Thursday, July 12, 2018

Been there, done that

Remember that summit?  Yeah, none of that happened:

As U.S. intelligence agencies reported that North Korea showed no signs of giving up its nuclear program and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo found a barren reception in Pyongyang, President Donald Trump indulged in his favorite source of comfort — Twitter. “I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake,” Trump declared, trying to prop up the narrative of success he has sold ever since his historic summit in Singapore with the North Korean leader on June 12. “We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea. China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!”

But there is no legally binding contract and no agreement. There is only a handshake and a vague 400-word summit statement that papers over huge disagreements about the meaning of denuclearization and what sequence of steps is required to defuse U.S.-North Korea tensions. And while Beijing is being unhelpful, not least because of Trump’s rash trade war with China, in the end Trump has nobody to blame for the dead end but himself.
Trump spent two days in Singapore (one day so bored he wanted to do the meeting that day, and get it over with), declared victory, and went home to his charred steaks and Big Macs.  Even Secretary of State Pompeo says nothing is happening with North Korea that wasn't happening before that summit. And one day ago Trump was saying about NATO:

Well, today he declares that NATO has bent to his will and he leaves for England trailing clouds of glory.  Except President Macron, playing the role of Justin Trudeau this time, says that never happened:

Is Trump going to contradict Macron?  No, because then Trump would have his bluff called.  He would have to put up or shut up.  And Donald Trump never shuts up; nor does he ever put up.  He declares victory and runs from the disaster he has caused, before he can be responsible for the catastrophe his mouth worked so hard to create.  Having pissed all over NATO, he now wants to revel in the pomp and circumstance it provided him:

Trump doesn't want to destroy anything; he just wants to be sure all the attention is on him.  So he goes to Brussels, spits in the eye of Germany over breakfast, tweets during meetings (or his staff did for him) about how NATO sux and the U.S. was stupid before he, the Truly Stupid Man, got here, and then when it's time to fish or cut bait, he leaves.  He doesn't even care what chaos he causes, he just cares that he can claim to have fixed the chaos he caused.  He did it in North Korea (why is Kim no longer "Little Rocket Man"?), now he's done it in Brussels.  He's not arguing with Macron the way he did with Trudeau because NATO is a bit more serious a player than the G7 is, and Trump knows the difference.  Ultimately he won't fuck with NATO; but he will declare himself NATO's savior, despite the fact he's the one who put NATO at risk in the first place.

He'll always walk up the edge of the cliff.  He will never go over it, because that would be a danger to him.  He will always walk back, and declare victory over the cliff.  It's his psychodrama; he just drags the rest of the world into it.

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