As Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, said in 1848- “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
It is hard for me therefore to ethically condemn a nation for acting in those interests despite them being antithetical to the desires and policy of my country which seeks exactly the same thing unless it is in fact altruistically pursuing a “greater good” at the expense of short term losses and not mere parochial gains.
I think we can generally agree that the United States gave up any claim to “exceptional” moral leadership many years ago.
But there remains the question of stupidity, or in other words acting in contradiction to self interest for no advantage whatsoever.
While history teems with an overflowing abundance of examples like our disastrous and completely preventable involvement in the Vietnamese Civil War or our feckless and reckless meddling in the Middle East, today the subject is our engagement with the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, especially as contrasted with the hostile treatment of our most powerful allies at the G7 Summit.
The PDRK interest is easily identified and perfectly rational. Without a credible nuclear deterrent against the U.S., whimsical “regime change” is a near certainty which, if you have an investment in the system that granted you power and privilege, is an existentially undesirable outcome. Having bankrupt their populace and denuded their land to achieve it they will not willingly surrender it to another nation that has shown itself to be historically and hysterically unreliable when it’s not being just flat outright mendacious.
It makes zero sense for North Korea to give up it’s nukes.
On the other hand a little butt grab/ass sniffing never hurt anyone so grant the petty tyrant his paper triumph and show him the door. There are no “deliverables” in the joint declaration that Barack Obama and Bill Clinton did not already extract. It’s barely in the same galaxy as our agreement with Iran, widely derided by some as insufficiently strict.
On the other hand our eternal allies, so mostly because their permanent interests conform to ours either naturally or because of coerced compliance, are disrespected and scorned because, one can only assume, their acquiescence and docility make them easily managed.
My advice to Canada? Get some nukes and point them at the U.S.. Clearly a holocaust of mass casualties and death is the only thing we understand and that but dimly with the comprehension of an idiot barely in control of its bodily functions.
Not that I mean to imply that I am not sympathetic to those who suffer mental impairment through no particular fault, just that I have little to spare for those who embrace it willingly and unapologetically despite all evidence to the contrary.
Could things get better and the United States re-establish its position of leadership? Removal of Trump and all things Republican is only the start. D.C. Democrats and Bureaucrats and the chattering pundits who promote them are equally culpable and likewise incapable of admitting that they were not just badly misguided but wrong.
Instead they will continue to cultivate their personal permanent interest in maintaining their primacy and influence until the pitchforks and torches convince them otherwise.