## Donald Trump

• 473
I consider any and all election meddling an affront to basic human dignity, be it committed by foreigners playing power politics, racist sheriffs playing the whip master, or Affrikaners playing colonial thug.

:up:
• 5.3k
Something about the way the mind typically works seems to make rooting for someone you hate to succeed virtually impossible, even if it's in something that may benefit you personally.Erik

Yes, which puts Trump haters between a rock and a hard place as rooting for a nuclear war is also virtually impossible. :) I wouldn't call myself a Trump-hater though. It's more contempt. What I hate is unqualified people taking on important work, the failure of which will affect us all, and then being unable to put their ego aside enough to take a back seat even if that taking a back seat is done subtly and will result in a better outcome.

Trump could have let his advisers take the lead on this summit seeing as he didn't prepare for it himself (by his own public admission) instead he insisted on going by "feel" and publicly announcing that beforehand, which made him a sitting duck for manipulation. Knowing him, he did this so that if the meeting was a success he could take all the glory, and prove himself the Master of the Art of the Deal, or whatever. And the result of this is there is no clear result. We have to rely on the bare hope NK are sincere (and, as they never have been before, that's a big ask).

Having said all that, I guarantee you if Trump comes up with a comprehensive Iran-style nuclear deal with the DPRK at the end of this process, and that's certainly a possibility given that there are advantages to Kim re-engaging with the international community, then I will be the first to laud him for that. Just as likely though is that NK are cementing their presence as a nuclear power on the world stage and continuing to work in the background at making themselves an unassailable deterrent (possibly with China's covert collusion).

Last thing, "Love your enemies" is all well and dandy as a principle when your enemies are relatively harmless, but is potentially disastrous when they are as dangerous and duplicitous as the likes of Kim. And "Love your enemies but hate your friends", which seems to be what Trump is going for is as close to willful self-destruction as I can imagine as a foreign policy. So, 'crazy like a fox' or 'dumb as an ox'. Take your pick as things stand. The ball is in Kim's court and it's his serve.
• 3.6k
It's more of a missed opportunity than an active harm. If it works out, all's well, but right now, as things stand, what Trump got (i.e. nothing), with all his bluster about being a great deal maker is an embarrassment.

An fairly objective analysis of the summit: https://www.jpost.com/International/Analysis-US-North-Korea-Summit-decoded-559766

My analysis is this: Kim and Trump both got promises. They promised to denuclearize. We promised to let them be. The details are unclear on the how and when. There's a "whenever, whatever, however" feel to the whole thing.

Will we really pull our troups from they region, forever cease war games, end all sanctions? Will they really do as they say? With the vague promises in place, who knows what will happen. I don't read this agreement as imposing any obligations, but it just being a general understanding. It just seems like from what I see is that the world is the same today as yesterday except for two nations having discussed issues they previously didn't. I don't see a fiasco, a blown opportunity, or an embarrassment, just step 1 of 1000 more that will likely derail somewhere
• 5.3k

I would agree with your general gist except for a few very important specifics:

1) A commitment (if not a timetable, which at this stage would have been an unrealistic demand) to CVI (Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible) denuclearisation from North Korea was expected to be and should have been a red line demand from the US coming into the summit.
2) There was no need to make a concession on military exercises as it wasn't in the joint statement, wasn't (apparently) expected by the South Koreans, and was (apparently) granted by Trump on a whim (First rule of negotiation: Never give anything away for free).
3) The excessive praise of Kim was unnecessary and will only embolden autocratic tyrants around the world (not to mention Kim himself).
4) Ending upcoming sanctions I would have agreed with if 1) and 2) had been different. But they weren't. So, another giveaway.

Any country coming into any negotiation, even a preliminary one, must have goals with regard to the outcome and can only be judged in terms of their success on the basis of those goals. I'm sure you'd agree with that. So unless the goal of the US was to get nothing here and give several things away, they failed. Simple as that. That doesn't mean the whole thing will be a failure. It's not over yet, obviously.
• 5.3k

And the article seems fair. I'd be a bit harsher on Trump but I don't have an editor to worry about.
• 473
Trump could have let his advisers take the lead on this summit seeing as he didn't prepare for it himself (by his own public admission) instead he insisted on going by "feel" and publicly announcing that beforehand, which made him a sitting duck for manipulation. Knowing him, he did this so that if the meeting was a success he could take all the glory, and prove himself the Master of the Art of the Deal, or whatever. And the result of this is there is no clear result. We have to rely on the bare hope NK are sincere (and, as they never have been before, that's a big ask).

This is something that I've been thinking about. Someone mentioned earlier that Trump is a bad man, and that bad men are incapable of doing good things. I'm not so sure about that, however, and here's why: What if Trump's massive ego and competitive nature drive him to aspire to great things?

