Democrats Put Partisanship Before Prospects for Peace

In 1972 Democrats were able to praise Nixon for going to China, but the reaction to Trump’s summit in Singapore shows how far we’ve come since then, says Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria Special to Consortium News

When Richard Nixon returned to Washington after his historic 1972 trip to China, he was welcomed with strong support from Democrats.

From the initial Congressional reaction, it was apparent that the President, home from his China trip, would find broad bipartisan support for his move toward closer relations with Peking,” The New York Times reported on Feb. 29, 1972.

Even Democratic Senate leaders Edward Kennedy and Mike Mansfield praised Nixon’s diplomatic gamble.

Forty-six years later President Donald Trump took a similar political risk in agreeing to the first ever summit with a North Korean leader. Cautious optimism emerged from the summit that peace on the Korean peninsula may finally be within reach 65 years after a truce silenced the guns of the Korean War.

But instead of the support Nixon received from the opposition party, Trump has been blasted by Democrats, who’ve put any prospect for peace behind their partisan quest to regain power.

It sure looks as if President Trump was hoodwinked in Singapore,” wrote liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on Tuesday. “Trump seemed to believe he had achieved some remarkable agreement, but the concessions were all his own.”

Kim seems to have completely out-negotiated Trump, and it’s scary that Trump doesn’t seem to realize this,” Kristoff wrote.

Nixon toasting Zhou.

The Times editorial board was even harsher. “President Trump was on his best behavior, as is so often the case when he is dealing with dictators,” it wrote. “Mr. Trump was even more effusive about Mr. Kim after their session, sounding more like he was deconstructing a blind date than analyzing a diplomatic meeting.”

In case the reader didn’t get the message the editorial went on: “Whatever he does or does not understand about history or policy or statecraft, Mr. Trump has a keen sense of how to engage authoritarian thugs who crave respect and legitimacy. It’s how he’s wired.”

And then it piled on: “Mr. Trump has a deep and abiding fondness for strongmen … The more ruthlessly they have had to act to hold on to power, the more he respects them.”

Dealing with men like Mr. Kim is, on some level, comfortable ground for Mr. Trump,” the Times editorial said. “Such negotiations are a higher-stakes, global version of the world he came up in, one of cutthroat real estate developers and shady businessmen and mobsters. … The world sneers at strongmen like Mr. Kim, Mr. Putin and Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, regarding them as uncivilized thugs, and Mr. Trump feels similarly disrespected. Dispositionally speaking, these are Mr. Trump’s people.”

A Beginning, Not an End

There wasn’t a word about what the two leaders agreed to in Singapore, namely the start—not the end—of what Trump called “an arduous process” that could lead to peace on the Korean peninsula. Trump could not have been clearer. He even said he could be wrong if the agreement is not realized.

The Times editorial never mentioned the agreement. In essence both sides agreed to work towards a peace treaty to end the Korean War, and the U.S. agreed to provide security guarantees to North Korea in exchange for the denuclearization of the peninsula. This was always meant to be a broad agreement on principles at the summit to kick start the indeed arduous negotiations to follow.

That the Times editorial board purposely ignored this fact to score cheap partisan points could not be clearer. The risks inherent in war on the peninsula, which should be of bi-partisan concern, were apparently of no concern to the editors on Eighth Avenue who decidedly took the low road.  By contrast, the 1972 Times editorial said Nixon’s summit, though it was only the start of negotiations, contained “concrete achievements.” And Times‘ columnist James Reston called the summit “Mr. Nixon’s Finest Hour.”

Senate Democrats were no less uncharitable to Trump, seizing what they thought was an opportunity to score partisan points, while ignoring the promise the summit holds. “What the United States has gained is vague and unverifiable at best,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “What North Korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting. By granting a meeting with Chairman Kim, President Trump has granted a brutal and repressive dictatorship, the international legitimacy it has long craved.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said: “In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo.”

The questions asked at Trump’s post-summit press conference is illustrative of the partisan nature of today’s press. He was repeatedly asked about giving away the store without getting anything in return. But Trump made clear he had already gotten the return of three American prisoners, had gotten a commitment for the remains of Americans killed in the Korean War to be returned, and most crucially, a promise to begin the task of denuclearization.

America’s devastation of North Korea. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Yes it’s a promise. But the process has to begin somewhere. The very hard work to make that happen will begin now, and no peace-loving person would not want to give it a chance instead of seeking to gain  short-sighted partisan advantage.

Trump said sanctions would remain and that war games with South Korea could resume if the deal does not materialize. After the devastation wrought by the United Sates on North Korea 65 years ago Trump incredibly agreed that those war games were seen as provocations by the North. He is being roasted for putting himself in the position of his adversary and seeing things as they do—a fundamental principle of diplomacy, and presumably journalism too.

The press also badgered Trump about North Korean human rights. They wanted to know how he could make a deal with such a repressive country. Would the alternative be war to enforce human rights? Trump said human rights were raised with Kim but were separate from the imperative of denuclearization. He felt that if peace were achieved and the North Korean economy improved (with the likely participation of U.S. corporations) that human rights would improve.

Turning the Tables

I’m disappointed Kim Jong-un did not take the opportunity to raise with Trump the utterly dismal US human rights record, from mass incarceration of millions to rampant police murder of Black citizens,” tweeted Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website The Electronic Intifada. “Any credible deal must be predicated on US respecting its own people.”

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted: “The US committed genocide during the Korean War, killing 20% of North Korea’s population, burning literally all of its cities to the ground w/ napalm, & nearly nuking it. Today it threatens w extermination. Reporters must ask Kim how he can make peace with such a brutal country.”

Democrats attacking Trump from the Right on Korean Summit,” added writer and filmmaker Tariq Ali in a tweet. “Pity Obama didn’t have the guts to visit Teheran.”

What we are witnessing is an inability, or unwillingness, to break down Trump’s positions and examine each one individually, something that Democrats like Ted Kennedy were able to do with Nixon. But we are in a totally different era. A non-partisan approach to Trump would be able to decry his positions on climate, torture, health insurance, taxes, immigration, Iran and Palestine, and yet welcome his stated desire to lessen tensions with Russia and North Korea.

Instead we get tweets like this from former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh: “America is the brightest, most benevolent nation on earth. North Korea is the darkest, most horrific regime on Earth. We just gave them equal billing. We just sat at a table with them. There had better be something really, really good coming in return.”

Clearly some criticism of Trump for meeting Kim is bipartisan, but none of the praise is. Such an attitude of Walsh’s, and The New York Times, rests on a misunderstanding of America that is intended to reflect well on those who conveniently leave out the darkest chapters of America’s history, of which there have been far too many. The napalming and destruction of North Korea is among them, but hardly alone.

Deleting the context of decades of election meddling, coup plotting, assassinations and invasions of sovereign lands in the reporting and editorials of august organs like the Times, indeed in the entire corporate media, leaves Americans with a comic book understanding of their history, cast adrift in a bubble from the reality of the rest of the world.

Attacking other nations’ human rights record while ignoring one’s own, or one’s allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, is classic projection designed to wash one’s conscience clean. It helps to hold a position in the post-War Western-dominated international system making it easy to convince oneself of one’s righteousness, though self-reflection would reveal that that system has become a grotesque image of its former self.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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147 comments for “Democrats Put Partisanship Before Prospects for Peace

  1. Dunderhead
    June 18, 2018 at 18:13

    As much as most of this nonsense coming from the Democrats is just rhetoric, it does show the degree that these people have sold their souls and not only to the patronage of democratic party policy but the military industrial complex itself. The complicity that many of these folks have displayed in the past in regards to US war crimes and the pervasiveness of these attitudes in the general population compel me to believe that this countries not only do for a major recompense but we’ll not stand as a nation for very long.

  2. June 16, 2018 at 21:43

    So Trump fans the flames of nuclear confrontation then sets up a photo-op to polish his image and help the GOP push for a Nobel peace prize. Sounds exactly like something a con man would do. I’ve seen this drama play out before. Putin is not Gorbachev and Kim jong Un is not HoChiMinh. Trump tried to erase all things Obama even the agreement with Iran to denuclearize and is now trying to make a show with NK to one up Obama. Accusing Democrats of anything at this stage seems wholly premature if not a deception. If NK gives up their nuclear weapons and ICBM’s then that will demand recognition from Democrats, not until. Trump got a global photo-op, Kim jong Un got America to change their military plans rightly or not, What did America get? Cheerleading from the right wing cheap seats? Please.

  3. Edwin L. McClannan
    June 16, 2018 at 07:31

    Virtue signaling seems to be left of right and wrong when it knows no bounds.

  4. Tom W
    June 15, 2018 at 16:11

    The pro-Trump comments here fail to take into consideration the entirety of Trumps agenda. His separation of children from parents at the border, his love affair with dictators, his attacks on our European allies esp Canada, his willingness to blow up the Iran agreement and on and on. But let’s look at the fiasco with North Korea. First…Obama admitted in 2008 he would be willing to meet with North Korea and iran, He was immediately attacked by conservatives at Fox, GOP in Congress and even Hillary. That was then, now Trump’s visit is lauded as a great moment in peace. Really!! The hypocracy is stifling. Trump meeting with Kim was positive but where he went off the rails was to say wonderful things about Kim, no need to list the kiss ass comments of Trump. Maybe he said those things because he knows what would impress him if others said the same things…but come on,,,Kim is a murderer of family and countrymen. You can meet with a tyrant without the kiss up comments. But what is really galling is his giving up our military exercises. I know many here will applaud that. But wait. Our 28,000 troop remain. Though trump called them “war games” they are training. Anyone who has been in the military understands the vital importance of training. As long as out troop remain and Kim still has 50 or so nukes with conventional weapons pointing at Seoul, North Korea remains a threat and the Presidents comments that the there is no threat is empty and hollow b.s. The President gave up a major point to Kim that may come back to bit him in the behind. Kim went away with a win, and only a weak promise to give up his nukes. North Korea has made and broken that promise for years. There is no guarantee he will live up to it now. Trump made him and equal in everything. Giving Kim a huge win. We only got weak promises. Now, today, June 15, Trump in an interview said, “He’s the head of the country—and he’s the strong head, don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up in attention. I WANT MY PEOPLE TO DO THE SAME.” No, Mr President, this is not North Korea. You may think you are a dictator but you are wrong. We are NOT your people. We will not sit up in attention to your constant lies and hate filled speech. The commentators here can attack the Democrats all they want, but you have to get you head out from the dusty rat hole and see what this president really is. A dictator wannabe how has hood-winked a lot of folks.

    • irina
      June 16, 2018 at 11:01

      I don’t think it’s the ‘troops on the ground’ training so much as the combat planes training,
      which is and I actually agree with The Donald on this, ‘very provocative’. Remember that
      North Korea was devastated by OUR air force, literally bombed to rubble during the ‘police
      action’ war. (My father in law, who served honorably in WW2, was a bombardier in both
      that and the Korean wars. He NEVER spoke of the Korean war, and I suspect his memories
      of that time were what led to his early death from extreme alcoholism).

      Most of this ‘training’ is unnecessary, just a way to burn jet fuel and contribute to global CO2
      load. I know, as I live underneath near constant air force activity at Eielson Air Force Base,
      which has a strike force (and will be the future home of the overbuilt and underperforming
      F-35) capable of reaching the Korean Peninsula in a matter of just a few hours. Threats from
      the air make populations feel very vulnerable. I felt a bit of this myself last fall, when for some
      reason an Apache helicopter from our other military base (Ft. Wainwright) decided to hover
      over me while I schlepped two five gallon buckets full of baby potatoes, destined for our
      Farmers Market, up the hill from the potato patch to the washing sink. The chopper was
      very low over my head and bristling with whatever weapons they carry. Just hovering.

