Carnes: If you’re reading this after the Singapore nuclear summit, we’re all in trouble by now (column)
June 11, 2018
By the time these words are read, we'll "Know the Score in Singapore."
With a 14-hour time difference, if it's 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 12, at the moment, then it is already 11 p.m. over in Malaysia, and the world will either be headed toward a once-unthinkable peace or all out nuclear war.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said about the gamble, "There's only two options, peace or war."
And, indeed, most talking heads agree it will be one or the other, with very little chance of anything somewhere in the middle. But most talking heads are paid based upon the number of listeners, so …
The entire outcome, according to President Donald Trump, depended upon the first 60 seconds of his first face-to-face with Kim Jong Un.
Did it go well? (I'm writing this on Sunday night.)
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I'm asking because the man who said he did not need to prepare and then 24 hours later said he had been preparing his whole life seemed so unsure of, well, of everything.
T: "Well hello, little rocket man!"
K: "E tu, Dotard!"
T: "How's your uncle? Oh, wait …"
K: "How was the G6+1? Oh, wait …"
So many questions.
Was it really all about attitude with a stable genius on both ends of the table?
Did Kim arrive with open arms and a Chick-Fil-A contract for Scott Pruitt's wife, or was his approach more akin to a flock of Philadelphia Eagles fans?
Did worldwide markets crash yesterday, or are they waiting for today's results?
Did Sideshow Bob (aka: Dennis Rodman) arrive in the nick of time for comedic relief, or did he provide the much-needed diplomatic savvy to negotiations that one would normally have to attend a circus to view?
Did Trump follow his gut instincts like he did with each wife (so far), or did he read up on 60 years of history to have a full understanding of the conflict that brought us to this point before voicing an opinion?
Just kidding, that one was rhetorical.
Last week, dear leader (the American version) had extreme issues staying in the same room with our top allies, so did he have any issues staying in the same room with a top enemy?
Does Kim Jong Un now have the international respect he has longed for, or has he proven himself to be the war-mongering child we already knew he was?
Is Russia rejoining the G (insert your own number), or is it a strategy to treat our oldest enemy better than our oldest allies?
In reality, I'm pretty sure it was all a show today in Singapore, and no matter what actually happened, Trump will frame it as a win, not for America, of course, but for himself.
Whether it lasted five minutes or five hours, Kim is not giving up his weapons, and I sincerely hope I am wrong, but hope and $6.50 will get you a cup of caffeine at Starbucks.
If they came out together and gave a broad general description of what occurred, then we're in trouble.
If Trump walked out alone with his head down, staring at his phone, then he was tweeting to "get ahead of the curve," meaning we're in trouble.
I applaud the president for trying, but keep coming back to his favorite phrase he uses when it's apparent he has no clue about an issue: "We'll see what happens …"
Either way, we're in trouble.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.