FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?

Photo by Ragnar Jensen | Public Domain

US capitalism needs markets. US capitalism needs cheap labor. US capitalism needs resources. Donald Trump’s vision of Trump hotels on the northern Korean beaches is a metaphor for what Washington and Wall Street see when Korea becomes one again. After all, isn’t that what happened in Vietnam? Global capitalism is a cancer that needs to consume nations to survive. Washington wants to continue its tradition as the most predatory of all the capitalist nations. Kim Song Un might be the northern Korean leader to finally fall for Washington’s game. Donald Trump apparently believes he is the one who can lead the charge.

There are no communist nations any more. That means no Stalinist ones, none aligned with the Fourth International, and no Maoist ones either. Instead, there are two or three authoritarian variations on the Chinese model instituted by Deng Tsiao Peng; in other words, state controlled market capitalist economies with intense police and security apparatus. China is foremost among these nations. Indeed, it gives the capitalist nations like the United States and Russia a run for their money. Arguably, the big difference between China and the other two nations is that the State controls China’s banking and industry while in Russia and the United States the opposite is true. In other words, the State is controlled by the banks and industry. Either way, the pursuit of profit is the motor that drives them all. It is what drives them to exploit the labor of their own people and destroy the environment. It is also what drives the more aggressive among them to invade and occupy other nations. Likewise, it is what drives them to abuse immigrants looking for work and deport and imprison those who are not needed.

After World War Two, a very arrogant and self-assured United States made war on nations and peoples who were not interested in becoming part of Washington’s sphere of influence. The Korean people were among the targets of the Pentagon’s wrath who suffered the most. Despite the murderous war waged against them, the northern part of the peninsula made itself into a secure and mostly self-sufficient state. This was despite repeated and constant threats of military action by the United States and its client regime in Seoul. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, things began to get worse. After a series of promises made in 1993 were not kept by the United States, the government in Pyongyang restarted its nuclear weapons program. This brought more threats of war from Washington; threats which were fortunately not carried out. Now, after blustery threats from Washington that were answered by similar bombast from Pyongyang, the two nations seem to be open to the idea of resolving their differences. This is not because of Donald Trump or Mr. Pompeo, but due to the desire of the leaders of the divided nation to move forward no matter what outside powers might say. To their credit, someone in the White House made it clear to Trump that he would be wise to go along.

This does not mean that there will be global peace. Indeed, Washington’s remaining enemies are likely to feel the negative results of any moves toward a peace treaty in Korea. Like the agreements with the Soviet Union after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and the Nixon rapprochement with China in 1972, the motivation for a Korean agreement is not based in a desire for peace. It is based in a desire to maintain US dominance in the global game of power and control. In the two cases cited, this meant creating temporary alliances to oppose a greater threat to US designs. The thinking of those who control the game seems to be if this can be done via manipulation and treachery designated as diplomacy, all for the better. However, if it requires threats of war and war itself, then so be it. For those of us who are little more than collateral damage, the recourse is to constantly demand disarmament and peace.

As the mainstream liberal reaction to Trump’s overtures to Pyongyang makes clear, demanding peace and disarmament is not part of their standard agenda (just like it isn’t part of the GOP/conservative wing of the US government). In fact, the reaction of many Democrats and several liberal media outlets is reminiscent of George W. Bush’s labeling Iran, northern Korea and Iraq as the “Axis of Evil.” The liberal refusal to see the potential peace in Korea as a positive development because of their hatred of Trump (and their own ideological dependence on the binary world of the moribund Cold War) is pathological at the least, if not just plain sociopathic. The fact that their reaction has actually made the reprehensible and hateful Trump look like a reasonable and even good human being says it all. Furthermore, as many other leftists have pointed out, it rips the mask from the lie that the Democrats are the party of peace—a lie that destroyed the antiwar movement in the United States when Obama’s forces used it to get their man elected.

It is important to remember that nothing substantial has really changed in the relationship between Pyongyang and Washington. However, the potential for a peace treaty is considerably greater than it was before June 11, 2018. This is a good thing for the people of Korea, the people of Asia and the people of the world. We can’t let this opportunity pass by. Attempts by Trump’s political opponents to prevent forward motion on a peace treaty, including the denuclearization of Korea by all sides and the removal of US troops from the region, should be called out for the warmongering moves they are. At the same time, the rest of Trump’s agenda—from the attacks on immigrants and people of color to the ramping up of war and threats of war in other parts of the world—should be opposed with even more fervor than now.

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS class struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail