MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The Most Important Fact About the Singapore Summit

The deescalation we're seeing now is infinitely preferable to the needless escalation we witnessed last summer.

Bwag/Wikimedia CommonsBwag/Wikimedia CommonsThe most important fact about the Trump-Kim summit is that less than a year ago both of these men sounded like they were ready to launch a nuclear war. For anyone who gives a rat's ass about the millions of people who would die in such a conflict, the difference between then and now is as welcome as it is stark. If you're not pleased with that shift—if you're firing off tweets about what a "propaganda victory" it is for Kim to share a stage with a U.S. president (as if such trivial status games are what's important here) or why Donald Trump is supposedly Neville Chamberlain (because Munich is one of the two or three moments in diplomatic history that you're vaguely aware of)—then your priorities are desperately askew. The deescalation we're seeing now is infinitely preferable to the needless escalation we witnessed last summer.

Is it gross for a president to flatter a vile dictator? Yes. But let's be clear: Presidents flatter vile dictators all the time. (Google "Saudi Arabia.") At least in this case there's the hope of cooling off those nuclear tensions, and of boosting rather than undermining South Korea's push for peace. Trump is even skylarking about perhaps one day pulling America's troops out of the peninsula. I'll believe that when I see it, but it's surely better to have it on the rhetorical table than to have it be as unthinkable to the president as it is to the foreign-policy Blob.

Yes, the Bolton-Pence sabotage caucus could still crash this in countless ways. None of this is irreversible, and we may reach a day when the Korean peace process is as depleted as the diplomatic initiatives Trump smothered in Iran and Cuba. But for now the trajectory is in the right direction. The issue that last year looked like it could turn into the worst legacy of the Trump presidency now has a chance to be the bright spot. If nothing else, there is at least one way that life in June of 2018 is better than life in August of 2017.

Photo Credit: Bwag/Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Libertymike||

    He who invokes Munich reveals he is a retard.

  • Just Say'n||

    I invoke "Munich" when listing best movies of the 21st Century.

  • Libertymike||

    Why?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He loves Jews being hardcore.

    His second favorite movie is Don't Mess With the Zohan.

  • Libertymike||

    Hardcore? Like Springtime for Hitler or The Producers?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Hebrew Hammer

  • BYODB||

    Blazing Saddles?

    Or, wait, do directors count?

  • Just Say'n||

    If you praised or denounced the Iran deal or opening trade with Cuba then you have to do the same with the Korean negotiations. Otherwise you're just being a partisan hypocrite.

    Good article

  • Cy||

    has someone offered up the idea of sending planes full of cash to NORK yet?

  • Yellow Tony||

    To my understanding, the money sent to Iran in the deal was from an old arms deal and formerly frozen assets.
    My takeaway here is we shouldn't sell our weaponry to shitholes.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    What old arms deal would involve us own Iran money? Who unfroze those assets?

    My understanding is no bank is allowed to send money to Iran, which is why Obama sent a pallet of cash?

    According to the federal government, moving large amounts of cash for the purpose of avoiding a bank is a very questionable action that suggest illegal activity.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    IIRC -- Iran under the Shah paid for a bunch of weaponry, which was not delivered prior to his overthrow, thus not delivered at all. Just as any sane person would, they wanted the money back or the product they paid for.

  • Nardz||

    You mean the Shah's money. They wanted his money back. US had no contract with the Islamic Republic, hence it was never their money.
    But BO wanted to bail the Islamic Republic out, so the progressives will pretend that we "owed" the Islamic Republic pallets of cash.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Government is government. Quibbling over who is in charge is pointless. Would you like other countries to say the transition from Obama to Hillary was not legitimate because Hillary won the popular vote, and thus abrogate all agreements with the government?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    And please don't come back with some nonsense about it being a different government. I'd bet a paycheck existing civil contracts within Iran were mostly honored. Hitler's coming to power, and exiting 12 years later, didn't make every previous government action invalid. The collapse of the Soviet Union didn't suddenly abrogate all marriages or business arrangements.

  • BYODB||

    Do you honestly not understand the difference between a continuance of a political system vs. the total destruction of one?

    Amazing.

    No matter how you read it, Obama literally committed an act of treason by sending material aid to sponsors of terror. Out in the open, not even through the CIA and without senate approval.

    Enjoy.

  • Happy Chandler||

    The Algiers Accords. They did have a deal.

  • Yellow Tony||

    The arms deal called the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program.
    The assets are owned by Iran, but they were frozen by the sanctions that would be removed in accordance with the deal.

  • BYODB||

    Before the deal was concluded.

  • ||

    Obama didn't have to go to Cuba and stand in front of a Che mural or do the wave at a baseball game. We gave them everything and got nothing in return. It was good policy, but dealing with a nuclear power is different than dealing with Cuba and opening market there.

