I’ll save someone the time typing in the Comments section – yes, yes, I won’t let the door hit me on the ass on the way out.
I’m going to take a break with this blog. I may post here and there when I get bored, I may rerun some old things, I may do nothing at all. But after some six years and over 2,000 posts, I’m gonna do something else. Not sure just what yet.
The reason is simple: the Internet has become too boring and too toxic. It is no longer a matter of having a thick skin, it is a question of why bother.
The past election finally broke the idea of the informal interchange blogs thrive on, as it broke journalism. And as it apparently caused most of America to lose its mind.
What might it take to create a breakthrough to resumption of US-North Korea talks? The experiences of prior diplomacy suggest an answer: a special emissary of the president to meet with Kim Jong-un. North Korean leaders not only want a reliable deterrent to what they fear is a potential US attack, or attempt at regime change. They also want respect, especially from the United States, which translates to recognition of the country’s status and the regime’s legitimacy – its “supreme dignity,” at one observer puts it.
Use of a special emissary – someone of recognized stature, with appropriate international credentials – would meet the North Koreans’ standard of dignity. The emissary has been successful in a number of dicey situations between North Korea and the United States. Jimmy Carter’s visit to Kim Il-sung in 1994 paved the way for the Agreed Framework, which pre-empted US preparations to attack a North Korean nuclear site. Madeleine Albright’s visit to Pyongyang in 2000 produced an importantly symbolic joint statement of “no hostile intent” when the visit was reciprocated by a top North Korean party leader. Former New Mexico Governor and UN ambassador Bill Richardson’s mission in 2007 recovered the remains of US servicemen killed during the Korean War. Former President Bill Clinton’s visit in June 2009 resulted in the release of two American journalists after Kim Jong-il pardoned them.
The big story today is Trump’s threat to North Korea about “fire and fury like the world has never seen” in response to any aggression against the U.S. and its allies. The world witnessed American “fire and fury” in August of 1945 when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were obliterated by atomic bombs (indeed, today is the 72nd anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing). Roughly 250,000 people were killed in those two bombings, and Trump is apparently promising a worst form of fury against North Korea (“like the world has never seen”).
Back in October 2016, I wrote a piece at this site with the title: “On nuclear weapons, Trump is nightmarishly scary,” and that nightmare is beginning to take shape. As I wrote back then, Trump’s worst attribute is his “sweeping ignorance to the point of recklessness when it comes to matters of national defense, and specifically America’s nuclear arsenal.” I further wrote that:
Back in March … Trump boasted at a debate that the US military would follow his orders irrespective of their legality. In this latest debate, he yet again revealed that he has no real knowledge of America’s nuclear capability and how modern and powerful (and scary) it truly is.
Statement by William J. Perry, Former Secretary of Defense
August 9, 2017
On August 8th, President Trump appeared to threaten first use of nuclear weapons against North Korea. This is a dangerous departure from historical precedent. The policy and practice of the United States on threats to use nuclear weapons has been consistent for many decades, and for presidents of both political parties.
Historically, the threat to use nuclear weapons has always been tied to deterrence or extended deterrence; unofficial U.S. policy is that the use of nuclear weapons would only be in response to the first use of nuclear weapons against the United States or an ally covered by our extended deterrence.
We do not make empty threats, because empty threats weaken our credibility, and weaken the strength of threats that we do intend to carry out. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “speak softly but carry a big stick.”
During the early Cold War, the more shrill the language used by Premier Khrushchev against the United States, the more tempered was the response of President Eisenhower. Just as in those tense times, today’s crisis also calls for measured language.
Yesterday’s heated rhetoric set most normal people on edge. Would the US and North Korea launch a massive war where millions would surely be killed? One group feeling good about it all, however, are those who make billions in profit from scaring the American people — and the rest of the world — nearly to death. War industry profits are way up. Selling fear…in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Yesterday (8/8/17) Roots Action held a news conference in DC. Speakers spoke about the reasons behind a petition to Congress and Defense Secretary James Mattis calling for removal of all U.S. military aircraft from Syrian skies.