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Cole writes: "The depths of hypocrisy of the Republican Party in supporting Trump's meeting with the North Korean dictator in Singapore are hard to plumb."

Donald Trump with Kim Jong Un. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
Donald Trump with Kim Jong Un. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

If Obama Had Met With Kim Jong Un, the Republican Party Would Have Had a Cow

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

12 June 18


he depths of hypocrisy of the Republican Party in supporting Trump’s meeting with the North Korean dictator in Singapore are hard to plumb. This is a party whose leading members adopted the Ostrich Foreign Policy Principle for decades. If you don’t like a country’s government or political and economic system, pretend it does not exist.

One of the concerning developments on the internet is that hypocrisy, which was probably the ultimate Cool Meme in the zeroes of this century, no longer rules. Maybe it is just scandal fatigue from the combination of profound corruption and attention deficit disorder characterizing Washington under Trump. But, well, we have to keep on slogging.

There was that time when Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans lambasted Obama for visiting Cuba while there were still political prisoners in that country. So the principle is, no talks with leaders who have prisoners of conscience in their jails? Trump has broken that principle every which way from Sunday. Sen. John McCain even compared Obama’s handshake with Castro to the Hitler-Chamberlain meeting. Seriously. That’s what he said.

Then there was that time when prominent Republicans slammed Barack Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry for his direct talks with Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, “I have a lot of concerns about Secretary John Kerry and his buddy-buddy relationship with Zarif and other people around the world.”

In 2008 when Obama was still running for president, one of his foreign policy advisers, Daniel Kurtzer, went to Damascus and met with Bashar al-Assad’s foreign minister. Sen. John McCain slammed Obama for the overture to the al-Assad regime: “If one of Senator Obama’s advisers has been to Damascus, we just wonder how many have been to Tehran.”

And, of course, when Barack Obama was running for president in 2008 and pledged unconditional talks with North Korea among other countries, he was pilloried by conservatives– the same ones who now demand a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump for meeting with the North Korean president without preconditions. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

-70 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-12 13:55
Yes, this is right. Repubs would have had a cow if Obama met with anyone they did not authorize. Now the tables are turned. The NTT, Wapo, and most democrats are having cows.

But Obama would never have met with Kim Jong Un. Obama was a neo-con. He was committed to bringing the US global war to Asia with his "pivot to Asia." Obama ramped up threats of war against N. Korea that led directly to the peace talks by Trump and Kim.

I object to this ignorant and insulting statement: "with the North Korean dictator." The system of government in N. Korea follows traditional Korean family dynasties that have ruled Korea for thousands of years. This is a monarchy, not a dictatorship. There are many monarchies in the world. When was the last time Cole called the queen of England "the dictator." It is time to show some respect.
+34 # Farafalla 2018-06-12 17:13
...And the horse you rode in on, you cynical asshole.
-26 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-12 18:51
Leave my horse out of this. Now you are having a cow. Seems like so many Americans have cows whenever someone does or says something they don't like. Oh well, no one ever lost any money betting on the ignorance of Americans. They only react with their emotions. You are a Obama/Hillary lover. In your view, they can do no wrong. Someday you may learn.

PS - stay away from your cow's asshole. A lot of greenhouse gasses come from there.
+5 # librarian1984 2018-06-13 08:37
RR, Your posts are provocative but they are dense. I find them infinitely more intriguing than the responses you get, even when I disagree with you.

I greatly admire that you face ignorance and abuse with humor and good will. My instinct is to retaliate in kind but you are obviously more mature than me -- and light-years more intelligent and honest than Farfallen, who seems unable to pose a rational counterargument.

What's more depressing though are the dozens of upvotes for such an ignorant and abusive post.

When I first 'discovered' rsn I thought I was in heaven ... so many wonderful discussions! I wish I'd seen you debate Radscal and Nominae, Loren, mashiguo and others. Not that I agreed with everyone but they were fellow politinerds who were passionate about our government, intelligent and well informed ... Now people vote up an obscenity with null content. Pitiful.

Does anyone know what FullFlatulence' s agenda is, or that he/she/it isn't Israeli or CIA or Distort the Record?

We CANNOT know, about ANY of us, therefore posts should be judged on content -- and that anyone would vote up F^kFace's post above just boggles my mind.