      That was unnerving as I could easily imagine myself a third-world land serf instead of
      a first-world part-time farmer with easy access to plenty of food from sources other than
      my own efforts at growing it. In an instant, our small farm, the modest home we built
      with our own hands which protects us from our long cold winters, even our lives, could
      have been wiped out by just that single ugly creature hovering overhead.

      I’m sure they were ‘just training’. With my tax dollars.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 16, 2018 at 11:40

      You have completely misunderstood this article. These are hardly pro-Trump comments. They are pro-peace. And it criticizes Trump on the majority of his positions. Did you not read this sentence?: “A non-partisan approach to Trump would be able to decry his positions on climate, torture, health insurance, taxes, immigration, Iran and Palestine, and yet welcome his stated desire to lessen tensions with Russia and North Korea.” Your comment perfectly illustrates the deep problem of partisan thinking which has frozen the mind of too many Americans.

      • Skip Scott
        June 16, 2018 at 15:57


        Tom W, like most US citizens, has been sheep dipped in MSM propaganda. It’s like fish saying “what water?”. It’s impossible for them to think outside the dichotomy of Dem=good GOP=bad. Tom talks of Trump giving Kim a “huge win”, like it was a sporting event. I am no fan of Trump either, and see him as some kind of a buffoon, or a sleezy used car salesman. But finding a way to peace is a great thing, no matter who does it.

        BTW, I’m a retired Merchant seaman who worked on a Military Sealift Command contracted ship, and I participated in one of those stupid war games. They are obsolete. With the missile technology we have today, it’s like kids playing with pea shooters, when you’ve got someone with a button who could blow up the whole playground. It is an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars, as is most of our bloated military. I can’t help but think of how that money and manpower could be used to promote peace and prosperity at home and around the world.

        • June 18, 2018 at 10:24

          Er….Dems: bad vs. Repubs; the New American Nazi Party *YOU GUYS DON’T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND JUST HOW MUCH WORSE THE REPUBS REALLY ARE* maybe when you wake up one day in a cage,you’ll get it?

          • Skip Scott
            June 18, 2018 at 13:22

            Let’s see, our last wonderful Democrat droned a US citizen (and his son for good measure) without any due process whatsoever. The Democrat before that passed NAFTA and repealed Glass-Steagal. When will you wake up Will? You’re already in a cage built of MSM propaganda and you don’t even see it. I think your pink pussy hat is on a little too tight, it’s stopping the blood flow to your brain.

      • elmerfudzie
        June 18, 2018 at 01:45

        Joe Lauria. At bottom, nuclear proliferation is and remains a big problem here. I can’t see a way to withhold the use of military force, especially when it concerns de nuclearization (surrendering a-bombs to a neutral third party, example Finland? for decommissioning purposes) The last thing I want to see is another round of unstable countries and regions acquiring nuclear weaponry under the guise of a need for commercial nuclear power. I don’t think the world could manage all the new hazards that would appear should another nuclear armed “Israel” and or “Pakistan” suddenly appear on stage. In retrospect, the proliferation issue turned Eisenhower’s “atoms for peace” into “atoms for war” Iran (the mullahs) will be watching this new Glasnost between the US and North Korea very closely, in particular the final outcome.

  5. RnM
    June 15, 2018 at 06:20

    Much of the discussion within these comments are contrasting Nationalism (populism) against Imperialism (globalism).
    I once read of a idea, which, for me, has become a critique of globalism, on the basis that “culture” is a function of the Landscape. This means that the hills, valleys, plains, rivers, mountains, etc. affect the people living on the land, and their views of their situations. This view of the beliefs that what we, as a species, tend to believe and hold true is necessarily an argument for allowing populism and diversity to flourish. There is a motto we all carry in our pockets, “E Pluribus Unum.” Does any person younger than 60 know what that means?
    The biggest challenge of any continental, or nowadays, intercontinental, empire, is to deal with what they call ‘locals.” This is the real purpose behind the mini-wars that the American Empire is waging. They aren’t ‘mini-wars’ to locals, though, so the Globalists have to spend an increasing proportion of their booty on dealing with surly insurgents (called ‘freedom fighters’ in the initial phase of a local expansion). It has always happened, and the present regime has, despite all the studying of War, yet to repeal this “Supremacy of the Law of the Landscape.” All your Bombs, Guns and Smartasses, be Damned!

  6. peon d. rich
    June 14, 2018 at 18:18

    Harry Truman, the DNC selection to oust incumbent vice-president and social democrat, Wallace Stevens, not only authorized Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the genocidal bombing of North Korea. All to combat Communism. Then along came JFK and LBJ and war in SE Asia. Nixon was an obvious pig, as was/is Kissinger, and while the Dems love to throw hate at Nixon (as well they should), fittingly Kissinger mentors Albright and Clinton (there is a special place in hell for women who flash their gyno sympathies as they bomb and sanction women, children and men to death – ‘It takes a bomber to raze a village’). Cold-war warriors or psychopathic killers for corporate greed? The same thing in the long run.

  7. tonyfromindiana
    June 14, 2018 at 15:43

    And that is why I am not a Democrat. Yet again, the Dems are attacking Trump from the right.

  8. willow
    June 14, 2018 at 14:44

    KiwiAntz, I don’t know if you see it on your end, maybe it happens in transit, but all of your sentences end with a question mark instead of a period. In this post and all your posts above and to other articles on CN as well, at least for the past couple of days that I noticed. I cut and pasted your comment below FYI:

    Your comment is harsh & unfounded Den, you can’t blame the entire American people for the crimes of its Govt? Most of the people who participate on this forum are Americans ( & people worldwide, I’m a NZer) who are likewise disgusted by their Govts actions & make those views known on CN! You can’t lump them all in the same boat, it’s not fair??

  9. Bart Hansen
    June 14, 2018 at 13:28

    NYT: “…The world sneers at strongmen like Mr. Kim, Mr. Putin and Rodrigo Duterte…”

    Sesame Street used to have a contest called “One of these three is not like the others”, but the paper simply cannot let a day go by without damning him.

  10. Babyl-on
    June 14, 2018 at 08:39

    Look, I’m an old man now and was draft age during Vietnam. I don’t pretend to have extra-normal perception but it was very clear to me at the time that Lyndon Johnson was a democrat and that democrats when the chips were down ALWAYS supported the vast slaughter of innocent people. All the demos and anti-war efforts were ineffective the US slaughtered until it punched itself out – slaughtered all it could – before the war ended. So, the democrats warmongering now is just same ol’ same ol’. The entirety of the US nation is violent and warmongering. There is one party – not the business party as Chomsky says – but the slaughter party.

    • richard vajs
      June 15, 2018 at 07:31

      There is only one Party now – the Zionist Party. The Zionist Party does not want peace with Russia, Iran, or North Korea. Peace with these countries will shift the US focus from these “enemies” to the real cause of unrest in the World, currently the Mid East, which is the injustice meted out to the Palestinians by Israel. The Zionist Party is dependent upon campaign donations from wealthy Zionists and any moves towards justice for the Palestinians will be viewed as “detrimental to Israel”, by these Zionists and further met by closed checkbooks. The Democratic wing of the Zionist Party is acutely aware of this possibility. , The Republican wing of the Zionist Party is not as sensitive to the financial implications of offending the wealthy Zionists, they are still in thrall to fairy tales of the high regard that the Deity is supposed to have of Zionist theft of Palestinian land.

  11. Salsibury Watchdog
    June 14, 2018 at 00:43

    Corporate media work like programmable robots: you can predict what any of their writers are going to say even before they say it; the only variable is the degree of their vitriol, and this article captures the Democrats’ duplicity and astoundingly obvious hypocrisy perfectly.

    Had Obama managed to score a meeting with the North Korean leader that explicitly pointed towards the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, every talking head from the corporate media would’ve sang songs of high praise and adulation to his diplomatic skills, regardless of whether any tangible result was achieved. But as high school teaches those with fewer connections: if you’re not a part of the clique, don’t expect fairness.

  12. Tom Kath
    June 13, 2018 at 20:27

    We must try to get to the bottom of Trump’s REAL agenda. Maybe he is actually genuine in his campaign pledge to improve the lives of average Americans! Any genuine moves in that direction would certainly annoy those wealthy few who have taken advantage of the whole population. Sadly, it annoys also those who would LIKE to so unfairly take advantage of their fellow man, which, paradoxically seems to represent the “American Dream”.
    Given the possibility of Trump’s genuine concern for the American people, we might also see the possibility of some great strategy.- The old wisdom, “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer” could be being illustrated with Bolton, Pompeo etc.
    At the core of my comment is an appeal to give credit where credit is due. A rotten system is certainly being challenged, disrupted, and hopefully overthrown! – And they don’t like it.

    • susan sunflower
      June 13, 2018 at 21:46

      Tom Franks has a now old article in the guardian explaining that “populism” is not always right-wing, regressive and racist
      (as the Democrats would have you believe)

      They’re still chosing to lose toTrump than surrender anything to liberal populism … new book 06/19

    • susan sunflower
      June 15, 2018 at 11:53

      apparently Trump is expected to next take aim at the WTO … this isn’t oligarch against oligarch; it’s still “don’t fence me in” rampaging unfettered capitalism …. although it may not be premature for allusions to pre-revolutionary France or the robber baron monopololists of America

      • Sam F
        June 16, 2018 at 08:40

        Yes, unfettered capitalism rampages, but in the US its Dem/Rep factions are in conflict, vs individual oligarchs. Kath is wrong that this indicates that a “rotten system” could be “overthrown” by an oligarch or a faction thereof. In fact related oligarchy factions support both Dems and Reps.

    • Dave P.
      June 23, 2018 at 01:03

      Great comments Tom K. Well said.

  13. Exiled off mainstreet
    June 13, 2018 at 19:56

    Unfortunately the democrats have gone full-on fascist in foreign policy with Russia gate and this latest opposition to the Korea gambit. It is, of course,true that the GOP can’t be trusted either, but in part because of the democrats’ dangerous cynicism in this area. What we have is Trump partially resisting the paradigm which, if followed, leads to nuclear danger. Those fomenting war, according to the views given the force of law in the four-power Nuremberg trial of 1946, render themselves guilty of war crimes. Aggressive war is considered the primary crime, subsuming all others according to this doctrine. Too bad the international war crimes court is subservient to US interests like most international bodies in recent years. It will be trouble for major figures in the yankee imperium should developments supersede this yankee power.

    • Sam F
      June 15, 2018 at 09:46

      Both the Dems and Reps are gangster oligarchs, and will never restore democracy.
      The US refuses to sign the treaty of Rome to submit to the ICC for war crimes prosecution.
      The US is the only nation to pass an act to attack the Hague militarily if it prosecutes US citizens.

  14. Peter D
    June 13, 2018 at 18:26

    When did Consortium News morph from a healthy alternative to MSM to a site for knee jerk Trump apologists?

    • Joe Lauria
      June 13, 2018 at 19:57

      This is a perfect example of the paralysis in thinking that partisanship causes. “A non-partisan approach to Trump would be able to decry his positions on climate, torture, health insurance, taxes, Iran and Palestine, and yet welcome his stated desire to lessen tensions with Russia and North Korea.”

