Isolated Tyrannical Regime – Not Pyongyang, It’s
08, 2017 "Information
If Pentagon chief
James Mattis was seeking to reassure the world
of American restraint in the North Korea crisis,
he clumsily did the opposite. The US Defense
Secretary was speaking after intense discussions
with President Trump and other senior military
officials in the White House Situation Room
following the sixth nuclear
test carried out by North Korea on Sunday.
Mattis emerged from
the meeting to say that
any threat from North Korea to the United States
and its allies would be met with an
«overwhelming military response». He then added
– with a weirdly presumed ethical tone – that
the US «was not looking to the total
annihilation of North Korea».
That was supposed to mean that
the US military would exercise restraint – by
not obliterating a country with a population of
25 million. Well, we should be so grateful.
That’s so goddamn generous of the Americans!
How reassuring that the United
States with a nuclear arsenal of 5,000 warheads
should express an apparent reluctance to
annihilate. So, US rulers are bragging about
hitting North Korea with overwhelming military
power, but at the same time Washington expects
to be given moral credit for stating that it is
not looking to annihilate a whole country.
The implicit logic here
articulated by Mattis shows how depraved
American leadership is.
In any case, the words of
«reassurance» from the Pentagon chief do little
to assuage fears that the US will indeed
recklessly incite a war with North Korea
involving weapons of mass destruction.
Trump, Mattis and other senior
White House officials have repeatedly threatened
over the past two months to carry out a
pre-emptive military strike on North Korea,
including the deployment of nuclear weapons.
Recall last month the casual way
that Trump – while having lunch at his private
golf resort – warned he would unleash «fire and
fury on North Korea like the world has never
seen before». And those words were uttered on
the 72nd anniversary of the American atomic
holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
following news reports that North Korea had
conducted a sixth underground nuclear test,
Trump reportedly «reaffirmed
the commitment of the United States to defending
our homeland, territories, and allies using the
full range of diplomatic, conventional and
nuclear capabilities at our disposal». In other
words, again, the nuclear option is very much on
the American table, as if it’s as mundane a
thing as a bottle of ketchup.
Trump also remarked: «North
Korea’s words and actions continue to be very
hostile and dangerous to the United States».
What is acutely worrying is that
the US leaders have now set a highly dangerous
subjective threshold of «perceived threat» from
North Korea as a criterion for unleashing
military force. And as we have heard repeatedly,
that US force will undoubtedly include the use
of nuclear weapons.
Trump and his generals seem to
have lost all reasonable cognitive connection
with the world.
We see ample evidence of this
disconnect with regard to the rapid breakdown in
bilateral relations with Russia. The American
authorities keep pushing the envelope of
provocation toward Russia with sanctions and the
unprecedented seizure of diplomatic properties –
all on the spurious grounds of alleged Russian
election meddling or alleged Russian threats to
That is just one sign of how
divorced from reality the US leadership has
become. They seem to have become a victim of
their own sensationalist, unhinged propaganda.
With regard to North Korea,
similar to Russia, the Americans are infused
with a mentality of demonization. They seem to
read everyone else and every situation in
debased terms of racial prejudice, existential
threat, and paranoia. Thus, Vladimir Putin is
the alleged «new Hitler» with designs of
conquering Europe; North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un is viewed as a «nutcase» who wants to
administration has also the added volatility of
incoherent policy. Last week when North Korea
test-fired a ballistic
Japanese territory, Trump blurted menacingly
that «talking was not the answer». That could
have been taken as meaning imminent military
action. Then Trump’s Defense Secretary James
Mattis moved to calm the rhetoric by saying that
«there was still room for diplomacy».
Trump has declared that he will
not give notice of any military action. That
puts the situation on a hair-trigger. What is
North Korea to think when the US and its South
Korean ally are carrying out massive war drills
off the Korean Peninsula premised on a
decapitation strike against Kim Jong-un?
It’s not just North
Korea that is second-guessing Washington.
Trump’s latest rebuke to
South Korea for «appeasing» North Korea has
unnerved the government of President Moon
Jae-in, fearing that the US might be willing to
sacrifice its supposed ally by starting a
pre-emptive war. Moon has previously said that
he received assurance from the Trump
administration that it will not take military
action without consulting Seoul. The Trump
administration has not publicly confirmed that.
South Korea is fearful that the Americans would
sacrifice large numbers of its people in a
reckless act of trying to destroy North Korea.
mentality is encapsulated in the Pentagon chief
saying that his country «was not looking to
annihilate North Korea». To even utter such
barbarity as being a possibility shows how
degenerate official American thinking is. Such
psychopathic thinking, however, is fully
consistent with how American military force has
laid waste to countless countries and their
civilian populations down through the decades,
from Hiroshima to Raqqa in present day Syria.
After all, Marine General James Mattis earned
his nickname «Mad Dog» from overseeing the
destruction of the Iraqi city of Fallujah in
2004, with the use of white phosphorus
The height of American criminal
insanity is its insistence that the Korean
crisis must be dealt with by either economic
warfare through strangulating sanctions on North
Korea and freezing and starving its people – or
by overwhelming military force.
Grotesquely, the Americans talk
about the world standing together against North
Korea. More to the point, the world must stand
together and insist that Washington takes the
only morally viable option of conducting
diplomacy for a peaceful resolution.
As Russia and China have both
urged, the US has to talk with North Korea
without preconditions. Given the decades of
American militarism on the Korean Peninsula and
threats of nuclear annihilation, North Korea has
legitimate concerns about its security. North
Korea needs and deserves security guarantees and
economic cooperation, not deepening isolation.
Its weapons program is its only leverage. To
portray North Korea as being an irrational
threat to world peace is to succumb to American
The world must explore the
diplomatic, legal, civilized option. It must
totally reject the American diktat for conflict.
There is a viable peaceful way to
resolve the Korean crisis. But it requires all
sides to abide by diplomacy and international
law. America’s self-proclaimed prerogative of
waging war and destruction on other nations is
central to the problem, and must be repudiated
by the international community.
But the profoundly disturbing
thing is that there appears to be no-one in the
American leadership that can even vaguely
conceive of the obligation for committing to
peace, diplomacy and civility.
The world is being railroaded by
a violent tyranny – and it’s not in Pyongyang,
it’s in Washington.
Cunningham has written extensively on
international affairs, with articles published
in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate
in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a
scientific editor for the Royal Society of
Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a
career in newspaper journalism. He is also a
musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he
worked as an editor and writer in major news
media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish
Times and Independent.
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