    Giving Iran pallets full of cash in return for a "promise" they will not build nukes for ten years, a deal they were breaking at the time, and breaking since is different from the non existent agreement made with the Norks so far. Not to mention all of Obama's lies about the deal. As of now, it appears Trump has not lied to the media about his dealings with Kim.

    Comparing the Kim-Trump summit to the Iran deal is like comparing the 2018 Washington Capitals with the 2019 Washington Capitals. There is no point in doing the comparison because we do not know how the 2019 Capitals will fare.

  • Just Say'n||

    That's a fair point

  • Yellow Tony||

    Try telling that to the Hannitys of the world.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well this isn't a deal yet, but it is fair to say that I'm unimpressed so far.

  • John||

    The situations are all different. The Iran deal was a joke. It wasn't binding, did nothing to make Iran less dangerous and gave them billions of dollars. Maybe this deal will be a joke too. Time will tell. But if it isn't and results in the North Koreans giving up their nukes, then it is not the same as the Iran deal and those who criticized the Iran deal should praise this one. As far as opening trade with Cuba, that again is a different situation. Cuba has nothing to offer the US and there is no particular strategic reason to trade with them. North Korea is a real threat to America's allies and if trading with them makes them less dangerous, that is a benefit to trading with North Korea that doesn't exist with Cuba.

    Every deal is different. Iran was a bad deal for the US. Cuba was at best a push and at worst just helping to prop up the government there. I don't know how this will work out. It might be worse than the Iran deal. Or it might be better. But you position on those deals should not dictate your position on this.

  • Tony||

    Well John's definitely not a partisan hypocrite so we can take his word for it.

    Letting Iran keep the money anyway and not making them stop their nuke program is totally a better deal, for sure. Heard it on Fox & Friends!

  • John||

    If it was Iran's money, why did we need a nuclear deal to give it back to them? Iran gave the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism a billion dollars in cash. It is what it is. The more you lie and pretend it didn't happen, the worse the fact that it did looks.

  • Tony||

    I wasn't party to the negotiation but I presume they weren't willing to give up their nuke program for nothing. You'd still be bitching about it though, because that's what Tucker Carlson would be telling you to do.

  • Happy Chandler||

    There were sanctions tied to the nuclear program. End of nuclear program, with verification, lifting of sanctions. Win win on both ends.

  • BYODB||

    Verification, scheduled in advance, with military facilities exempted. Something like that, you mean?

  • Happy Chandler||

    Not really. Not how the deal worked.
    Do you think Iran would give unfettered access to the US to all its military sites? Come on and join the real world. With justification, the IAEA would get access. There was no evidence, so the IAEA never even asked.

  • BYODB||


    Do you think Iran would give unfettered access to the US to all its military sites?

    For a few billion dollars, I don't see why not given that the Iranian military would last for one day or less before total annihilation regardless of our 'access' to their military sites beforehand.

    As to IAEA getting access, well, I guess we'll never know now. My main objection to the Iran deal was always in the simple fact that it didn't go through the Senate. The President is not a king. We'll see if Trump is any better in that regard, but I don't have high hopes since the Senate itself has essentially no reason to exist any longer.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Why would it go through the Senate? It wasn't a treaty.

  • BYODB||

    Well, for one thing, if it was a treaty Trump couldn't have waved his magic pen causing it to disappear into the ether. So I guess it wasn't a very important 'not a treaty' at all, to anyone. Least of all to Obama.

  • Happy Chandler||

    So, in order to be acceptable, the deal would need to:
    1) Require Iran to open all of its military bases to American spies.
    2) Pass through a Senate of a party who was committed to preventing any accomplishments by the President, whether it benefited the country or not.

    Back in the real world, the deal was preventing Iranian advancement towards nukes. It still might, despite the best efforts of Republicans to make the world more dangerous.

  • retiredfire||

    Only morons think that the Iran, self-verifying deal even slowed their "advancement towards nukes", let alone prevented it.

  • BYODB||

    So you advocate for the dissolution of the senate, but only when it suits you. That's a cool opinion, you should expound on it.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Brilliant move by barry to give them all the goodies upfront. Much brain. Many thinking.

  • BYODB||

    Look, in negotiation sometimes you have to completely capitulate and remove any bargaining chips in your pocket in order to get nothing in return. Obama was a genius, I tell you!

    /sarc

  • BambiB||

    The issue that last year looked like it could turn into the worst legacy of the Trump presidency now has a chance to be the bright spot.

    Not the bright spot. A bright spot. One of many. I didn't vote for Trump, but to this point, he has achieved more in less than 2 years than the Bushes, Obozo or Clinton did in 28 years.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "But...but...Trump didn't do it the Obama way! He hasn't sent even one pallet of cash!"

  • ||

    So you are saying he should send pallets of cash to the Norks like Obama did with Iran? I do not get what point you are trying to make...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think he's parodying someone.

  • Zeb||

    Someone who lives in his head.

  • Z565||

    Singapore sent cash to Kim, apparently paying millions directly to Kim regime for the honor of hosting the summit. I understand that paying off NK with cash for peace overtures is standard operating procedure.

  • Rhywun||

    Yes. Otherwise the military doesn't get fed.

  • Sevo||

    Z565|6.12.18 @ 1:00PM|#
    "Singapore sent cash to Kim, apparently paying millions directly to Kim regime for the honor of hosting the summit. I understand that paying off NK with cash for peace overtures is standard operating procedure."

    See the lefty claims that former 'trading partners' are thinking of trading with NK again, 'cause Trump!
    There's a bit of a problem: NK has few goods to sell, and no money to pay for what they buy.
    On another site, someone claimed they had huge reserves of rare-earth metals. Asking for a cite got the idiotic 'look it up yourself' response.
    I did; all the claims pretty much all circled back to a press release by a privately-held mining company (pushing the stock?), and then more looking gets you:
    "Scepticism grows over North Korea's massive rare earth discovery"
    http://www.mining.com/scepticism-grows-
    north-koreas-massive-rare-earth-discovery/

  • BYODB||

    If North Korea had large deposits of rare earth materials China would be there right now, today, strip mining. Guaranteed.

  • Sevo||

    Noted rent seeker Tom Steyer:
    "He's brought us to the brink of nuclear war,..."

    Looks like Trump knows more about foreign relations than Steyer does.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and if you do any searching on the subject, you'll find Steyer whining that the economy is doing just fine (dammit), but THE GOVERNMENT IS IN DISARRAY!!!!
    Since this guy has made his money on green subsidies, it's now wonder he's terrified the government won't function they way he likes.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Trump is even skylarking about perhaps one day pulling America's troops out of the peninsula.

    What a terrible idea. I bet Putin planted that insane thought in his head. President Hillary Clinton would never do something so reckless and irresponsible.

    #StillWithHer

  • Libertymike||

    OBL, in order for the troll post to be effective, it cannot appear to be desultory.

  • Yellow Tony||

    I really hope this turns out well. Maybe when Korea is finally at peace this country might go forward with trying to remove itself from the ostensibly perpetual war in the Middle East; vacate many of our foreign bases; and stop shedding blood and money in pointless conflicts. Sadly the probability of this happening is equal to that of waking up and discovering that I've turned into a cute magical little girl.
    Ah, dreams.

  • Happy Chandler||

    This is the definition of Chutzpah. Celebrate me, because we are now at the same point we were before I screwed things up, and it only took a handful of unilateral concessions and sucking up to a vicious dictator.

  • Sevo||

    ^ This is the definition of stupid, squared.
    Refill your prescription.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The best part about this meeting is the massive amount of salt being produced by the proglydyte soy brigade.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    sucking up to a vicious dictator.

    Killing Kim is the only option with your worldview.

  • ||

    Why are people even comparing this summit to the Iran Deal? We know what the Iran deal was, what was in it, how Iran likely was breaking the deal the day it was signed and every day since then, how the Obama administration lied publicly about the deal and how Rhodes admitted to creating a media echo chamber to get public support for the deal.

    So far, the Kim-Trump summit has just returned the relationship back to the status quo. It may turn out the Norks give up their nuclear program and peace with SK is achieved. Or the status quo will continue. Or there will be war.

    Basically, no one knows what the outcome of the Trump-Kim summit will be so why are we comparing it to the Iran deal that we now know what the outcome is?

  • Just Say'n||

    You're right. People are getting ahead of themselves

  • Zeb||

    A common theme today, it seems.

  • lap83||

    The Reason writers still don't seem to know what the outcome of the Iran deal was

  • Happy Chandler||

    But they have complied. Even Fox News says so.

    Even Trump's senior advisers said it was working.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think anything about the Iran deal because I have no idea who to believe and can't be bothered to try to find out because no one gives a shit what I think about it anyway.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Mike Pompeo testified before Congress that there was no evidence that Iran wasn't complying.
    There has been no reliable statement that Iran hasn't followed.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So aside from the fact that we have documented evidence that they did NOT disclose their weapons program as required by the agreement they, like, totally complied. Surely no reason to doubt their compliance when they self-report and deny inspection access to military sites.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Yes, there are some 15+ year old documents that the US already knew about. I should have clarified that there has not been a material breach or indication that there was current work towards nuclear weapons.
    There's a reason that Netanyahu's presentation clanged. It was clear that he wasn't working for non-proliferation.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So aside from failing to abide by the terms of the deal there was no material breach. Good logicalling. Much 5D chess!

  • Happy Chandler||

    Find a dictionary. Look up material breach.
    Dusty old documents that we already knew about wasn't material.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So ypu can point me to where the obama adminstration has evidence to support your claims then. Look up 'fact.' You'll find your feelings appear nowhere in that definition.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Mike Pompeo, in front of Congress.

