Watch Out World: Peace May be Breaking Out!!

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Less than a week or so before Donald Trump’s groundbreaking meeting planned with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, to take place after the NATO summit in mid-July, the new Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons celebrated its first birthday on July 7 when 122 nations voted a year ago in the UN General Assembly to ban the bomb, just as we have banned biological and chemical weapons.  The new ban treaty shattered the establishment consensus that the proper way to avoid nuclear catastrophe was to follow the endless step by step path of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, now 50 years old this month, which has only led to nuclear weapons forever.  

In light of the new détente Trump succeeded in negotiating with the long-despised and isolated North Korea, it just might be possible that peace is breaking out, to the great consternation and disapproval of the military-industrial-academic- congressional-media complex and the traditional neoliberal Republicrats who have been opposing any efforts of these sorts, and badmouthing and diminishing the positive effects of the encouraging news that resulted from the Korean negotiations and the possibility of it’s achieving any promising outcomes.  Other naysayers are the members of the US nuclear alliance including NATO states as well as Australia, South Korea, and most surprisingly, Japan, the only country to have ever suffered catastrophic nuclear bombing which was wreaked upon it twice in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US in August 1945.

Let us do a thought experiment: 

The megalomaniacal Trump and the egomaniacal Putin decide to be the greatest heroes the world has ever known!  They recreate the negotiating environment in Reykjavik with Reagan and Gorbachev and Putin repeats Gorbachev’s offer to the US that he is willing for both countries to rid the world of all their nuclear weapons if Reagan drops his plans to dominate and control the military use of space with Star Wars.   Trump agrees to give up his planned Space Force, converting it into an international space inspection regime in partnership with Russia and other spacefaring nations under UN supervision to make sure floating debris doesn’t injure any of our critical communications equipment orbiting in space.  Trump also agrees to sign the treaty that China and Russia have been proposing since 2008 and 2014 to keep weapons out of space which the US has blocked to date.   They both agree to sign the provision in the new ban treaty that was provided for nuclear weapons states to enter into the treaty and work out a way to verify and dismantle their arsenals, after they get agreement from the other 6 nuclear weapons states—England, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel.   North Korea has already agreed to denuclearize once appropriate conditions are met.   Surely the total elimination of nuclear weapons by all the other states and ratification of the ban treaty would be an adequate reassurance to North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons as well.  

Another negotiating tactic they could revisit is for Putin to repeat the offer to Trump which he made to Clinton to cut the US and Russian arsenals to 1,000 warheads each and call all the other parties to the table to eliminate nuclear weapons and reinstate the ABM Treaty, which Bush walked out of in 2002, while Trump could promise in return to remove our missiles from Romania and the ones planned for Poland and not to  put any more missiles in Eastern Europe under the newly reinstated ABM Treaty.

Putin could also remind Trump that Reagan promised that if Gorbachev didn’t object to a united East Germany entering NATO after the wall came down and Gorbachev miraculously let go of all of Eastern Europe without a shot, the US would not expand NATO one step to the east.  In light of that broken promise and how NATO has now expanded to all of the former Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe, Trump should agree to Putin’s request that he disband NATO.  (Let Trump remember, and the rest of us as well, that Russia lost 29,000,000, that’s 29 million, people to the Nazi onslaught, and feels very threatened to have NATO breathing down its neck with military maneuvers on its borders.)

One more agreement Putin might negotiate with Trump in their efforts to achieve the very greatest negotiations for peace ever!   He should remind Trump that in 2009 Obama rejected his request that the US and Russia negotiate a cyberwar ban treaty.  What could be more beneficent while saving trillions of competitive dollars chasing superiority in cyberwarfare, and wasting hundreds of thousands of IQ points on a senseless and perilously dangerous kind of novel warfare, when the world needs all the brainpower and resources it can use to avert the coming climate catastrophe and save Mother Earth.

Then the US could promise to commit the $1 trillion it had budgeted for new nuclear bomb factories, weapons, and delivery systems to a fund to help rebuild war-torn countries, from which the largest waves of immigrants are fleeing.  Trump should ask Russia as well as other countries who are leaving NATO and giving up their nuclear weapons and joining the ban treaty to also commit to donate those funds no longer needed to support their nuclear military budgets which would more than adequately and generously support the “Keep People Safely and Happy in Their Home Countries Fund”, so we won’t need to build walls and hire police forces and homeland security guards to stop impoverished, war-torn, threatened people from migrating.   Who would ever want to leave their homeland if they could live in the land of their birth in peace and prosperity?

