After weeks of braggadocio from the American “president,” including coy acknowledgments that he might get a Nobel Prize for his agreement to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Drumpf late Wednesday announced publicly that he was withdrawing from the already-agreed-upon meeting in Singapore on June 12. The ostensible reason given by the White House was that North Korea had been lagging in its response to planning meetings, had even canceled one, and was expressing “tremendous anger and open hostility” towards its benefactor, the United States. An unnamed White House official said that “the White House did not want an embarrassing situation of ‘losing the upper hand’” (Washington Post, “Trump Cancels Nuclear Summit” 5/24/18.) This seems like precisely what caused the “great deal-maker” to cancel: he and others in his war-mongers circle felt clearly that Kim Jong Un’s tough language in recent days was giving the North Korean leader the “upper hand.” Why? Because if Kim canceled first, then that would leave the “deal-maker” like a bride left at the altar. And that is intolerable. This is why Trump and his spokespeople all along, but especially in recent days, have kept repeating their line that a deal would be “wonderful and historic and enriching” for North Korea, but if it didn’t happen, well that was ok too. This seems to be a pattern for Trump: this will be the greatest event in world history, but it doesn’t really matter to me if it happens or not. Reminds one of nothing so much as teenagers maneuvering for a date. “I don’t care.” “Well I don’t care either.” “Nyah nyah!” This is what passes for diplomacy in the age of Trump.
What also passes, and it has characterized previous administrations as well, is the notion that when the U.S. agrees to deal with a ‘lesser’ nation (and all nations are lesser in the eyes of most Americans), why that agreement to even meet should be seen by the little dog as the bestowal of unmerited grace. That is the supine posture the North Korean leader has seemed unwilling to adopt. Instead, he has had the temerity to object to the ham-handed and openly insulting behavior of attack dogs like John Bolton (now National Security Adviser), who recently proclaimed that the model for the upcoming summit should be Libya and its abandonment of its nuclear program. As if that weren’t clear enough, that other ham hand, VP Mike Pence, made the same reference to Libya’s downfall in a Monday television interview. Are these people crazy? What do they expect from North Korea when their model is openly stated to be the surrender by Moammar Gaddafi of his nuclear arsenal, followed shortly by his murder and ugly violation in 2011 by the Western nations that invaded him, as his reward? Is this supposed to encourage Kim Jong Un to follow in the murdered leader’s footsteps? It clearly did not; one of Kim’s aides, in fact, publicly labeled the Vice President a “political dummy” for his remarks. That same appellation could be applied to the entire Trump Administration, from top to bottom. They took a golden opportunity handed to them on a silver platter by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and turned it into a fiasco. As is his wont, Trump thought he could just “wing it,” dispensing with most of the diplomacy that normally precedes and prepares the ground for a huge summit between leaders, casually implying that when Kim Jong Un entered the room with the great American deal-maker, he’d be so awed he’d agree to anything. Especially the rape of his own power. The dismantling of the nuclear capability he’d spent so much treasure to develop. The very nuclear power that had led to the proposed summit (contrasted with the denuclearization that dropped both Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein into the grave), and that now his adversaries in the United States were assuming he’d simply toss into the garbage. You’ve got to be pretty myopic to believe in your own infallibility to that extent.
But of course, that is what American leaders, especially Trump and his gang of merry bunglers, do believe. They think they can simply wave America’s military might (which they have been doing at this very time when North Korea is looking for signs of sincerity, carrying on the hated war games with South Korea that Kim Jong Un wants most of all to end), and all will be solved instantly. What they have now found out, or at least got an inkling of, is that the world has changed. Even an impoverished nation of 24 million like North Korea is not willing to be bullied into giving up the only security it has for the vacant promises of the great hegemon. Because the great hegemon has been demonstrating, even in recent weeks, that its word to “little dogs” is worthless. Less than worthless. Trump’s recent withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is another case in point. Worked out over years, the flame-haired wonder trashed that in a few minutes—at the very time he and his administration were trying to persuade North Korea that the word of this very U.S. leader, in any upcoming nuclear deal, would be honored. Again, are these people crazy? Do they think everyone is as dense as they are? As the idiot Americans who voted for them? Apparently, they do.
So they’re still expressing optimism in an eventual summit one of these days. When North Korea will come to its senses and give up its nuclear weapons entirely. Because that’s what “denuclearization” has meant to these ahistorical idiots. 'Our tough stance has worked. Kim Jong Un has blinked. He’s willing to give up his weapons, for nothing in return.'
Nope. As I’ve written in a previous post (see “Kim, the Trumpster, and Denuclearization” Mar. 10, 2018), if “denuclearization” means anything to the North Korean leader, it means ending the nuclear threat from the United States and South Korea at the same time as the North ends its threat. Maybe. Many observers think that even that is a long shot. Think that Kim would never give up what he’s won at such great cost. But of course, observers don’t have the overweening arrogance of the Drumpster. Which is really the problem here, and everywhere. The overweening arrogance of the Empire. Which, as history has shown again and again, is the prelude to its downfall. But don’t tell the great flame-thrower. He might cry; or cry havoc. And bring us all down with him.