Asian-American Forum
Fall-Winter 2018 Issue no. 29


Editor's Note: Love and War

Over the past months, concern has mounted over the war rhetoric against N. Korea. While commentators and pundits crow over its imminent demise, the Pentagon believes it can conduct clean, surgical strikes. Meanwhile a record number of U.N. multilateral and U.S. unilateral sanctions cause many Koreans harm and suffering. But the worst part is the amassing of tens of thousands of troops on both sides, on land and in sea, in the Koreas, Japan, and Guam, placed on standby for military action, while most American citizens appear oblivious.

The tone of war is also evidenced in the 2018 State of the Union address. Military actions and readiness, and war, by any means, is justified to keep America First, without any protests on either side of the Congressional aisle. However the President realizes this is not the 1950s. There are too many well-educated, intelligent adults capable of reasoning to fan the flames of pure vitriol. So instead the covert tactics of technology are used to surveil, to release distractions, to stifle, and most of all to restrict the flow of information. To this could be added unwarranted searches, and violations of civil and civic rights, not to mention the plethora of fake news and soul-less television shows.

The American public is roiling under the barrage of misinformation and under-information or part-information. Our popular culture is saturated with devilry while pushing the ethos of love and peace further and further into the recesses of the mind. We are becoming blind as lemmings.

In the 1960s, it was possible for black and white southern Christian leadership to organize because they had huge throngs of active supporters. Together, according to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. More than the economic impact of thirty billion dollars a year divested, withdrawn, or boycotted from banks or businesses, is the passion of the Levite, priest, and Samaritan unified to help fallen brethren on the wayside.[1]

Which is to say that the missing element today amid all the false rhetoric (war is peace; silence is good; might makes right etc.) is true communal love, agape. When Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. used the term agape, he meant understanding, creative, redeeming goodwill –the type of goodwill heedless of recognition or pay. Dr. King also spoke of the deep community, sense for justice, and peaceful nonviolence that typified the righteous, person-centered, soulful movement he envisioned.

“Love must be at the forefront of our movement if it is to be a successful movement...When we speak of love, we speak of understanding goodwill toward all men. We speak of a redemptive, a creative sort of love.”[2]

Agape implies an active universal global love towards all humans, one that would include an abiding respect for the Earth; it is positive spiritual protection; free of sexual and emotional pretenses, and not the sentimental, weak, or cowardly kind.

In contrast, False Love is the hallmark of hateful exclusionary self-righteousness, corruptive hypocrisy, and daily microaggressions. Here, the Michael teachings provide clear overviews of dominant character flaws. Collectively speaking, does not the America First capitalist economy appear dominated by negative characteristics such as Greed, Arrogance, Impatience, Stubbornness, and Self-Destruction?[3] This is what is leading to the delusionary need to foment war with in mind a 30-year acquisitional complex (rather than invest at home). And, as World Beyond War points out, War is neither good for planetary ecology nor healthy for addressing the climate-change emergency. Aggression does not represent a viable democratic model.

A few signs that the Culture of Death has overtaken the American Heartland include adult voter apathy (55% eligible voters voted during the 2016 General Election); wide-spread teenage anomie or escapism (for many the first job might be an unpaid college internship); and bankruptcy in community investment in the liberal arts. In its place is sanctioning of obsessive-compulsive conversational thought; forced compartmentalization; and preference for over-specialization (only for non-ministry jobs). It is as if we are systematically and collectively heading towards dehumanization.

Contrast this with the positive soul-force that Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. felt could be released by each person to help lead to a true personal and global evolution, that is, collective self-realization for humankind:

“We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says: ‘Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word.’ Unquote.”[4]

The call for personal reflection, self-awareness, and spirituality somehow goes hand-in-hand with anti-war and justice-activism. All true activists seek ways to connect with their ideals so they can stay centered and grounded, whether through art, poetry, or meditation. This is how they plan camps or offer voyages or feature dance troupes. It was how independence activist Mahatma Gandhi developed the concept of satyagrahi (meaning “clinging to the truth“) which connects the inwardly practice of self-purification with the outwardly elements of social struggle. Autonomy came to be envisioned through a number of expressive locally-owned locally-grown projects as well as political protests. Today, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom plans global conferences to vet their anti-war philosophy through group study and report preparations. The Raging Grannies is another group whose performances include lyrics and songs.