 Now is the time to urge that another world is truly possible!

Alice Slater serves on the Coordinating Committee of World BEYOND War

  • Are you kidding me?? This is the most naive, pathetic, embarrassing piece I have read in a long time.

    “In light of the new détente Trump succeeded in negotiating with the long-despised and isolated North Korea”

    WTF?? You actually think Trump negotiated some kind of détente with Kim Jong-Un?? Two lunatics, one a dictator and the other a dictator-wannabe, two dangerous narcissists with tremendous power, who both have been abusing their countries — you trust them? You believe them?

    Yeah, peace is breaking out. Right. With the ascendance of rightwing extremism worldwide — Trump in the US, Orban in Hungary, La Liga in Italy, anti-immigrant sentiment increasing everywhere — yeah, we’re really on the verge of peace breaking out. What are you people smoking?

    I’ve long been a proud leftist, but when I read crap like this I just cringe. I can’t believe it’s possible that your heads are so far in the clouds that you refuse to acknowledge what’s going on. And the constant, incessant adulation of Putin is positively nauseating. He’s a thug. He’s a thug like Trump. Are you all really so blind?

    There are a lot of worthy causes to fight for. But worldwide peace is never going to happen. Spend 10 minutes on the neighborhood forum Nextdoor and then tell me all people can live in peace.

  • kevinzeese

    When I read the headline of the article I had my doubts as it was quite optimisitic but when I read the article it had a lot of useful information about previous Russian proposals that US presidents had rejected. If Trump accepts any of those it would be a big step forward. We will see how this plays out as Trump is hamstrung from doing anything positive with Russia due to the Russiagate investigation.

    On Kim and Trump, their initial agreement was small, but positive step in the direction of peace. It sounds like the recent meeting between Pence and the NK Foreign Minister did not go well and was a set back, but it is impossible tell whether Trump-Pence are playing to the US right wing, showing they are negotiating a hard bargain or they really or whether Pence made gangster demands as NK described the meeting. US gangsterism would not be surprising with the tradition of US foreign policy, much more a gangster of the world than a good cop for the world.

    If someone hates Trump, Russia and Kim I could see why they would hate this article.

  • litbrit

    We all want peace, don’t we? How seductive a notion that is, to imagine that something good–nay, something amazing and universe-altering–could be built by the fascist in the White House, even as his own words and actions keep telling us how utterly ignorant, incurious, history-denying, and arrogant he is. He, and his fascistic administration, with all their nationalist policies and outrageous behaviors and outright crimes against humanity (see: the ripping away of migrant Latino children from their parents, which as Native Americans and African Americans will tell you, is a time-honored American practice). THAT guy.

    But the truth, as even a lot of Republican pundits are admitting, is that Trump coming home from Singapore and bragging that everyone can sleep peacefully now has given KJU the biggest boner of his life. He is the North Korean Lucy to Trump’s Charlie Brown, swiping the football away at the last moment, as his father did again and again. They’ve been building their nuke program, decade after decade–it is the focus of their very being–but Trump thinks that his magic visit and silver tongue could somehow convince them to do a 180º and ditch it all. Countless intelligence reports now tell us the opposite.

    Recognizing this, and being clear-eyed about who we’re discussing here, is not about “hating Trump” or “hating Republicans”–I refuse to allow my ability to think logically to be reduced to bipartisanism (to which end, yes, I certainly did criticize Obama for numerous policies when he was in office). Rather, it’s about seeing that the emperor is indeed naked, and saying so–as loudly and often as it takes for people to get it.

  • kevinzeese

    You should review your history of North Korea agreements with the US. Bill Cinton and North Korea reached an agreement (no Kim’s father did not snatch away the Lucy football) which was working until the Bush administration came in and John Bolton led the way to stop the US from fulfilling its obligations under the agreement. That is when the Clinton agreement fell apart. It was not North Korea’s fault, but the fault of the United States.

    Are you saying the world would be better off if Trump and Kim had not made the initial steps with their recent agreement? I hope not. Some Democrats are saying that, it seems because they do not want any success for Trump even if it is good for the world. Some Dems are even pushing legislation to make it impossible for the president to remove US troops from Korea. It is time for those troops to come home and for peace to break out. I agree there are a lot of hurdles to achieve it, but there is no reasonable alternative but to try.

