Monday, April 23, 2018

Korean Peninsula in Historic Peace Talks

This video is from The Real News

It is Korean activists — not Trump — who brought about this historic breakthrough, by impeaching right-wing President Park and bringing in a more left-wing government that was open to peace negotiations. Trump and Pence tried to sabotage the peace process. Ben Norton.

Richard Mellor

We don't hear much about it here in the US and my guess is that it is not foremost in the consciousness of American workers that South Korea is not in charge of its own military. Historically this has been called what it actually is by the North, an occupation of the southern part of the Korean Peninsula by a foreign power. Most Americans are also probably unaware that the US dropped 37,000 tons of Napalm on North Korea a "wonder weapon" I believe they called it. It's my personal view that having the US at the table is not helpful, the unification of this peninsula is not in its interest unless it's an extended US occupation to the Russian and Chinese borders. This book on the right is a good introduction to the history of this conflict. Opposing US imperialism in this part of the world does not mean support for either the southern or northern regimes, it simply means endorsing the right of the Korean people to control of their destiny.

Below is an excerpt from a previous blog posting on this issue.
Order here
February 2018

As many have pointed out, the US imposed division between North and South Korea we know as the 38th Parallel is not a border between two countries. The Korean War was not a war between countries any more than the Vietnam War was. These were civil wars in which the US took a side. In Vietnam the US backed a regime that could barely get elected by its own people as US imperialism wanted to replace French colonialism that the Vietnamese people drove out. In Korea, US capitalism wanted a foothold in the Korean Peninsula in order to hold back the Chinese revolution so it sided with the elements that were remnants of the brutal Japanese occupation of Korea from 1911 until 1945. With Japan occupied, Korea would be another foothold.

The US had complete control of the skies in Korea much like in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, other countries where carpet-bombing and napalm were favored methods of repelling resistance. Bruce Cumings describes it “…..the unhindered machinery of incendiary bombing was visited on the North for three years, yielding a wasteland and a surviving mole people who had learned to love the shelter of caves, mountains, tunnels……..a subterranean world that became the basis for reconstructing the country and a memento for building a fierce hatred through the ranks of the population.” 

The air superiority of US imperialism in its war against small colonial nations had devastating affects. Laos is another example, more mole people and the decimation of a centuries old culture in the face of massive carpet bombing. Laos? Where’s Laos?

The US has urged South Korea to take control of its military in the event of a war with the North. But that was when more right wing, pro-US elements were in power. They were more reliable stooges of US imperialism and as part of the beefing up of their military would be spending lots of cash with US defense contractors.

With Moon Jae in who has popular support it’s a different matter. It’s clear to any sensible person that the South Koreans must be terrified having the US with its finger on the trigger, especially given that the US has one of the most dysfunctional governments with an unpredictable moron at the helm. It is Koreans who will die by the millions if the US and the North resort to nuclear conflict and we should remember, the US wanted to use nuclear weapons on North Korea and China and actually used them on Japan. We are talking about capitalism in decay here------a wounded rat is a dangerous animal when it has nuclear weapons.

The Wall Street Journal points out that “Seoul’s first left leaning government in a decade, loath to be dragged by the U.S. into what it may see as an unnecessary conflict…” . Who could blame them?   US capitalism, despite anti-government feeling being quite strong at home, gets a free pass as long as American lives are not lost to any great degree. That’s why drone warfare and other technology is so important, US workers wouldn’t be so passive I don’t think if we were dying in any significant number. Not having one’s own communities being blown to bits is a plus too.  The burden of US capitalism’s numerous offensive ventures are being borne by a small number of families.

Many South Koreans feel somewhat humiliated and embarrassed that their military is under the control of a foreign power. The North Koreans often point to this claiming the South is but a puppet state of the US. They are not off the mark on that one. South Korea, Afghanistan even Japan when you think about it are puppet states of the most powerful capitalist regime on earth.

I was talking to a Korean friend the other day and he felt that there would be a chance of some stability if the US were out of the picture. It was his view that the US does not want stability in the region, it wants a united Korea under US control and other than that a state of permanent tension that requites its presence to "keep the peace". That the Chinese would not tolerate a united Korea under US control on its borders is understandable. The US has some 800 military installations in the world and troops in hundreds of countries making the world safe for international capital.  Despite being the world’s most armed power with the ability to blow us all up, US imperialism is a weakened imperialism, threatened economically on all sides by Russia, India and especially the Chinese. With the present administration and this degenerate moron in the driver’s seat, it is slowly losing any credibility it once had.

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