Today President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have (by my take) kowtowed to the Chinese and Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Does Little Kim have more mojo gong for him than anyone thinks, or could there be more to this potential diplomatic travesty than meets the eye?
Why ask? Just look at the United States of America. We’re the great power and the planetary police and the one most other countries look to for aid or advise when there’s a problem.
Well, perhaps we were until now. No, it didn’t take a war to bring us down, or a financial collapse (yet anyway) and no it wasn’t even a pandemic. All it took was some posturing and threats by Kim Jong Un and it appears to me that Obama and Kerry couldn’t kowtow (get on their knees) fast enough to appease.
So what is this appeasing? Believe it or not, Secretary of State John Kerry has made an offer to China to cut back our missile defense in the Pacific Region in exchange for their help with North Korea. This is an offer that no doubt had to have Obama’s complete knowledge and express permission.
This most certainly is not what I would refer to as “holding a tough line on Pyongyang” (as commented in the source article).
My take on what’s really transpiring is much different. I’d use chess, but I think that’s way beyond the Obama administration’s capabilities. So, let’s think poker, a simpler game to explain, but evidently one that’s also beyond the Obama administration’s capabilities.
In poker there’s bluffing. By bluffing (a polite name for lying) you can sometimes win the pot. If you can bluff and convince your opponents you hold a royal flush instead of a pair of deuces, they may fold (toss in their cards). You win by default as no one’s going to continue to raise you (put more money in the pot) to find out what cards you really hold. Why? Because you’ve convinced them you have the best hand ever.
It looks to me like Little Kim, with the assistance of that ancient and wise card shark (China), has bluffed the Obama administration into thinking North Korea has a better hand than they really do. The result is Obama is thinking seriously about tossing in our cards (folding) and if so, would lose this pot to North Korea and China.
So what’s the pot? Let’s lay some groundwork and see what China’s perhaps been up to behind the scenes, what North Korea and China stand to gain from this debacle in waiting and what the US has to lose.
First: China has supported North Korea since the end of World War 2, they’re allies and frankly, I can’t see this will change.
Second: China, as of late, has been getting more aggressive in the Western Pacific Region, more specifically in the China Sea, where there have been some international incidents between China and some of her neighbors.
As recent as this year they’ve been playing a game of chicken with Philippine fishing boats.
They have an ongoing dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.
In March 2013 they fired on a Vietnamese fishing boat. (Remember, during the Vietnam War the Chinese and Vietnamese were buddies)
We also don’t know if there are any unreported incidents where perhaps they did sink a foreign fishing boat that was presumed to be merely lost at sea by their country.
You can look at the below map to see the magnitude of their expansion (or what ever term you choose to use). This is obviously well beyond any internationally recognized borders.
Per this map, it’s obvious that China wants more territory than they’re historically entitled to and they also want Taiwan back, which is no big secret.
What better way to get what they perceive/desire to be theirs than to be the schoolyard bully and scare the crap out of everybody so they capitulate?
To be a bully you need three basic things. You need to be perceived as almost omnipotent, you always pick on the weak and helpless and you need enablers who will look the other way.
In order, China is already perceived as not omnipotent but certainly strong and getting stronger. Local countries like Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines are not very well equipped to defend themselves and we have Obama, who is already perceived by many as being a weak sister (enabler).
So I ask, what better way to make Obama an even better enabler than to get him to cut back on our missile defense in the region? Fewer missiles will make their job of bullying a lot easier with less fear or reprisal.
Think what you like, but all this leaves me more convinced that the Chinese are the driving force behind this North Korean Nuclear Kabuki Puppet Theater.
Need more convincing?
In addition, even the timing seem’s perfect. They have raw material in Kim Jong Un. He’s a unseasoned and hasn’t even been around the proverbial block a few times while test driving his new position as leader of North Korea. He doesn’t know what to do, probably recognizes China as a kind of father-figure and is probably easily being led by the nose at this stage of the game.
We have a president that’s barely ever had a real job, who obviously by my and other’s take, is a foreign policy disaster waiting to happen. His backbone, Hillary Clinton, is gone. They now have a neophyte Secretary of State who’s at best a dubious war hero, a kept man (think the Heinz Ketchup fortune he married into) and evidently isn’t a very good poker player.
It appears to me to be perfect timing for China and North Korea (with some coaching) to pull off something big by bluffing the rubes.
If Obama folds it will be an obvious embarrassment to the United States. Remember, the Chinese are big on saving face. Those who don’t or won’t save face do not garner respect. You have to earn respect, you can’t campaign your way into it. (Well you can with liberals, but that’s another story).
Folding this hand could also (like probably) lead to more of our enemies (Huh? Everyone likes Obama?) realizing we don’t have any poker skills and trying to find out what kind of bluffs they can pull off on the US at the Global Poker Championship.
There’s the road less traveled and there’s the road that’s so bad that no one in their right mind wants to travel on. Only insane minds would take the latter one. Yet, that’s what Obama and Kerry appear to be ready to do.
We need some real foreign policy here, not campaigning or quick fixes that take the easy way out and kick the ball down the road to the next president.
Source: The Boston Globe Article “Kerry offers missile defense concession“