Well done, Mr. Brauchli. Writing needs to help wake us up and get us thinking, not just confirm what we think we already know. This piece does that, sticking in the craw long enough to let certain annoying lines of logic and apparent incongruence cause us to wonder. We especially need to wake up and think carefully when it comes to war and peace.
The concluding “Unless it doesn’t” makes it clear this piece is satire, amped up enough so that people have to wonder rather than quickly file it away as from the right or wrong perspective. While the satirical nature of this piece convinces me that the author does not in fact find Trump’s negotiating skills to be the cause for detente with North Korea, the fact remains: the brink has been stepped back from, but how and why?
With North Korea, the truth is that our president Trump was issuing threats of a genocidal nature for months… and then made an agreement that steps significantly back from war, and may, if the U.S. does not revert to its usual belligerence, allow the two Koreas to really begin a process of fully ending hostilities and starting reunification. The U.S. has been, for decades the single superpower standing in the way of these deep interests of the Korean people–for if Korea comes back together again, the U.S. will not be able to dominate the region as another one of its personal backyards any more. A unified Korean economy would also elbow back U.S. hegemony a few degrees or so.
The key person making an opening for peace possible was neither Kim nor Trump, but South Korean President Moon Jae-in, elected on a wave of protest against South Korean government corruption and neoliberal obeisance to endless U.S. dominance over Korean affairs, including the longtime U.S. prevention of peaceful rapprochement with North Korea. Moon Jae-in made negotiations with North Korea a high priority from the earliest months of his presidency, perhaps just in time to undermine Mr. Trump’s reckless thrashing. Without South Korea playing along, the U.S. really could not contemplate full war with North Korea, so Trump’s choices were limited. Weeks, if I remember correctly, after the U.S. military came out with a report indicating for the first time in some time that the U.S. military now no longer believes it can not fight two major wars in two distant parts of the globe at the same time presently–for example, an invasion of North Korea at the same time as a war with Iran–just a week or so after that report came out, Trump’s tune with North Korea shifted very strongly towards peace, and then the agreement was reached. The story with North Korea is not over–the U.S. could still act to undermine peace, go back on parts or even all of the agreement, etc.–but at the moment it is truly good that genocidal war on North Korea (which would almost certainly engulf South Korea, too) is no longer on the lips of the man with the guns to follow through on those threats.
Now it is Iran on the front burner of U.S. rhetoric. To say that Trump’s abandoning the Iran deal and now threat of war with Iran are clever preludes to a brilliantly better deal (for the U.S.) and a new era of peace is–what else?–satire to let us guffaw, shake out our minds, awaken our senses, and approach this with a sober, keen gaze.
I hope I am wrong in thinking that our U.S. threat of war with Iran lacks the undermining force for peace of a Moon Jae-in at the crest of a popular wave for peace. Perhaps we need to be the South Koreans here, the people who demonstrate and vote for peace, making change possible by speaking up for it.
No war with Iran! No bombing, no aggression! Restore the deal! Step back from the brink before it’s too late!
U.S. stop bombing Yemen, via the Saudi’s and Emirati’s militaries! U.S. out of the Middle East!
I am afraid that indications are our U.S. men in charge may want war with Iran, or at least they may want to play with the lion’s tail of war by bombing Iranian installations as a kind of demonstration of U.S. supremacy, U.S. loyalty to Israel, and that no one can prevent the U.S. from doing anything it pleases–demonstrations that would be deadly for those on the ground beneath the bombs and possibly for hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions more if that led to wider war in any number of scenarios. That already happened in Iraq, a still-not-over human cataclysm that U.S. invasion and military and foreign policy created, and what has happened to and continues to happen in Syria is also in no small part the product of longtime U.S. supremacist policy.
Stop the bombing, stop the war! U.S. OUT of the Middle East!