A Victory for Sanity in World Politics
President Trump gave peace a chance like few presidents before him, and if his critics cannot respect that fact, shame on them. What he and the hawks around him have done is as profound a shift in U.S. foreign policy as it is unexpected in its departure from an America-centric view of the world.
At the heart of this bold initiative is an openness to the wisdom and concerns of other nations, beginning with the government of South Korea but including most definitely the insights of the leaders of neighboring China, Russia and Japan. It is a break with the demonization of the North Korean enemy in the spirit of Richard Nixon’s opening to Communist China, which effectively ended the Cold War.
That’s the real news here, a profound example of risking peace instead of war, and it should be celebrated in a nonpartisan spirit as a victory for sanity in world politics, whatever one’s prejudice against President Trump.
To nitpick this courageous step while ignoring its enormously positive potential for reducing the risks of nuclear annihilation would be foolhardy in the extreme. Of course, much remains to be negotiated and implemented on the path to eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula. But Trump’s willingness to separate regime change from that effort, and to postpone ritualistic war drills, is crucial to diplomatic success and a welcome departure from the militaristic obsessions of recent presidents, both Republican and Democrat.
Trump has pulled off a remarkable achievement, and while that certainly does not absolve him of other truly egregious behavior, it does suggest, as with Nixon in his bold opening to “Red” China, that blustering hawks can be transformed into constructive peacemakers.