Saturday, April 21, 2018


April 28 joyful update--see final paragraph: 

James Comey is clearly literate in moral, legal, and governmental matters. He acknowledges influence of the great American ethicist, Reinhold Niebuhr.
Thus, Comey's not naive when he makes a moral judgment.  And I credit Comey for willingness to make such a judgment call as when he judged Trump as morally unfit for the office of president.

Pres. Trump: morally unfit? Trump himself has never spoken to that point directly, as far as I know. But routinely he has charged others with moral weakness. Who can forget his "Lyin' Hillary" insult?

Though I may like to agree with Comey, I will say this: chalk one up for Trump. He has acknowledged N. Korea and promised Kim Jong-un a place at the table. 

Is Kim morally fit for peace talks? Certainly his means toward attaining and retaining power are despicable. But in matters of international relations, what is Kim Jong-un seeking? To defend NK from attack? Remember that the Korean War has never been formally ended. So N. Korea's arsenal  could be understood as a defense against attack.  

N. Korea has developed a nuclear weapon capable of attacking anywhere in the U.S., and, by extension, throughout Asia as well. Through bellicose threats to use that power Kim gained attention and has now won a place at the table. 

Here's the moral question: are the aims of N. Korea and the U.S. justifiable and are the means and ends in synch? In both governments?

American aims are unclear. Trump needs to clarify American aims and the means he’s willing to use.

N. Korean aims. Also unclear. Guaranteed safety of the nation? Acknowledgement of Kim's right to rule? Kim needs to clarify.

Under such circumstances I have more a question than a judgment: are watching a dance of the morally naïve and the desperate. Both Kim and Trump morally unfit? 

My conclusion: At least Trump and Kim agreed to talk and that is a lot less immoral than lobbing nuclear devices at each other's nations. 

p.s. April 28, 2018. The post above absolutely begs for an update. Yesterday the two top political leaders of South Korea and North Korea met on their own at their border without "supervision" from any super-power. And they agreed to a peaceful future. This watershed meeting is consistent with the cooperation of the two Koreas during the Winter Olympics.

The main point is that North and South Korea seem to desire a new era of less friction at least, and maybe a lot more than that. We onlookers can join in wishing them the will to fulfill, especially considering that such promises have been made and broken in the past. We'll be grateful if N.K. and S.K. can pull it off this time. And maybe Trump can help when he meets Kim.

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