  • BYODB||

    Just as a simple observation, I might note that truthfully reporting issues to Congress by men under oath has proven to be somewhat less than reliable when concerning former members of the Obama administration RE: Clapper.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Pompeo was never in the Obama administration.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So that's a no, then.

  • Shirley Knott||

    The most important thing about the Singapore summit is that it happened.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Damn straight.

  • Sevo||

    I'll add that it happened without "incident".

  • Harvard||

    Most important thing is TRUMP did it. The amusement factor checking in on Rachel Maddow tonight should be delicious. This winning thing is exhausting.

  • Tony||

    Any president could have met with the North Korean dictator. It was always one of their biggest dreams. That Trump did it only proves what everyone knows: he's a moron.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|6.12.18 @ 2:10PM|#
    "Any president could have met with the North Korean dictator."

    Yeah, they were all just to darn busy...

  • Tony||

    You make me want to bang my head on my desk.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|6.12.18 @ 2:55PM|#
    "You make me want to bang my head on my desk."

    If you died in the process, the world's IQ would see a measurable rise, and I wouldn't shed a tear.

  • John||

    The dumbest talking point of all is the idiots lamenting Trump shaking hands with a dictator and the US flag being flown with the North Korean one. I guess the people saying that don't think the US should ever make peace with its enemies even if they are willing to do so? If not, then how do you make peace if you refuse to even be seen with much less negotiate with the other country's leadership?

  • lap83||

    He should write a sternly worded letter and attach it to a pallet of cash

  • Happy Chandler||

    Obama could have made this deal on day one. But, he recognized that it was giving away something for nothing. You are supposed to get something when you give. But, Trump gave and got nothing.

    He telegraphed that he was in a weak position going in. He built up the conference to the point that Kim knew he had to get a deal. Trump couldn't walk away with nothing, it would have humiliated him. Also, he let Kim know that he was not knowledgeable about the details of the situation, which allowed Kim to easily mislead him and snooker him with language about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, agreeing to give up his nukes after South Korea is removed from the US security umbrella and Russia and China give up theirs. In other words, he agreed to something that he can never be called upon to achieve.

  • John||

    You don't know what this deal is. There is no indication who is giving whom what. Anyone who claims to judge this deal is talking out of their ass and likely just engaging in partisan wishful thinking. Saying it is a bad deal is just as stupid as claimnig it is a triumph. We don't know what the deal is or how it is going to work. Pretending you do, just makes you look stupid.

  • Sevo||

    "Pretending you do, just makes you look stupid."

    It's the TDS posting...

  • Happy Chandler||

    LMGTFY
    The deal has been released. Knowing what's in the deal makes me look...literate.

  • John||

    Lets talk facts, dumb ass

    He got nothing firm except the chance to be there. None of the sanctions are lifted. He didn't get any cash or relief. And he got no commitment from the US to do any of that. Just a vague promise to perhaps end military exercises.

    There really was no deal here. Neither side gave or promised anything. There was just talking and the promise to do more in the future. At worst this meeting is a big nothing. At best, it is the start to future progress. Time will tell

    http://apnews.com/a0acd517d8f94b649c3d49bb17238235

    Take your fantasies and tell them to someone who is dumb enough to believe them.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Did you read that article????

    To probably even his own surprise, he got that and a whole lot more.

    While offering no solid promises to abandon his hard-won nuclear arsenal any time soon, Kim got to stand as an equal with the leader of the world's most powerful nation, received indications that the future of joint U.S.-South Korea military maneuvers may be in doubt and was showered with effusive praise from a president who just last year derided him as "little rocket man."

    If he was forced to negotiate by U.S. pressure, it certainly wasn't obvious. And if any skeptics of the diplomatic campaign he launched with his neighbors early this year remain inside his regime back home, the summit went a long way toward sidelining them even further.

    This might be the worst deal Trump has negotiated since the Plaza Hotel.

  • Sevo||

    Did YOU read the 'opinion piece' (not an article?

    "Along with establishing himself as an equal and reinventing his persona abroad as a "normal" leader of a "normal" nation — he even took a selfie with Singapore's foreign minister that was posted on Twitter, which like all other social media is banned in the North — Kim's primary objective at the summit was to undermine support for international trade sanctions that have long hindered his plans to develop North Korea's economy.
    His success on that front seemed almost immediate.
    Malaysia, which had cut ties after the assassination of Kim's half-brother at Kuala Lumpur's airport a year ago, is now talking of starting then up again.
    And China, the key to any serious sanctions effort? It's also reportedly considering easing its trade restrictions."

    So the author seems to think the world's opinion of KIom changed overnight, and then some of his former trading partners are 'thinking' of trading with him again (cites missing).
    Your buddy is suffering also.