With the Doomsday Clock moved recently to two-minutes to midnight, and many more US-ROK, and DPRK military operations planned for this year, it is not too early to prepare for the Final End. Unlike the elite, unlike androids, we will not escape down the chutes of convenient underground silos turned into bomb-proof shelters. Since we have not the fighting chance to organize massively, it is none too soon to prepare spiritually for the next phase. The best way to do this is to deepen our faith, challenge what is right versus wrong, identify good versus evil, and overcome our lingering doubts.

Steadfastly recognizing the universal principles of life, such as ahimsa (“do no harm”) and agape (“understanding creative, redeeming goodwill”), will help serve as guideposts in advancing the cosmic struggle towards Truth, Benevolence, and Tolerance.


Sources:
1. King, Martin Luther, Jr. “I've Been to the Mountaintop.” Top 100 Speeches, Feb. 7, 2017. American Rhetoric. The Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm (accessed Feb. 2018).

2. Burns, Stewart. To the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Mission to Save America: 1955-1968. San Francisco: Harper-Collins, 2004, 94.

3. McGuinness, Barry. “Character flaws: The seven chief features of ego.” Personality & Spirituality, 2017. http://personalityspirituality.net/articles/the-michael-teachings/chief-features/ (accessed Feb. 2018).

4. King, Martin Luther. “Beyond Vietnam.” 4 April 1967. Address delivered to the Clergy and Laymen, New York, Riverside Church. The Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/MLKapr67.html (accessed Feb. 2018).



Korean War I: Who Fired the First Shot?

       

With the tension building on the Korean Peninsula today, it helps to reexamine why the first Korean War started, especially if the model is subsumed under the number of current defensive operational plays. Interestingly research on the Korean War yields the idea that in comparison with 1950, the United States is much more brazen today both in its demands and in its belligerency towards North Korea (DPRK).

Could it be that the endless accelerating ideological wars since the 2000s have inculcated a mindset of Olympian invincibility?

A key characteristic of the prelude to Korean War I was that there were many border skirmishes between the North and the South especially during 1948-1950. In the aftermath of World War II, the Korean Peninsula was divided along the 38th parallel, with the northern mountainous half backed by the U.S.S.R., while the southern agricultural region was backed by the U.S.A.

The demarcation became a symbolic fulcrum in ideological differences particularly in the era of McCarthyism. Many Republicans in the U.S. backed a full-takeover or roll-back of Northern Korea. The Secretary of State under President Truman, Dean Acheson, quailed at the possibility of having to conduct two wars. One desired rollback would be for Nationalist China (Taiwan) where defeated former China President Chiang Kai-shek had fled and continued to seethe over his losses in China. Another rollback would be for South Korea (ROK), where the puppet-President Syngman Rhee presided over a corrupt pro-colonialist government. Unable to control popular hostility to his political repressions, Rhee supported a war that would divert political attention away from himself while funneling more American dollars towards the ROK.

The fact is that during 1948-1950, there were quite a few cross-border skirmishes and battles between the North and the South. Partly this is attributable to the fact that in 1945 the 38th parallel was a latitudinal line with no sensitivity to topography or landforms. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) established in 1953 by the Armistice Agreement created a border belt about 2-1/2 miles wide by 160 miles in length.

It is this border, still commonly referred to as the 38th Parallel which continues today to serve as a juncture point for travel, trade, illegal tunnels, and border incidents. The Far-East counterpart of the Berlin Wall, most Koreans realize that the Armistice Agreement only means a cessation of hostilities.

Especially today, the hopes for Korean Unification and a final peace treaty are becoming overshadowed by the drumbeats and increasing crescendo towards war.

Between 1948-1950 Skirmishes Along 38th Parallel were frequent

The fact is that during 1948-1950 border skirmishes became increasingly more frequent and intense. More than anything the Korean War was first and foremost one of internecine strife. It also represented a battle of ideologies: the choice between a communist-style democracy versus a neocolonialist-capitalist democracy became an international conflagration due to the nascent imperialistic ambitions of the United States.

