Tag Archives: Kim Jong Un

Strongman/tyrant knew nothing? C’mon!

Kim Jong Un’s role as a tyrant by definition means he almost certainly knows what every arm of the government he runs is doing.

So, when the North Korean government takes an American college student — Otto Warmbier — into custody, hold him in bondage for more than a year and then releases him in a vegetative state to the United States, we are now expected to believe Kim Jong Un knew nothing about it.

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, said he believes Kim. He takes him “at his word.” The two men met in Hanoi this week and Kim gave Trump some assurance that he didn’t know about Warmbier’s condition upon his release.

North Korea comprises about 25 million residents. Its economy is in desperate straits. The tyrant who runs the country has built up a military force that reportedly is among the strongest in Asia. And, oh yes, has those nuclear bombs and missiles he says can deliver them to targets far away.

A tyrant who runs a country such as this knows everything his government is doing. Everything!

Who in the world does Donald Trump think he’s kidding when he says Kim doesn’t know about Otto Warmbier’s imprisonment and the conditions that produced his death shortly after returning home?

Otto’s parents, Cindy and Fred Warmbier, do not believe Kim’s denial. They hold the dictator and the government runs fully responsible for their son’s death.

The parents are in shock.

For this couple’s president, one Donald John Trump, to say he believes the word of a killer disrespects these grieving parents in an unfathomable fashion.

Disgraceful.

The summit that crashed and burned

So much for high expectations.

Donald Trump flew all the way from Washington to Hanoi to meet with his new BFF, Kim Jong Un, the tyrant who rules North Korea.

Then the leaders met, shook hands, exchanged pleasantries — and then called the whole thing off! No deal was done.

Kim went back to Pyongyang; Trump flew back to Washington.

Oh, and then we have the episode in which Kim told Trump he didn’t know anything about the incarceration of Otto Warmbier, the young American who was released from North Korean custody, only to die shortly after returning to the United States.

Just as Trump took the word of Vladimir Putin, who denied interfering in our election in 2016 — despite the analysis of our intelligence community that he did interfere — the president believed Kim Jong Un’s denial that he knew anything about Warmbier’s incarceration.

The president said he takes Kim “at his word.” As if that’s worth anything? Get real, shall we?

Why in the world does Donald Trump accept the word of these tyrants? Inquiring minds want to know.

Donald Trump, of course, isn’t the first U.S. president to get rolled at high level summits. President Kennedy got his head handed to him by Nikita Khrushchev in 1961, emboldening the Soviet strongman to put missiles in Cuba; we remember how that turned out.

I cannot get past the feeling, though, that in Trump’s case this failed summit is a product of a lack of pre-meeting preparation by the White House.

The president, it must be said, took a long plane ride for nothing.

Now he gets to deal with some serious problems back home.

Human rights, Mr. POTUS . . . don’t forget to mention it

When Jimmy Carter was president of the United States, he spoke a lot about human rights and the need to ensure that all human beings were guaranteed basic rights of citizenship.

We don’t hear that kind of talk these days from Donald J. Trump. So, as he prepares to meet for the second time in a year with North Korean dictator/despot/megalomaniac Kim Jong Un, I am wondering if he’s going to mention human rights. At all! In any form!

Reports suggest that North Korea’s human rights record ought to be a deal breaker between Trump and Kim. Yes, it should, given North Korea’s abysmal human rights record and Kim’s demonstrated cruelty toward his own people, not to mention members of his own family. Trump, though, has an affinity for despots — or so it appears. He’s chummy with Kim, with Vladimir Putin and any assortment of tinhorn dictators from Turkey to the Philippines.

It’s instructive, too, that the two men are meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam — the country that introduced the world to “re-education camps” after the communists won the Vietnam War by overrunning South Vietnam in April 1975. Re-education camp was a euphemism for concentration camps, where the communists sent sympathizers of the defeated South Vietnamese government. They were “re-educated,” all right.

So, will this be the moment for Donald Trump, the president of the world’s strongest nation, to hold Kim Jong Un accountable for the atrocities he commits against his own people?

I am not holding my breath.

Is POTUS set to be outfoxed by Kim Jong Un?

Reports are surfacing that Donald Trump’s aides are concerned about the president’s lack of preparation ahead of a planned summit meeting with North Korean despot/dictator/strongman Kim Jong Un.

