Aesop, Zen, and the Next Trump War

Thoughtful responses keep pouring in to the question I posed on last week:  Whether it is a war of principals or proxies, the unexpected result of an incident or a provocation, or another of the Empire’s regime change operations like Iraq, Libya, and  Syria, will Donald Trump’s first new war be with Russia, Iran, China, or North Korea? (See The Four Horsemen Of The Trumpocalypse)

Votes for North Korea and Iran, running about even among the emails I have received, are in the lead. Here’s an excerpt about each.

D. writes:

I think, if it happens, it will be Iran… which will be a disaster….  In addition, I believe that Iran is the end game of what the middle east ‘strategists’ having been cooking up in their neocon cauldrons over the last twenty years.  Many still attribute the Iraq disaster as a bumbling George Bush mistake.  I see it and Syria as the end game before the Iran strike.  Look at the geography of the middle east.  To the east of Iran is Afghanistan, nominally under US ‘control.’  to the northeast is Pakistan, also nominally under US control.  Kuwait, under US protection to the Southwest, and to the west is…yep, Iraq and Syria.

As I wrote, my own view is that the first new Trump war will be with North Korea.  M. agrees in the following comment:

I was already drafting my response before I finished your article. The correct answer is: N. Korea (may God have mercy on our souls).

Can you imagine how the whole thing would topple if we just lifted sanctions? Imagine daily flights from SFO to NK…. it’s easy to keep feeding propaganda when everything is cut off from the rest of the world.

I find myself reflecting a lot recently on the Aesop fable about the wind and the sun…

Obviously there is at least one Zen master reading   If you don’t know the fable he refers to, here’s a version from the 1919 classic The Aesop for Children:


The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak.

 “Let us agree,” said the Sun, “that he is the stronger who can strip that Traveler of his cloak.”

 “Very well,” growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler.

 With the first gust of wind the ends of the cloak whipped about the Traveler’s body. But he immediately wrapped it closely around him, and the harder the Wind blew, the tighter he held it to him. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain.

Then the Sun began to shine. At first his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the Traveler unfastened his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. The Sun’s rays grew warmer and warmer. The man took off his cap and mopped his brow. At last he became so heated that he pulled off his cloak, and, to escape the blazing sunshine, threw himself down in the welcome shade of a tree by the roadside.

Gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster fail.


3:32 am on March 23, 2017