HarryP and erdmanr properly challenge your ideas. That's what SHOULD happen here. Instead FlungFeces posts crap I'd punish my kids for saying -- destroying the spirit of the place like a diarrhetic skunk -- and lurkers vote it up. It's pathetic.

I think I need to take a break, and wish you luck.
0 # RMF 2018-06-13 13:59
Librarian -- you and Rodion make up quite a tag team -- right out of the annals of the WWE.
+5 # Anne Frank 2018-06-13 15:41
The supply of well paid Zionist trolls to vote against peace is infinite. Rational critics like Rodion and Librarian don't get a penny from Netanyahoo's goons.
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 15:57
"Does anyone know what FullFlatulence' s agenda is, or that he/she/it isn't Israeli or CIA or Distort the Record?"

I think it is not hard to see. We know the republican party is filled with "low information voters" or what Hillary referred to as "deplorables." Well, the demo party has them too. These are people who don't have much education, work dead end jobs, feel resentful because they have lost out on life. But they are totally faithful to the party and its party bosses. This means the Clintons. They truly believe the Clintons will save them if only the Republicans can be defeated. Anyone who tries to understand a republican is actually personally injuring them. Repubs should be condemned outright. No discussion.

I don't reject these people. I actually feel the same way Sanders does. He goes to West Virginia or Texas to talk with these people. He knows they'd like to see the nation better and they have been conned by republican leaders. He says this to the Demo Deplorables too.

In fact, most Americans are like this. They know very little about their own history or the history of other nations. Their poor educations makes them provincial and isolated. They resent others. They have no sympathy for people like N. Koreans. These are the people we have to deal with. They are America, with all their limitations.

Actually I'd rather stick to the subjects raised by the articles, and forget personalities.
+5 # Benign Observer 2018-06-13 07:30
Seriously, Farafalla, what is wrong with you?

It's disturbing that such an ignorant and substanceless statement gets 27 up-votes.

I don't understand why the censors even let it through.
+4 # librarian1984 2018-06-13 07:49
Gee, Farfallen, I had actually voted you up a few times recently, and hoped your abuses were a thing of the past; unfortunately there seems to have been a relapse.

How is it that we're faced with hours of waiting for posts to appear but THIS makes it past the censors?

I'll ask you again: Do you understand what a discussion forum is? It is an exchange of ideas, meaning NOT EVERYONE AGREES.

Why are you so threatened by someone who has a different point of view? Why are you so obsessed with RR and so determined to drag this forum through the mud? Why do the censors think your obscenities are okay to post, when I've had plenty of clean posts denied, and why do people reinforce your obnoxious behavior?

These are the mysteries that make life interesting, I suppose, but degrade the quality of the discussions here, and probably why so many great people have left.

If you disagree with Rodion there's a simple solution -- offer a compelling alternative argument. Instead you resort to obscenity devoid of content, and remarkably people vote for it.

Maybe you're right. Maybe that's what this is now, and no place for me.

Barbarians: 1 Civil discourse: 0
+1 # librarian1984 2018-06-13 07:53
...And the ass you rode, you ignorant feckless mofo.

(Just want to see if that gets through too.)

Is this really what people want from rsn? THIS is what's going to save us from Trump and the GOP? May as well just kiss our asses goodbye.
-2 # RMF 2018-06-13 14:08
Bwahahah -- thought I had heard it all -- but no, Librarian says "is this what's going to save us from Trump."

But what Librarian fails to comprehend (or perhaps instead is just a pro-Russian provocateur) is that what will ACTUALLY save us from Trump is voting the Dems IN and the GOP OUT.

But the sole solution for saving us from Trump and the fascist GOP is the very thing Librarian continually works against with Dem-bashing bleats. So, Librarian, which is it -- do you lack reasoning ability or are you really a Russian bot?
+24 # Citizen Mike 2018-06-12 18:05
Resembling the family monarchy Trump would like to build! I think he wants to learn how to manage such a thing by emulating Kim.
-2 # Benign Observer 2018-06-13 07:32
How foolish! All he has to do is emulate the dynasties the Bushes and Clintons have.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 18:57
Benign -- good point. I don't see why people can't see this. The Bushes and Clintons have controlled the presidency since 1975, with a 4 year break for Jimmy Carter. Obama was a Clinton follower. Reagan was controlled by VP Bush. Ford was run by the Bush gang -- Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Wolfowitz.