  • Sevo||

    "Obama could have made this deal on day one."

    But he was just too darn busy on the links, right?
    What a pile of lefty arm-waving and fantasy.

  • Happy Chandler||

    "But, he recognized that it was giving away something for nothing."

    North Korea has been looking for a Presidential meeting for decades. No president has been such a poor negotiator to give it away for nothing.

  • Sevo||

    "But, he recognized that it was giving away something for nothing."

    Repeating a bullshit claim only proves you're a bullshitter, bullshitter.

  • Happy Chandler||

    You asked a question. I answered it. *Shrug*

    You have nothing that disputes it. *Shrug*

    You're not even a very good troll.

  • Sevo||

    Happy Chandler|6.12.18 @ 2:12PM|#
    "You asked a question. I answered it. *Shrug*"
    I didn't ask a question; I called you on your bullshit

    "You have nothing that disputes it. *Shrug*"
    You're right, other than pointing out you have nothing to support your bullshit

    "You're not even a very good troll."
    OTOH, you're pretty good as a fucking ignoramus.

  • Happy Chandler||

    You are a sad little person.

  • Sevo||

    Happy Chandler|6.12.18 @ 2:54PM|#
    "You are a sad little person."

    I'm neither sad nor little.
    You, OTOH are a fucking lefty ignoramus

  • Happy Chandler||

    I may have been presumptuous by labeling you a person.

  • Sevo||

    Happy Chandler|6.12.18 @ 3:54PM|#
    "I may have been presumptuous by labeling you a person."

    Presumptuous you certainly are, along with being a fucking ignoramus.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Never forget the picture of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein.
    Or Bush holding hands with the ruler of Saudi Arabia.

    Remind the HRC supporters of her support for the Saudis and their treatment of women and gays while you're at it.

  • John||

    Or FDR schmoosing with Stalin.

  • Juice||

    Bush holding hands with the ruler of Saudi Arabia

    Or Obama bowing to him.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Or Trump doing the same.

  • Juice||

    Never heard of it, but just looked it up. Yeah, um, no. It's not even close to the same thing. He ducked down a little bit so the Saudi king could put some kind of necklace on him. Trump did not in any way genuflect like Obama did.

  • Sevo||

    You didn't expect honesty from our newest lefty imbecile, did you?

  • Happy Chandler||

    And then he fucking curtseyed after the medal was on. Even the Saudi looked at him like "WTF is that?"

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Fuckin' LOL at shitlibs and their overactive imaginations.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Shitlib? That's witty. You must have gone to the same third rate troll school as Sevo.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Your comments must have come from the same kindergarten class as a reddit poster.

  • retiredfire||

    I think this is Hihn, with a new screen name.
    The "shrug" was good indication.
    All we need is a "grin" and it will be for certain.

  • Sevo||

    Happy Chandler|6.12.18 @ 5:21PM|#
    "...You must have gone to the same third rate troll school as Sevo."

    Aw, lefty ignoramus called on bullshit once more.

  • Libertymike||

    Or FDR shaking hands with Hitler while the two of them had their boots on the neck of a Russian babuschka.

  • retiredfire||

    Almost everything 0blama did internationally, he got nothing for.
    Even his apology tour got nothing except worries from our real allies and lessened respect by our enemies.
    Our enemies loved 0blama because they realized they were stronger with him at the helm.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Especially since it was hardly days ago when they were whining that Trump wasn't diplomatic enough. It seems you just can't please some people.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, it's a pretty dumb complaint. My view of foreign affairs is that it's always going to be dirty and full of compromises. It's a nasty, messy world. If you want to get anywhere, you're going to get a bit dirty. But that's just how it is.

  • Tony||

    I've asked this before. Try to think hard about it. Imagine everything was the same except Obama did it.

    How much would you be pissing yourself in rage on a scale of 1 to 10?

  • Libertymike||

    How much would you be pissing yourself in uncontrollable laughter on a scale of 1 to 10 if Trump had been born in Kenya?

  • John||

    I wouldn't say that then either. You are so angry and bitter. It is just funny at this point.

  • Tony||

    1 to 10. How enraged would you be at Obama selling out to Kim? That's what you'd call it. Or at least that's what Drudge would call it. I can see the headlines now. And your brain is sustained by internet rightwing horseshit instead of independent thoughts, so why are we going through this song and dance of pretending otherwise?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|6.12.18 @ 2:24PM|#
    "1 to 10. How enraged would you be at Obama selling out to Kim?"\

    See below regarding strawmen, scumbag.

  • BYODB||

    In this, he's question begging since zero is not an option.

