Trump's 'fire and fury' is not going to help in the Middle East

Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal
Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal

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Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal 02:36

Nic Robertson is CNN's international diplomatic editor. The opinions in this article belong to the author.

(CNN)This week, even Trump's critics are praising him -- albeit cautiously and with numerous caveats -- for pulling off the seemingly impossible with North Korea's Kim Jong Un and getting him to agree to meet with a US president for the first time in North Korea's history.

All this as the countdown to another of Trump's take-it-or-leave-it deals ticks away. Israel has just had the mother of all nuclear document dumps, spilling the goods, they say, on Iran's perfidious nuclear arms intentions less than two weeks before Trump threatens to upend a multinational nuclear deal with Iran.
It's testing friendships with allies, needling enemies and smacks of the tactics he used on Kim.
    And while we are not there yet on Korea, the mood music is good. Trump's tweets are in rare harmony with rest of the world.
    The discordant tones he struck at the UN General Assembly last year -- "we will have no choice but to destroy North Korea" -- have all but echoed out of current discourse.
    Trump, we are to believe, did all this more or less himself. Why else would South Korea's President Moon suggest a Nobel Peace Prize for the disruptor in chief?
    But this is a dangerous path for many reasons.
    Trump, for those whose memories have already moved on, created such chaos that people feared he might trigger a nuclear confrontation.
    It was a calculated gamble -- maybe an idea plucked from the pages of his own book "The Art Of The Deal" -- to ensure everyone else believes they want the deal more than you do.
    And maybe this is what tipped Kim's thinking. Or maybe also Kim saw this as the opening to play China and America off against each other. Maybe it's all a sham and he won't denuclearize.
    Trump, backed by his new top diplomat Mike Pompeo -- the former CIA chief who has looked Kim in the eyes -- thinks there is a deal to be done.
    Both say they are wise to the double helping of duplicity in Kim's DNA. And all this is good. No deal with Kim is better than a bad deal.
    Will Trump summit with Kim Jong Un happen along the DMZ?
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    Will Trump summit with Kim Jong Un happen along the DMZ? 02:59
    That brings me to my second point.
    Bombast, berating and public brow beating is not going to solve all Trump's foreign policy forays.
    Palestinian and Israeli peace; saving Syrians from their blood lustful dictator; convincing Iran he has a better deal than Obama's JCPOA -- none of this will be achieved by megaphone diplomacy.
    These issues -- with all respect to the many experienced and respected diplomats who tried and failed before to hammer out a deal with Kim, his father and grandfather -- are more complicated.
    Korea's war stalled more than six decades ago. Regional stakeholders are few and their involvement is limited.
    Syria, by comparison, is a young conflict. Its passions are relatively hot, the population pulverized in a deep, grinding, multi-fronted, multinational war. Blood flows freely and good will is shredded daily.
    No one seems to be looking for an exit and while in North Korea Kim calls the shots, in Syria, Russia and Iran hold sway over President Assad. Turkey also wants in on the action and Trump has no policy save smashing ISIS and holding a few red lines.
    He cannot do what he's done in Korea and threaten chaos to bring Assad and his allies to talks. Syria is already in chaos and they know he can't or won't do it.
    How do they know that? They saw the tiny sheaf of missiles Trump, Macron and May unleashed on Syria for Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.
    Days before, in his typical bombastic style, Trump taunted Moscow to get ready for "nice and new and smart" missiles. But neither his defense chief nor his French and British allies had the political stomach to match threat with action.
    Yes, the strikes proved Trump, the UK and France have a red line they are ready to enforce. But the lesson Assad and his allies learned is that they are not in danger.
    Neither Moscow, nor Tehran or Damascus put up a white flag of surrender and asked if they could be next after Kim to cut a peace deal with Trump.
    In the quest for Palestinian and Israeli peace, Trump's "my way or the highway" style is not making headway yet. He's demanded Palestinians take the money on the table and talk peace while recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and promising to open an embassy there.
    The Palestinians have so far refused to come to the table and Trump now seems to be dialing back on the new embassy, saying he'd reduced the cost of the building from a $1 billion project to a smaller renovation that costs only $150,000.
    Implication is the consulate becomes the embassy: less expensive maybe, but less than Israeli expectations, and a step back from his full-frontal assault aimed at jump-starting the stalled peace process on his terms.
    Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal
    Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal

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      Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal

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    Trump: I've been 100% right on Iran deal 02:36
    And on Iran, Trump's outspoken determination to bin the Obama era nuclear deal in favor of a tougher, more far reaching broader deal, is triggering major shuttle diplomacy.
    His European allies who also signed the deal are desperate to head off a confrontation and tamp down escalating tensions. Officials in Tehran are sounding more and more bellicose, answering Trump's outspoken comments with their own angry rhetoric.
    One diplomatic source described moderates in Tehran over the past few weeks getting marginalized in favor of hardliners.
    Unlike North Koreans, Iranians are not so isolated and unlike Kim, may not feel they have to come to the table when Trump demands.
    Worse, all three problems above could metastasize. Many diplomats fear Iranian-Israeli tensions over Syria could escalate in to increased confrontation.
    Korea by this measure is a relatively contained problem. Trump may have read it right and ratcheted up his rhetoric at the right time.
    But the biggest risk to his peace making in Korea would be to believe even more in himself and less in those around him.
    That is a well-trodden path to failure.