Debate on the Merits of Trump’s Korean Diplomacy

Debate on the Merits of Trump’s Korean Diplomacy March 2, 2019

This is another discussion (posted one yesterday) with my friend, Deacon Steven D. Greydanus, from my Facebook page. It came about spontaneously today, and so (as with most of my debates), I am sharing it more widely, so that others can ponder two sides of a given debate and use their own critical faculties to see where they stand. This is what I love about back-and-forth dialogue. His words will be in blue.

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The Great Dealmaker got no deal from Kim Jong-un and came home empty-handed — but Kim continues to get praise and strokes from the leader of the free world. 

“He’s sharp as you can be, and he’s a real leader,” Trump told Hannity the day before yesterday. “He likes me, I like him. Some people say ‘you should not like him.’ I say, ‘Why shouldn’t I like him?’ I like him. Get along great.”

Why shouldn’t Trump like Kim? He doesn’t know. He can’t understand it. Why shouldn’t one like an extremely brutal tyrant who leads one of the most repressive regimes in the world? 

A man who has literally executed government officials for such offenses as falling asleep in meetings or adopting “disrespectful posture.” Who has murdered his own family members, and innocent family members of his enemies, including children. 

A man who leads a regime in which whole populations are deliberately starved and political prisoners are raped and tortured. Where Christianity is deemed a very serious threat — the worst nation on earth for Christians, according the watchdog group Open Doors. 

Trump said out can’t think why he shouldn’t like, admire, and praise this man. 

But yeah, he’s “pro-life.” And a strong leader. And a great dealmaker.

You clearly know little about diplomacy on a world scale and what it entails. If you did, you couldn’t possibly write this comment as it is.

But we know that Trump would be trashed no matter what he did. When he had great success last time it didn’t matter. The missiles were flying two years ago, Now they aren’t. Remains of our servicemen are being sent home. The Korean War may officially end. South Korea (i.e., the nation at great risk in a potential war) was ecstatic about it. Now that he walked away, like Reagan did with Gorbachev (ultimately to succeed), he’s trashed. It matters not what he does.

Yeah, Gorbachev and the Soviet Union did all these things and probably worse. That’s precisely why we attempted to talk to them and make whatever deal we could. It’s why we talk to China (with its horrible views on religious freedom and one-child policies and forced abortion). We’re not in these high-stakes talks with England or Canada.

Would you say, don’t talk at all to anyone who doesn’t lead a saintly society? We murder 3000 children a day here. Who the hell are we to look down our noses at non-Christian countries? We claim to be so “enlightened” and Christian. That’s why I argued in print over 15 years ago that we are arguably the wickedest country of all time. By biblical and Christian standards, I think we are.

The biggest obvious difference is that Obama and several Presidents before him (from both parties) sat on their butts and kicked the Korean can down the road. Clinton actually enabled N. Korea to get nukes in the first place, with his (typical) liberal fallacies and naiveté about dictatorships: seen again In Obama’s treaty with Iran. Trump actually tries to do something about it.

And the thanks he gets from Never Rational Never Trumpers like you (who admit to being sorely tempted to literally hate him) is what we see above. You should be ashamed of yourself.

He could cure cancer and get North Korea to destroy all their nukes, and it wouldn’t make a whit of difference. There is so much invested now in hatred of him that it can never change. It’s here forever. Total / largely irrational and clueless demonization . . .

That is ridiculous spin. No one can imagine Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush 41, or Reagan talking like this. No one would say they could except out of desperation to defend the indefensible. Anyone with any common sense knows this is true.

[I linked two articles about Reagan praising Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union in 1988, and about Obama’s and the left’s “love affair” with Castro and Obama’s relationship with the Iranian dictator Khamenei]

Once again, it matters not what Trump does. When he was talking about “fire and fury” and “rocket man” (talking tough) he was roundly criticized. Now that he is using the usual niceties of diplomacy, he’s roundly criticized. Reagan, of course, did both, too. He was excoriated for talking about the “evil empire” but then he engaged in successful diplomacy. He was supposed to start World War III, like Trump is supposed to. Somehow it never comes.

The only constant factor is that the media and the Never Rational Never Trumpers must hate and lie about Trump and apply relentless double standards.

LOL. We’ve talked before about this. Your need to find moral equivalence obliterates your ability to distinguish carefully worded objective statements of fact from emotional statements of approbation. It’s obvious to most people.

I don’t “need” to find anything. Very typical of my reasoning is analogical argumentation (I got my love of that from Cardinal Newman, and it was key in my conversion). You’re trying to make out that Trump is an absolute idiot, different from anyone before him. So I use straightforward analogies showing that, no, he’s scarcely different from diplomatic strategies and words employed by both Reagan and Obama.

If I’m asked whether Trump exaggerates things more than they (including within diplomacy), I would say yes. But I don’t see that as the damning indictment that you do. Not my cup of tea, but not earth-shatteringly scandalous and disgraceful. Just . . . different. Ho hum. Yawn . . . ZZZzzzzzzz . . .

My friend Al Kresta has a great saying about others, with whom we may not agree on all particulars: “I prefer his way of doing things to my way of not doing them.” Trump has been very successful on many levels. So, more power to him. As I’ve said from the beginning, he is a pragmatic / can-do centrist. America has a long history of that. In fact, it’s very typically American.

It’s just that we’re so far left today and so many Republicans are in bed with liberalism and its failed and stupid (and often, outright immoral) ideas and policies, that they can’t see this in the light of history.

As I’ve said before, I think you’re beyond rationality in talking about Trump. You’re incapable of doing it objectively and fairly. And in my opinion, it’s because (as I’ve seen so often in many areas in my hundreds of debates on a myriad of topics) you despise the man and even sometimes fall into flat-out hatred: as you yourself freely admitted.

You said it, not I. But it confirmed what we basically knew about virtually all Never Trumpers. This goes beyond mere policy differences: to extreme derision and contempt. And that clouds one’s reasoning ability.

You are brilliant in theological analysis, as I’ve happily noted many times (I praise you a lot more than you’ve ever praised me, so there is no personal animus here at all). But when you discuss Trump, forget it. Thus, presently, you are reduced essentially to laughing mockery — sans any strong or persuasive argument — both of Trump and of myself.

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Photo credit: ralfskysegel (8-31-16). Trump graffiti in Melbourne, Australia [PixabayPixabay License]

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