Why I Use the Term “AngloZionist” …

… and Why It’s Important

https://thesaker.is (February 03 2016)

Dear friends,

I am reposting here an article I have written for Russia Insider which itself is based on something I wrote for this blog in the past. So while hardly new, this is the most updated iteration of my thinking on this topic. I think that this topic is important, crucial really, and this is why I think that revisiting it on a regular basis makes sense.

The Saker


One of the issues over which I am most vehemently criticized, even by well-meaning friends, is my use of the term “AngloZionist”.

After carefully parsing all the arguments of my critics, I wrote a special explanatory note on my blog two years ago, in order to make sure that my argument leaves no room for misunderstanding.

I reproduce it below as a (rather long) introduction to the article which follows, which is essentially a further development of the ideas in my 2014 post.



To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

– Voltaire



The following quoted section is from the Saker’s blog (with slight modifications), from September 2014.



Why do I speak of “AngloZionists”? I got that question many times in the past, so I am making a separate post about it to (hopefully) explain this once and for all.

1. Anglo:

The USA in an Empire. With roughly 1000 overseas bases (depends on how you count), an undeniably messianic ideology, a bigger defense-offense budget then the rest of the planet combined, sixteen plus spy agencies, the dollar as the world’s currency, there is no doubt that the US is a planetary Empire.

Where did the US Empire come from? Again, that’s a no-brainer – from the British Empire. Furthermore, the US Empire is really based on a select group of nations: the Echelon countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and, of course, the US. What do these countries have in common? They are the leftovers of the British Empire and they are all English speaking. Notice that France, Germany or Japan are not part of this elite even though they are arguably as important or more to the USA then, say, New Zealand and far more powerful.

So the “Anglo” part is undeniable. And yet, even though “Anglo” is an ethnic/linguistic/cultural category while “Zionist” is a political/ideological one, very rarely do I get an objection about speaking of “Anglos” or the “Anglosphere”.

2. Zionist:

Let’s take the (hyper politically correct) Wikipedia definition of what the word “Zionism” means: it is “a nationalist movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel”. Apparently, no link to the US, the Ukraine or Timbuktu, right? But think again. Why would Jews – whether defined as a religion or an ethnicity – need a homeland anyway? Why can’t they just live wherever they are born, just like Buddhist (a religion) or the African Bushmen (ethnicity) who live in many different countries?

The canonical answer is that Jews have been persecuted everywhere and that therefore they need their own homeland to serve as a safe haven in case of persecutions. Without going into the issue of why Jews were persecuted everywhere and, apparently, in all times, this rationale clearly implies if not the inevitability of more persecutions or, at the very least, a high risk thereof. Let’s accept that for demonstration sake and see what this, in turn, implies.

First, that implies that Jews are inherently threatened by non-Jews who are all at least potential anti-Semites. The threat is so severe that a separate Gentile-free homeland must be created as the only, best and last way to protect Jews worldwide. This, in turn, implies that the continued existence of this homeland should become a vital and irreplaceable priority of all Jews worldwide lest a persecution suddenly breaks out and they have nowhere to go. Furthermore, until all Jews finally “move up” to Israel, they had better be very, very careful as all the goyim around them could literally come down with a sudden case of genocidal anti-Semitism at any moment. Hence all the anti-anti-Semitic organizations a la ADL or UEJF, the Betar clubs, the networks of sayanim, et cetera.

In other words, far from being a local “dealing with Israel only” phenomenon, Zionism is a worldwide movement whose aim is to protect Jews from the apparently incurable anti-Semitism of the rest of the planet.

As Israel Shahak correctly identified it, Zionism postulates that Jews should “think locally and act globally” and when given a choice of policies they should always ask THE crucial question: “But is it good for Jews?”.

So far from being only focused on Israel, Zionism is really a global, planetary, ideology which unequivocally splits up all of mankind into two groups (Jews and Gentiles). It assumes the latter are all potential genocidal maniacs (which is racist) and believes that saving Jewish lives is qualitatively different and more important than saving Gentile lives (which is racist again).

Anyone doubting the ferocity of this determination should either ask a Palestinian or study the holiday of Purim, or both. Even better, read Gilad Atzmon and look up his definition of what is brilliantly called “pre-traumatic stress disorder”.

3. Anglo-Zionist:

The British Empire and the early USA used to be pretty much wall-to-wall Anglo. Sure, Jews had a strong influence (in banking for example), but Zionism was a non-issue not only among non-Jews, but also among US Jews. Besides, religious Jews were often very hostile to the notion of a secular Israel while secular Jews did not really care about this quasi-Biblical notion.

World War Two gave a massive boost to the Zionist movement while, as Norman Finkelstein explained it, the topic of the “Holocaust” became central to Jewish discourse and identity only many years later. I won’t go into the history of the rise to power of Jews in the USA, but from roughly Henry Ford to G W Bush’s Neocons it has been steady. And even though Obama initially pushed the Neocons out, they came right back in through the backdoor. Right now, the only question is whether US Jews have more power than US Anglos or the other way around.

Before going any further, let me also immediately say that I am not talking about Jews or Anglos as a group, but I am referring to the top One Percent within each of these groups. Furthermore, I don’t believe that the top One Percent of Jews cares any more about Israel or the 99% of Jews than the top One Percent of Anglos care about the USA or the Anglo people.

So, here is my thesis:

The US Empire is run by a One Percent (or less) elite which can be called the “deep state” which is composed of two main groups: Anglos and Jews. These two groups are in many ways hostile to each other (just like the SS and SA or Trotskysts and Stalinists), but they share (1) a racist outlook on the rest of mankind, (2) a messianic ideology (3) a phenomenal propensity for violence, and (4) an obsession with money and greed and its power to corrupt. So they work together almost all the time.

Now this might seem basic, but so many people miss it, that I will have to explicitly state it:

To say that most US elites are Anglos or Jews does not mean that most Anglos or Jews are part of the US elites. That is a straw-man argument which deliberately ignores the non commutative property of my thesis to turn it into a racist statement which accuses most/all Anglos or Jews of some evil doing. So to be very clear:

When I speak of AngloZionist Empire I am referring to the predominant ideology of the One Percenters, the elites which form the Empire’s “deep state”.

By the way, there are non-Jewish Zionists (Biden, in his own words) and there are plenty of anti-Zionist Jews. Likewise, there are non-Anglo imperialists and there are plenty of anti-imperialists Anglos. To speak of “Nazi Germany” or “Soviet Russia” does in no way imply that all Germans were Nazis or all Russians Communists. All this means it that the predominant ideology of these nations at that specific moment in time was National-Socialism and Marxism, that’s all.

My personal opinion now:

First, I don’t believe that Jews are a race or an ethnicity. I have always doubted it, but reading Shlomo Sand really convinced me. Jews are not defined by religion either (most/many are secular). Truly, Jews are a tribe (which Oxford Dictionaires defines as: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader). A group one can chose to join (Elizabeth Taylor) or leave (Gilad Atzmon).

In other words, I see “Jewishness” as a culture, or ideology, or education or any other number of things, but not something rooted in biology. I fully agree with Atzmon when he says that Jews can be racist, but that does not make them a race.

