The Peacemakers

Trump takes 20 steps into North Korea, making history as first sitting US leader to enter hermit nation.

This is a headline from CNN.com, showing Kim Jong-Un and President Trump shaking hands at the DMZ, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

KImTrumpDMZ.jpg
Source: CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/29/politics/kim-jong-un-donald-trump-dmz-north-korea/index.html

Not everyone thinks that normalizing relations, and even peace, are desirable. For example, President Trump recently said about his national security adviser, John Bolton, “John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time.” Does it make sense that in a battle between dark and light, certain people will go to the dark? These are people who feel comfortable in the old energy, before 2012. Some of them are Nutters, as I describe in a previous blog post.

The Washington Post, mouthpiece for Jeff Bezos and the CIA, waxed cynical on this important peace gesture, saying, “One small step for the 45th president; one giant boost for his television ratings.”

(Source, “Beyond ‘Freedom’s Frontier,’ Trump scores his biggest live show yet in North Korea,” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/beyond-freedoms-frontier-trump-scores-his-biggest-live-show-yet/2019/06/30/269f33ec-9b07-11e9-830a-21b9b36b64ad_story.html?utm_term=.5a015ad764a0&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1)

The people who don’t want peace criticize peaceful gestures. Internationalists always find good reasons to promote conflict and war. In a fascinating article by Caitlin Johnstone, a self-styled socialist, on Medium, titled “The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is “Isolationism,”” the author analyzes the exchange between Senator Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Tim Ryan, Congressman from Ohio, during the second Democratic debate. If you saw that debate, Congressman Ryan insisted that the Taliban had attacked the US during 9/11. Gabbard corrected Ryan more than once, stating correctly that the Taliban is an Afghan-only force, and that Al-Qaeda had attacked the US during 9/11. Part of Gabbard’s platform is getting U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a statement issued later, Ryan then accused Gabbard of being an “isolationist.”

“...Further, we continue to reject Gabbard’s isolationism and her misguided beliefs on foreign policy. We refuse to be lectured by someone who thinks it’s ok to dine with murderous dictators like Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad who used chemical weapons on his own people.”

Source: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-forever-war-is-so-normalized-that-opposing-it-is-isolationism-8b4062aed18b

You can read the entire article, which is well-written and makes the point that isolationism and non-intervention are two entirely different things. Isolationism is simply having no political or trade relationships with another country, whereas non-intervention simply means, choosing not to fight in endless, pointless wars, as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here is what Johnstone says. It’s brilliant, I think, and mirrors what we’ve been talking about in this blog.  

“More importantly, Ryan’s campaign using the word “isolationism” to describe the simple common sense impulse to withdraw from a costly, deadly military occupation which isn’t accomplishing anything highlights an increasingly common tactic of tarring anything other than endless military expansionism as strange and aberrant instead of normal and good. Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism. This removal of a desirable opposite of war from the establishment-authorised lexicon causes war to always be the desirable option. This is entirely by design. This bit of word magic has been employed for a long time to tar any idea which deviates from the neoconservative agenda of total global unipolarity via violent imperialism as something freakish and dangerous.” [emphasis mine]

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-forever-war-is-so-normalized-that-opposing-it-is-isolationism-8b4062aed18b

In Orwell’s world of Big Brother, the idea is to dumb-down the language to the point that distinctions – the sign of intelligence – can no longer be made. Alternatives to endless war – such as peace – are simply labeled negatively, thus making them undesirable. Peace, the goal and desire of all sane, rational persons, is presented as something to be avoided. The Orwellian conception goes even further: completely eliminating the idea or concept of peace from the consciousness of the population.

The goal of internationalists – read interventionists – is to promote endless war. Who would want that? People invested in the old system, the arms manufacturers and traders, which Eisenhower called the military-industrial–complex. Johnstone says,

It all comes down to sovereignty. An anti-interventionist believes that a country has the right to defend itself, but it doesn’t have the right to conquer, capture, infiltrate or overthrow other nations whether covertly or overtly.”

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-forever-war-is-so-normalized-that-opposing-it-is-isolationism-8b4062aed18b

I think all sane, rational persons would agree with this.

Johnstone further distinguishes between “anti-war” and “never war under any circumstances.” It’s a good read.

As the 2020 election approaches we’re going to see more debates. It is helpful to understand the importance of language, and how it can be used to influence the consciousness of listeners. Don’t accept anything as true unless you look at it carefully. In this age of disinformation, it’s important to be aware and use discernment.   

Postscript

I'm not sure what this moment was about, but I saw this pic taken at the recently concluded G20 summit meeting in Japan. Smiles between leaders at international events are a good thing:

President Trump, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, and PM Narenda Modi of India share a moment at the G20 meeting in Japan. Attribution unknown.

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