For several weeks there has been a tug of war (literally) between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Moscow’s Donald Trump. The President has demonstrated severe inconsistency on the subject of whether he would meet with Kim. The announcements and reversals have been head-spinning. But they have also been embarrassing and detrimental to the foreign policies of the United States.
Naturally, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s TV lawyer – and apparently new State Department spokesman – emerged from beneath the rock he calls home to confuse matters even more. You might think that Giuliani’s time would be consumed with efforts to prevent the President from being impeached and/or imprisoned. But Rudy has other priorities to focus on. Like the PR surrounding Trump’s still unrealized sit-down with Kim. Remember, Giuliani considered himself a candidate to be Trump’s Secretary of State, even if Trump didn’t.
So now Giuliani is weighing in on the subject of the Trump/Kim affair with a comment that puts Trump in a distinctly unflattering light. Which is something that Giuliani has shown a remarkable aptitude for. In response to inquiries regarding the on-again, off-again talks, he told reporters that:
“Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in.”
Really? Never mind that there is absolutely zero evidence that this account is true. And forget that he was nowhere near the negotiations where one might have had access to this information. This is a meaningless remark that is the sort of worshipful praise espoused by the cult followers of Trump. Giuliani’s intended message is that Trump is a strong leader who has Kim in the palm of his tiny hands.
The only problem with that is that Giuliani’s glassy-eyed praise actually has the exact opposite meaning of his intent. What he’s saying is that Kim wanted this meeting very badly and that Trump didn’t have the guts to say no, or to insist on preconditions that advanced U.S. foreign policy goals. In other words, if Giuliani is correct, then Trump caved merely because Kim asked him to. That’s weakness writ large.
The whole question of whether Trump should meet with Kim has been about Trump’s political impotence from the beginning. For decades North Korean leaders have tried to get the United States to recognize their nation and grant them the legitimacy of diplomatic parity. They have tried to coax prior presidents to the table with the same sort of chain rattling that they did for Trump. The difference is that every previous American leader was strong enough to say no. Trump folded.
As a result, North Korea is getting the only thing they wanted all along: recognition and legitimacy, as well as the elimination of sanctions and a reduction in foreign troop presence. These are all things that Trump is willing to negotiate away without any preconditions on the part of North Korea. And much of the media is missing that fact that this has not been a story of Trump getting Kim to come to the table. It’s about how Kim got Trump to the table without so much as a promise to stop calling him a dotard.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
When Trump first said that he would meet with Kim it was as a result of his misunderstanding of an offhand remark by a North Korean diplomat. Republicans went wild with praise for Trump and some nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize. When the meeting was called off, the same Republicans insisted that Trump showed courage for backing out. When the meeting was rescheduled, the same Republicans now say the President is a brilliant tactician. What will they say if the meeting is canceled again? It seems that he can do no wrong. In their eyes he is right to meet or not meet or just call in to Fox and Friends with recipes for lasagna or to divulge state secrets.