1975 to 2016. That's 41 years. The reason the CIA hates Trump so much is that he does not come out of the Bush/Clinton stable. He trashed both Jebbie and Hillary to get to the white house.

Those 41 years have been dominated by war and investment banking -- the two enterprises of the Bush family. Very little else has been accomplished. Neo-conservativ e permant wars, and neo-liberal deregulation of investment markets.

I'm sure I will get many thumbs down for saying this. Clinton supporters will defend the Bushes right to the end.

Trump may be bad on all fronts, but it is good to see a non-Bush/Clinto n in the white house.
+18 # HarryP 2018-06-12 18:56
Let me get this straight, Rodion. The Koran people’s are most comfortable being governed by family dynasties, a penchant that has guided them happily for thousands of years. That must be the reason, as Trump told us, why the North Koreans love and adore King Kim the Trusworthy, the third of the illustrious House of Kim, a man who, besides being “a smart guy,” “loves his people.” I’m sure it tookTrump a mere 60 seconds for Trump to have arrived at that insightful conclusion.
That being the case, could you tell us the name of the king of South Korea? I must have missed his coronation.
+7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-12 20:25
HP -- you should read something on Korea's history. All east Asian nation were ruled by what translates best as "Emperors." Japan still has an Emperor. Korea's last Emperor made the mistake of giving Korea to the Japanese Emperor.

Had the US not invaded Korea in 1945, Kim Il Sung would have been chosen by all Koreans as the legitimate and popular ruler of a united and free Korea.

It is not up to me or you to decide how other people are governed. There's something called the right of political self-determinat ion. People get to choose their own form of government. THat's one of the principles in the Declaration of Universal Human Rights. If Koreans want to change their government, it is up to them. We need to stay out of it. We need to respect the system they have.

South Korea was ruled by a US imposed military dictatorship from 1945 to the mid-1980s, when the people threw out the military dictator and set up elections. The US grudgingly went along.
0 # HarryP 2018-06-13 14:18
Rodion: The discussion began with your objection to Juan Cole’s “ignorant and insulting” reference to Kim as a “dictator.” But if “dictator” does not apply to Kim than the word loses all meaning.

Trying to defend the indefensible, you start throwing spaghetti against the wall, hoping some will stick. You cite, it seems, the UN Decl. of Human Rights – only to misstate it. It says nothing about “political self-determinat ion,” a phrase you just made up. It calls, instead, for everyone’s “the right to take part” in government - “directly or through freely chosen representatives .” That ain’t happening in NK - or any other one-party state. You also urge your readers to “respect” the NK systems - the central feature of which consists of hailing their “dear leader” as a genius, best athlete, greatest military leader – even murder of family members. Meanwhile, nobody dare interrupt the hosannas. And, for heaven’s sake, no one call him a dictator. That’s insulting and ignorant. Your kinda guy. No wonder your boy, Trump, is downright envious of him.

And how would you ever know that, after 1945, “Kim Il Sung would have been chosen by all Koreans” to become their “popular leader?” I agree on one thing: If he had come to power, he would have made sure “all Koreans” would have voted for him. All 120 percent.
0 # 2018-06-12 20:24
The obvious differences between QEII and Kim make your analogy misleading. QEII has extremely limited power while calling herself a monarch; Kim has unlimited internal power while calling his regime a democracy.

Of course this says nothing about the issue of "show[ing] some respect" -- we should all respect Kim as much as we would respect any other mass murderer.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+10 # Salus Populi 2018-06-13 12:51
QEII had sufficient power to nullify the Australian people's choice in the early seventies, when Gough Whitlam, one of the only progressive heads of state of that country since WWII was thrown out by her edict, restoring the CIA and the Nugan-Hand Bank to power.

As to respecting mass murderers, Israel's Netanyahu comes readily to mind.

During his 2014 attack on the outdoor prison camp of Gaza, the entire U.S. Senate, all 100 of the honorable solons, thought to pass, unanimously with no abstentions or did not votes, a fulsome vote of confidence in the Israeli IDF, which was, in their view, "defending" Israel by butchering civilians and children, bombing schools and UN asylum camps, etc. -- a process the Israelis refer to as "mowing the lawn" and carry out every so often to make sure the Palestinians know their place, and don't get the idea that they have human rights.

