The lunatic real estate salesman, the # 1 frat boy blowhard in the White House Donald Trump has sent out so many different messages on the U.S. confrontation with North Korea (DPRK), that foreign leaders and especially the South Korean regime are perplexed as to just what the Commander in Chief’s intentions are. Beyond a long term strategy of capitalist restoration we are not certain that the Trump administration has one policy. But this has not prevented them from turning up the heat under the conflict to the highest level since the 1953 armistice.
The war danger of a “major major conflict” is real. The amateurish of the right are scaling up their proposed military budget and show no reluctance to send missiles and bombs flying to “Wag the Dog” to bolster their miserable domestic political fortunes.
As we have said elsewhere, buffoonery with nuclear weapons can be fatal. Otherwise, the overall strategic confrontation between the U.S. led alliance and the DPRK is much the same as we we have previously analysed since as yet Trump’s China diplomacy has not achieved its goals of closing down the DPRK nuclear and ICBM development programs.
We reprint below our earlier article from 2013:
United States/South Korea and their Allies: Hands Off North Korea!
Down with UN sanctions!
Defeat the imperialist war drive against North Korea!
In the first week of April the United States along with South Korea and its other allies continued its escalation against the North Korean (DPRK) bureaucratically deformed workers state (DWS), one of the historic gains for the international working class in the aftermath of World War II. South Korea on April 5th deployed two Aegis destroyers to monitor North Korea, while 2500 US marines have deployed to Australia and there has been a military buildup in Guam as well. Under the pretext of the DPRK developing a nuclear weapons capability, the United States, the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons in a war, is going after the North Korean regime to promote its imperialist interests in the region. This is scare-mongering by the Obama administration to rally support for their adventures, much like the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” claim used by the Bush administration to wage war on Iraq. The DPRK has no capacity to hit the USA with long range missiles or any nuclear payload.
North Korea possesses zero nuclear warheads! No reports that can be independently verified estimate any North Korean delivery systems capability in the next five years. Meanwhile, the US, which has about 8,000 nuclear warheads ready for use, also has ABM missiles deployed in Alaska and Guam. ABM’s are not a defensive system but an offensive system based on maintaining First Strike capability. It can hit missiles on their liftoff minutes before they reach the apex of trajectory. In an operational scenario the USA strikes first, and then Russia or China launch with their depleted reaction force, then the ABM can hit the depleted enemy reaction force. This is an offensive system aimed at China, not Korea, which is not a threat to the United States. Japan’s current Prime Minister Abe, who hails from a war criminal family, wants to rearm Japan with nuclear weapons. The five permanent members of this UN Security Council which imposed sanctions on North Korea: USA, Russia, China, France and Britain all possess nuclear weapons. The United Nations is a reactionary tool of the major powers to stamp approval on imperialist adventures. When they cannot agree, the individual powers do as they please in any case.
While undoubtedly United States would like to overthrow the North Korean deformed workers state, their larger aims in this whole affair are to assert U.S. imperialist authority in East Asia and the Pacific, primarily against the emerging imperialist power of China. As part of its inter-imperialist war drive against China, these actions by the US are really about encircling and spending China to death. This standoff is less about Korea and more about the struggle between emergent imperialist China and its attempt to control its own back yard and beyond and the dominant imperialist thug attempting to maintain hegemony. Conflict between United States, its Japanese ally, and China spell increased imperialist rivalry as Mother Jones reported in January, 2013 in an article entitled Will China-Japan-US Tensions Sink the Global Economy?:
“…a potential crisis of far greater magnitude, and potentially far more imminent than most of us imagine. China’s determination to assert control over disputed islands in the potentially energy-rich waters of the East and South China Seas, in the face of stiffening resistance from Japan and the Philippines along with greater regional assertiveness by the United States, spells trouble not just regionally, but potentially globally.”
