Thursday, August 2, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He worked late into the night to praise a dictator.

Trump is normally an early-to-bed type, but he was up past his bedtime to send a tweet at 12:14 EDT thanking Kim Jong-un for "keeping [his] word" by returning what Kim claims are the remains of American servicemembers from the Korean war. Trump also thanked Kim for a "nice letter" Kim had sent.

Trump had already long since taken credit for the return of the remains, falsely claiming in June that it had already happened. He also memorably claimed he sought their return at the behest of the parents of Korean War soldiers (who would be in their 100s by now). North Korea has used the bodies of Americans as a bargaining chip over the decades, periodically offering parcels of them in exchange for diplomatic concessions or cash, until the U.S. stopped cooperating in 2005.

Since Trump unconditionally accepted Kim's invitation to meet, North Korea has redoubled its efforts to build ICBMs that can reach the United States. Just weeks after the summit, U.S. military intelligence also discovered that the Kim regime planning to hide its nuclear arsenal while pretending to disarm. 

Trump has not commented on either of those developments, but he has declared the North Korean nuclear threat to be over.

Why does this matter?

  • Repatriating remains is important, but not if it jeopardizes American national security.
  • A president who can't keep himself from telling obvious lies about a subject this solemn isn't mentally fit for the job.
  • A president who can't keep himself from praising enemy dictators isn't morally fit for the job.