Pablo Picasso’s depiction of the 1950 mass murder of Korean civilians by the US and allies at Sinchon; likely 30,000 dead
Please add additions, subtractions, speculations at will. And yes, in so many ways, the Cheeto Bandito is just continuing the last guy’s FP positions, but with far more bellicosity and provocative Tweets and military maneuvers. And shall I say: in utter ignorance of history and other worlds, other cultures? Some have said he believes his life as Prez is a just another Reality Show. Perhaps they mean: with no more consequences than the teevee version?
Mike Whitney at CP noted on April 17: ‘The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea’.
In seeming agreement with b at MOA’s thesis (with a slightly different solution), he contends that just now, no other country on the planet needs nukes more than North Korea; he then proceeds to make his case with an historical narrative, almost none of which I’d known.
He writes that since the end of the war 64 years ago, the West has held the Communist nation not only in utter contempt, but punished it with starvation, limited its access to foreign capital and markets, levied heavy economic sanctions, and put foreign bases and missile systems on its borders. And instead of sitting down to talk, the West is using Chinese diplomats to deliver ultimatums to Pyongyang.
He posits that there are two reasons that the West hasn’t gone to regime-change war with the nation, one being that the DPRK isn’t sitting on oceans of oil, the other is having the “capacity to reduce Seoul, Okinawa and Tokyo (US allies) into smoldering debris-fields”. He then proceeds to describe reporting on the evil war crimes committed on North Korea, although the first author he quotes at Vox, Max Fisher, writes that it wasn’t the cause of the North’s bunker state mentality, nor does it forgive the many abuses they’ve committed, but it does help to explain their hatred of the US, it does help to explain their focus. His round-up is so stomach-churning that I’m not even sure yet how much I’ll paste in to torment us all further, given the recent levels of barbarity of US foreign misadventures. But onward, and back to Whitney quoting Fisher:
““In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to fight the war. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry….”
Now quoting a cable from Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who headed the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War:
“On January 3 at 10:30 AM an armada of 82 flying fortresses loosed their death-dealing load on the city of Pyongyang …Hundreds of tons of bombs and incendiary compound were simultaneously dropped throughout the city, causing annihilating fires, the transatlantic barbarians bombed the city with delayed-action high-explosive bombs which exploded at intervals for a whole day making it impossible for the people to come out onto the streets. The entire city has now been burning, enveloped in flames, for two days. By the second day, 7,812 civilians houses had been burnt down. The Americans were well aware that there were no military targets left in Pyongyang…
The number of inhabitants of Pyongyang killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable…Some 50,000 inhabitants remain in the city which before the war had a population of 500,000.”
Over two million were killed by Amerika and allies in a nation that posed no threat to US national security threat, but was the recipient of muscle-flexing and testing of weapons and weapons systems, as so often is the case. Yes, and part of what he’s narrated from the Asia-Pacific Journal is the fact that when there were no more population and industrial centers to bomb, they began bombing and napalming dams, hydro-electrical plants, irrigation systems, their entire rice crop…leaving nothing standing. Scorched Earth total annihilation, leaving many to starve, to freeze, some saved only by fellow socialist nations’ food aid. He likens the policy to the Seventh Cavalry, for obvious reasons, but includes Iraqis, Vietnamese, and others in the same metaphor; “whoever’s in Uncle Sam’s way”.
“The savagery of America’s war against the North left an indelible mark on the psyche of the people. Whatever the cost, the North cannot allow a similar scenario to take place in the future. Whatever the cost, they must be prepared to defend themselves. If that means nukes, then so be it. Self preservation is the top priority.
Is there a way to end this pointless standoff between Pyongyang and Washington, a way to mend fences and build trust?
Of course there is. The US just needs to start treating the DPRK with respect and follow through on their promises. What promises?
The promise to built the North two light-water reactors to provide heat and light to their people in exchange for an end to its nuclear weapons program. You won’t read about this deal in the media because the media is just the propaganda wing of the Pentagon. They have no interest in promoting peaceful solutions. Their stock-in-trade is war, war and more war.
The North wants the US to honor its obligations under the 1994 Agreed Framework. That’s it. Just keep up your end of the goddamn deal. How hard can that be? “
He then quotes a WaPo op-ed by Jimmy Carter from 2010 liberally; I’ll just clip a bit:
““…in September 2005, an agreement … reaffirmed the basic premises of the 1994 accord. (The Agreed Framework) Its text included denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a pledge of non-aggression by the United States and steps to evolve a permanent peace agreement to replace the U.S.-North Korean-Chinese cease-fire that has been in effect since July 1953. Unfortunately, no substantive progress has been made since 2005…” [snip]
““Pyongyang has sent a consistent message that during direct talks with the United States, it is ready to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear programs, put them all under IAEA inspection and conclude a permanent peace treaty to replace the ‘temporary’ cease-fire of 1953. We should consider responding to this offer. The unfortunate alternative is for North Koreans to take whatever actions they consider necessary to defend themselves from what they claim to fear most: a military attack supported by the United States, along with efforts to change the political regime.”
Whitney asks “How dumb it that?”…then answers himself:
“To preserve the image of “tough guy”, to convince people that the US doesn’t negotiate with weaker countries, to prove to the world that “whatever the US says, goes”? Is that it? Is image more important than a potential nuclear disaster?”
