By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos *
During the last days we haven’t heard much of the usual tirade of horrible, unprecedented threats against North Korea.
Is this because things are calming down? Or it is because things are going to make a transition from words into deeds?
On Tuesday, October 10th, which is a national holiday, North Korea is going to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of its ruling Workers’ Party.
We cannot know how the North Korean leaders plan to celebrate this holiday. Given the regime’s need to maintain and boost the morale of a nation which is facing a direct threat of annihilation by the leader of the most powerful state on earth, and also given the way the East is using symbols, we cannot exclude that North Korea will proceed to a new and impressive demonstration of its nuclear and/or missile capacities.
Nor do we have any way to know for sure what the other side, America, will do in response to such a demonstration. But if there are people with influence around Trump with the firm intention of conducting a nuclear strike against Korea, they may well imagine that a new demonstration of North Korean capacities will be a golden opportunity.
What can explain the divisions in the USA?
What I am about to say, you will tell me, is simply speculation and hypothesis. You are right. But now we also have some facts that are hard to explain other than from the existence of a centre inside the White House and the administration that is consciously pushing for war:
1 Through twitter President Trump publicly disavowed his own Secretary of State at the very moment that the latter was in China trying to negotiate a solution to the Korean conflict or at least a way to defuse tensions.
Such things simply do not happen in any country, the more so not in the leading superpower, even by the criteria of the Trump era.
But if there is a project already prepared for launching a nuclear strike on North Korea then it is only normal for Trump, or for the people influencing or manipulating him, to try everything possible to torpedo any other peaceful opportunity. This is exactly what they did by having the President undermine the efforts of his own Secretary of State, while he was visiting China. How will Chinese or North Koreans take seriously a Secretary of State disavowed by his own President?
Perhaps you will once more say that the writer has too vivid an imagination. You may dismiss that explanation, but in that case, you should propose another one.
2 Last Monday the White House spokesman reiterated Trump’s opposition to any dialogue with North Korea. Then we had reports that Tillerson is quitting the job. He had to be persuaded not to leave and then summon the press on Wednesday to explain he is not resigning and he is supporting Trump.
3 The Defense Secretary, “Mad Dog” Mattis has specialized up to now into making the same horrible threats towards North Korea as his President. Suddenly, he felt the need to make a declaration to the press explaining that he prefers a diplomatic solution. He also expressed his support for Tillerson.
Obviously what Mattis said was not directed at the North Koreans. But then, to whom were those remarks directed? Is there anybody in the administration who does not want a diplomatic solution of the Korean crisis, that is somebody preparing war?
4 Some time ago, as Brennan was leaving the inner circle of Trump, he explained that a military attack against North Korea is not advisable, because North Korea already has the capacity to counter-attack. It is not very probable that he was expressing general ideas out of the blue, but rather answering people in the inner circle who were pushing for a military solution.
Wars by Accident and Wars by Intention
The Chinese newspaper Global Times (which is owned by the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party) on the 10th of August published an editorial, in which it explained how the Korean crisis can develop into a “game of chicken”, more demanding than the capacity of the two conflicting sides to manage it and thus potentially leading to a disaster.
What the editorial did not examine was the probability that there exists a “secret Alcibiades” inside the Western establishment, trying to create the conditions for a nuclear war to become unavoidable.
In his Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes how the Athenians were led to the disastrous decision to organize an expedition in Sicily.
The proposal to organize an expedition to Sicily came from the ambitious general Alcibiades and his friends. Most respected generals and politicians in Athens opposed this idea. At the beginning of the assembly which decided the matter, Alcibiades was in the minority. But it was a determined minority, like the ones who made history from Alexander the Great to Lenin. The others were more numerous, but also less determined. They did not oppose Alcibiades’s plans in a straightforward way. They complained about the large number of ships and men needed, or the money the expedition would cost. Finally the Athenians grew tired of the complaints and the debates and decided to provide the generals with the men, the ships and the money they considered necessary. The Athenians went to Sicily and the expedition put an end to the glory of Athens.
