One thing I’ll say for Donald J. Trump as president, he really does outdo his idiocy on historical levels.
For the first time in over a half a century, a North Korean leader meets with a U.S president and it is one of the most flaccid, useless, innocuous occurrences in the grandest tradition of phot-op, international politics. Nothing was officially decided, as two tyrannical goofballs whose relationship with anything resembling truth is a kind of rhetorical hide-and-seek anyway, told each other a bunch of stuff and then signed a paper saying they told each other a bunch of stuff.
Nothing is binding. Nothing is permanent or specific. No one has to do anything said or signed. There are no consequences or concessions ratified by either of these men’s governments. Either of them, who have made reneging on deals a religious art form, can walk away from this right now as I write this. Of course those who worship these dinks celebrate and those who despise them complain, while people paying attention to detail wonder what the fuck just transpired.
Enter Reality Check.
First off, I support any weirdly constructed attempt to stop human annihilation. This is why I supported the new way in which the Barack Obama administration dealt with Iran in their nuclear deal, which had way more teeth than this farce and was mocked openly and then trashed by the same guy who signed on with one of the worst murdering, human rights monsters on the planet. Shit, even those who mock Neville Chamberlain’s Munich capitulation to Adolf Hitler in 1938 understand he did it to “keep the peace”, which was all the rave in discussing what went down when Kim Jong-un met with Trump in Singapore this past week. “Stopping the war games” as our game show president couched it, mirroring in many ways major “agreements” with this family dynasty over the past three administrations that started out with lots of promises and “good will” and ended up with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and a crazy man threatening the U.S.
I should say at this juncture it is merely an opening salvo, but nonetheless a one-sided one. Jong-un was the winner here — not North Korea or South Korea or America or the Asia as a whole. He is still very much the same Jong-un, a maniac who slaughters and jails his people and murders Americans and members of his own family and children etc., and is still sitting on tons of weaponry, of which he expressed only the desire to end all of that with, again, no specifics or dates/deadlines or agreeing to inspectors or really any concessions beyond, “Sure, let’s give this a try”, which rings as hollow as whatever Hitler told Chamberlain to continue to carve up Europe.
What has changed is Jung-un’s perception in the West and in China, which is what he wanted. Sitting next to the leader of the free world and historically shaking his hand is a bigger deal for an ostracized tyrant, who is deep in sanctions and surrounded by enemies within and without, than it is for an American president, who has nothing to gain by sitting with this loon beyond a hollow political “win” and the low-bar prospect that he is so insane that the two of these men mere months ago were dick-fighting with millions of lives at stake.
So what we’re celebrating, if that is what is happening, is that there wasn’t the egotistical massacre of innocents by two rich kids who woke up on third and think they hit a triple or as the New Republic nailed it: “Nepotism Solidarity” telling each other whatever they wanted to hear to claim victory.
It is also important, though, to point out that while being constantly compared to Hitler, Bush II and Obama and now Trump are not, but you know who is a good one for this name-calling? Kim Jong-un. And if in 1938 American flags were touching up against Swastika flags like what happened in Singapore last week, probably 80 to 85 percent of Americans would not have minded, as many in this country hardly blinked. In fact, that was about the percentage of Americans interested in getting involved in “Hitler’s war” in the summer of 1941 until that December when the Japanese re-introduced us to world politics. But all of that is in our review mirror and to see that pomp paraded before the world cameras made me a tad queasy, but what was truly sickening was the outpouring of ass-kissing our president bestowed on this North Korean Hitler that is hard for even me to comprehend.
Despite working for peace or during war time — cold or otherwise — never did FDR publicly condone personally or ideologically Stalin nor did Reagan of Gorbachev, and neither did Obama when dealing with Iranian leaders. This was queer, eerie and painful stuff when considering Trump never had to go this far. Why would he say these things? And repeat them over and over on American television. It is pure madness.
For a fun exercise let’s put up Jung-un’s crimes next to Trump’s praise of him.
Come on, it’s hilariously horrifying:
Millions of North Koreans have died from forced starvations to keep people in line with the draconian 300-page Commission of Inquiry that “operates an all-encompassing indoctrination machine that takes root from childhood to propagate an official personality cult and to manufacture absolute obedience” to Mr. Kim.
Trump to Seann Hannity on June 12: “He’s got a very good personality, he’s funny, and he’s very, very smart. He’s a great negotiator, and he’s a very strategic kind of a guy. We got along very well from the very beginning. I think we understand each other.”
Since Mr. Kim assumed power in 2011, taking over from his father, Kim Jong-il, he has consolidated his power through executions. In the first six years as leader, he has ordered the executions of at least 340 people, according to the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank arm of the National Intelligence Service. In 2016, Kim Yong-jin, the deputy premier for education, was killed in front of a firing squad after showing “disrespectful posture” in a meeting. Hyon Yong-chol, a general over the armed forces, fell asleep in a meeting. He was executed with an antiaircraft gun.
Trump to Brett Baier on June 13: “He’s a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have — if you can do that at 27 years old, that’s one in 10,000 could do that.”
Up to 120,000 inmates were in the country’s four major political prisons in 2014 and were subjected to gruesome conditions, according to the United Nations report. Prisoners are starved, forced to work, tortured and raped. Reproductive rights are denied through forced abortions and infanticide. Some are executed — sometimes in public. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have died in the camps over the past 50 years, the United Nations report found.
Trump to ABC News on June 12: “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people have done some really bad things. I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
Rape and other forms of torture, beatings and brutal interrogations are common for people whose alleged crimes might have been nothing more than falling asleep at a political event or playing foreign music. Mothers were in some cases reportedly forced to watch the infanticide of their newborn infants.
Trump to Fox and Friends, June 15: “Hey, he is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
And on and on it goes…still. It is quite exhausting how this man goes out of his way to put Kim Jung-un on a pedestal.
For apparently nothing, or close to nothing or…to find the low-bar…keep an Asia peninsula from annihilation.
This is now the foreign policy of the United States of America.
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”
And coming in June, 2018; “Accidently Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”