HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

 
Kabuki featuring fools and madmen

by digby





Think Progress:

In a statement released by a state-run North Korean news agency, North Korea’s First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kim Kye Gwan, threatened to pull out of a summit with President Trump scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

North Korea’s threat to cancel the summit puts Trump in a very awkward position, after he’s spent weeks portraying it as a key part of his historic legacy.

Kim Kye Gwan wrote that the United States’ offer of extending “economic compensation and benefit” to North Korea in exchange for getting rid of its nuclear weapons is insufficient, and criticized National Security Adviser’s John Bolton’s comments about Libya serving as a model for North Korean denuclearization.

“[I]f they try to push us into a corner and force only unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in that kind of talks and will have to reconsider… the upcoming summit,” Kim Kye Gwan wrote, adding that Bolton’s comments represent “an awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers.”

Just last week, Trump — alluding to the mere fact that he had scheduled a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who he recently described as “very honorable” despite his record of flagrant, brutal human rights abuses — floated himself as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate.






At a rally late last month, Trump encouraged the crowd to chant “NO-BEL! NO-BEL” during a portion of his speech about the North Korean summit.






[...]
While speaking to reporters following the return of three American hostages from North Korea last week, Trump said, “My proudest achievement will be – this is part of it – when we denuclearize that entire peninsula.”

With that goal suddenly in jeopardy, White House officials responded to North Korea’s statement on Wednesday by pretending they never actually expected the Kim-Trump summit to take place after all.



But by raising expectations about the meeting, and characterizing it as reflective of his superior deal-making skills, Trump has put himself in a position where he might need the summit to happen more than Kim does.

The president did himself no favors by violating the Iran nuclear agreement last week — a move that signaled to the North Korean regime that the U.S. government’s word can’t be trusted, even if North Korea lives up to the terms of a deal.

It’s possible that North Korea’s statement is just part of an attempt to extract added concessions from the Trump administration if a Trump-Kim summit does eventually happen. Trump officials have already signaled they might accept something short of full denuclearization, with new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo telling Fox News on Sunday that “America’s interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into [Los Angeles] or Denver or into the very place we’re sitting here this morning… that’s our objective” — a position different than calling for North Korea to denuclearize altogether.
As long as they don't incinerate Americans we're fine with it?

It's interesting that they picked up on Bolton's Libya comments. He's been a lot more explicit in the very recent past:
As the nuclear crisis with North Korea enters a critical period, Trump’s choice of Bolton as national security advisor dims the prospect of reaching a peaceful solution. Bolton, like McMaster, sees Kim Jong Un as fundamentally irrational and undeterrable — a view that seems to justify launching a preventive war if North Korea refuses to denuclearize. But McMaster supported diplomacy and, as a military man with extensive combat experience, understood the costs of war. Bolton, on the other hand, has spent his entire career sabotaging diplomacy with Pyongyang and seems downright giddy about a possible military confrontation. 
A little history is helpful here. Bolton was undersecretary of state for arms control and international security when President George W. Bush’s administration made the fateful decision in 2002 to kill the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea. The Bill Clinton-era accord froze North Korea’s plutonium program under effective verification. But when it was discovered that Pyongyang was pursuing a separate uranium enrichment program with the help of Pakistan, a key decision had to be made: re-engage in diplomacy to expand the agreement to prohibit uranium enrichment or tear it up, isolate a member of the “Axis of Evil,” and push for regime change. Bush, guided in part by Bolton, chose the latter approach. And once the Agreed Framework collapsed, North Korea took the secured plutonium under its control and built about half a dozen additional nuclear weapons, testing its first in 2006. For many arms control and nonproliferation experts, this case represents a cautionary tale about the risks of foreclosing diplomatic engagement. In Bolton’s mind, however, North Korea’s actions simply prove that diplomacy doesn’t work with rogue states and that the only solution is to end these regimes all together, through U.S. military might if necessary. 
More than a decade later, Bolton continues to cling to this dark worldview. In a Sept. 3, 2017, Fox News interview, Bolton declared that the only option left to address the North Korean nuclear challenge is “to end the regime in North Korea” and strike first. “Anybody who thinks that more diplomacy with North Korea, more sanctions, whether against North Korea or an effort to apply sanctions against China, is just giving North Korea more time to increase its nuclear arsenal,” Bolton warned. “We have fooled around with North Korea for 25 years, and fooling around some more is just going to make matters worse.”
In an echo of the rationale that drove the United States to topple Saddam’s regime, Bolton painted an apocalyptic picture of the gathering danger posed by Kim’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The North Koreans “are very close to being able to hit targets all across the United States … with thermonuclear weapons,” Bolton said. “Moreover, this regime will sell anything to anybody for hard currency. They could sell these weapons, ballistic missiles and the nuclear devices themselves, to Iran in a heartbeat.… The metaphor of the Axis of Evil is not really a metaphor — it is a reality. North Korea can sell these devices to terrorist groups around the world. They can be used as electromagnetic pulse weapons … destroying our electrical grid’s capabilities. They can be used for nuclear blackmail.” If we fail to act, “it would be a lesson to every would-be nuclear state in the world that if you just have patience enough, you can wear the United States down.” Instead, “we should heed Franklin Roosevelt’s advice.… When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you don’t wait until it has struck before you crush it.… I would argue that today North Korean nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and Iran’s while we’re on the subject, are the rattlesnakes of the 21st century.” 
To further lay the groundwork for taking military action, Bolton penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal just last month titled “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First.” Recalling the Bush administration’s flawed analysis in the run-up to the Iraq War, Bolton argued that “the threat is imminent” and that the United States has every right to take launch a preventive war before it is too late.
They're not idiots. They know what Bolton thinks. And they also know that Trump is a fucking moron who cannot be trusted while they themselves have broken every agreement they've ever made.

I think hopes are a little bit high for this summit.

.