The modern Alcibiades is hidden and must stay hidden. He represents a tiny minority. His ideas are extremely dangerous and repellent. He cannot make a political program out of them. He has to use lies, deception and conspiracies, systematically. He has to create enormous confusion. He has done it already to provoke a dozen destructive wars in the Middle East and Africa. He probably staged this whole “Trump spectacle” and persuaded a lot of people in America and abroad that such a clown can be a kind of “anti-globalization fighter” against the establishment!
“Alcibiades” programme was already announced two decades ago, by the neocons, by think tanks such as the “New American Century”, etc. It became an official American doctrine with the speech of President Bush against the Axis of Evil. The programme consists of the destruction of the main Arab regimes, of Iran and of North Korea. (Regarding Iran and North Korea, the plan can be realized only by using nuclear arms. Conventional ones do not seem sufficient).
Behind the Arabs, the Iranians and North Korea, are of course Russia and China. By attacking in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula, the Empire is encircling and threatening those two powers. This whole idea is simply a programme to ensure the conquest of the whole world, by neutralizing, in one way or another, any entity sufficiently independent and strong to resist.
Obama did not reverse it, but he tried to oppose some of its more dangerous manifestations, such as a war against Syria and Iran. After his removal and under Trump, the programme came back in more dangerous and extremist forms.
The ways the party of war is using to control and manipulate Trump is an interesting question but it is not important for the purposes of our analysis. Given what Bannon said about North Korea and his departure from Trump’s circle, given the vacillations of Tillerson and Mattis, Jared Kushner and his friends seem to be, again without this being provable, the central persons advancing the agenda of the party of war. There is no other obvious candidate. His wife Ivanka, the daughter of Donald Trump, lobbied for the April missile attack against Assad, invoking the supposed use of chemical arms, an obvious lie, constructed out of every possible item that could be inflated into evidence.
But even if you disagree with this, what is really important after all are the facts, not our ideas about Trump and his entourage. The facts themselves are providing ample proof that an expanded, nuclear, extremist and very dangerous new form of the same neocon post-Cold War programme is now being implemented by the US administration.
Of course a nuclear attack against North Korea will be a worldwide ecological and economic disaster and it could potentially lead to a world nuclear war between the US and China, as the August 10 editorial of the Global Times made clear. A new and bigger war against Iran will be also a terrible adventure. But on the other hand, if the Empire balks in front of those difficulties then most probably it will have to accept a kind of “multipolar world” and to resign itself, passively, to the ascent of China. Are they ready to accept this?
Small minorities do not succeed only because of superior strategic capacity, because of their resolution, because of conspiracies, etc. Usually they also represent a great vision and idea. It can be a progressive and positive idea, but it can also be reactionary and catastrophic, as is now the case.
The tragedy is that humanity is lacking in grand visions other than in plans that will destroy it.
We hope that nothing of the kind described above will happen, either on 10th of October or later. The fact that such plans are encountering resistance inside the Administration is quite positive. But this resistance in itself is not able to definitively to stop this drive towards war.
In order for such scenarios not to happen, people must be mobilized around the world, China and Russia have to send the necessary firm signals to Washington, rather than trying to appease it by imposing sanctions on Korea. The unity of the potential victims of the US aggression should be preserved at all costs.
Unfortunately, the political conditions now prevailing greatly facilitate greatly the launching of a nuclear war. From 1945 till 2003 there were enormous anti-war, anti-nuclear and peace movements mobilized against imperialism. Today there is nothing. From De Gaulle to Villepin, from Willy Brandt to Chancellor Schroeder, there have been important public figures able to express and shape the consciousness of humanity. Now we have nothing. Even the unbelievable threats of genocide the President of the United States spelled out from the podium of the United Nations did not provoke any significant reaction.
If this situation continues, if politics do not stop war, disaster will be unavoidable, in one way or another, at one moment or another.