      • susan sunflower
        June 13, 2018 at 21:37

        yes, and Democrats should be very afraid … Trump ignored the presumed “gridlock” to reveal … change was possible, and likely that “change” was made possible by not loudly demanding … almost anything

        I read today that the new Republicans immigration bill has plan to do away border-related child/parent separations

        Before Trump, Republicans were in the forefront of prison reform (eating the budget, particularly the private prison industrial complex) …

        Yes, I’m still a registered Democrat, who used to believe in the moral and humanistic superiority of the blue team … which I lost faith in back under Bill Clinton … Now, I’m astonished at their shallow tribalism, demonization of all dissenters and ongoing mockable obsession with 2016

        I’ve been predicting the end of the Party (after Clinton gutted it) for I realize 20+ years … usually framed “they cannot remain credible if they lose another election” and we’ve passed that red-line a few times and they’re STILL blaming Russia and Putin’s very personal vendetta against (ain’t she awesome!) Hillary Clinton It’s surreal… 1000 seats (of various kinds) lost mostly over 10 years, including 8 years of a Democratic Presidency … Putin?

        What’s perhaps most troubling about Trump is that he’s not just an inspirational figure to far too many here in the USA … he’s validation for many euroskeptic right wing populists in Europe … folks who, like the Democrats, have zero intention of stepping down gracefully if electorially defeated but similarly to the Democrat here, seem to have little to offer the left-behind and disgruntled who believe Globalization and immigrants are the first to be blamed for their woes…. surely not neoliberalism and the polarization of money and resources to the top of the food chain (unapologetically)

      • June 14, 2018 at 01:50

        Excellent article, Joe.

        I hope that, somehow, you are able to carve out time to write more often,

        Ray McGovern

    • KiwiAntz
      June 14, 2018 at 05:32

      If this makes any sense, it’s possible to like what Trump’s trying to accomplish, even if you don’t personally like this man? Does that make me a Trump apologist? NO! I find him boorish, narcissistic & a loudmouth but a lot of the US people who voted for him thought the same way but voted for him anyway over all the other a Republican Candidate’s & against the God awful Hillary Clinton? When Trump does something stupid, which is often, it’s correct to call him out for it but if he does something good, like this meeting with Kim Jong Un, he deserves credit for it? Whether anything comes from this only time will tell but at least the nuclear tension’s are winding back from defcon 2 to defcon 5??

  15. DH Fabian
    June 13, 2018 at 17:53

    Democrats are frantically searching for something that will sell. What makes this issue particularly fascinating is that up to this point, Republicans had been working to build support for war against China via Korea. At the same time, Dems were working to build support for war against Russia. This actually worked to bring China and Russia together, working out their years of conflict in view of this potential world threat — the US. Just how this will all turn out is anyone’s guess, but clearly, the US is no longer in the driver’s seat.

  16. Joe
    June 13, 2018 at 17:45

    You have love those jerks at the nyt who have had nothing but praise for Mohammed bin Salman the butcher of Yemen but all of a sudden they act like they care about human rights. Like these assholes really care about the North Korean people.

    • Typingperson
      June 13, 2018 at 21:34

      Yep. The cognitive dissonance I feel from any encounter with the NYT”s foreign policy, natl security and war coverage is head-hurting. And heart-hurting.

      That they support these Saudi and Israeli murderers and egregious human-rights violators while cheerleading for more USA belligerence and war, as with N. Korea. It”s all about promoting USA Empire for them.

      My many Dem friends and family still consider NYT the gold standard of legit journalism. With very few dissenters. They do not question USA wars and backing of terrorists all over the place. So disenheartening to me.

      This is what propagandized people look like.

    • Sunrise Skipper
      June 14, 2018 at 07:42

      Better said, for the Korean people. Cho-son is the old name of united Korea and the current name of what we call ‘North Korea’. In the South when I was a teacher there, just my saying ‘buk han’ (North Korea) would cause the locals to shush me out of fear of the secret police. Saying Cho-son was worse!

  17. KiwiAntz
    June 13, 2018 at 17:43

    Can anyone tell me what the Democratic Party actually stands for in this day & age?? They are Leaderless, rudderless & a total gone burger of a Party? At least with the Republicans you know exactly “what to expect” with the exception of Trump who’s predictably “ unpredictable? But the Democrats are a complete mess, completely ruined by the Clintons & nine years of the dodgy Obama? They are completely paralysed & obsessed in their hatred of Trump & refuse to give him credit for sitting down with Nth Korea & just talking with Kim Jong Un? If HRC had won the US election we’d be at War with Nth Korea & Russia right now?? Democrats are going overboard trying too get him impeached with their faked Russiagate, stories based on the fake Stelle dossier? And unable to extract themselves from this nonsense they created, they are like lemmings, plunging headlong of a cliff? Everyone has had a gutsful & is sick of Russiagate, Mueller & all the rest of this garbage & now everyone is thoroughly sick of the poisonous Democratic Party!!

    • Realist
      June 13, 2018 at 19:13

      It’s my take that you live in New Zealand (Kiwi’s?) yet you have a fuller understanding of US politics than most Americans, proving that no matter how remote one’s location is in this day of instantaneous electronic communication and the internet, keeping a grip on reality is possible.

      • KiwiAntz
        June 14, 2018 at 05:53

        Hi Realist? Yes you are correct, I am a Kiwi in New Zealand & because of our geographic isolation, kiwis are outward looking people, greatly interested in World events? What happen’s in America ripples to all corners of the globe & even to our southern shores, at the bottom of the World, hence my interest in American affairs? I also have American friends & been to America & love the Country & it’s people, it’s just the US Govt that’s the problem? We are all connected via this wonderful medium called the Internet, despite our distance, but what happens in America has a cause & effect in other Countries, even my own, so it pays to be informed? As NZ’s MSM is absolutely dreadful & partisan & just lackeys of the overseas MSM, its nice to get the real news from CN & the many interesting people who comment on the site?

    • Typingperson
      June 13, 2018 at 22:24

      Tis true. I am far to the left of the Democratic Party and I agree with all you said. They had a golden opportunity with Trump’s election to regroup, reform and pivot left–to where their voter base and all the energy is–and regain momentum and dominance.

      Instead they went all-in for Russiagate b.s. And creepy adulation of sinister FBI / CIA intelligence state types like, ahem, Bob Mueller. Their new idol. Just bizzarre.

      Revealed their rottenness and corruption to me. They chose their donor base–war contractors, Wall Street, corps, big biz, Zionists–over their voter base: us little people. As others have pointed out.

      We all make choices. And we pay for them. I’m done voting Dem. Except in select local races. They can sit n’ spin in the midterms as far as I’m concerned.

    • Sunrise Skipper
      June 14, 2018 at 07:44

      I think they are “the Party of No.” Dems are against Trump, which I believe is a failing strategy, more’s the pity!

  18. W. R. Knight
    June 13, 2018 at 17:18

    Your comparison of the Democrats (and others) reactions to Trump’s negotiations with North Korea’s dictator to their reactions to Nixon’s negotiations with China’s dictator is very myopic and fails to take into account that not only are partisan politics vastly different today than in Nixon’s time, but there is an even greater difference between Trump and Nixon. Nixon, was a very astute observer of other world leaders and was motivated by the need to reduce our military commitments in Asia and bring the budget back under control. Judging from Trump’s personal behavior over many years leads us all to believe that his motivations are purely based on the need for self aggrandizement. His concern about the budget is non-existent as evidenced by his tax cuts and military budget increases. The one possible alternative explanation is that he wants to reduce military commitments in Asia in order to have more resources available for an invasion of Iran. That would explain it as well. Otherwise, it appears that he simply wants to be the big hero who gets the Nobel prize for being God’s gift to the world.

    Nixon did a lot of despicable things, but he was informed and he was shrewd. Trump has done a lot of despicable things but he is not informed and he is not shrewd.

    • DH Fabian
      June 13, 2018 at 17:59

      Just a side issue, but we can note that Nixon was far more progressive on core socioeconomic issues (most specifically, US poverty) than today’s Dems and liberals. I can say that back in the 1970s, no one could have imagined how far the country would soon turn to the right.

      • Spike
        June 16, 2018 at 15:00

        That doesn’t quite resonate as truth. One of the most intensely frustrating and fury-inducing aspects of Nixon was his consistent efforts at derailing LBJs War On Poverty. The War On Poverty had some momentum behind it, and Nixon managed to slow it down to almost a halt. Later, the almost unbelievable nightmare of Reagan was that he put in reverse. When Bill Clinton was president I would refer to him as “Nixon from the other direction” because his place on the political spectrum was much the same as Nixon’s but he was slowing down (but not halting) the rightward momentum.

        Lately, when I’ve been feeling angry at the mainstream Democrats, I think about their role in the recent budget negotiations. If it weren’t for the Dems, the entire military build-up would have come on the backs of the poor. So, God bless the mainstream Democrats, corrupt and duplicitous though they are.

        • Skip Scott
          June 17, 2018 at 11:28

          I think you’re giving Bill Clinton a bit of a pass regarding the rightward momentum. His repealing Glass-Steagal, enacting NAFTA, and his welfare reform were HUGE in continuing the ever growing income inequality. He doesn’t get a pass from me just because he’s got a “D” after his name.

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 13, 2018 at 18:18

      Yes! Nixon had a strategic goal: weaken Russia by driving a wedge between China and the Soviets. The neocons, on the other hand, want to destroy Iran without facing the possibility of war on two fronts. There’s a big difference, and it has nothing to do with astute geopolitical reasoning.

    • Typingperson
      June 13, 2018 at 22:48

      Agreed. Trump is all about Trump. Not an astute, informed thinker like Nixon at all. (Tho sadly Nixon was paranoid as all get out and way too reliant on Kissinger. And his admin was a breeding ground for deplorables like Cheney and Rumsfeld.)

      That said, how does any of that justify Dems piling on against Trump for not getting unilateral nuke disarmament agreement from Kim in initial talk? Which is just willfull stupidity on the part of the Dems.

      Whatever his motives may be don’t matter. He had the meeting with Kim. Excellent. Obama didnt.

      Gosh. It’s almost like Dems and their media organs want to sabotage and discredit this very positive initial meeting with N. Korea because of their blind hatred for Trump.

      It’s almost as if they care nothing for ending wars, stopping nukes and making peace to the benefit of the American people and humanity at large.

      Out of spite.

  19. June 13, 2018 at 16:22

    Good article by Mr Lauria. I believe these talks are at least, a good start.
    No sane person in today’s world should be against “Peace.” Unfortunately, there are insane people who live for wars, and the profits of war, while others die. They are the war criminals – past and present – running the world today.

    • susan sunflower
      June 13, 2018 at 17:38

      yes, you don’t use the dove of peace for target practice …. or disparage the idea that “peace is possible” — an idea that has become exotic, silenced for more than a decade … that we could, just stop … accept defeat (in most cases) and end-the-war(s). … It is small, vague and undefined … sad it’s such a sea-change … as Yemen is revved up and Syrian continues and Somalia claimed another uniformed American’s life on a vague and “secret” mission …

  20. Realist
    June 13, 2018 at 16:05

    I think the axe that the New York Times and the rest of the corporate media have to grind against Trump is mostly personal, rather than partisan or ideological. If Hillary were in office carrying out the exact same policy they’d either be praising her brave bold moves, or at least remain silent and deferential. Trump is simply considered to be a usurper of the throne by the establishment which had decided that “this is the girl.” You know, “excellent choice, Adam.” Well, that dream got derailed by a third party: the American voters. But the establishment just won’t have it, even if it means prolonging tragic wars as ammunition to shoot down the pretender. The whole world is caught in their line of fire against Trump. Trump is no bargain by any means, but the corporate media slithers even lower through the mud trying to drag him down at any cost.

