Former President Jimmy Carter has arrived in North Korea, where he is undertaking a humanitarian mission to bring an American home.
From the moment the president arrived on North Korean soil until the moment he leaves, he will be used as a propaganda tool by the government there. The people who greet him through to what he says, his actions will be used by Pyongyang to validate its strength, its commitment to peace and its international stature.
Don't by into any of it.
Mr. Carter will succeed in gaining the release of the American citizen because Dear Leader wants it that way. There's no other reason. It allows him to be seen (again, just as he was last year) on the world stage with a former American president. It allows him to use the state-run media to validate his credentials as a statesman and a humanitarian. It provides for pictures loaded with symbolic imagery.
So, let's give Dear Leader his moment in the spotlight. Let's bask in his glorious wonder. Let's acknowledge what a great man he is. And then he'll go back to being the despot he is.