With but a few surprise exceptions, Democrats and media talking heads had nothing but derision for President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But not only was it the right move, it was predicted last year by a foreign relations expert.
Trump’s detractors were quick to pounce, many using the hashtag #TrumpFail.
Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah claimed the president publicly embarrassed himself.
“We saw today with Trump getting embarrassed on the world stage by North Korea's Kim why US Presidents do NOT meet with the 3rd world dictators - especially not until a full deal is finalized,” he said. “#TrumpFail #HanoiSummit”
It must have slipped Obeidallah’s mind that former President Barack Obama once said he would meet with any dictator at any time.
He added later, “Is there a chapter in Trump's Art of the Deal about flying half way around the world to get nothing?! Asking for a friend who refuses to read the book.”
What none of them seem to understand, though, is that a bad deal is worse than no deal at all, and that’s exactly what Kim was proposing. He wanted sanctions lifted along with the ability to hold on to his nuclear weapons and missiles.
By walking away, Trump did something that no earlier president had done. He wasn’t going to simply rely on North Korea’s word that after sanctions were lifted, Kim would begin denuclearizing the peninsula.
That this would be a lengthy process was predicted at last year’s summit by Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for the Foreign Policy program at the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution.
“It’s just a tiny first step,” he told CNBC. “This isn’t going to be an instantaneous Libya model.”
Others understood as well, primarily conservatives and the president’s supporters, including Carmine Sabia, editor at The Federalist Papers. He compared Trump’s actions to those of his predecessor.
“President Donald Trump did with North Korea what former President Obama would not do with Iran,” he said. “You do not make a deal for the sake of making a deal. You call it a #TrumpFail but it is a victory. Iran was a fail. No deal is better than a bad deal.”
But there were also a few surprises, including Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who thought the #TrumpFail hashtag unfitting, even though he has repeatedly criticized the president throughout his administration.
“The hashtag #TrumpFail is trending and I find it inappropriate,” he said. “People should not be hoping the President fails or taking pleasure in his failure on the global stage. Whether you like @realDonaldTrump or not, he represents America in foreign affairs. We want America to succeed.”
Another surprise was John Kirby, a CNN analyst and an Obama administration State Department spokesman.
“Many people - including me - were worried Trump might give up too much in Hanoi,” he tweeted. “It’s disappointing no deal was reached, but credit where it’s due: Trump held firm on sanctions & pressure. What matters now is how both sides move forward to bridge the enormous gaps that remain.”
For decades North Korea has held on to the belief that its only trump card was its nuclear weaponry. Reversing that mindset isn’t going to happen with one or two meetings.
By walking out, the president told Kim that the old way of doing business was over. And by agreeing to meet with him face-to-face demonstrated that Trump is serious.
Kim is, little-by-little, beginning to trust the 45th president — it’s the United States he doesn’t trust.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.
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