Dilemma Not So Easily Dismissed
By Donovan Kirsten
Written for Quemado Institute
September 24, 2017
Updated September 25, 2017
In defense of the human mind
Analytic Historian Eric Zuesse pointed out something interesting yesterday—that we as human beings tend to ignore those facts that do not confirm what we already believe. Here is a quote from his article (People Ignore Facts That Contradict Their False Beliefs, Strategic Culture Foundation, September 23, 2017):
“No matter how irrefutable the evidence is, most people reject anything which contradicts their deeply entrenched false beliefs, [a] phenomenon of ‘confirmation bias’. . . . A well-established central finding of psychological research, concerning ‘confirmation bias’ or ‘motivated reasoning’ (which are two phrases referring to people’s tendency to believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of any contrary facts), is that individuals evaluate whatever they read or hear according to their pre-existing ideas about the given subject. Specifically, psychologists have found that people tend to pay attention to whatever confirms their existing ideas, and tend to ignore whatever contradicts those pre-established beliefs.”
And of course this is true. After all, we need beliefs. Without beliefs, we have no structure in which to organize our thoughts. Endless scattered facts, such as we are inundated with these days on the internet, are hard to assimilate for those of us without encyclopedic memories. A relentless deluge of disconnected facts exacerbates cognitive incoherence, the very definition of insanity. We neeed to guard our beliefs, at least to the extent required for coherent thought.
When our beliefs are strong—meaning well-supported by fact and experience—we can afford to entertain contradictory ideas. But when our beliefs are weak, due to overexposure to disparate views, we can’t afford to absorb more contradictions.
What we need at that point is to strengthen our deeper beliefs. So we rightly tend to ignore that which defies our preconceptions. Is this a shortcoming? Or is it an adaption?
Correcting such a defect isn’t easy. It’s not simply a matter of increasing our knowledge by reading more news on the internet. The news today is so fragmented, so pointless and deliberately misleading—even moreso since Trump’s election due to the increase of internet censorship—that additional exposure only leads to not knowing what to believe. We are better off to withdraw, to reconfirm our inner convictions, and to return to common sense. Because we can’t act without belief, and we can’t live without action.
What are my deeper beliefs?
The world is going to ruin through madness, confusion and stupidity. Part of this psychosis is due to collective karma incurred through decades of murderous wars, part to mind-altering prescription drugs, part to toxins, part to bad education, part to the criminal actions of the globalist elite, part to monopolistic capitalism—the factors are endless. Trying to be Maxwell’s Demon (the imaginary genie of thermodynamics who sorts out molecular motion) and untangle all the chaos is futile. No sooner do you clarify one issue, than two more senseless issues crop up. This phenomenon may not be accidental, but could be a product of internet manipulation. The New World Order corporate media control all the news on the internet—even the so-called alternate news—being the only financial entities that can afford to put reporters on the ground. Alternate news sites rely on Reuters, AP, and so forth, much to their detriment.
What this means is, we are presented with a plethora of fake news and nonsensical distractive fiction, so that reading the news is useless for discovering truth. The internet is no longer a viable source of knowledge. And there is no other source, books having gone the way of the carriage whip.
Plausible reasonableness replaces insight
In the void of actual insight, geopolitical analysts have conjured a substitute: plausible reasonableness. This type of off-the-cuff opinionating has become epidemic among commentators, even if not well thought out. Saying, for example, that North Korea is not a threat because it has never yet attacked another country, and that therefore President Trump is a fool to provoke Kim Jong Un by calling his country a threat, sounds plausibly reasonable. Why? Because this logic correctly applies to certain other countries, such as Syria, Afghanistan and post-Soviet Russia (assuming we realize Russia did not invade Ukraine). So a grammatical template exists in our minds: “B-L-A-N-K has not attacked and is therefore not a threat.”
The political analyst then fills in the blank with “North Korea.” And our sense of reasonableness is superficially satisfied.
