From the day of the inauguration, talk of impeaching the President has featured in the national discourse. The theme is a dominant one with the new Democratic House of Representatives. The crawl of impeachment tidbits daily dissects CNN’s broadcast (for over two years now). To her credit, Nancy Pelosi argues caution. That neither side’s leadership can control their Jacobins is a feature of the new political landscape, accounts for much of the “Trump phenomenon,” and is another topic altogether, but we will see if anyone listens to her. I wouldn’t bet on it.

“We simply don’t know what the Special Prosecutor (SP) has,” should have been repeated over, and over, like Jack Torrance’s novel, if we had a political culture attending to context as well as content.

This is my third installment in an ongoing series exploring America’s relationship with the tool of impeachment of the President, in order to relieve him of duty. My conclusion has been that the process is grossly distorted by politics, and applied to the wrong problems; really only political ones. Our Presidents have needed to be relieved of duty many times in our history. They created outrageous trouble all over the world. They have drunkenly threatened nuclear war. They have perpetuated other wars, causing fearsome death and damage, just to win in a scrabble for high office. Generally, once elected, Presidents seem less accountable than a Starbuck’s barista. But relieving them of duty is poisoned by the narrow, tribal concerns of the political system, driving the impeachment.

To continue: It is a feature of narcissism to consume one’s self with minor problems, and trivialize the substantive ones of others. While we argue over the non-issue of the President’s collusion crimes (or more accurately; yet-to-be issue, as of mid-March, 2019), real attention has yet be paid to matters involving thermonuclear war, with the coincidence of two cases indicting our priorities: the nuclear disarmament summit in Hanoi, and the very first fighter plane skirmish involving nuclear powers; India and Pakistan. A similar distortion of perspective explains the subdued attention paid to an incident where American troops and Russian “contractors’ fought a pitched battle in Syria over a year ago. Practically nobody I talk to has ever heard of it. Yet a John/prostitute squabble (Cohen’s testimony vis-a-vis Stormy and Don) overshadowed them all. Narcissism.

That the tribes treat a nuclear disarmament deal, renewed confrontation with our most dangerous enemy, and a conflict possibly involving nuclear war in one of the poorest and most populous regions on earth, as subordinate to their narrow politics is more evidence of our political culture’s fall to the base and low. Remember when the Democrats held that the Clinton impeachment was a threat to national security, by its distraction? If not seen as karma, it should be illuminating, that amidst the nuclear war issues, we have another fuss over sachem-removal because of a zipper control matter.

What is also a repetitive note with me is something of a paradox: normalizing impeachment is contingent on political wisdom and judgement (don’t laugh). Wisdom and judgement should realize we now have a unique opportunity to diffuse one of the most unstable political bombs on the planet: North Korea. This makes premature impeachment of this President, at this time, with this evidence, an especially bad idea.

We could advance the cause not only of nuclear disarmament, but the disarmament of what is the most homicidal regime (against her own people) of the modern age. A war in Korea would probably be the most costly war possible, short of a great-power nuclear confrontation. One of the great cities of the world, Seoul, is within artillery range of thousands of North Korean guns. It would be as if Newark could hit New York City with a World War Two-sized, Corps level artillery barrage, of the type the USSR used to prepare for its Berlin Offensive. Seoul’s port could be sealed off with a chemical weapons attack, which would create tens of thousands of civilian casualties, unable to escape, as the roads would be needed to move the military. Those would be the implications just for South Korea, without considering what a nuclear exchange could do.

The uniqueness of the circumstance, and so opportunity, to avert such a catastrophe are as follows: China, North Korea’s patron, has reached the end of her tether of latitude for flaunting the Post War Global Order, as supervised, at great expense in treasure and blood, by the USA. China’s bullying of her neighbors is now getting deserved pushback. Chinese flaunting of intellectual property rules is being rightly called-out. Even Bill Clinton, who negotiated China’s most-favored nation trading status, in the hope that a developed and wealthy China would politically reform, concedes that a new approach to China is needed. Especially now, in light of the fact that Xi has declared himself President-in-perpetuity, thereby formally defining China as a fascist state. A trade war cools the roaring economy this Fascist/Communist mutt needs to justify its remarkable claim that it is the only political entity in world history solely competent to rule.

Increasingly, China must realize all political swords are double-edged, as the weapon they used to cut at the West, could point at them if the Norks get desperate enough. A “hard” collapse would inundate China with the most pitiful refugees of the modern age. North Korea has also annoyed China with some sort of undisclosed nuclear facility accident on its border. “Mysterious nuclear facility collapse” should be galvanizing.

North Korea continues its economic contraction, with untold numbers of people malnourished and starved. Increasingly, her people know what life is like outside “the hermit Kingdom.” Increasingly, “corruption,” which is only the realization that there is a natural life in trade, contrary to Communistic incantations, erodes Kim Jong Un’s political power, as his minions look to self-preservation.

The wild-card, the outlier, and possibly the disrupting event is President Donald Trump. From Un’s point of view, the sort of disarmament deal he might have secured from a President Hillary Clinton looks very much like the one he could have gotten from her husband. Or Jeb Bush, or Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

An outlier opportunity is a perishable one, and disruptors change things more often (and more fundamentally) than across-the-table negotiations: the USSR’s collapse; the de-colonization of the post-World-War-II empires; the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand assassination; the ascendancy of the newly-made Republican Party and its slavery-limiting candidate Abraham Lincoln in 1860, to name only a few.

Un has no guarantee that Trump’s deal will remain on the table after 2020. The report of the SP on the President’s criminality is another wild-card in the deck. Surveying the field of Democrats and Republicans vying for the mantle would not suggest another such outlier.

What this confluence of events could make room for is a deal that looks something like this: verification is the rub. If that can be surmounted, a security guarantee, a promise of no invasion, for North Korea from the South, and the USA. Free from the threat of Nork aggression and Chinese machinations, America can leave. The presence of the USA is what caused Chinese machinations in the first place, as no empire wants another right up against its border.

North Korea might then look something like Vietnam: a very undeveloped economy (the most undeveloped) near-prostrate with poverty. China would not much like this, as competition with less-developed nations nips at their niche. For the price, China gets to get rid of the USA, at a time when tensions are on the rise. That’s good for the planet: a confrontation between the USA and China, of course, would bring our globally interconnected, efficient economy to a screeching halt. China could continue as puppet-master in North Korea for quite some time.

Ironically, we undercut the credibility our own position (wisdom and judgement again, don’t laugh): we offered Ukraine a security guarantee if they disarmed themselves of their nukes when the USSR collapsed. With Russia invading their port and incubating a nasty insurgency, they wish they had them back now. Gadhafi disarmed and he wound up sodomized by a bayonet in a culvert. Dictators read the papers too. If Iraq had a nuclear device, the invasion and dismembering of their country would never have happened.

So, we are left with the irony of nuclear-armed dictators as dependent on the narcissism and dysfunction of the American schizophrenically binary political system we Americans are. Once again, it needs to be said: American presidents have cultivated destructive and pointless wars just to rule over the tribes, before. Maybe this time, narcissistic priorities (Trumps’ “art of the deal” quest for a Nobel Prize) might lead us to peace. It would be wise to take the opportunity.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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