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Offbeat In Diplomacy, Trump Is the Anti-Reagan

17:45  13 june  2018
17:45  13 june  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

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First, Trump isn’t Reagan . Reagan generally acted in concert with allies. Trump brazenly acts against them. Reagan refused to give in to Soviet demands that he abandon the Strategic Defense Initiative. Trump surrendered immediately to Pyongyang’s long-held insistence that the U.S. suspend military

Opinion | In Diplomacy , Trump Is the Anti - Reagan . By Bret StephensIs Kim Jong-un taking advantage of President Trump ’s hunger for a deal with him.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie sitting at a table: Is Kim Jong-un taking advantage of President Trump’s hunger for a deal with him? © Doug Mills/The New York Times Is Kim Jong-un taking advantage of President Trump’s hunger for a deal with him?

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

An optimistic take on Donald Trump’s historic meeting Tuesday with Kim Jong-un is that it’s Geneva Redux — a reprise of the 1985 summit between Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that established their rapport, fundamentally altered the tenor of relations between the superpowers and led within a few years to the end of the Cold War.

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In Diplomacy , Trump Is the Anti - Reagan . Bret Stephens, New York Times June 13, 2018. The Gipper advocated “trust but verify.” The Donald believes in “my touch, my feel.”

Fifth, Trump is a sucker. Kim is not. Say what you will about the North Korean despot, but consolidating power in his vipers’ nest regime, fielding a credible nuclear arsenal, improving his economy without easing political controls, playing nuclear brinkmanship with Trump and then, within weeks, getting the

Let’s hope so. Because another take is that it’s the Plaza Redux, meaning the 1988 real estate debacle in which Trump hastily purchased New York’s Plaza Hotel because it looked like an irresistible trophy, only to be forced to sell it at a loss a few years later as part of a brutal debt restructuring.

The case for Geneva Redux, made this week by Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, sees parallels between Trump and Reagan, Republican presidents whose hawkish rhetoric and ignorance of policy details disguised an inner pragmatism and visionary imagination.

“Trump’s lack of focus on the details of denuclearization may be a good thing,” Beinart writes. “Like Reagan, he seems to sense that the nuclear technicalities matter less than the political relationship.”

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An optimistic take on Donald Trump 's historic meeting Tuesday with Kim Jong-un is that it 's Geneva Redux — a reprise of the 1985 summit between Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that established their rapport, fundamentally…

An optimistic tackle Donald Trump ’s historic assembly Tuesday with Kim Jong Un is that it ’s Geneva Redux — a reprise of the 1985 summit between Ronald Reagan and Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev that established their rapport, essentially altered the tenor of relations between the superpowers and

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It’s true that Reagan was able to raise his sights above the technical arcana to something few others could see. To wit: The Cold War didn’t need to last forever. The security paradigms that defined it weren’t immutable laws of history. Personal chemistry with a Soviet leader could go a long way to changing the relationship.

Could the same scenario unfold with North Korea? Probably not — for reasons that would have been obvious to most conservatives before their current Trump derangement.

First, Trump isn’t Reagan. Reagan generally acted in concert with allies. Trump brazenly acts against them. Reagan’s negotiation method: “Trust but verify.” Trump’s self-declared method: “My touch, my feel.” Reagan refused to give in to Soviet demands that he abandon the Strategic Defense Initiative. Trump surrendered immediately to Pyongyang’s long-held insistence that the U.S. suspend military exercises with South Korea while getting nothing in return. Reagan’s aim was to topple Communist Party rule in Moscow. Trump’s is to preserve it in Pyongyang.

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First, Trump isn’t Reagan . Reagan generally acted in concert with allies. Trump brazenly acts against them. Trump ’s self-declared method: “My touch, my feel.” Reagan refused to give in to Soviet demands that he abandon the Strategic Defense Initiative.

New York Times reported "Opinion | In Diplomacy , Trump Is the Anti - Reagan " on Wednesday.

Second, Kim isn’t Gorbachev. Gorbachev was born into a family that suffered acutely the horrors of Stalinism. Kim was born into a family that starved its own people. Gorbachev rose through the ranks as a technocrat with no background in the regime’s security apparatus. Kim consolidated his rule by murdering his uncle, half brother and various ministers, among other unfortunates. Gorbachev came to office intent on easing political repression at home and defusing tensions with the West. Kim spent his first six years doing precisely the opposite.

Third, Kim knows what happened to Gorbachev, whose spectacular fall served as a lesson to dictators everywhere about the folly of attempting to reform a totalitarian system. Kim may pursue a version of perestroika to stave off economic collapse, but there will be no glasnost. The survival of his regime depends domestically on state terror and internationally on his nuclear arsenal. He will abandon neither.

Fourth, the timetables are incompatible. Trump wants a foreign policy “achievement” by the midterms, and maybe a Nobel Peace Prize sometime before the 2020 election. Kim plans to be ruling North Korea when one of Chelsea Clinton’s kids is president. Trump’s incentive will be to make concessions up front. Kim can renege on his promises much later.

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The anti - Reagan of U.S. diplomacy . By Bret Stephens. An optimistic take on President Donald Trump ’s historic meeting Tuesday with Kim Jong Un is that it ’s Geneva Redux — a reprise of the 1985 summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that established

Yet in irreducible ways, the anti -government Trump is in fact the anti - Reagan . As Trump consolidates his unmovable popularity among the Republican Trump has no use for self-effacement, let alone graciousness or restraint, and instead conducts official business, including international diplomacy

Fifth, Trump is a sucker. Kim is not. Say what you will about the North Korean despot, but consolidating power in his vipers’ nest regime, fielding a credible nuclear arsenal, improving his economy without easing political controls, playing nuclear brinkmanship with Trump and then, within weeks, getting the prestige of a superpower summit are political achievements of the first order. Machiavelli smiles from the grave.

As for Trump, the supposed success of the summit after the debacle in Quebec appeals to innate love of drama. He is where he loves to be: at the center of a stunned world’s attention.

But he is also in the place where he always gets himself, and everyone else in his orbit, into the worst trouble: panting for the object of his desire. That’s been true whether it’s the Plaza Hotel, Stormy Daniels and now the “ultimate deal” with Pyongyang. Oilman T. Boone Pickens had the smartest line on this when on Monday he tweeted: “Negotiating advice 101. When you want to make a deal real bad you will make a really bad deal.”

I’d be happy to be proved wrong. I would be thrilled to learn that Kim is a farsighted reformer masquerading, out of desperate necessity, as a thug and a swindler. It would also be nice to think that Trump is playing geopolitical chess at a level plodding pundits can scarcely conceive. Political commentators should always maintain a capacity for surprise and an ability to admit mistakes.

For now, however, it’s hard to see what the Singapore summit has achieved other than to betray America’s allies, our belief in human rights, our history of geopolitical sobriety and our reliance on common sense. For what? A photo op with a sinister glutton and his North Korean counterpart?

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