One such author is John Feffer (It’s Time To Make a Deal With North Korea, Anitwar.com, September 23, 2017), who says:
“Although it might be very difficult to negotiate away the current nuclear program, the United States could still work toward a freeze on Pyongyang’s nuclear capability and a moratorium on missile launches. But that means, as with China in the 1970s, giving North Korea some of what it wants: a place at the international table, a recognition of its sovereignty, and some stake in the global economy. . . . [D]espite his ‘fire and fury’ rhetoric, Donald Trump might be persuaded to engage Pyongyang.”
But is it just a matter of giving North Korea some of what it wants? For such negotiations to work, Kim Jong Un would have to trust the United States. The North Korean leader is hardly that naive, especially after witnessing how the Americans dealt with Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.
Taunts and insults adolescent but dangerous
Pyongyang’s recent underground 250 kiloton Hydrogen bomb test (see North Korean test of powerful hydrogen bomb confirmed, Irish Times, September 3, 2017), which created a blast ten times more powerful than that of any previous test (see Wikipedia for full list of DPRK weapons tests), along with the unprecedented verbal threats and insults fired between the US President and the North Korean leader, portends an imminent crisis of possibly nuclear proportions. As Trump said in the infamous first speech before the United Nations (see full transcript):
“No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more. . . . [N]ow North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict. No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
To Trump’s unprecedented declaration of willingness to “totally destroy North Korea,” Kim Jong Un offered an equally belicose retort. As Adam Garrie of The Duran reports (see Kim Jong-Un Delivers Rare Personal Address to Donald Trump, Global Research, September 22, 2017): “North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un has offered a rare personal statement in the aftermath of the US President’s remarks at the United Nations General Assembly which threatened the destruction of North Korea.”
Here are excerpts from Kim’s statement:
“The speech made by the US president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern. … [F]ar from making any remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful in diffusion tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense no one has ever heard from any of his predecessors. A frightened dog barks louder. …
“The mentally deranged behaviour of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats and regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure. …
“Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history. … Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation. I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”
And these are not even the most alarming statements coming out of Pyongyang. As Sputnik reports on September 24 (see DPRK Says Nuke Launch at US “Inevitable”):
“Just hours after USAF B-1B nuclear-weapon-capable bombers flew close to the northern nation, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in his statement to the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday said that Pyongyang’s launch of missiles toward the US was ‘inevitable all the more . . . ‘” Ri continued, saying: “Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket. By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more… We will make sure that he [Trump] bears consequences far beyond his words, far beyond the scope of what he can handle even if he is ready to do so.”
Considering the level of tensions, the notion that North Korea is not a threat, that it looks like a threat only because of Trump’s belligerence, and that the threat would evaporate if Trump were willing to negotiate—a plausibly reasonable argument put forth by many analysts—is blatantly inadequate. Yet, the argument seems plausibly reasonable because negotiation would indeed be fruitful with other more temperate leaders such as Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad. But Kim Jong Un is not Putin or Assad, a fact that must be emphasized.
You can’t fool nature
What if, for example, Kim Jong Un fired a nuke at Tokyo, Seoul or Honolulu? Do we know he isn’t capable of this today? And if not today, do we know he won’t be capable of it tomorrow? And if he is in fact capable, do we know for sure he won’t fire such a nuke and kill millions of people in a country friendly to the United States?
Analysts claim, in a plausibly reasonable way, that if Trump stopped provoking the North Korean leader, Kim would stop threatening to nuke America or its allies. And it may be true that Kim would stop threatening—at least vocally. But would he stop developing nuclear weapons? Probably not. He would no doubt continue developing them to maturity, until he could wipe out Los Angeles on a whim. Not that he would, but that he could. And if he could, and if he kept us thinking that he might, then the United States and its allies would feel under continuing threat of nuclear attack for decades to come.
Is this a good thing? No. Should this be prevented. Yes—were there a way to prevent it. But there may not be a way to prevent it. There certainly is no diplomatic way, at least if conducted by the United States. Why would Kim give up nuclear weapons after what happened to Saddam Hussein? Saddam gave up his advanced weapons, only to be murdered and have his country destroyed. Kim likely won’t give up his nuclear weapons unless he is physically forced to do so.