    And the same is true with Russia. The US and Russia need to find ways to work together. The US should not be threatening Russia with NATO bases along their border. Thank goodness Russia sometimes stands up to the United States as they did in the last few days when the US took an absurd position on Mothers Milk being the healthiest alternative for babies. The US threatened Latin American and African countries with economic sanctions and cuts to military support if they dared introduced a pro-Mother’s Milk resolution at the World Health Organization. Russia had to stand up and stop the US abuse of infant healthcare. The US was acting on behalf of corporate profits, the world wanted to act on behalf of infant health.

    It is time for detente, time to reverse the escalation and time to start ridding both nations of nuclear weapons. I am no Trump fan, but I am pleased he is talking to Putin. We need to push for positive results from their meeting.

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    Quote: “Are you saying the world would be better off if Trump and Kim had not made the initial steps with their recent agreement?”

    Total straw man argument. Nobody said that.

    Neither did anybody say that the US and Russia shouldn’t find ways to work together. Another straw man.

    And the notion that peace is somehow going to “break out” is naive at best, if not juvenile.

  • aliceslater

    Dear Lisa,

    The purpose of the article was to ask people to do a “thought experiment”and think the unthinkable–detente and nuclear disarmament–based on the long, tortured, broken negotiations and attempts at peace–basically since the bomb was dropped and Stalin asked Truman to turn the bomb over to the newly formed UN, designed to “end the scourge of war” which Truman refused. So of course the Soviets got the bomb! No one was going to leave them behind and the race was on!!

    The historical record shows that there were lots of missed opportunities in the past to end the nuclear arms race, keep space for peace, and avoid war in cyberspace–which the US blew in in the grip of the Military-Industrial complex which President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address at Columbia University as far back as 1961. I now call it the military-industrial-congressional-academic-media complex which cannot say a good thing about the possibility of bad boy Trump making a deal with Korea and Russia and moving towards nuclear disarmament. Even a broken clock is right twice a day as the say about the possibility
    of Trump doing anything good!

    Almost every year for as far back as I can remember, Yoko Ono takes out a full page ad in the NY Times and in a sea of white paper, prints only two words: Imagine Peace

    That’s what we should be trying to do right now in this time of global turmoil. What have we got to lose? Alice

  • Sorry, but this article is attempting way more than a thought experiment. And if you know World Beyond War, you already know that.

    The orange goon in the White House has been talking about invading Venezuela. Invading Venezuela! And we’re supposed to believe he’s interested in, let alone serious about, peace??

    The mind reels.

  • kevinzeese

    What was his agreement with NK about? He stopped the idiotic war games that Obama escalated. I know Trump is detestable in many ways, but if he makes moves toward peace and less militarism, I’d be supportive of those moves. Of course, thus far he has escalated military spending, weapons sales and threats, so the odds are not good, but at least they are talking.

  • aliceslater

    I dont think he’s interested in peace at all! Only in being recognized for his “greatness”. If he can pull this off with Putin, whose government has always been pushing the US to do more to move towards nuclear disarmament, no weapons in space, a treaty to ban cyberwar, then it will be to everyone’s advantage despite who made it happen. Kind of like the abhorrent Nixon, the red baiter and red hater, and Joe McCarthy’s kind of guy in the 1950 during the awful red scare years, went to China and made peace with China. You just never know. It was never going to happen with drone em Obama, the Constitutional law scholar who boasted how he killed and threw Osama Bin Ladin overboard instead of putting him on trial like we did with the Nazis at Nuremberg, when America stood for something and believed in its ideals.

  • I don’t and didn’t defend Obama and his murderous drone bombing and continuation of the so-called War on Terror that Bush started.

    Putin and Kim Jong-un are playing Trump like a fiddle. It’s a spoof worthy of The Onion to think that Trump will pull a Nixion. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

  • kevinzeese

    They are playing him well. I especially liked how President Moon Jae-In of South Korea talked about a Noble Peace Prize for Trump. Putin should do the same on nuclear disarmament, keeping weapons out of space and withdrawing troops from the NATO border with Russia. I hope they play Trump well to some good ends.

  • aliceslater

    If they are playing him like a fiddle then they are playing him to ratchet down the nuclear arms race, end the missile expansion and space domination and get a handle on cyberwar. What’s wrong with that?

  • larrysherk

    We know that we want and deserve peace. We must not be seduced by the past, that says “War will always be with you”. Thinking like that IS in the past, and it is no longer appropriate, needed or desired — by any humans. We have to dare to be great and just let the future be unknown. Worrying about the future is as idiotic as worrying about the past. What we have is NOW and that’s what we live in.

  • chetdude

    “It doesn’t show that Putin is some great guy.”

    Total strawman argument. No one is saying Putin is a good guy.

