I woke up yesterday on a Boeing 777 on my way back to Israel. I checked the news and was happy to see that Kim Jong Un has agreed to the full denuclearization of North Korea. Now, I am no dummy…and the President was very clear that no sanctions would be reversed until this was fully carried out. I just assumed there would be praise from the left and right.
I, too, was a little concerned about the President’s “Rocket Man” diplomacy and threats of “fire and fury.” But, then again, as I shared with panicking friends, “nothing else had worked.” What had Obama done in eight years to stop Kim from getting nukes? Bush and Clinton thought they had deals, but Pyongyang either said there was a misunderstanding or just flat-out reneged on the agreement.
So, when I saw that President Trump had gotten Kim to make this stunning commitment, though skeptical of what Kim might or might not do, I was thrilled. North Korea is the greatest threat to world. They have the ability take out entire US cities. So, hats off to President Trump for taking action.
Praise from all corners—not!
I naïvely assumed there would be approval from the left and right—even with a “wait and see” attitude regarding the final outcome. Maybe even praise from Alec Baldwin or Robert Di Nero…I was way off!
CNN posted the headline “Kim Reaps Reward at Little Cost”
Left wing pundits are grilling the president for not making human rights a major issue.
Rachel Maddow opined that Trump’s concessions are exactly what Putin wants.
Even Ben Shapiro, someone for whom I have the highest respect, criticized Trump’s praise for Kim, while 25 million people are in prison. (Note to Ben: I am sure the president was very tough in private, but understood that buttering him up in public was the best way to help those 25 million individuals in the future.)
Nancy Pelosi said the President gave North Korea concessions in exchange for “vague promises” without a “clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation.”
And Chuck Schumer went to twitter to whine:
What the United States has gained is vague and unverifiable; what North Korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting. More on our take on the #NorthKoreaSummit LIVE: https://t.co/lJuj9bMrTd — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 12, 2018
If it were Obama!
Obama secretly sent $400 dollars to Iran on day hostages were released.
Obama in strange pose with Cuban Dictator Raul Castro
I could go on, but you get the sense of it. And it is utter hypocrisy. It is feigned disappointment. The same pols and pundits who praised Barack Obama when he went to Cuba and sat down with its president and dictator, Raul Castro, attack President Trump. The Castro regimes have oppressed their people, limited religious freedoms, thrown political prisoners into prison without trials and Obama sought peace with them, while getting NOTHING in return.
Where were these pundits when Obama negotiated one of the most ridiculous one-sided deals in history with Iran? Did they report that he, Obama, secretly and illegally flew 400 million dollars in cash, with another 1.3 billion promised, to get hostages out? Kerry even admitted that some of the funds would be use in terror operations!
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” Secretary of State John Kerry
Let me be clear…US dollars are funding terrorism because of the Obama/Kerry Iran deal.
(And while everyone is saying we got nothing from North Korea, there are three former hostages that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought home a few weeks ago who would disagree. And it didn’t cost $1.7 billion!)
So Much Better than the Iran Deal
Iran is one of the most treacherous, repressive nations on earth—equipped with torture prisons, secret political police and secret religious police: imprisoning citizens, and even killing them, without trial is par for the course in the Islamic Persian stronghold. They are ruthless and regularly call for the destruction of Israel and death to America. But that did not bother the left who wanted to enshrine Obama for the deal that was good for Iran and good (in the short term) for the pockets of European countries; and bad for America, Israel and the rest of the world.
But here, President Trump has gotten the leader of the most dangerous (because of the real possibility and desire of using their weapons cache) nation to begin this process and to commit to getting rid of nukes. This will be verified–and that is critical! Trump has said: No sanction relief until verified denuclearization.
No, Trump does not Admire Kim and More than Obama does Castro
Yes, Trump has praised Kim as part of a negotiating tactic. Do you really think that Trump went home that night and said to himself, “Wow. This guy is really misunderstood. He is a great leader. Dennis Rodman was right!” Of course not! He knows he is dealing with a slimy, dishonest killer who just happens to have the capability of taking Manhattan off the earth.
You are not going to get this process started by telling him he is a worthless despot and demanding that he empty his prison camps. Did Obama even think of doing this with Cuba, where he had far more leverage (Cuba has really nothing to offer us other than beaches, rum and cigars)? Why was this not an issue with Iran?
Let the Process Run its Course
Yes, in the end, it may all be a ruse. We can have troops back on the Korean Peninsula in two minutes. But, at least, let the process play out. Unlike with Iran, we have nothing to lose.
What if it ended with North Korea getting rid of its nukes, opening up to the west and granting relief to its citizens. Sadly, it appears that this is the last thing that Nancy Pelosi, Jim Acosta and Rachel Maddow want—they would prefer that the President fail and people die, than the President succeed. No, they will never say it like that—but it appears to be true.
Nothing Changed in Cuba
They claim they care about human rights in North Korea, when all they really care about is their own powerbase and agenda. Again, where were the protests over Obama being treated like a rock star in Cuba? “Finally, the times are changing,” claimed Mick Jagger during Obama’s trip in Cuba. Really, Mick? What has changed for the Cuban people since then?
The Rolling Stones were sure, and for good reason, not to be critical of the brutal regime in Cuba when they played there. Why offend them when it looked like reforms were on the way? I get that. But they claim President Trump is weak because he didn’t call out Kim on all his violations.
Two years after Ben Rhodes negotiated the Cuban deal, nothing has changed for the Cuban people. They are still oppressed and still live in fear. “[There has not] been any progress on improving Cuba’s human rights records and changing its one-party, communist-run government,” according to a USA Today article. But Ben Rhodes has no problem criticizing Trump over the Singapore Summit.
Nobody is ready to give Trump a Nobel just yet, but let the process play out. It can’t get any worse, only better. Patience, friends. Who would have believed that just months after their Twitter war, the two men were speaking face to face and come to a denuclearization agreement in mere hours?
It was Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, who said, “The hardships of peace are preferable to the sufferings of war.” This is the man who made a lasting peace deal with another ruthless regime – Egypt. Let’s allow things to play out before we decide it was a huge success or a dangerous failiure.