This is not to say physical force is the right option. It is to say that physical force is such a bad option it’s not an option at all. So if he can’t be influenced either diplomatically or by force, then does it follow that America and its allies are stuck with a permanent threat of nuclear attack, possibly on a whim, for decades?
This is the magnitude of the problem. Plausible reasonableness doesn’t solve the problem. It’s a cop out. It is saying the problem is so easy to solve that Trump is simply stupid. But plausible reasonablenesss is a logical short circuit. It stops short of getting to the crux of the manifest reality. How could the West, Japan and South Korea live for decades under the threat of nuclear attack, at the whim of whoever presided over North Korea? America’s allies would have to pussyfoot and kowtow to whatever regime existed in Pyongyang for the foreseeable future. Imagine life under these conditions. North Korea could start making demands—demands ordinary citizens would not want to meet. The terror might not go away, but only get worse.
Given that the problem is of this magnitude, perhaps enlightened analysts might consider the idea that Trump is doing what he thinks he has to do, full well knowing that there may be nothing he can do that is likely to make a positive difference, that he actually has no options, certainly not force, and apparently not diplomacy.
Enter Russia, the enemy of America
So what is the answer? Russia.
Vladimir Putin, called an evil dictator by the American-European dual deep state, is US enemy number two, second only to Kim Jong Un himself. US-Russian relations are at the lowest point in memory. The diplomatic hostilities between the two superpowers is escalating week by week, and has spiked even further since rebels backed by American intelligence services struck Russian military police forces last week near the city of Hama in a so-called de-escalation zone. Through this act of aggression, the US has not only threatened Moscow, but has caused Moscow to now threaten retaliation against US forces. As reported by The Saker: (Russian special forces repel US-planned attack in Syria, denounce USA and issue a stark warning, September 21, 2017):
“The Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov has declared that: ‘Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed (…) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary.'”
Further impatience with US-ISIS alignment is expressed by The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (September 24, 2017):
“US Special Operations Forces (SOF) units enable US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) units to smoothly advance through the ISIS formations. Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir_ez_Zor. The aerial photos made on September 8-12 over the ISIS locations recorded a large number of American Hummer vehicles, which are in service with the America‘s SOF. The shots clearly show the US SOF units located at strongholds that had been equipped by the ISIS terrorists. Though there is no evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants. Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them. This suggests that the US troops feel safe in terrorist controlled regions.”
That the United States and Russia are fast becoming existential enemies is now undeniable. Kim Jong Un thus knows he can trust Russia. Even though he could never trust the United States of America, he can put his faith in America’s biggest enemy.
Vladimir Putin is therefore the right man to fill the role of negotiator.
Russian officials already recognize the need for negotiated settlement. As Fort Russ reports (Dotard and a madman: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un continue to insult each other, September 22, 2017):
“Russia has expressed deep concern about the escalation of tensions over the North Korean crisis amid the exchange of threats between the US president and the North Korean leader, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that Moscow is deeply concerned about the escalation of tensions in Korean Peninsula which is linked to the exchange of harsh statements, threats including, and called on both sides to refrain from such rhetoric. ‘Moscow believes that a political and diplomatic solution is the only way to deal with the North Korean crisis’, Peskov said. ‘Any other solution could result in undesirable, if not even catastrophic consequences’, he added.”
The Russian President could, for example, propose to Kim Jong Un a compromise settlement, whereby North Korea would be allowed to keep a couple of H-bombs and a small array of ballistic missiles, but would be required to stop expanding its nuclear arsenal and developing advanced weapons technology.
In exchange, Moscow would defend Pyongyang against Washington aggression, and prevent Kim from suffering the fate of Saddam.
This type of negotiation may not be possible for the United States. It may only be possible for America’s most hated enemy: Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.
@ Copyright 2017 Quemado Institute