I don’t get it. I know, I know, I’m just some mutt in Mexico with a computer, and easily puzzled. But…huh? Trump, we are told, pulled off a master stroke in Singapore. All the world reels at this astonishment. We see Talleyrand and Metternich rolled into one gorgeous taco. But…but….
Who did the doing, and who got done?
What really happened, as best I can tell: For years America’s relation with North Korea was its usual one of military intimidation: Submit, or we will forever keep you in poverty if we don’t actually bomb you into rubble, a point kept in North Korean consciousness by annual military exercises aimed at Pyongyang. OK. Business as usual. The Empire barks.
Then this kid Kim decides to build his own deliverable nukes, tell Washington to bugger off, and starts launches. Worse, or better depending on your viewpoint, he rants about turning the US into lava. Washington suddenly pays attention to the North as it never had before.
The part about the lava was, sez me, gifted diplomacy. Kim, no fool, couldn’t have actually envisioned attacking the US nuclear-wise. Ah, but: Gordon Liddy once said that if your behavior is unpredictable, and your response to provocation wildly out of proportion to the offense, no one will screw with you. Works.
Then this guy Moon gets elected Prez of the South on a platform of reconciliation and cuddling with the North. Kim thought this was peaches and the two of them started working on it.
The United States had nothing to do with this.
As part of hugs and kisses, the Koreas decided to field joint athletic teams in the Winter Olympics in the South. Gee willikers, Batman! What a concept! The world was, reasonably enough, charmed.
Trump had nothing to do with this either. In fact he was strongly against it. Recall that he told Vice Cipher Mike Pence that, when the joint team entered the stadium, to refuse to stand. Mike Kaeperpence obediently engaged in this adolescent prank. Trump was not in favor of peace, love, and–worse–unification.
Then Kim, as always a very smart cookie if an accomplished monster, invited Trump to sit down and talk. Kim did this, not Trump. Who was running the love-in?
So we then saw the seventy-two-year-old master of the most powerful, indispensable, exceptional nation in history, population over three hundred million, flying to Asia to see the thirty-something dictator of an impoverished country of twenty-five million.
Trump went to Asia, not Kim to the West. The symbolism can’t have been lost on eastern lands. Trump gushed about what a great guy Kim is. They were best pals. They would have each other over for dinner.
Net result? Well, things are lots better for the world. Already Russia and the Koreas have revived the idea of a gas pipeline to South Korea. But…wasn’t it Pompeo who said that nothing would be acceptable but total immediate denuclearization, grrr, bow-wow, woof woof woof? Didn’t happen.
The whole circus was driven entirely by the by the Koreas and, you can bet, China in the background. Such unwonted Korean independence is not popular with supporters of the American Empire, who need enemies, but how can you be against peace?
All very bad for the Empire, but good for America and, potentially, everybody else. Why? China doesn’t want American troops on the peninsula. Neither does the North. Neither does the South. No country likes occupation troops of another country, and another race, diddling its daughters and breaking up bars. If peace unfortunately comes, Korea–singular–is likely to suggest that Washington take its toys and go home.
Bad. Very bad. It would weaken Washington’s anti-Chinese wall of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and, though shakily, the Philippines. See?
OK, Europoodles. In the struggle between Washington’s military and China’s economy, America’s European vassals form a crucial football. They have to be kept under American control. This is what NATO does. Left alone, Europe would contentedly buy oil from Iran and sell it airliners. It would buy Russian gas and sell stuff to Russia. The effect would be to loosen America’s iron grip on the throat of Europe.
This has to be stopped at almost any cost. If the European peninsula of Asia were to integrate itself into the rest of Asia, precisely what Beijing has in mind, the Empire would be over, over, over. America is a medium-sized country, China a big country, and Eurasia a gynormous, sprawling, motingaator behemoth. And it is all in one piece. Think railroads and pipelines.
Blocking trade with Iran is also important to Israel and the Jewish lobbies that largely control American foreign policy. Yet if these did not exist the Empire would still require the neutering of Iran and keeping the Poodles from trading with Asia. They might–horror–begin wondering why they needed NATO. They might begin looking to their own interests, not Washington’s.
Crucial question: Is there a likelihood that the Poodles will find the virility to go independent of Mother Washington? Historically they have been docile and obedient, good doggy, roll over. Now they yap fiercely, having discovered that America is not their ally but their owner. If by remote chance they decide to act in their own interest, methinks we will have moved into another world.
It is worth keeping in mind that neither America nor Americans have a dog in this fight. Trump, Israel, and the Empire do. No danger to America or Americans will arise if Iran buys airliners, or Europe buys gas, or Afghanistan does anything at all, or Venezuelans have enough to eat. The United States has been hijacked and is now used for the benefit of imperial loons and their allies.
The save-the-empire game plays out in much of the world as the US lunges about, strong-arming country after country to keep them in submission. Just now Trump is sanctioning, tarriffing, embargoing, invading, or bombing Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Europe, China, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Somalia, various African countries, and North Korea.
Some of these, such as Venezuela, can do nothing about it. Others, perhaps, can. Washington’s use of financial sanctions leads country after country to get out of the dollar in bilateral trade. Powerful alliances excluding the US spring up in response to Washington’s hostility: SCO, AIIB, NDB, BRICS and so on. Instead of encouraging trade with Russia and Iran, wooing them westward, Washington drives them together.
Think of an aging drunk, muttering, “I can whip any man in this bar.” But all at once?
Fred Reed is a retired news weasel and part-time sociopah living in Mexico with his wife and three useless but agreeable street dogs. He says it suits him.