I’m glad to read that another American “hostage” has been released:
Burmese authorities have released the American whose uninvited visit to the home of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi led to her being sentenced to 18 more months of house arrest, allowing him to leave the country Sunday with Sen. James Webb (D-Va.)…
John Yettaw, 54, a Vietnam War veteran who suffers from epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder, was sentenced last week to seven years in jail for swimming across the lake behind Suu Kyi’s house to warn her that he had had a vision in which she was killed by terrorists.
Webb, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, is the most senior U.S. official to visit Burma in more than two decades. He used his rare meeting with the government’s leadership to ask for Yettaw’s release on humanitarian grounds, for a visit with Suu Kyi and for her release.
“They granted two of those three requests in the meetings. They have not yet communicated on the third,” Webb said Sunday.
Let us all hope that Webb’s third request will be granted. Aung San Suu Kyi really, really doesn’t deserve to be punished any further because, gosh, us Americans just love to be helpful, whether or not the targets of our helpfulness appreciate it.
But I’m curious: Why do some news stories turn into Major Media Narratives — for example, North Korea’s recent release of two American journalists — while fairly similar stories like this one remain under the radar? Is it because two female journalists are more interesting than one aging nutter-cum-missionary? Is it North Korea’s status on the “Axis of Evil”? Is Bill Clinton just sexier to the Media courtiers than Jim Webb?
And if “we”, including Suu Kyi, are still paying for America’s disastrous incursion into Vietnam… what kinds of wonderfulness do future generations look forward to, as the veterans of our current Iraq and Afghanistan deployments return home, many of them (we have been warned) with subtle forms of brain injury?