Second, I don’t even believe that the concept of “race” has been properly defined and, hence, that it has any objective meaning. I therefore don’t differentiate between human beings on the basis of an undefined criterion.

Third, since being Jew (or not) is a choice: to belong, adhere and endorse a tribe (secular Jews) or a religion (Judaics). Any choice implies a judgment call and it therefore a legitimate target for scrutiny and criticism.

Fourth, I believe that Zionism, even when secular, instrumentalizes the values, ideas, myths and ethos of rabbinical Judaism (aka “Talmudism” or “Phariseeism”) and both are racist in their core value and assumptions.

Fifth, both Zionism and Nazism are twin brothers born from the same ugly womb: Nineteenth century European nationalism (Brecht was right, “The belly is still fertile from which the foul beast sprang”). Nazis and Zionists can hate each other to their hearts’ content, but they are still twins.

Sixth, I reject any and all form of racism as a denial of our common humanity, a denial of the freedom of choice of each human being and – being an Orthodox Christian – as a heresy (a form of iconoclasm, really). To me people who chose to identify themselves with, and as, Jews are not inherently different from any other human and they deserve no more and no fewer rights and protections than any other human being.

I will note here that while the vast majority of my readers are Anglos, they almost never complain about the “Anglo” part of my “AngloZionist” term. The vast majority of objections focus on the “Zionist” part. You might want to think long and hard about why this is so and what it tells us about the kind of power Zionists have over the prevailing ideology. Could it be linked to the reason why the (openly racist and truly genocidal) Israeli Prime Minister gets more standing ovations in Congress (29) than the US President (25)? Probably, but this is hardly the full story.



This is the end of the 2014 blog entry. The current article begins below.

It is undeniable that Jews did suffer persecutions in the past and that the Nazis horribly persecuted Jews during World War Two. This is important because nowadays we are all conditioned to associate and even identify any criticism of Jews or Zionists with the kind of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist rhetoric which the Nazis used to justify their atrocities. This is quite understandable, but it is also completely illogical because what this reaction is based on is the implicit assumption that any criticism of Jews or Zionists must be Nazi in its argumentation, motives, goals or methods. This is beyond ridiculous.

Saint John Chrysostom (349 ~ 407), the “Golden Mouth” of early Christianity, recognized as one of the greatest saints in history by both Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics, authored a series of homilies, Kata Ioudaion, which are extremely critical of Jews, yet no sane person would accuse him of being a Nazi. Chrysostom was hardly alone. Other great saints critical of Jews include Saint Cyprian of Carthage, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Saint Ambrose of Milan, Saint Justin Martyr and many others.

But if these saints were not Nazis, maybe they still were racist, no? That, of course, depends on your definition of ‘racism’. Here is my own:

First, racism is, in my opinion, not so much the belief that various human groups are different from each other, say like dog breeds can be different, but the belief that the differences between human groups are larger than similarities within the group.

Second, racism is also a belief that the biological characteristics of your group somehow pre-determine your actions/choices/values in life.

Third, racism often, but not always, assumes a hierarchy amongst human groups (Germanic Aryans over Slavs or Jews, Jews over Gentiles, et cetera).

I reject all three of these assumptions because I believe that God created all humans with the same purpose and that we are all “brothers in Adam”, that we all equally share the image (eternal and inherent potential for perfection) of God (as opposed to our likeness to Him, which is our temporary and changing individual condition).

By that definition, the Church Fathers were most definitely not racists as their critique was solely aimed at the religion of the Jews, not at their ethnicity (which is hardly surprising since Christ and His Apostles and most early Christians were all “ethnic” Jews). This begs the question of whether criticizing a religion is legitimate or not.

I submit that anything resulting from an individual choice is fair game for criticism. Even if somebody is “born into” a religious community, all adults come to the point in life where they make a conscious decision to endorse or reject the religion they were “born into”. Being a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew (in the sense of “Judaic”) is always a personal decision. The same applies to political views. One chooses to become a Marxist or a Monarchist or a Zionist. And since our individual decisions do, indeed, directly impact our other choices in life, it is not racist or objectionable to criticize Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Marxism, Monarchism or Zionism. Criticizing any one of them, or even all of them, in no way denies our common humanity which is something which racism always does.

Having said all that, none of the above addresses a most important, but rarely openly discussed, issue: what if, regardless of all the arguments above, using expressions such as “AngloZionism” offends some people (Jews or not), what if the use of this term alienates them so much that it would make them unwilling to listen to any argument or point of view using this expression?

This is a very different issue, not an ethical, moral or philosophical one – but a practical one: is it worth losing readers, supporters and even donors for the sake of using an expression which requires several pages of explanations in its defense? This issue is one every blogger, every website, every alternative news outlet has had to struggle with. I know that I got more angry mails over this than over any other form of crimethink I so often engage in.

I will readily admit that there is a cost involved in using the term “AngloZionist Empire”. But that cost needs to be compared to the cost of NOT using that term.

Is there anybody out there who seriously doubts the huge role the so-called “Israel Lobby” or the “Neocons” or, to use the expression of Professor James Petras, the “Zionist Power Configuration” plays in modern politics? Twenty years ago – maybe. But not today. We all are perfectly aware of the “elephant in the room”, courtesy not only of courageous folks like Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shahak or Norman Finkelstein but even such mainstream Anglo personalities as John J Mearsheimer , Stephen M Walt or even Jimmy Carter.

It is plain silly to pretend that we don’t know when we all know that we all know.

Pretending that we don’t see this elephant in the room makes us look either subservient to that elephant, or simply like a coward who dares not speak truth to power. In other words, if you do want to shoot your credibility, pretend really hard that you are totally unaware of the elephant in the room: some of your sponsors might love you, but everybody else will despise you.

What about the very real risk of being perceived as some kind of Nazi?

Yes, the risk is there, but only if you allow yourself to flirt with racist or even para-racist notions. But if you are categorical in your rejection of any form of racism (including any form of anti-Jewish racism), then the accusation will simply not stick. Oh sure, the Zionists out there will try hard to make you look like a Nazi, but they will fail simply because they will have nothing to base that accusation on other than some vague “overtones” or “lack of sensitivity”. In my experience, people are not that stupid and they rapidly see through that worn-out accusation of “anti-Semitism” ( a meaningless concept to begin with, as Michael Neumann so brilliantly demonstrates in his essay “What is Antisemitism?”).

The truth is that the Zionists are only as powerful as we allow them to be. If we allow them to scare us into silence, then indeed their power is immense, but if we simply demand that they stop treating some humans as “more equal than others” then their own racism suddenly becomes obvious for all to see and their power vanishes.

It is really that simple: since nobody can accuse a real anti-racist of racism, then truly being an anti-racist gives you an immunity against the accusation of anti-Semitism.

So what we need, at this point, is to consider the terms used.

