In reporting on Monday’s summit in Singapore, the Washington Post noted that President Trump did not approach Kim Jong Un as a pariah, but showered him with respect. “Trump turned a blind eye to differences of principle and history – refusing to directly confront the reality that Kim oversees a vast police state, starves his citizens and assassinates his rivals – in the interest of completing a transaction.”
That is, of course, correct. Kim, despite his goofy smile and funny haircut, is a monstrous figure at the helm of one of the world’s most repressive nations, where thousands of citizens have been murdered, tortured, imprisoned or raped, and where roughly 18 million people don’t get enough food, according to the United Nations. Kim is widely believed to have ordered the execution of his own uncle and half-brother.
But let’s not fool ourselves: This is hardly the first time an American president has agreed to turn a blind eye to such massive violations of human rights in the pursuit of some other perceived goal.