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Our Collective Duty to Individual Citizens April 30, 2013

Posted by David Bookstaber in Diplomacy.
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Something about this is profoundly disturbing: There is compelling evidence that an American student is among the foreigners kidnapped by North Korea. And our government appears to be doing its best to ignore the matter.

Granted, far more disturbing acts of violence and privations are committed every day, including in our own communities. But we naturally revolt against these crimes. To the degree possible we strive to deter, punish, and seek redress for the wrongs visited on our family, neighbors, fellow citizens, and fellow men. After all, if we were the unlucky victim we would hope and expect our fellows to come to our aid. And if we don’t respond to an aggressor we should expect the lack of response to embolden them (and others).

The more brazen an aggressor the greater our imperative to respond. When the aggressor is a rogue country like North Korea the crime, though committed against only one of our citizens, is an affront to every American. One of the explicit purposes for which we formed our government was to “provide for the common defence.” We should each take crimes like this personally, and we should collectively demand the same response we would hope for had a foreign criminal taken us captive.