President Trump Tuesday suggested Barack Obama screwed up by not getting Otto Wamrbier out of North Korea immediately, before he was put into the coma that killed him.
So, like, how should Obama have gotten Wamrbier out? Threaten nuclear war?
Trump spoke to reporters in the Oval Office during a photo op with Ukrainian President Poroshenko:
It’s a total disgrace what happened to Otto. It should never, ever be allowed to happen. And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different . . . He should have brought home that same day. The results would have been a lot different. What happened to Otto is a disgrace. And I spoke with his family. His family is incredible.
I’m getting little concerned that Trump is conducting foreign policy based on emotion. Our approach to places like North Korea needs to be based on cold, hard calculation, not how we feel about Otto Warmbier.
Warmbier’s case is tragic. He was by all accounts a great young man — smart, personable, and endlessly curious about life. Unfortunately in this case, curiosity killed the cat, and he made a very bad decision to go to North Korea. I deeply hate what happened to him, and you can excuse a kid a dumb idea, but it was still his decision.
Trump in April bombed Syria, citing the deaths of “beautiful babies.” While that’s tragic, the doomed beautiful babies we happen to see are not a reason to bomb Syria. Trump was right to do it, but only because he was enforcing the red line against the use of chemical weapons, which is a serious national security issue. As you may remember, the red line was drawn by Obama, who crapped in his pants the minute Bashar Assad crossed it.
Trump also spent what appears to be considerable diplomatic capital getting an American released from Egypt, and then made a very big deal about it. Two days later, North Korea seized a hostage, and within a couple of weeks grabbed another one.
I doubt it’s a coincidence. And Trump’s comments today on Warmbier only shows our enemies that we can fall prey to sentimentalism when conducting foreign policy, which not only perverts our national security objectives, but gives the bad guys added incentive to . . . take more hostages.