Pity the poor narcissistic sociopath: nothing comes easy.

Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that Kim Jong-un was not personally aware of the detainment, mistreatment, and eventual torture of Otto Frederick Warmbier, the American college student imprisoned in North Korea in 2016. Warmbier, later released at the behest of the U.S. president, was returned home in a vegetative state and died within days of his arrival.


On Trump's recent visit to Vietnam, the Warmbier incident came up, allowing the president once again—as he did with Mohammed bin Salman after the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi—to absolve a btutal leader of any responsibility.


But let's say that neither Kim nor MBS had direct knowledge of the incidents—they both, after the fact, palmed off the ruthless acts on rogue underlings. If true, then why would Trump be so mindless as to respond to Warmbier's parents' contention that Kim was responsible with a tweet like this:


Trump's response to the Warmbier family's refusal to absolve Kim Jong-un of the death of their son, Otto.

"I got Otto out along with three others"is a lot like consoling Abraham Lincoln's widow by saying, "the play was pretty good, though, wasn't it?"


Trump's lack of empathy is the stuff of legend, but his stupidity is vying for the top spot in his catalog of misanthropy. All he had to say to Kim was, "Look, I know you don't know everything that goes on in North Korea, but our countries cannot meet and agree on issues until we establish some guidelines in basic human rights. Will you make an effort to see that nothing like this ever happens again?"


Simple. Non-accusatory. Maybe even diplomatic. And he could have said the same to MBS, or have Jared do it.


The results? In the real world of ruthless autocrats? Probably nil. But at least the United States would not have looked like just another autocracy, winking at atrocities and excusing barbarism. "Try to do better," Trump could have said. It's what we tell people who make mistakes. It's normal.


The Warmbiers might have said that was not enough, and I would have understood why. But even a hint of our displeasure would have been better than Trump's fatuous assertion that Kim "felt badly"about the case but knew nothing of it.

"Some people say I shouldn't like [Kim Jong-un]," Trump told Sean Hannity. "Why shouldn't I like him?"


Hmmm, well he had his half-brother murdered two years ago. Does that get your attention at all?



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