Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

North Korea: Pelosi Versus Peace

Photo by DVIDSHUB | CC BY 2.0

Which is worse: The specter of nuclear war, or giving US president Donald Trump credit for a significant diplomatic accomplishment?

In her official statement on Trump’s Singapore summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi makes it clear that a few million incinerated human beings are a small price to pay  to keep the 68-year-old Korean War going. Maybe not forever, but at least until there’s a Democrat in the White House.

“[T]he President handed Kim Jong-un concessions in exchange for vague promises that do not approach a clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation,” Pelosi complains.

What were these dangerous “concessions?”

First, the US armed forces will, conditional upon progress toward North Korean denuclearization, stop conducting the threatening military exercises that they’ve conducted on North Korea’s border and off its coast since the 1953 ceasefire. Some “concession.” If  US and South Korean forces aren’t prepared for a new outbreak of hostilities after 65 years of training, they never will be.

Secondly, again conditional upon North Korea holding up its end of the developing bargain, the US will provide “security guarantees.” Which means, the US and South Korea won’t invade North Korea, just like they haven’t invaded North Korea since 1953. Again, some “concession.”

Would a Democratic president, at the kind of summit with North Korea’s ruler that Trump managed to swing — unlike any past president, Democrat or Republican — have refused those two obvious first-step “concessions?” Not a chance. They were the bare minimum, and if a Democrat had offered them, Pelosi would have publicly celebrated them as like unto the Second Coming.

“President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo,” Pelosi continues, ignoring the fact that every president since Eisenhower has “preserved the regime’s status quo” — until Trump, who recognized, diplomatically speaking and in relation to the issue at hand, that North Korea is already at “the level of the United States.”

If the Korean War is going to be sorted out, it will be the belligerents — North Korea, South Korea, China and the United States, likely with significant input from Russia — doing the sorting.

But Pelosi,  the Democratic Party, and the party’s allies in the media, would rather it NOT get sorted out.

That’s disgusting.

Posturing America as “the exceptional nation,” Kim as a supplicant in rags, and those other governments as mere hangers-on could have had only two possible outcomes. One was the status quo ante.  The other — a danger faced by then-president Barack Obama in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal — was those other parties negotiating their own deal, leaving a petulant, marginalized America to watch their parade from the sidelines.

A genuine and durable peace on the Korean peninsula may or may not be achievable, but Trump seems to be giving it the old college try. Pelosi and her party, having proven unable to  lead and unwilling to follow on the matter, should at least have the decency to get the hell out of the way.

 

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail