Oppose US War Plans Against North Korea

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, http://www.PopularResistance.org

The US has been escalating conflict with North Korea recently. Of concern is that President Trump announced plans to meet with all 100 senators on Wednesday, April 26, without their staffers, at the White House. We must send a strong message to the senators that we will not tolerate a US attack on North Korea. The time to do that is now! Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 to call your senators today and tell them that we want peace with North Korea. Negotiate with President Kim Jong-un. Stop US military exercises on the North Korean border.

We are concerned that the US wants to create chaos in the Koreas because South Korea is holding an election in May for a new President. The front runner is not as friendly to US militarism as the past president. The US is rushing to complete a missile defense system in South Korea that is opposed by the population.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula reached a boiling point this week. The USt threatened to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes against North Korea. Last week, Donald Trump claimed that the U.S. military was sending an “armada” to North Korea in response to its missile test on April 5. The “armada” Trump was referring to is a convoy of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson leading three other warships.

Recent U.S. bombings in Syria and Afghanistan raised the possibility of a U.S. first strike in North Korea that could lead to an all-out nuclear war. Tensions still remain high, and Trump’s erroneous remark about the deployment of the Carl Vinson and the naval strike group added to the confusion surrounding the current crisis.

The rhetoric from the Trump administration threatening a military attack comes at the end of a massive military exercise that included mock nuclear attacks by the US and a mock assassination of the North Korean leader. The US claims the exercises are because North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, but North Korea has offered to stop building such weapons if the US stops their military exercises that regularly practice attacking their country. Trump has refused, as did Obama. In fact, both presidents have escalated their military exercises on North Korea.

The government of North Korea takes the threats seriously. Reportedly, they have ordered one-quarter of their population to leave the capital, Pyongyang.

Trump’s Syria missile attack occurred while Chinese President Xi was meeting with him. Trump told the Chinese President about the attack on Syria between bites of chocolate cake. He demonstrated how nonchalant he is about attacking another country. It was a warning to China and North Korea. And, to sharpen the message, Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson, a supercarrier, leading a group of battle ships toward North Korea while the Chinese President was in the US.

Trump has been escalating with North Korea not only with words, but also with actions. He put drones in place along the border and, despite growing protests, is putting in a THAAD missile defense system. THAAD is also opposed by China and may be opposed by the next South Korean government, which will be elected in May. Trump is rushing construction of the THAAD system before the South Korean election.

These are perilous times not only because of Trump’s escalations and North Korea’s testing of missiles and nuclear weapons, but also because South Korea’s president, a US ally, was recently impeached and forced out of office. The next president is likely to want to reset relations between the two Koreas. This makes the time before the election, scheduled for May 9, especially perilous.

On top of that, increasing militarism in multiple parts of the world has brought Trump bi-partisan support. Democratic Party hawks and Republican neocons are both applauding his militarism. Tulsi Gabbard, who questioned the supposed intelligence on Assad using chemical weapons and opposed the Syrian attack, is being threatened by the DNC, including former DNC chair Howard Dean. Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom she went out on a limb to support during the presidential primaries, has remained silent and has avoided being seen with her. He is more focused on a unity tour with corporate Democrat Tom Perez, the new DNC chair. Congress is not an anti-war ally so peace advocates must react quickly.

Peace movements should be in the streets protesting the military escalations of Donald Trump and the risk of massive wars. Yet, the biggest recent protests focused on the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns. Are his taxes more important than global war? The current conflict in North Korea follows more than 100 years of aggression by the US against the Korea. When this history is examined, it becomes evident that the US is the real aggressor in the Asia Pacific and Trump’s threats are a continuation of a long-term US policy.

This is a time for a renewed and independent peace movement. Two positive steps we are supporting are the United Antiwar Coalition’s conference, “Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad: Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression!” being held this June. Also, the #No54BillionForWar campaign, which was launched on the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, calling for our dollars not to be spent on war but to be spent on human needs such as education and health care. Finally, the Black Alliance for Peace was also launched last week. Co-founder Ajamu Baraka describes the focus as “opposing both the U.S. global military agenda as well as the war and repression being waged on black and brown communities domestically.”

Finally, we must remember that Trump is the symptom of a much larger problem, a plutocratic government, which must be challenged by an independent movement of movements that has a clear positive agenda and focuses its resources strategically. These are dangerous times. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted. It is critical that we expose the truth and organize effective resistance in our communities.

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