A mother’s anguish.
As a mom to a son, myself, I can’t even begin to fathom the
gut-wrenching pain of Cindy Warmbier, who had her son, Otto Warmbier returned
to her in a vegetative state, after being imprisoned in North Korea for 18
months, beginning back in 2016.
Otto Warmbier was the 22 year old college student who, while
on a tour, made the childish, thoughtless decision to attempt to sneak a North
Korean propaganda poster out of the country. He was nabbed by authorities and
thrown into one of those hellholes that exist in the hermit nation, solely for
the purpose of torturing and committing breathtaking human rights abuses.
What the North Korean government returned to the United
States in June 2017 was not Otto Warmbier, but a broken shell – blinded,
comatose, and devoid of life, even before he took his last breath.
What happened to him during his time in North Korean
Nobody really knows. One of the last, lucid moments anyone
really remembers is the video released by the North Koreans of Mr. Warmbier
sobbing, pleading for mercy before the court.
His mother has now become vocal, speaking out against the regime that killed her son, and she’s appealing to the U.S. government to be vigilant in their efforts to clamp down on them.
“I think if we don’t stand up to North Korea, it looks really bad,” said Warmbier during a conference on Friday. “They’re telling us what to do and what to say, and the only way to stand up to them that I know of are sanctions.”
“North Korea to me is a cancer on the earth,” said Warmbier. “And if we ignore this cancer, it’s not going to go away, it’s going to kill all of us.”
The Warmbier family have come out in support of a bipartisan
bill introduced in March by Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Chris Van
Hollen of Maryland, which would force banks to stop dealing with North Korea,
or lose access to the financial system of the United States.
And why are we dancing with North Korea, currently? Why did
we give them legitimacy on the world stage, in the first place?
It was a horrible move.
“There’s a charade going on right now, it’s called diplomacy,” said Warmbier, questioning how it is possible to engage in true diplomacy with a regime that constantly lies.
You can’t, but with the wrong people in office – the easily
duped – this is what you get.
The mistake being made by our government currently is in
thinking that you can be reasonable with a savage.
Yes, I just referred to North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un
as a savage. Because that’s what he is.
He is a creature who deals in cruelty and godlessness.
In his quest to maintain ultimate power over his hostage
nation, he has his own family members murdered.
He had a general executed with a flamethrower for what he
considered a “disrespectful stance.”
Being caught in possession of a Bible, or even a Bible verse
can result in imprisonment, rape, torture, and even death – but not just for
the person caught. Their entire family could suffer the same fate.
Leaders who relish such extreme acts of sadistic horror
cannot be dealt with diplomatically, one-on-one.
There’s a reason no other president before President Trump
would give the regime legitimacy by holding summits.
They certainly would not look in the face of evil and
declare, “We fell in love.”
While describing her son’s condition upon his return to the
U.S., Mrs. Warmbier spoke in chilling terms.
“I swear the look in his eyes, which I didn’t know he was blind at the time, was absolute horror,” said Cindy Warmbier. “Horror, like he’d seen the devil. And he had, he was with the devil.”
Not the devil, but certainly one with the spirit of the
She was joined by the family members of other abductees from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan at the conference, which was hosted by the Washington-based Hudson Institute. She noted that while she has been able to have some closure, “there’s still a lot of families that deserve to see their family members.”
“But unless we keep the pressure on North Korea, they are not going to change, and I am very afraid we’re going to let up on this pressure,” she said. “So I need everyone here to keep the pressure on everybody you can.”
That’s a pretty reasonable concern.
On Friday, North Korea launched a number of projectiles
No damage was done, and they ultimately went down in the Sea
of Japan, but this was likely more of a message than anything else.
Kim Jong Un has been lashing out at the U.S. and Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo in recent weeks, saying there would be no more talks if
Pompeo was involved.
President Trump, however, blew off the news of the launch by declaring his continued support of Kim.
This is ego-driven folly.
Trump further expressed that he expects to meet for a third time with Kim at some time that has yet to be determined.
I feel for Cindy Warmbier, and everyone who has suffered oppression and fear, due to Kim Jong Un’s despotic rule. Too bad our current leadership is far too invested in image and self-interests to understand the damage done when you dance with tyrants.