March 12, 2013 By Jack Jodell.
Within the past week, the ever-belligerent North Koreans began shooting their mouths off and stirring up trouble again. First they showed a video on their state-run TV of New York City being destroyed in a nuclear blast, and the rest of the world applauding with approval. Then came their warning that, should further sanctions be wrought upon them for continuing to develop their nuclear weapons program, they would soon launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the United States. They repeated that threat if the U,S. and South Korea were to hold any more joint military exercises. Now they are threatening both South Korea and the United States with nuclear destruction. Though they have long made crackpot threats, this time they deserve closer scrutiny, not only because they now possess nuclear weaponry, but also due to the relative youth of their extremely inexperienced, 30 years very young leader, Kim Jong Un.
North Korea has had a long, long history of being regarded as a rogue nation. Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, was installed by Josef Stalin as the country’s first supreme leader once the Russians ended their Korean occupation following World War II. He almost immediately installed a very strict Stalinist dictatorship over the North, creating the world’s most insular country, a stigma which has persisted to this very day. With Stalin’s blessing, Kim Il-Sung also launched an unprovoked military invasion against the U.S.-backed South in 1950 and nearly overran the whole Korean peninsula in a few short weeks. This shocked the rest of the world and led to a massive retaliation by U.S.-led United Nations forces. These forces pushed the North back right up to the Chinese border, which caused China to intervene militarily in what became a see-saw battle over control of the peninsula. Upon Stalin’s death in 1953, the two Koreas became officially split and an uneasy armistice went into effect. Each country was left with nearly the same borders it hard at the start of the conflict. Since that time, the United States has maintained a large number of troops there to effectively keep the North in check, as no official peace treaty was ever signed. Technically, at least, even though not realistically, the two Koreas are still therefore at war.
Since 1953, thanks to a great deal of U.S. economic aid, the South has prospered tremendously. This abundance has not occurred in the North, however. There, the nation has closed itself off from most of the rest of the world. It has poured what meager resources it has into its military and supporting the extravagant lifestyle of its leadership. The general populace has been largely ignored. This has resulted in widespread impoverishment and famine. With absolute governmental power being passed on from one generation to another, there has been little incentive since 1953 for the North to mend its ways. With strict control over the media and a ban on foreign travel in place, the people are trapped and remain powerless in a closed society, constantly beset with crop failures, hunger, and senseless economic misappropriation and deprivation.
As one would expect, human rights abuses have been rampant. Coupled with the threatening launch of missiles over, and near to, Japan, and its subsequent successful detonation of a nuclear bomb, the United Nations has repeatedly found it necessary to impose crippling economic sanctions on North Korea.
The country and its leadership have often exhibited bizarre and erratic behavior. At times, it has opened itself up to western scrutiny, allowing reporters in for brief periods and engaging in periodic episodes of negotiation with its immediate neighbors. Just prior to this latest incident, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team were invited to stage an exhibition in the capitol city of Pyongyang. The exhibition was attended by current leader Kim Jong Un himself, who had American basketball star Dennis Rodman sitting right alongside of him. Kim lavished the visiting players with an extravagant dinner, and told Rodman to have President Obama (himself a basketball fan) call him to discuss shooting hoops. The eccentric and ignorant fool Rodman returned home and publicly offered this request in a number of well-reported media events, and even described the North Korean leader as a true friend who was greatly beloved by his people. Rodman, the Michele Bachmann of pro basketball, was simply too stupid to know he was being used by the Morth Korean. Amazinglt, several days after these media events had been staged, the North Korean leader was threatening to wage a nuclear attack on us!
North Korea was claiming it needed to do this attack pre-emptively, to protect itself from an imminent attack by the U.S. and South Korea. Such a claim was preposterous, of course, and was ample evidence of the instability and paranoid nature of that oppressive regime. It was simply and erroneously drawing on the horrible precedents set many years ago by the Israelis in the six day war of 1967 as well as the neocon-dominated George W. Bush regime in this country with its 2003 plunder of Iraq on trumped-up grounds.
I suspected at the time that the chicken-hawkish clique of Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld was up to no good in Iraq, and, years later, my suspicions were borne out. We wasted a trillion dollars on that criminal endeavor. Worse yet, many hundreds of thousands of innocent lives were lost just so criminal war contractors’ profits could be met, and so the Bush regime’s paranoia could be abated.
Now a criminal and equally paranoid regime in North Korea is threatening us with an equally unjustified pre-emptive nuclear attack.
It is a very dangerous precedent the neocons have set forth; they have opened a terrible can of worms through their reckless and arrogant actions! We must NEVER AGAIN allow them to dominate our government, military, and foreign policy as they did during the Bush presidency – and beyond, even to our present day!