    What we anti-war folks are saying is that wouldn’t it be ironic if two uber-capitalist plutocrats for their own selfish, narcissistic, monomaniacal reasons made substantial steps toward Peace as no one since Reagan/Gorbachev have even tried…

  • aliceslater

    Also if you read all the wonky technotalky arms control proposals now from the establishment career military, like the INF intermediate force agreement, the w-61 warhead, extension of the START treaty, mindless acronyms and geekspeak from scientists, policy analysists, former legislators, ad nauseum, it shows how no one is holding up the clarion call for nuclear abolition, freedom from cyber attacks, and peace in the heavens, which is essential if we are to get on with the important work ahead, which is ending the possibiity of catastrophic nuclear devastation or the other threat, the total destruction of Mother Earth from continued reliance on toxic energy sytems when we already have all the solution now if only we would pay proper heed instead of wasting our energy on war, new weapons, destruction. So 20th century!!

  • chetdude

    It. Already. Did…

    Trump is staying out of the way while Kim and Moon are making Peace…

  • OMG.

    Bullshit.

  • chetdude

    You aren’t really suggesting that Peace in Korea (finally) is a bad thing because one of the elements in the process is the execrable Trump getting played by Kim and Moon to stay out of the way?

  • We don’t have peace in Korea, despite the great orange goon’s crowing about it on Twitter.

    And Trump won’t “stay out of the way.” His ego won’t allow it.

  • chetdude

    ‘Trump won’t “stay out of the way.” His ego won’t allow it.’

    Is that what you want?

    I’m hoping that Trump’s very short attention span and seriously limited “intellectual capacity” will allow Kim and Moon to play him while they end USAmerica’s war on Koreans…

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    If you read lefty blogs, including this one, the sound of praise directed towards Putin is deafening. Plenty of lefties are implying if not saying outright that Putin is a good guy.

    And “we anti-war folks”? You think the rest of us who read these blogs aren’t anti-war? There’s a difference between being anti-war and having your head stuck in the sand. Or in the clouds as somebody else put it I forget who cause the thread here has gotten so long.

    You can dream about your irony all you want. Trump and Putin and KJU aren’t making any “substantial steps toward peace.”

  • chetdude

    I’m all over these blogs and NO ONE IS SAYING THAT PUTIN IS A NICE GUY. That’s your bullsh*t (strawman) meme…

    Creating “enemies” when you don’t have to is no way to end war…Sabre-rattling and endless war sure as hell hasn’t worked for most humans on this Planet over the last 74 years during USAmerica’s Forever War for resources…

    Just as Trump allowing a breakthrough in USAmerica’s war against Korea for his own selfish reasons doesn’t make him a “nice guy”, it’s also true that if the democrats and their friends in the corporate media succeed in pissing on the parade toward Peace in Korea (or between USAmerica and Russia) for their own short-term political/financial gain it will provide further proof that they aren’t “nice guys” either…

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    We already know the Dems aren’t “nice guys.”

    And again, lefty blogs are what they are. They hold up Putin as some kind of icon of rationality left and right. Not my bullshit meme. Fact.

    Trump isn’t allowing any “breakthrough in USAmerica’s war against Korea.” What a load.

  • Jon

    How about a people’s referendum on this? I vote yes to the referendum and to the proposal itself.

  • Jon

    Constructive worry is the evaluation of possible scenarios, given the present state of affairs. Likewise, panic is the appropriate response when faced with imminent catastrophe.

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    Me, too

    now what?

  • larrysherk

    Worry and panic are both based on reptilian fear responses. We can do better.

  • We hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

  • kevinzeese

    We need to do a lot more than that and thankfully many people are working to rebuild the peace movement after it was destroyed by the fake “peace president” Barak Obama. Particularly important is Black Alliance for Peace being organized by Ajamu Baraka and other black activists. The black community had been a backbone of the peace movement but it has been destroyed by the first black president’s false peace rhetoric despite his escalation of war and militarism.

    The No Bases Coalition is organizing people in the United States and around the world to end the US Empire of Bases, 800 bases throughout the globe.

    Also important is World Beyond War which is working on the big issue with the long term goal of ending war as an instrument of foreign policy.

    Many are working on issues around massive military spending and its impact on budget cuts for the necessities of the people and the protection of the planet. Others are organizing protests around specific military issues and actions. And people are organizing to protest the Trump military parade which will glorify war.

    Popular Resistance covers all of this and more and we are involved in the leadership of many of these groups. We see Trump as an interventionist with extreme military spending and putting the military and war mongers in key positions of government. We also recognize the militarism and war of President Obama. We have a lot of work to do to build the kind of movement that can combat forces that are profiting from war. We see the efforts growing and people getting more organized.