    • Realist
      June 13, 2018 at 16:18

      Ha! I just read about Rachel Maddow’s take on the Kim-Trump summit meeting.

      Get this:
      “Finally, after 17 minutes of screeching and facial contortions, Maddow announced her theory —which could come as a shock to no one – that the real reason Trump took the meeting with Kim and agreed to halt military exercises with South Korea was obviously…Putin wanted him to.” (from RT)

      Trump’s “puppet master” strikes again. As the late B. Bunny used to say, “what a maroon!”

      • vinnieoh
        June 13, 2018 at 16:32

        Eddie says: “You mean you could get out of those cuffs ANYTIME? And Roger Rabbit says: “No; only when it was funny.”

      • Realist
        June 13, 2018 at 19:24


        Actually, ANY would be a start to give you lunatics even a shred of credibility.

        Obviously, decided to go all in on the crazy train today did we, Stranger-together? I don’t see a factual sentence amongst the big tub of word salad you produced.

      • Typingperson
        June 13, 2018 at 23:50

        Wow. She has really jumped the shark. Is she truly this stupid–or just playing to the crowd to keep ratings up and that sweet $30K per episode coming in?

        One of the many reasons I don’t watch TV news or blither-blatherers like Maddow.

      • Typingperson
        June 13, 2018 at 23:56

        You seem to really believe the nonsense you spew, strgr-tgthr. And live in your own fact-free, bizzaro reality.

        No concern of mine–except I think you are representative of many unhinged Clinton Dems. You all are as nuts as the Tea-Partiers.

    • mike k
      June 13, 2018 at 17:21

      Also Trump was the one who made the label “fake news” stick on the media. And he even dared to dis the intel bunch. Got to be some payback for that. And bringing our troops home, that was big time treason. Not to speak of cozying up to Vlad Putin. Trumpsky sure knew how to make instant enemies in the Establishment.

    • susan sunflower
      June 13, 2018 at 17:40

      Maddow also announced that BOTH China and RUSSIA share a border with North Korea …. OMG, who knew????

      ( think Russia is the world-record holder on number of shared borders … but it’s worth a map perusal to note both Russia and Iran’s border-mates (see also history, history!!!) and consider how they are never mentioned as stakeholders or interested parties, but always treated as aggressive interlopers.

      • Realist
        June 13, 2018 at 20:33

        The difference between you and Maddow and her devotee Strgr-tgthr is that you interface with the real world rather than just some imaginary construct in your head. Moreover, if Putin is as insightful, prescient and skilled in manipulating human events all over the world as these Chicken Little’s say he is, the man is not just an ordinary human, but some kind of wizard with preternatural gifts, like Gandalf. That’s the sort of skill set America needs in its leader to avoid destroying the Earth either through war, poisoning our own nest or resource depletion.

        Trump was perceptive enough to see those realities even before he committed to run for president, but Mordor (aka the “Deep State”) seems to have co-opted his soul in other ways, since they couldn’t defeat him at the ballot box or succeed in the soft coup they launched afterwards. If Mueller had the goods, Trump would have been apprised, even if we weren’t, and he would have resigned for health reasons or some such.

        The charade has been going on for a year and a half already with no evidence forthcoming. Compare that to the unfortunate witch hunt against Bill Clinton, which did uncover endless personal peccadilloes and maneuvered him into a perjury trap. Perhaps Mueller shamelessly thinks he can manipulate the naive and egotistical Trump into a similar trap. Perhaps Mordor already made him “an offer he couldn’t refuse” to do their bidding, as he seems to be doing even as Mordor’s mouthpiece (the corporate media) continues to berate him in order to bamboozle the people. Wouldn’t be the first time the establishment has publicly condemned someone for doing exactly what it secretly wants. Maybe their approach is to keep him under threat and insecure in order to manipulate him and extract the foreign policies they want. His entire administration so far has certainly been a walking contradiction of his campaign.

        If you think about it, Trump has become so predictable, compliant and putty in the hands of his adversaries (and now handlers) in the Deep State, that they would probably prefer to keep him in office as a known quantity, both to goose and drag down the economy and the petrobuck as they see fit, rather than install Pence and possibly have to thoroughly re-educate and condition him. But that doesn’t mean they will stop beating him up and going all in to defeat him in the 2020 election cycle, either in the primaries or the general. I’m sure they’ve got their hand-picked puppets, absolutely owned by and loyal to Mordor, all ready to run, and it’s just the public that doesn’t yet know who they are.

        • susan sunflower
          June 13, 2018 at 22:23

          Trump is an inspirational figure to Euroskeptics (who like many right wing populists can sound much more reasonable than folks who blather on about the glories of globalization (that many individuals have never seen, even where they exist, like ginormous flat screen TVs and cell-phones with amazing features (the better to track you with my dear) ..

          I don’t know how this is going to fall out …. the article elsewhere here on France’s plan for further censorship (in line with holocaust denial laws) — the folly of which may not be apparent to the status quo lovers (until the laws are inefffective in silencing but also undermine the “liberal values” such laws assert they are protecting … France is complicated, but we will see wrong-headed even if “idealistic” push-back against the fascists … thank god for our ACLU (who know all too well how changeable their “popularity” often is.

          Midterm nonstop or too-much coverage started 06/01/2018; and I fear the “liberal press” will segue directly into “road to the white house” hysteria. They do seem and have seemed bound and determined to exhaust all enthusiasm or interest, as they try to narrow “the choices” by limiting the conversation, particularly with the Democratic dead-calm.

          I’ve heard nothing about the DSA for weeks; World Social Forum (August 2018) apparently has been experiencing some “aging out” and the recent the Left Forum passed without a mention anywhere I saw … Doesn’t feel like anything is coalescing … Socialism 2018 is early July in Chicago (only) this year The Democratic confab is apparently upon us, where they have to ratify the changes or fail to do so. … None of this is getting any love or publicity.

          I read fast and I’m willing to read things that are obtuse and even badly written … but I’m not seeing a lot new thought … and can’t keep up with what I suspect are feuds … teeth bared … same old same old.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 14, 2018 at 22:42

          In all happened around the same time. Joe diGenova on the alternative net started talking about the McCabe, Strzok, and the Comey, shenanigans going on. Then Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel capital. Now it appears that the too long Mueller Investigation is losing steam, and finally after 4 months CNN & MSNBC is starting to report on the IG’s findings on the Hillary Clinton FBI Investigation, of what diGenova was aiming at… what a convoluted mess. I still maintain that the game changer for Trump in regard to this Russia-gate business, was his recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital …. and with that there is the Zionist involvement theory.

          Russian collusion is disappearing and I do believe this is Trump’s reward for being a good Zionist.

          What say you Realist? Joe

          • F. G. Sanford
            June 14, 2018 at 23:20

            Hey Joe – I think you’re on to something! Hillary is bullet proof, but the question is “why”? Like I said way back when, NO war with North Korea, and NO indictment for Hillary. Its history’s mysteries! Well, it’s only a mystery to those unwilling to touch the “third rail” of American politics.

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 15, 2018 at 00:56

            I expect someone in DC in the dead of night will hit the reset button, or either that then this that they all throw each other in jail could be the finally outcome of all this reality tv show drama, if we are lucky. But we the people are never that lucky, read your history books if you don’t believe me…. I’m starting to like Kim, WTF?

          • Realist
            June 15, 2018 at 10:22

            We both know, Joe, that Trump has never been Putin’s puppet, he’s been Netanyahoo’s puppet. But, as O’Brien explained to Winston, skillful massage of the mass psyche by the Ministry of Propaganda, erm, the media, has most people believing the converse, which is exactly as the insiders want things kept.

            Yes, Trump is doing their bidding. They should be delighted with his performance, but they still don’t want the public to discern the cause and effect, so they will continue to pound him in the media. Besides, they can always replace him with another stooge amongst the “papabile” they are always grooming, or they can gin up a false flag crisis custom made for him to shine after, should they decide to keep him until 2024. Both major candidates will always be “their guy,” it’s only the people who cast votes who think that the public has any real choice in the matter and any kind of direct influence on national policy. American politics is all a “Punch and Judy” show, and every candidate and office-holder just a sock puppet of the oligarchy. Look at who constitutes the oligarchy, who are the aristocrats, the big business investors, the media moguls, the bankers, financiers and political contributors and you will see who controls the show, I mean American government.

          • Realist
            June 15, 2018 at 10:37

            Joe, your’e starting to “like” Kim because the media has finally allowed you some access to his actual personality on air, rather than the contrived demonisations of him exclusively fed to you prior to his meeting with Trump.

            The deep state is, of course, still hedging its bets on the NK crisis, as well as all the other ones they have fermenting, so they keep conflicting narratives going in the media with some factions praising Trump’s moves (to the extant of promoting him for a Nobel Peace Prize) whereas others (most notably the dead end Hillary Democrats like Maddow) continue to condemn him as the Devil’s disciple just bidding time until his impeachment and fall from paradise… taking Putin, the Devil himself, with him.

            They say that Uncle Sam likes to promote chaos in the greater world in order to control it, which is what all the wars are about even if we never “win” them, but you can see the powers that be doing the same thing domestically. They will never allow any leader to become so successful and popular that he becomes more powerful than his string-pullers lurking behind the backdrop.

      • TS
        June 17, 2018 at 09:59

        > Maddow also announced that BOTH China and RUSSIA share a border with North Korea
        > …. OMG, who knew????

        “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography”

        — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

  21. rosemerry
    June 13, 2018 at 15:55

    I read a Thomas Knapp article where he interpreted Nancy Pelosi’s comment as a desire to destroy millions of people rather than let Trump have a success! and it really does look like that. Even for the USA, the gross partisanship and mean-spiritedness, not to mention the utter terror at the thought of peace in any form, this refusal to consider a possible breakthrough in a very serious issue is frightening.

    • Ricardo29
      June 13, 2018 at 19:14

      Being another foreigner I have only a non-partisan view on this whole issue but it seems to me the Democrats lost a lot of legitimacy when they did so much to hobble Bernie Sanders campaign. I am certainly not blind to the many past and present wickednesses of the US, after all Consortiumnews keeps on rolling them out, but as I noted somewhere else Kim has actual blood on his hands while Trump, so far, hasn’t. I think Trump would like to see North Korea opened up to US businesses like McDonalds, KFC and Coke/Pepsi after all it must just about the last bastion for that particular variety of American invasion.

      • TS
        June 17, 2018 at 10:07

        > but as I noted somewhere else Kim has actual blood on his hands while Trump, so far, hasn’t.

        You might try asking the people of Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen (to mention only the most blatant examples) about that….