In his April 14 ‘Why North Korea Needs Nukes – And How To End That’, b at Moon of Alabama writes:
“Now consider what the U.S. media don’t tell you about Korea (link to a Jeffrey Kaye tweet):
‘BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) — China proposed “double suspension” to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.
“As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.’
“Wang said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is mainly between the DPRK and the United States, but China, as a next-door neighbor with a lips-and-teeth relationship with the Peninsula, is indispensable to the resolution of the issue.
FM Wang, ‘the lips’, undoubtedly transmitted an authorized message from North Korea: “The offer is (still) on the table and China supports it.”
North Korea has made the very same offer in January 2015. The Obama administration rejected it. North Korea repeated the offer in April 2016 and the Obama administration rejected it again. This March the Chinese government conveyed and supported the long-standing North Korean offer. The U.S. government, now under the Trump administration, immediately rejected it again. The offer, made and rejected three years in a row, is sensible. Its rejection only led to a bigger nuclear arsenal and to more missiles with longer reach that will eventually be able to reach the United States.
North Korea is understandably nervous each and every time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large yearly maneuvers and openly train for invading North Korea and for killing its government and people. The maneuvers have large negative impacts on North Korea’s economy.”
He goes on to demonstrate that the timing of the maneuvers isn’t accidental: they’re held during the planting and harvesting seasons, and given the scant amount of arable land left, it causes more hunger and famine when ‘full alerts’ occur, necessitating farm workers to leave the fields. But back to his ‘Why NK needs nukes’ notion, this is fascinating:
“Its nuclear deterrent allows North Korea to reduce its conventional military readiness especially during the all important agricultural seasons. Labor withheld from the fields and elsewhere out of military necessity can go back to work. This is now the official North Korean policy known as ‘byungjin‘. (Byungjin started informally in the mid 2000nds after U.S. President Bush tuned up his hostile policy towards North Korea – Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy)
A guaranteed end of the yearly U.S. maneuvers would allow North Korea to lower its conventional defenses without relying on nukes. The link between the U.S. maneuvers and the nuclear deterrent North Korea is making in its repeated offer is a direct and logical connection.”
He then provides evidence that ‘byungkin’ is still operative under Kim Jong Un, and links that apparently show that it’s been successful. As did Mike Whitney, he provides evidence:
“To understand why North Korea fears U.S. aggressiveness consider the utter devastation caused mostly by the U.S. during the Korea War:”, then brings this history, new to me:
“Imperial Japan occupied Korea from 1905 to 1945 and tried to assimilate it. A nominal communist resistance under Kim Il-sung and others fought against the Japanese occupation. After the Japanese WWII surrender in 1945 the U.S. controlled and occupied the mostly agricultural parts of Korea below the arbitrarily chosen 38th parallel line. The allied Soviet Union controlled the industrialized part above the line. They had agreed on a short trusteeship of a united and independent country. In the upcoming cold war the U.S. retracted on the agreement and in 1948 installed a South Korean proxy dictatorship under Syngman Rhee. This manifested an artificial border the Koreans had not asked for and did not want. The communists still commanded a strong and seasoned resistance movement in the south and hoped to reunite the country. The Korea War ensued. It utterly destroyed the country. All of Korea was severely effected but especially the industrialized north which lost about a third of its population and all of its reasonably well developed infrastructure – roads, factories and nearly all of its cities.
Every Korean family was (a)ffected. Ancestor worship is deeply embedded in the Korean psyche and its collectivist culture. No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.
The country would reunite if China and the U.S. (and Russia) could agree upon its neutrality. That will not happen anytime soon. But the continued danger of an “accidental” war in Korea would be much diminished if the U.S. would accept the North Korean offer – an end to aggressive behavior like threatening maneuvers against the north, in exchange for a verified stop of the northern nuclear and missile programs. North Korea has to insist on this condition out of sheer economic necessity.
The U.S. government and the “western” media hide the rationality of the northern offer behind the propaganda phantasm of “the volatile and unpredictable regime”.
But it is not Korea, neither north nor south, that is the “volatile and unpredictable” entity here.”
Jean Perier’s April 14 question at NEO: ‘Donald Trump – a Bellicose President Going Berserk?’ opens with:
“Donald Trump is a kind of a real estate king that has recently manifested his special devotion for the army, militarism, and all things army-related that he had previously been hiding. Thus, the nature of his political ambitions that remained a mystery for a while has suddenly become crystal clear for analysts across the world, since they claim that he’s going to subject every aspect of America’s everyday life to his militaristic fantasies.
When he paid a visit to the United Central Command at the very beginning of the term, he declared: “We must start winning wars again!” To achieve this, Donald Trump has stripped the US State Department along with a number of assistance development programs of 54 billion dollars for this whooping sum to be gifted to the Pentagon.”
Well never mind; it’s depressing, likely true enough, especially the parts about USians not minding endless war and militarization much any longer, although while scoffing at Obama’s receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace under some dubious reasoning, he adds:
“…it seems that Trump would settle for a title of a US military dictator. But will it make those living in the West any more happier?”
Meanwhile, from nationaldefenemagazine.com: ‘Africom Commander Concerned About New Chinese Naval Base’, March 27
ha ha, ho ho! good!