When it comes to Iran, North Korea is listening

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On Sept. 19, in a speech before the United Nations, President Trump described Iran as “a depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” adding, it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”

I am not a fan of Iran. Their radical elements have eyes on planet earth becoming a giant Caliphate: to make the world safe for Sharia law.

Nonetheless, what is disturbing about Trump’s UN speech was his declaring the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” in U.S. history. It was not just this specific declaration, but other statements “in which he repeatedly expressed his ultimate desire to bring down the agreement.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “that Tehran is ready to scrap the deal within ‘not a week or a month but within hours’ and return to its nuclear program, should Washington impose new nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.”

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, “This is an agreement that prevented a nuclear program and potentially prevented a military intervention.” She also said Iran is in full compliance with the agreement.

Donald Trump’s statements about the Iranian agreement are ill-witted. Here’s why:

First, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi voluntarily gave up his country’s nuclear weapons program. Look where it got him: sodomized with a bayonet, then shot to death by his citizens.

I am not suggesting Gaddafi’s demise came only because he gave up this nuclear weapons program, but his action left him with little leverage in dealing with the United States.

Second, why would “rocket man” Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, even consider an agreement with the United States when Trump states the current agreement with Iran should be scrapped or renegotiated?

The only leverage Kim Jong-un has in the international relations arena is his nuclear weapons program. He is a despotic murderer, but he is a smart killer. He is watching Trump’s comments about redoing an international treaty and saying to himself about an arms control agreement, “No way.”

The strength and validity of international agreements is knowing they will be honored by all nations that sign on to them. Not just for the time the leaders and signers are in office, but beyond those times.

Kim Jong-un is listening to Donald Trump’s comments about the Iranian agreement and taking notes for North Korea’s future actions.

Some people believe if China and Russia came aboard to drastically cut off North Korea’s influx of goods, Kim Jong-un would be more pliant. China is not going to risk creating a famine in North Korea, as it would result (as happened before) in massive migrations of Koreans into China. Kim will sign nothing and continue his role as rocket man. After all, why sign an agreement that would essentially strip him of the only ace in his hand?

America’s problems with President Trump’s double speak go beyond the Iran and North Korea issues. He is attempting to repeal/dislodge many actions of not just Barack Obama, but other past U.S. Presidents as well; even those of Republican presidents (trade pacts, climate accords, Obamacare, national monuments, the NFL (!), etc.)

You and I may not care for some of these agreements and institutions. For one, I think Obamacare is ill- designed. Regardless of personal beliefs, our country is increasingly being labeled as fickle and unreliable by some of our most valuable allies, such as Canada, Great Britain, and Germany. The result is that nations are excluding the United States from their ongoing relationships with one another.

There is no reason our country cannot continue our leadership role in the world, unless we choose not to do so. But we are voluntarily giving up this role.

Make no mistake, with our double speak, China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, to name just four, are licking their chops. They want America in the back seat so they can do the driving. Without America in the driver’s seat, there is no other nation that has the power to counter- balance the actions of some very bad actors on the international stage.

For now, America and North Korea are so isolated from each other that a real danger exists of an accidental war taking place. Each country increasingly believes the other is bent on destroying the other. A slow boat of communications between the two countries must be launched, and it will indeed be slow going. But the absence of communications is making a dangerous situation even more dangerous.

• • •

Earlier in his life, Uyless Black spent seven years as a U.S. Navy officer, where he served 33 months in Asia and the South China Sea. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for his efforts in Vietnam. During this time, he also worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He resides in Hayden with his wife Holly, and his warlike five-pound French Poodle, Milli.

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