FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The US Tiger and the North Korean Mouse

shutterstock_51881707

North Korea’s claim to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test January 5 has been both ridiculed as completely implausible and condemned from all sides as provocative and a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions. Without any hard evidence that North Korea has a single H-bomb, official “concern” needs to be manufactured if our weapons contractors are to stay in business.

We could expect to hear Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chant that he wants the US “to take a more assertive role in addressing North Korea’s provocation.” But Anna Fifield, the Washington Post Bureau Chief in Tokyo who should be an impartial observer, wrote Jan. 6 that the underground test was a “brazen provocation and a clear defiance of international treaties.” She later told National Public Radio that she wouldn’t want to speculate about what motivated the North’s President Kim Jong Un, because the inside of his head “is a scary place.” The interviewer let this assertion go unchallenged.

North Korea is such a military, economic and political nothing, that it’s astounding to see the national media parrot official Pentagon and State Department fear-mongering about its patently obvious and unquestionably terrible intentions. When was the last time North Korea bombed, invaded, militarily occupied, or installed puppet regimes in other lands? Those provocatively brazen violations of international treaties were committed by … the United States of America.

When has North Korea placed 5,000-man, 60-aircraft “super carriers” (the largest ships in the world) in the Persian Gulf and attacked Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan using Reaper drones and jet fighter-bombers? Oh right; that was the North Americans.

In 1999, US-led NATO air forces bombed Serbia and Kosovo for 78 days. That wasn’t long after US cruise missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan — which in turn barely followed Clinton’s 1998 Christmas-time bombing of Iraq. That of course was only an intensification of the ongoing carrier-based campaign of bombing Iraq two or three times every week for 12 years from 1991 to 2003 — when under false pretenses the Bush/Cheney horror went viral with extreme prejudice. At least 370,000 civilian deaths can be blamed on the 1991 (Bush I) and 2003 (Bush II) US wars on Iraq.

In October 2001, the Air Force and Navy returned to bombing and rocketing Afghanistan, eventually toppling the government and occupying the country. Now with the private contractors and hand-picked presidents having turned Iraq into a failed police state, it is easy to see how the global public, when polled, declares the United States the most dangerous country on earth. I haven’t forgotten that in 2003 protesters in nearly every capital city carried posters depicting the US president as a “Most Wanted” fugitive from justice, a war criminal and a danger to world order. What a relief that Barak Obama has a Peace Prize with which to conduct indiscriminate warfare, torturous force-feeding of hunger strikers, and indefinite detention of suspects without charges just like his predecessors.

A danger to the world? 

But forget the opinion of the world’s 95 percent, the Mpls. Star Tribune reported without attribution that, “US military planners view [North Korea] as the world’s most dangerous state.” With two-thirds the population of California, no oil, and having endured in the mid-1990s a famine that killed one-tenth of its population, North Korea is certainly more threatening than the US which has military bases in more than 100 countries, 10 aircraft carriers (Russia and China each have 1), and 14 ballistic missile submarines.

According to US intelligence services, North Korea is suspected of having perhaps two nuclear weapons and an annual military budget of $7.5 billion in 2014.  The US’s roughly $600 billion Pentagon allotment includes 4,000 nuclear warheads on alert. Any one of the (eight) Trident subs that the US Navy keeps in the Pacific is capable of burning down the entire Korean landmass.

Even if North Korea had a rocket that could aim straight, what could it expect to gain by attacking South Korea or Japan? This central question is never asked, much less answered, by the screamers on FOX, the Senators from Lockheed-Martin, or the Representatives from Northrop-Grumman.

If the illogic sounds familiar, it is. There was never an answer to the question: Why would the USSR attack Western Europe or the United States during the Cold War? What the Soviets would have gained by attacking, and what North Korea could achieve with aggression, is obvious: Absolutely nothing — beyond self-destruction.

With luck, the US tiger will just hold its breath and tremble at the mousey shadow of North Korea, which never stops provoking. A few years ago it had the nerve to ask the White House for a promise that it won’t be preemptively attacked.

More articles by:

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
Ron Jacobs
Presidential Papers
Robert Hunziker
The Flawed Food Dependency
Dave Lindorff
Defeating the Trump Administration’s Racist, Republican-Rescuing Census Corruption
Martha Rosenberg
Pathologizing Kids, Pharma Style
Kathleen Wallace
Too Horrible to Understand, Too Horrible to Ignore
Ralph Nader
An Unsurpassable Sterling Record of Stamina!
Paul Tritschler
Restricted View: the British Legacy of Eugenics
John Feffer
Trump’s Bluster Diplomacy
Thomas Knapp
Did Jeffrey Epstein “Belong to Intelligence?”
Nicholas Buccola
Colin Kaepernick, Ted Cruz, Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of Patriotism
P. Sainath
It’s Raining Sand in Rayalaseema
Charles Davis
Donald Trump’s Fake Isolationism
Michael Lukas
Delisting Wolves and the Impending Wolf Slaughter
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Shaking Off Capitalism for Ecological Civilization
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail