The neocon and liberal interventionists of Cold War 2.0 are variously calling the Trump-Kim public relations effort to at least give peace a chance a sham, too lacking in "details," and an open door to Chinese dominance in Asia.
The New York Times editorial board, among most others in consolidated corporate media world, complains that Trump offered Kim the unthinkable "concession" of ending the annual US-South Korea "war games" spectacle without getting anything in return.... as though the North Korean dictator's gesture of stopping nuclear testing and provocative launches was not itself the concession which paved the way for the historic Singapore summit.
The Times was mightily offended about how gauchely Trump "gushed" over Kim, who has been miraculously transformed from Rocket Man into a great guy, if not Donald's new BFF. It was also miffed that Trump made nice with such a violent oppressive leader, ignoring the fact that Trump (and all his immediate predecessors) just recently made nice with the Saudis, who are engaged in outright genocide of Yemenis via another port blockade of food shipments.
Mr. Kim’s wins were obvious. He got what his father and grandfather never did — a meeting with an American president, the legitimacy of being treated as an equal as a nuclear power on the world stage, country flags standing side by side. And while American sanctions remain in place, Mr. Trump has delayed imposing new ones and other countries are expected to begin easing theirs.The latest litmus test for bipartisans of the extreme center is how vociferously they can ridicule the Singapore Summit - from its weird tasting menu, all the way to the weird travel propaganda video with which Trump regaled Kim. Liberals are desperately trying to bore into the public mind the same message that they used to denigrate the Occupy movement: there are not details and no specific demands!
Mr. Trump insisted he secured concessions from Mr. Kim, including a nuclear and missile test suspension that is already in its seventh month, and the destruction of a missile test site and an engine test site. The latter two will have to be independently verified. But what about the main goal, denuclearization? “We’re starting that process very quickly — very, very quickly — absolutely,” Mr. Trump said.
This messaging promises to get even more boring as mega-mergers among already consolidated media content and delivery providers become the new normal in how we citizen-consumers get the preferred misinformation drilled into our heads.
My published comment to the Times editorial:
Only time will tell who is the better con artist: the dictator or the wannabe dictator.
Trump assumes that his self-proclaimed business savvy ( his "touch and feel"), which veers between making threats and making nice as a means of reeling in his prey will work in the case of diplomacy, with which he has zero experience.
Only time will determine the outcome. Nobody should be rooting for his attempt, or pretense at one, to fail. There's always the serendipity factor, when even the most bumbling operators can do the right thing by sheer accident and for all the wrong reasons (re-election campaign for him, midterms for the cult which still insists upon calling itself the Republican Party.)
As for Trump discontinuing the war games, which he views as a wasteful romp rather than training exercises, he does have a habit of announcing grandiose initiatives on Twitter without first notifying the people who are actually in charge. This is similar, to name just one example, to his unilateral banning of gay people from the military, which has since been walked back.
He's all about saving his own face and getting whatever booty he can for his personal empire.. Maybe he'll simply rename the war games something else, like the Trump Air Show for the high-ratings entertainment of the people of the Korean peninsula.
Besides saving face, it's also all about the marketing.
But with any luck, peace on earth will have a chance despite us being stuck with the most venal president in US history.
(On second thought, I'd better revise that to "perhaps the most venal," or even more accurately, "one of the most venal" presidents. They've all been doozies and liars and cheats in their own unique ways. It is, after all, part of the job description.)
The Korean War, which was never approved by Congress, has never officially ended. Think of the Singapore Summit as a continuation of the truce, with the added incentive of North Korea now having nuclear capability.
It is ironic, meanwhile, that Trump was the protégé of Roy Cohn, the ultra-right attorney who successfully prosecuted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
On top of espionage for the Russians, they were also widely blamed for starting the Korean War. While they sat in prison awaiting their executions, the United States went on its mad spree of killing millions of North Koreans. At a few points, Harry Truman seriously contemplated the nuclear annihilation of the entire population, as a sort of follow-up act to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. See what I mean about a ratings system for presidential dooziness? For example, Trump threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans and Truman threw bombs at them, not long before he considered nuking North Koreans.
It's certainly been a long -- but far from winding -- road from Sing Sing, where the Rosenbergs were killed in the electric chair in June 1953, to Singapore in June 2018.
Never mind Trump. America has always been a tad on the insane side.