Archive for the ‘IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT TORN-UP’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOMEONE PRAISES TRUMP FOR TALKING TO NORTH KOREA – TALK WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IS RARE FOR AMERICA – ITS RECORD IS GRIM – ORDERS THREATS AND BOMBS ARE PREFERRED MEANS OF COMMUNICATION – BUT TRUMP HAS FAILED IN NORTH KOREA – THEY’LL KEEP THEIR NUKES – TRUMP’S JUST SO ERRATIC AND INCOHERENT – AND AMERICA HAS PROVED IT DOESN’T KEEP ITS WORD WITH IRAN AND WITH EUROPE’S IMPORTANT INF TREATY – THE MIDDLE EAST’S MANY HORRORS COURTESY OF AMERICA – THE LONG DARK TALE OF AFGHANISTAN   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Trump’s direct engagement with North Korea is the first big idea on the file in decades

“Much as only President Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Trump could go to North Korea”

 

Concerning any international issue, it, of course, never hurts to talk.

But what seems so obvious and fitting a concept as talking has never really taken hold in Washington. Never.

Does America talk to Venezuela? Does America talk to Iran? Does America talk to Syria? Does it talk to Cuba? Does America talk to Nicaragua? Does it even talk much with Russia? Or China?

No, America seems to prefer shouting at people, telling them what it wants to see them doing, and very frequently, it threatens them.

It does that not just with its unilaterally-declared opponents – countries regarded as opponents for no other reason than that they follow their own national interests rather than putting America’s first – it does it also with friends and allies, countries like Germany or Turkey or the EU or India.

Such countries receive somewhat less harsh treatment, but they are told what they may buy and from whom, and they are told to enforce the American domestic laws called sanctions as though they had some international legitimacy beyond the threat of military force and financial blackmail used to enforce them, and they are just generally told what is expected of them in a great many matters.

It is arrogant and patronizing behavior, as any impartial witness may plainly see in an instant, but America is used to being arrogant and patronizing on a rather colossal scale, treating whole regions that way, the Middle East being a prime example where not one country does not receive orders and expectations from Washington.

We’re seeing a whole new round of arrogant and patronizing behavior right now with Jared Kushner’s “Deal of the Century” flim-flam marketing operation. The fate of millions of people, held for decades against their will by Israel, enjoying no rights of any kind, not even the right to secure home and farm ownership, and subjected to life-long abuse and harassment with check-points, passes, line-ups, and raids – all offered with a keen eye to making them so miserable they’ll want to leave – is somehow to be settled without so much as consulting them.

It is an operation in which tens of billions of phantom dollars (there being no actual funds held by anyone) from America’s Gulf State tyrant friends are supposed to generate, over a period of many years, a new Palestinian prosperity, without changing any of the realities which now keep Palestinians down.

An operation led by an extremely arrogant man whose very position reflects his father-in-law’s nepotism and distrust of outsiders plus an intimate friendship with the Palestinians’ most vindictive enemy, the current Prime Minister of Israel. Kushner is a man, moreover, possessing absolutely no suitable expertise, education, or experience, and a man who, early on, pronounced from on high that the Palestinians were in fact not ready to govern themselves. Sounds very promising, does it not?

Of course, a great irony of Washington’s ordering other countries about is that so often Washington’s orders are badly misguided and its expectations unrealistic. They prove to be damaging long-term because Washington simply does not understand local realities, realities that will still be there decades later. It refuses to do so if they don’t fit into Washington’s idea of how things should be. It is a form of madness. And of course, repeated enough times, it confirms the old saying about, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

There are many examples. Perhaps the most glaring is Afghanistan and a nearly twenty-year war against the Taliban that has utterly failed. Countless lives and huge amounts of wealth have been squandered on pointless destruction. America never has understood what the Taliban are. They are not “terrorists,” they are not outsiders imposing themselves on others, a role pretty much reserved for America itself. No, they are simply one of the natural divisions in the society. Expecting them to go away is like expecting Baptists or Democrats in America to go away.

And the Taliban had no role in 9/11. They gave refuge to a devout Muslim by the name of Osama bin Laden whose native country, Saudi Arabia, greatly disliked him. When the United States demanded his extradition after 9/11, the Taliban only asked for some evidence, providing credible evidence being a normal part of every proper international extradition request. The United States said no and shortly invaded the place. That is how much sense the war in Afghanistan made from the very start.

