By Mike Whitney
February 6, 2018
Brainwashed Americans believe that Kim Jong-un is responsible for the confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington, but nothing could be further from the truth. The real problem is not Kim’s nuclear weapons but Washington’s 65 year-long military occupation that continues to reinforce a political solution that was arbitrarily imposed on a sovereign nation in order to split the country in two, install a puppet regime in the south, establish a permanent military presence to defend US commercial interests, and maintain control of a strategically-located territory that is a critical part of Washington’s plan to encircle Russia and China to remain the dominant global power throughout the century. Simply put, Washington is 100 percent responsible for the current confrontation just as it has been responsible for every flare-up for the last 7 decades.
Even so, fighting back against the relentless outpouring of US-backed state propaganda is no easy task. So allow me to defend the position of the DPRK with just one, brief analogy that will help to put things into perspective:
Imagine if the Korean army decided to deploy tens of thousands of combat troops to fight on the side of the South during the Civil War. And let’s say, that these forces were so successful that they were able to kill 3 million Americans while reducing every business and factory, every home and hospital, every church and university, to smoldering rubble. As a result of Korean meddling, the North was unable to win the war, but was forced to settle for an armistice that permanently split the US into North and South allowing Korea to install its stooges in the capitol of Richmond while it established military bases in every southern state from Virginia to Louisiana.
Let’s say this arrangement worked for over 6 decades due mainly to the efforts of Korean propagandists who derided any attempt at reconciliation, dialogue or reunification. Let’s say, activists and politicians in the North pushed for a “Sunshine Policy” that would foster communication and better relations between the two sides, but their efforts were constantly sabotaged by self-serving imperial overlords who saw any move towards dialogue as a threat to their continued presence in the South, so they engaged in the same illicit practices the US engages in today, that is, sowing dissension, discord and division between the two sides, always provoking more trouble, more disharmony, more acrimony. Always and everywhere pushing forward the imperial agenda by turning the bulk of the world’s population into Shia and Sunni.
Isn’t that the Grand Plan; divide and conquer, pit one brother against the other, keep all of us at each others throats in order to justify the ongoing occupation, in order to justify the ongoing meddling, in order to justify the ongoing economic exploitation?
Of course, it is. The United States has never lifted its sanctions on North Korea, never treated their leaders with anything except contempt and brutality, and never made any sincere attempt to end the hostilities. Washington will not even sit down with a delegation from the DPRK to air their differences or discuss a path forward.
Is it because the DPRK is a Communist state? Is that it?
Heck, no. The US has open trade relations with China and Vietnam both of who share a similar Marxist ideology. Even more shocking, the US now employs an openly “Utopian” Marxist militia (the Kurdish YPG) in East Syria as its proxy-army in its fight to topple the government in Damascus. Think about that for a minute: Washington’s shock troops in Syria are basically “a bunch of commies”. I don’t say that to criticize the Kurds (who share a similar ideology to my own) but to illustrate the contemptible lack of principle and utter hypocrisy of everything Washington says or does. Washington doesn’t care what one’s personal philosophy is. Washington cares about power. And anything that helps to enhance Washington’s grip on global power, is the supreme good.
The United States refuses to sign a treaty with the North ending the war, refuses to sit down with delegates from the North, and refuses to provide any security assurances that they won’t attack the North at anytime for any reason. This is Washington’s policy towards the North, and yet we continue to read almost daily in the New York Times and Washington Post and the other “trusted” elite media, that the North is “threatening the US”, that the North is impulsive and violent, and that the North must be punished for its defiance.
Baloney! The North is NOT responsible for the crisis on the peninsula. The US is responsible. 100 percent responsible! Check out this excerpt from an article by David William Pear
“Fearing that peace might break out with the two Koreas talking to each other, Washington instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to keep the message about anything but peace….It is not just Trump. A former top official for the Obama administration warned Moon that South Korea was not going to get anywhere with the North Koreans unless they have the “US behind them”…… The official went on to say, “If South Koreans are viewed as running off the leash, it will exacerbate tension within the alliance”.” (U.S. Humiliates South Korea, Threatens North Korea, The Unz Review)
So South Korea is “off the lash” like a pathetic little poodle? Is that what he’s saying?
This flippant quote deserves careful consideration mainly because it is not just a “one-off”, but rather summarizes the fundamental master-slave relationship between leaders in the South and their colonial Bossman in Washington.
