Links for 3-8-2018

  • Donald Trump will meet Kim Jong Un by May. Michael Rubin warns that talks may signal war, not peace:

    Make no mistake: North Korea’s offer warrants not hope but caution. Dictator Kim Jong Un’s move comes straight out of the rogue-regime playbook: Offer peace to distract from preparations for war. That it repeatedly works reflects the naiveté of Western officials, for whom history begins anew with every administration.

    The simple fact is this: While Americans (and South Koreans) often view engagement as a tool of conflict resolution, North Korea’s regime and its Chinese sponsors see diplomacy as an asymmetric warfare strategy with which to tie opponents’ hands while they seize strategic advantage.


    Pyongyang couples provocation with outreach. In 1969, just a day after offering talks, North Korea shot down an unarmed US plane over the Sea of Japan, killing 31. Talks resumed. Four days later, North Korean forces shot down an American helicopter.


    During the Reagan era, Chinese diplomats told their US counterparts North Korea wanted talks. The very next day, North Korean agents set off a bomb in Burma designed to murder much of South Korea’s visiting leadership.

  • Donald Trump signed off on his steel and aluminum tariffs, and offered Canada and Mexico a carve-out while they renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

  • John Daniel Davidson toured the Rio Grande sector of the U.S./Mexico border and has stories to tell:

    Four years ago, at the height of the crisis, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, established a respite center in downtown McAllen. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was overwhelmed with thousands of children and teenagers turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents at ports of entry and elsewhere along the border, so the diocese began providing food and shelter for the minors and families. Catholic Charities initially set up its respite center in auxiliary church buildings at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in downtown McAllen.

    But it soon became clear that large numbers of families and minors were going to keep coming, and the diocese decided it needed a permanent location for the center. Today, it occupies one half of a modest commercial building about a mile from the church, and consists of a large multipurpose room, bathroom and shower facilities, a small kitchen and dining area, and a play area for young children. A half-dozen full-time staff and about 50 volunteers run the place seven days a week, 365 days a year. Since its founding four years ago, more than 100,000 migrants, most of them from Central America, have passed through there. Because the flow of migrants over the border never stops, ICE and CBP never stop, and the respite center never stops.


    Technically, all these families are seeking asylum, and because they’re family units travelling with minors, ICE releases them after a day or two with orders to appear at an asylum hearing in whatever part of the country they’re trying to get to. (That’s not the case in some sectors, where parents are reportedly separated from their children on purpose.) The adults are fitted with electronic ankle monitors, which will confine them to a 75-mile radius of wherever they tell ICE is their final destination. But once they get where they’re going, most of them cut the thing off and throw it away. Many do not even bother showing up at their asylum hearings for the simple reason that they have no legitimate claims to asylum. Yes, they come from impoverished countries with a decaying social order. And yes, these places are violent. But most of these people simply come to the United States to work, and you don’t get asylum for that.

  • A Turkish court sentenced 25 journalists to prison terms because they worked for publications the government claims are tied to Fethullah Gulen.

  • Japan wants to build a new fighter jet based on an existing Western design. Japan’s last domestically produced fighter, the F–2, was based on the F–16.

  • A Chinese Communist Party boss from Qinghai claims people in his province view President Xi Jingping as a Bodhisattva, a living deity.

  • Remy’s “I Like It, I Love It”: