Somewhere in the dark unknown blotch that is North Korea, there is a young man bent beneath a heavy burden. He is dozens of pounds underweight, fed on corn and salt, hunched over at the waist. His teeth are turning black, and several have already fallen out. He suffers from diarrhea and fever.
Every so often, he watches as the camp guards shoot disobedient prisoners in the head. Sometimes, he watches as camp doctors lead young pregnant women into a room where they perform forced abortions. The young man will die before he hits 50; he'll be lucky to make it to 40. He will die in chains, as his fathers and grandfathers did before him; according to a Korean Bar Association report released this week, hundreds of thousands have suffered the same fate.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls his government "unruly."
Somewhere in Iran, there is a young girl. She has been placed in a dirty cell on charges of treason to the government. She is frightened and alone; her family does not know where she is. She knows that the next morning, she will be executed.
But she does not fear her execution as much as she fears the night to come. She is a virgin; she knows that under Iranian law, she cannot be executed until she is deflowered. And she knows that the Iranian Basji militia are determined that she be killed, which means that this night, she will be forcibly married. Then she will be raped, in order to make her eligible for the death penalty. Dozens of young girls have suffered the same fate, according to a Jerusalem Post report released this week.
President Barack Obama says that the American strategy with regard to the Iranian government remains negotiations.
Somewhere in China, there is a political dissident, a woman who stood up to the communist regime. She sits in silence, waiting for her death. Her stomach grumbles, and a guard laughs outside. She puts her hand over her heart and feels it beating through her fingers. After her execution, her heart will be removed from her body and sold by the government on the open market. It's a common occurrence, according to the British Broadcasting Corp.
Secretary of State Clinton says the United States ought to ignore these issues. "(O)ur pressing on these issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."
Somewhere in Cuba, there is a man planning to flee the country in an old floating Chevy. He will brave the waves and the sharks. He'll attempt to avoid the Cuban authorities; if he is caught, he will be jailed and likely tortured. If he is not -- if he makes it to America -- his family will be barred from leaving Cuba. That's the way they handle emigration in Cuba, according to human rights organizations.
Obama says "The US seeks a new beginning with Cuba," and recently apologized to the Cuban regime, stating "I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled to overcome decades of mistrust …."
In Honduras, millions tremble as exiled would-be dictator Manuel Zelaya threatens to overturn the constitutional structure once and for all. After the elected government of Honduras threw Zelaya out in order to prevent him from forcing through a false referendum that would place him in power indefinitely, the United States backed Zelaya. Obama called Zelaya's removal a coup; Clinton has implied that U.S. aid to Honduras is contingent on Zelaya's reinstatement.
Encouraged by U.S. interference, rapist, murderer and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has pursued Zelaya's coup strategy -- he's now calling for a referendum to seek his own illegal re-election. Obama's reaction? Silence -- the same deafening silence he exhibited while enduring Ortega's anti-American diatribe at this year's Summit of the Americas.
Oppression is on the march around the globe. So far, President Obama's administration has tacitly energized radically anti-American and tyrannical regimes to do their worst. We are watching the rollback of thirty years of American influence across the world -- and millions around the world are worse off for it.