Perception is everything
Has the Trump / Kim summit in Singapore changed anything ? Yes and No.
Trump is still and even more so the embarrassing crazy buffoon and as such rich fodder for US comedians. They just have to cut and paste together his public statements and the audiences are cracking up. And for good reason. In any autocratic regime humour has always been the best medicine.
Their armies are still facing each other across the 38th Parallel. As before it would take only moments to put the fingers on the trigger.
On the other hand everything has changed. – The perception has changed.
The murderous dictator emerged re-branded as a very smart, strong, trustworthy leader. “When he speaks his people sit up and listen.” We even adopt his language calling our long-long standing annual joint military exercises together with our South Korean allies “provocative” !
On the other side the “dotard” Trump morphed into “President Donald J. Trump”. Even “Supreme Leader”. Eric Talmadge describes the carefully crafted total North Korean makeover of Trump.
The physical world is still the same but the perception has been turned upside down. Or is it the other way round and we for the first time are told what the situation really is and always has been.
Western pundits are still sceptical. But they reluctantly will have to accept that Trump and Kim instead of changing the physical reality in a verifiable way have agreed to change the narrative. This was so much easier and as effective as perception becomes/is reality. We might not realise it but a switch has been thrown in our minds.
Trump declared on his return that North Korea no longer posed a threat to the US and I absolutely believe him. Why would Kim threaten the US – of course they were always in the defensive – after Trump guaranteed his safety and ordered the end of the US aggressive position ever since a truce in 1953.
Nobel Peace Price Winner Trump
Fast forward. May be two years from now when Trump for reasons of his re-election will need another foreign policy coup.
He and his friend Putin he always has shown admiration for decide to have a big media event / summit meeting. It would be hosted for logistical and historical reason in Reykjavik.
There Trump to the surprise of everyone would recognise the Crimea as legitimate part of Russia. That would actually be historically and according to international law correct. The people of the Crimea have in a referendum overwhelmingly (well over 60%) decided to again join Russia.
Then as parting gift Trump would declare an end to all “provocative” joint exercises on the Russian border. That said he would declare to the American public that Russia did not (any longer) pose a threat to the US. And again I would absolutely believe him.
Russia unlike Communism has never been aggressive towards the West or specifically the USA. They after all sold them Alaska. After the end of Communism it was the West not Russia that acted aggressively. Against the promises NATO expanded right to the Russian border and the next to join was going to be the Ukraine.
Again the summit would just change the perception and turn Russia from the enemy to a friend. That is what Russia had hoped for all along when they in the 1990s wholeheartedly embraced neo-liberal capitalism.
The two of them should have no difficulty as history would be on their side. The Nobel Peace Price shared by Putin and Trump would be a certainty. I would be all for it regardless of my utter distaste of Trump if not both of them.
Future or Fiction
Why is it that I suspect that this peaceful future might just turn out to be fiction ? Was it not Trump who said during his election campaign that he wanted to make friends with Russia. That it would be better to be friends than enemies as with every other country. And here exactly lies the rub.
He was pilloried by Republicans and Democrats alike for the only sensible thing he ever uttered. Being seen as “soft” on Russia is the worst political crime you can commit in Washington and other Western capitals for that matter. It challenges the foundations of over seventy years of US imperial policy. We have been raised on the Western anti-communist propaganda that Capitalism was good and could do no wrong and justified all means. Communism was evil and had to be fought and destroyed at all costs. Many wars and proxy wars have been fought over which we today can only shake our heads. After Korea think of Vietnam or the continuing economic war against Cuba.
After Communism in the former Soviet Union disappeared the propaganda was switched to anti-Russian. This despite the fact that Russia in all her history never threatened but instead was numerous times invaded by the West. Russia ended the Soviet time military alliance the Warsaw Pact and let non-Russian Soviet republics become independent. All the while NATO became ever more expansionist and aggressive.
The reason for this continuation of the “cold” war after it actually ended is easy to find. There is money to be made in war, heaps of money. The Western most of all US arms industry which underpins the capitalist economy will not let go of it. Swords will not be turned into ploughshares.
A friend and political correspondent from the North made an interesting comment when we discussed the outbreak of peace after Singapore. He said that Trump having been under constant attack from the opposition and civil society now had to watch his back. Now he would risk been taken down by his own warmongering side.
Trump pulled off peace on the Korean peninsula. He should pull it off in Europe. The only question is :
Will the Arms Industry allow it ?
by Dr Hans B. Grueber