B-ball Diplomacy?

Hanna Kang, Assistant Editorial Editor

Considering the fact that I am quite the opposite of your average nonpartisan high school student, it was very difficult for me to ignore the news of former NBA star and greatest American whackjob, Dennis Rodman. Unfortunately, my desperate attempts turned out to be futile, as I could not sit still while his antics were constantly being broadcasted on screen.
For some of you who are clueless as to what I am talking about, earlier this month, Rodman sang “Happy Birthday” and dedicated a basketball game to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, before leading 10 former NBA stars onto the court at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium for a game with the North Korean team. This is supposedly part of his “basketball diplomacy” master plan.
First of all, “diplomat” Rodman doesn’t do his job. That’s because he didn’t go to North Korea to promote diplomacy, he went there to promote himself and draw attention. The former Pistons star apparently has no interest in trying a hand at real diplomacy or realizing the magnitude of injustice and cruelty occurring daily under the iron fist of the ruler he calls “a very good friend.”
Rodman stated that North Korea is not as bad as many people think, and that he wishes to reveal the true side of the insular regime. Every time he visits North Korea, Rodman is treated to “seven-star” hotels and restaurants, filled with women, expensive booze and a string of private servants. He probably assumes that this is what life is really like in the country. He is terribly wrong.
Rodman must realize that his “lifelong friend” is a reckless and brutal tyrant who will destroy everyone he deems to be an obstacle to his rule; he executed his uncle over the control of natural resources and also publicly executed 80 civilians last November for watching smuggled foreign television broadcasts and owning Bibles. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians are wasting away in hard labor camps for their alleged “crimes.” The treatment these “criminals” receive is the very essence of evil.
Furthermore, Kim does not see the relationship with Rodman as genuine; he merely takes advantage of the situation to tell the world, “See, I have an American friend. He loves me and this country.” The basketball game was merely another opportunity for him to build and embellish his image—there is no reason for the continuance of this bizarre friendship under the excuse of “diplomacy.”
I am in no way trying to deny Rodman his right as an American to travel wherever he wishes and speak with whomever he wants. However, as he stuffs himself sick with fancy wines and rich fare, he must remember what Kim has done and continue to do. But again, there is no hope for Rodman and his “diplomacy,” as he thinks that it is improper for him to remind Kim of his wrongdoings.
When Rodman has satisfied his hunger for attention, he will simply head back to America. Sadly, his ridiculous diplomatic ventures will never allow suffering North Koreans that same freedom.