For its part, while capitalist China would like to see the collectivized economy of the DPRK overthrown and capitalism restored, they certainly do not want it done by the United States, as that would place the United States strategically on their border. However, China doesn’t want to shed blood for North Korea or mess up their economic relationship with the Unites States at this time. China owns 54% of the US debt. After the nuclear test in February, the United Nations imposed a new round of sanctions against the DPRK, and Beijing helped create these. The economic sanctions have created conditions of starvation, much like the UN sanctions against Iraq led to the deaths of an estimated 1 million Iraqis from disease and hunger. Embargos themselves are an act of war and lead to actual shooting wars.
The Korean and Chinese people paid dearly for their revolutions. Their post war revolutionary opposition to US imperialism, which sought to replace Japanese colonialism with American hegemony, collided with criminal US provocations resulting in a Korean War that left 4 million Koreans and 1 million Chinese dead. The working class must place the blame for the misery of the Korean people squarely on the back of imperialism. And we warn the masses that today the Chinese Stalinists are unwilling to provide the backbone of support for the beleaguered DWS, which is now bristling with false bravado in the face of imperialist war exercises within binocular range. For the Chinese Communist Party a slow restoration of capitalism and the integration and transformation of the DPRK into a semi-colony was on the agenda. They do not care one wit to defend the workers’ property that remains in Korea, in fact they have eyes on it, but they will not tolerate capitalist reintegration directed from the south which leaves the US military on the Yalu River.
US Provocations Against North Korea
The Wall Street Journal and CNN revealed on April 4th that the Obama administration had created “the playbook,” a step-by-step saber-rattling plan that the Pentagon was following. This included deployments to South Korea of nuclear capable B-52 bombers, B-2 bombers, and F-22 Raptor fighters in March. This plan was concocted months ago as the brainstorm of former defense secretary Leon Panetta and approved by current defense secretary Chuck Hagel. The US commander of the Strategic Air Command during both the Korean War and the early Vietnam War years, Curtis Lemay, said he would not leave one brick standing on top of another brick in North Korea…and he did that with a massive bombing campaign. More bombs were dropped by the US on North Korea during the three years of the Korean War, 1950-53, than in all of World War II. No wonder North Korea is a little miffed when the United States flies B52’s and B2’s over the region.
All this has echoes of the Cuban Missile Crisis when Kennedy brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war in his drive to destroy the Cuban Revolution. And Obama has proven himself as reckless as “the bombing starts in five minutes” Reagan, an outburst in the Cold War aimed against the Soviet degenerated workers state. In a series of deliberate provocations, the United States has engaged in a risky series of actions that apparently they are having second thoughts about now. Amid concerns that the US provocations “could lead to miscalculations” by North Korea, unnamed American officials have stated that Washington was now stepping back. That miscalculation could include considering the 1.1 million strong active DPRK army, their 180,000 special operations forces and their 8 million reservists. The United States may have the technological superiority, but it would be a bloody war.
US Imperialists are the Real Threat
The imperialist butchers of the United States have a lot of gall condemning North Korea for wanting weapons to defend themselves. After destroying North Korea’s 78 cities and thousands of her villages, and killing countless numbers of her civilians, US General Lemay remarked, “Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population.” This amounted to an estimated 4 million Korean civilians killed. North Korea actually lost close to thirty percent of its population as a result of US-led bombings in the 1950s, while the United States military and their South Korean allies committed atrocities against civilians, like the now well-known No Gun Ri massacre of men, women and children. These war crimes were continued into the next decade in Vietnam, through executions, napalming, and the burning of Vietnamese villages and the carpet-bombing of North Vietnamese cities. My Lai has become synonymous with 20th Century imperialist war crimes. The US ruling class’ criminal actions continued into the 21st Century with their butchery in Afghanistan and Iraq, as documented by Wikileaks. PFC Bradley Manning is being made a scapegoat for these leaks. We demand his freedom.
In World War II, the United States used nuclear weapons for the only time in history, not once, but twice, murdering hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians. This followed the campaign of fire-bombing (that also took place in Europe), which were just as devastating. The atomic bombing of Japan served no real military purpose and was primarily a warning to the bureaucratically degenerated workers state of the Soviet Union whose Red Army had moved into Northeast China, Korea and Manchuria, liberating it from Japanese oppression. As Admiral William D. Leahy, President Truman’s Chief of Staff–and the top official who presided over meetings of both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined U.S.-U.K. Chiefs of Staff, stated:
“[T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. . . . “
- For International Working Class Defense of North Korea Against All Imperialists!