America bombed the crap out of the country while its local ally, the clans of the Northern Alliance, traditional opponents of the Taliban, did most of the fighting on the ground. America terrorized countless towns and villages with heavily-armed patrols breaking into homes and removing the men for brutal interrogation, it installed another government, one from members of the Northern Alliance, no more admirable to Western eyes than the Taliban, and it committed, or allowed others to commit, a great many atrocities.

Along the way, in toppling the Taliban government, America released massive new waves of hard drugs into the world, drugs the Taliban had suppressed with its ban on growing opium poppies. The damage of that is felt to this day with large supplies lowering street prices and increasing addictions while urban gang wars are waged over turf, often making news of a weekend’s shooting toll in major American cities resemble reports from a war. A toll of as many as sixty or so shot in one weekend in Chicago, as just one example, has become common.

But did the United States defeat the Taliban? No, they remain a major player with whom the United States only now finally holds serious secret negotiations. Did they even capture bin Laden? No, he was finally murdered years later in Pakistan but even then, only because of a betrayal, not American military or intelligence skill.

Did the United States, after all of that, ever even prove to us that bin Laden was “the mastermind” of 9/11? No, it has never provided genuine evidence of anything, including what actually happened on 9/11. To this day, we honestly do not know. Yet none of that prevented it starting a long and unproductive war, a war it still has not extricated itself from.

(On 9/11 and the lack of any coherent explanation for it, see: https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/john-chuckman-comment-a-survivor-says-even-the-simplest-questions-around-911-have-not-been-answered-by-government-yes-and-some-disturbing-truths-around-those-events-the-saudi-arabian-nonsense/ )

Do we have some sense of déjà vu here, as in going back to the ten-year long mass slaughter in Vietnam which proved only that a poor but determined people can defeat the United States so long as it refrains from using atomic weapons? It certainly threw everything else it had at the Vietnamese, killing an estimated three million of them and leaving their country a nightmare of Agent Orange, landmines, and bomb craters.

That kind of ugly stuff unfortunately characterizes much of the foreign affairs history of the United States since WWII. One colonial war after another, and none of them achieving much except a great deal of death and destruction. Hatreds and hostilities on a grand scale serving no purpose other than to enforce America’s claim to the world that it is free to do as it damn well pleases anywhere.

There are lots of other examples. All the years of severe hostilities and genuine acts of terror against Cuba, and, more than half a century later, these are being stoked up yet again, Washington not able to absorb the fact that what people in other places want to do with their lives and resources may well be at odds with what America demands.

The seventy years of horror in Israel/Palestine provide another example. The United States could have put an end to all of that at any time by declaring proper borders and enforcing them, but it didn’t, and it still doesn’t. It just allows a long and destructive set of hostilities continue unimpeded, every once in a while, dabbling in some kind of silly “peace process” theatrics. In this case, America is involved through the American colonial identity of Israel and what it attempts to do in the Middle East. And America makes sure there are mountains of armaments to do it with.

For some reason Trump has chosen to talk to North Korea, but I’m not sure it has a great deal of meaning. After all, this is Donald Trump we are talking about here.

The same man leaked secret British diplomatic papers have just revealed is viewed as “inept,” “incompetent” and “erratic.” His policies towards Iran are actually called “incoherent.” I think we knew those things before the leak of state papers, but it is still nice to have confirmation.

I do think that apart from talking, Trump has totally failed in North Korea with what he originally aimed for, denuclearization. The North might make some concessions in exchange for American concessions, but it is not going to give up its nukes, and I think America’s establishment may be starting to understand that.

North Korea will not give up on its nukes, especially now that America is seen so clearly as a country which does not honor legal contracts, as in the glaring examples of tearing-up the Iran nuclear agreement and tearing-up the INF Treaty with Russia. That last is a terribly important treaty for Europe to avoid becoming the immediate battleground in a nuclear conflict. What incentive is there for a country like North Korea?

With its well-equipped army on the southern border and its regular war games and with nuclear weapons stashed in Japan and Guam, America represents a serious, ongoing threat to the North, and the North would be foolish to give up all its weapons. The United States has made no concessions to reduce the ever-present threat it represents while making all kinds of extreme demands.

Indeed, I think it is largely the credible nature of the North’s deterrent that saved it from Trump’s initial huge wave of gunboat diplomacy with aircraft carriers and nuclear bombers everywhere, just exactly what we now see arrayed against non-nuclear, law-abiding Iran.

Posted July 9, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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