The thing to do in the current political climate is to hate everything about Trump and his administration. It’s not even an insinuation at this point. It’s almost a mandate. A cursory glance at social media feeds on both sides of the political aisle indicates an outright derision for all things Trump. No one takes him seriously, likes him or respects anything this administration has done, is doing or has planned.
So, rebel that I am, let me offer something up I think is actually in the win column for this rag tag GOP administration, knowing full well the knee jerk reaction is going to be a swipe across the face with nine inch poison nails.
North Korea sure shut the heck up, didn’t they?
I know there’s some debate about that as this piece from The Diplomat makes clear:
The early morning release of this presidential tweet and its content suggested that Trump had concluded that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had walked back a threat to fire missiles at the waters near Guam.
More concerning, the tweet hints at Trump’s possible belief that Kim’s “well reasoned” decision was a result of successful deterrence by the United States — presumably borne of Trump’s own threats of “fire and fury” last week for continued threats from North Korea.
While coverage of recent events may lead some to this conclusion, nothing could be further from the truth. Kim Jong-un was not deterred by anything the United States did and he did not back down, as some mainstream sources in the U.S. suggested.
From there it goes on to say that North Korea is still eyeing a plan to attack Guam, and may — at Kim Jong Un’s whim — still attack if they wish.
And it is true the U.S. Navy was awarded a contract Friday to begin construction on a $164.9 million Marine Base on the island, to be funded by the Japanese and with the intent of strengthening U.S. presence in the region.
But the deal for the base has been in the works for a decade and isn’t directly related to North Korean threats to the U.S. territory. And, as The Daily Caller reports citing The Wall Street Journal, the threat game is nothing new and was quickly neutralized.
Kim’s decision to de-escalate is about more than a fear of being turned into a smoldering crater north of the 38th Parallel; instead, it was a “a product of textbook brinkmanship,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “They try to create a situation where North Korea and the U.S. are at the brink of war and if you want to save the whole world, then you have to return to negotiations,” Yang Xiyu, a former Chinese diplomat, told WSJ reporters.
He noted that Pyongyang’s retreat came much faster than expected.
A quick retreat is a win any way you slice it.
But perhaps most importantly, China — even while making pronouncements about American arrogance — still pulled away from Kim and even showed tepid support for the U.S. “Fire and Fury” worked.