- For Workers Political Revolution in North Korea!
- For Socialist Revolution from China to South Korea to Japan!
The international working class has a real interest in defending the collectivized property of the DPRK against the imperialist powers, despite the bureaucratic Stalinist leadership. This is especially true for the American, South Korean, Japanese and Chinese working class. The Obama administration that is threatening the DPRK is also deploying the Coast Guard as scab-herders to break the West Coast ILWU struggle. The international working class is under all-out attack by capital on every continent. Just as workers would defend the trade unions or a labor strike against the capitalist state and the bosses, despite any bureaucratic leaderships, so should they defend the North Korean workers state without giving one ounce of political support to the North Korean Stalinist regime. Rising to the defense of our working class sisters and brothers of North Korea and the working class gains (collectivized property, planned economy, state monopoly of foreign trade) of the deformed North Korean workers state requires not only rallies and demonstrations, but above all labor actions organized on an international basis. These actions would include labor boycotts, hot-cargoing of military goods, particularly by port and transport workers, as well as labor political strikes against “our” ruling class’ war actions. The main enemy is at home! Just as with the heroic victory of the Vietnamese masses against US imperialism, a defeat for US imperialism in East Asia today would help to curb American military ambitions and be a victory for the working class and all the oppressed of the world.
- Workers need to call for and try to organize rank-and-file soldiers and sailors committees in the US, South Korean and other imperialist armies that would arrest the officers and cease any conflict, fraternizing with their working class brothers and sisters across the front lines. Workers need to organize revolutionary workers parties in their own countries to organize against their own ruling class and abolish this system of exploitation that breeds poverty, racism and war.
For the working class there is only one way out and that is internationalist to the core. To defend the gains in social production and distribution achieved in the Korean DWS the parasitic bureaucracy must be defeated. Yet the North Korean workers cannot do this alone, as the military actions of imperialism will increase tenfold to stop a working class upsurge in the north. To win the political revolution in the north must link with the workers in the south and complete the expropriation of the bourgeoisie on the Korean peninsula and drive out imperialist forces. This scenario is feared as much by the CCP as it is by the South Korean bourgeoisie, Japanese and American imperialists. All these forces are arrayed against the North Korean workers, whose destiny depends on the ability of the Chinese and American workers to join hands across the pacific vowing to defeat their own imperialist bourgeoisie and turning the war drive toward WWIII into the socialist revolution. We call on all workers organizations in the USA, JAPAN and CHINA to commence labor actions against the bosses’ war drive. We know that when they kill us in our millions their stock portfolios swell. We know the North Korean and Chinese workers are not our enemies. Our enemies are the big capitalists driving the nation-states toward war.
As Murray Weiss, a spokesman for the Trotskyist majority led by James P. Cannon (Founder of American Trotskyism,) wrote in answer to the “Third Camp” minority:
“[I]t was this slight misconception as to who was the main enemy that helped to bury the German revolution. “For the Marxists, the main enemy of the Russian working class, as well as the international working class, is the class enemy…. The Bolshevik-Leninists in the U.S.S.R. will be the best fighters and because of that they will tell the Russian workers the truth: In order to win this war against imperialism we must overthrow the traitor Stalin and appeal to the revolutionary working class of the world to come to our aid.”(our emphasis)
–“Marxist Criteria and the Character of the War,” [SWP] Internal Bulletin, February 1940”
As capitalism everywhere continues to reel from its systemic crisis, it is ever more vital that the international working class organize struggle against this system of exploitation and war, before the imperialist madmen embroil the world in another major, possibly nuclear, war. We must stop any war escalating into a 3rd World War that will destroy the working class as well as civilization.
- Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/china-japan-us-military-tensions-are-powder-keg
- Global Issues: http://www.globalissues.org/article/105/effects-of-sanctions
- Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/know-the-facts-north-korea-lost-close-to-30-of-its-population-as-a-result-of-us-bombings-in-the-1950s/22131