    It is interesting to note that Trump ran as a non-interventionist who was critical of the Iraq War and the war in Syria as well as others. Obama also ran as a peace candidate. Neither have governed that way but both so it as necessary to run that way. These actions show the people are with us. They need to be organized and mobilized.

  • Yes, Kevin, I know you’re doing good work and have long known that. I was responding to the notion of holding a “people’s referendum” and voting on it, which strikes me as absurd.

  • Jon

    Lisa, I understand that we do not now have the POWER to effect a positive outcome of such a referendum, i.e. end the war machine, but the intent I had in mind was to make it clear that the 1% ruling class does NOT have the support of the vast majority of the American people, and to further isolate them politically, analogous to Temer in Brazil who has something like 4% approval rating. I hope you don’t take me for a fool! Been at this anti-imperial activist work since the mid sixties.

  • Jon

    Larry, I doubt that crocodiles “worry” very much. Analyze the experience! Is it not a mental rehearsal of various alternative courses of action? As for “panic,” it is a perfectly rational as well as emotional response to a life-threatening situation–a strong motivator to act. Again Think more deeply about the experience and you just may see the wisdom of my clarification.

  • “Been at this anti-imperial activist work since the mid sixties.”

    And since the mid-sixties, American empire has only gotten worse. More expansive, more abusive, more draconian. You want to “make it clear that the 1% ruling class does NOT have the support of the vast majority of the American people.” You think the 1% gives a shit? They’re stronger and more dismissive than ever. Trump still has the support of almost half the country. You think you’re going to win them over? The only true thing he ever said was that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any support. I used to think it was a metaphor. Now I know it’s not only literal but entirely accurate.

    This is the administration that is supposedly going to bring about peace with Putin, Kim Jong-un, and god only knows who else:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/emaoconnor/pregnant-migrant-women-miscarriage-cpb-ice-detention-trump?utm_term=.itLWYOB1k#.thdJ21rBG

  • kevinzeese

    There is no vehicle for a national referendum in the United States. So, I did not take the comment seriously. I knew that was what you were responding to but thought it was a good opportunity to discuss what people are doing to rebuild the peace movement. Serious work is needed and is being done.

  • kevinzeese

    The good news is there are lots of indications that the US empire is failing and that the next decade will be its last. These are not my words but taken from authors who study empires. They see the signs of a faltering empire in the United States right now. So, while it seems like a long road, if in fact the US empire ends in the next decade it will not be. The empire began at the end of the civil war, if you do not count the takeover of North America from the Indigenous Peoples.

  • chetdude

    Within the context of a vulture capitalist whose main motivation is retaining and expanding his wealth, Putin IS more rational than Trump…

    They are both extreme slime and deadly to the preservation of our species and millions of others on our only Home Planet…

  • Jon

    Lisa, Your comment (and please know that I am glad to see you engage in this and other dialogue):
    “And since the mid-sixties, American empire has only gotten worse. More expansive, more abusive, more draconian.”
    No argument there, but it is increasingly BRITTLE and approaching a point when it no longer CAN get its way–either internationally or domestically. What I see (am I mistaken?) in your comments is a deep cynicism about the ability for our side to win. Defeatism precludes victory, so I don’t buy it.

    It is not a matter of the 1% caring, or being won over. It is about isolating them to the point of irrelevance and removing them from power. I like the words of Arundhati Roy who said (and I quote roughly from memory) “Another world is possible. She is coming. On a clear day I can hear her breathing.”

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    Still wondering.

    Now what?

  • kevinzeese

    If you want to see an end to war get involved with groups working to end war. When you see articles on this site and others share them with your social media networks. You can also share them to decision makers and corporate media. We need to build a movement and that takes lots of people doing their part.

  • Arundhati Roy also says that non-violence has its limits. That non-violence is great for people of privilege. I wonder how that squares with the World Beyond War philosophy.

  • Jon

    Valid point. I have never been a NV absolutist, especially in the face of outright genocide. I never considered the Vietnamese armed resistance to be immoral in principle, but appropriate given the circumstances, to cite one of many possible examples. But I am intrigued with how the USSR unraveled so peacefully and will encourage us to work for such a procedure, for our OWN sake as well as the many who may be caught in conflict unintentionally. I have used the word “brittle” to describe the empire, hard, unyielding, but fragile.

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    Well on that we can agree.

    Then again nothing that a chunk of Novichok can’t take care of.