Given the president’s stated distaste for reading briefing papers and how he relies on his gut instead of listening to national security advisers’ advice, they would have ample reason to worry.

Trump and Kim are going to huddle in Hanoi, Vietnam in a few days. They’re going to talk, presumably, about nuclear weapons and whether the North Koreans are keeping their promise to end their effort to build a nuclear weapons arsenal. Kim says they have stopped; U.S. intelligence officials, though, say they’re continuing to develop them.

Trump believes his new BFF, Kim, the guy with whom he has developed a “love affair.”

This is dangerous territory. Donald Trump is entering it while disparaging and denigrating his intelligence experts.

Do you feel safe? I damn sure do not!

Trump to meet ‘Little Rocket Man’ one more time

If the North Korean dictator/killer Kim Jong Un is the “smart cookie” that Donald Trump has called him, then he must be scratching his noggin about this “bromance” that is developing between him and the president of the United States.

The two men are meeting Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam for their second summit. The irony of the summit location surely isn’t lost on Trump critics who are fond of bringing up the alleged “bone spurs” that purportedly kept the future president out of the military during the Vietnam War. But . . . I digress.

The point here is that Trump keeps tossing love at a dictator who has allowed mass starvation of his people, had members of his family killed because of policy disputes, has threatened to invade South Korea, has detonated nuclear bombs, has threatened to launch missiles at the United States.

Trump used to refer to Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and once threatened him with “fire and fury” if he keeps threatening the United States.

Good grief! Talk about running hot and cold!

Trump disparages intelligence chiefs

The summit is going to take place just as the president is disputing the assessment of his high-level intelligence chiefs who say that North Korea is still pursuing development of nuclear weapons, despite Kim’s reported pledge to dismantle his nuclear program. CIA operatives report that the North Koreans continue to work toward adding to their small, but relatively potent nuclear arsenal.

What in the world is the president going to tell Kim when the two men get together in Vietnam? Is he going to scold him? Will he challenge him to demonstrate his stated commitment to end the nuclear development effort? Or will the two men come out of their meeting and pledge their “love” for each other?

The most troubling aspect of this meeting the continual deference Trump displays toward strongmen around the world. The iron-fisted rulers of Russia, The Philippines, Turkey and, oh yes, North Korea keep getting weird compliments from a U.S. president who praises them for their, um, “strong leadership.”

If only we Americans could make that same boast.

Trump ‘leadership’ takes a huge hit

Donald J. Trump has spared little effort in disparaging the leadership of his immediate presidential predecessors.

He actually has praised dictators such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un as being “strong leaders” who govern with iron fists while denigrating the leadership of our own president at the time, Barack Obama.

So . . . how did the current president “lead” as it regarded the government shutdown?

He agreed with a Senate deal that he assured leaders he would sign, even though it didn’t contain money for “The Wall” he wants to build along our southern border.

Then right wing blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter blast him for “caving” to Democrats and sensible Republicans; they want the wall built, period! They made their displeasure known to Trump.

The president then caved to them! He reversed course! He took back his pledge to sign the bill. Then he blamed Democrats for failing to achieve a compromise.

Is that how we define leadership? Is that the mark of a strong leader? Is that how a committed statesman governs?

Donald Trump has demonstrated jaw-dropping weakness. In the face of political pressure, he kowtows to a radical right wing radio blabbermouth and a right wing commentator known for her intemperate utterances about anyone with whom she disagrees.

Take a look at how two PBS commentators, liberal columnist Mark Shields and conservative columnist Michael Gerson, characterize the president’s behavior this week:

Oh, and then we have the James Mattis resignation as secretary of defense as well.

Are you frightened yet? If so, you are part of a growing number of Americans.

Hey, POTUS already has his media lapdogs!

Donald J. Trump has expressed a desire for the federal government to create a TV network that would report favorably on his exploits as president of the United States.

It’s a preposterous notion on at least one level: My reading of the U.S. Constitution prohibits such a thing in this country. A “free press” is supposed to operate without government interference or influence.

Trump, though, has expressed envy over the love and kisses heaped on his boyfriend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, by TV anchors in that reclusive nation. Well, that is laughable on its face. Those TV anchors are employed by a murderer — Kim — and they would be killed if they didn’t say what he demanded of them.

