On the global front, the final days of April were nothing short of astonishing. And ending with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s exposure of the full range of Iranian nuclear duplicity, the stage is set for even greater days ahead.
Except for the fall of the Berlin wall, what foreign policy photo-op in the last 70 years compares to the images of the North and South Korean leaders, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, walking hand in hand, back and forth, across their common border? And only Donald Trump’s most demented deniers could ignore his hand in bringing this about. Had it happened during our prior administration, a second Nobel Prize would have been deemed by some to be insufficient.
Trump is working both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes toward making the world a safer place and the revelations about Iran are an integral part of these goings-on. When it comes to homicidal, lunatic leaders, Iran and North Korea have no equal on Earth and Trump is undertaking innovative and unprecedented approaches to each situation.
Trump and Netanyahu have fostered a close working relationship between our countries and their clandestine communities. The U.S. has already authenticated what the Israelis got from Iran, indicating a high degree of prior and ongoing cooperation. Presenting his intelligence coup just days before President Trump plans to act on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran (bad) Deal, Netanyahu provided fresh motivation for the world to come down hard on Iran. Toppling the regime should be the ultimate goal. Their economy is in shambles and there are protests in the street. The chances are good that we could recreate the opportunity which Obama so shamefully squandered in 2009.
The timing of the visits to the White House last week of President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was also not coincidental. These countries are two of the bigger obstacles to nuking the Iran Deal and making any sanctions work. And make no mistake: heavier sanctions will be coming back. The third leader of the EU triumvirate, Theresa May of the UK, hasn’t been here lately but was the first foreign Head of State to visit the new Trump administration, and she expressed a desire for increased trade, clearly knowing that her country’s economic and other interests align with ours.
This is masterful international choreography and nothing Iran might now do or say will deter the coming consequences.
And none of this is lost on the North Korean dictator. The secret Easter visit with Kim by Mike Pompeo, now our Secretary of State, sets the stage for the next step. Kim Jong-un has a no-brainer of a choice. He’s being given the ultimate escape card and the start of his rapprochement with President Moon of South Korea is a sign that he’s likely to take it. The name Nobel has been bandied about and although the committee would probably prefer to award a Peace Prize to anyone but Trump, success in these negotiations could conceivably produce triple recipients. It's clear that none of this would be happening without Trump’s outside-the-box approach, and the prospect for Kim of going from pariah to prize winner should prove irresistible.
We likely already suggested to Kim that his missile program is powerless in the face of U.S. capability. For all the bluster of being able to hit us with nuclear weapons, parroted by the scare-mongers in the media, we have layers of capability for defeating his efforts. The precision of our unmanned aerial vehicle/drone missile program has been pin-point for more than a decade. We can determine trajectory very quickly and any launch indicating danger to the U.S. or its territories or allies would die in a ball of flame within North Korean airspace. Even beyond that, electronic command and control have to work perfectly for any successful launch, and our cyber capabilities could sabotage the Nork rockets before they ever leave the pad.
Given the choice between embarrassing launch failures and the chance to be an international hero as well as gaining additional adulation from his people by providing the fruits of all the humanitarian help that’s ready to come his way, even crazy people can make the right decision. The manifold and momentous benefits of reunification with their brothers and sisters in the South are prospects almost too extraordinary to contemplate.
In the area of wishful thinking, Trump’s upcoming conversation with Kim should include the question of whether Kim believes we are created creatures or a cosmic coincidence. The regime is clearly aware of the influence that the Bible and religion has on its adherents, and they brook no competition and ruthlessly suppress both. But it would be an answer to prayer coming from both inside and outside the peninsula to hope that a new normal in the North could include some freedom of belief.
There have been stranger occurrences – although not by much. Stay tuned.