I should listen to my gut. I wrote a couple of posts ago that I’d been inclined to doubt the scheduled meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un would ever happen, but it looked like I was wrong again.
Well, no, my doubts (shared, I should add, by a great many experts, lest I seem to be claiming some special insight), were well-founded. The Donald, with his usual mix of idiotic naïveté and ham-fistedness, called off the summit because, apparently, Kim was being a big meanie.
Now, the Kim Regime’s reflexive and spasmodic explosion of bile over the past week was a predictable response to the public comments of bright lights like Spence and Bolton, who were happy to tell interviewers that they envisioned a “Libya Model” for North Korea, either as an opening bargaining position or as an “or else” if Kim refused to play ball. The Libya Model, recall, begins with nuclear disarmament and ends with Qadhafi being beaten to death by a mob, just the sort of outcome that haunts the fevered nightmares of all dictators, even, we’re told, potentates as seemingly secure on their thrones as Vladimir Putin. A reluctance to go the way of Muammar and Saddam is the main reason Kim armed himself with nukes in the first place.
They might just as well have said, off-hand, that “the way we see it, we wind up cutting his balls off and sticking a crowbar up his ass in the Pyongyang Town Square”.
Trump seems to have realized, all of a sudden, that this international diplomacy stuff was difficult – especially when fellows like Kim turn out, contrary to all expectations, to be mercurial, testy, and apt to change their minds. Well, shit! They’d already minted a commemorative coin, and Donald was just finishing a draft of his Nobel acceptance speech, but whattayagonnado? The miserable Asian bastard wasn’t going to play nice. It looked like Little Rocket Man might not even want to disarm at all, duplicitous prick that he was, and in that case the summit would fail, and that would be embarrassing.
Lousy Asian punk.
So Donald called it all off – too bad he didn’t think to give the folks in South Korea and Japan a heads-up, and it was probably a little sticky for the Western journalists/potential hostages who’d just been invited up North to witness the make-believe demolition of a used nuclear test site, but you can’t think of everything – and after writing a letter that sounded a little like something a high school senior would write to the girl who stood him up at the prom (I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me)(!!), he skulked off somewhere to pout before getting back to sabotaging the Mueller investigation.
What a relief, really. When I last gamed out of the scenarios they pretty much all looked bad, except for the one where Trump and Kim strangled each other to death. I suppose there’s still a chance that some sort of negotiation could happen, but I’m hoping Donald, realizing that he likely wouldn’t emerge in unequivocal triumph, and that anyway he might actually have to prep for the damned thing now that it’s going to be all adversarial, gets bored as usual and moves on. I’m pretty sure that if Kim ever gets him in a room he’ll play the dummy like a frigging grand piano, and the big winner might well be China, who would be just as happy as anyone to see America decamp the peninsula.
Poor Donald. This dealing with foreigners business is some tricky shit, particularly when the bastards can neither be bullied nor bought off with the usual big bag of Nothing. You can’t get out of a mess by declaring bankruptcy and stiffing your creditors either. The game isn’t rigged! You can actually lose, and look stupid to boot, and that ain’t fair.
P.S. One worry – relief may be misplaced, since what’s just happened is not that far removed from Scenario #5 from my prior post, except Kim didn’t even have to show up:
5. Kim plays the long game #1.
Planning to cleave America away from its Japanese and South Korean allies, Kim comes on all conciliatory and reasonable, and makes a few concessions, while Trump, goaded on by Bolton and Pompeo, keeps demanding more until talks break down and all the world blames the United States. Trump threatens war, but for various reasons to do with resistance from the Defence Department, the Joint Chiefs, and maybe Congress, doesn’t carry through. As Donald continues to froth and make empty threats, America’s Asian partners grow disgusted and pursue a separate deal (note that Kim is already laying the groundwork for an independent bargain with the South), one of the terms of which is the expulsion of American forces from South Korea. Kim gives up some weapons, but not all, and more talks between North and South are promised, while meanwhile, now that the Americans are gone, the eventual reunification of the peninsula by force or subterfuge is planned in a bunker beneath Pyongyang.