(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

The idea that North Korea will halt its nuclear program and dismantle all its nuclear weapons and technology as a result of President Trump’s Giveaway Summit is a pretense that will pass soon enough. The opportunities for delay, obfuscation and eventual repudiation are as great as they were with all the previous North Korea deals, only greater now that Trump has completely normalized Kim Jong Un as a good guy who has earned his place of respect on the world stage.

Trump is basking, once again, in the artificial glow of his familiar media stage-managing. Flags, handshakes, big signature and bigger talk of his heroic accomplishments. North Korea will, as it always has, collect its winnings upfront, and keep its weapons, too. As George W. Bush said, fool me twice, won’t get fooled again, but he didn’t say anything about being fooled for a third time.

What we have just seen is Richard Nixon goes to China, writ in miniature. It can only be a Republican, apparently, who gets to engage in appeasement, because, let’s not kid ourselves, this would be called nothing short of treason if a Democrat did it. That’s the way the rules of U.S. politics are written, and these days they get written at the Fox News desk. Except while China was a giant country with geo-strategic importance as a counterweight to the Soviet Union in the Cold War, North Korea is just an undeveloped tourist destination. Once Trump started to visualize Trump properties on that expansive beachfront, it was goodbye containment, hello entertainment! Trump was happy to stop his formerly harsh talk about the victims of North Korea’s murderous repression as soon as he started thinking more about property (and his image) development.

This, like every other Trump endeavor, is a fantasy built on sand. Figuratively, or in this case, literally. And what do you get for fantasies built on sand? Trump gets short-term gains. And after that, the sand gets washed away in the tide of Trump’s climate policies.