  • Nardz||

    Leaving details of the "deals" aside (especially since there isn't a deal with NK yet), let's compare context of Iran and NK talks:

    Obama w/Iran:
    -secret meetings
    -imprisoned US sailors
    -Iran ballistic missile tests
    -Hezbollah drug investigation nixed
    -pallets of cash
    -released prisoners
    -sanctions relaxed

    Trump w/NK
    -halt of nuclear and missile tests
    -destruction of nuke facility
    -released prisoners
    -sanctions continue
    -military exercises continue but will stop
    -

  • Sevo||

    Tony|6.12.18 @ 2:11PM|#
    "I've asked this before. Try to think hard about it. Imagine everything was the same except Obama did it.
    How much would you be pissing yourself in rage on a scale of 1 to 10?"

    Those grapes really must be sour, right scumbag?

  • Brian||

    I'm imagining Obama winning a Nobel peace prize, and the media going on and on about this historic, unprecedented diplomatic accomplishment, while the talking heads roll their eyes if anyone says otherwise.

    Is that what's supposed to induce rage?

  • Ken Shultz||

    The world is waking up to pragmatic realism after eight years of Obama's idealism and and another eight years of Bush the Lesser's neoconservatism--both of which were fundamentally hostile to shaking hand with vicious dictators, even if neither fully lived up to their own ideals.

    Pragmatic realism is how we won World War II.

    Pragmatic realism is how we won the Cold War.

    Pragmatic realism is how we made all sorts of avoidable mistakes, too, but avoidable mistakes are far superior to idealism and neoconseratism--which aren't merely prone to mistakes but fundamentally wrong about how working with dictators can never be to our advantage.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Have you not seen the video comparing Fox blasting Obama for proposing a meeting with DPRK and praising Trump for the same? He was willing, but he wasn't about to do it for nothing.
    He dealt with Iran. Every account, including Mike Pompeo, has confirmed that Iran was following the deal.
    He dealt with Cuba.

    Trump gave away prestige for nothing.

  • Sevo||

    "Trump gave away prestige for nothing."
    Too fucking stupid to correct.

  • Juice||

    Yeah, North Korea is so prestigious now.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Their leader stood on stage with the President of the United States. There's no bigger stage.
    The President praised him and treated him as an equal. There is no bigger stage.
    The President got absolutely nothing in exchange. He's a chump.

  • Sevo||

    Happy Chandler|6.12.18 @ 3:15PM|#
    "Their leader stood on stage with the President of the United States. There's no bigger stage."
    The President praised him and treated him as an equal. There is no bigger stage.
    The President got absolutely nothing in exchange. He's a chump."

    At zero cost to anyone in the US, you idiot.
    You're a fucking ignoramus.

  • Happy Chandler||

    He had a bargaining chip. He gave it away. He telegraphed that he would give it away by blowing up expectations for a deal. Kim knew Trump wouldn't walk away because he'd look like a chump.

    I'm sorry, some of the words are a little big for you.Tru

  • Sevo||

    Lefty imbecile makes assertion, is stupid enough to think it is an argument.
    Do you want a towel for your salty tears, gasbag?

  • Happy Chandler||

    English please?
    Go back to troll school. You have like two insults that you go back and forth. Go back to troll school and try again. You'll find it under a bridge in St Petersburg (and I don't mean Florida).

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    If I want Vox talking points, I'll go to Vox. I don't need a muppet to repeat them.

  • Happy Chandler||

    I barely ever look at Vox, so that's okay.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I barely ever look at Vox, so that's okay.

    Admitting the left-wing operates as a hive-mind is hardly a win in your case.

  • Sevo||

    You're a fucking ignoramus who is stupid enough to think that a lame assertion = an argument.
    Is that cleareenough, or were the words too long?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Korea was not willing to commit to denuclearization before.

    Why would North Korea settle for denuclearization when Obama was willing to let Iran go on enriching their own uranium?

    Why should anybody care what Fox says about anything?

    Isn't North Korea committing to denuclearization a necessary step before they can denuclearize? If so, then how can that commitment be unimportant?

    You don't seem to have thought any of this through at all. Seems to me you're just lashing out because Trump did something.

  • Happy Chandler||

    NK promised the same thing they always have, a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They will get rid of their nukes after SK is removed from the US nuclear umbrella and China and Russia get rid of theirs. In other words, the fifth of never. Like Trump, you got fooled by the details.
    And Trump is ending military exercises with South Korea.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    And Trump is ending military exercises with South Korea.

    Funny how you no-hopers think Trump will stick to his word when it's convenient for you to do so.

  • Happy Chandler||

    So maybe he's just lying about this (without informing SK)? That's what you're going to stand on?
    Pence has already contradicted him on this one, so maybe they just don't know what their position is?

    I'm trying to run some game theory on this whole banana.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I'm happy with the position being "Make the shitlibs fume in frustration while they hoover a bucket of sour grapes with their daily anti-depressants."

    I'm trying to run some game theory on this whole banana.

    Eric Garland likes LARPing as a 4th-dimensional thinker himself, so it's not a surprise you both share the same unwarranted sense of self-regard.

