It's Trump's Agenda, Not Kim's

"While we don’t yet know whether a meeting between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un will actually happen—or if it happens, when—Secretary Pompeo’s first order of diplomatic business will be to brief his boss on what to anticipate, what to say and what to withhold. Due to his experience briefing Trump countless times in the past, Pompeo already has the skills and patience to perform the task successfully.

"On the upcoming summit with Kim, however, Pompeo has one more goal: manage Trump’s expectations about what he can achieve while drilling a message of skepticism in the president’s head. Preventing Trump from leaving the meeting disappointed or angry due to a lack of groundbreaking results is as valuable as preparing briefing materials on North Korea’s negotiating style and rehearsing an unambiguous set of talking points."

Daniel R. DePetris means well, but he doesn't get Trump. Trump is setting the agenda, not Kim. It's going to stay that way with Trump regardless of what Kim does. Kim can play hardball, but he can't finally walk completely away without a deal Trump wants while he, Kim, remains untouched. He can't really endlessly bluff or quit. He's already lost. The only question is how much Trump is going to insist upon wringing out of him. Trump will more than touch him if Kim messes around in Trump's view. You can't delay negotiating by debating the shape of the table. It's not going to work with Trump. He'll "spank" Kim just for playing too hard.

Sure, Kim's thrown insults back; but this is a different field now, a field that's come into existence due to Trump's actions. Trump truly has made it happen.

Whether anyone wants to think of it as good or bad or whether he deserves credit or not is all irrelevant. I believe Kim knows all of that. How could he not?

Kim was always in a no-win situation with Trump if Kim thought he could create nuclear weapons and missiles and just sit there with a "deterrent." He has some leverage, but not as much as Korea has historically had because Trump isn't like any US President ever. That's a fact.

Could Trump mess up Trump's own game? That's the big question. This is where we find out if he really knows how to be the foreign-policy President of the United States of America. He's made foreign-policy mistakes already, quite a few in fact; but they weren't nearly as risky as this gamble. It won't be the last one he faces, he will likely face bigger ones. Could he lose this one and come back to win even bigger ones?

I must say, Turkey is a bigger issue than North Korea and always has been. That's because I think Kim is not insane. Erdogan, on the other hand, ....

Pompeo is NOT going to handle Trump. He'll end up doing what he's told or be just another in a series of people who had to go.

If Trump succeeds with Kim, there will be plenty of people who will reassess and decide to go with Trump's high-stakes flow.

If I were advising Trump, I'd tell him to drop the neocon garbage. Of course, explaining environmentalism would require seeing Trump sit through being instructed by scientific specialists and watching experiments that would drive home the point that the models have actually been underestimating/stating the risks. Would Trump let down his ego long enough to learn he's been totally wrong? The same holds with macroeconomics.

Naturally, dropping the neocon garbage would mean befriending Russia whether anyone else were to like it or not.

After Erdogan, Xi is the biggest problem there is, not Iran. Iran isn't even remotely the problem even Erdogan is. Iran could and would relax if the US were to stop pushing, pushing, pushing the neocon/right-wing Zionist garbage.

I don't think Trump will call soon; but if he reads this, he doesn't need to.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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