With this administration, one is never quite sure if you are the victim of an epic trolling campaign or if there are just a lot of imbeciles in the upper reaches of government. In the spirit of Christian charity, I’m going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and go with imbeciles.
It has become the ultimate symbol of American resolve against the threat of North Korea: a visit by the U.S. commander in chief to “freedom’s frontier,” the heavily guarded demilitarized zone that has separated the North and South for 64 years.
Wearing bomber-style jackets, surrounded by military officers, peering through binoculars, all but one president since Ronald Reagan have gazed across the barren strip of land at the 38th parallel from an observation post where they’ve been moved to talk tough. In April, Vice President Pence, undertaking the same solemn ritual, said he toured the DMZ so the North Koreans could “see our resolve in my face.”
But as President Trump prepares for a 12-day swing through five Asian nations next month to bolster international pressure on Pyongyang, the administration is divided over whether he should make the pilgrimage, an issue that remains unresolved. Some aides worry a visit could further inflame already heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, while others have expressed concern over Trump’s personal safety, according to people who have spoken to administration officials.
Asian foreign policy veterans of both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations said it would be foolish for Trump not to go. But the White House is facing opposition from South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s administration and the U.S. State Department over fears that a visit would ratchet up Trump’s war of words with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Since Ronald Reagan every president, save one (GHW Bush), has visited the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. They’ve made their trek up Guard Post Oulette, the last US-manned bastion in the “Truce Village” of Panmunjom and peered into the Godless realm of North Korea. (Apologies for the age of the map, most of these camps no longer exist as US facilities)
Then for couple of weeks, morons on both sides of the political spectrum will be claiming that Trump was actually using binoculars with the lens covers on thereby proving they were very, very stupid. (You think I’m kidding. That claim has been leveled at the last three presidents who have visited, I’m will to start a pool in which you can guess who will be the first to make the claim against Trump.)
Given the current situation, it is difficult to believe any thinking person would be counseling President Trump against a visit to the DMZ.
1. The risk is de minimis. The odds of the North Koreans trying to kill the president approach zero.
2. The North Koreans stay “inflamed.” Trying to un-inflame them is a waste of time.
3. Not visiting would be a major sign of weakness by Trump and would provoke yet more “inflamed” actions from the North Koreans.
There is really no logical argument for Trump to NOT visit the DMZ and a lot of strong arguments for him to do so. Which gets me back to the original point. Are we being trolled? Is the story about the internal debate being planted to add drama to the eventual unveiling of the decision? Or are there simply a boatload of morons at the NSC who think they are smart but really aren’t?