According to author William Blum in Killing Hope:

The two sides had been clashing across the Parallel for several years. What happened on that fateful day in June could thus be regarded as no more than the escalation of an outgoing civil war. The North Korean government has claimed that in 1949 alone, the South Korean army or police perpetrated 2,167 armed incursions into the North to carry out murder, kidnapping, pillage and arson for the purpose of causing social disorder and unrest, as well as to increase the combat capabilities of the invaders. At times, stated the Pyongyang government, thousands of soldiers were involved in a single battle with many casualties resulting.

As military training camps, bases, and exercises were practiced on both sides at the border, the ease with which conflagrations occurred increased over time. It appears that during this period, very few if any peace overtures were made by the United Nations. Amid developing Cold War policies no peace conference talks were scheduled.

Much like today, the absence of peace efforts signifies a willingness to go to war.

Whether it was Secretary of State Dean Acheson, or Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Tom Connally, the official ambiguity around Korea seemed designed to encourage an incident precipitating the need for the U.S. to go to war. The strategy of a fortified American defense system operating behind the scenes awaiting a blunder by North Korea was alluded to by Connally in reference to Washington policy-makers:

A lot of them believe this: They believe that incidents will transpire which will maneuver around and present an incident which will make us fight. That's what a lot of them are saying: We've got to battle sometime, why not now? (The Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 2, Bruce Cumings, p. 431)

Much like today, too many in Congress or the White House agree with that sentiment. And indeed the departure of U.S. troops in 1950 from Korea may well have been the planned tactical maneuver which sparked the Ongjin invasion allegedly by North Korea on the morning of June 25, 1950.

According to Times of India (Dangerous Frontier in Korea in Cold War: Frequent Large-Scale Clashes at 38th Parallel June 26, 1950), while South Korea had the advantage in terms of agrarian population and resources, North Korea was a mountainous stronghold of miners and factory workers.

A day after the war began Times of India (Dangerous Frontier June 26, 1950):

With two-thirds of Korea's total population, south Korea has the advantage over the north in man-power, but the Republic harbours a powerful anti-government force. Officials of the American State Department estimated last year that upwards of 50,000 Communist Koreans from North Korea had infiltrated into the south to mingle with two million political and social refugees from the north.

South Korea's strength lay in a vast and more diverse civilian population, however its limitations included a huge peasantry, lack of employment, and discontent with the Rhee regime which stalled on land and social reform. Korean officials worried that with so many refugees and communist-party recruiters, they would form the vanguard of any invasion from the north.

In 1950, many hardened Korean fighters had returned to the North from war-service in China. Their strength and expertise was often superior to those of the South, and they retained rifles, mortars, heavy guns, and ammunition from World War II. These men doubled the fighting power in the North and were undoubtedly inured to the dangers of provoking full-scale war.

However the number of Russian advisors and observers in North Korea were small compared to those sent to monitor events at the 38th Parallel from the South. The U.S. sent numerous observers whether working for the Defense Department or the C.I.A. According to the Times of India (Dangerous Frontier June 26, 1950):

In the south where a 500-strong American military team is assigned to advise the army, those of the army and police force who are armed probably number fewer than 90,000, including a small mechanised section trained to operate American jeeps and transport vehicles.

In a typical incident, Washington Post (Border Battle Reported by South Korea February 1, 1949) reported that in January 1949 severe battles between the North and South forces involved thousands of troops taking and retaking border villages. South Korean forces recaptured a nearby village which the North Koreans had held for a day. The North Korean forces ranged from 400 to 3000 troops. Furthermore, South Korean troops staged a revolt:

Sixty soldiers of the South Korean Sixth division revolted at Pohang, 160 miles southeast of Seoul, and killed one officer and six enlisted men who refused to take part. They marched to the eastern port of Kuryunto, where they were attacked by 240 police and 80 loyal soldiers. The rebels used American rifles and ammunition, Choi said.

The growing number of South Korean rebels using American rifles and ammunition would have had American intelligence alarmed and this could be why Secretary of State Acheson initially discouraged more militarization in South Korea.

The growing discontent with the policies and practices of President Syngman Rhee's democratic regime was also expressed by American newspapers.

According to the New York Herald Tribune (Syngman Rhee denies a Crisis in South Korea July 1, 1949) political turmoil within South Korea on the eve of Korean War I had its sources. For instance, a prominent leading critic of the government and head of the Independence Party, Kim Koo, was assassinated. Rhee tried to defend himself on the report that at least seven National Assembly members were arrested. Rhee claimed that they were acting in concert with the South Korean Labor party, which is Communist and has been outlawed. The Herald noted that Rhee failed to address why the government ordered the shutdown of sixteen newspapers and magazines.

Interestingly, the New York Herald Tribune reporter defended the censorship:

The attitude of the best qualified American observers here is that these were not newspapers in any real sense but were propaganda sheets engaged in inciting the people to violence.

During the McCarthy era, too many mainstream newspapers were willing to make wide-spread generalized condemnations.

However today, one sprig of hope lies in the fact that no such discontent exists against ROK President Moon Jae-in. In fact, the liberal Moon favors a peaceful reunification between the two Koreas.

Nevertheless, there is an ongoing parallel revolving around the debate on Fake News today. Not only has RT.com been banned at some public institutional libraries, but Google search engine algorithms have been altered. The top communications industries CEOs are also working closely with the White House to improve surveillance, and develop private government servers.

In 1950, just as today, the United Nations actions and opinions were generally cast in favor of the United States. Just days before the war, not only had the U.S. withdrawn all troops, but the U.N. finished a tour at the border.

The absence of instruments for peace by the United Nations played a profound role in the steady escalation of the Korean Peninsula tensions. Furthermore the open condemnation of North Korea with sanctions, and the preparedness of the United States to enter the war (within two days) serves as an earlier outline of what can easily happen today.

The date and time of the official invasion by North Koreans into the South was 0400am on June 25, 1950. However one might surmise that the start of the war began a few years earlier. In any case, there is really no question who fired the first shot, especially if the question is re-framed: Why would anyone bother to shoot?

As for the date and time Korean War II officially begins, it will be difficult to say except in hindsight. And as to when it will end, judging from the world supply of over 15,000 nuclear weapons, maybe it is safe to say that ever is a long time.

Photos from all-that-is-interesting.com

Sources:

1. Blum, William. Killing Hope: U.S. military and CIA interventions since World War II. Monroe, Me.: Common Courage Press, 1995.

2. Cumings, Bruce. The origins of the Korean War. Princeton, N.J.:Princeton University Press, 1981.

3. 38th Parallel North. Wikipedia, 2017. Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/38th_parallel_north (accessed Nov 2017)

4. Korean Demilitarized Zone. Wikipedia, 2017. Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Demilitarized_Zone (accessed Nov 2017)

5. Korean Armistice Agreement. Wikipedia, 2017. Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Armistice_Agreement (accessed Nov 2017)

6. The Times of India, Dangerous Frontier in Korea in Cold War: Frequent Large-Scale Clashes at 38th Parallel. June 26, 1950. From Library of Congress. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Times of India (1861-current) (accessed Nov. 24, 2017).

7. Allen, Raymond, Syngman Rhee Denies a Crisis in South Korea. July 1, 1949. From Library of Congress. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Tribune/Herald Tribune (1926-1962) (accessed Nov. 24, 2017).

8. The Washington Post, Border Battle Reported by South Korea. Feb. 1, 1949. From Libary of Congress. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1923-1954) (accessed Nov. 24, 2017).


Article by Christine H. Wong first published at AsianGreenNews.com, and republished at Indybay Open-Publishing Newswire.

Why UN sanctions against DPRK may backfire on US

The US is trying to compel North Korea to denuclearize. As if the threat of war-time level multinational mobilization naval and air drills at North Korea's doorstep were not enough, a variety of punitive sanctions have been passed by the United States, and also by the United Nations. It is the nature of these sanctions and other actions that are feeding the narrative that the Trump Administration has fallen in love with war.