“Israel Lobby” suffers from several major issues. First, it implies that the folks in this lobby really care about Israel and the people of Israel. While some probably do, we also have overwhelming evidence (such as the testimony of Sibel Edmonds) that many/most folks in the “Israel Lobby” use the topic of Israel for their own, very different goals (usually power, often money). Have the people of Israel really benefited from from the Neocon-triggered wars? I doubt it.

Furthermore, when hearing the word “Israel Lobby” most people will think of a lobby in the US Congress, something like the NRA or the AARP. The problem we are dealing with today is clearly international. Bernard Henri Levi, George Soros or Mikhail Khodorkovsky have no connection to AIPAC or the US Congress. “Zionist Power Configuration” is better, but “configuration” is vague. What we are dealing with is clearly an empire. Besides, this is clearly not only a Zionist Empire, the Anglo component is at least as influential, so why only mention one and not both?

Still, I don’t think that we should get too caught up in semantics here. From my point of view, there are two truly essential issues which need to be addressed:

1. We need to start talking freely about the “elephant in the room” and stop fearing reprisals from those who want us to pretend we don’t see it.

2. We need to stop using politically correct euphemisms in the vain hope that those who want us to shut up will accept them. They won’t.

Currently, much of the discourse on Jewish or Zionist topics is severely restricted. Doubting the obligatory “six million” murdered Jews during World War Two can land in you jail in several European countries. Ditto if you express any doubts about the actual mode of executions (gas chambers vs firing squads and disease) of these Jews. “Revisionism”, as asking such questions is now known, is seen either as a crime or, at least, a moral abomination, even though “revisionism” is what all real historians do: historiography is revisionistic by its very nature. But even daring to mention such truisms immediately makes you a potential Nazi in the eyes of many/most people.

Since when is expressing a doubt an endorsement of an ideology? This is crazy, no?

I personally came to the conclusion that the West became an easy victim of such “conceptual hijackings” because of a sense of guilt about having let the Nazis murder so many European Jews without taking any meaningful action. It is a fact that it was the Soviet Union which carried eighty percent or more of the burden of destroying Hitler’s war machine: most Europeans resisted shamefully little. As for the Anglos, they waited until the Soviet victory before even entering the war in Europe.

Okay, fine – let those who feel guilty feel guilty (even if I personally don’t believe in collective guilt). But we cannot allow them to try to silence those of us who strongly feel that we are guilty of absolutely nothing!

Do we really have to kowtow to all Jews, including the top One Percent of Jews who, like all One Percenters, do not care about the rest of the 99%? How long are we going to continue to allow the top One Percent of Jews enjoy a bizarre form of political immunity because they hide behind the memory of Jews murdered during World War Two or the political sensitivities of the 99% of Jews with whom they have no real connection anyway?

I strongly believe that all One Percenters are exactly the same: they care about themselves and nobody else. Their power, what I call the AngloZionist Empire, is based on two things: deception and violence. Their worldview is based on one of two forms of messianism: Anglo imperialism and Zionism (which is just a secularized version of Judaic racial exceptionalism). This has nothing to do with Nazism, World War Two or anti-Semitism and everything [to do] with ruthless power politics. Unless we are willing to call a spade a spade we will never be able to meaningfully oppose this Empire or the One Percenters who run it.

In truth, since we owe them nothing except our categorical rejection and opposition, it is, I believe, our moral duty to shed a powerful light on their true nature and debunk the lies they try so hard to hide behind.

If their way is by deception, then ours ought to be by truth, because, as Christ said, the truth shall make us free.

Euphemisms only serve to further enslave us.

The Saker


US Provocation and North Korea

Pretext for War with China

by James Petras

http://www.unz.com (April 24 2017)


US Empire building on a world-scale began during and shortly after World War Two. Washington intervened directly in the Chinese civil war (providing arms to Chiang Kai Shek’s army while the Red Army battled the Japanese), backed France’s re-colonization war against the Viet Minh in Indo-China and installed Japanese imperial collaborator-puppet regimes in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

While empire building took place with starts and stops, advances and defeats, the strategic goal remained the same: to prevent the establishment of independent communist or secular-nationalist governments and to impose vassal regimes compliant to US interests.

Bloody wars and coups (“regime changes”) were the weapons of choice. Defeated European colonial regimes were replaced and incorporated as subordinate US allies.

Where possible, Washington relied on armies of mercenaries trained, equipped and directed by US “advisors” to advance imperial conquests. Where necessary, usually if the client regime and vassal troops were unable to defeat an armed people’s army, the US armed forces intervened directly.

Imperial strategists sought to intervene and brutally conquer the target nation. When they failed to achieve their “maximum” goal, they dug in with a policy of encirclement to cut the links between revolutionary centers with adjoining movements. Where countries successfully resisted armed conquests, empire builders imposed economic sanctions and blockades to erode the economic basis of popular governments.

Empires, as the Roman sages long recognized, are not built in a day, or weeks and months. Temporary agreements and accords are signed and conveniently broken because imperial designs remain paramount.

Empires would foment internal cleavages among adversaries and coups in neighboring countries. Above all, they construct a worldwide network of military outposts, clandestine operatives and regional alliances on the borders of independent governments to curtail emerging military powers.

Following successful wars, imperial centers dominate production and markets, resources and labor. However, over time challenges would inevitably emerge from dependent and independent regimes. Rivals and competitors gained markets and increased military competence. While some vassal states sacrificed political-military sovereignty for independent economic development, others moved toward political independence.

Early and Late Contradictions of Expanding Imperialism

The dynamics of imperial states and systems contain contradictions that constantly challenge and change the contours of empire.

The US devoted immense resources to retain its military supremacy among vassals, but experienced a sharp decline in its share of world markets, especially with the rapid rise of new economic producers.

Economic competition forced the imperial centers to realign the focus of their economies – “rent” (finance and speculation) displaced profits from trade and production. Imperial industries relocated abroad in search of cheap labor. Finance, insurance, real estate, communications, military and security industries came to dominate the domestic economy. A vicious cycle was created: with the erosion of its productive base, the Empire further increased its reliance on the military, finance capital and the import of cheap consumer goods.

Just after World War Two, Washington tested its military prowess through intervention . Because of the immense popular resistance and the proximity of the USSR, and later Peoples Republic of China (“PRC”), empire building in post-colonial Asia was contained or militarily defeated. US forces temporarily recognized a stalemate in Korea after killing millions. Its defeat in China led to the flight of the “Nationalists” to the provincial island of Taiwan. The sustained popular resistance and material support from socialist superpowers led to its retreat from Indo-China. In response, it resorted to economic sanctions to strangle the revolutionary governments.

The Growth of the Unipolar Ideology

With the growing power of overseas economic competitors and its increasing reliance on direct military intervention, the US Empire took advantage of the internal disintegration of the USSR and China’s embrace of “state capitalism” in the 1980s and early 1990s. The US expanded throughout the Baltic region, Eastern and Central Europe and the Balkans – with the forced breakup of Yugoslavia. Imperial strategists envisioned “a unipolar empire” – an imperial state without rivals. The Empire builders were free to invade, occupy and pillage independent states on any continent – even bombing a European capital, Belgrade, with total impunity. Multiple wars were launched against designated “adversaries”, who lacked strong global allies.

