Bill Clinton went to North Korea and persuaded Kim Jong Il to release two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, from prison. The networks are falling over themselves celebrating the freeing of the hostages. America rejoices.
I’m delighted for the two prisoners, and well done to Bill for going all the way to PyongYang. It’s a long, long way to go for two people in trouble.
A long and expensive journey to secure the freedom of two individuals.
So how much do you think it costs to send an aircraft like that from the US to Korea?
Would it cost $50,000 each way? $75,000, maybe?
Let’s say the round trip cost $120,000, leaving aside staff, flight crew, and Bill’s considerable hourly rate, to secure the freedom of two people. That’s a lot of money, and I’d guess it would buy a lot of freedom back home without Bill having to suffer all that jet-lag at his age.
I reckon it would buy the freedom from misery for a whole lot of people, two or three entire families maybe, if Bill simply took the money in a suitcase and gave it away to the first poor person he met on the streets of the United States.
Somehow, I can’t see the networks swallowing that one. I can’t see America rejoicing either, but of course, the two hostages were never really the point anyway, were they?