Donald Trump failed the United States and the world. He approached the North Korea issue without a strategy, played WWII era appeasement games with China, Russia, and the DPRK, and failed to halt the ultimate nuclearization of the peninsula. Most experts agree that now that North Korea has viable nuclear weapons, and there is almost no plausible scenario that they would willingly relinquish them. It is very important to remember, however, that their acquisition of the technologies, materials, and opportunities to construct, test, and perfect these weapons was never a given.
Donald Trump in his naïveté believe that strong words alone and personal promises made by a genocidal maniac, whose regime has been violating agreements with the US since Trump was still defrauding journalists by pretending that his father’s money was his own, would stop the nuclarization. Suffice it to say, he was wrong. That anyone trusted him to actually deliver maybe says more about the audience than the actor.
What’s more, he has publicly taken the side of the DPRK’s state media against an American, Joe Biden, this week. Whether or not any American agrees with the politics of Biden, America’s politics are for Americans, and that any American, much less president would gleefully repeat the propaganda and lies perpetrated by the DPRK at the expense of a fellow American shows where Trump’s loyalties lie, with himself. He would rather cooperate with, cheer on, and work with North Korea, a country that regularly celebrates the nuclear annihilation of America, than with his political opponents. Without even trying to examine what the referred to “signal” is of support from a state known to have committed hacking attacks against the US (see Sony) in DPRK state support of Trump’s reelection, this is disturbing. Donald Trump is a traitor to the United States of America, not for partisan reasons, but because he is willing to sell his country out to the highest bidder, and takes America’s enemies’ side over the side of his American political opponents.
North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
Bernie Sanders says that this failure does not totally rest upon Trump’s shoulders, but it does. Trump’s lack of forethought and planning, failure to negotiate any agreement and inability to manage a timeline for the cessation of weapons testing, and pandering to both the Chinese and Russians on this issue meant that there was no real pressure on the North Koreans, and thus, they developed until breakout and to this date have never stopped with their development of warheads and ICBMs.
While Donald Trump now feigns that he will is a strong leader, and will too prevent Iranian proliferation, it has truly begun to ring hollow for anyone who ever believed his boasts. Donald Trump is a weak negotiator, simply because he has already laid all of his cards on the table.
The United States has a finite set of carrots and sticks to utilize in tempering nuclear proliferation, especially amongst pariah states led by unpredictable single headed autocrats, such as North Korea or Iran, who might conceivably sacrifice the existence of their peoples to preserve their power. There are the basic options of economic isolation, and force.
In the case of North Korea, his words were all in vain, because while North Korea has already been starved by the world and had not given up its pursuit, propped up by China and Russia. Donald Trump made bombastic bellicose tweets, but was totally unwilling to use force on North Korea and allowed his advisors to make this clear publicly. He is also a tool of Xi Jinping, and was completely unwilling to put real pressure on China, yet still bluffed that he would. In the end, he came out looking like a fool: Trump is the man who allowed the Kim regime to nuclearize the peninsula, the biggest American geopolitical failure in Asia since the Vietnam war, simply because of his feeble leadership.
The same will happen in Iran, too, now. There are obvious reasons why Iran should never have nuclear weapons, besides the general proliferation arguments. In the not to distant past, they have fought decade long wars with other states in the region, their leader routinely called for the utter annihilation of its enemy countries, but most importantly, the single headed governance structure means that if the leader feels truly threatened, he would be more willing to push the nuclear button if he had one than would any legislature, party leadership, or representative form of government; the choices the Ayatollah makes are only for his own survival. Yet Donald Trump is approaching Iran in the exact same fashion as North Korea, not with strategy, but with military bluster, and it has already been made known that he is not willing to use force. In this case, he endangers the troops in the region, while it is unlikely his words will accomplish anything. Just like with North Korea, if Trump really wants to deal with Iran, he needs first to deal with the states that enable Iran, i.e. China and Russia. Unfortunately, and as usual, he has no strategy, and will likely fail, to the detriment of the entire world.
What’s more likely is that if Iran does start large scale nuclear development, another country in the world much more willing to use force and much more fearful, Israel, will react, and this will inevitably lead to war. Every drop of blood will be on Trump’s hands.
Making threats one is not willing to follow through on has hurt the credibility and influence of the US throughout the entire world.
Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for the 2020 American presidential race, by far, but he must me harder on Trump, and must remember that the threat of the projection of American force in the world need be carefully used.
Staff writer: Ari B