  • Z565||

    I wonder how Otto Warmbier's parents view the compliments and coziness from Trump. Why did Kim gratuitously torure and murder that kid? If Kim is misunderstood and rational as Dennis Rodman and Trump tell it then what rational explains the torture of that kid?

  • John||

    Better than the victims of Iranian terrorism felt when they watched Obama send Iran a billion dollars in cash and give them all of the assets that were supposed to be used to compensate their victims.

    IF I am Warmbier's parents, I want peace and for North Korea to become a better place. If this does that, I can't imagine giving a shit about who shook hands with whom.

  • Tony||

    Obama plays golf and it's bad. Trump plays golf and it's fine. Like, everyone gets it John.

    Is there any point to your opinions?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|6.12.18 @ 2:14PM|#
    "Obama plays golf and it's bad. Trump plays golf and it's fine."

    Beat that straw-man, Tony; it's all you're ever been good at.

  • Tony||

    Some day you need to learn what the fuck a straw man actually is.

  • Sevo||

    "Some day you need to learn what the fuck a straw man actually is."
    You should take your own advise, scumbag.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Obama trades terrorists for a deserter and you cheer. Trump actually brings 4 americans home from north korea and you see evidence he's Manchurian candidate. We get it, Tony.

  • Tony||

    A Manchurian candidate wouldn't be doing Putin's bidding so openly. He's just an idiot.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Tell me how opening up lands to oil exploration and taking the shackles of the paris greenwash fund is doing Putin's bidding. Barry was Putin's wet dream and his would be successor sure benefited a lot from russian cash.

  • Happy Chandler||

    https://goo.gl/images/G5uVSq
    Clinton did it first.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, gee, lefty imbecile, did he 'give away prestige'?
    Please tell us!

  • Tony||

    He was extremely careful not to, unlike the handsy sinkhole of gravitas currently defiling the oval office.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, barry had to save that groveling for castro and the ayatollahs. And lest we forget the russian resetoverload.

  • Nardz||

    Of course there's the small matter of having to beg the ayatollah to tell his negotiators to stop screaming at Kerry, which they did finally stop after a few months of negotiating sessions that Kerry never walked from

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yes, clinton paid off the norks with billions in fuel oil subsidies, food, and a light water reactor. It's not difficult to see why you're so enamored with the iran debacle given that it follows in the clinton ransom legacy. Now remind me exactly what trump has given up here. Let me guess: PREZTIGE!

  • Happy Chandler||

    The Agreed Framework slowed movement towards nukes for years. Congress sabotaged it by refusing to fund the US obligations, and Bush fatally screwed it up and they went nuclear under his watch.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Laughable. At best and if iran honored the deal it left them with all of their enrichment capability intact and gave them a massive cash infusion when they needed it. We heard the same nonsense when clinton got suckered by the norks. It's hardly surprising that you are so easily fooled.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Clinton fatally screwed up necause the retard didn't remove their plutonium capability.

  • Tony||

    Just imagine Obama did this, dictator grab-assing and all, and then how do you feel about it?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I didn't care for it then and I think trump talked too bigly here. You on the other hand adored barry when he did this.

  • Tony||

    Barry gave the North Korean dictator a handy on international television?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, he gave castro the dirty sanchez he learned from you.

  • Tony||

    You object to normalization with Cuba? On what libertarian grounds?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Under the same grounds that you oppose normalizing relations with the norks. Unlike you I make an effort to apply principles.

  • Tony||

    Somewhat different situations. One's an absurd situation that has persisted on political inertia alone (but Obama did it so of course it had to be undone). The other is the most repressive regime on earth that wants nukes.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Seriously, your blindness to just how awful Cuba is is telling. It's amazing what lengths you will go to to rationalize appeasement as long as there's a (D) after the name.

  • Sevo||

    Lefty goal-post travels:
    1) Trump gets in a tweet-war with Kim:
    Lefty losers: 'He's putting us on the edge of nuclear war!!!!!!!!!!'
    2) Kim decides a nuke exchange isn't a good idea, offers a summit"
    Lefty losers: 'Trump will never pull that off!!!!!!!'
    3) Summit scheduled:
    Lefty losers: 'Trump will give away the farm!!!!!!!!'
    4) Summit canceled:
    Lefty losers: 'See, I told you he'd never do it!!!!!!!'
    5) Summit back on:
    Lefty losers: 'Uh, give me a minute'
    6) Summit happens:
    Lefty losers: 'See? He gave away the farm!!!!!!! And anyway, anybody could have done it!!!!!!'
    See our newest lefty loser for the definition: Trump 'gave away' prestige(!).
    Hey, newest asshole! You want a towel to cry on?

  • BYODB||

    God damn Jesse, I like the cut of your jib.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I haven't seen this many retards come crawling out of the woodwork since Trump won on election night.

