Don’t underestimate the importance of the Trump-Kim Korea summit
This January 25, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, meaning that the world is on the brink of destruction because of a rise in international tension against the background of nuclear weaponry. The numbers are hard to come by but various estimates put the total at between 15,000 and 20,000 in the hands of just nine of the 195 countries on the planet, mostly Russia (6,850) and the United States (6,450), according to the Federation of American Scientists.The others are France (300), China (270), United Kingdom (215), Pakistan (140), India (130), Israel (80) and North Korea (15).
Russia and the U.S. are in the lead because of the mindless arms race that followed the Second World War, with mutually assured destruction being the primary means of deterrence. The Global Zero group recently cited a report in the Journal Earth’s Future indicating that the detonation of only 100 of those nuclear weapons would devastate the earth for at least 25 years and lead to global famine.
This is why, regardless of what journalists are fond of calling the optics that surrounded the June 12 meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un, the subject of denuclearization was of critical global importance. Kim’s nuclear arsenal can reach much of the planet, including parts of the U.S. and a war would inevitably embroil other countries.
North Korea has remained under one-man rule since the end of the three-year war with the South and isolated from the rest of the world except for China. Sporadic initiatives to woo the North into transforming the armistice that ended the war into a lasting peace failed but the issue grew urgent in 2003 when North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and announced a couple of years later that it had nuclear arms.
Some analysts estimate the North has as many as 60 such weapons but, in the eyes of Washington and the rest of the world, even one in the hands of a mercurial ruler disassociated from the world’s political institutions is too many. The efforts to woo the North into the community of nations took on an special urgency, with offers of security guarantees and lavish aid thrown in, when threats failed. Such efforts ran into the Ghaddafi syndrome: Libya’s strongman Muammar Ghaddafi gave up his nuclear ambitions and was not only ousted from office but brutally and publicly killed. The three generations of Kims who have ruled North Korea for more than six decades know about self-preservation.
That is the background against which Trump met with Kim in a resort island in Singapore. It would have been naïve to think that substantial agreement would emerge from a relatively brief meeting between the two leaders and it did not. But if it has set the stage for genuine rapproachment that could see Kim surrendering his nuclear arsenal and sign a peace treaty finally with the South, then the meeting would have met its basic objective. But there is good cause for pessimism.
Trump did not come away with any agreement of substance and it was Kim who gained the advantage, a 33-year-old mercurial leader whose country is shunned as a pariah state got to sit down with the most powerful leader in the world and seemingly gave away little for the privilege of doing so. It is regrettable also that the Kim dynasty’s horrid human rights was apparently not a topic for discussion, though Trump would probably argue that it could be on a later agenda.
Trump’s success in getting Kim to meet has been tarnished also by the way the president treated America’s closest allies just a few days earlier when he pulled out of the closing statement from the Group of 7 industrialized meeting in Canada because of a peeve over comments by the host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In international affairs it does not look good to attack your friends and at the same time make merry with your enemy.
Of course, Trump holds no brief for the established order, whether at home or abroad, so the shake-up which he has engineered against allies over trade is in keeping with his style of governing and his political agenda. But while he may not mind antagonizing England, Germany, France, Canada and other allies now, he may soon come to realize that, indeed, “no man is an island.”
In May, 2018, ABC’s entertainment president Channing Dungey abruptly fired Roseanne Barr from her hugely successful hit show because Roseanne sent out an ugly tweet about former President Barack Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Dungey stated that “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.” The media deemed the statement racist as Roseanne is white and Valerie Jarrett is black. Dungey is also black.
Since then Roseanne, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump has been labeled a racist. But one of her show’s executive producers, Bruce Rasmussen lamented that “We were gut-punched. It was really depressing that that one stupid sentence that she sent out destroyed a whole bunch of peoples’ jobs.” Hundreds lost their jobs. While everyone was focusing on Roseanne and Trump being racist, real instances of racism was playing out every day. CNN did a piece showing that racial profiling was more common than one might think. I’ll enumerate some of the painful experiences that black people have recently experienced.
Some blame Trump, but I suggest that Liberals have been complicit. Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal said there was “no difference between white Democrats and Republicans” and “neither one of them give a heck about the black community. My experience is that white Liberals were more racist than the Republicans with whom I’ve come in contact.
CNN published that “In just the past month, a golf course owner called police on black women because they were playing too slowly. A mom called police because two Native American students made her "nervous." And a white student at Yale called police because a black student was napping in a dorm building.”
Darren Martin, a former Obama White House staffer, was accused of burglarizing his own apartment as he was moving IN, not OUT. A neighbor called the police and accused Martin of being an armed burglar. He said he couldn’t understand what they thought he was using as a weapon – maybe his TV or couch.
He also said that many times when he leaves a store, he is asked to show what’s in