Siling Labuyo: America’s future is in peril
The past few days has opened a window of America’s future and the view is not pretty. In back-to-back summits, American President Donald Trump managed to further alienate its allies with childish and boorish behavior at the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Quebec, Canada. While opening a new frontier in America’s relations with North Korea. In Singapore, Trump effusively praised the 34 year-old North Korean dictator as a leader worthy of America’s friendship. Like a petulant child, Trump was already complaining out loud days before the G7 Summit why he had to go to Canada before his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jung-on. He did show up but was pouting all the way, throwing tantrums when he missed a breakfast get together, dosing off and did not even wear his translation muffs when French President Emmanuel Macron was on the podium. Trump was simply filibustering because he did not want to hear from his allies complain about his threat to impose tariffs on their products. A photograph that was widely circulated by the U.S. captured the stormy scene where Trump could be seen on the right side with folded arms with a contemptuous grin on his face while German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaching over a small table as if lecturing Trump with other summit participants huddled around. It was clearly a power play in display with everybody standing except Trump who was seated behind a table. Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton can be seen standing just behind Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with his mouth partially opened as if aghast by Merkel’s WTF comment to the American president. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the fall guy and got most of Trump’s goat after the youthful leader responded to a question during a post-summit press conference about Canada’s reaction to President Trump’s antics on trade and insults before and during the summit. His mild rebuke was not something new but au contraire mon ami, standard diplomatic language but Trump was clearly looking for a noose for Trudeau so he can pull out of the traditional post-summit joint communique. He laid it on Trudeau via Twitter on the way to Singapore by unleashing undiplomatic diatribes towards the summit host. Trump left a day early and missed the session on climate change and women empowerment – two uncomfortable topics that Trump would rather skip. Recall Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris Agreement that his predecessor worked hard to put together. President Trump is already mired in legal entreaties involving women from his past that include a porn star, former Playboy playmate, TV star, among others. Trump’s mood, however, quickly changed the day after he arrived in Singapore where he put on quite a show for the world to see. The man was animated and bewitched by Kim’s actually being there and sharing a stage with him. Trump’s theatrics won’t probably win him an Oscar but was clearly smitten by the prospect of going to Oslo, Norway for the Nobel Peace prize that he was willing to give up a lot of things for the U.S. without any substantial concession from Kim, in return. As pundits have been predicting long before the summit, Trump’s lack of preparation showed as he once again blinded his allies in South Korea, Japan, and Australia when he agreed to stop holding the annual “war games” with South Korea and Asian allies. “War games” is a term used by China and North Korea to emphasize the “war” part of the military exercises and drills that the U.S. and other allied forces engaged in every year to train for a possible North Korean invasion. Trump justified his decision by calling it a costly endeavor and for being provocative. He even suggested the possibility of withdrawing American forces because he believed Kim’s sincerity to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. With no concrete details on the Joint Declarations, Trump did not address human rights abuses committed by the dictator and did not demand a timeline to get rid of Kim’s nuclear missiles. He did not even ask for a list or inventory of what nuclear weapons North Korea possesses - just Kim’s commitment (if you can even call it that) that he agrees with denuclearizing the peninsula. As if in a rush to beat the deadline for the Nobel Prize nomination, Trump already offered a state visit for the “Little Rocket Man” who quickly obliged. More importantly, it seems Trump did most of the talking to the press making some of his pronouncements probably hyperbolic. People are scratching their heads not knowing what to make of the summit in Singapore. Did Trump got conned into thinking that Kim will gladly give up his strongest asset and bargaining leverage for Trump? The Libyan Model is very recent and fresh in many people’s mind that makes them skeptical that Kim would oblige. If there was anything he learned from Muammar Gadhafi’s fate, giving up his nuclear missiles could prompt his early demise. As Trump himself said, that Kim’s stewardship of North Korea starting at age 27 was something to admire. Yah, Kim got better too with his aim shooting his relatives and generals with high caliber machine guns while their hands were tied in the back! The world awaits the imminent trade war between Trump and his allies and trading partners with China included. Already irked by Trump’s suggestion to readmit Russia to the trading group (G8), America’s allies are now bracing for the trade war that could come sooner than later. Trump’s treaty busting has caused an uproar in Washington both from Republicans and Democrats who are incensed by his rather eccentric approach to diplomacy. More like, “my way, or the highway!” But these legislators can bitch and moan, King Trump is on the driver’s seat and driving everyone nuts. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution never envisioned a president who would command such cultish loyalty even from those who consider themselves conservatives. But conservatives now supporting Trump have traded their bonafides and fealties for a chance to stay in power and so forget about impeachment for now. Democrats are helpless and so are other establishment Republicans horrified by the real prospect that the GOP or America for that matter, is headed, if not already on the road to perdition. Trump’s bluster on Trudeau is all theatrics to boost his Mr. Tough Guy persona bent on declaring war on trade against American allies. Trump is transactional and therefore not looking for long term projections. He wants his commission now (as in real estate transactions) and could care less about the long term damage his antics will do the image of America. What is important to him is now and this Kim and European allies’ thing is now that he believes will strengthen his party’s chances in the upcoming mid-term elections in November. But along the way, one or more of them will call his bluff and will hurt everybody’s economies. How else would you explain Trump’s exuberance upon landing on U.S. soil with his tweet that “the nuclear threat from North Korea is now gone.” Really? How preposterous can that be? Everybody knows that not a single warhead or missile has been destroyed so clearly this is another barefaced lie from the president. But with his factotums replicating his message on various medium, his supporters are actually starting to believe it. Joshua Liebman thought that “Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values.” Fat chance! Trump hates political impotence and would like to have his orgasm now!