Barry’s Gifts that Keep on Giving

Much has been and will be said about the proposed conference between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.  But what will or will not emerge from discussions will be constrained by the flaming pile of foreign policy feces left by President Barry.

Once upon a time, the security commitments made by the United States meant something; and those commitments lasted beyond the term of the administrations that made them.  And then came Barry.

Ukraine:

In December 1994, Ukraine agreed to surrender its nuclear weapons based on a guarantees given by the US, the UK and Russia to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

In February 2014, Russia annexed Crimea.  Yeah ok.  Russia broke the agreement and who can really rely on the military promises of the UK.  But what did the US do or say?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?  

Lybia:

In December 2003, Libya agreed to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, including to unwind is decades old, but previously unknown nuclear weapons program.

Then Libyan President Gadaffi’s son said that the US offered security guarantees.

In 2011, US backed rebels came, saw and then (Gadaffi) died.

There are similar lessons from the Iran nuclear deal and the Syrian red line.  But what lessons should any vanilla despot take away?  Never ever ever surrender your nuclear capacity in exchange for security guarantees from the US government – because even if you trust the current administration, another Obama is just around the corner.  And if you are patient enough, you might even get paid to be belligerent.

President Trump’s discussions with Kim Jong Un won’t start from a blank sheet of paper.  The corners will be cut off and much of the space will have been coloured in by Barry.  Not too many degrees of freedom to negotiate.

One can imagine that the best, absolute best outcome from the US-North Korea conference will be some sort of program freeze and inspection regime.  Beyond that, unlikely.

These lessons should not only be considered by US foes.  They should be considered by US friends, Australia included.

When go low, we go high.  Yeah.  High as in high on dope.

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20 Responses to Barry’s Gifts that Keep on Giving

  1. max

    then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, U.S. could make “iron-clad guarantees” that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward.” Less than a week later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks.

  2. H B Bear

    Libya was the end of any ability for America to negotiate with rogue states. There is only one lesson to be learned from that episode and that is keep your WMDs close to your chest and your finger on the button.

    Tough luck for the South Koreans and Japanese.

  3. RobK

    It will be interesting to see how Trump hanxles this. One possible outcome is stronger relations with the south and a possible end to war status. As always, Trump is somewhat unorthodox and it is a case of “watch and learn” because most commentators are not privy to the resources at his disposal.

  4. max

    Is it any wonder after this bait and switch diplomacy that Russia has no trust in the Western powers? Moscow watches US-run NATO oozing ever eastwards. Today, Russia’s leaders firmly believe Washington’s ultimate plan is to tear apart Russia and reduce it to an impotent, pauper nation. Two former Western leaders, Napoleon and Hitler, had similar plans.

    Instead of carrying on about Hitler’s duplicity after Munich, we should look at our own shameless behavior after 1990.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/12/eric-margolis/lies-damn-lies-how-the-west-deceived-russia/

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    Again this is about China.

    China said yes, yes we’ll help you on North Korea.

    Then they undermined Trump by allowing ships to sail into Nork harbours laden with Chinese stuff in breach of the sanctions.

    So Trump did three things. First he arranged through Congress that these sanction-busting ships of no known nationality or ownership could be boarded and seized by the US Navy. Then second he announced he’d go talk with Kimmy directly. Third: he announced tariffs which everyone in the MSM thinks are aimed at China.

    So whether or not there will be anything out of the Trump-Kim meeting is moot. It isn’t about the Norks at all: he knows they won’t give up their bombs (which are actually an insurance policy against the Chinese). Trump wants Xi to really rein in the Norks rather than just say “yes, yes, don’t worry you can leave Kim to us” then undercut the US with sanctions busting.

    Art of the deal. Realpolitik.

  6. Roger.

    Russia broke the agreement and who can really rely on the military promises of the UK. But what did the US do or say? Anyone?

    They imposed sanctions.

    What did you expect them to do…go to war?

    (At the time the population of Crimea was 58% Russian, 24% Ukrainian & 12% Tatar, btw.)

    Did Eisenhower go to war over Hungary in 1956?

    Did Johnson go to war over Czechoslovakia in 1968?

    Yes, Obama was a foreign policy disaster. Thankfully one disaster he didn’t lead us into was war with Russia over Crimea. A Russian invasion of a Baltic state would be another matter.

  7. Roger.

    Bruce,

    Note Trump’s aside in his speech on the weekend, along the lines of “Thank you President Xi, who really helped us out – could have done more, but that’s OK.”

