Numerous articles have been and are being written related to U.S./North Korean relations and their negative dynamics. See a sampling of articles below.
It seems incongruous that in 2017 our world is yet again on the precipice of a potential nuclear exchange! Yet with the above two men – President Donald Trump and Chief of State Kim Jung Un – as leaders of the United States and North Korea the unimaginable is happening. We know the imminent danger is that there can be no ‘limited’ nuclear war.
Despite this reality, both heads of state seem determined to come out the ‘winner’. Their bellicose rhetoric is impulsive, personal and dangerous. In fact, most of the world knows there will be no winner, only losers.
Ironically, Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – all profess to believe in love of the enemy. All offer doctrines on the unity of humankind and peacemaking. The following quote exemplifies this core belief contained in these three faiths:
Peacemaking is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement of the moment, but by our Lord Jesus. The content and context of our peacemaking is set, not by some political agenda or ideological program, but by the teaching of his Church.”
The Challenge of Peace, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1983
Yet, at the same time . . .
“One of the most fearsome ideas to emerge in the course of the 20th century was the idea of total war – the belief that the most effective way of winning wars was by the obliteration, or the threat of obliteration of the civilian population of the enemy’s town and cities by means of an annihilating attack from the air. . .civilians have more and more frequently been made the target of wartime bombing, as death, destruction and demoralization have grown increasingly intertwined in the search for rapid victory. “
Guernica and Total War, Ian Patterson, 2007
In the midst of this escalating scenario irreparable damage is done to citizens of the competing, warring nations:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
President Eisenhower, in his Farewell Address, warned against the relatively new military-industrial complex. Seemingly his caution has been dismissed.
According to Andrew Bacevich, a graduate of West Point, Vietnam war veteran, a doctorate in diplomatic history from Princeton and professor of history and international relations at Boston University plus an author of several books:
“I was struck. . . that Congress passed a new $700 billion defense budget. It was more money than Trump had asked for, with minimal debate and almost no coverage in the news.
Thinking back on other U.S. Presidents, recall Nixon, a cold war warrior, opened up China; Kennedy and his team averted a nuclear exchange during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Reagan befriended Gorbachev while they agreed to limit the nuclear arms race.
So, peace, compromise, resolutions can and do happen between longtime enemies.
QUESTION: Does Donald Trump have the courage, stamina, and stability to sit at the table with Kim Jung Un? Is a paradigm shift possible??
Atlantic, The Trump Presidency, 10/17 (special issue)
RSNhttp://lists.readersupportednews.org/ss/link.php?M=214578&N=25876&C=ec479478533722991fd29735c432069f&L=26993 Bill Moyers Interview with Andrew Bacevich