Tag Archives: Trump-Kim summit

Normalization? Sure, but first things first

Donald Trump has placed yet another bargaining chip on the table as he gets set to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

He said he wants to “normalize” relations with the reclusive Marxist regime.

OK, then. Where do we start with that?

Let’s recall the conservative outcry that erupted when President Barack Obama raised the Stars and Stripes over the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

Why, we cannot have normal relations with them Cubans. Look at the way they treat their citizens, not to mention that they promote terrorism abroad, they said. That communist Fidel Castro promised to be a reformer when he took over the country in 1959, but he damn sure didn’t live up to that promise, they howled. He made things worse!

Never mind that the Cubans never posed a direct military threat to the United States, particularly after the Soviet Union imploded in 1991. Yes, we had that Cuban missile crisis in 1962, but President Kennedy took care of that with a blockade and the threat of a “full retaliatory response” if the Soviet Union used those missiles to attack any nation in this hemisphere.

So, what will the current president demand of the North Koreans?

What’s more, are we going to hear howls from the right wing about the North Koreans’ treatment of its citizens? Or about how the government starves its people while spending billions on a military apparatus that now includes nuclear weapons?

And what about the North Koreans’ direct military threat to this country, and to the South Koreans, and to Japan?

I do believe as well that Kim Jong Un’s regime has been sponsoring terrorism abroad, too.

I am all in on normalizing relations with North Korea. Any effort to create a U.S.-North Korea bond, though, carries more preconditions than U.S.-Cuba relations did.

To think the president says he doesn’t need much “preparation” in advance of his meeting with Kim Jong Un.

He needs to rethink that bit of idiocy.

Hey, is the Trump-Kim summit back on … or what?

Someone will have to pass the Pepto.

Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong Un were supposed to meet June 12 in a historic summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea.

Then the meeting was cancelled. Trump said Kim was saying a lot of nasty things about the United States. The president would have none of it.

The meeting is off, right?

Not precisely. The United States is sending a team to Singapore to discuss planning for, um, the meeting that might occur after all.

Man, I am baffled!

Then there’s this from The Hill: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was also coy but suggested that summit planning is progressing. “We have got some, possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, may have it back on even,” Mattis told reporters. “Our president just sent out a note about that a few moments ago … That is a usual give-and-take, you know, of trying to put together big summits and stuff.”

I want the meeting to occur. It holds tremendous promise and potential for peace in a region still technically “at war.”

But I’m curious as to Donald Trump’s strategy here. On again. Maybe it’s off. Or, maybe it’s on. Back and forth. Up and down. In and out.

I need to sit down.

It’s ‘Secretary,’ not ‘General’ Mattis, Mr. President

I’ve made this point already, but I feel the need to restate it.

Donald J. Trump once again referred to the secretary of defense as “Gen. Mattis.” Yes, James “Mad Dog” Mattis — one of my favorite Trump Cabinet appointees — is a retired Marine Corps general. He’s got four stars on his epaulets.

But that was then. Today, the here and now, Mad Dog Mattis is a civilian, just like the president is a civilian.

Trump’s reference to “Gen. Mattis” came as he was announcing his decision to sh**can the planned June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The president, naturally, followed that reference with a statement that the U.S. military is the strongest in the world and that it is ready to act if the need arises.

Oh, brother, man!

Mr. President, we assign these Cabinet posts to civilians. It’s a time-honored tradition that civilians control the military. President Truman had to remind Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur of that fact when he relieved him of his Korean War command in the early 1950s.

I know it’s a semantics issue. It just bothers the daylights out of me that the commander in chief cannot honor the long-standing tradition of the office with a simple reference to the defense boss as “Secretary” James Mattis.

Get with the program, Mr. President.