The crisis at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad appears to be cooling off.
The Popular Mobilization Forces, the umbrella organization of several Shiite militias, ordered protesters to leave the embassy “out of respect” for the Iraqi government’s directions Tuesday, according to the newspaper.
Several hundred rejected the order initially until a Kataib Hezbollah official declared victory and told them to depart from the area.
This is good, because the last thing we need is a genuine international crisis while The Cretin is in charge of foreign policy. The embassy has suspended operations, however, so things are still not normal.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong “Rocket Man” Un appears to have given up pretending to be charmed by Trump
North Korea is planning to adopt a hard-line policy toward the United States that involves taking denuclearization off the table amid perceptions that President Donald Trump is vulnerable politically, a source familiar with the North Korean leadership’s current mindset told CNN.
The source said this new policy is likely the so-called “Christmas gift” floated by a top North Korean official earlier this month. It is expected to include abandoning negotiations with Washington and consolidating Pyongyang’s status as a nuclear weapons state.
Pyongyang will also no longer pursue sanctions relief as a means of achieving economic development either in the short-term or long-term, but will instead increase its commitment to the state’s ideology of self-reliance, known as Juche.
The protests in Iraq calmed on Wednesday, at least for now, and Mr. Kim has not yet lit off his latest “strategic weapon.” But the events of recent days have underscored how much bluster was behind Mr. Trump’s boast a year ago that Iran was “a very different nation” since he had broken its economy. They also belied his famous tweet: “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”
Today the most generous thing one could say about those statements is that they were wildly premature. Many foreign policy experts say he fundamentally misjudged the reactions of two major American adversaries. And neither seems to fear him, precisely the critique he leveled at Barack Obama back in the days when Mr. Trump declared America’s toughest national security challenges could be solved as soon as a president the world respected was in office.
As in all things, Trump came into office — and retains — childishly cartoonish beliefs about foreign policy.
Going back to Iraq — I was alarmed when I heard about the military strikes in Iraq and Syria in retaliation of the death of an American contractor. I feel bad about the contractor, but at this point we should have learned that retarliation just encourages more violence.
Max Boot — and I can’t believe I’m quoting Max Boot — wrote,
Nice of you to almost admit you were wrong about the treaty, Max Boot.
Let’s hope Trump goes back to tweeting about Nancy Pelosi. Anything he might do will be wrong.
But Trump shows little interest in either seriously negotiating or fighting. He has waged economic warfare on Iran while doing nothing to curb its regional aggression; indeed, by withdrawing U.S. troops from part of northern Syria, he has allowed an extension of Iranian influence. So we are left with the worst of all possible worlds: Iran is once again waging a low-intensity conflict, and America once again has no effective response.
Like a modern-day Gulliver, President Trump is metaphorically wandering around a Middle East where he’d rather not be, tied up both by smaller powers whose interests are not his own — and by America’s illusions about the region, perpetuated by Trump who somehow believes he can force Iran to bend to his will. The odds are that the situation for the US in Iraq and Iran is likely to get worse before it gets still worse.