  22. Martin - Swedish citizen
    June 13, 2018 at 15:17

    President Trump’s attitude looks promising in the case of North Korea. With the mutual stated goal of peace, he is completely right that demonstrating sincerity and good will (as does NK, too) only furthers that final goal, and is not a sign of weakness, but rather the opposite – being nitty gritty reveals lack of trust or sincerity. Perhaps Trump really is much superior to Obama, Pelosi and their likes in negotiating? We can only hope that the US and NK are sincere and remain sincere – no Libya, and that Trump can muster and receive the support he needs domestically.
    Of course, it would be nice to see more of the same in other circumstances.
    Related, the Canadian turmoil reminded of a scene from a film where Alan Alda as president of the US starts a cold war with … Canada, to boost popularity. It appeared this was from a very entertaining and sharply critical film from 1995 by Michael Moore: “Canadian Bacon”. In a way, it predicts Russia-gate, the war on terror, mass media complete propaganda. A clear vision, indeed.

  23. John V. Walsh
    June 13, 2018 at 15:12

    Bravo, Joe Luria.
    Solid articles like this are very much in the best tradition of Consortium News.
    The anti-Trumpers clearly hate Trump more than they hate war – if indeed they do hate war.
    This is not new. The press has been anti-Trump from the moment he declared as a candidate that we should “get along with Russia,” that NATO was “obsolete”, that the wars in the Middle East and North Africa were a “waste of trillions of dollars” and thousands of lives both American and innocents in the region. That last may have been been Trump’s worst sin in the eyes of the hegemonists in control of the Elite segment of both Parties and all the mainstream media.
    Clearly Trump thinks Empire is a waste, and he hews closer to Ron Paul’s call to “mind our own business” than any other President since WWII. Trump is skeptical of imperialism and an advocate of economic nationalism. For him it is all about the US remaining wealthy by economic superiority not by force of arms. That is a great step forward as far as peace in the world goes. The only fly in his ointment is the hold Israel has on US politics and apparently on his brain. Otherwise it is a step forward on the road to a peaceful world, one that would have never been taken with Hillary in charge. We dodged a bullet!
    Keep up the great work.

    • dahoit
      June 14, 2018 at 13:30

      great comment.

  24. atkco
    June 13, 2018 at 14:53

    I can’t go along with this. I’m all for giving peace a chance, and I have long been bothered by extreme partisanship and hypocrisy by both major parties, but we have a lying, egomaniac, and possibly criminal President who’s best abilities appear to be putting himself in the spotlight and making friends with our adversaries while antagonizing our allies. Is that the fault of Democrats? Is this all charade that I will someday come to learn of and this President is way ahead of us all? Not likely.

    • Professor
      June 13, 2018 at 15:17

      atkco ,,,keep your eye on the ball. Our troops in Korea 65 years after the Korean Conflict when we have blocked rapprochement at least 3 times and have not allowed the Koreas to sign a Peace Treaty. This is a waste. It does not deter China in any way , why did Clinton give China Favored Nation Trading status after the Tiananmen Square massacre? Is Korea/ Kim really an issue? NO , they aren’t going to commit suicide and bomb anybody. PERIOD> This is about rockets and warheads. Yep, they got ’em. Sorry, not allowed, they aren’t Israel. they aren’t India. Vietnam could build them as well, but that’s not an issue is it? and we are all in favor of Saudi Arabia and Qatar building reactors. If Trump can get Kim to move on this while surrendering our wasteful bullying tactics on the peninsula good for him. No matter what , this will not get him re-elected. It will take the economy to keep blazing for 3 more years, forget Global Warming and PS The, Presidents , are all criminals, it is in the job description and the things that they agree to let our intelligence services do in our name is worse 100 TIMES than any “Crime” this billionaire my have committed in the past. The question is, ARE THE DEMOCRATS THE PARTY OF WAR NOW? Will this win the election in 2018 and 2020 I hope not. I hope they come up with some policy. One more thing, If Trump could actually get rid of NATO, which is what he said he wanted to do before he was elected, that would be a tremendous step towards lasting World Peace and Progress in the world. Just imagine how the “Democratic Party” would react to that.

  25. Robert Pates
    June 13, 2018 at 14:28

    I don’t think I’m being daft here — But Trump (loathsome individual that he is) has shown that — Yes! Making peace really IS that simple. TAKE A F******* RISK (As George Carlin might have advised Obomber). Commit to cooperation not competiton. Get on a plane, go visit leaders directly, treat them with respect. Why not Tehran next, then Damascus, then Moscow. And in a month the world would be significantly changed. So the good news is that, given a reasonable US regime consisting of half-competent, vaguely sincere, courageous people (a huge ask right now, of course) — it would not take long to turn things around. One of the ways the media confuse things (as shills for the damned military industrials) is to argue that peace is so difficult. Another mistake made in the US is that the media and commentators immediate assume all foreigners are as deceitful and violent as we are. Again — see the advice above from George Carlin (now there would have been a President we could have been proud of).

  26. Lin Cleveland
    June 13, 2018 at 14:21

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said: “In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo.”

    How utterly arrogant, Mzzz Pelosi!

    He felt that if peace were achieved and the North Korean economy improved (with the likely participation of U.S. corporations) that human rights would improve.

    Wait a minute, here, Donnie! As Mr. Lauria implies corporations do not improve human rights. Corporations exploit! Bet #45 hasn’t even been informed about “The Poor People’s Campaign.”

    Attacking other nations’ human rights record while ignoring one’s own, or one’s allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, is classic projection designed to wash one’s conscience clean. It helps to hold a position in the post-War Western-dominated international system making it easy to convince oneself of one’s righteousness, though self-reflection would reveal that that system has become a grotesque image of its former self.

    Yes! Amen!

  27. F. G. Sanford
    June 13, 2018 at 14:15

    Well, today is “St. Anthony”, and we celebrate the “Patron Saint” of hopeless causes. I’m not siding with democrats or republicans. Sure, I hope this all works out for the best. But so far, my original hypothesis — “NOTHING will happen” — appears to remain afloat. A piece of paper containing no specifics has been signed. We got some great “photo ops”. There has been no “fire and fury like the world has never seen”. But that was never a realistic possibility.

    If Sun Tzu were alive, he’d probably note that there are approximately 250,000 Americans living in South Korea, and it would be logistically impossible to evacuate them in a timely or efficient manner. He would also note that North Korea has 21,500 heavy artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, and they are revetted into mountainside caves and tunnels where they are practically immune to aerial bombardment. He would avail himself of a realistic appraisal of the political climate: “Know your enemy and know yourself”. John Bolton, who attempted to sabotage the talks, has promised the MEK that they will constitute the “new government of Iran by 2019”. Joe DiGenova has provided the MEK with legal assistance, and Rudy Giuliani has apparently received honoraria for speaking on their behalf. The agreement with Iran has been terminated. I won’t even get into who else supports the MEK or their obvious self-interests.

    Sun Tzu, if available for consultation, would give the current administration very simple advice: “One war at a time.” It was necessary for the current crop of neocon strategists to extricate itself from the possibility of war on two fronts. It doesn’t matter if the deal progresses or not. For the time being, and for the foreseeable future, NOTHING will happen.

    • rosemerry
      June 13, 2018 at 15:59

      North and South Korea have already agreed not to attack each other, so the help of the USA to protect the South should no longer be needed. No wonder the warmongers are angry, criticising the words “war games” which have provoked North Korean anger for decades and now may be stopped. Surely this small step is useful.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 13, 2018 at 16:52

      I’m glad you mention the complexity of all these wars F.G., because I constantly wonder if the U.S. global war machine is ready to go global all at one time. The massive size of the U.S. military with all its gadgets, and bases, and the logistic nightmares that this all conjures up is mind boggling. Consider this, while contemplating to how the U.S. for over 70 years hasn’t really won a war, and then picture the managing of the size of it all, as the U.S. goes stomping mud holes all over the planet. Remember, the bigger they are the harder they fall. Joe

  28. susan sunflower
    June 13, 2018 at 13:42

    Fascinating This Week’s Intercepted podcast on Korea, particularly how American and North Korean belligerence mobilized the South Korean people who rallied to demand changes, negotiation, progress … exhausted by being treated as pawns living under constant all-too-real nuclear threat …. (second half on healthcare also good) — also a good summary of the warmongering Democratic response ….

    “”This week on Intercepted: As TV pundits gasped at the sight of the North Korean and U.S. flags side by side and Trump treating Kim Jong-un as an “equal,” a solid majority of Koreans supported the summit. UC Santa Cruz professor Christine Hong talks about the significance of this moment, how the U.S. has sabotaged peace in the past, and what an end to the war might look like. “”
    (apparently a majority or near-majority of Americans also supported the meet-up).

  29. mbob
    June 13, 2018 at 13:02

    Democratic opposition to the summit with N. Korea has nothing to do with geopolitics. One needs to distinguish Establishment Democratic reaction from the relatively progressive minority Democratic reaction. Establishment Democrats are uniformly opposed to the summit. Progressive Democrats generally approve.

    When considering the political ads I’ve seen recently, it’s clear where those differences come from. Progressive Democrats campaign on Trump, but they also campaign on other issues: healthcare, minimum wage, jobs, the economy, etc. They can afford to support Trump’s summit.

    Establishment Democrats campaign solely on opposition to Trump. They have nothing else. If the summit is a good thing, then Trump did something praiseworthy, so electing him was not a total failure, and Russiagate loses much of its force. Obama and his legacy lose some of their stature too: why didn’t he do this? That leaves Establishment Democrats with nothing to campaign on. They can’t accept that.

    Neither can the neoliberal/globalist corporate media, which opposes any progress towards world peace, including improved relations with Russia. Such accomplishments represent setbacks to their agenda of infinite war.

    • susan sunflower
      June 13, 2018 at 13:30

      yes, this is another dog-in-the-manger, “deplorables” moment of “low comedy” for the Democrats … There’s plenty of reason for wait-and-see, but there’s much to hope of change can be sustained, less saber-rattling (of the nuclear kind) and elevating Koreans and their leadership to the status of “real human beings” and stakeholders.

    • vinnieoh
      June 13, 2018 at 14:40

      Excellent observation, and one I’m sure that is completely foreign to Democratic PTB’s. It’s all about who’s first in line at the trough. With every day the moral and political bankruptcy of the D party establishment comes more plainly into view.

  30. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    June 13, 2018 at 13:00

    Bill Clinton will take all the credit for making the Democrats (supposedly party of the people) end up being a copy of the Republicans (party of the establishment)……….He single handedly threw the party into the arms of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street Bankers!! He brought Robert Rubin and Larry Summers into the White House and engineered the removal of Glass-Steagall Act which ultimately led to the financial disaster of 2007. History will judge that no one caused more harm to the US than Bill Clinton and the irony is that he is one of the MOST POPULAR PRESIDENTS in the history of America!!! Tells you much about Americans, doesn’t ?!……………

  31. Jeff Harrison
    June 13, 2018 at 12:25

    I’m not at all sure that it’s partisanship, actually. I think the word you’re really looking for is stupidity. They are simply unable to actually think. They can’t make a critical assessment of a situation and assess the best response to it. They (and to be clear, I accuse both Democrats and Republicans of this) simply reach into their bag of ideological idiocies and drag some cookie cutter answer out that in all likelihood doesn’t address the problem that we’re trying to solve and also in all likelihood isn’t even feasible in the instant situation. Where I come from, that’s called stupidity.

    What really pisses me off is the likes of Joe Walsh (as well as Pelosi and Schumer) Oh, the US is the brightest, most benevolent nation on earth. The man is clearly delusional but he and the rest of them don’t seem to understand that a negotiation is a transaction, nothing more, nothing less. You want something from your interlocutor and your interlocutor wants something from you. You don’t have to like your interlocutor; you can think he’s something you scraped off the sole of your shoe. But you’ve got to talk to him because even if you possessed the brightness and benevolence claimed, it wouldn’t cause other countries to suddenly decide to stop and agree to all the US demands. Oh, and the NYT editorial board needs to get out of their propaganda bubble. The rest of the world would be laughing at their image of themselves and others.

