by Tyler Durden – Wed, 06/13/2018
In the midst of Tuesday’s historic Trump-Kim summit and accompanying myriad pundits giving their hot takes on mainstream news networks, 24-year State Department veteran and geopolitics expert Peter Van Buren began an epic rant on twitter with the following: “If you’re keeping score at home, every pundit and MSM head who claimed the summit would never happen, or Trump would blow up, is now 100% and forever wrong. Still watching CNN????”
Van Buren is best known as a whistleblower who was ousted from a successful career as a foreign service officer after he chronicled the astronomical amount of US government waste, fraud, criminality and abuse in post-Saddam Iraq based on his experience leading two reconstruction teams for the State Department.
His 2011 book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, which precipitated a lengthy legal battle with the US government as he stood accused of leaking allegedly sensitive and classified information in the book, initially earned him the ire of beltway bureaucrats, mainstream pundits, fanatical neocons, and liberal interventionists alike. But he was proven right.
During and after the Trump-Kim meeting Van Buren live tweeted in reaction to the cable news shows repeatedly slamming the whole event as a charade merely meant to score domestic propaganda victories for both leaders.
Here are 5 media myths which persisted throughout the day’s wall-to-wall mainstream coverage based on career State Department expert Peter Van Buren’s analysis…
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Myth #1: Trump “betrayed” US ally South Korea
No, the South Korean’s were not “betrayed” or “abandoned” as Vox , MSNBC, and many others claim — the reality is opposite: the peace efforts are being led by the South Koreans, as President Moon Jae-in’s own unambiguous words indicate, saying he was very happy with the meeting.
“I offer my heartfelt congratulations and welcome the success of the historic North Korea-United States summit,” Moon’s statement begins.
The pundits now claiming “betrayal” of South Korea have no clue what they’re talking about.
Myth #2: Trump “empowered” and “legitimized” Kim
Most government pundits still making the rounds on the cable news shows are either former Obama-era officials or raving necons: as Van Buren points out they were part of the problem to begin with, creating a constant haze of impressions that Washington and Pyongyang must of necessity be on a permanent war footing.
As Van Buren writes in his new Reuters op-ed piece: “Trump did not empower Kim. Meeting with one’s enemies is not a concession. Diplomacy is not a magic legitimacy powder the United States can choose to sprinkle on a world leader. The summit acknowledges the like-it-or-not reality of seven decades of Kim-family rule over a country armed with nuclear weapons.”
Only a few months ago State Department North Korean expert Joseph Yun’s retirement triggered a round of dire claims of “a void at [the] head of Trump’s Korea diplomacy”. Similar predictions were made over the lack of an American ambassador in Seoul. The State Department was decimated. (“The Trump administration has lost the capacity to negotiate with other countries,” wrote one journalist.) The Council on Foreign Relations assessed the chances of war on the peninsula at 50 percent.
“They’re the last people anyone should be listening to at this point” as it was their “earlier failures” in diplomacy that “made the summit necessary,” Van Buren concludes.
Myth #3: The summit marks a “propaganda victory” for North Korea
Media commentators throughout the day were outraged to see the American and North Korean flags displayed on equal footing.
Van Buren responds by pointing out what is obvious and common protocol for all such historic summits, even the potentially contentious ones, including Obama’s trip to Havana to mend US-Cuban relations in 2016: