Say what you will about President Obama. But at least he kept it low key and metaphysical. When he was in Hanoi, he had the good sense to chill among the people, sipping beers with Anthony Bourdain in a hole in the wall Bun Cha joint.
However, the recent clown show in Vietnam starring the man Secretary of State Tillerson dubbed The Fucking Moron (TFM), and his lover boy, the Dog Butcher of Pyongyang, was a whole different bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Which, by the way, the junk-food president would have easily scored—city center near Hoam Kiem Lake—if these bookend Bozos hadn’t hopelessly snarled traffic throughout the entire town. With luck, TFM loaded up Air Force One with Burger King Double Whoppers as he beat his empty-handed retreat through Noi Bai Airport.
So here we all are left debating whether this Shin Splint Summit was a wise idea in the first place. Should the office of the Presidency, and by extension, the United States, have given legitimacy to a ruthless rogue dictator and his lawless regime? Was there ever any prospect for a standstill or a rollback of North Korea’s nuclear arms development? Or was this three day photo-op, disguised as a top-down negotiation, simply a PR sideshow to boost the home and abroad ratings of two guys desperate to feed a win to their base? Despite media coverage more frenzied than that which followed Amazon getting hounded out of Queens, NY, did anyone seriously expect anything substantive to come of the hoopla in Hanoi? Were there Vegas odds on it?
Me? I’m still shaking my head over the mere optics of it all. First of all, if you don’t already know it, let me be the first to inform you that North Korea has nukes. Nothing short of regime change of is gonna’ get that Genie back in the bottle. I’m pretty sure even TFM, for all his cognitive shortcomings, knows that. Maybe not so much, his base. True, this problem didn’t occur on TFM’s watch. It’s a cancer that grew under both Bush presidencies, as well as those of Clinton and Obama. But does anyone believe that TFM is going to out game Li’l Kim and take away his thermonuclear toys? More Nobel Peace Prize power to him should such a miracle occur. I am not holding my breath. I mean, I am holding my breath about nuclear catastrophe. But TFM’s likelihood of heading it off with tired, media-hogging campaign stunts such as this one are nil, IMHO.
Back to the look and smell of it all. Does it register kind of ironic to anyone else that TFM met with a Communist dictator in a repressive Communist country, and one of his on-site advisors was Russia’s Foreign Minister? I kid you not! If these guys keep hanging out with TFM, they’re apt to give Communism a bad name. And don’t even get me started with the comments I’ve heard and received from Vietnam Vets who brace at the very idea of draft-dodging … oh, excuse me, “medically deferred” … TFM sashaying into “North” Vietnam, making nice with some of the most oppressive regimes on the planet, all the while, literally waving a Communist flag. A lot of these Vets were ready to flay Jane Fonda for far far less. And she was pleasant to look at.
As for the Vietnamese people, indomitably, they seem hardly phased. Other than a boon for cheap T-shirt sales—the bulk of which come from China and Cambodia—the Hanoi summit was a temporary inconvenience brought on by “two fat guys with special hair”, said one of my contacts. Remember, this is a country where everyday folks take endless pleasure in giggling the pronunciation of their Prime Minister’s last name: Phuc. Respect for authority takes a far back seat to their interest in Vietnam’s up-and-coming national soccer team and the country’s forthcoming debut on the Formula One auto racing circuit. Now those are traffic jams the people of Hanoi enjoy and celebrate.
Maybe walking out on the Dickhead of Chosen is a sneaky-smart gambit on the part of TFM, pulled from his trusty deck of smarmy real estate tricks. A similar “dis” to the USSR in its waning days sort of worked for Reagan with nuclear disarmament. Perhaps L’il Kim is right now dreaming of the high-rise beachfront condos that TFM dangled in his cheerless face, kicking himself — or, by proxy, torturing political prisoners — over what might have been. As for TFM, he can always ask Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to amend his Nobel Prize nomination to say: “Hey, he tried, y’know?”
TFM lies, L’il Kim cheats, and merrily their love affair rolls along. Meanwhile, the short term winner is the country of Vietnam and the people of Hanoi who are rid of this two-ring circus earlier than anticipated. Back in the USSA (sic), with no foreseeable shortage to draw upon, we say: send in the next clowns.
Michael Cohen: “you’re up!”