Well, it’s about 50 years late, but Private Bone Spurs is finally shipping out to ‘Nam. Once in Hanoi, he will meet again with his true pal and intermittent sweetheart Kim Jong Un, and some sort of slap-dash nuclear summitry will ensue. Nobody seems to care all that much. Compared to the hype surrounding the last summit, which I dubbed, with characteristic wit, the Singapore Shit Show (not for nothing am I repeatedly mentioned in the same breath as Oscar Wilde), this has thus far been a rather low key affair.
This is understandable. Heck, in the middle of being pre-occupied with Trump’s unconstitutional power grab, his desire to give nuclear technology to the Saudis, and declaring yet again that the Press is THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, not to mention the ongoing hijinks with Roger Stone, Michael Cohen’s upcoming testimony, rumours about the imminent delivery of the Mueller Report, and Republican election fraud in North Carolina, I’d all but forgotten myself that Donald was on the cusp of another confab with another dictator.
Another chance to make nicely-nice with an implacable tyrant! Oh boy!
Kim wasn’t asking for another play date with his favourite international chump, finding it more convenient to string Mike Pompeo along in fruitless negotiations while continuing to arm himself with nuclear weapons, but Trump wanted it badly. This is apparently owing to an urge to burnish his Nobel Prize credentials. Donald, you see, thinks he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. He cajoled Japanese PM Abe to send a nomination on his behalf to the Nobel committee, figuring Japan owed him one for his prior diplomacy with Kim, which Donald believes was successful, and the reason why Kim isn’t “firing his cannons into the ocean” in Japan’s direction any more.
From his lofty perch in Trumpspace, as Donald gazes down upon the scurrying mortals below with Olympian comprehension, it’s quite clear that he personally defanged the truculent Kim, turning him into a peaceable little fellow interested mainly in reconciliation and exploring opportunities for real estate developments, maybe a new Trump Tower in Pyongyang, and that ought to be worth the same gong that Obama got for doing nothing. Trump, of course, rejects the conclusions of his own intelligence agencies, which keep insisting that Kim hasn’t stopped making bombs and rockets, is never going to give up his nukes, and isn’t lobbing ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan these days simply because the latest round of testing was successfully concluded. That’s not how it looks in Trumpspace.
Look, the jerks at the CIA don’t understand that were they right, then Donald, known all over the globe as The Worlds Greatest Negotiator, would actually just be an easy mark, a witless dupe, which isn’t the sort of press clipping that gets you the Nobel, and anyway is impossible. Still, while Donald swears up and down that North Korea is already all nice and friendly and on the road to disarmament, it wouldn’t hurt in the run up to the Nobel vote to be seen giving backrubs and investment tips to an ever more pliable Kim, just to emphasize how much things have changed since the bad old days when that African usurper Obama was on the verge of a disastrous war, as was his African shithole wont.
Too, the festivities might distract people from Michel Cohen’s Congressional testimony this week. A collateral benefit.
I wonder whether his Vietnamese hosts will take the opportunity to show Trump the sights, take him around to a few of the places he might have visited decades before, if his crippling foot issues – it was either the left one or the other one, he’d have to check – hadn’t kept him out of the action. They could take him to Ia Drang, or tour him around the Iron Triangle. Hue and Khe Sanh would be obvious hilites. If Donald doesn’t want to leave Hanoi, maybe they could take him to that little lake next to the old thermal plant, where a badly injured John McCain splashed down after his Skyhawk was shot out from under him. They could tell him how the naval aviator was of course a Yankee Air Pirate, but also a brave man, tough and principled, whom you couldn’t help but grudgingly admire.
Not if it’s raining, though. Donald doesn’t do rain.
There are those who worry that in his zeal to prove that Kim is on our side now and playing ball, Trump might strike some sort of disastrous new deal that gives away the store. That’s certainly possible. My Dad had an old saying for situations in which sharp operators like Kim fleeced the gullible likes of Trump: they didn’t just see you coming, they sent for you. Who knows what Kim might extract in return for another iron-clad promise to perhaps consider, at some future date to be determined, the possibility of further talks in order to create a framework for subsequent discussions? If he throws in a Trump-branded golf course near the DMZ, Kim might just be able to get the same deal on nuclear technology transfer that Trump was offering the Saudis. You know, so long as Kim pinkie-swears to use it for peaceful purposes.