  32. June 13, 2018 at 12:23

    Yes we should all rejoice in the progress made with N. Korea. However, (deal w/ N Korea) + (no more deal with Iran) + (no action on climate)= trading one potential collosal disaster for another. Certainly for the military this will free up resources that can reallocated to Iran and Yemen. In our effort to call out Democrats as the faux progressive party, let’s not get baffled or rosy eyed about the Republicans

  33. Ol' Hippy
    June 13, 2018 at 12:19

    As if the USA has ever been able to be trusted by talks, agreements and treaties. All this ballyhoo for the Korean peninsula means anything(I wish it did), Mr Trump and his neocon buddies trashed the JCPOA, Iran deal a few weeks ago. Memories are short these days. And I thought my brain was pickled by gallons of vodka I used to cope with the cold war and capitalism in general.

    I’m guessing these talks will be trashed by the aggression of the neocons just itching for another fight. With Bolton in the wings I really don’t think this has much of a chance to succeed. After all he got Bush II to abandon the original framework agreement of Clinton’s ’94 actions to reduce tensions and stop weapons development. That was ’02. Four years later N Korea detonated their first nuclear device. Calling NK a terrorist state is a joke. Yet the powers do it anyway. I’d like very much for this to succeed but all I can foresee is another breaking an agreement in a long line of breaking going back several centuries.

    • zhenry
      June 14, 2018 at 05:33

      I have not followed the talks closely but for NKorea to denuclearise would surely be foolish considering the US record Lybia and so on.
      But It seems reasonable to me to stop the US war exercises, considering the devastation of US bombing during NKorea war.
      Are the 2 nations going to now, get their buerocrats to nut out a more detailed agreement or is that it?
      A lot of noise about an agreement that the US can break anytime it suites

  34. ThomasGilroy
    June 13, 2018 at 12:10

    But instead of the support Nixon received from the opposition party, Trump has been blasted by Democrats, who’ve put any prospect for peace behind their partisan quest to regain power.

    That is absolutely true which is why the Democrats mostly hope a peace agreement with North Korea fails. An agreement between Kim Jong un and Trump would go a long ways toward ensuring that Trump wins the 2020 election. Of course, this is also strongly deperndent on continued economic growth and low unemployment. For Democrats, that would be a catastrophe of epic proportions. While the Republicans surely disliked Obama and attempted to undermine everything he did, Democratic hate for Trump has reached new levels.

    Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted: “The US committed genocide during the Korean War, killing 20% of North Korea’s population, burning literally all of its cities to the ground w/ napalm, & nearly nuking it. Today it threatens w extermination. Reporters must ask Kim how he can make peace with such a brutal country.”

    Max Blumenthal leaves out the historical context to the bombing of the North. The leader of North Korea (Kim Il-sung) asked Stalin for permission to invade the South. Stalin gave his OK leading to the invasion and the war. Russia knew that the US would respond to North Korean aggression. Does anyone believe that Stalin cared how many North Koreans died (or for that matter South Koreans)? To this day, Stalin has been accused of genocide against Ukrainians (Holodomor). The Korean War was supported by Russia and China. China committed a massive amount of troops to ensure that North Korea remained a communist, authoritarian country to this day. How many people have died in the North Korean gulags while South Korea has thrived? The war was entirely the fault of North Korea and Russia – but you won’t hear that from Blumenthal.

    • Jeff Harrison
      June 13, 2018 at 12:29

      The context you’re (probably deliberately) leaving out is that Kim was the leader of the Koreans that were driving the Japanese colonizers out of the country while the South Korean government were the apparatchiks that helped run Korea for the Japanese colonizers.

      • Sam F
        June 13, 2018 at 14:07

        Very true. I suggest further reading, Thomas, to see the more complex causes of the Korean War.

    • David G
      June 13, 2018 at 13:58

      ThomasGilroy, your views on Korea appear to be based on unreconstructed propaganda. As an introduction to reality, I recommend two books by Bruce Cumings: “North Korea: Another Country” (2003), and “The Korean War: A History” (2010).

      • Sam F
        June 13, 2018 at 14:14

        Yes, Cumings books are factual and well written. There are also memoirs of the US military government. Avoid the “hooray for our brave victors” books, which say whatever sells to the conformist mind.

        • David G
          June 13, 2018 at 15:10

          Another really interesting read is “General Dean’s Story” (1954), by William F. Dean, the most senior U.S. POW of the war, captured in the initial DPRK advance and held for the duration of the war.

      • ThomasGilroy
        June 13, 2018 at 19:37

        The Korean War was planned and initiated by Kim II Sung – and approved by Stalin and Mao Zedong. According to Katheryn Weathersby (“SOVIET AIMS IN KOREA AND THE ORIGINS OF THE KOREAN WAR, 1945-1950: NEW EVIDENCE FROM RUSSIAN ARCHIVES; November 1993):

        The most important revisionist account, Bruce Cumings’ monumental two-volume study of the origins of the Korean War,9 concluded that the question remains open whether it was in fact the DPRK or the ROK that initiated the military action on 25 June 1950………He furthermore called it “nonsense” to suggest that Stalin would have approved the invasion because he thought the United States would not intervene.10

        Weathersby shows that in fact, Stalin did give the approval for the plan to invade the South although not because of a Soviet expansionism. The plan was formulated by Kim II Sung.

        Calculating that the USA would not enter a war over South Korea, Kim Il Sung persistently pressed for agreement from Stalin and Mao Zedong to reunify the country by military means. (telegrams #4-51, 233, 1950)………The final agreement to support the plans of the Koreans was given by Stalin at the time of Kim Il Sung’s visit to Moscow in March-April 1950. Following this, in May, Kim Il Sung visited Beijing and secured the support of Mao………According to Yu Song-chol, a retired DPRK lieutenant general who translated the operational plan in 1950, shortly after Kim returned to Korea, “a dispatch authorizing an invasion of the south came down from the Soviet Union………The draft plan for the 6-25 (June 25) southern invasion was prepared directly by this Soviet military advisory group. Its title was ‘Preemptive Strike Operational Plan.’………That was in early May 1950.”68


        According to Khrushchev, Stalin was worried that the Americans would intervene but other Soviet officials thought this could be avoided through a rapid victory. Stalin allegedly then asked Mao’s opinion, and the Chinese leader approved Kim’s plan.69

        The blame for the initiation of the Korean War rest entirely with Kim II Sung, Mao and Stalin. Sorry, I didn’t have time to read the more recent books by Cumings.

        • Sam F
          June 13, 2018 at 23:02

          Thomas, that would be to start the story in the middle, after the real causes were in place. That leads to error because Kim Il Sung and his people had fought a long, bitter revolution against the Japanese imperialists both before and during WWII. When you have seen that, you will wonder who kept you from seeing that they did not invade out of pure aggression, but to finish a revolution something like ours but with much stronger causes. When one can see the issues from both sides, then one can wonder how the US failed to see what it was getting into after WWII. It is embarrassing, but it leads to a better understanding of Vietnam.

    • Typingperson
      June 14, 2018 at 01:19

      You seem to have forgotten Japan. Japan and USA were both aggressors v. N. Korea. Not in your high school history book here in the USA, I guess.

      If South Korea was / is so great, then why do I know so many South Koreans whose parents emigrated to the US to escape political repression and poverty / lack of economic opportunity?

      And what do you make of all the amazing housing complexes North Korea under Kim has built for its people in the past few years?

      While here in the USA there is an epic housing crisis in all the big cities. And so many homeless people.

      I don’t think North Korea has anything like the homeless population we have here in the USA. They take care of their own instead of spending trillions of dollars waging war on innocent people in other countries.

  35. mike k
    June 13, 2018 at 10:41

    We should not let criticism and negativity harden into habitual attitudes that block all hope and optimism. Keep the doors of heart and mind open to possibility. Give peace a chance in your heart.

  36. Greg Thrasher
    June 13, 2018 at 10:30

    Bravo…. Finally a reasoned analysis of this historical development YET jalso soaked in politics as well.


  37. jsinton
    June 13, 2018 at 10:26

    Yeah, I was reading some faux-progressive sites last night. I was struck by how they all sounded like “sour grapes” over the N. Korea deal. It reminded me of the day Fox News had to report the Obama economy had actually improved. Hannity was positively morose. And Fox & Friends looked like they just lost their favorite dog.

  38. vinnieoh
    June 13, 2018 at 09:58

    As I try to sort all of this out for my own understanding I remind myself to separate what I fervently wish (world peace) from stubborn realities. It is too soon to tell just what will come out of this initiative. It IS much better to be talking than to be loudly threatening each other. This editorial tsk-tsking Democrats is just so much BS as both wings of the political class are equally militaristic and avaricious, and what reasonable person expected them to react differently? The 2018 election is on the horizon and I suspect this is more of a domestic political ploy by Trump than anything else, as it carries no cost. If it fails he will blandly and diffidently claim “Oh well, I tried!”

    That said, I am very curious about Mr. Moon’s apparent long-standing desire for Korean re-unification. It seems highly unlikely to me that the Kim dynasty and all the military bureaucracy of the DPRK would relinquish their power and privilege and consent to a free and open society along the lines of the ROK. Likewise, it seems unfathomable that the citizens of the ROK would agree to live in a backwards, repressive, authoritarian regime along the lines of the DPRK. So, accepting for argument that re-unification would be the most desirable result in a sane world, I remind myself that this world is not sane, and way too much water has gone over the dam for re-unification to have a reasonable chance of success.

    So, thinking along these lines, I conjectured that the most attainable outcome would be the continuation of both sovereign states and the normalization of relations between them. The hope being that in this way the south could help the north modernize and become more open, prosperous, and functional. I was satisfied with this mental construct until I thought about it more thoroughly.

    If relations were normalized and emigration/immigration between the separated Koreas was opened up (it seems apparent that many Koreans north and south desire this,) what would be likely to happen? Judging by all accounts of life in the DPRK, it seems reasonable to assume that a fairly large wave of citizens there would head south. Is it reasonable to think that Kim, et al, would allow this to happen, and trust that those no longer under the authoritarian thumb to keep their experiences to themselves and continue to sing the praises of their dear leaders – the Kims?

    Re-unification without free and open borders would be oxymoronic and empty posturing, and would ultimately lead to the demise of the DPRK. It could also conceivably lead to the resumption of open conflict between and among Koreans. This what-if-ing doesn’t even take into account China’s large and not disinterested influence. The ROK and China already have a robust and active trade relationship, and the modernization of the north could be very much to China’s benefit, though China and the DPRK share a kindred reliance on an authoritarian social construct.

    Like I said, all conjecture and thinking aloud with my keyboard. What do others here imagine about the prospects of a re-unified Korea?