It’s Washington that’s calling the shots in the south, Washington that controls the Korean military and Washington that sets the policy. This is essentially how the system works. Conversely, countries that defend their own sovereignty (like Russia, Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela) remain outside the US-run system, making them Washington’s de facto enemies to be demonized and threatened. But it’s not ideology that Washington cares about, it’s independence. That’s the big no-no. Check out this excerpt from an article at Liberation News:
“U.S. military occupation following World War II was more hostile and brutal than the Japanese colonial government. In fact from 1945 to 1948, the U.S. military continued to employ Japanese colonists, and Japanese law remained in effect. The prostitution of Korean women was official government policy for the purpose of now entertaining U.S. soldiers.
Meanwhile, in North Korea, the Soviet Civil Authority supported the peasant organizations and workers’ councils. In March 1946, land reform was instituted in which land owned by Japanese colonizers and their Korean collaborators was divided and handed over to poor formers. The rule of the land-owning class was broken, and landlords were allowed to keep only the same amount of land as their former tenants. Soviet forces left the peninsula in 1948…….
U.S. occupation troops remain in South Korea to this day. Washington continues to falsely claim that North Korea is to blame for the continued division of Korea. However, U.S. imperialism and the 32,000 U.S. troops that are stationed in South Korea to enforce the border between the North and South remain the predominant obstacle to reunification of the Korean Peninsula…. U.S. imperialism, from the beginning of Japanese colonization to today, has never had the interests of the Korean people in mind.” (“U.S. ‘liberators’ turned South Korea into a neo-colony”, Liberation News)
For years the US kept the same savage colonial system in place in order to partition the country and to prevent the Korean people from deciding their own future. That basic system is still in place today thanks largely to Washington’s oppressive military presence. Check out this excerpt from North Korean state news blasting the sovereignty-eviscerating Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that allows Washington to control the South Korean military:
“The National Peace Committee of Korea blasted the 64-year-old South Korea-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) as an “aggressive and traitorous war document” that has allowed U.S. forces to control the South Korean army and to continue joint military operations, according to the KCNA.
The committee called SOFA the “symbol of the U.S. military occupation of South Korea” and said that “the defense treaty has reduced South Korea into advanced base for a nuclear war” among other things, the KCNA said.
The South Korean people cannot evade the tragedy of a nuclear war as long as the U.S. military occupation of South Korea continues, given that the three-year Korean War ended in a ceasefire in 1953, not a peace treaty, it said.” (“N. Korean committee calls for end to U.S. domination in S.K.”, Yonhap News)
(Note: Do I have more confidence in North Korean state news than the “filthy fishwrap” Washington Post? You’re damn right, I do!)
There are of course, peaceful remedies to the current stand-off, the most reasonable of which is the Moon-Putin Plan named after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Here’s a brief summary of the plan:
“The Moon-Putin plan …is a plan to bring South and North Korea together through physical infrastructure and trade mechanisms, involving the neighboring countries of Russia and China. Bridges of cooperation linking South Korea to Russia via North Korea: gas, railroads, ports, electricity, a northern sea route, shipbuilding, jobs, agriculture, and fisheries. Siberian oil and gas pipelines would be extended to Korea, both North and South, as well as to Japan. Both Koreas would be linked up with the vast rail networks of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, including high-speed rail, and the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes the Trans-Siberian Railway. According to Gavan McCormack, “North Korea would accept the security guarantee of the five (Japan included), refrain from any further nuclear or missile testing, shelve (‘freeze’) its existing programs and gain its longed for ‘normalization’ in the form of incorporation in regional groupings, the lifting of sanctions and normalized relations with its neighbor states, without surrender.” (“North Korea War Plan: Chrystia Freeland is more dangerous than Tony Blair”, Off-Guardian)
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? What better way to reduce the chance of another bloody war than economic integration, which is why the Trump administration not only opposes the idea, but it’s also why the entire western media have made sure that no one even hears about it. Coverage of The Moon-Putin plan has been completely blacked out in our vaunted “free media”. As it happens, policy options that don’t jibe with Washington’s chronic warmongering never see the light of day.
Finally, the Trump administration opposes any plan that involves open dialogue, economic integration, reunification or a peaceful resolution to the crisis. What Washington wants is to preserve the status quo, they want Korea that is divided, occupied, powerless and languishing in a “permanent state of colonial dependency.”
Trump is ready to go to war to preserve the existing state of affairs. God help us all.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.