Countries in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were targeted for destruction. South America was under the control of neo-liberal regimes. The former USSR was pillaged and disarmed by imperial vassals. Russia was ruled by gangster-kleptocrats allied to US stooges. China was envisioned as nothing more than a slave workshop producing cheap mass consumer goods for Americans and generating high profits for US multinational corporations and retailers like Walmart.

Unlike the Roman Empire, the 1990s were not to be the prelude to an unchallenged US empire of long duration. Since the “unipolarists” were pursuing multiple costly and destructive wars of conquest and they were unable to rely on the growth of satellites with emerging industrial economies for its profits. US global power eroded.

The Demise of Unipolarity: The 21st Century

Ten years into the 21st century, the imperial vision of an unchallenged unipolar empire was crumbling. China’s “primitive” accumulation led to advanced domestic accumulation for the Chinese people and state. China’s power expanded overseas through investments, trade and acquisitions. China displaced the US as the leading trading partner in Asia and the largest importer of primary commodities from Latin America and Africa. China became the world’s leading manufacturer and exporter of consumer goods to North America and the EU.

The first decade of the 21st century witnessed the overthrow or defeat of US vassal states throughout Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil) and the emergence of independent agro-mineral regimes poised to form regional trade pacts. This was a period of growing global demand for their natural resources and commodities – precisely when the US was de-industrializing and in the throes of costly disastrous wars in the Middle East.

In contrast to the growing independence of Latin America, the EU deepened its military participation in the brutal US-led overseas wars by expanding the “mandate” of Nato. Brussels followed the unipolarist policy of systematically encircling Russia and weakening its independence via harsh sanctions. The EU’s outward expansion (financed with increasing domestic austerity) heightened internal cleavages, leading to popular discontent. The UK voted in favor of a referendum to secede from the EU.

The domestic disasters of the US vassal regime in Russia, under Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s, pushed the voters to elect a nationalist, Vladimir Putin. President Vladimir Putin’s government embarked on a program to regain Russian sovereignty and its position as a global power, countering US internal intervention and pushing back against external encirclement by Nato.

Unipolarists continued to launch multiple wars of conquest in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, costing trillions of dollars and leading to the loss of global markets and competitiveness. As the armies of the Empire expanded globally, the domestic economy (the ‘Republic’) contracted.The US became mired in recession and growing poverty. Unipolar politics created a growing multi-polar global economy, while rigidly imposing military priorities.

The Empire Strikes Back: The Nuclear Option

The second decade of the 21st century ushered in the demise of unipolarity to the dismay of many “experts” and the blind denial by its political architects. The rise of a multi-polar world economy intensified the desperate imperial drive to restore unipolarity by military means, led by militarists incapable of adjusting or assessing their own policies.

Under the regime of the”first black” US President Obama, elected on promises to “rein in” the military, imperial policymakers intensified their pursuit of seven, new and continuing wars. To the policymakers and the propagandists in the US-EU corporate media, these were successful imperial wars, accompanied by premature declarations of victories in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. This triumphal delusion of success led the new Administration to launch new wars in Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

As the new wave of wars and coups (“regime change”) to re-impose unipolarity failed, even greater militarist policies displaced economic strategies for global dominance. The unipolarists-militarists, who direct the permanent state apparatus, continued to sacrifice markets and investments with total immunity from the disastrous consequences of their failures on the domestic economy.

A Brief Revival of Unipolarity in Latin America

Coups and power grabs have overturned independent governments in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Honduras and threatened progressive governments in Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. However, the pro-imperial “roll-back” in Latin America was neither politically nor economically sustainable and threatens to undermine any restoration of US unipolar dominance of the region.

The US has provided no economic aid or expanded access to markets to reward and support their newly acquired client regimes. Argentina’s new vassal, Mauricio Macri, transferred billions of dollars to predatory Wall Street bankers and handed over access to military bases and lucrative resources without receiving any reciprocal inflows of investment capital. Indeed the servile policies of President Macri created greater unemployment and depressed living standards, leading to mass popular discontent. The unipolar empire’s “new boy” in its Buenos Aires fiefdom faces an early demise.

Likewise, widespread corruption, a deep economic depression and unprecedented double digit levels of unemployment in Brazil threaten the illicit vassal regime of Michel Temer with permanent crisis and rising class conflict.

Short-Lived Success in the Middle East

The revanchist unipolarist launch of a new wave of wars in the Middle East and North Africa seemed to succeed briefly with the devastating power of US-Nato aerial and naval bombardment. Then collapsed amidst grotesque destruction and chaos, flooding Europe with millions of refugees.

Powerful surges of resistance to the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan hastened the retreat toward a multi-polar world. Islamist insurgents drove the US into fortress garrisons and took control of the countryside and encircled cities in Afghanistan; Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Libya drove US backed regimes and mercenaries into flight.

Unipolarists and the Permanent State: Re-Group and Attack

Faced with its failures, unipolarists regrouped and implemented the most dangerous military strategy yet: the build-up of nuclear “First-Strike” capability targeting China and Russia.

Orchestrated by US State Department political appointees, Ukraine’s government was taken over by US vassals leading to the ongoing break-up of that country. Fearful of neo-fascists and Russophobes, the citizens of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia. Ethnic Russian majorities in Ukraine’s Donbass region have been at war with Kiev with thousands killed and millions fleeing their homes to take refuge in Russia. The unipolarists in Washington financed and directed the Kiev coup led by kleptocrats, fascists and street mobs, immune as always from the consequences.

Meanwhile the US is increasing its number of combat troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to buttress its unreliable allies and mercenaries.

What is crucial to understanding the rise and demise of imperial power and the euphoric unipolar declarations of the 1990s (especially during the heyday of President Clinton’s bloody reign), is that at no point have military and political advances been sustained by foundational economic building blocks.

The US defeated and subsequently occupied Iraq, but it also systematically destroyed Iraq’s civil society and its economy, creating fertile ground for massive ethnic cleansing, waves of refugees and the subsequent Islamist uprising that overran vast territories. Indeed, deliberate US policies in Iraq and elsewhere created the refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe.

A similar situation is occurring during the first two decades of this century: Military victories have installed ineffective imperial-backed unpopular leaders. Unipolarists increasingly rely on the most retrograde tribal rabble, Islamist extremists, overseas clients and paid mercenaries. The deliberate US-led assault on the very people capable of leading modern multicultural nations like Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine, is a caricature of the notorious Pol Pot assaults on Cambodia’s educated classes. Of course, the US honed its special skills in “killing the school teachers” when it trained and financed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The second weakness, which led to the collapse of the unipolar illusion, has been their inability to rethink their assumptions and re-orient and rebalance their strategic militarist paradigm from the incredible global mess they created

They steadfastly refused to work with and promote the educated economic elites in the conquered countries. To do so would have required maintaining an intact social-economic-security system in the countries they had systematically shredded. It would mean rejecting their paradigm of total war, unconditional surrender and naked, brutal military occupation in order to allow the development of viable economic allies, instead of imposing pliable but grotesquely corrupt vassal regimes.

