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"Forget the Rest" blog


August 12, 2017 

Bulletin 234 excerpt:

North Korean crisis

This is too complicated a subject for a “vacation letter,” but too urgent not to mention. It is also important in that it embodies and illustrates the dangers created by a weakening empire (the U.S.) that, in its blindness and “fury,” cannot accept a less hegemonic position.

The escalating war of words between the Trump Administration (itself divided) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is deeply concerning, but not really because any part of the U.S. itself could be struck directly by miniaturized nuclear weapons on long-range ballistic missiles. Every day I get a digest with at least 50 mediocre-to-bad articles on this crisis. The media is ratcheting the fear level very high in the U.S., generally for the wrong reasons. There is also rarely any objective context or history supplied.

China has now said it would intervene against the U.S. and South Korea if these states were to attack the DPRK in a bid to change the “political pattern” on the Korean peninsula. Hopefully this message will shock some people into a measure of sanity (which is increasingly scarce in U.S. foreign policy and elite media circles, not just in the Trump White House).

To a great extent the present predicament has grown from the U.S. attempt to contain China, which has (among other measures) involved intentionally maintaining a crisis on the Korean Peninsula. As the U.S. has done and is doing elsewhere.

Needless to say, another Korean war would kill millions of people. It could involve Japan. Nuclear reactors could be targeted, which if hit could create vast uninhabitable zones. The world economy would collapse to a greater or lesser degree. North Korea could also strike the U.S. many ways that do NOT involve long-range missiles, at the time or later, at a place of their choosing, which could include any U.S. port. No one could “win” such a war – that concept has no real meaning anyway. The whole world would lose – immensely. As many commentators have pointed out, the DPRK has already achieved the deterrent it has sought.

It is not amusing to get (many!) emails from various nonprofits and NGOs which seek to raise funds on the back of this crisis. This is not the time or place for that.

And to those who are considering trying to foment more flash-in-the-pan mass demonstrations against the Evil Trump Administration, please explain, in your own echo chambers at least, why such demonstrations would be valuable or effective. We need to look at our lives and undertake a deeper political awakening, because the interrelated crises we face are not going to be touched by transient, superficial, feel-good marches that deepen political divisions or have any kind of partisan character.  

Greg Mello

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