During that atrocity, many Israelis who lived near the prison got out their lounge chairs and cocktails to enjoy the show, according to reports from the region.

We also show proper "respect" for the Saudi Crown Prince during his U.S. tour, even as his government, with the crucial help of our own, creates the greatest man-made catastrophe of modern times in Yemen, killing well over 15,000 mostly civilians and inaugurating a huge cholera pandemic there.

Of course, we also show respect for the president/dicta tor of Uzbekistan, who not so long ago had one of his political rivals boiled to death.
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 19:08
"we should all respect Kim as much as we would respect any other mass murderer."

You mean like Obama? Hillary? Bush? So, which nations has Kim invaded? Which nations is he sanctioning and blockading?

I find the viceral animosity toward N. Korea and its leader to be really appalling and yet so tyically American. Here are people who have never been to N. Korea and who have never read a book about it, and yet they are filled with hate for this nation that has been a victim of US aggression for 70 years. This is the true miracle of propaganda. The daily ritual of hate for N. Korea has driven the proles in the US into frenzies and furors of animosity toward people they know knowing about.

Dennis Rodman is 1000 times smarter than many commenters right here on RSN. He went to N. Korea and says he fell in love with the country and its people. He made friends with Kim. My bet is that any one of us would fall in love with the country and people, if we went there. I've not been there myself, but I"m a member of the Korea Friendship and have kept up with their travels and activities for two decades. Someday I will go.
0 # jsluka 2018-06-12 21:31
Rodion - A monarchy IS a dictatorship.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 16:00
jsluka - maybe. We tend to think that monarchies are legitimate governments because of their long standing rule. Dictators seize power in a non-legitimate way. They overthrow a legitimate government.

A truly silly work like Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France" justified monarchy on these grounds, and Burke is very well admired by almost all political theorists today. He's the god-father of conservative politics. I think he's totally wrong.

Most European nations still have their monarchs. I think it is only France and Germany that do not. They are mostly ceremonial now, but they control a lot of wealth.
+1 # Pickwicky 2018-06-16 15:36
Quoting jsluka:
Rodion - A monarchy IS a dictatorship.

No--a Monarchy qua Monarchy is defined as a system ruled by one (sometimes by family line, sometimes not) for the good of the people.
+6 # Anne Frank 2018-06-13 15:36
A "dictator" is a government leader who opposes the endless imperialist wars of the U.S. and Israel and would prefer to use resources to house, educate, heal, and feed human beings. The prospect of peace terrifies the Zionists, and they are having a cow for fear it might break out elsewhere.
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-14 06:01
AF -- good point. "Dictator" is mainly an invective. It is as if to say, "we hate you." There is not an objective definition. There are some "dictators" that the US really loves -- i.e., Saudi royals. And there can be elected dictators like Netanyahoo.

This what dictatorship looks like. No one elected these people. Their agenda is always war and promotion of the Jewish State.