According to Foreign Policy online, within eight months of assuming office in 2017, Trump has bombed every country which former President Barack Obama had. In fact in only nine months, more than 26,172 bombs were dropped which is more than the record in 2016.[1]

Staffed with advisors from the Pentagon, few doubt that the Trump Cabinet intends to resolve the North Korean conflict peacefully. Instead, they have laid on diplomatic, economic, and military pressure through a series sanctions whether unilaterally by the U.S. or multilaterally through the United Nations.

NORTH KOREA PROTESTS MULTILATERAL SANCTIONS

Wikipedia's list of United Nations Security Council resolutions indicates how seriously matters are escalating.[2] Between 1950 to 1990 there were only 4 resolutions which pertained to condemnation of North Korea in the Korean War conflict. Between 1991 to 2010 there were 7 resolutions, at least 3 of which involved inspections of North Korean nuclear facilities. Since 2011, there have been 14 resolutions, 8 of which were passed since 2016. And in 2017 alone five resolutions have passed including severe restrictions on trade. Chart 1 depicts the growing number of punitive resolutions.[3]

While the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supports diplomatic talks, President Trump mostly denies that possibility to put it mildly. Speaking through US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis, or U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley the official line continues to mostly be "all options are on the table." Meaning the Administration presumes that the time for talk is over; the only option is for North Korea to abandon its surreptitious nuclear research and development program, and denuclearize.

What makes the situation terrifying is that the last thing North Korea (DPRK) intends to do at this point is capitulate. On the other hand, according to reports from Centre for Research on Globalization, the DPRK has shown a willingness to support U.N. proposals for denuclearization. In December 2016, they voted a tentative "yes" in support of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (NBT).[4] In October 2017, DPRK Ambassodor Kim In Ryong again signaled support for the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, essentially laying the blame on not being able to because of threats of annihilation by the U.S.[5]:

The DPRK consistently supports the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the efforts for denuclearization of the entire world. However, as long as the U.S. which constantly threatens and blackmails the DPRK with nuclear weapons rejects the NBT, the DPRK is not in position to accede to the treaty.

According to the Kim, it is the United States who is in flagrant violation of nuclear proliferation, and it should lead by example by acceding to the PTNW. However, to date, none of the nuclear powers, least of all the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have willingly acknowledged the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed in July 2017.[6]

On October 16, 2017 after U.N. Resolution 2375 passed, North Korean Ambassador Kim in Ryong spoke defensively[7]:

In 1957 the U.S. deployed nuclear weapons to south Korea and since the 1970's it has been carrying out large scale military exercises every year involving the nuclear assets. In this March and April, the U.S. staged the largest-scale joint military exercise, aimed at mounting a preemptive nuclear strike against the DPRK, with participation of over 300,000 troops and all sorts of strategic assets including aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines...What is more dangerous is that the U.S. dared to formulate a plan and stage the exercise of decapitation operation and secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership. No country in the world has been subjected to such an extreme and direct nuclear threat from the U.S. for such a long time and experienced a nuclear war exercise in front of its own gate which is essentially most vicious and brutal in its scale, form and purpose...The possession of nuclear weapons and inter-continental ballistic rockets is the righteous self-defensive measure of the DPRK against the evident and practical nuclear threat of the U.S.

Although not in the majority, a number of foreign policy experts and former diplomats question the wave of punitive actions.

For instance, Katy Oh, a senior Asia specialist at the Institute for Defense Analysis believes that while Kim is provocative and aggressive, he is only doing what he must to protect his country from foreign attack and the unstated U.S. objective of regime change. Oh stated[8]:

His motivation is clear. To sustain the Kim family in power forever and sustaining North Korea as it is.

"Kim wants protection against going the way of Gaddafi," said Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Americas Office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies[8]. Unlike his father or grandfather, Kim Jong Un is under no illusions with regard to the decapitation squads or other ill-designs, accounting for the sharp rise in the number of missile tests since 2015.

COLD WAR II UNLIKE COLD WAR I

What most Americans born after 1950 don't realize is how different the fundamental nature of Cold War II is from Cold War I. The United States really had reason to be worried after World War I because revolutionary communist movements were sweeping the globe, from Russia to China to Cuba. Even war-wearied Europe relied on socialist political support in countries such as France, England, and Germany.