    I said it that night, and I'll say it again. If Trump's activities in Singapore is making elitist progressives howl in pain, then that by itself suggests that he must be doing something right.

  • Tony||

    It's right there in Article II, section 3, clause 7: Trolling the Libturds.

  • Brian||

    It's really not our fault that Trump is better at that than you and your entire team.

  • Tony||

    It's kind of all our fault that this is seen as a presidential quality by a significant enough portion of the population. I said it before he got elected: "No way he's getting elected, but if he does, we're all to blame."

  • Brian||

    I'm pretty sure you said, "There's no way Trump's getting elected, let's go by champagne!"

    And then there were a hundred reasons why Trump got elected, from Comey, to Jill Stein, to facebook trolls.

    But, whatevs. In the end, aren't we really mad at...ourselves? ... sniffles...

  • BYODB||

    Frankly, given your level of understanding about the constitution, this seems like something you would actually believe. You really need to use /sarc tags since it's difficult to tell when you're being serious given how many idiotic things you actually believe.

  • Tony||

    I think it goes 2nd amendment, 10th amendment, the Taxes are Stealing clause, Presidents Shall Troll Libturds, It's Not Judicial Activism if I Agree with It, and then... celebrity endorsement blurbs?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Be honest, you stopped reading after 'welfare.'

  • BYODB||

    Again, this is actually reflective of what I believe your knowledge of the constitution to look like so...is this sarcasm?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some people are shocked--shocked!--that agreements come before execution.

    Others are grown ups.

    You mean an agreement isn't execution?

    Who knew?!

    The correct answers is everybody who isn't delusional.

    How long have we been talking about what Trump was doing with North Korea and China's "trade war" and why? Months?

    The left seems to have woke up from their Mueller conspiracy theories just last night to realize there's real world going on. Give them a few weeks, and they'll get to where we were months ago.

  • BYODB||

    It's ok Ken, none of the writers here with the possible exception of Ron Bailey (the science correspondent?!) have acknowledged any potential whatsoever for there to be a connection between tariffs and foreign policy.

    So this isn't just progressives, it's anyone suffering from advanced TDS.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You're so certain the latter two aren't almost always one in the same.

  • BYODB||

    A fair point, but I suspect there are non-progressives who also have TDS for completely non-progressive reasons.

  • Brian||

    Sigh.

    Been around long enough to realize that 99% of what anyone says on the matter will be purely partisan and hypocritical.

    Next.

  • ||

    I don't trust either Kim or Trump, but who knows?

    As Zhou Enlai was reported to have said when asked by Henry Kissinger about the (May 1968) French revolution, "It's too soon to tell."

    Hope for the best; prepare for the worst. If Trump pulls this off, a tip of the hat to him.

  • ThomasD||

    So far the best thing to come out of the summit is that bit of street art in the photograph.

    Otherwise, like most things Trump, only time will tell.

  • geo||

    "The most important fact about the Trump-Kim summit is that less than a year ago both of these men sounded like they were ready to launch a nuclear war."

    You have no understanding of negotiation if you don't realize that this is exactly why they are where they are now. If you can only offer the status quo, then the status quo is exactly what your counter-offer will be.

  • marshaul||

    The part that blows my mind is that anybody took the supposed threat of nuclear war seriously. These two are the biggest blowhards on the entire planet.

    I, for one, am disappointed by these developments, because US-NK relations are no longer hilarious.

  • marshaul||

    I fail to understand how anybody can take Trump seriously, either as a force for good or evil, and I feel the same about about Kim, at least for those of us outside NK. They should go back to the stand-up routine IMO.

  • Sevo||

    marshaul|6.12.18 @ 6:50PM|#
    "I fail to understand how anybody can take Trump seriously, either as a force for good or evil, and I feel the same about about Kim, at least for those of us outside NK."

    If you can't take Kim as a force for evil, you are one pathetically ignorant person.

  • Sevo||

    You're a quack or an imbecile. Fuck off.

  • Sevo||

    On the off-chance that the newest lefty ignoramus checks back in, I did check "prestige" futures on the CBOT. Strangely, they are not listed.
    Must be one of those things that only lefties can 'truly value', like 'the health of the planet'!
    Or, it was made up by some TDS retard, hoping to find something wrong with a chance to remove nukes from Kim's control.

  • vek||

    It's refreshing to see Reason actually being sane and reasonable about this whole NK thing, unlike with almost everything else Trump does. I don't have high hopes anything too important/lasting will come from it, but it's not going to hurt anything. They already have nukes, so trying to talk them out of having them (ain't gonna happen) or not building good ICBMs (MAYBE possible) could be pretty decent.

  • jjjjj||

    Of course Kim got a propaganda victory. Haven't you seen all the news coverage about how he did so well and got a propaganda victory?

    The self-unawareness is amusing.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online