I have been fighting against imperialism for most of my adult life. It took me years to understand the concept where by a large and powerful country, as this one, the United States of America, decides to take over smaller weaker countries—than tries to claim we are “helping democracy.” And we live in a so called “beacon of hope for the rest of the world.” But it doesn’t take long to see that those arguments are used to justify conquest, rape and plunder of other people’s homelands.
So when I came across an article by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The case for invading North Korea, I was appalled. The article was wrong on so many levels it was hard to decide where to begin. This article was posted in The Week, a sophisticated news magazine. This has some of the most blatant imperialist hypocrisy I have seen since George W. Bush tried to justify invading Iraq.
In the first part of the article Gobry tries to claim that the US has a moral obligation to invade and remove this government:
“North Korea is a joke, and shame on us for laughing. The "Hermit Kingdom" with its retro aesthetic and its goofy-looking leader makes us laugh, from our well-heated homes. That's what The Interview and "Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things" are all about.
But North Korea isn't "weird," it's not "eccentric" — it is the vilest place on the face of the Earth….
….If someone disputes that there is a moral imperative toward regime change in North Korea — I do not want to argue with him; he shows a corrupt mind. The only question remains: is it feasible? I would like to argue that it is….
He shows us his moral outrage towards those of us who would refuse to invade that “terrible” country. But a country, as with this one, should have its own house in order and have the moral high ground before it takes on such a heavy handed task. The US does not have the moral high ground. Even looking beyond the outrageous barbarism and arrogance of such imperialist action, the US has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison, in the ENTIRE WORLD. This country has allowed conditions where entire families are forced into homelessness and all the problems it causes. This country has a problem of white police officers shooting unarmed black persons. This country allows for poor people to be denied access to badly needed health care, resulting in people dying from preventable diseases.
Then there is the direct military support of such despicable regimes as Saudi Arabia. That desert kingdom is one of the world’s last absolute monarchy. Besides having no elections or legal political parties, the government there relies on be-headings, lashes and they arrest and jail women for driving cars. With such a tyrannical government, why is there no push to liberate the Saudis from their suffering under that regime.
Much of Gobry’s arguments sound like the kind of cold war propaganda that Reagan used against such foes as the Sandinistas of Nicaragua. Here is an example of undocumented here-say:
….North Korea's leaders keep their entire nation in a state of perpetual semi-starvation for the sole purpose of maintaining power while they entertain themselves with prostitutes and fine foods from around the world. The North Korean regime is well known for financing itself through drug trafficking and other forms of international organized crime….
For years right wing politicians of the right have accused all our “opponents” of trafficking in drugs and funding terrorism. This is blatant PR. There is no serious connection between Democratic People’s Republic (North) Korea and drug trafficking.
…Alcohol and hard drug use is positively pandemic, unsurprisingly considering life there. And forget about any sort of culture or true education or access to knowledge, or anything we consider integral to human flourishing. This is a country where everyone grows up in constant fear….
So how do officials of this government get and distribute drugs to such poor citizens? If they are a poor and all UN government agencies claim how can such citizens afford hard drugs?
Then there is the callousness of using war to get rid of this smaller country. Gobry seems to have little fear of taking on such a dangerous task:
…U.S. forces should be able to destroy all of North Korea's artillery in one strike. After all, if there's one thing that the U.S. military is very good at, it's launching enormous amounts of rockets and bombs with great precision. With satellite, any significant artillery positions are known. Given the U.S.'s overwhelming technological advantage and total dominance of the sky, and the effect of surprise, it should not be impossible to pull off.
The key question, then, is North Korea's nuclear weapons, and this is a question that no one without access to classified information can answer. But the North Korean regime does not possess many warheads. They cannot be stored in many locations. And it stands to reason that the U.S. intelligence community has been hard at work figuring out where they are, and figuring out a plan on how to get to them. If that could be pulled off, it's possible North Korea could fall quickly, with little harm to anyone outside the country….
” with little harm to anyone outside the country” ?! Yeah right! –A couple of nuclear bombs here and there?! I can see a lot of things going wrong. Does this guy remember what two small bombs did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Such destruction would be a major catastrophe if such a device were exploded on any major city and that could EASILY happen.
Then he comes up with a plan to allow South Korea to just annex that country:
….Immediate unification would lead to massive chaos. Instead, the South should run the North as a kind of protectorate — people who have been living under totalitarianism for decades can't be switched over to democracy overnight, that lesson of Iraq is valid — a kind of giant Hong Kong or charter city, with civil liberties and the rule of law and all those good things….
We already know how ripped off the people might feel by looking at East Germany. That government was swallowed up by the West government and everything the people had there has either been taken over by people from the west or just destroyed to erase memories of the Eastern German life-styles.
Why invading North Korea would be insane, by Harry J. Kazianis, spells out the dangers of such a reckless policy. But he also posted typical red scare propoganda:
“The North Korean regime is the closet thing to Nazi Germany still in existence. Toppling it would free an enslaved people. There is perhaps no government on Earth that more deserves to be cast into the dustbin of history.”
Such writings by news pundits alone are not a problem. But if and when we get a more reckless and adventurous politician, as when we had George W. Bush, we may end up with a government that takes such non-sense serious.
Hiroshima—Pix by www.boston.com.