Sunday, June 14, 2009

Carlson: Let Kim Jong-Il Visit America

In a highly compelling opinion piece in the Washington Post, Peter Carlson suggests a highly unusual (and likely controversial) way to ingratiate America to the egotistical North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il: let him visit. Much of the piece is taken up by a recounting of the bizarre visit of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to the West.

In 1959, Nikita Khrushchev, the eccentric and unpredictable Soviet dictator, was misbehaving, rattling his nukes and threatening West Berlin, which he described as a "malignant tumor." Negotiations over the city's fate proved fruitless, so Ike tried a different strategy: He invited Khrushchev to visit the United States. Khrushchev, who loved to travel, immediately accepted, replying that he'd like to ramble around the country for "ten to fifteen days."

The fat-bellied, thin-skinned, cranky communist dictator's resulting road trip through the wonderland of '50s America turned out to be one of the most bizarre diplomatic journeys in history.

Why not? Jong Il is a well-known western pop culture enthusiast - let him see a show, hobnob it with celebrities and ride a roller coaster with an appropriate height limit. We've already proven that we catch more flies with honey than with vinegar in our interrogation techniques, and what good can come from isolating Jong Il from the nations he's threatening, thereby dehumanizing them in his eyes? Who gives a patootie what conservative pundits will say - this is the fate of the world we're talking about, Jong Il's the leader of one of the last few really dangerous countries threatening the world and there's no possible downside.

Peter Carlson - Give Kim Jong Il the Khrushchev Treatment

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