Trump’s decision to change the paradigm with North Korea illustrates the precept in my annual Passover post: Tyrannies must be decapitated, not placated.
Starting with Bill Clinton, America fawned over North Korea’s tyrannical rulers, sending them money and promising not to hurt them. In those same years, North Korea’s rulers expanded their concentration/death camps, presided over unnecessary famines, and somehow managed, with every passing year, to find more ways to crack down on a people already starved, terrorized, and denied any rights.
It did not matter one whit to the Kim dynasty that their people experienced incomparable suffering (most of it at the hands of the Kims). The only thing that mattered to the Kims and those closest to them was maintaining their power, prestige, and oh-so-comfortable lifestyle, complete with the finest food (as their people starved), the most luxurious products from around the world and, of course, sex slaves. Lots and lots of sex slaves.
Then something changed. Beginning in January 2017, instead of an American president saying to Kim Jong-un “What can I do to make you happy?” we got a president who said “I’m going to kill you.” He also said to the Chinese, “I’m not very happy with your behavior either, although I’m sure we can resolve our differences when you stop using economic war against America and trying to turn the international waters off of China into your own pond.” Very impolitic. Very mad man. Very undiplomatic. A very big break from more than a quarter century of “diplomacy.”
The usual talking heads amongst the chattering class promised Armageddon. Interestingly, something entirely different happened: With the threat brought directly home to him, Kim Jong-un changed his behavior. He sent athletes and sex slaves to the Olympics. He reached out to South Korea. And of course, most importantly, he scuttled off to China and, rather than admitting the truth — namely, that he feared the “crazy” guy in the White House — announced that the wise Chinese had persuaded him to abandon his nuclear dreams. Even if Kim and the Chinese won’t admit it, you and I know where the credit goes for this announcement.
Watching Trump’s conduct and its outcome, I had to ask myself, has he been reading my annual Passover post or, perhaps, talking to one of Ivanka’s rabbis? Or maybe he’s just had a chance to think about things as he’s attended family Seders over the years.
Did I just hear someone say “What annual Passover post?” Well, this one. As I do every year, I’ve edited it to reflect current concerns. [Read more…]