Today, Dennis Rodman is expected to host a basketball game as a birthday present to Kim Jong Un. The game will be between the North Korean national team that Rodman has been training himself, and a very odd group of former NBA stars, including former Knicks forward Charles Smith, famous for getting stuffed at the rim several times late in game 5 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals against the Bulls.
The other members of the team include Kenny Anderson, the former Nets guard from the Bronx, Clifford Robinson, whose headband is probably still attached to his head, and Vin Baker, the former Milwaukee Bucks star, who drank his way into submission after a brief stint with the Knicks.
Despite the excitement that the event is generating, the U.S. State Department has somehow found a way to condemn this random act of kindness on the part of a Rodman, a true American hero. U.S. officials seem to think that Rodman should be more focused on the release of an American missionary (spy), Kenneth Bae who was captured and imprisoned by the North Korean government.
When asked about why he did not inquire about the imprisoned American, Rodman said, "I don't give a shit." That was, by all means, the right thing to say in this situation.
Dennis Rodman should not be a representative of U.S. foreign policy on his forays into Pyongyang, because U.S. foreign policy sucks. Our idea of foreign policy is that the entire world has to abide by our standards or we threaten them with violence, even war. Imagine if these slow, but sure inroads had been made in Iraq and Afghanistan, instead of us dropping bombs on them. It would've been a lot more effective than what our military did. I mean, we only sent both countries reeling back into civil war, losing thousands of our own troops in the process. But I guess that's what American foreign policy says about Rodman. From an American standpoint, there's no time for gradual peacemaking, only brutal, superficial diplomacy that can only lead mistrust, possibly even a war that would cause just as much collateral damage as the previous wars we've been in over the last 12 years.
Rodman is not responsible for the release of Bae. He's not responsible for the disarmament of North Korea's nuclear program. He has taken responsibility for bringing positive Western influence to a country that has been polarized from the rest of the world for years, by slowly gaining the trust of a political tyrant.
If Rodman can somehow establish trust, the staple of international politics, to the North Korean regime, he will have made more of a positive difference in the world than any U.S. politician has in the last 15 years.