Is Talk Cheap?

Thursday, 6 August 2009
We ran a story tonight on KVAL news about a man who was "tasered" by police three times. The officers responded to a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee to arrest suspect, Ronnie Irby. The manger of the Krystal where Irby worked allegedly caught him stealing money.

When officers arrived, the suspect ran outside and they deployed a stun gun to stop him. (The man is 300 pounds and 6'1.) He fell to the ground and then got up. Officer fired their taser guns again. Irby some how easily gets up AGAIN and keeps going. You can watch the video on The Grio's website here.

The amazing element of this story to me (as a journalist who has covered many violent and even deadly outcomes to situations like this between unruly suspects and police) is: Irby went back into the restaurant and eventually police talked him out. He surrendered peacefully.

This week former President Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea to meet face to face with dictator Kim Jogn Il. The two reportedly talked for three hours. Not since the year 2000 (Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) has an U.S. administration met with the head of North Korea. Thankfully, Clinton was able to talk him into releasing two American journalists who were to serve 12 years hard labor for crossing illegally into North Korea. Euna Lee and Laura Ling are home with their families tonight. Had Clinton refused to attempt diplomacy, I doubt the journalists would be safe on United States soil.

Could it be? Sometimes negotiation, discussion, listening and diplomacy actually works? It's much cheaper than fighting.

P.S. Dear Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, I'm excited that you are spending a week in Africa to show our support for Somalia and a future of healing and peace. But WHY are we funneling 40 tons of small arms and munitions to the country? Is there a chance at negotiating peace on the ground bypassing the extremists? Might be worth a go... I'm not a full-on peacenik but history has shown when the West gets involved it makes local political and religious angst even deeper.

What do you think?


Jinjajam said...

Nelson Mandela taught the world 15 years ago that talking was the ONLY solution to conflict. When is the world going to abandon their weapons and sit around a table ?

Negotiation for nationhood Viva!!!!
It works with children & pets as well....try it .

Denae said...

I think I will try it with children and pets too, Nan. Thanks for commenting. You make an excellent point. This is not a new idea.