    One last thought. All the talk is about de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, when the real conversation should be about the DE-MILITARIZATION there. Except for the informed indications of radiation detectors, the death and destruction resulting from a massive artillery barrage from one side and the indiscriminate aerial bombardment from the other would be indistinguishable from a nuclear exchange. Horrid suffering and despair and another blow to the collective human psyche that we are an intelligent species.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 13, 2018 at 10:16

      Very well said vinnieoh. I too believe that this negotiating between the North and South of Korea is where the action is. I believe that although the U.S. is very involved, I also believe that the 2 Korea’s are the real game changers. While Moon Jae in threads a very fine needle to keep the U.S. relevant, or at least his keeping the U.S. feeling it still earns S Korea’s respect, Moon reaches out to his Northern counterpart encouraging an end be brought to the Peninsula’s 70 year old war. Yet even with all of his clever diplomacy Moon Jae in’s diplomatic genius goes unnoticed, or rather ignored, by the American press. Joe

      Professor Gary Leupp of Tuft’s University strikes at the very nerve center of our country’s divided nature problem.

      • vinnieoh
        June 13, 2018 at 15:08

        Thanks for the link. The Brzezinkis of this world would lead us to a dead planet of festering corpses.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 13, 2018 at 16:40

          I’m glad you enjoyed the link. Joe

      • Cratylus
        June 13, 2018 at 15:18

        The last resort of those who cannot bear to give Trump credit is to hand it all to Moon. Tedesky is a good example here.
        Patent nonsense. SK is an occupied country and the Singapore Summit could not be forced on Trump nor could the beginnngs of NK/SK detente have occurred without Trump’s involvement and encouragement – for which Moon has thanked him.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 13, 2018 at 16:39

          Cratylus I’m not taking anything away from Trump. Trump does deserve credit I agree, but why leave out a Moon Jae in. After all the whole game changed when Moon Jae in got elected. Trump is more of a symptom of the problem. The 2 Korea’s are what we should focus on. So loosen up Cratylus, or you’ll start sounding like the rest of the partisan noise that’s out there. Joe

    • ToivoS
      June 13, 2018 at 13:37

      You raise some important questions. The issue of reunification is not something that the US will have any role. That is entirely up to the Koreans. In my thinking should that happen it will be a slow process that will likely take decades. But that is a process that cannot begin with the US having 30,000 permanently stationed troops in South Korea. I know a few Koreans from the south who are not enthusiastic over such a re-integration. They see the north as hopelessly poor and would become a major drain on their own social services. It will take some time to break down those prejudices.

      So it will be a process. We can imagine the development of certain economic zones where workers from the North become major source of labor. Their wages will flow north and increase the living standards of their families. One step at a time and the northerners will no longer look so desperately poor. A peaceful reunification can follow from such a process.

      But before this process can begin US troops in South Korea must be withdrawn and all of that incredibly valuable real estate that is now occupied by the US army and air force are returned to the Koreans. It can be a peaceful transition, though it cannot begin until the US occupation troops are withdrawn. Trump sounds like the first US president who seems to realize this.

      • vinnieoh
        June 13, 2018 at 14:13

        Thanks for replying, especially since you have some actual knowledge of Korea. As I reflected on what I was writing, the slow process you outlined was the most hopeful scenario I could imagine. I absolutely can see that a normalization of relations/borders could pose serious economic consequences for ROK. And I did not, for even a moment, imagine that attitudes in the ROK were homogenous or unified. Just read an article elsewhere that this has Lindsey Graham’s underwear in a bunch, and another Republican is dissing the suspension of the “war games” just because we’ve been doing them for so long. Someone shoot me already – how effing stupid is that?

    • Sam F
      June 13, 2018 at 14:31

      First please note that the article does not deny that “both wings of the political class are equally militaristic.” It is just looking at one side of the issue for the moment, as we have often looked at the others. Hope is invigorating.

      Whenever it happens, NK/SK reunification will be complex indeed, but it is likely to be very interesting.
      They have the opportunity to create a harmonious union of socialism and free enterprise, a lesson to the world.
      Of course they may simply jump toward the models of Russia or China, but with those experiences as guides.

      Likely the free movement of any numbers across the border will await a later phase of similar attractiveness.
      If indeed the imperialists are gone, there will be stronger moves toward open democracy, over generations.
      NK cannot soon forget the US genocide, that its word means nothing, and that it is never more than weeks away.

      I would expect perhaps ten years of peaceful coexistence and redirection toward economic betterment.
      If then US forces are removed and a new generation wants progress, perhaps some integration/exchanges.
      Much will depend upon that sense that the imperialists are gone, that no local threat remains.

    • David G
      June 13, 2018 at 14:35

      If the goal of demilitarization (which is the real near-term objective, just as you say, vinnieoh) is attained, then the conversation will inevitably move on to reunification.

      One of the fascinating things about the Korea situation is how *little* drive there seems to be for reunification – as opposed to making peace – in either country, at least on the surface. Despite 1,400 years as a united country, with a unique language and culture, and a fierce sense of independence from neighboring China and Japan, Korea has – again, at least on the surface – internalized the U.S.-devised North/South divide of 1945 to a surprising degree.

      In contrast to Germany, which unhesitatingly moved toward immediate political reunification as soon as the geopolitical situation permitted it – even though its prior history as a united state only reached back to 1870 – I think there is a lot more reticence about it in Korea, including in the RoK, where, if nothing else, many people fear the expense involved in modernizing the much poorer DPRK (indeed, many probably have Germany’s internal challenges in mind as a sobering example).

      Still, there is no telling what will happen once the specter of war is removed, and happily both sides seem committed to that.

    • June 14, 2018 at 15:52

      The focus on the Trump/Kim summit seems largely misplaced to me. It was tangential to the important penultimate agreement between North and South Korea on April 27. Official translation here:

      (The balance of my comment here presumes that the reader has reviewed that agreement.)

      I don’t think our mainstream media has caught on to the fact that Trump was driven to the position he has taken by the two Koreas independently moving toward normalization of relations, even if not full reunification. And full reunification is far from off the negotiation table. In other words, Trump (and the U.S.) are followers here, not leaders. The adroit maneuvering of the Kim and Moon administrations put the U.S. in a position where it could scarcely oppose publicly the measures set into motion by the Koreans.

      For example, could Trump credibly oppose the Korea’s peace initiatives to make of the two Koreas a nuclear-free zone, to formally end the Korean War, to demilitarize, and to bring North Korea into the interconnected transportation and commerce corridors of eastern Asia? On what defensible basis? I submit that there was none.

      So the two administrations offered Trump the face-saving “summit” with Kim and stoked him with hopes of a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving an end to North Korea’s nukes. And just for finesse, they allowed him to take the credit.

      Can we say, he took the bait, hook, line, and sinker?

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 14, 2018 at 16:58

        Paul hearing this coming out of you, I certainly feel I have it right, that the U.S. is a follower on this Korean negotiation. I’m not down playing Trump in any way. Trump just happens to be president while this is all going down, and I think for the most part he’s doing a creditable job of making friends with the North. There is a lot going on here, that we the public can’t see, but Paul with your excellent remarks you make it a little more clearer that the Empire is confronted by some other important and powerful entities, and that may be a good thing. I wonder how Lockheed, and Raytheon feel about this Korean peace thing. Oh well. Joe

      • Sam F
        June 14, 2018 at 19:35

        So we need to find a US ally in the Mideast to reconcile with Iran, perhaps a Sunni-Shiah alliance.
        1. Qatar is halfway there;
        2. Jordan is looking for investment and allies as KSA withdraws aid, and has met with Iran;
        3. Turkey and Iran share a border and issues with Kurdish militias, Sunni militants in Syria, and US coups;
        4. Even KSA might make peace if Iran offered to settle things down among the Shiahs of Yemen.

        Or Iran might invite a large Russian base, or lease the North Korea arsenal for diplomatic gestures.

      • June 14, 2018 at 19:58

        Pepe Escobar on the importance of the April 27 agreement between North and South:

        He caught something that I had missed: the Trump/Kim/Moon document “reaffirms” the April 27 agreement. I.e., Trump committed to the terms of the April 27 document.


  39. Mild - ly Facetious
    June 13, 2018 at 09:37

    Our blood lusting die hard democrats and republicans in DC office are revealing their masochistic passions.

    PROFESSOR BRUCE CUMINGS: Well, I think the first principle about a new relationship between North Korea and the U.S. is very important. It’s a recognition of the DPRK. The U.S., 72 years ago, refused to recognize Kim Il-sung’s rise to power in February 1946. That was his effective rise to central power. The U.S. denounced it as a Soviet ploy. And ever since, the U.S. has refused to recognize North Korea. North Korea has an ideology that is pinned on projecting its own dignity and wanting respect from other countries. So I think that the first principle of that statement is a very important one, if it’s implemented.

    Second, you know, Donald Trump has this kind of innocence. He looks at the Korean problem with innocent eyes. He says that it’s ridiculous that there hasn’t been a peace treaty signed, you know, shortly after the war ended in 1953 or sometime in the last 60 years. And he’s right about that.

    But I agree with Tim Shorrock that the most stunning thing was for him to talk about the war exercises being provocative, not to mention stopping them or at least suspending them. When Barack Obama was president and there was a particular crisis involving North Korean missile or bomb tests, he would send nuclear-capable bombers to drop dummy atomic bombs on Korean islands. As Tim said, the war games often involved attempts to knock over the North Korean regime, plans to send the Marines in at the port of Wonsan to march on Pyongyang in the early stages of a war and the use of nuclear weapons in the Korean theater. So, I think it was very important that these war games were canceled. But it’s also quite revealing of somebody who doesn’t know a whole lot about the situation—namely, Donald Trump—looking at the situation and saying, “Wait a minute, this is not only expensive, but it’s also very provocative.”

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Bruce Cumings, I wanted to ask you, for a lot of our viewers and listeners who don’t know the history of this relationship, could you talk some about the level of destruction that the United States visited on North Korea during the Korean War and also why, in the face of all the changes that have occurred in Asia—normalization of relations with China, normalization with Vietnam—why Korea remained as this one area where the United States held onto the Cold War, in a sense?

    BRUCE CUMINGS: What every North Korean knows is that a family member was killed during the Korean War, and usually by incendiary bombing that the U.S. carried out with no limits.

    Basically, the apparatus of firebombing that was used to level German and Japanese cities during World War II was redirected to North Korea, which had 15 or 16 cities of modest size, and they were all just wiped off the face of the Earth.

    Official U.S. Air Force statistics show that the percentage of destruction, sometimes 100 percent, in North Korean cities was higher, on average, than the percentage of destruction in Germany and Japan during World War II.

    Plus, napalm was splashed all over the place. Churchill even had to send a cable to Eisenhower in 1953 saying, essentially, “When we invented napalm, we had no idea it was going to be splashed all over civilians.”

    Historians estimate that about 70 percent of the casualties in the Korean War were civilian, compared to about 40 percent in Vietnam. So, it was, as President Trump said, a very, very destructive war. And every North Korean knows all about it.

    My question to our begrudging elected “officials” in Washington — ‘How much more punishment and isolation are they willing to inflict upon these alienated Human Beings’?

  40. Brad Owen
    June 13, 2018 at 09:20

    Everyone with eyes to see, can see what is happening to the World. We’re undergoing a Paradigm-Shift, a changing of Zeitgeists. The old way of Empire and Oligarchy, of win-lose, zero-sum geopolitics, is fading fast from the scene. A new era of sovereign Nations, (without overwhelming taint of the Military-Industrial-Intelligence-Financial-Corporate Complex) engaged in win-win constructive cooperation for MUTUAL BENEFIT, is fast taking hold of the World’s imagination, and the creative juices are flowing. The sour grapes nay-sayers are stuck in the Old Paradigm, and will go down with that ship, if they hold to it. Trump, perhaps mostly unwittingly, is reaching out for the New Era just around the corner, which is very good, even if it IS with the gleam of $-signs in this real estate developer’s eyes.