The deeply entrenched, heavily financed and vast military-intelligence-police apparatus, numbering many millions, has formed a parallel imperial state ruling over the elected and civilian regime within the US.

The so-called “deep state”, in reality, is a ruling state run by unipolarists. It is not some “faceless entity”: It has a class, ideological and economic identity.

Despite the severe cost of losing a series of catastrophic wars and the multi-billion-dollar thefts by kleptocratic vassal regimes, the unipolarists have remained intact, even increasing their efforts to score a conquest or temporary military victory.

Let us say it, openly and clearly: The unipolarists are now engaged in blaming their terrible military and political failures on Russia and China. This is why they seek, directly and indirectly, to weaken Russia and China’s “allies abroad” and at home. Indeed their savage campaign to “blame the Russians” for President Trump’s election reflects their deep hostility to Russia and contempt for the working and lower middle class voters (the “basket of deplorables”) who voted for Trump. This elite’s inability to examine its own failures and the political system’s inability to remove these disastrous policymakers is a serious threat to the future of the world.

Unipolarists: Fabricating Pretexts for World War

While the unipolarist state suffered predictable military defeats and prolonged wars and reliance on unstable civilian regimes, the ideologues continue to deflect blame onto Russia and China as the source of all their military defeats. The unipolarists’ monomania has been transformed into a provocative large-scale offensive nuclear missile build-up in Europe and Asia, increasing the risk of a nuclear war by engaging in a deadly “game of chicken”.

The veteran nuclear physicists in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an important description of the unipolarists’ war plans. They revealed that the “current and ongoing US nuclear program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. These new technologies increase the overall US killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces threefold.” This is exactly what an objective observer would expect of a nuclear-armed US unipolar state planning to launch a war by disarming China and Russia with a “surprise” first strike.

The unipolar state has targeted several countries as pretexts for launching a war. The US government installed provocative missile bases in the Baltic countries and Poland. These are regimes chosen for their eagerness to violate Russia’s borders or airspace and insanely willing to invite the inevitable military response and chain reaction onto their own populations. Other sites for huge US military bases and Nato expansion include the Balkans, especially the former Yugoslav provinces of Kosovo and Montenegro. These are bankrupt ethno-fascist mafia states and potential tinderboxes for Nato-provoked conflicts leading to a US first strike. This explains why the most rabid US Senate militarists have been pushing for Kosovo and Montenegro’s integration into Nato.

Syria is where the unipolarists are creating a pretext for nuclear war. The US state has been sending more “Special Forces” into highly conflictive areas to support their mercenery allies. This means US troops will operate (illegally) face-to-face with the advancing Syrian army, who are backed by Russian military air support (legally). The US plans to seize ISIS-controlled Raqqa in Northern Syria as its own base of operation with the intention of denying the Syrian government its victory over the jihadi-terrorists. The likelihood of armed “incidents” between the US and Russia in Syria is growing to the rapturous applause of US unipolarists.

The US has financed and promoted Kurdish fighters as they seize Syrian territory from the jihadi-terrorists, especially in territories along the Turkish border. This is leading to an inevitable conflict between Turkey and the US-backed Kurds.

Another likely site for expanded war is Ukraine. After seizing power in Kiev, the klepto-fascists launched a shooting war and economic blockade against the bilingual ethnic Russian-Ukrainians of the Donbass region. Attacks by the Kiev junta, countless massacres of civilians (including the burning of scores of unarmed Russian-speaking protesters in Odessa) and the sabotage of Russian humanitarian aid shipments could provoke retaliation from Russia and invite a US military intervention via the Black Sea against Crimea.

The mostly likely site for starting World War Three is the Korean peninsula. The unipolarists and their allies in the state apparatus have systematically built-up the conditions to trigger a war with China using the pretext of the North Korean defensive weapons program.

The unipolarists’ state apparatus has gathered its allies in Congress and the mass media to create public hysteria. Congress and the administration of President Trump have fabricated the North Korean missile program as a “threat to the United States”. This has allowed the unipolarist state to implement an offensive military strategy to counter this phony “threat”.

The elite have discarded all previous diplomatic negotiations and agreements with North Korea in order to prepare for war – ultimately directed at China. This is because China is the most dynamic and successful global economic challenger to US world domination. The US has “suffered” peaceful, but humiliating, economic defeat at the hands of an emerging Asian power. China’s economy has grown more than three times faster than the US for the last two decades. And China’s infrastructure development bank has attracted scores of regional and European participants after a much promoted US trade agreement in Asia, developed by the Obama Administration, collapsed. Over the past decade, while salaries and wages have stagnated or regressed in the US and EU, they have tripled in China.

China’s economic growth is set to surpass the US into the near and distant future if trends continue. This will inevitably lead to China replacing the US s as the world’s most dynamic economic power… barring a nuclear attack by the US. It is no wonder China is embarked on a program to modernize its defensive missile systems and border and maritime security.

As the unipolarists prepare for the “final decision” to attack China, they are systematically installing their most advanced nuclear missile strike capacity in South Korea under the preposterous pretext of countering the regime in Pyongyang. To exacerbate tensions, the US High Command has embarked on cyber-attacks against North Korea’s missile program. It has been staging massive military exercises with Seoul, which provoked the North Korean military to “test” four of its medium range ballistic missiles in the Sea of Japan. Washington has ignored the Chinese government’s efforts to calm the situation and persuade the North Koreans to resist US provocations on its borders and even scale down their nuclear weapons program.

The US war propaganda machine claims that Pyongyang’s nervous response to Washington’s provocative military exercises (dubbed “Foal Eagle’) on North Korea’s border are both a “threat” to South Korea and “evidence of its leaders’ insanity”. Ultimately, Washington intends to target China. It installed its (misnamed) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) in South Korea. An offensive surveillance and attack system designed to target China’s major cities and complement the US maritime encirclement of China and Russia. Using North Korea as a pretext, THAAD was installed in South Korea, with the capacity to reach the Chinese heartland in minutes. Its range covers over 3,000 kilometers of China’s land mass. THAAD directed missiles are specifically designed to identify and destroy China’s defensive missile capacity.

With the THADD installation in South Korea, Russia’s Far East is now encircled by the US offensive missiles to complement the build-up in the West.

The unipolar strategists are joined by the increasingly militaristic Japanese government – a most alarming development for the Koreans and Chinese given the history of Japanese brutality in the region. The Japanese Defense Minister has proposed acquiring the capacity for a “pre-emptive strike”, an imperial replay of its invasion and enslavement of Korea and Manchuria. Japan “points to” North Korea but really aims at China.

South Korea’s deeply corrupt and blindly submissive regime immediately accepted the US/THADD system on their territory. Washington found the compliant South Korean “deep state” willing to sacrifice its crucial economic links with Beijing: China is South Korea’s biggest trading partner. In exchange for serving as a platform for future US aggression against China, South Korea has suffered losses in trade, investments and employment. Even if a new South Korea government were to reverse this policy, the US will not move its THAAD installation. China, for its part, has largely cut its economic and investment ties with some of South Korea’s biggest conglomerates. Tourism, cultural and academic exchanges, commercial agreements and, most important, most of South Korean industrial exports face shut down.

