Towards the tail end of the 20th century, a rebel group in Kosovo, backed by NATO and the Albanian army, fought a brutal war against the Federal Yugoslav Republic, particularly against present day Serbia and Montenegro.
The Kosovo War was a tragic event in which ethnic Albanians in Kosovo sought to gain independence from Yugoslavia, and where an estimated 11,000 Kosovo people perished fighting for their independence.
The independence of Kosovo is still a touchy subject and is a matter of debate internationally. It’s one of the many examples of how ugly Balkanization can be, in which many different groups all living in a small space can want neighbouring countries’ blood.
But outside of all of the turmoil and tragedy that surrounded the Kosovo War, a funny little phenomenon occurred within Kosovo shortly thereafter. As a new post-war generation was being birthed, there was an influx of a new name in Kosovan boys that had never been heard before.
If you thought think that the name has a striking resemblance to former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, you’d be right. After Blair’s role in the resolution of the conflict, many newborns were given the name Toni, or Tonibler as a thank you to Blair, who many Kosovars consider instrumental to ending the conflict.
Things have definitely changed since then, but of course, there will always be groups of people who pray to their god for liberation. There will always be separatist movements, that much is a given. The degree to which those movements succeed varies greatly.
From the Catalan movement in Spain, right here in Quebec, Scotland, or the aforementioned Kosovo, people with distinct cultures tend to want to separate from governing bodies that they feel don’t properly represent them.
But there is one extreme example of a people so oppressed by their own government that they don’t have access to the internet, steady supplies of food, and have absolutely no free speech.
North Korea, the communist dictatorship led by Kim Jong-Un, is one of Earth’s greatest failures. It’s an absolute travesty that in this time of satellites, speed rails and high speed internet, that any country could be so horribly treated by their own leader.
Imprisoned in a system of absolute cruelty for what has now been decades, it seemed as though there was no salvation in sight for the tiny nation on the Korean peninsula.
Until now, it seems.
What the hell is going on? For all of my lifetime, anything I could remember about North Korea involved thoughts of how the tiny nation was one of our greatest enemies. A problem without a solution, and a nuclear threat that threatened America, and thus, the world.
America then elects Donald Trump of all people. and suddenly there’s a glimpse of hope. Out of all people, Donald Trump could potentially end the Korean War. Yes, there has been a ceasefire for many decades now, but no peace treaty was ever signed. When Trump was asked about the potential to end it, he gave a staunch “We’ll see.”
But Trump seems hyper optimistic, and of course very confident, even comparing North Korea to Vietnam in their economic capability. Vietnam, a country whose economy has been flourishing under a communist government that exploits capitalism and controls the people.
At this point, I’m sure North Koreans will take anything. A communist country where everyone is decently fed just seems objectively better than starving to death and watching your family get killed in public for trying to escape. Seriously, that happens there.
It seems like a lot of progress has been made with North Korea in general. Remember the whole “rocket man” situation? Trump went so far as to Tweet insults at Un, and even signed a copy of Elton John’s Honky Chateau, the album that “Rocket Man” came out on. The gift was never given, and although tensions did seem high at the time, Trump apparently knew what he was doing.
It goes back to that old idea. Leaders who are mad with power seem to respect strong Western leaders who utilize their braun, rather than diplomatic intellectuals. The “strongman” archetype, as unpopular as it may be to some, seems to appeal to crazed leaders in a way that earns their respect.
Could you imagine if North Korea is liberated, and in 9 months we start seeing little Korean babies named “도날드 트럼프”? (romanized Donaldeu Teuleompeu, the spelling that appears on Google Translate.) I don’t even know what to do with that idea. Trump could be the President that waged war on worldwide homophobia, and liberated North Korea. Insanity.
Another little theory is that this was always in the cards for Kim Jong Un. As it’s been noted before, the supreme leader of N.K. actually adores American culture, much more than his father before him ever would.
Un also went to school in Switzerland for a number of years, and is probably much more down to Earth than many of us give him credit for. Hell, Trump himself said that Un has a tremendous sense of humour. High praise!
An example of Un’s adoration for America made international headlines when former Chicago Bull and basketball hall of famer Dennis Rodman flew to the Korean peninsula to hang out with Un in 2017.
When Rodman returned, he complimented Un to no end, and argued that the North Korean leader is massively misunderstood, stating that he is “just like anybody else.”
Rodman claimed he’d visited North Korea six times, and also stated that he was the first person to hold the supreme leader’s baby.
Rodman, who branded Kim a “friend for life,” said the leader had personally informed him that he had no plans to bomb any countries and is actually a big admirer of America.
“When he’s around his people, he’s just like anybody else. He jokes and loves playing basketball, table tennis, pool,” said Rodman.
“They love American ’80s music. They do karaoke to it. He has this 13-piece girls band with violins. He gets a mic and they play the whole time. He loves the Doors and Jimi Hendrix. Oldies. When I first went, the live band only played two songs for four hours: the theme songs from Rocky and Dallas.”
So yes, this sounds absolutely insane. But in a way, it makes perfect sense. If it’s true that Kim Jong-Un is an admirer of American media, it’s likely that he knew of Donald Trump before his turn to politics. Un may have even been a fan of Trump’s before he ever took office as Supreme Leader.
As I’m typing this, Trump has just finished up a dinner with Kim Jong Un at the Metropole Hotel in Vietnam. They apparently had a dinner that lasted just under 2 hours long. Lord only knows what was discussed, but it could have been a conversation that will help change the world for the better.
The two will meet Thursday for extended bilateral meetings before Trump departs in the evening for Washington.
It’s expected that Trump will hold a press conference. There’s no official timing announced yet. But the President has made it clear that his hopes are very high.
Basically, all I’m saying is that Dennis Rodman deserves a peace prize. More so than Obama does, anyway. As far I know, Dennis Rodman never droned anyone.
What do you think? Let us know.