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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Bush official: "Trump and Kim Have Just Walked Us Back From the Brink of War"

Victor Cha was the National Security Council director for Asia for President George W. Bush. Cha's parents are Korean, and one of his classmates at Columbia was Barack Obama. Cha's doctoral thesis was "Alignment despite antagonism: Japan and Korea as quasi-allies."

Cha is pleased with the Trump-Kim summit.

"Despite the many warts in President Trump’s unconventional diplomacy toward North Korea, we have to give him credit. Only five months ago, based on my conversations with this administration, I thought we were headed down an inexorable path toward a devastating war," Cha wrote for the New York Times.

"A military attack would not have ended North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Instead, it would have resulted in a war — with hundreds of thousands of deaths in Japan and South Korea, including thousands of Americans — that the United States would have won but with horrible costs.

"Thanks to the creative Olympics diplomacy from President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, which teased the North Koreans out of their self-imposed isolation, and Mr. Trump’s impulsive decision to meet with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, the world witnessed a historic meeting on Tuesday between two countries that have been sworn enemies for almost seven decades."

Now when someone writes "Mr. Trump’s impulsive decision," you know they have not studied President Trump. He is very calculating. The appearance of impulsiveness serves him well.

But that is OK because Cha knows the Korean situation, writing, "in the case of North Korea, there are never good policy options — there are only choices between the bad and the worse."

[The critics forget that the Reagan saying is "trust, but verify," not "verify, then trust."]

As an academic, Cha cannot fully endorse the deal Trump and Kim made. Cha would be hounded by his peers. College campuses are more conformist today than they were in the 1950s.

But as an American with ties to Korea, he had to — painfully — admit that this was a breakthrough.

"For Pyongyang, it may not have mattered who won the 2016 United States presidential election; North Korea would still have conducted many ballistic missile tests and a hydrogen bomb test. And a more conventional president might not have broken the mold by addressing the problem with a direct meeting with the Korean dictator. Mr. Trump’s unconventional approach leaves a lot to be desired in the foreign policy of the United States, but there was no other path to this less-than-satisfying but digestible outcome," Cha wrote.

"For the first time since 1953, the door has been opened to peace on the Korean Peninsula. It could close shut again in the near future — if North Korea’s past behavior is any indication. The Singapore summit meeting was a modest start. It’s just the beginning, but, as Koreans say, to have begun is half-done."

The headline said it all, "Trump and Kim Have Just Walked Us Back From the Brink of War."


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  1. What are the deliverables from North Korea? Nothing? They must have teenie-hand teenie-pinky-sweared.

    Two liars walk into a room without a transcript.....

    1. Trump can void the whole thing in a second.

      Iran ring a bell?

    2. The dumocrat position as we all know it. “Fail Trump, so we can gloat!” What a laughable, moronic position.

    3. Exactly, Tom. When your party cares more about power than country, you just KNOW you’re gonna have your asses handed to you in the next election. Come on November!

    4. Chew-chew, swallow, ruminate, regurgitate, chew-chew. And repeat.

      No, that’s not the sound of Bessie chewing her cud.

      It’s the sound of a Leftist unable to swallow Trump’s election victory.

    5. Envy is the ugliest deadly sin.

  2. Well, for the NYT, pretty impressive. Not a total hit job on Mr. T. Moon seems to know what he’s doing. Gradually give the reins over to him. We can’t run this process from beginning til the end. After all, the SoKos are gonna hafta coexist with them, not us

  3. This is what Churchill said after Alamein, "It was not the end nor even the beginning of the end, but it was the end of the beginning".

  4. I was just thinking an hour before reading this that, despite the responses of the supposed experts, there's some career diplomat somewhere saying, "See? I told you it could be done this way, and you wouldn't listen." These guys will never come forward in public for fear of being ostracized.

  5. When the good news keeps on coming and the deal is done, let’s see how the negative nellies can keep on being so negative.

  6. “I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”--Dear Orange Leader letting a little bit of truth slip out regarding lack of agreements in the so-called "agreement". When he does make excuses, his sheep will go baaaaaa.

    1. Well, at least in that he'd be unlike Obama, who's never admitted - not after six months, probably never will - that anything he did was wrong. Nor, of course, will his acolytes such as you.

    2. Triggering successful, Nony.

    3. Can't help myself, Anon's posts do give me a laugh. I'm impressed by such earnest, dogged avoidance of reality! How can anyone keep it up is beyond me.

      But it's also a bit like finding a drop of birdshit in my icecream, and that spoils my appreciation. SMH.

    4. Envy is the ugliest deadly sin.

  7. "Mr. Trump’s impulsive decision." When the dust all settles, I'll bet we find that not only has this entire deal been carefully planned down to the last detail, but that the deal was actually done months ago.

    It only appears to be impulsive now, and of course the "journalists" have no clue unless someone gives them a script. To them, it's like watching a magic show, but they have no idea how the diplomatic tricks are done.

    Sun Tzu, remember: "The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."

    President Trump had this in the bag, or he wouldn't have opened negotiations!

    1. Exactly. Or like the old lawyer's maxim: never ask a witness a question you don't already know the answer to. In one of his books many years ago, Donald Trump wrote that he is really a pessimist, so he takes a hard look at the worst possible result before he decides. He said that if he can live with the absolute worst happening, then he can go forward without worry. Our President Trump is still that same smart, thoughtful man today.

  8. Meanwhile, back in Highland Park, George W must be TOTALLY F^#*ING SEETHING with rage over being shown up by such a rude vile pig of a President.