Cartoon: Bad Hair Summit
The one thing North Korea has craved for the entirety of its existence is legitimacy. Donald Trump just gave it to them.
Republicans criticized President Obama for saying he was open to talks with Iran. Even then, there were negotiations for negotiations. Obama never met with the leaders of Iran. Instead, he sent diplomats to negotiate with their diplomats. The State and Defense Departments was heavily involved as were other experts in foreign policy and national security. Today, Iran does not have a nuclear weapon.
Donald Trump stuck his head in a meeting and said “yup.” South Korean diplomats were in the White House, and they were not scheduled to talk to Trump. But, Trump stuck his head in that meeting, heard Kim Jong Un wants to meet him in person, and the next thing you know South Koreans are standing in the White House driveway in the dark announcing that the president of the United States is going to hang with Little Rocket Man.
This meeting, which will happen now, will raise North Korea’s prestige to an eye-to-eye level with the international community. It decreases the legitimacy and credibility of the Oval Office to a level occupied by Dennis Rodman.
Rodman is the most high-profile American Kim Jong Un has ever met. No American president has ever met or talked to a leader of North Korea in its entire history. From Ike to Obama, no president thought it was a good idea. Trump, truly a dotard, disagrees and now Kim gets to jump straight from Dennis Rodman to the president of the United States. No initial meetings or negotiations with diplomatic underlings, or the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, or even a meet and greet at a wine mixer with Nikki Haley. They get the president of the United States. (NOTE: Yesterday White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders added some qualifiers on the meeting, after a deluge of warnings from experts and politicians. Some Trump aides now wonder if the meeting will actually take place.)
Donald Trump is winging it and seeing where it goes. That works great for jazz, not so much for foreign diplomacy. The State Department wasn’t even in the loop. Rex Tillerson was sleeping when this decision was made, but to be fair, Tillerson is usually sleeping. That’s one of the reasons Putin picked him.
We don’t have an ambassador to South Korea. Our highest-level expert on North Korea quit last week. Trump is going in unprepared and believing he is smarter than everyone else and the best negotiator. The man can’t successfully negotiate a hush contract with a porn star. And in case you haven’t noticed yet, Mexico is not paying for that wall.
The greatest outrage in this is that Trump may be risking our national security and that of South Korea and Japan for selfish reasons. Perhaps it’s the ratings. Maybe it’s to get Stormy off the front pages. Or the most likely reason, it’ll provide another payday for Mar-a-Lago because Trump makes money every time he goes there…which is why he’s at one of his properties nearly every weekend. Nobody likes golf that much.
North Korea is promising to cease testing nukes and missiles. They’re talking about denuclearization. They’re not even insisting that we stop military drills on the Korean peninsula. It sounds like a great deal and Trump will bring peace to our time…except for that sticky part where the two times the North promised to stop building nukes, they lied. As that fishhead guy said in Return of the Jedi, “it’s a trap!”
North Korea is still holding three Americans hostage. Trump didn’t even insist they release them. Trump just stuck his head in the door.
The rest of us may be sticking our heads between our knees.
Here’s the video.