Observing the self-styled totalitarian communist dictators such as Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and other emerging revolutionary leaders, there was a legitimacy to the Red Scare that swept across the U.S. in the 1950s. American newspapers, magazines, and radio shows bombarded the listening public outright with denunciations of "Commies" and "Reds." The targeting, blacklists, arrests functioned as side-shows –and created job turnovers at factories.

According to Curt Gentry, author of J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and His Secrets, the legendary FBI Director well knew how to work the press to his favor. There were controls for keeping out articles critical of the F.B.I., and instead planting favorable editorials. Favorable articles were ghostwritten by special agents and printed in the Reader's Digest, American Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report.[9]

The F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover also contributed as guest columnist at U.S. News & World Report. For instance, "55,000 Communists" (May 26, 1950) in which Hoover warns how traitors have infiltrated into all facets of American life was published however inflammatory the rhetoric against the "double-dealing, double-minded, double-tongued and double-faced" "termites"[10]:

Wherever they may be, they have in common one diabolic ambition: to weaken and eventually destroy American democracy by stealth and cunning.

Even Newsgram provided syndicated features tucked into publications whose items were blatantly right-wing. Thus amid the burgeoning health and suburban glory of middle-class America were sowed the seeds of suspicion and fear that helped bolster institutional bigotry and blacklists. Such views invariably provided fodder for the future condemnations and military actions sought by Republicans against communist countries.

Today, in contrast, the forces against communism have transmogrified into the "War on Terror" even when most Americans understand that corporations are having their cake and eating it too. Goods manufactured overseas under slavish conditions allowing corporate citizens to rake in record profits while hiding their profits. Trump's America First conveys the notion that absent a Marshall Plan or US-AID programs, global spectrum dominance will largely benefit the monied classes because of planned austerity pogroms.

Independent geopolitical analysts are also worried another Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Yemen-like failed state is in the offing.

Author and investigative journalist Peter Koenig credits the 'hermit kingdom' [11]:

North Korea has done no harm to any other nation. Indeed, North Korea does not intend to start a war with anyone. North Korea has had the courage and strength to rebuild as a socialist nation in almost full isolation from a 1953 US-devastated country with the loss from then 30% of the population, about 3 million people. Does anyone wonder why North Korea has opted to defend herself – come what may?

UNITED NATIONS PARA-MILITARIZATION.

Whether it is regime change or containment, the current course taken by the United States, abetted by the United Nations, is aggressive and suicidal. There are no good outcomes whether the creation of a new failed state, or extreme militarization of a traditionally peaceful region.

The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) has observed that increasingly the United Nations is becoming an "amoral" and an "accessory to crime" by its deadly sanctions against North Korea. If not condoning genocide, a crime against humanity, it is condoning insurrection within the DPRK as well as premeditated murder. The constant barrage of naval exercises, military drills, and aerial fly-bys near the 38th parallel are nothing if not provocative and cause for incitement. Coupled with financial and economic sanctions the world demonizing and robbery of North Korea is openly approved by the United Nations as just and fair.

Small wonder that independent journalists question the credibility and neutrality of the United Nations, as well as its impartiality in the face of orchestrating this new humanitarian disaster. There are no "unintended consequences" when in fact the goal is to punish the leader of the DPRK through innocent victims, whether they are children, elderly, students, factory workers, or farmers. Observes Carla Stea, UN reporter for CRG [12]:

This humanitarian disaster is neither accidental nor coincidental. All this information was publicly available to all 15 members of the Security Council prior to December 22, when they inflicted even more deadly sanctions on the people of North Korea. The Security Council is an accessory to these crimes. Though they boast, irresponsibly, that the sanctions contain "humanitarian exemptions," how do they explain the alarming failure to implement these "humanitarian exemptions," and the fact that the tragic victims of these criminal and fatal sanctions are the majority of the people of North Korea?

Contrast this with the stated one-world goal and peace on Earth as envisioned by the first Secretary General of the United Nations in June 1950. The message delivered by the first Secretary General of the United Nations, Trygve Lie, in an interview with U.S. News and World Report (June 30, 1950), was an elegant presentation of his 10-Point Peace Program. Asked by the interviewer whether the Cold War situation required the services of a mediator, an intermediary who can bring proposals to the warring parties, Trygve Lie emphasized both his proposed 10-points program, as well as the need for direct conversations between the adversaries[13]:

Mediation would help, but there must be direct conversations between the persons in authority in all governments. That is the best way to reach agreement.