In the midst of a major political scandal involving the Korean President (who faces impeachment and imprisonment), the US-Japanese military alliance has brutally sucked the hapless South Korean people into an offensive military build-up against China. In the process Seoul threatens its peaceful economic relations with China. The South Koreans are overwhelmingly “pro-peace”, but find themselves on the frontlines of a potential nuclear war.

China’s response to Washington’s threat is a massive buildup of its own defensive missile capacity. The Chinese now claim to have the capacity to rapidly demolish THAAD bases in South Korea if pushed by the US. China is retooling its factories to compensate for the loss of South Korean industrial imports.


The rise and fall of unipolar America has not displaced the permanent state apparatus as it continues to pursue its deluded strategies.

On the contrary, the unipolarists are accelerating their drive for global military conquest by targeting Russia and China, which they insist are the cause of their losing wars and global economic decline. They live on their delusions of a “Golden Age” of the 1990s when George Bush, Sr could devastate Iraq and Bill Clinton could bomb Yugoslavia’s cities with impunity.

Gone are the days when the unipolarists could break up the USSR, finance violent breakaway former Soviet regimes in Asia and the Caucuses and run fraudulent elections for its drunken clients in Russia.

The disasters of US policies and its domestic economic decline has given way to rapid and profound changes in power relations over the last two decades, shattering any illusion of a unipolar “American Century”.

Unipolarity remains the ideology of the permanent state security apparatus and its elites in Washington. They believe that the marriage of militarism abroad and financial control at home will allow them to regain their lost unipolar “Garden of Eden”.

China and Russia are the essential new protagonists of a multipolar world. The dynamics of necessity and their own economic growth has pushed them to successfully nurture alternative, independent states and markets.

This obvious, irreversible reality has driven the unipolarists to the mania of preparing for a global nuclear war! The pretexts are infinite and absurd; the targets are clear and global; the destructive offensive military means are available; but so are the formidable defensive and retaliatory capacities of China and Russia.

The unipolarist state’s delusion of “winning a global nuclear war” presents Americans with the critical challenge to resist or give in to an insanely dangerous empire in decline, which is willing to launch a globally destructive war.

(Reprinted from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)


Just Who Does Pose …

… the Greater Threat in Korea?

by James ONeill

New Eastern Outlook (April 24 2017)

The election of Donald Trump as US President has seen the ramping up of US rhetoric about North Korea. Trump recently demanded that China should use its influence with the North Koreans and if China did not intervene, then, according to an interview Trump gave to the UK Financial Times, the “US would act alone”.

US Vice President Mike Pence, currently on a visit to Australia where he will undoubtedly seek Australian support for the US position, said that his country’s “era of strategic patience” with North Korea was over.

Trump also claimed to have dispatched “an armada”, by which he was presumably referring to the aircraft carrier the USS Vinson and its support vessels, to Korean waters. Perhaps typical of Trump’s loose association with the truth, the Vinson was at that very time steaming in the opposite direction.

Quite what is to be made of this fresh rhetorical belligerence is not clear. One thing however has been abundantly clear for nearly the whole of North Korea’s short existence and that is US antipathy and refusal to take meaningful steps to resolve what has become a festering problem for East Asia.

Korea was only divided into two parts following the defeat of the Japanese in 1945. The dividing line was the 38th parallel of latitude, with the Soviet Union occupying the northern part and the US the southern portion.

Stalin withdrew Soviet troops in 1948 and there was a similar withdrawal of American troops from the south. The big difference is that the Americans returned in force in 1950 with the outbreak of the Korean War and have never left. Today, there are more than 40,000 US troops stationed in South Korea, with multiple military bases.

South Korea is an important component of the US strategy of “containing China”, that is, preventing the rise of an alternative element that might threaten the US’s hegemonic unipolar view of the world.

The US felt able to leave South Korea in 1948 because they had installed the US educated Syngman Rhee as dictator. He ruled as dictators do, killing, jailing or driving into exile tens of thousands of his political opponents.

Rhee was finally overthrown in a popular revolution in 1960. In scenes later to be replicated in Saigon in 1975, he was plucked from his palace by a CIA helicopter who ferried him to safety while the crowds converged on the palace.

Rhee also had ambitions to forcefully bring about the reunification of the two parts of Korea. Thanks to the scholarship revealed in Professor Bruce Cumings’ two volume history of the Korean War we now know that the standard western line about the Korean War starting with an invasion of the South by troops from the North is at best an approximation of the true history of the conflict. The truth is considerably more complicated.

For years preceding the Northern troops crossing the border in July 1950, Rhee had been staging incursions into the north, carrying out killings, sabotage and other forms of asymmetrical warfare. On the island of Cheju-do for example, as many as 60,000 people were murdered by Rhee’s military forces.

What is scarcely acknowledged in the west was the devastation the Korean War wrought upon the North. The US led UN Command dropped more bombs on the north than the US had dropped in the whole Pacific theatre in World War Two. This included the dropping of 20,000 tonnes of napalm, a particularly gruesome way of killing people. This method was later used to equally horrific effect in Vietnam.

We now also know that the US waged bacteriological warfare, building upon Japanese expertise garnered in their war on China and further developed by US scientists at Fort Detrick.

An estimated two million people, or twenty percent of the total population, were killed. The bombing flattened every city in the country. In addition, the bombing targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River. The intention was to destroy the rice crop and thereby starve the population into submission. Only emergency assistance from, among others, the Soviet Union and China prevented widespread famine and death.

The Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The war is still technically not concluded, and it is the failure to address the multiple issues left unresolved by the armistice that are the direct antecedents of the present confrontational style adopted by both sides of the argument.

Although one will struggle to find it in any contemporary western news outlet, the North Korean leadership does have considerable justification for its current stance and policies.

North Korea signed the nuclear treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (“NPT”) in December 1985. A further non-proliferation agreement came into force in May 1992, at which time International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”) inspections of North Korea’s compliance with the NPT began. There were disputes about North Korea’s actual compliance with the NPT, but the significant point is that the North Koreans agreed to the IAEA’s inspection demands. In exchange, the US suspended its joint military exercises with the South Koreans and agreed to face to face negotiations to resolve outstanding issues.

These talks resulted in a wide-ranging agreement in October 1994, popularly referred to as the “Agreed Framework”. Shortly after the Framework was signed however, the Republican Party took control of Congress. Implementation of the Agreed Framework ceased almost immediately because of US Congressional hostility. The North Koreans repeatedly warned from that point that they would have no option other than to resume their nuclear program.

A further preliminary agreement was reached in September 2005 following the so-called six party talks (South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the US). No progress has been made since then, although the North Koreans reiterated as recently as November 2010 that they were willing to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear program, place the program under IAEA inspection, and conclude a permanent treaty to replace the 1953 armistice. In short, to implement what had been agreed (along with a number of other points) in October 1994.

It is the US that has refused to sit down with North Korea and negotiate such a settlement. Instead, the US has installed the THAAD missile system in South Korea, which the Chinese, as well as the North Koreans, correctly claim is a direct threat to their security.