He's not doing them for their own sake, or because he genuinely cares about the people he serves, but only because if successful they lead to personal glory and further self-aggrandizement. You know he wants to go down in the history books as a better president than Obama, maybe even the best president of all time (as absurd as that sounds I bet it's true, albeit delusional).

Anyhow just something I was thinking about. Not sure if the two things - bad man and good president - are necessarily incompatible. It's a Hail Mary of sorts but it's the best we can hope for concerning Trump's motivations.
• 11k
Not necessarily. Concessions are important to make, and a freely made concession will sometimes elicit a concession from the other side as well - or at least will put greater pressure for one... ie, I did this for you, now when I ask for a favor, you better do it for me.

3) The excessive praise of Kim was unnecessary and will only embolden autocratic tyrants around the world (not to mention Kim himself).
I think from a negotiation point of view that praise was great. It showed Kim that Trump is willing to accept him on the world stage if he obeys, which is exactly what the North Koreans have wanted for so long. That's why they got nukes in the first place, they wanted to sit down at the table with the big boys and play (that didn't work out very well).

1) A commitment (if not a timetable, which at this stage would have been an unrealistic demand) to CVI (Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible) denuclearisation from North Korea was expected to be and should have been a red line demand from the US coming into the summit.
Agreed.
• 60
This is a really excellent summary/analysis. :up: I just wish to mention one thing:

So unless the goal of the US was to get nothing here and give several things away, they failed. Simple as that. That doesn't mean the whole thing will be a failure.

My feeling is it's a failed incentive structure. Trump -- who is engaging in unilateral diplomacy on behalf of the entire United States -- has the goal of a few wins he can market to fox news viewers and low-information independent voters. He's willing to concede everything that doesn't affect him personally in order to get these wins. This then allows him to maintain power while he pockets $300mil in a Rosneft deal with Russia, sells trade policy to China in exchange for$500mil loans to his company, and forces more and more rounds of diplomatic horse-trading that go through his hotel in D.C. My problem with this is moral: even if the whole thing ends up not being a failure it's by mere chance, and only to the extent that short-term personal profit coincides with the common good of Americans and the world.
• 11k
This then allows him to maintain power while he pockets $300mil in a Rosneft deal with Russia, sells trade policy to China in exchange for$500mil loans to his company, and forces more and more rounds of diplomatic horse-trading that go through his hotel in D.C.
Come on man, that's pocket change at that level... Talk about a couple billion dollars, and I might believe you.
• 60
Come on man, that's pocket change at that level... Talk about a couple billion dollars, and I might believe you.

Not really, unless you believe a man who has spent most of his life in serious debt is a billionaire.
• 11k
It's normal for a real estate developer to have a lot of debt.
• 5.3k
I did this for you, now when I ask for a favor, you better do it for me.

I anticipated this objection, so you really did do this for me, and as a favor to you, I'll elaborate :) : Claiming that you shouldn't give anything away for free in a negotiation is not really the same as saying you should never consider making a calculated concession, which I agree with you could be a good idea given the right circumstances (even though it's always a risky strategy in proportion especially to the size of the concession). So, a calculated concession is not really giving something for free as it only succeeds when it's reciprocated, i.e. the concession reduces either to a surreptitious trade or it fails. So, here there's no evidence the military exercises concession was calculated to put pressure on NK, no evidence that they gave anything in return, and no evidence that it puts any pressure on them to do so. Further, Trump mentioned money when he spoke about it, which, if that is part of the motivation, is an absurd consideration at this point in the chess game. So, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

I think from a negotiation point of view that praise was great. It showed Kim that Trump is willing to accept him on the world stage if he obeys, which is exactly what the North Koreans have wanted for so long. That's why they got nukes in the first place, they wanted to sit down at the table with the big boys and play.

That's one way of looking at it. Although it seems to me Trump was doing most of the obeying. I'm not going to argue the toss much more except to repeat that the optics were terrible. Kim, morally speaking, is hardly above Hitler, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein in terms of his brutality (if not the damage he's managed to exact with it). Praising him, if that were the only way to get him to do something, might be acceptable. But again, was this a calculated concession or a simple giveaway to him and every other tyrant the world over? I'd bet on the latter. It's simply that Trump respects, likes, and to a certain degree wishes to emulate strongmen. It's part of his political character.

Agreed.

Calculated concession?? :gasp: ;)
• 60
It's normal for a real estate developer to have a lot of debt.

