After North Korea announced its latest ballistic missile test last week, ruling class voices in the U.S. further turned up the dial on their war threats and building of public opinion for war. Donald Trump declared ominously, “We will take care of it.” His defense secretary, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, accused North Korea of building “a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, a key figure in the U.S. military and “national security” establishment, said “we’re headed to war if things don’t change” and warned China about “what happens in their backyard if we attack North Korea.”
Joining in the fear-mongering about the North Korean “threat,” the New York Times ran a number of articles and a video report on how the latest North Korean missile was supposedly “far bigger,” “more advanced,” and “more destructive” than any before. Other media stories asked how “prepared” are the people in the U.S. for possible nuclear strikes—including simulations of what such a strike might look like in a city like Los Angeles. Which brings up the question: Where are the articles about the much greater and immediate threat of U.S. attacks on North Korea and simulations of what an American nuclear strike would mean for the millions of children, women, and men in Pyongyang and other cities and towns of North Korea?!
A U.S. war on North Korea—whatever the specific justification about who “fired first”—would be an immense crime and pose tremendous dangers for people not only in the Korean Peninsula and the region, but the whole world. The Korean Peninsula is heavily militarized and densely populated, and even a “conventional” war—one that starts out with the use of non-nuclear weapons—will cause catastrophic death and destruction and could quickly spiral into a nuclear war. Experts say such a war could lead to a million lives lost in the first day alone.
Earlier, in the summer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, spelled out the logic that the rulers want to draw people into. Dunford said for the U.S., using the “military option” against North Korea “is not unimaginable”—even though, in his words, “anyone who has been alive since World War II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.” Dunford went on to say that what is “unimaginable” is “allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colorado”—in other words, for the North Korean regime to develop a nuclear deterrent that might discourage or prevent the U.S. from launching an all-out attack, and that might make America look weak to its rival powers and challengers to its domination around the world.
So under this logic, it is perfectly “imaginable” and acceptable for the U.S.—the world’s biggest and most destructive military power by far, with thousands of nuclear weapons—to not only threaten but actually carry out a genocidal war to wipe out a small country of 25 million people. And the people in the U.S. are not to stretch their imagination beyond me, me, me—the supposed interests of myself, my family, and my country—conceived of as narrowly as possible.
To anyone with a shred of humanity, such a way of thinking should be utterly repellant and unacceptable. But this criminal logic is precisely what the U.S. rulers are trying to lead people in this country to accept and even support.
The means the rulers are using are to whip up fear and drill into people the view that what is of utmost importance is to keep America and Americans “safe.” Listen to what Lindsey Graham—portrayed as one of the “saner” forces among Republicans—had to say earlier about what Trump told him face-to-face: “If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un, the leader of the North Korean regime], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here.” (emphasis added)
This is the kind of monstrous, immoral, imperialist calculation that you will be drawn into, and become complicit in, if you find yourself nodding your head in agreement
to all the war-mongering talk about the North Korean “threat” coming from Trump and Pence and their generals, as well as Republicans and Democrats in the Congress and mainstream media, from Fox and Breitbart to MSNBC and New York Times.
NO! American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives!
There is absolutely NO justification whatsoever for U.S. military
action or preemptive war against North
Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons.
For those who say a U.S. war that kills millions in the Korean peninsula is “unimaginable”: The U.S. slaughter of three million Koreans in the 1950s and three million Vietnamese in the 1960s, as well as countless other horrors, have not just been imagined but actually carried out by the U.S. imperialists in the past.
And now, with the Trump/Pence fascist regime moving to consolida
te control, the immediate danger to the people of Korea—and, indeed, to all of humanity—is greatly and intolerably heightened. Two choices are posed for everyone: To refuse to face up to the horrors that are being openly planned by the Trump/Pence regime or even to go along with it. Or to do everything in your power to prevent those horrors.