Understanding Jewish Power

By Philip Giraldi
-3 # yolo 2018-06-15 21:50
"Obama ramped up threats of war against N. Korea that led directly to the peace talks by Trump and Kim." RR what led you to this conclusion? Have you spoken with Kim Jong-un, to know what he is thinking? Have you forgotten Trump himself threatened N Korea. Or that Kim Jong-un wasn't in power when Obama was first elected. And as far as dictator versus monarchy, although they may be different terms of governance, aren't they almost the same in N Korea in the sense that the leader maintains power over the people. While elsewhere in the world monarchies are mostly titles without power.
-2 # Pickwicky 2018-06-16 15:42
Rodion--a Monarch qua Monarch acts for the good of his/her people. Kim Jong Un cannot be said to act as 'Monarch,' since his people suffer under his rule. Let's get our words right.
+34 # wilhelmscream 2018-06-12 14:23
Right Wing Klan hypocrites
0 # David P 2018-06-12 17:59
+29 # Pickwicky 2018-06-12 18:07
I can no longer count the times Republicans have condemned Democrats for the same things Republicans did to Obama. So tedious, Republicans.
+28 # JCM 2018-06-12 18:29
Where are the Democrats? Everyday there should be someone yelling about all the lies and damage rump and the republicans have done. We need somebody to inform this country about the damage to our environment, to consumers, to healthcare, the safety net, to renewable energy, to human rights, to education, to labor and the worst the denial of climate change our biggest national security issue. Tom Steyer, forget about impeachment, spend your money informing the people every day, all channels all the time. That will get rid of rump.
+6 # Salus Populi 2018-06-13 18:15
The problem is that the Democrats have completely abandoned their once-progressiv e platform in favor of sucking up to the plutocrats and the war party. Since they no longer really support such things as Medicare for all, a decent living wage, unionization and the like, they can't very well run on those things: It would cost them the support of the Clintonite-bill ionaire alliance, and the deep pockets of those beneficiaries of Citizens United. So what they are left with is Drumpf. And although they dutifully vote against the Repubs to preserve the illusion of the two-party system, they can't very well make a major to-do about the policies that are immiserating the common follk, who care primarily about jobs, health care, etc. So instead of a clarion call to build a progressive coalition to oppose the attacks on the working class, they kick the progressives off the DNC, oppose Bernie before he even says he will run -- by changing the rules, no less -- and double down on the nonsensical "Russia stole the divine mandate from our NWO candidate: meme, even though more than twice the percentage of rank-and-file Democrats care primarily about the social issues as care about Russiagate. And just to make sure no one can miss their new direction, they push war criminals and militarists as their candidates-of-c hoice in the primaries. As Mike Whitney among many others has pointed out, this is almost a sure-fire path to losing the mid-terms and assuring the re-election of Trump.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-14 18:24
Salus -- good points. It is really disheartening to see that the Demo party has become the party of war, the CIA/FBI, regime change and all the rest. Here's Jimmy Dore commenting on Rachel Maddow's denunciation of Trump's meeting with Kim. She's shocked that Trump suspended military exercises. She says he's jeopardized US security and also that of Japan. She's a war hawk. She wants permanent war against N. Korea. I think she has become a right wing, neo-con lunatic.
+32 # erdmanr 2018-06-12 19:44
Rodion Raskolnikov, are you seriously comparing Elizabeth II to Kim Jong Un? Elizabeth II is just as much a totalitarian ruler as Kim Jong Un?
The UK is a CONSTITUTIONAL monarchy! Its monarchs have had limited power since 1215 (Magna Carta). And since 1688 (the Glorious Revolution/Bill of Rights) the monarch has had virtually no power at all. Parliament mostly runs the country.
The people of the UK have a representative government, and the Rule of Law prevails above the personal whims of any "ruler."
Do you seriously think North Korea operates on the same principles?
-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-12 20:30
erd -- no, I was comparing family dynasties, which exist in both NK and UK. N. Korea has a constitution, too. It does not have an elected parliament like the UK. Forms of government differ all over the world. None of this matters. IT is odious chauvinism and bigotry for you to think your system is better than anyone else's. You like your system. N. Koreans like theirs. That's how it should be.

There is no need for N. Koreans or anyone to operate by the same principles as the UK's government.
+4 # BetaTheta 2018-06-12 22:15
Can't think of Liz II having offed any of her relatives lately.
+1 # Anne Frank 2018-06-13 15:55
Liz just collaborated in the murder of a 21-year-old woman who worked as a nurse in Gaza. Or doesn't that count?
-1 # Benign Observer 2018-06-13 17:07
Not lately .. but there were rumours about Diana .. and the family history is positively drenched!
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-14 06:05
QE is 90 years old or more. She operates through others. Technically the British Prime Minister was the official front for the monarchy. Now there is a veneer of an election. But still, the Prime Minister does what she or he knows to be the wishes of the Queen or King.

Why is the British PM bombing Syria now? Not relatives but still victims of British imperialism.
+2 # dquandle 2018-06-13 01:10
The "rule of law" that keeps Assange stuck in a vanishing sanctuary, and that will send him to be tortured and incarcerated in the US, given any opportunity? The rule of law that allows the burning down of buildings full of poor people, in wealthy neighborhoods, because it just doesn't fucking care?The rule of law that allows a prime minister to lie his nation into a despicable murder-fest and vast crime against humanity, at the behest of his filthy lying murderous counterparts in the US? You must mean that rule of law.
-5 # E.V.Debs 2018-06-13 01:44
Rodion is a Russian bot, an insult to the memory of Dostoevsky. "He" (?) should never be expected to make sense. He's a testament to RSN's supposed "tolerance," or "free speech," when "he's" just a goddamn automated troll, a non-human entity who deserves to be extended neither rights nor considerations.
+5 # librarian1984 2018-06-13 09:59
Or he's a person with a different opinion. His posts are too complex to be non-human, unlike yours, which I could well believe is bad software coded to think quotation marks are an insult.

If you disagree so passionately, why resort to insults instead of entering into a debate with, you know, actual rational rebuttals? Just a suggestion.

Minds are not changed by being intolerant or devoid of reason, as your namesake well knew.
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 15:44
You are an insult to Eugene Debs. In fact, I have read everything Dostoyevsky wrote and I believe that I understand his work better than most people.

I am of Russian descent, but I was horn in the US. My parents were immigrants. I am certainly not an "automated troll." The fact that you believe in automated trolls very strange. Do Trolls have historical memory? No.
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 05:38
Here's a link to the N. Korean constitution. You can see a lot of the political consciousness Koreans have. And you can see the principles of N. Korean socialism or democracy. It is different from what you see in the US or UK, but after all, East Asians are very different from us.

I think your view of the UK (or the US) is rather naive. Both are oligarchies ruled by their elites. The governments are run by and are committed to furthering the interest of the oligarchs. They have a facade of democracy and rule of law, but in reality they are oligarchies. Who controls the City of London? It is only under the Queen's control, outside of all laws that bind people.

In contrast, N. Korea is a socialist state. The development of the people comes first. N. Korea is a poor nation that has been under US sanctions and blockades for 70 years. For example,

"Article 8

The social system of the DPRK is a people-centered system under which the working people are masters of everything, and everything in society serves the working people.

The State shall defend and protect the interests of the workers, peasants and working intellectuals who have been freed from exploitation and oppression and
become masters of the State and society."

In fact, there is no written constitution in England. It is only what the "Lords" want it to be.
+1 # HarryP 2018-06-13 17:00
Among all the bat shit crazy things you have said, Rodion, this takes the cake: accepting the verbiage in the NK constitution as reality in NK. A “people-centere d system” where the people are their own masters. Are you serious? The US Constitution is one big lie, but the North Korean is the gospel truth? Next you’ll explain to us the Societ Union by quoting the Stalin Constitution.
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-14 06:09
HarryP = xenophobe. Xenophobia has always been rampant in the US. The population is trained in it by the propaganda system. Hate others. Refuse to understand their cultures.

The reason: Americans are taught that the US is the greatest nation on earth. Everything in the US is perfect. Or if it slips a little some heroic president will Make America Great Again.

Got your MAGA hat on today? Sure looks like it.
+1 # draypoker 2018-06-13 17:45
Do you seriously think North Korea operates on the same principles?

Or, indeed, Russia.
+6 # Salus Populi 2018-06-13 18:31
I would add to what Rodioin said, that in fact, with every building in the country taller than two stories bombed to rubble by the U.S. attack in 1950-53 -- legal only because Stalin, in a fit of pique, was boycotting the UN Security Council over an unrelated matter, allowing the Council to pass a unanimous resolution, without which the UN cannot attack any of its member states --; with civilians constituting 70 per cent of the victims of the U.S. bombing, which included the threat of nuclear devastation and the use of outlawed chemical and biological warfare, the machine gunning of civilian refugees, as at No Gun Ri [as well as other crimes against humanity]; and the killing of between quarter and a third of the entire population of the North; with all this, in response to a disputed "invasion" by the North that initially was reported as the response to an incursion by the South under dictator Syngman Rhee, a Japanese sympathizer who had over 100,000 leftists, including 20,000 students, butchered before the war ever began; all this, which left the DPRK a cmoking charnel house by 1953, still, under the leadership of Kim Il-Sung and his policy of "juche," loosely translated as "self-reliance, " the country managed by the mid-seventies to have so far recovered as to have a larger and more vibrant economy than the South [then still under military dictatorship], according to UN figures. It wasn't until the sea changes of the 80s and 90s that the DPRK became a basket case.
-9 # 2018-06-12 20:40
Republicans would surely have had a cow had Obama negotiated with North Korea but their attitude does not reflect hypocrisy as much as lack of trust in the Obama Administration' s obvious lack of negotiating skills. The Obama Administration negotiated awful deal after awful deal (from the unverifiable Iran nuclear agreement to the release of Bergdahl in exchange for money and a bunch of terrorist leaders to the Cuban deal which was supposed to lead to better observation of human rights by the ruling regime to .... dozens more less well known bad negotiations could be cited). During Obama's eight years I often commented that I would love to play poker with the President -- I would have ended up a millionaire!

