Monday Mayhem on Tuesday
Damn, it seems I got the Singapore Dictator Dance Contest right. To quote myself:
I don’t think Kim is going to blow anything up but he is going to play Trump like a fiddle. The problem will be when the exhausted White House staff finally manages to get Trump’s phone away from him long enough to tell him that he agreed to ritual castration in exchange for token denuclearization. — Monday Mayhem Jun 11, 2018
It doesn’t appear that anyone has been able to get Trump’s phone away from him yet. He and his favorite ass kissers are still frantically strutting to cover the retreat from Singapore. Ending all military exercises in South Korea without discussing this with the South Koreans or even our own military is pretty close to ritual castration.
While I definitely think we need to end the pretense of American imperial domination and the expensive military occupation of much of the planet, that is not a drug you can suddenly stop taking without massive reaction. The sane people left in the US government need to quickly figure out how to implement some type of damage control. In the worst case little Trumpy just accidentally terminated our defense agreements with South Korea and probably Japan. What a mess!
What constitutes military exercises? Luckily the vague document that Kim made Trump sign leaves a lot of room. Sadly this cuts both ways. With thousands of US troops stationed in South Korea almost any activity in conjunction with their host military could be construed as a military exercise. Do we need to withdraw from South Korea? Does the movement of US forces in support of South Korean force activities constitute military exercises? Does anyone have an idea? I’m pretty sure that Kim Jong Un does.
As for quickly working toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as has already been noted elsewhere, North Korea has been working on that for some time by demanding the removal of all US submarines from South Korea. There doesn’t seem to be any sequential linkages here so it looks as if we may need to do a bunch of things and North Korea can do one. “Hey, we’re doing our part”, Kim says.
What about Japan? Prime Minister Abe has tied himself to Trump as his fortunes have waned domestically due to land sale scandals his wife got into as well as other problems. Trump, true to form, promised to take a very firm stand with Kim on the highly political issue of Japanese citizens being detained in North Korea. In Japan this is a major source of outrage as these are people that North Korean intelligence kidnapped in Japan or people who were long ago retained in North Korea against their will. I didn’t note any reference to Japanese citizens held in North Korea in the great agreement. Was that accidentally left out?
We don’t need to mention China as this was planned as a result of Kim’s traveling twice to pay homage to Xi in Beijing. China has already said they are now free to lift the sanctions imposed by the UN against North Korea for nuclear development and missile testing. Since 90% of North Korea’s trade is across the border with China this basically ends the sanctions. This clearly works for China’s convenience and North Korea’s survival. The murderous incompetence of Kim and the North Korean government has now been blessed by little Trumpy.
There is still the issue of what the rest of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council has to say about unilaterally ending the North Korean sanctions. Trump, with great foresight, trashed any remaining goodwill he had with our closest allies two days before the great Singapore histrionics. Since Trumpy’s trade war is backfiring seriously and tariffs against the US are already being implemented. . . sorry, I just don’t want to take this any farther right now.
Do we need to think about tipping points? These disasters caused by an incompetent regime filled with corrupt goons can have a an early tipping point into a self sustained collapse.