Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Washington Wrap: No Confusion Here

Omri Nahmias

Kim dials down the rhetoric, but is he serious about peace?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

 Mishpacha image

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow (Photo AFP/IMAGEBANK)

S peaking at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C., in March, Nikki Haley shared an anecdote about the time when President Trump called to offer her the job of US ambassador to the United Nations. Haley said she told the president that she wasn’t the most diplomatic person in the world and that she always spoke her mind. Further, if she took the job, she intended to continue that straight-talking attitude at the world body. In response, Trump said her honest, straightforward style was exactly the reason he was offering her the position.

Haley’s first year on the job with her boss went smoothly, at least in public. Even when, here and there, reports surfaced that Haley was a candidate for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson — rumors that Trump no doubt wasn’t happy about — he gave Haley his full backing. But last week, we saw the first sign of a rift between Haley and the White House.

When the ambassador told CBS News on April 15 that the United States would level new sanctions against Russia, Trump objected, claiming that he hadn’t yet decided to pursue that course. Trump had just launched a strike in Syria, putting US-Russia ties on the rocks, and he didn’t want to raise the flames any higher. Trump froze the initiative, canceling the sanctions.

In order to save face for all concerned, the White House sent economic advisor Larry Kudlow to clarify the matter for reporters. “She got ahead of the curve,” Kudlow said. “She’s done a great job, she’s a very effective ambassador. There might have been some momentary confusion about that.”

But Haley stood her ground. With her typical straight talk she retorted, “I don’t get confused.”

Haley’s pushback indicated she had no intention of being pushed around by the White House. Moreover, her hard line on Russia positioned her to the right of Trump. The big question is whether this tiff is a one-time matter, or if the bad blood will remain and Haley will be the next Trump official to be shown the door. If the latter, it seems that Trump has more to lose than Haley, a rising star in the Republican Party.

Kim Coming in from the Cold?

At the end of December, I wrote an article speculating on the chances of war between the United States and North Korea.

Four months later, we’re in a completely different place. Not only has North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered to close his nuclear testing facility, he has also suggested a meeting with President Trump to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Trump, for his part, has likewise softened his tone. There have been no “little rocket man” tweets of late.

But what are the chances of this new détente yielding any lasting results? I asked Dr. Howard Stoffer, associate professor at the University of New Haven, a former head of counterterrorism at the UN Security Council, and a former senior diplomat, for his take on the issue.

Dr. Stoffer says he’s skeptical of the North Korean leader’s intentions. An offer to stop testing doesn’t mean Kim can’t one day break his word. “Kim is appearing to be making concessions, without really giving anything. Saying that he’s not going to test-fire any more missiles is meaningless; he can always resume testing at any time, unless there’s some kind of agreement in place that allows inspectors on the ground.”

In the meantime, Jong-un is trying to occupy the moral high ground and force the United States and the South Koreans into carefully considering his offer. “I think it was smart of Kim to make such a statement without giving any commitment,” Stoffer says. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 707)

Related Stories

Israel Jaunt Opens City Council Eyes

Jacob Kornbluh

A strong message about New York City's support for Israel

A Few Minutes with Dr. Alan Mendoza

Gedalia Guttentag

Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, attributing populism to the erosi...

The Shul of My Youth: Driven to Make the Minyan

Rabbi Ilan Feldman

How does one learn courage and dedication from people who eat treif and can’t read a pasuk of Chumas...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"