Republicans do trust Trump to make good deals. Personally, I think that the current deal is rather insubstantial but at least he didn't give the shop away.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
0 # dquandle 2018-06-13 01:03
The heinous insanity of the "Democrats" pushing for nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, is, unfortunately, not hard to plumb at all.
+5 # librarian1984 2018-06-13 09:17
This, like many news cycles, offers insight into how very many things have changed.

As far back as the GOP debates Trump had Republicans cheering for peace and raising taxes on the rich! The primaries revealed the undemocratic nature of Democrats, and every day we observe the hypocrisy of a msm devoted to advocacy rather than truth. In that sense Cole is correct but he, like most of us, clearly sees others' faults but not our own.

Is it useful to ask what a 2010 press would report, what a 2014 Republican would say? It could be, if it was applied honestly. Cole is right -- the GOP are monumental liars and hypocrites -- but so are the Democrats, who let Obama deport, bomb, bail out banks and harass whistleblowers without ever holding him to account. So are the corporate press, that misinforms us every day, often by omission.

We're losing a class war that's been waged against US for decades. (And anyone who thinks owning an AK47 is going to help them defeat the establishment is delusional.) It's a covert war and the msm is not on our side.

Americans, almost everyone but Americans know, are routinely lied to and cheated. Other countries give healthcare to their citizens -- they even repair the bridges!

Jack Ma, Asia's Jeff Bezos, was recently asked why half the people in the world's richest country are poor. He said in the past 30 years America has fought 13 wars costing over $14 trillion.

Imagine if $14T had been spent on US.
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 16:18
Yup --- Jack Ma is right. In the last 30 years, China has spent many trillions of dollars on its infrastructure, housing, education, and in general improving the lives of its people. My wife is Chinese. She was born in Shanghai in the 1950s. She's seen the unbelievable changes in China. We go there often. The development make the US look like a 3rd world country.

The US has invested all of its surplus wealth in war and transferring wealth to individuals. The nation looks like it.

Everyone knows this except for Americans. They have swallowed the "national security" argument hook, line, and sinker.
+2 # elizabethblock 2018-06-13 13:10
Is anyone else wondering about the 1930s, and how Hitler managed to be regarded as a legitimate leader? We know now. And I'm not talking about Kim. I'm talking about all Trump's enablers.

Read Stephen Greenblatt's new book, "Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics."
+1 # Anne Frank 2018-06-13 16:06
[quote name="elizabeth block"]Is anyone else wondering about the 1930s, and how Hitler managed to be regarded as a legitimate leader? We know now.
Hitler "managed to be regarded as a legitimate leader" the same way Churchill "managed to be regarded as a legitimate leader." But Churchill still manages to be regarded as a legitimate leader. Hitler, on the other hand, lost the war. As Churchill said, "History is written by the victors."
0 # draypoker 2018-06-16 05:24
Churchill was appointed PM by a democratically elected Parliament.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-13 16:14
eliz -- yes, I have thought about that a lot. I think the best book on this is Franz Neumann, "Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933 - 1944." It was written in Germany in 1944. Neumann was a philosopher.

He frames the problem this way. Following WW I, the Treaty of Versaille prohibited the German monarchy. Germany had to have a democratic government. But very many Germany were committed to the Kaiser. Nazism emerged out of the collapse of monarchy and the confusion in all of Europe over exactly what a state was.

These conditions are not parallel with the US today. In fact, Trump is a very weak president. He does not know how to manage the bureaucracy of the Executive Branch and he does not know how to manipulate congress. Cheney was a much bigger threat of tyranny because he knew both. Cheney also had the media under his control. Trump does not.

I like Greenblatt's work but not Shakespeare -- I know Shakespeare is his favorite subject. I just try to read about the Shakespeare parts.
0 # Paul Bunion 2018-06-15 21:12
JC I really appreciate your use of that idiom, well and often used in the 60s, "had a cow."

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