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Not Fit to Lead: Mike Pence ‘Takes a Knee’, Shows His True Colors Pyeong-Chang

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

This has to be one of the most disturbing scenes imaginable in modern politics. It was revealing, and it showed a level of shallowness which is almost unprecedented for any world leader in living memory, east or west.

Yesterday, as American Vice President Mike Pence was basking in the international spotlight, he made the puzzling decision not to stand when they played the Unified Korean anthem.

Undoubtedly, this was a very important moment in history, when North and South Korea entered the Olympic Stadium during the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Pyeong-Chang, South Korea, as the two countries proudly marched in the Parade of Nations – under one Unified Korean flag.

And what did the US high representative do? He did a Kaepernick. He took a knee.

Pence and his wife Karen were proudly sporting American colors, but are they reflecting American values? Exactly what about about their vapid protest is patriotic?

If posed the direct question of whether or not peace is desirable for the Korean Peninsula, there is no doubt the majority of Koreans would say ‘yes’. And I believe it would be the case with the majority Americans as well. But Pence does not represent the majority view. Rather, he represents the radical minority views of Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, General Electric and the rest the wealthy defense lobby. He represents a bloated $1.1 Trillion ‘defense’ budget which has bankrupted the United States. That is the brand of patriotism on display, and the financial base that Pence is dog whistling to.

Effectively, what Pence and his wife are doing here is “taking a knee for world peace,” in a dutifully genuflection to naked imperialism.

Here, Pence is revealing the ugliest side of the self-serving American and transnational elite who have thrived on conflict and profited from the suffering of countless millions. That is what Pence is sitting down in solidarity for – the ugliest aspect of American society which is the unbridled war economy.

Here Pence does not look like second-in-command of a world super-power… he looks more like a small-minded governor from a fly-over state.

Cameras caught Pence in one of the most embarrassing public moments for US internationally – openly exhibiting behavior which is unbecoming of any bona fide statesperson. In terms of international relations, this should certainly disqualify this man from ever holding a chief executive position.

There is another disturbing possibility here though, which is that Pence knows something we don’t. Here we will pose the question: is Pence foreshadowing an US war with North Korea? We hope not.

Perhaps he is just incensed that peace is beginning to flourish on the Korean Peninsula, staving off any possibility of his benefactors opening up a new lucrative Asian conflict front. Pence might very well be devastated by the thought of the US having to evacuate Korea after nearly 70 years of a military occupation designed to prop-up a contrived North-South paradigm which was fueled and exacerbated by US ambitions in the first place.

Or maybe he is just small-minded, arrogant, and ultimately ignorant of world geography, history, and world affairs (which could be the Occam’s Razor explanation).

Whatever the explanation, you should draw one conclusion from this high-profile incident: Mike Pence has demonstrated that he is not fit to lead.

To all the vehement opponents of Donald Trump, let me just say that Trump will take his love where ever he can get it, including from the Koreans, and had he been placed in the exact same position, he would have stood up and clapped, maybe not enthusiastically, but like any good actor, at least pretending to be like a world leader should. People should take heed of this, and be aware that Mike Pence might be a potentially dangerous individual in comparison to Trump. Right now, he may only be Trump’s éminence grise, but if the deep state have their way, things could change, and maybe not for the better.

During a statement issued in September, Jimmy Carter warned about the dangers of pursuing a generational policy of US militarism in the Pacific, and pointed out the obvious truth – one which is constantly being hidden from the American people by corrupt Pentagon-dominated corporate media oracles like CNN and FOX News. Carter stated:

“During all these visits, the North Koreans emphasized that they wanted peaceful relations with the United States and their neighbors, but were convinced that we planned a preemptive military strike against their country. They wanted a peace treaty (especially with America) to replace the ceasefire agreement that had existed since the end of the Korean War in 1953, and to end the economic sanctions that had been very damaging to them during that long interim period. They have made it clear to me and others that their first priority is to assure that their military capability is capable of destroying a large part of Seoul and of responding strongly in other ways to any American attack. The influence of China in Pyongyang seems to be greatly reduced since Kim Jong Un became the North Korean leader in December 2011.”

The former US president also stressed that a commitment to peace by the United States and North Korea is crucial, when he added:

“When this confrontational crisis is ended, the United States should be prepared to consummate a permanent treaty to replace the ceasefire of 1953. The United States should make this clear, to North Koreans and to our allies.”

He is right, and both North and South Koreans know it. Unfortunately, Pence and his paymasters have no interest in seeing peace break-out on the Korean Peninsula.

I am not here to litigate Jimmy Carter’s term as the 39th US president, but I will confirm here that in Jimmy Carter you can hear intelligence, consideration and compassion. In Pence, we hear nothing, and only see his ignorance and shallowness, which might be perfect if all you aspire to is to be a sock puppet of the military industrial gravy train. Based on what we have seen this week, that seems to be the totality of Pence’s aspirations.

Outclassed

We should also point out Mr. Pence was outclassed by Kim Yo-Jung, the sister of the North Korean Grand Marshall Kim Jung Un.  When American athletes entered the Olympic stadium, Yo-Jung stood up, as did the other Korean officials. That’s real statesmanship.

So in this instance, Kim Yo-Jung has shown more class than the sitting United States vice president.

Let that just sink in for a moment.

Author Patrick Henningsen is an American writer and global affairs analyst and founder of independent news and analysis site 21st Century Wire, and is host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally over the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR). He has written for a number of international publications and has done extensive on-the-ground reporting of the conflict Syria, Iraq and the Middle East.

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