|Days of wine and roses: “Dear Leader” and Madeleine Albright share a laugh in North Korea|
Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, found him “smart” and “well-informed,” though perhaps somewhat “cruel”; he gave Ms. Albright’s counselor, Wendy Sherman, a little tingle: “He was smart, engaged, knowledgeable, self-confident, sort of the master-director of all he surveyed . . . he didn’t know the answers to every question, but he knew a lot more than most leaders would—and he was a conceptual thinker”; George Bush’s hapless representative to the never-ending, always-failing Six-PartyTalks to de-nuke the Norks, Christopher “Patient But Firm” Hill—opining that even top-down dictatorships “have politics” (would that be like having measles or herpes, or more like having erectile dysfunction?)—sensed “a commitment to trying to move this process” along; and Barack Obama’s own Six-Party man, Stephen Bosworth, undaunted by a little missile music, promised he’d be “working very closely with our partners to ensure that after the dust from the missiles has settled a bit . . . we get back to the longer term priority” of engagement.
Of course, engagement by any other name—appeasement, say—shames us just the same.
But never mind. All that’s passed now, along with Mr. Il himself: No longer “master” of “£350,000 of cognac a year,” all the “lobster, caviar and sushi” his little elevator-shod body could contain, or the “fleet of Mercedes Benz luxury cars” he imported; and no longer “director” of the starvation that took the lives of three million of his acorn-eating countrymen, “Dear Leader” has taken his conceptual-thinking faminism and gone to meet his maker.