Yup. And people who have a lot of debt very often leverage positions of influence for financial gain.
• 5.3k

It's an interesting angle because the whole presidential bid was, according to some commentators, just a promotional effort, and he never expected to win, So, yes, it wouldn't surprise me although like most people in the public eye there's a danger of reducing him to cartoon-character simplicity (which I need to be careful of myself). I'd guess there's a complicated mix of motivations in there but with self-interest in whatever form coming out on top in the end.
• 11k
Calculated concession?? :gasp: ;)
Now you're learning :joke:

Claiming that you shouldn't give anything away for free in a negotiation is not really the same as saying you should never consider making a calculated concession, which I agree with you could be a good idea given the right circumstances (even though it's always a risky strategy in proportion especially to the size of the concession). So, a calculated concession is not really giving something for free as it only succeeds when it's reciprocated, i.e. the concession reduces either to a surreptitious trade or it fails. So, here there's no evidence the military exercises concession was calculated to put pressure on NK, no evidence that they gave anything in return, and no evidence that it puts any pressure on them to do so. Further, Trump mentioned money when he spoke about it, which, if that is part of the motivation, is an absurd consideration at this point in the chess game. So, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
The thing to consider is how negatively you will be affected if your concession is not reciprocated. In that case, in this situation, you just lose a little bit of face, but other than that, nothing is lost. NK is just too weak to be able to do anything - sure, they may deceive with the nuclear program for awhile, but that's it. The moment the U.S. gets angry, it will be over for them, and the concession will be taken back, at literarily no loss. Who cares that dictators around the world are happy? Feeling happy does not change their fate, nor does it make them stronger. It may impact our culture to one extent or another, but that's it. And the impact will be, imo, overall positive, since it's part of the deconstruction of the politically correct status quo which is much needed in order to allow free thinking to flourish and help the West escape from the impasse we find ourselves in.

im, morally speaking, is hardly above Hitler, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein in terms of his brutality (if not the damage he's managed to exact with it).
I agree. :eyes:

But again, was this a calculated concession or a simple giveaway to him and every other tyrant the world over? I'd bet on the latter. It's simply that Trump respects, likes, and to a certain degree wishes to emulate strongmen. It's part of his political character.
Sure, but in that case it's irrelevant. Kim doesn't actually become any stronger unless he will have Trump's continued support, and that will require that he play his part too. So what exactly is the giveaway from America's point of view? That tyrants around the world get a moment of joy? That's literarily nothing in the chess game.
• 808
I hope NK enters into stable relations with the rest of the world very soon. The people there have suffered for too long.
• 11k
Rationally Kim knows that unless he does something he will lose power sooner or later. He is squeezed to the very end at the moment, and his nukes aren't going to save him. Those nukes will not protect him from getting a bullet shot through his head by one of his guards, or someone from his regime, who simply cannot tolerate the dwindling access to resources that they have as NK gets squeezed out on the global stage. Dictators succeed because they reward exceedingly a plethora of key players under them. When they're no longer able to do so, they will be killed.

• 2.3k
Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, a left-wing environmentalist sandal wearing namely-pamby thinks the Don is right about something else.

• 1.3k
Yeah, on the basis of that we can all rescind on the UN Charter and any human rights agreements out there. Sunset clause for the win!
• 3.6k
1) A commitment (if not a timetable, which at this stage would have been an unrealistic demand) to CVI (Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible) denuclearisation from North Korea was expected to be and should have been a red line demand from the US coming into the summit.

That's the grand prize, not a prerequisite to begin the talks. If Trump demanded denuclearization just to sit down at the table, then why even go to the table, considering that's all he wanted to begin with.
2) There was no need to make a concession on military exercises as it wasn't in the draft statement, wasn't (apparently) expected by the South Koreans and was (apparently) granted by Trump on a whim (First rule of negotiation: Never give anything away for free).

He put that on the table, but it hardly means the exercises won't occur if there's not compliance by the North Koreans. Your position that it was given on a whim is speculation based upon your being convinced Trump is reckless and impulsive. I'm not suggesting he's an infallible genius, but I think you greatly underestimate him. A reckless and impulsive person doesn't win the presidency. Actually, if you think he did just that, you're the one attributing to him an almost mystical intuitive sixth sense of knowing instinctively what to do. My point is that I think he plans a whole lot more than you think.
3) The excessive praise of Kim was unnecessary and will only embolden autocratic tyrants around the world (not to mention Kim himself).

If the point of the summit was to denounce Kim as evil personified in the fashion of typical American diplomacy, then it was a failure. Trump is clearly not approaching this from a moralistic perspective where he feels the need to declare that American ideals will be enforced the world over. He's a pragmatist who wants to land a deal that denuclearizes North Korea and he's doing that the way he knows that works, through promises of material gain. And really, the promises of a North Korean Hilton on the unspoiled beaches might be more enticing than you realize.
Any country coming into any negotiation, even a preliminary one, must have goals with regard to the outcome and can only be judged in terms of their success on the basis of those goals. I'm sure you'd agree with that. So unless the goal of the US was to get nothing here and give several things away, they failed. Simple as that. That doesn't mean the whole thing will be a failure. It's not over yet, obviously.

Nothing has been given away. Everything said can be rescinded. We're on the first few feet of the marathon.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal