It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak, Edmund Burke
If you need political concessions from the United States, detain an American and accuse that person of spying. The Obama Administration may grant you all that you want. At least most of it.
When Cuban authorities detained and falsely accused Alan Gross of espionage in 2009, they knew full well what they were doing. And it had nothing to do with spying. Cash-strapped and struggling under the weight of U.S. economic sanctions, the Communist Party needed political leverage and they found it in Alan Gross. You can read more about the Gross case, here.
North Korea is doing trying to do the exact same thing. Korean officials recently arrested Merrill Newman, an 85 year old American. A veteran, Newman has not been accused of spying, yet; however, rest assured that the Koreans are going to use this detention to extract something of political value from the Obama Administration.
There is another American rotting in a North Korean prison, Kenneth Bae. His crime? He is a Christian. Fortunately he was not among the eighty (80) prisoners assassinated by the Korean government a few days ago. You read correctly, it is not a typo: 80. The crimes included possessing a Bible. Yleem thinks that the North Koreans are attention deprived and are also shopping for headlines.
Maybe Cubans and the North Koreans are coordinating PR efforts to distract the world from the arms shipment seized at the Panama Canal earlier this year. Whatever the case may be, each government has its own reasons for doing so, Cuba and North Korea are targeting Americans.
This is not the first time, nor shall it be the last, that foreign governments or terrorist groups target Americans for political purposes. However, there seems to have been an uptick and we can place that at the door of the National Security Council and the President. These regimes smell weakness and lukewarm behavior, such as the Geneva talks with the Iranian regime, and they are taking advantage of it.