Not Funny: When Court Jesters Howl for WarHumanity celebrated the recent, near miraculous Korean detente and rapprochement between the two fraternal sides of the peninsula with a huge sigh of relief, after almost seven decades of nonstop tensions and many nerve-racking incidents, most provoked by the US and its client state in the south, all part of the empire’s policy of unyielding hostility to any nation rejecting the hegemon’s diktats.
It remains ironic that the lethal absurdity of the North-South stalemate, which could have triggered a nuclear war in Korea quickly engulfing the rest of Asia and the planet, was broken precisely by Trump’s outrageous threats and ultimatums, all of which finally made perfectly clear to South Koreans and the rest of the world that Washington was quite ready to sacrifice them all to achieve its miserable objectives. It helped of course that the South Korean people—after many struggles— finally got rid of the last US supported crony-capitalist tyrant on Seoul’s throne, and replaced her with Moon Jae-in, a politician of great skill, vision and courage. Since the memorable day that Moon Jae-in embraced Kim Jong-un as a legitimate partner in the peace process, promising to follow through by dismantling South Korea’s elaborate architecture of military threats against the north built over decades of subservience to US policy and the South’s rabid elites’ anti-communism (a move later crowned by a third inter-Korea summit in Pyongyang in September of this year), the momentum for reconciliation had taken a life of its own, with the only snag remaining, as usual, the empire and its hardcore collaborators in the South and the imperial media, none of which want to see any changes in the old hawkish arrangement.
Despite these sensational breakthroughs, Korea’s search for a stable peace remains a fragile and elusive quest. For one thing, the North did not promise nor is about to dismantle its military—especially nuclear—capability, without which it would be quickly destroyed or continue to be subject to blackmail and terrorism by Washington and its usual accomplices. Contrary to what much of the malicious media in the West proclaimed, Kim did not promise to dismantle its nuclear deterrence machinery as a precondition to talks conducive to normalization. That was merely one of Washington’s habitual outrageous and arrogant non-starter demands, which, if granted, would have crippled North Korea’s negotiating capital, not to mention its ability to remain free and independent. So, no, Kim never promised total disarmament as dreamed by the Pentagon hawks, for that would signify a priori capitulation to Washington, and, for Kim, a huge political risk if not suicide since he would be in effect betraying his country’s hard-won security platform. Kim, far more than Trump, operates on a high wire, and so does his ally in the peace journey, President Moon Jae-in.
Given this reality, and deeply unhappy with the emerging peace, it is not unusual to watch the hawks in the NATO alliance—their stance as usual amplified by the prostituted corporate media— making a big deal of Kim’s putative double cross, wasting no opportunity to make Trump look foolish for “swallowing” Kim’s “hollow promises”. Those who know anything about Trump realize quite well that this is playing with fire, as few things are more reckless —criminal under the circumstances—than provoking Trump to commit some act of aggression by messing with his ego and juvenile machismo. In this context, these Neocon/ Deep State critics of Trump’s relative inaction (confusion?) and passivity toward Kim and Moon, disgusted with this “peace breather” he has allowed by design or ineptness, would like to see the US move resolutely to restore the status quo ante by wrecking all plans for reconciliation under way. The consequences for all of us would be catastrophic.
Such prospect does not seem to bother the likes of Stephen Colbert and other court jesters in high demand by the establishment’s soft power apparatus. Heir to Johnny Carson’s throne at CBS’ Late Show, Colbert (unlike Carson who cowardly never delved into politics) has already made his mark (and shown his fealty to the empire) via multiple instances of acid mockery and derision toward Trump, North Korea, and Kim, in particular, the North Korean leader’s idiosyncrasies making him an easy target for his numerous detractors in the Western propaganda system. Under these delicate circumstances, prodding the Donald to act like a wrecking ball against North Korea is a clear example of irresponsibility and profound disrespect for the safety of billions of people, but this apparently does not enter Colbert’s selfish calculations, since, careerist to the marrow, he seems more interested in burnishing his creds as a loyal Democrat Russiagater and Never-Trumper than acting as a voice for rationality and truth, let alone peace, whose value he obviously neither understands nor appreciates.
Many people, remembering Colbert’s previous incarnation as a seemingly bold iconoclast with occasional sallies of topical derring-do (as when he ripped into President George W. Bush and the media at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, see Appendix) refuse to believe the man made a complete about face becoming a fierce imperial apologist, albeit one, as discussed elsewhere, still retaining the mask of fierce contrarianism.
So, at this point you may well ask, where’s the proof? The proof is in the pudding of course, and here’s the pudding. Taste it, and draw your own conclusions.
A final word
Colbert’s track record so far clearly indicates he is a cynical opportunist, and that any form of activism is (at this point) alien to his personality. Because of that, his constant anti-Trumpism, while strident, comparable to Rachel Maddow’s russophobia, does not ring genuine or principled. The best explanation lies elsewhere, perfectly set forth by Black Agenda Report’s editor Glen Ford in his latest piece describing the White House press corps’ herdlike hostility toward Trump. In Ford’s view—and we totally agree—the corps’ behaviour simply reflects the current split in the US ruling class, “a contest of capitalist titans that has been playing out in the electronic and print corporate media for the past two years.”
“Corporate media operatives, including the White House press corps, are foot soldiers in this war. “
And that’s precisely what Colbert and many other big marquee comics are these days, just foot soldiers in this war.
When Colbert used to be a radical?
It’s been 10 years since Stephen Colbert ripped into President George W. Bush and the media at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Watch how, in Colbert style, he held no punches. But that was then.
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