A couple of weeks ago I told you the Neocons were about to run amok across the globe because President Trump cut a deal with them on foreign policy. You know they are in charge because all pretense of talking to other people is dispensed with.
Neocons only talk at other people.
Since then we’ve seen exactly that in relation to North Korea and further deterioration of diplomatic relations with Russia. The popular refrain here in the U.S. is the tired old canard that, “You can’t negotiate with XXXX, they only respect strength.”
Well, the height of strength is being able to talk with someone you don’t trust or like. Strength comes from accepting the other side has a point and that there is always a solution.
Now, even the most sober-minded of U.S. officials, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is comping the neocon party line saying:
"In our view, Iran is clearly in default of these expectations of the JCPOA, through their actions to prop up the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime, to engage in malicious activities in the region, including cyber activity, aggressively developing ballistic missiles," Tillerson told reporters during a press conference with British counterpart Boris Johnson.
This is patent nonsense because all of those things do not touch on the JCPOA. So, Tillerson has obviously gotten his marching orders on where things go with Iran next (badly and belligerently). It’s his job to sell them by talking at everyone, demanding compliance.
Since Rex hasn’t resigned yet, it’s obvious he’s comfortable with this turn to the insane.
Which brings me to Jimmy Carter and North Korea.
Speaking at a conference in Atlanta earlier this week, Former President Carter laid out what’s wrong with the U.S.’s approach to North Korea, and, by extension, Iran.
“The first thing I would do is treat the North Koreans with respect.”
“I know what the North Koreans want,” he said.
“What they want is a firm treaty guaranteeing North Korea that the US will not attack them or hurt them in any way, unless they attack one of their neighbors.” Carter said,
“But the United States has refused to do that.”
And the reason the U.S. will not engage in that dialogue is we dictate terms to others. We do not negotiate with terrorists. And when you define everyone on the other side of a conflict as a terrorist, then it’s obvious what happens next.
Neoconservativism is, in the end, no different than any other failed political philosophy. It is a pale reflection of the evil that is Progressivism. Both devolve into the same ‘us versus them’ false dualism of which genocides are born.
When you are convinced of your own righteousness no action taken in the service of that cause is unjustified.
And when you are the world’s supposedly only super-power talking to an enemy entails a loss of face. And any loss of face to an inferior enemy cannot be tolerated. It’s an outgrowth of the political world that spawned the people who inhabit the halls of power.
The first rule of politics is never attack down. You don’t debate an inferior opponent, you ignore them. As the front-runner you can only lose in any exchange with them.
This is why Iran and North Korea want nuclear weapons and why the U.S. refuses to talk with them. Nuclear weapons elevate them and force us to talk. Talking makes us look weak.
Neocons, as bullies, are psychologically weak. They don’t talk they dictate.
Vladimir Putin is right. The North Koreans will eat dirt before giving up the one thing that can ensure their future. Jimmy Carter is right -- negotiating a treaty with them is the path to peace.
South Korea wants peace, we won’t let them have it.
Trump better hope this deal doesn’t blow up in all of our faces.