Tile

Military Sacrifice Framed Tile

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Of course, being precocious the small child advised "Bill" to get the hell out of the assassin business because she knew it was eating away at his soul. He seemed surprised that small child knew what he had done recently but realized even that child was right; it was time to walk away from it all and build a better life.  And so he did after he left our house.  "Bill" recognized he no longer had to prove his loyalty to his country.  He proved his loyalty by surviving the unimaginable.  That just shows you how twisted the Pentagon leadership can be toward those under their command, forcing them into untenable situations just to prove patriotism.  It's ugly to manipulate a returning POW to do your bidding.  In "Bill's" case, it was fortunate a little girl debriefed him appropriately so he could regain his balance and move on into a better life.

So, what has all this back story got to do with the current North Korean hostage situation?  Think about all the players in this long term 60 year drama, played out over the past three generations.  North Korea has been on the wrong trajectory for 60 years now and is finally imploding from three generations of poor leadership.  The whole country is starving and many horrific human rights abuses occur every day, ongoing for years.  It's pitiful how the current leader has so abused his own people.  He even killed his own uncle in order to solidify his leadership position after his father died.

The current leader is unstable, ruthless and bloodthirsty.  His wife has not been seen in too long a time, creating speculation that he killed her too.  He has been out of view for months too.  So, it begs the question if the military, government and business leadership close to him finally woke up and realized this leader was unprofitable for the country and would attempt to kill them at some point.  It sure looks like the current leader has been deposed, killed or kept under house arrest.

How could North Korea military carry out this coup successfully?  Use a look alike just like Iraq's Saddam Hussein did for very brief public appearances.  Store up plenty of news footage of the current leader, only to release it carefully when needed while they create and consolidate a new government and leadership.  That's where the U. S. comes in as advisor and perhaps negotiator with other countries in an attempt to bring North Korea into the current century in a peaceful way.

It's Veterans Day here in America.  It's time to recognize the seen and the unseen accomplishments of our veterans like "Bill" and DNI Clapper from decades ago to recently.  It's Veterans Day in America and around the world where current military are serving.  It's time to stand up for those 400,000 veterans who are suffering from PTSD and get them the help they need in a timely fashion, no more delays.  It's time to help the families of veterans who are committing suicide along with the veterans.  Every day we lose 22 veterans to suicide because they were unable to receive timely help and support.

Instead of asking a veteran how many people they killed during their war, why not ask those veterans, "Welcome home.  Would you like to talk?  How can I support you in your transition into building a new life?"

Related Articles

Poem for those suffering from PTSD:  Honoring Ourselves

Poem for all Veterans:  The Heart Remembers

Poem about the agony and victory of creating our balance in Life: Blue Heron Balancing the Wind

Poem about healing our selves through a series of decisions:  The 11 Choices

A true story of just how far a man will go to survive when he is in love during war time - a poem story about the struggle for love reunited:   A Man In Love

A poem about why the intelligence community needs to change its destructive culture.  Step into the world of the spy and witness the effect they have upon the people they meet - until one day they meet someone who poignantly affects them. A true story from my travels - and childhood:   The International Spy

Warriors Pearl Woven Throw Pillow

Warriors Pearl Woven Throw Pillow

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