Nukewatch Quarterly Spring 2016
North Korea’s January 6 announcement that it conducted an H-bomb test was both ridiculed as completely implausible and condemned as highly “provocative.” Its February 7 satellite launch was likewise denounced as a “cover” for long-range ballistic missile development. Without hard evidence that North Korea has even a single nuclear weapon, official “concern” over the North’s nuclear program needs to be manufactured if our own nuclear arsenalists are to stay in business.
With the enormous Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in his home state desperately searching for an enemy, it is no surprise to hear Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn. and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chant that he wants the US “to take a more assertive role in addressing North Korea’s provocation.” Anna Fifield, the Washington Post Bureau Chief in Tokyo, who should at least pretend to be an impartial observer, wrote January 6 that the underground bomb test was a “brazen provocation and a clear defiance of international treaties.” Fifield later told National Public Radio that she wouldn’t want to speculate about what motivated North Korean President Kim Jong Un, because the inside of his head “is a scary place.” The NPR interviewer let this unsubstantiated assertion go unchallenged, like it was common knowledge.
North Korea is such a military, economic and political nothing, that it is disgraceful to see the national media parrot official Pentagon and State Department fear-mongering about Pyongyang’s supposedly terrible, belligerent, and aggressive intentions, and pathetic to see public opinion crystalized in unison.
When was the last time North Korea bombed, invaded, militarily occupied, or installed puppet regimes in other lands? Those brazenly provocative violations of international treaties were committed by the United States. When has North Korea placed 5,000-man, “super carriers,” (the largest ships in the world, each carrying 60 aircraft) in the Persian Gulf and attacked Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan using Reaper drones and jet fighter-bombers? Oh yes; that was the United States.
In 1999, US-led NATO air forces bombed Serbia and Kosovo for 78 days. That wasn’t long after US cruise missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan—which in turn barely followed Bill and Hillary Clinton’s 1998 Christmas bombing of Iraq. That of course was only an intensification of the ongoing carrier-based campaign of bombing Iraq two or three times every week for the 12 years between 1991 to 2003. That year, under false pretenses, the Bush and Cheney regimes with extreme prejudice proceeded to cause at least 370,000 civilian deaths that can be blamed on the 1991 (Bush I) and 2003 (Bush II) wars on Iraq.
In 2003, protesters in nearly every capital city on Earth carried “Most Wanted” posters declaring George W. Bush a fugitive from justice, a war criminal and a danger to world order. At least Barak Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize with which to conduct undeclared, unconstitutional war in four countries, indiscriminate, unaccountable drone war on two continents, and force-feeding torture of hunger striking suspects, indefinitely detained without charges at an extra-legal off-shore penal colony—known as “I promise to close it.”
Now with private contractors and US-picked presidents running failed police states in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is easy to see how global public opinion, in a Gallop poll of Feb. 2014, declared the United States the most dangerous country in the world. But forget the opinion of the Earth’s 95 percent. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported without attribution that, “US military planners view [North Korea] as the world’s most dangerous state.” North Korea, with two-thirds the population of California, no oil, and having endured a famine in the mid-1990s that killed one-tenth of its people, is certainly more threatening than the US which has over 600 military bases in 38 countries, 10 aircraft carriers (Russia and China each have 1), ten nuclear missile-firing submarines, and 48,000 troops in Japan, 37,000 in Germany, and 27,000 in South Korea.
According to US intelligence services, North Korea is suspected of having perhaps six nuclear weapons and an annual military budget of $7.5 billion (2014). The US’s roughly $600 billion military allotment includes maintaining 4,000 nuclear warheads on alert. Any one of the eight giant Trident submarines in the Pacific is capable on its own of burning down the entire Korean landmass.
The gross imbalance of military might begs a question never asked by the commercial media, by the Senators from Lockheed-Martin, or the Representatives from Northrop-Grumman. Even if North Korea had a rocket that could aim straight, and a warhead that could detonate,what could it expect to gain by attacking South Korea, Japan or the US? The answer is obvious: Absolutely nothing but self-destruction.
With luck, the US tiger will just hold its breath and tremble at the mousey shadow of North Korea, which never stops provoking. A few years ago it even had the nerve to ask the White House for a promise that it won’t be preemptively attacked.