As the Worm Turns
Trump wants to bring a brutal regime to an end without global thermonuclear war or a bloody coup: The media still wants to stop him.
Make War, Not Peace
World peace isn’t popular under U.S. President Donald Trump.
Though this week’s nervously anticipated meeting between Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un ended abruptly and without an accord, even the press admits it is hard to find fault with the U.S. President’s reasons for terminating the meeting.
Both sides have indicated negotiations will continue.
The U.S. press, seemingly desperate for something negative to seize on, can at least report that Kim’s version of why the much-lauded conference ended so abruptly might be slightly more accurate in point of fact than Trump’s.
You can read about how Trump and Kim’s summit dream fell apart on CNN, but you didn’t exactly get to read about the dream in the first place.
Liberal press hounds finally caught a break when President Trump spoke less-than-sensitively about the death of a young American whom he actually helped free from North Korea.
But, tragic as Otto Warmbier’s loss is for that young man’s family, Trump was not in North Korea to see Kim Jong Un face justice for one young American’s imprisonment, torture and ultimate death.
The Art of the Real
Unfortunately, punishing the leaders of foreign countries for crimes committed in that country is well outside the purview of the President of the United States.
You’re thinking of Tony Stark.
In reality, to remove the leader of a sovereign nation, a U.S. leader has three options: There is war, there is stealth, and there is trade. There is not a ‘you’re- a-filthy-liar’ name-calling contest.
Trade, of course, being the correct choice for the real world. Trade is boring: It doesn’t involve bloody vengeance, or exotic on-location filming, or gripping battle scenes. Trade doesn’t have a great story arc and if it were a movie it would be 400 boring hours long, filmed in tax offices and court rooms.
But trade doesn’t involve U.S. soldiers deploying to the Korean Pennisula. Where:
“The cold seemed to come with only one upside: it had a cauterizing effect on wounds. Blood from bullet holes or shrapnel tears simply froze to the skin and stopped flowing.” — an account of the 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir by Hampton Sides, On Desperate Ground.
Every Son and Every Daughter
Of course Otto Warmbier’s parents blame Kim Jong Un for their son’s death; Kim Jong Un is to blame for their sons death.
Trump asked, and Kim denied it. What was Trump supposed to do? Calling an oppressive, mass-murdering dictator a liar and storming out is something you might expect a grieving parent to do; not the President of the United States.
President Trump answers to more than Otto Warmbier’s parents: Trump’s choices have repercussions for everyone’s sons and daughters.
Trump is responsible to every person of military age in the United States, and in allied countries, too. Trump is even responsible to every person of military age in countries who would be forced to fight against the U.S. in a conflict.
If North Korea attacks South Korea, war becomes a moral imperative. Trump has a responsibility to every person on the Korean pennisula; it will be the first decimated in a nuclear strike.
Sure, Kim was lying. And?
He murders thousands of his own people in prison camps every year, what is one lie to him? What good would challenging him on that lie do?
Perhaps Kim was telling the truth anyway; his regime has imprisoned, tortured and killed so many people, he probably doesn’t remember Otto Warmbier, probably never even laid eyes on him. That is not, of course, to Kim’s credit.
Brutal dictators aren’t brought to heel in a single conversation. Or two. Totalitarian regimes aren’t toppled because one courageous U.S. President had the audacity to call its leader a bald-faced liar. Kim Jong Un is not a lunchroom bully that just needs standing up to.
Neither will Dear Leader be usurped because a U.S. President nobly refused to allow any progress until the government of North Korea came to negotiations ready to admit to and atone for its many crimes against humanity.
Not the least of which, is Otto Warmbier.
Kim Jong Un is not subject to the American criminal justice system. He is above the law even in his own country. And no, it’s not fair.
Aside from U.S. military intervention to remove him or covert operations to supplant him, both historically bad ideas, he is beyond the reach of world justice. He is untouchable.
If we continue to isolate North Korea, he stays that way. He grows old and dies that way, just like his father before him. Otto Warmbier was not the first victim; he will not be last.
But with continued talks, time, and trade, there will be a last.
And that is something.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)