by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)
Turning and turning in a widening gyre, the geopolitics of the young 21st century resembles a psychedelic mandala conceived by Yama, the Lord of Death.
Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, fresh from a 70-hour train journey, meets in prosperous, communist Hanoi with fellow Nobel Peace Prize contender Donald Trump under the benevolent gaze of Uncle Ho.
This very sentence, if announced not long ago, would have elicited transcontinental howls of derision.
Chairman Kim, owner of a small nuclear arsenal, is deemed worthy of dialogue by the hyperpower while the nuclear-deprived leadership in Iran is not, even as the hyperpower ditched a multilateral, UN-approved, working nuclear deal.
In parallel, the hottest border in Asia reveals itself not to be the DMZ between the Koreas, but once again the Line of Control between nuclear powers India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
Although Islamabad and Delhi might, in theory, escalate to pointing nuclear missiles towards each other, the DPRK won’t point a nuclear-tipped missile at Guam and Tehran points to nothing at all, as it does not hold any nuclear missiles.
In a lighter, Looney Tunes vein, exit regime change in Pyongyang, while regime change in Iran stays, and enter regime change in Venezuela. Iran may still be placed in the Axis of Evil, but the new motto is the troika of tyranny (Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua) as the government in Caracas plays ‘Beep Beep’ to the hyperpower’s Wily Coyote.
An array of dodgy US neocons and shady “foundations” keep the flame of regime change in Iran alive, even fabricating a Tehran-al-Qaeda axis, while in Venezuela a stealth scenario advances. An astonishing briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Moscow this past Friday revealed that “US special forces and tech units will be delivered closer to Venezuela’s borders. We do have information that the US and its NATO partners are organizing for a mass delivery of weapons for the opposition in Venezuela, which will come from an Eastern European country.”
Facts are implacable. NATO, after nearly two decades, was miserably defeated in Afghanistan. The NATO-Gulf Cooperation Council war by proxy in Syria failed.