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U.N. Report on North Korea: Providing The Pretext For Regime Change, East Asian Style?

February 18, 2014
Korea - North

North Korea

The headline from “Google News” – which I now read in the morning in lieu of the Denver Post – read graphically “UN: North Korea Like Nazi Germany”. Pretty powerful six words. It comes from the British newspaper, The Telegraph, with a picture of North Korean Kim Jung Un to boot to give readers a clearer image of “the modern-day Hitler.” The fact that the United Nations is making the claim, rather than the Obama Administration itself, adds weight to its legitimacy. If the UN is saying North Korea is like Nazi Germany – and this from the mouth of a retired Australian judge, Michael Kirby – then mustn’t it be true?

Kirby is referring to a 372 page United Nations investigative report that has just been published. The story is then picked up by The Telegraph (and many other news sources worldwide). It nails North Korea as a repressive dictatorship, a prelude to a campaign to bring charges against its leadership before the International Court of Law in the Hague – the call is already out there – and ultimately to justify what lies down the road: military intervention and regime change. No doubt, as it done elsewhere, such reporting amounts to little more than a global drumbeat for war using “humanitarian intervention” (with Cruise missiles) as a pretext for yet another Obama Administration call for war.

These kind of headlines scare the stuffings out of me, but not for the reasons some people think. I have not yet read the UN Report on which this is based, but worry that it is the Korean version of the Syrian sarin attack, meant to fertilize the atmosphere for increased tensions in East Asia, the beginning of an intensified public relations campaign meant to shore up support for a tougher policy towards North Korea, a prelude for tougher sanctions, military brinkmanship, JSOC operations (joint U.S.- S. Korean special forces holding hands together?), meant to push the North Koreans to the brink.

Haven’t we seen this scenario before?

From what I know, what I have read, no doubt North Korea is – as my mother would say – “not a nice place.” But in the past decade or so, every time the United States prepares to go war it tries to whip up the American people (and those elsewhere) with the Hitler – Nazi analogy.We’ve seen that in the case Iraq (Saddam = Hitler), Iran (Ahmadinejad = Hitler), Afghanistan (Taliban = Nazis), and Syria (Assad – father or son – = equal Hitler)…and none of them equal Hitler, and none of these governments can nor should be compared to Nazi Germany. So now it is North Korea’s turn. Bodes ill for tensions in East Asia…although just how much is unclear. Already I can hear the  usual suspects. those, who are currently calling for U.S. military intervention “to solve the humanitarian crisis” in Syria defending a strike – symbolic or more aggressive – against North Korea. Another case of “saving people by bombing them to smithereens, ” “the humanitarian face of Cruise missiles”, etc.?

The global political strategy involved here needs to be flushed out more carefully. Certainly one part of it is the U.S. global security shift to East Asia, keeping up the pressure on China, defending the growing U.S. military build up – new bases, security agreements with East Asian allies to ensure that they do not get to close to Peking politically, etc. There is also the long-standing relationship with South Korean hawkish elements that is also at play. Whatever the bottom line is that there is something rotten in East Asia and it isn’t only, or even primarily in North Korea.

More on this as we explore these dynamics in blog posts to come. (RJP)

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 18, 2014 12:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Piazza della Carina.

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