Now, as for Trump’s desire for favorable TV coverage, he already has a major cable “news” network in his hip pocket. Fox News — aka Faux News — is chock full of talking heads who suck up to the president daily. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, the trio on “Fox & Friends,” all are loath to say anything critical of Trump. So, they don’t. Plus, the network brings on an array of “contributors,” the vast majority of whom follow the lead of the network’s staff of anchors and correspondents.

Which brings me to my question of the day: Why does Donald Trump want to create a TV network that slobbers all over him when he already has one doing his bidding?

Bizarre.

State-run TV station? Sure thing, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. “Authoritarian Wanna-be in Chief” Trump wants the government to establish a TV network.

Yep, the protector of the U.S. Constitution has suggested the government establish a network to report news that is favorable to the president, his policies, his pronouncements and the direction of the government he was elected to lead.

Hmm. I believe the Constitution — the one that Trump swore when he took office to uphold — forbids such a thing. It’s that First Amendment clause that refers to a “free press” not being abridged.

This suggestion well might rank among the more idiotic ever to come from the 45th president of the United States. That’s really saying something, when you consider the mountain of idiocy that has poured out of his pie hole.

I’ll also remind everyone that the president once expressed a level of envy that North Korea’s TV anchors speak so glowingly about dictator/murderer Kim Jong Un. He wishes he could get that kind of love from the networks in this country, or so he said during his visit with Kim in Singapore earlier this year.

Here’s a reminder, Mr. President. Those TV anchors work for the same government that is run by Kim Jong Un. If they were to report the news accurately, you know, chronicling such things as the starvation and the abject poverty that afflicts the population, they likely would be yanked off the air, executed and their corpses would be fed to starving dogs.

I hope the president gets the picture.

However, I doubt that he does.

Trump, Kim ‘fell in love’? Weird, man!

I know he was uttering a figure of speech.

I know he didn’t mean it literally as he spoke those words.

I know this isn’t even anything approaching a real “romance,” let alone a “bromance.”

Still, for the president of the United States to say that he and North Korea’s ruthless, murderous, ham-fisted dictator “fell in love” after a series of angry tweets, public statements and threats sounds, well, more than a bit bizarre.

Donald Trump fired up a West Virginia campaign rally crowd with this riff: “He wrote me beautiful letters and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”

He referred, of course, to North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, with whom he has had — shall we say — a most unusual man-to-man relationship.

Trump has referred to Kim as “Little Rocket Man,” but also has called him a “smart cookie.” I don’t know precisely what Kim has said about Trump, but I guess he has written some kind and likely quite flattering words to him in those “beautiful” and “great letters.”

I believe I am now officially creeped out.

Yes, we’ve seen ‘fire and fury,’ Mr. President

You no doubt remember when Donald John Trump threatened North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un earlier this year with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.”

Kim had issued some threats to the United States. The president was having none of it. Well, the president isn’t exactly a student of history, as we know.

Seventy-three years ago today, one of Trump’s predecessors, President Harry Truman, issued the order to release a new kind of “fire and fury” on a nation with which we were at war.

A U.S. Army Air Force B-29 bomber took off on Aug. 6, 1945, from Tinian Island and headed for Hiroshima, Japan. It dropped a single bomb on Hiroshima. It killed tens of thousands of Japanese citizens in an instant. It was the first time the world saw a nuclear weapon deployed in a hostile act. It wouldn’t be the final time.

Three days later, another bomber flew over Nagasaki, Japan, and repeated the destruction.

The Japanese surrendered five days later, ending the world’s greatest, bloodiest and costliest conflict.

President Truman took office in April 1945 upon the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. The new president knew only a tiny bit of information about the Manhattan Project, where scientists were working on this terrible new weapon way out yonder in Los Alamos, N.M.

President Truman was briefed fully not long after he took office. The military brass told him, in effect, “Mr. President, we have this weapon under development that we believe will bring a quick end to the war.” The president agreed.

He would say many years later that he harbored no regret over using the atomic bomb. I have saluted President Truman many times over the years for the decision he made, based on the evidence he had at the time — and the lives he saved by persuading the enemy to surrender and allowing us to forgo an invasion of Japan by sea, air and land forces.

Fire and fury? There it was.