    No other world leader would talk like that in public 🙂

  8. Jo Smyth

    This is also about changing things internally, hence draining the Swamp. Getting rid of the left wing, globalist Judiciary, the mindset of education, wearing down the biased media and Silocon Valley and making sure the FBI and CIA are cleaned out.

  9. thefrollickingmole

    It does echo something Ive said.
    I used to think it was a massively bad thing that looters and killers like Idi Amin were allowed to sail off into the sunset with 1/2 the treasury for a retirement (a bit constrained by location usually) in luxury somewhere.

    Then came the international court in the Hauge, which promises dictators will see jail time and be prosecuted, a good goal at first look.
    But the practical result has been to see blokes who might have cut and run when the chips were down instead clinging to the last man and wreaking as much destruction as they can in an attempt to cling to safety.

    In practical terms it made it a zero sum game for any regime accused of crimes.
    Might Saddam/Ghadaffi/ or even Assad taken a poultice of money and retired if that was still an option?

    Trying for “international justice” has instead required dictators to dig in.

  10. J.H.

    max
    #2658125, posted on March 12, 2018 at 9:58 am

    WTF’s this “Shameless” behavior of the West when you are talking about the historical Soviet Union?

    You do realize that Hitler together with Stalin’s Soviet Union invaded Poland… Now the Nazi used the excuse of Polish belligerence and a border violation to start their campaign into Poland…. Stalin’s Soviet Union simply attacked them with no cause. Stalin then ordered the execution of the entire officer corps of Poland.
    NATO is not the aggressor. Putin’s aggressive behavior with the Ukraine was pure opportunism in the face of Barack Obama’s geopolitical weaknesses…… and nothing else. The Ukraine was sick and tired of Moscow’s influence in their country, culture and politics. They chucked President Yanukovich out, who instantly proved everyone right that he was a Russian Puppet by fleeing straight to Putin’s Russia….. and Putin punished them for it, while grabbing the Black Sea ports while they were ripe for the taking. Putin would have grabbed Odessa too… but it proved to be a bridge too far and his agitators got themselves burned to death in the Trade Union building.

  11. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Yes, Obama was a foreign policy disaster. Thankfully one disaster he didn’t lead us into was war with Russia over Crimea. A Russian invasion of a Baltic state would be another matter.

    He also handles Syria fairly well, despite the urgings of the crazed neo-cons who have never seen a Middle East situation they can’t make worse.

    Libya of course was a complete disaster we will be be paying for for centuries to come.

  12. max

    Putin: A Nationalist With Nuclear Weapons
    Gary North – January 20, 2017
    Printer-Friendly Format

    Vladimir Putin is hated by the Western Leftist Establishment. A representative example is the final speech of Obama’s appointee to the United Nations, the institutional incarnation of internationalism. Ironically, her name is Power. She never had any, and neither has the UN.

    He is hated by these people for good reason. He is the most powerful nationalist on earth. He leads a country with nuclear weapons. He’s a nationalist who cannot safely be pushed around by neoconservatives and Progressives.

    From 1917 until 1991, the Soviet Union was internationalist. It was tyrannical. It was bureaucratic. It was in favor of world revolution. It was an empire. And because of this, the Western liberal media gave the Soviet Union, if not a free ride, then at least a discounted ride. The Soviet Union was Marxist, and Marxism for people on the Left was always considered a legitimate political philosophy.

    Putin grew up in the Soviet system, and he was a functionary within the KGB. But, deep down, he was a man who saw the handwriting on the wall, and that wall was the traditional Russian wall of nationalism. It goes back to the founding of the Russian Orthodox Church in the tenth century. It has a name: Mother Russia. It has always sought military power.

    Putin represents this older Russian nationalist tradition. He also commands the second most powerful military forces on earth. The Russians are still armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. They are the other superpower.

    We have heard at a lot about America as the sole superpower, but this is not true. Any nation that has over 5,000 nuclear missiles is a superpower. That is Russia. When that nation has missiles that can deliver these weapons to their targets, it is a superpower. You don’t push it around.

    PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONALISM

    The Russians have backed the legitimate government of Syria. That disrupted the attempt of the Obama Administration to create yet another failed state in the Middle East. This goes back to George W. Bush’s Administration. It goes back to the list of nations that the neoconservatives who ran Bush’s administration planned to invade and overturn. Former NATO Commander Wesley Clark has described this here.

    Russian planes overturned the neoconservatives’ plans for the legitimate government of Syria. The neoconservatives will not forgive him for this, and the mainstream media, which is not neoconservative but rather Progressive NWO-oriented, also will not forgive him.

