News breaking this afternoon that North Korea is releasing three American citizens it has been holding. Another point on the scoreboard for Trump’s Nork policy. Of course, this is but a small gesture on the part of the Norks, and the real business will be whether Trump can get a meaningful and enforceable deal with them. Count me skeptical about this.
But still it is fun to see the creased-smarty-pants Obamanauts made fools, like Ben Rhodes:
This starting to remind me of the Reagan years, when liberals and the media decried Reagan’s military build up and especially his tough talk about the Soviet Union (“evil empire” and that those other truthful characterizations), which the critics said would only ensure that “hard liners” would stay in charge in the Kremlin. Columbia University’s Robert Legvold, for example, wrote critically of Reagan’s Soviet policy in 1982 that “it is conceivable that vigorous, sometimes bellicose anti-Soviet policies on the part of U.S. authorities could vindicate and strengthen their hard-line rivals. This is precisely what some Soviets hint might happen.” Reagan’s people thought early on that just the opposite was more likely—that a tough approach would produce a more conciliatory Soviet leader. In January 1984 Reagan’s recently departed national security adviser William Clark wrote him to say that he thought Administration policy would “very likely influence the rise of a less dangerous Soviet leader than the dying Andropov.” Enter Gorbachev, and you know the rest of the story.