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19 Junio, 2018.

A Nobel for Trump

All I know is that the world is infinitely better and safer with a denuclearized North Korea and that what occurs between Kim and his people matters about as much to me as what happens with the aliens on mars.

I get up and the first thing I see is a morning news summary on RPP News. I’m not a fan of crybabies, televised or not, so Milagros Leiva is never on my radar, and when it comes to Canal N I only tune in when my good friend Mario Ghibellini appears, pluralistic and intelligent and therefore a singular voice in a channel run otherwise by director Clara Elvira Opsina. I haven’t watched ‘La señal abierta’ in a few years; so sorry to anyone who corresponds there, it’s nothing personal.

This morning the news was wholly about the agreement (for peace) between the dictatorship of North Korea represented by Kim and the United States of America leaded by Donald Trump. After over 60 years in a conflict without end that escalated to the nuclear ‘argument’ made by Kim, Trump achieved what no other could: sitting the ‘great leader’ down, face to face and without intermediaries, to denuclearize the peninsula. A bold gamble which, in light of the events, has had a successful outcome. Kim has agreed to disassemble his nuclear apparatus in exchange for a guarantee from the POTUS that allows North Korea to continue being what it always was: a dictatorship.

This last part, it appears, did not please our colleague Alejandra Puente, who in partnership with Carlos Villareal discussed the news on RPP News. While both Villareal and general common sense agree that what happened yesterday in Singapore is great news –basically, an inscrutable tyrant has abdicated his nuclear power and thus everything that action implies for the world overall– for Puente, not so much. In her eyes, the results of the summit were a bad sign because, according to her, it was an accolade to dictatorships that violate human rights worldwide: that (in exchange for not threatening the United States and its allies) they could in fact continue doing as they pleased with their people.

What Alejandra Puente says reveals how personal sympathies and aversions can produce mental short-circuits that seemingly also render a person impervious to embarrassment. I say this because I remember perfectly when Obama –a Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2009 for having done absolutely nothing at all– reached an accord with Raul Castro and later visited the island in January of 2016, and how Alejandra had a very different reaction then to the one she is experiencing now with the Kim-Trump agreement. On that occasion, all the way from Channel 7, our very own Metternich (A Georgia State grad, believe it!) pondered out loud with gratuitous, wildly gestured commentary on the ‘great news’ about Obama breaking the ice with Castro. Of course, there it didn’t matter that Castro was as much a dictator as Kim, nor that he also violated human rights like Kim. What mattered was that Obama was, well, Obama: champion of ‘equal rights’, ‘inclusion’, and ‘political correctness’. What is true is that Castro didn’t have to give or do a single thing to become politically ‘legitimate’ in the eyes of the United States (one of many reasons Trump won Florida during the 2012 elections), while behind Obama’s back Kim lined his arsenal with ballistic missiles and H bombs. That was the international disaster Obama ultimately left behind.

Puente is not the only one who, of course, prioritizes her personal feelings over logical analysis of the events at hand. Before celebrating this historic summit in Singapore, the always-proper Farid Kahhat was telling Josefina Townsend how ridiculous Trump was for having provided a summit only to later bombard Kim with endless tweets and threaten to cancel the whole thing at the last minute. The internationalist was referring to the pressure Trump was putting on Kim, who was trying to cheat the president like Castro did with Obama. Here’s a question: Did Trump’s “ridiculous” strategy work, or not? Did or did he not force Kim to sit with him, vis a vis, and get the promise of denuclearization? Furthermore, what did Trump lose? Finally, how many of us have seen a free and democratic North Korea in our lifetime, to be tearing at our hair about their methods now?

All I know is that the world is infinitely better and safer with a denuclearized North Korea and that what occurs between Kim and his people matters about as much to me as what happens with the aliens on mars. After all, I don’t live in Asia and therefore can’t question nor comment on the state of affairs like I can with any beautiful country here in South America. At the end of the day I am grateful to Trump, regardless of what our noble idealist Alejandra Puente may think.

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