Is nuclear war just a TrumpTweet away?
In April this year I wrote an article headlined “On the brink, and at the mercy of a pair of mass-murderous buffoons”. I was of course referring to Trump and Kim, and some said my language was over the top. But I believe that anyone who advocates or even seriously contemplates exploding nuclear weapons anywhere anytime, is a threat to humanity. And anyone who is self-evidently a buffoon, and who advocates exploding nuclear warheads in the open air, on cities for example, is an aspiring mass-murderer.
Kim Jong-Un, more mad physicist than buffoon, is threatening Trump because he believes the US is determined to force North Korea, under threat of annihilation, to be penetrated and pillaged by the same corporate and military forces that have, in the past 50 years alone, done this to dozens of other countries who didn’t have nukes with which to counter-threaten the US. Most famously, in the ‘50s and 60s, Guatemala, Iran, Cuba and … North Korea … Vietnam, and Laos (those last five beat back the US juggernaut). In the 60s and 70s and more recently, Grenada, Chile, Serbia, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Congo, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen et al.
The Koreans want “peaceful relations with the United States and their neighbors, [because they are] convinced that [the US plans] a pre-emptive military strike against their country. … and [they want] to end the economic sanctions that had been very damaging to them.” That’s the opinion of former President Jimmy Carter who visited Korea three times to understand what they want.
North Koreans have lived through half a century of American bombing, spying, harassment and threats, and are absolutely correct in believing that some in the US power elite are willing to blow them and their 26 million citizens to smithereens – because they won’t kowtow to Washington/New York. North Korea’s government structure and modus operandi are brutally authoritarian, but they aren’t the ones to have exploded nuclear bombs on two big cities – the US did that, and they never invaded the US, it invaded them.
Former US Secretary of State Dean Rusk recalled, in 1985, that the United States bombed “every brick that was standing on top of another, everything that moved,” during their war on North Korea in the early 1950s. General Curtis LeMay, chief of US strategy in that war said, in 1984, “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off—what—twenty per cent of the population.”
New Yorker reporter Evan Osnos just spent 10 days in Pyonyang interviewing top North Korean officials and concluded that “our grasp of North Korea’s beliefs and expectations is not much better than its grasp of ours.”
When Trump told the UN two weeks ago that he was ready to nuke Korea – and withdraw from the agreement with Iran under which they forgo building nukes -- PM Netanyahu of Israel (which has numerous nuclear bombs but won’t admit that they do) said “I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech [at the UN].”
One of Kim’s lieutenants explained their position to the New Yorker: “A lot of people would die. But not everyone would die … As long as the United States is destroyed, then we are all starting from the same line again.”
Our PM Turnbull said that if Kim attacks the United States “many, many thousands of innocent people will die.”
A person who believes science would know that any exchange of nuclear weapons is likely to kill millions on the Korean peninsula and millions more globally as the radioactive dust settles. Trump either doesn’t know this or doesn’t care. I assume Turnbull knows it but is just too chickenshit to say it, or to say boo to the latest incarnation of Uncle Sam, rhymes with Rocket Man.