THREAD on the Bolton and Woodward books regarding Trump and North Korea. The big, completely predictable, takeaways:

1. Trump had no idea what he was doing.

Both confirm pretty much what anyone could see from the start – that Trump was winging it. Of Trump’s many governing /1
flaws, it is his shambolic maladministration of government that aggravates me the most. Dealing with NK on nukes is a big deal. A lot people are really concerned that NK may proliferate them, manage them poorly and have an accidental, or use them if there were a war. This is /2
serious stuff, yet Trump showed up grossly unprepared, didn’t read or listen to his briefers, didn’t understand the issues, knew nothing about Korea, nukes, or missiles, and would have signed just about anything were it not for all the journalists and analysts holding his feet /3
to the fire not to give away the farm for some flim-flam agreement NK would cheat on anyway. The whole thing was a farce from the start.

2. Trump didn’t care at all that Kim Jong Un is a sociopath and actually kind of admired him. Ugh

Again, if you paid attention,you already /4
could see this. Trump’s sycophancy before dictators is one of his worst, most un-American foreign policy traits. But in the books, you really get to see Trump fawning over Kim, a tin-pot dictator no one would care about if he didn’t have nukes. It’s gross and absurd. Yes, we /5
have to deal with unsavory leaders in world politics, but you don’t have to toady to them like Trump does with Kim, Xi, and Putin. Trump seems to think that Kim calling Obama an ‘a**hole’ makes Trump look better. It does not; it’s actually a complement of sorts to Obama, bc it /6
bc it means Obama knew what kind totalitarian KJU is.

3. It was all about the images.

The hawkish critique of this from the start was that it all was just photo-op diplomacy. Doves tried to defend it as the summit diplomacy long needed to break the Korean stalemate,and there /7
is indeed something to that argument. (I have a paper coming out later this year on this.) But what the doves could never quite admit – especially here in SK – was that Trump didn’t actually care. Trump was not Carter at Camp David shepherding a breakthrough possible only at /8
the leader-level. He was, instead and predictably, the TV-obsessed con-man he’s been his whole career. He just wanted the pictures and symbolism. Walking over the DMZ line was enough in his mind to win a Nobel Prize, garnering even more attention and acclaim. That he didn’t /9
broker an actual deal like Carter – that he didn’t resolve anything and that nothing has changed on the ground here in Korea - never actually occurs to him as a problem in either book. Instead, he demands that Woodward call his pictures and walk inside N Korea ‘cool,’ like /10
some high schooler on a field trip. It’s ridiculous.

4. The South Korean left both got taken for a ride and is complicit in Trump’s theatrics.

The player which comes off worst in all this – other Trump - is the dovish left in South Korea. So obsessed with getting a POTUS to /11
meet a North Korean leader is President Moon Jae In’s coalition that it aligned itself with wannabe authoritarian con-man Trump, a figure similar to the right-wing dictators the SK left fought against in the past. This is an appalling cession of moral high-ground. SK liberals /12
should have known better than to throw in their lot with Trump. Yet they manipulated him from the start,with the SK president and foreign minister talking about what a great man he was and how he deserved the Nobel Prize. It was an open secret in South Korea that all this was /13
a flattering lie. Moon’s people could see as well as anyone how grossly incompetent Trump was, how he didn’t know anything about the issues, as well as Trump’s deep personal animus toward South Korea. Yet they went along with him anyway, got nothing real out of Pyongyang, and /14
now face a hawkish future because no will believe, outside of the most ideological doves, that NK wants to deal after 3 years of Trump and Moon falling all over themselves to make concessions. Doves wanted a serious POTUS like Obama or Carter to negotiate with Kim; instead /15
they got a con-man incompetent who squandered summitry for his own ego; now they have to live with the backlash consequences. /16

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More from @Robert_E_Kelly

17 Aug
.@GrecianFormula is very kind, but I must say that I just don't see much different coming regarding North Korea with a Biden victory. So I am not sure how much I am adding here.

The big story for me about Trump, and SK President Moon's, engagement with NK is HOW LITTLE it has /1
changed. Since 2017, I've been going to panels and events where I've heard dozens of powerpoints and talks about how everything is gonna to be different, that Moon is breaking through, how Trump's transactional, non-ideological approach to diplomacy opened new doors and so on. /2
Moon's rhetoric particularly was just soaring; I remembered being invited to speak at a National Assembly conference on ending the Korean War officially. And another on all the projects SK was going to do with NK. And then NK was going to join the IMF and World Bank too. /3
Read 9 tweets
11 Aug
Can we all agree that ‘functional training’ is a euphemism for still being able to tie your own shoelaces as you slide into 50? God, this is depressing
I’m really not very functional, apparently. Ugh
Seriously, I hate all this cross-fit stuff. It’s depressing. It really makes you feel washed out. I’d rather run
Read 9 tweets
5 Aug
Running Twitter: This thread got a lot more responses than I expected. So here is some consolidation of points for comment:

I wear CW-X and 2XU compression tights, heat permitting. My dailies are Ghost 12 and Pegasus 37, plus Wave Prophecy 9 for long runs. I tried Nike /1
& UA compression; they’re really athleisure, not performance wear. Also, I have zero-drop Altras (Escalante 2, which I don’t like) and minimalist Adidas for speedwork/racing.

I get pain in my left upper back leg, which I figure is my IT band. And my hams ache /2

I have duck-feet, with a worse splay on the left. I figure that’s my problem; it hurts my form. (Curiously though, my shoes wear as a supinator [on the outside] not a pronator. I don't get that.) And generally, I am 47 which is old for running, so my legs /3
Read 6 tweets
3 Aug
Keep telling US partners & friends who don’t understand why POTUS berates them to hang on a just few more months.

Again and again, when I meet Korean or other foreign diplomats/military/business people, they are nervous and frustrated about what Trump will do and ask about /1
it. The Koreans, for example, ask about whether Trump will try to pull out USFK as he is trying to pull out US military from Germany. The Europeans ask if that pull-out is just because Trump hates Merkel. (Yes.)

For 4 years now, this has been a constant. On the sides of /2
conferences, at the dinners, and so on, this is what our partners want to know - and not just public sector people, but business,NGOs, religious.

I’m not sure Americans realize just how how much damage control Americans living overseas are doing for the Trump administration. /3
Read 8 tweets
29 Jul
If we buy Greenland, we can launch super-duper missiles from bases there to inject bleach into the demons, altering their alien DNA and ending Covid.
If only Hunter Biden and Antifa weren’t rigging Greenland’s election, we could re-open the schools to explain. Sad! Liberate Greenland!
Once we’ve locked up Joe Biden and the nasty woman who runs Denmark, we’ll deploy the Space Force to Greenland to nuke hurricanes and cancer-causing windmills with tremendous fire and fury. This strong - very, very strong - toughness will improve my ratings above Dr. Fauci.
Read 4 tweets
27 Jul
Introducing St Wars to the kids. Questions: 1) When U Owen says he needs Luke the most at harvest, what harvest is there on a desert planet? 2) Why does L want to transmit his application to the academy (of the Empire) when he just got excited about C3PO’s story of the rebellion?
So Owen harvests water? Not a crop? That’s an odd verb choice
Next, I forgot just how lucky Lucas got casting Alec Guiness, Peter Cushing, and James Earl Jones. And getting John Williams to do the music. They add a lot of depth to what’s basically a fairy tale.
Read 16 tweets

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