  41. June 13, 2018 at 08:18

    And then it piled on: “Mr. Trump has a deep and abiding fondness for strongmen … The more ruthlessly they have had to act to hold on to power, the more he respects them.”

    US foreign policy in a nutshell, from Chiang Khai-Shek to Pinochet to el-Sisi. You’d have to think history ended yesterday to think Trump is any sort of deviationfrom the norm.

    • Gen Dao
      June 13, 2018 at 09:20

      But this whole line of thinking is irrelevant to what Trump wants to do in Korea, which is to allow American business to make money in peace there in the future. Moreover, as the currently dumbed down NYT-Pravda forgot to mention, this visit was just as much about supporting S Korean president Moon as it was about supporting Kim. And Moon is the very opposite of a strongman. The NYT is simply engaging in dirty, petty, stereotyped propaganda for partisan purposes. The Times editorial is also consummately lazy, since the writers don’t need to explain anything about policy points. The NYT has become a grotesque parody of what it was even twenty years ago. Except for Consortium and a few other outlets, the US MSM generally no longer practice what used to be called journalism when it comes to dealing with foreign policy and military affairs.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 13, 2018 at 09:53

        I see a lot of this as you do Gen Dao. In fact, I think the Nobel Peace Prize should go to Moon Jae in. Our MSM is totally ignoring Moon Jae in, and in doing so the MSM leaves out half the story. I say this, because I’m of the belief, that the peace going down between the North and South of Korea is their peace to make. The U.S. is suddenly becoming a foot note to this extremely long war, which officially has lasted 70 years. Now the Korean people of the South and North want to end this divided stand off, and it’s their call to end this proxy status separation. All this, but yet the unstoppable U.S. Empire show must go on. If it weren’t for geopolitical theatrics the U.S. wouldn’t have a foreign policy when it comes to the Korean Peninsula. Peace. Joe

        • Bob Van Noy
          June 13, 2018 at 13:37

          Nice link Joe…

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 13, 2018 at 13:24

        Gen Dao and Joe, for what it’s worth, I think you’re right. The correct way of thinking about this is that everybody looks out for themselves (Sovereign Rights) the end of Globalism. Thanks to both of you and thanks to Joe Lauria.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 13, 2018 at 16:41

          Thanks Bob it’s always good to hear your opinion, especially gratifying when you approve of mine. Joe

  42. RickD
    June 13, 2018 at 07:58

    I believe the criticism is justified, frankly. Trump fancies himself a brilliant negotiator, egomaniac that he is, and North Korea has a long history of saying one thing and doing another.. I am certainly no democrat and think that party’s leadership shoots itself in the foot at every opportunity, but Trump now has a history and it is all bad, thus pessimism is certainly justified however clumsily it may be delivered.
    If progress is to be made between the two Koreas it will come solely from the leaders of those two nations.

    • jsinton
      June 13, 2018 at 10:31

      Actually, the US of A hold the title for “Worlds Greatest Deal Breaker”, ace. Think “Libya” if you want a pertinent example. And all things considered, I think Mr. Trump is doing pretty well.

  43. David G
    June 13, 2018 at 06:04

    I watched the whole MSNBC prime time lineup last night, and feel nothing but contempt for the Dem partisan and permanent war establishment attacks on the Trump-Kim summit. (Of course the Repubs would have been just as bad – worse actually – if it were a Dem president doing it.)

    That doesn’t mean I have any higher estimation than the Beltway hacks do of Trump’s or his lackeys’ ability to effectively match the hyper-capable DPRK negotiators. It’s just that I don’t share Chuck Schumer, Rachel Maddow, et al.’s fear of the consequences should the U.S. be led by the nose toward peace in spite of its predilection for forever wars.

    Well, if RoK Pres. Moon is serious about ending the threat of North-South war for good, he has found a willing (if less than able) partner in Trump. I trust both Kim and Moon and their teams have a plan to navigate the rapids ahead safely but quickly, and to reach the calm waters at the bottom before Trump is pushed aside and The Empire Strikes Back.

    If things really get going in a good way in Korea, one of the legitimately worrisome results could well be the Japanese reaction. Although I’m certain no one on the U.S. side has the competence to manage that problem, there is some hope in that – despite the reactionary, ostensibly very pro-U.S. factions ascendant under Abe – Japan has recently been actively engaged in serious bilateral diplomacy with Russia. Moreover, Japan refrained from joining in the current wave of anti-Russia sanctions, and declined to participate in the knuckle-rapping of Trump at the G-7 after he expressed his desire to invite Russia back in. So there is hope Putin and Lavrov may be able to mitigate any unfortunately militaristic Japanese response to the otherwise very positive developments in Korea.

  44. Adrian E.
    June 13, 2018 at 06:03

    I think it is not just partisanship. In recent years, Democrats have tried to position themselves as the more belligerent party, the party that supports the secret services and the military-industrial complex more unequivocally, the party that regards even dialog of representatives of the US with the other nuclear superpower as treason (the US and Russia together have 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons, if the position of today’s Democrats had been more prevalent during the Cold War, humanity’s chances of survival would have been smaller), and the party who supports military interventions more consistently. In the upcoming elections, a record number of Democratic candidates are representatives of the secret services and the military. In the past, many people thought that US Democrats are the lesser evil compared to Republicans. But now, US Democrats are, above all, the party of war. Certainly, Republicans are not the party of peace, either, but Democrats have been successful in positioning themselves as the more consistent and more hawkish party of war. Therefore, it is not astonishing, at all, that Democrats are against anything that reduces tensions in international politics because that goes against what is now the main content of their politics – warmongering and restarting a new Cold War.

    • mike k
      June 13, 2018 at 07:59

      Exactly what I was going to comment Adrian. Before Trump’s election, I would not have dreamed that the democrats could outdo the repubs in vileness. They sure have proved me wrong about that. My hope now is that the democratic party completely disintegrates and disappears. As hypocritical turncoats the dems have no equal, and Bernie is among the phoniest among them.

    • Skip Scott
      June 13, 2018 at 08:16


      This is how I see things as well. The Democratic party has been completely taken over by the forces of Globalization. The MIC and their lackeys in the MSM want world hegemony and they will risk Armageddon to get it. Peace on the Korean peninsula would cut into profits. It is a shame that the concentration of media ownership has made the volume of Robert Parry’s “mighty Wurlitzer” ever louder, and the power of big money has lead to the complete corruption of both major parties.

    • strgr-tgther
      June 13, 2018 at 09:33

      /Democrats are, above all, the party of war./ Try Human rights, tolerance, social justice, democracy an open societies and trade and now Trump is braking bread with dictators like Xi, Kim and Putin who repress there people witch is only kicking the can down the road and is not real peace. Sooner or later we need to deal with all this countries before they grow to strong they threaten all of the progress are societies have made. Sorry!

      • Ol' Hippy
        June 13, 2018 at 12:04

        Well if human rights are concerned, how about Saudi Arabia, Israel, the USA? Yep, we have more prisoners than anyone and political prisoners sprinkled and stashed around the world. Think Assange, Snowden, Guantanamo. 2+ million prisoners here. One needs to get away from the constant brainwashing of corporate media.

        • Skip Scott
          June 13, 2018 at 13:27

          Don’t try to confuse Stranger Together with facts. Dems=good GOP=bad. That’s as far as you need to think in Stranger’s world.

          • Bill
            June 18, 2018 at 16:37

            dems=not nearly as bad as republicans. you’ll realize this when trumpkin has you stuck in a cage

          • Skip Scott
            June 19, 2018 at 07:38

            Are you Will or Bill? When will you realize that BOTH parties are the servants of empire, and are intent on destroying the middle class with globalization and creating a police state here at home. Your “lesser of two evils” mindset is what keeps us in our cage.

    • June 14, 2018 at 16:06

      “… we must get money out of elections and mass media.
      No one has found a plan to do that …”

      Not so.

      Already endorsed by 6 states and over 600 units of local government, with 55 co-sponsors so far in the House.

      • Sam F
        June 14, 2018 at 21:08

        So far just a House resolution 18 months old, supported by only 10% because 90% are oligarchy supported. That shows that it won’t work. Asking oligarchy to dethrone oligarchy is not a plan.

  45. E Wright
    June 13, 2018 at 03:34

    Since peace treaties need the advice and consent of the Senate, this will be the real battleground for Trump’s will. The 2018 Senate elections will be among the most important in history. The Democrats only need two seats to take control and there are 35 up for grabs – 9 of them Republican. If the Democrats take control they will destroy Trump’s efforts.

    • David G
      June 13, 2018 at 05:05

      Well, treaties require a 2/3 supermajority in the Senate, so bipartisan support would be required regardless of who has a slight majority.

      • Gen Dao
        June 13, 2018 at 07:51

        If president Moon Jae-in of South Korea visits the US and gives a speech about the importance of ending the Korean War and denuclearizing the whole peninsula just before any treaty is brought up for a vote, I think Congress will listen. Moon is a very impressive and eloquent man. And after all, the treaty is not only about Kim and N Korea. It is about reunifying a divided nation and ending a war that many Americans died in that began 68 years ago!

        • David G
          June 13, 2018 at 14:56

          It’s also worth mentioning that while under the rickety, on-its-last-legs U.S. Constitution a “treaty” requires 2/3 in the Senate (and no role for the House of Reps) (Art. II), it is also possible to create foreign policy by the usual procedure for enacting ordinary statutes: simple majority in both houses, assuming no presidential veto (Art. I: so-called “congressional-executive agreement”).

          In fact, this statutory route has become more common over time, and certainly a great deal of progress could be made with respect to Korea without running up against the need for a “real” treaty.

    • lysias
      June 13, 2018 at 07:49

      The Korean War was not a war declared by Congress. It was a police action authorized by a vote of the UN Security Council. So ending it does not require a treaty ratified by the Senate, only a Security Council resolution.

      • Gen Dao
        June 13, 2018 at 07:53

        That’s true, but in reality the UN is almost the same as the US in Korea, so a peace treaty or at least a nonaggression treaty between the US and N Korea will be needed.

        • mike k
          June 13, 2018 at 08:04

          And there is a lot more to real peace than just stopping shooting at each other. It will take a long time to heal the situation between North and South Korea, so that they can become one nation again.

        • June 13, 2018 at 08:21

          Can a peace treaty be signed without cancelling the 1953 US-S Korea Mutual Defense Treaty, which basically awards US sovereign powers to operate US forces in the country?

          • mike k
            June 13, 2018 at 09:40

            That treaty must go, along with the thousands of American troops.

          • Sam F
            June 13, 2018 at 14:49

            SK can cancel the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty with one year notice to the US, when they are comfortable that NK would not consider invasion, after a period of mutual development and diversion of resources from the military. Or it could wait for real integration of NK/SK.

    • June 14, 2018 at 16:13

      @ E Wright: “Since peace treaties need the advice and consent of the Senate, this will be the real battleground for Trump’s will.”

      Not necessarily. To my recollection there never was a U.S. declaration of war against North Korea, et al. Military action was taken pursuant to a U.N. Security Council resolution (the Soviets made the mistake of walking out of the Council meeting). In other words, it was the U.N. vs. North Korea, not U.S. and about 40 other nations vs. North Korea. So I think peace could be declared with a new Security Council resolution, a la what was done with the Iran JCPOA. No Congressional action necessary.

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