    Putin is a nationalist. Nationalism is hated by the Progressives. They have been pushing the New World Order ever since Woodrow Wilson decided that the United States of America was going to join the League of Nations. Progressives have never forgiven the United States Senate, led by Henry Cabot Lodge, for not ratifying the Versailles peace treaty in 1920. That treaty would have pulled us into the League of Nations. We stayed out.

    The League of Nations would have been the same toothless bureaucracy that the United Nations has been since 1945. It would not have achieved anything significant, any more than the United Nations has achieved anything significant. But the idea of internationalism captivated the minds of the Progressives. Anyway, it captured the minds of the Democrat Progressives. Teddy Roosevelt, who was clearly a Progressive, was a nationalist. He titled his campaign book, The New Nationalism (1910), whereas Wilson titled his campaign book, The New Freedom (1912). But at least they both wrote their own books. There were no ghost writers involved.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/16140.cfm

  13. Dr Fred Lenin

    Crimea was taken by Russia after several wars with the Tartars there ,completing the recon quest of lands seized by the Tartars years before , It was made part of the Ukraine for. Administrative reasons by Kruschov during the Soviet days . It was never Ukrainian as witness the majority of the population ,,Ukrainians were only 26 percent of the population ,Ethnic Great Russians were twice as numerous ,they also wanted to be Russian again ,like the Donbas Russians ,rebelling against Ukrainian rule .

  14. Stimpson J. Cat

    One can imagine that the best, absolute best outcome from the US-North Korea conference will be some sort of program freeze and inspection regime. Beyond that, unlikely.

    Let’s make a bet.
    How about if you are wrong you shave your head, and if I’m wrong I shave mine, again?
    Because I say you are wrong.

  15. Speedbox

    (At the time the population of Crimea was 58% Russian, 24% Ukrainian & 12% Tatar, btw.)

    Hmmm, not so sure about that. Depends whether you are talking about culturally or ethnically. In either case I would have said the Russian component was higher, especially in the Crimea.

    ….. and Putin punished them for it, while grabbing the Black Sea ports while they were ripe for the taking.

    Whoa, steady on there.

    I cannot give a full explanation here because the length of the answer would require a Guest post but…..the Port of Sevastopol is very important to the Russian navy. There was no way that Russia could allow the Ukraine’s pivot to NATO. Seizing the Crimea generally, and the Port of Sevastopol specifically, was not an afterthought.

    BTW, I have travelled extensively within the Ukraine (including the Crimea) and can swear to one interesting fact. As you travel from west (Lviv) to east across the Ukraine, the ethnicity and culture moves decidedly from “Ukrainian” to “Russian”. By the time you get to Kharkiv or especially Luhansk, the Russian proportion is virtually 100%.

    In terms of division, the Dnieper River which basically runs north to south almost though the middle of the country appears to mark the point where ethnicity and culture flip from Ukrainian to Russian or vice versa.

  16. Spring is near

    Their ABC carrying ‘news’ from NPR . Some exAmbassador and diplomat talking about in previous Administrations it took years and months to prepare for these Summit meetings. If the outcomes are poor we all need to be concerned.

    My view there is nothing like a short timeline to focus attention and plans. Trump can tell Kimbo is full of horse sh!t.
    As far as talks go, i expect it will be an exchange of statements. A photo opp. Both will claim to be winners.
    In reality both sides distrust each other. Im expecting a poor outcome unless Rocket boy puts down the nukes and walks away.

  17. Chris M

    Haha perhaps Trump will set up a deal so Australia can buy nukes from Kim?

    Before he agrees to any talks Trump should insist all American prisoners are firstly freed and the compensation is paid the the Warmbier family.

  18. Empire

    Stimpson J. Cat
    #2658367, posted on March 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Smart bet Stimpy, but fair? You know the deal has already been done 🙂

  19. Empire is close to the money.

    If half of what I’ve read and heard is true, this meeting is a mere formality.

    NK is to STFU and stop threatening everyone or else. They can even pretend they still have nukes.

  20. Stimpson J. Cat

    Smart bet Stimpy, but fair? You know the deal has already been done 🙂

    Look this man thinks he is Spartacus.
    Either he is prepared to fight in the arena to entertain the crowd or he isn’t.
    Trump gets any more concessions than Spartacus has predicted and I win.
    As an added bonus, if he wins the bet I will also refer to him from that day on as Smartacus.

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