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Pompeo’s smirk

Opinion

May 20, 2019

No wonder Mr Pompeo awkwardly laughed or, as it was described by some observers, “smirked,” when asked about the reports of the execution of four of the people with whom Mr Trump and Mr Pompeo had been negotiating a few shorts months ago. Their roles might have been reversed.

The smirk made its appearance when Mr Pompeo was being interviewed on a Sunday news show, and was asked for his reaction to reports that life had not gone well for four of the people he had gotten to know during the two sessions North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump had conducted over the preceding 12 months.

The first session had been a phenomenal success and the second, although cut short, did not extinguish the flame of love that warmed Mr Trumps’ heart whenever he thought of Mr Kim.

After the first meeting in Singapore in June 2018, Mr Trump said at a news conference that he and Mr Kim had “developed a very special bond. People are going to be very impressed. People are going to be very happy. I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is going to be a very much different situation than it has in the past.” Describing Mr Kim, Mr Trump said he was: “a very talented man.”

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018 and making reference to the historic meeting, Mr Trump said in the manner of a child explaining the child’s affection for a person of whom the child’s parents disapprove: “He likes me, I like him. We get along. He wrote me two of the most beautiful letters….” Prior to the February 2019 meeting in Singapore, Mr Trump, said of his relationship with Mr Kim: “It’s a very interesting thing to say, but I’ve developed a very, very good relationship. We’ll see what that means. But he’s never had a relationship with anybody from this country and hasn’t had lots of relationships anywhere.”

Notwithstanding Mr Trump’s ardor, the February 2019 summit was cut short by Mr Trump because he and Mr. Kim could not come to an agreement on the US lifting economic sanctions and on North Korea cutting back its nuclear arsenal. Mr. Trump explained that: “I’d much rather do it [a deal] right than do it fast.”

Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state who accompanied Mr Trump on the trip, commented on the early termination of the summit, saying: “We are certainly closer today [to an agreement] than we were 36 hours ago, and we were closer then, than we were a month or two before that.”

Success in negotiations with North Korea is a bit like beauty – in the eye of the beholder. What unconfirmed reports say happened in North Korea following the second meeting, suggests that Mr Kim was not quite as pleased with its results as Mr Pompeo had been. If reports are accurate, Mr Kim attributed the failure of the talks to four of his representatives and so the negotiators were lined up in front of a firing squad and executed.

During an interview on an ABC news program, Mr Pompeo was asked about the reported execution and in response, he simply smiled or, as some described it, smirked, while declining to add anything to the reports but saying: “It does appear that the next time we have serious conversations, my counterpart will be someone else.” Here is why Mr Pompeo smirked.

He is mildly amused by the fact that those negotiators were working for a man whose retributive actions towards his negotiators, was so violent. Mr. Pompeo smirked because he knows that it was only luck of the draw that he works for Mr Trump who lacks the ability, if not the wish, to have those who displease him shot.

Mr Pompeo smirked because he knows how much those who were shot would have preferred to be part of the corrupt Trump White House team rather than the corrupt North Korean entourage.

Excerpted from: ‘The Pompeo Smirk’.

Courtesy: Counterpunch.org

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