Monday, January 11, 2016
North Korea Nuclear Test Propaganda Is War Mongering
North Korea's recent alleged nuclear test is being used far more for anti-North Korea propaganda than it is for North Korean propaganda purposes; and it is being used to continue a permanent state of war or the threat of war, whether it is intentional or not.
The propaganda presented to the vast majority of the American public only mentions some of the things the US government and South Korea have been doing to antagonize North Korea briefly; and more important they're ignoring an enormous amount of historical context and even out right lying about it. The following article reminds us of some of the propaganda that South Korea has been using almost bringing them to the brink of war and there is more including the 2000 agreement, which has been almost forgotten that could have eased tensions since then.
This is just the most recent history of the conflict with North Korea. Chalmers Johnson provided a more detailed history going back at least to World War Two in his trilogy of books, "Blowback," "The Sorrows of Empire," and "Nemesis," that indicates that although North Korea has always been a tyrannical government as our propaganda indicates, but not always quite as tyrannical, South Korea wasn't Democratic as often implied. And anyone familiar with history would know that Harry Truman could have ended the Korean War almost immediately when he quickly fought the North Koreans pushing them back across the border but took MacArthur's recommendation to keep going invading the North as well even though the Chinese said they would enter the war if he did so which led the war to go on for three more years unnecessarily.
However, more important for recent relations, is the missed opportunity to negotiate peace that almost took place in the nineties but was abandoned by George W. Bush when he took office for somewhat arbitrary or political reasons. This was actually initiated by Jimmy Carter and reports at that time indicated that although he did so with the approval of the Clinton white House there was a lot of opposition from the more hawkish members of the administration. At times the public of South Korea and under pressure from the grassroots the South Korean government were also supportive of attempts to reconcile with North Korea, at least partially.
Jimmy Carter described some of this in a PBS Interview with Jimmy Carter on March 21, 2003. He also wrote about it in at least a couple of the books that he wrote after Bush withdrew from the agreement.
According to the Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy, which only tells an abbreviated version of the history, on October 12, 2000: 'The United States and North Korea issue a joint statement noting that resolution of the missile issue would “make an essential contribution to fundamentally improved relations” and reiterating the two countries’ commitment to implementation of the Agreed Framework. The statement also says that Albright will visit North Korea in the near future to prepare for a possible visit by President Clinton.' At that time there was an enormous amount of news coverage about the warming of tensions with North Korea, clearly implying much more possibilities although there still had to be details worked out.
I remember arguing that although at that time I didn't think the disagreement with North Korea justified the refusal to ratify the treaty on land mines this could eliminate that last poor excuse and it should enable them to outlaw them.
Unfortunately after the contested election George W.Bush began almost immediately taking antagonistic foreign policy positions. Even before 9/11 there were incidents with both Russia and China and he reversed position about North Korea, at one point holding a press conference, which isn't mentioned in the chronology, where he explains that he no longer agreed with the previous agreement without offering much if any reason. According to the chronology on March 13, 2001: 'North Korea, apparently reacting to Washington’s new tone, (which isn't fully explained in this chronology) cancels ministerial-level talks with Seoul. The talks were intended to promote further political reconciliation.' and on March 15, 2001: 'Pyongyang threatens to “take thousand-fold revenge” on the United States “and its black-hearted intention to torpedo the dialogue between north and south [Korea].” The statement, issued by the Korean Central News Agency, called Washington’s new policies “hostile” and noted that Pyongyang remains “fully prepared for both dialogue and war.”'
This chronology doesn't report all the details but there was much more news at that time about how antagonistic the Bush administration was being under the circumstances. Most people including Jimmy Carter agree that North Korea continued to ahve their problems but continued antagonism from the Bush administration only gave them some degree of justification for their claims that the United States was the one that was escalating tensions. This, of course, became even worse after 9/11 when Bush began acting as if he was at war and everyone was "either with us or against us." Ironically sometimes even when sympathetic countries helped him out he still turned on them, like when Iran which still had a more moderate president, Mohammad Khatami agreed to share covert information about Al-Qaeda with the US government Bush accepted his help but then only a few months later declared them to be part of the "Axis of Evil" setting the stage for the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad instead of trying to reconcile differences.
This is part of an antagonistic foreign policy that the US government has often taken throughout the decades passing up on one opportunity after another to reduce tensions with one country after another.
When President Obama took office this didn't get much if any better although any policies that might have been more antagonistic weren't quite as blatant as Bush's policies. Some of the problems with North Korea are highly suspicious although without additional information it may be difficult to rush some conclusions by conspiracy theorists. In some cases if neither some of the conspiracy theories or the official truth make sense it might be a good idea to keep an open mind and consider third or fourth possibilities. I expressed some of my previous doubts about this in Is 60 Minutes presenting Anti-North Korea propaganda? and some of the suspicious news hasn't stopped since then.
North Korea has always been presented as a very backward country with limited resources or advanced technology yet when it became convenient, for one reason or another, just over a year ago there were an enormous amount of news stories about their amazing hacking skills which they were allegedly using against us on a large scale. What few seemed to have noticed is that when it no longer suited the obsession du-jour they stopped using those amazing hacking abilities.
Did they suddenly decide that they no longer wanted to hack our computers?
There was a similar story about the Syrian Electronic Army which seemingly developed amazing hacking skills at a time when we were against them, then as soon as the media moved on they suddenly halted. At that time they were arming rebels against Syria which later became known as ISIS.
There has been an enormous amount of propaganda about how North Korea indoctrinates thei8r soldiers to blindly obey orders and fails to feed their own people because they're spending all their money on the military.
They fail to ever mention that the United States is also carrying out similar policies, although they don't seem nearly as extreme to most people. However people that live in abandoned inner cities are fully aware about this even if the traditional media isn't reporting about it very well. Right now there are news stories about Flint Michigan and their water problems. There have been similar problems in Detroit but the media didn't report on them until they became extreme, although local people knew about them long before. The same thing happened in Cleveland Ohio where three girls escaped after being kidnapped for ten years. What many people might not have noticed was that they briefly mentioned how much financial trouble Cleveland has been in for years if not decades.
These are just a small handful of eh cities that are deteriorating rapidly while our government adopts antagonistic policies that are clearly creating a permanent state of war or potential conflict that distracts people from maintaining a functioning society.
Tomorrow night Barack Obama is giving his State of the Union Speech, and no doubt, as usual he will say the "State of the Union is strong," or "will always be strong" once again as usual; but he rarely ever reports all the news and anyone that checks alternative news outlets that do a better job reporting will know that his word can't be trusted for much, any more than other establishment politicians.