First UNSG Trygve Lie also stated:

Honest negotiation is hard work–it takes a long time and immense patience–but there's no substitute for it.

The first UNSG 10-Point Peace Program included:


  • A new attempt to make progress toward establishing an international control system for atomic energy that will be effective in preventing its use for war and promoting its use for peaceful purposes.

  • A new approach to the problem of bringing the armaments race under control, not only in the field of atomic weapons, but in other weapons of mass destruction and in conventional armaments.

  • Acceptance and application of the principle that it is wise and right to proceed as rapidly as possible towards universality of membership.

  • Vigorous and continued development of the work of the United Nations for wider observance and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the world.

  • Use of the United Nations to promote by peaceful means instead of by force, the advancement of dependent, colonial or semicolonial peoples towards a place of equality in the world.

Unfortunately this is in marked contrast with today's U.N. Security Council and General Assembly, who may be in the grip of financial dependency upon the United States. As the likelihood for war mounts, famed Canadian author Michel Chossukovsky warns of the complacency with regard to low-level nuclear warfare. He compares the prevailing fear back in the 1950s of Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) with today's re-categorization of "mini-nukes" as "harmless"[14]:

The tactical nuclear weapons, which are –have been re-categorized by the U.S. Senate as 'conventional weapons' can go from one-third to six times a Hiroshima bomb and the latest version, the B61-12 could go up to twelve times a Hiroshima bomb. But they call them 'mini-nukes' and scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon says, "that they are harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground." These are 'bunker-buster' bombs. They have a different delivery system to the so-called 'strategic' nuclear weapons, but they're thermonuclear bombs and they're pretty much the same nuclear bombs with different yields that – yields mean explosive capacity. So, the situation is tremendously dangerous.

WAR NOT A SOLUTION

Considering that the obvious goal of warfare is to kill or maim as many people as possible in order to subjugate them as quickly as possible, it is unlikely that tactical nuclear bombs will be limited to use underground –or that fall-out will not harm the millions of people and animals dependent on natural resources.

Already the economic and financial sanctions are a de-facto declaration of war for there are no unintended consequences nor unintended collateral damage as Stea writes [15]:

These disastrous humanitarian consequences are indeed intended, with the aim of breaking the morale, the will and the spirit of a heroic people, and humiliating, degrading and forcing them to subjugate themselves to the will of a hostile and exploitative adversary. The sanctions are a weapon of war, in the words of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 'a blunt instrument which hurts large numbers of people who are, ostensibly, not their primary target.'

If the United Nations role becomes nothing more than a foil for the United States, how can it claim to adhere to its founding principles of peacekeeping and defending human rights. To make matters worse, the Trump administration has not only decreased the State Department staff, but pared down the USAID program, and it is trying to eliminate up to one billion dollars in funding for UN Peacekeeping operations and other UN aid programs.[16][17]

Is the United Nations buckling under financial arm-twisting by the United States?

One thing is for certain, the pleas, speeches, and letters by North Korean ambassadors in recent months have been ignored and dismissed as out of hand, even as global peace organization Reaching Critical Will stresses that diplomatic talks, not more sanctions, is the path towards true freedom and goodwill[18]:

Coercion, military rhetoric, and global politicking has not worked. More of the same will not work. And for sure, there can be no military solution that will work.

Image from Aesop's fable "The Wind and the Sun" or "Kindness effects more than severity."
Article by Christine H. Wong first published at AsianGreenNews.com

Sources:
1. Zenko, Micah, How Donald Trump Learned to Love War in 2017. ForeignPolicy.com, Dec. 29, 2017. FP Group. https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/12/29/how-donald-trump-learned-to-love-war-in-2017/ (accessed Jan. 2018).

2.List of United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning North Korea. Wikipedia, 2017. Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_Security_Council_resolutions_concerning_North_Korea(accessed Nov 2017)

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