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Thoughts on Events the Week of April 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 2, 2018

The Koreas Talk: North Korea’s Supreme Leader (Please) Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in joined in an historic meeting – the first between leaders of the two countries, still technically at war, in 65 years. Kim took the first step, literally, by crossing the border – and the DMZ – to meet with Moon in the South. The photo of their handshake was poignant.

I am glad to see the two leaders taking matters into their own hands to improve their countries’ relationship. All politics is local, Tip O’Neill said, and Kim and Moon seem to have decided to set aside China and the U.S. for the time being and see what they can work out locally while the big boys play their global game.

From this beginning, it may be possible to achieve positive, stabilizing steps. In fact, they’ve already begun. South Korea has turned off its loud speaker system that broadcasted propaganda across the border, and North Korea has adjusted its time zone to reality. They’ve agreed to get together again to talk about more serious stuff.

Don’t laugh. From tiny acorns, etc. Other, bolder steps could ensue, such as family reunions, cross border commerce and cultural exchange. Connections like these, over time, have a way of damping down animosity to the point military conflict becomes unlikely, then almost impossible. It makes no sense to be shooting at your customers.

To be sure, such efforts toward peace and harmony between the two Koreas have flowed and ebbed often before, only to shatter. This could be just another short-lived interlude. But both countries are in a better position to connect amicably than they have been in a long time. Kim has his nuclear arsenal, for all practical purposes, and Moon has a brain and an open mind.

It’s hard to imagine how, alone, Kim and Moon can reunify their countries, officially. Among the awkward impediments, they are still at war, and the Armistice that ended all hostilities was signed by the UN (read U.S.), North Korean Army (read Kim) and China (read China). They would have to agree to change the Armistice to a peace agreement, which they may or may not want to do, as they are dicking around with their own agendas and nukes and stuff.

On the other hand, it is possible, though improbable, that North and South Korea could reconcile and reunite in practical terms to the point of rendering the Armistice obstacle obsolete. Wouldn’t that be nice?

On a separate track, President Trump and Kim are talking about talking about meeting to talk about Kim’s denuclearizing. I don’t see much positive happening on this track. Kim is not going to give up his nuclear weapons unless and until China decides to make him. That deal will have to be worked out between China and the U.S., and I just don’t see it happening yet, though perhaps someday.

That said, if Trump, with help from China, which even he sees as essential, gets North Korea to give up its nukes, truly, then Trump deserves a piece of the Nobel Peace Prize, even if it has to be delivered to him in prison.

Bottom line: nukes aside, the Korean conflict, like the Cuban conflict, has been going on needlessly for far too long.

Iran, North Korea and the greater nuclear fool: Let’s cut to the chase. The Iran agreement, which Trump calls the worst deal in history, is in fact the best diplomatic deal of the 21st Century.

We have a deal with Iran and several key U.N. members under which Iran has agreed to stop developing nuclear weapons for at least 15 years, while we work out other, non-nuclear related issues with them. Iran has adhered to this deal, certainly on the nuclear weapons part, no matter how much President Trump, and President Netanyahu of Israel, for that matter, lie about it.

Trump wants to tear up this agreement unilaterally, which will free Iran to restart its nuclear program and piss off all the others who agreed to the deal, including China and Russia. It’s inconceivable even Trump could be that stupid, but he is threatening to this.

On the other hand, Trump is eager to talk to North Korea, which already has nuclear weapons, and missile capability, and less than no incentive to give them up, and has said consistently that it will never give them up, one of its few honest, consistent statements. North Korea is not going to leave the cover of its nuclear arsenal unless and until China flushes it.

I don’t particularly care if Trump meets with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un out of sequence with normal diplomatic protocol, if he wishes. It’s stupid, but it’s his call, and it could make our allies in the area breathe easier, though I question that will be the result. But I do care if Trump screws up the Iran deal. If so, he is not only the greater fool; he is the greatest fool.

The Trump – Mueller Interview: It amuse me to hear the conversation regarding whether President Trump should or should not talk to Robert Mueller. Trump is going to talk to Mueller, one way or another. It will be in Trump’s office – I assume Mueller will come to him – or in front of a Grand Jury, in which case, Trump will come to it.

William Kristol says it will never happen. He says Mueller won’t get even one bite at the Trump apple, because Trump will fire Mueller and anyone else in a heartbeat before he’ll testify under oath in this investigation, no matter what anyone advises.

Kristol may be right about this. Frankly, I think he is, regarding Mueller, specifically. But when I say Mueller, I am using his name as a synecdoche, meaning the entire investigatory and prosecutorial system. Trump is going to talk to Mueller as president, or resign and take his chances.

Ryan fires the House Chaplin after firing himself: What a bunch of petty bullshit. Can you even believe such a ridiculous story, let alone that it ever got out into the public? House members are quarreling over their Goddamn chaplain. Apparently, some House members don’t feel their spiritual needs are being met by a Catholic Priest, so Ryan, a spineless Catholic, no less, fired him.

Hey, House members, if your spiritual needs are not being met in the House, go to your house of worship and get them met there. The House, the nation’s House, wasn’t created for that purpose.

For the record, I am vehemently opposed to there being any chaplain for the House. It is an affront to the separation of church and state, and one has no place in government buildings. Hell, even Roy Moore learned that.

Person of Interest (New Segment): Tammie Jo Shults. Look her up. She’s remarkable.

Status of the States: Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until Scott Pruitt is gone. He does something worst cup worthy ever week.

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