The US continues to conduct joint military exercises off the Korean coast, the maritime boundaries of which are themselves in violation of international maritime law. Further, as noted above, the making of threats of unilateral (and illegal) military action are hardly conducive to the resolution of any dispute. Neither is unhelpfully labeling the other party a member of an “axis of evil” likely to do anything to improve relations.

Latterly, the western media have been full of alarmist threats about North Korea’s alleged capacity to fire a nuclear missile able to reach the west coast of the United States (and Australia). The lack of evidence of any technical ability to actually do so is not welcomed as part of the debate.

More significantly, given that any such attack would lead to an immediate and massive retaliation reducing North Korea to a radioactive wasteland, it is difficult to discern any rational basis for such an alleged threat. Rationality however, is not part of the equation.

It suits US foreign policy very well indeed to be able to paint Kim Yong-Un as a dangerous and unpredictable madman. It helps justify the massive continued US military (and nuclear armed) presence in the region, including in South Korea, and maintaining 400 military bases to “contain China” and any other enemy du jour in the region. In that sense, Kim is very much Washington’s “useful idiot”.

The greater danger to peace and stability in the region comes from an even more dangerous and unpredictable egoist in the White House. That really is a worry.


James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.


Abe is Taking Japan Back …

… to the Bad Old Fascism

by Robert K Tan

CounterPunch (April 25 2017)

History, like time, doesn’t end; it rolls on, inexorably. Sometimes, history repeats itself, to the dismay and even great consternation of nations and peoples on the receiving end of historical folly and madness.

Since Maidan, fascists and neo-fascists in some parts of Europe, particularly Ukraine, have come out of the closets and woodworks. In Asia, fascism in Japan has bestirred itself and reared its ugly head again after Abe returned to the apex of power as prime minister in 2012. His first term had ended after only one year in 2007, when his party lost control of the upper house for the first time in 52 years.

In February this year, a video of toddlers in an Osaka kindergarten reciting the Imperial Rescript scandalized the entire nation. The Rescript, which behooves Japanese to die for the emperor, was used to promote militarism in the 1930s and 1940s. Young Kamikaze or suicide pilots who crashed their planes into Allied warships in World War Two epitomized such militarism, much like Islamist suicide bombers today.

The Rescript was banned by the American occupation authority after Japan’s defeat and surrender in World War Two. That the Rescript should re-enter the playrooms in a kindergarten after a 72-year absence, and with Abe’s wife looking on approvingly and heaping praises on the toddlers reciting it, has sent alarm bells ringing across Japan. Despite considerable public disquiet over the video, Abe’s government still pressed ahead and approved chanting of the Rescript as part of the school curriculum.

Barely two months after the controversy surrounding the Imperial Rescript, another furore erupted. This time, it was the Japanese cabinet’s approval of Hitler’s Mein Kampf (1925) as “appropriate” teaching material in schools. This isn’t just politically incorrect; it’s sheer defiance of international norms against racial supremacy.

Japanese acquired a sense of superiority as a result of advances in various fields during the Meiji Restoration. They felt it their divine duty to rule over peoples they considered inferior to themselves in East Asia, especially Korea and China. Thus, their propaganda of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere during World War Two by invading and occupying China and other countries in Southeast Asia under the guise of chasing off European colonists. Through Mein Kampf, Abe also telegraphs his intention to make Japan the foremost military power in Asia, seeking to achieve what his maternal grandfather had failed to do in World War Two, and emulating what Hitler had done after the defeat of Germany in World War One.

Those two incidents are not isolated or pure coincidences. They are parts of the concerted plans by Abe and the radical right-wing group Nippon Kaigi to systematically condition the young so that they are willing to be the cannon fodder in wars of aggression to be waged by a new fascist Japan in future. Such spectres of past Japanese fascism have raised red flags from Bangkok to Beijing.

As Abe forges ahead with inculcating young, innocuous minds with militarism, he had earlier stifled dissenting and incongruent voices from the media. Critics of his policies and move toward militarism were forced off televison shows. A major daily, Asahi Shimbun, came under ferocious government attack for its reporting on sensitive issues. The liberal paper capitulated by cutting back on critical, investigative reporting. The government’s arm-twisting and public tongue-lashing have a chilling effect on the media. Many rolled over and now exercise self-censorship to fall in line with the official narrative. Abe’s clamp-down on the media seeks to smooth his way to rewriting the Peace Constitution. A big casualty of Abe’s War on the Media is a precipitous fall in press freedom, from eleventh down to 72nd in just five years to 2015, as ranked by the Reporters without Borders.

In 2013, two years before his crusade against the media, Abe’s government had bulldozed through the Parliament (aka Diet) a draconian pre-war law criminalizing disclosure and reporting of vaguely defined state secrets. The law gives government officials a carte blanche to block release of information indefinitely and deny the right of the public to know. During World War Two, that law was used to arrest and imprison political opponents and dissidents. With disclosure of information vastly restricted and whistle-blowing deterred, the public is kept in the dark and unable to scrutinize the affairs and conduct of the state. The government has a free rein in doing what it wants with little or no regard to public interest. That is a major hallmark of a fascist state.

All these manoeuvres lead to one goal: Rewriting the Peace Constitution imposed by the American occupation force that forbids a standing army and waging of wars. Over the years, the prohibition on having a defense force has been whittled down by a series of Cabinet interpretations such that Japan now has a de facto defense force. Last year, another Cabinet interpretation allows Japan’s “Self Defense Force” to come to the defense of an ally even when Japan itself is not under attack. This move was encouraged and urged by America which wants to co-opt Japan in containing China.

Abe isn’t satisfied with such piecemeal, constrained moves to get around the Constitution that stops him from warring abroad. He wants a de jure army, and the legal backing to make wars. To amend Article 9 that is an impediment to war-making, he needs to have a two-thirds majority in both the lower and upper Houses of Parliament or Diet, and ratified by a simple majority in a public referendum. His party and coalition partner, Buddhist-backed Komeito, together have more than two thirds of the seats in both the chambers of the Diet. The fly in the ointment is that Komeito is dead set against rewriting the Peace Constitution. So Abe is back to the drawing board.

A detour Abe has embarked on is to first amend Article 96 of the Constitution which requires that any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the Diet. He wants Article 96 to be amended to require a simple majority vote. Both the Opposition and his coalition partner Komeito have stood firm against such revision. Abe’s goal remains beyond reach.

Abe’s single-minded pursuit of reviving and reinvigorating militarism and fascism in Japan has eroded significantly press freedom and the right of the public to know. He has re-instituted pre-war indoctrination of young children in the ways of militarism. What is standing in the way of his final goal is the requirement for a two-thirds majority vote to amend the Peace Constitution. Question is whether such bulwark against militarism or fascism will continue to withstand Abe’s relentless assaults and machinations. Ordinary Japanese, as well as people in East Asia, hope and pray it will, so that a train wreck with Abe as the reckless driver can be averted.


Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?

by Mike Whitney

CountePunch (April 24 2017)

The Pentagon’s plan for seizing and occupying territory in east Syria is beginning to take shape. According to a Fox News exclusive:



The Islamic State has essentially moved its so-called capital in Syria… ISIS is now centered in Deir ez-Zur, roughly ninety miles southeast of Raqqa, the officials said. {1}



The move by ISIS corresponds to the secretive massing of US troops and military equipment on the Syria-Jordan border. It creates the perfect pretext for a ground invasion followed by a long-term military occupation in an area that Washington has sought to control for the last eighteen months. Here’s more on the topic from South Front:



The US military is reportedly concentrating troops and military equipment at the Syrian-Jordanian border. Local sources said that about twenty US Army armoured vehicles (including battle tanks and artillery pieces) carried on trucks were spotted in Al-Mafraq. US troops were allegedly accompanied with the Jordanian Army’s 3rd Division.

The US Special Operation Forces, the UK Special Operation Forces and units from some other countries -have been conducting operations across the Syrian-Jordanian border for a long time. They even had a secret military facility inside Syria where members the so-called New Syrian Army militant group were deployed. However, it was the first time when a notable number of US armoured vehicles was reported there. The US Ro-Ro ship Liberty Passion, loaded with vehicles, had arrived to the Jordanian port of Al-Aqapa few days ago. These moves followed a meeting between the Jordanian King and the US president.

Thus, the US-led coalition could prepare a large-scale military operation in southern Syria. The goal of the operation will likely be to get control over the Syrian-Iraqi border and to reach Deir Ezzor. It will involve militants trained in camps in Jordan and the US-led coalition’s forces. {2}



Deir Ezzor is a strategically-located city along the Euphrates that the Pentagon needs in order to tighten its grip on the eastern quadrant of the country. Once Deir Ezzor is taken, the US can launch its CIA-backed jihadist militias back into Syria at will putting more pressure on Damascus and eventually forcing regime change. That is the plan at least, whether it works or not is anyone’s guess. The deployment of troops on the Jordanian border suggests that Washington’s proxy-army, the mainly-Kurdish militia or Syrian Democratic Forces (“SDF”), is either unwilling to conduct operations as far south as Deir Ezzor or doesn’t have the military strength to beat ISIS on its own. In any event, the Pentagon needs fresh troops and equipment to succeed. Here’s more from South Front:



US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis presented a preliminary version of the new plan to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, said on February 28th … The plan submitted by Mattis also includes a proposal to increase the size of the US military contingent to ISIS in Syria … (Note: There are already 400 Special Forces operating alongside the SDF.) Without significant US presence on the ground, the SDF will hardly be able to retake Raqqah from ISIS without incurring unacceptable losses …

As to Deir Ezzor, the US can try to use militants trained in Jordan to launch an attack on Deir Ezzor from the southern direction. However, the total failure of this US-backed group in 2016 leaves little chance that it’s able to combat ISIS successfully in 2017. So, the US and its allies will be pushed to deploy special forces units or even ground troops to support the advance there.

The Polish Special Forces have already deployed to Jordan where they will operate alongside their French and British counterparts. According to reports, the US-led block created a joint command center to coordinate efforts of all sides, which will support the advance against ISIS in the area. {3}



Here’s more from Fox News:



US military drones have watched hundreds of ISIS “bureaucrats”, or administrators, leaving Raqqa in the past two months for the city of al-Mayadin located further down the Euphrates River from Deir el-Zour {1}.



Let me get this straight: US military drones located hundreds of ISIS terrorists traveling across the open dessert, but did nothing to stop them. Why?

Is it because the Pentagon needs ISIS in Deir Ezzor to justify a ground invasion? That’s certainly the most plausible explanation.

More from Fox: “Questions remain about the hold force necessary to keep the peace after ISIS is uprooted from Raqqa”.

In other words, readers are supposed to believe that the Pentagon doesn’t already have a plan in place for occupying the cities when the siege ends. That’s baloney. Check out this excerpt from an article by Whitney Webb:



The Syrian city of Raqqa – the “stronghold” of terror group ISIS – will be governed by a “civilian council” with the support of US troops following its “liberation” from terrorists …

On Tuesday, the US-allied militias … announced that they had formed a “civilian council” to govern Raqqa after its capture from Daesh militants. The Syrian Democratic Forces (“SDF”) … claim to have spent six months setting up the council, with a preparatory committee having met “with the people and important tribal figures of Raqqa city to find out their opinions on how to govern it”, Middle East Eye reported.

SDF spokesman Talal Selo stated that some towns near Raqqa had already been turned over to the council following a successful operation to drive out Daesh forces.

The US military had previously hinted that power would be given to rebel groups following Raqqa’s “liberation”… {4}



Washington has already chosen a group of puppets who will follow their directives when the fighting finally ends. The leaders will be selected from rebel groups and tribal elders that pledge their allegiance to Washington. The new arrangement will prevent the Syrian government from reclaiming a sizable portion of its sovereign territory or reestablishing control over its borders. A splintered Syria will strengthen US-Israeli regional hegemony and provide the land needed for future US military bases.

But why would Washington opt to occupy another country when previous occupations (like Iraq) have gone so badly?

There’s a two word answer to that question: Nadia Schadlow. President Trump’s National Security Advisor H R McMaster recently hired Schadlow to join his staff as a deputy assistant to the president for national security strategy. Schadlow recently published a book that “examined fifteen cases in which the United States Army intervened abroad, and the service’s role in political and economic reconstruction”. According to The Wall Street Journal:



(Schadlow’s) War and the Art of Governance (2017) consists of a collection of case studies, beginning with the Mexican-American War and ending in Iraq. Each examines how the US attempted … to translate battlefield victory into a lasting and beneficial political outcome. Ms Schadlow’s case studies tell an often doleful story of America allowing victories to fall apart, leaving behind a suffering populace that should have been rewarded with a better peace. She asserts convincingly that postconflict governance can only be done well by soldiers …

The Army’s Civil Affairs units are the only government entities capable of administering conquered territories, yet Civil Affairs units remain the Army’s neglected stepchildren … the nation must never go to war again until it can definitively answer General Petraeus’s question about “how this ends”. It ends only when the US Army assumes the mantle of leadership and commits itself to remaining on the field until the lives of the population can be protected, the damage repaired and a political future guaranteed. {5}



Get it? The woman is an expert on military occupation!

Now answer this one question for me: Why would McMaster hire an expert on military occupation unless he was planning to militarily occupy another country?

The facts speak for themselves.


{1} http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/21/isis-moves-its-capital-in-syria.html

{2} http://www.globalresearch.ca/breaking-video-us-military-deployment-at-syrian-jordanian-border-military-escalation/5584435

{3} https://southfront.org/new-us-strategy-against-isis-and-war-in-syria-what-to-expect/

{4} http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46907.htm

{5} https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-happens-after-victory-1491520385


Jews, Judaism & Jewishness

by Gilad Atzmon

http://www.gilad.co.uk (December 15 2010)

Since Israel defines itself as the “Jewish state” we are entitled to consider what the word “Jewish” stands for.

I tend to differentiate between three distinct (yet occasionally confusing) categories:

1. Jews – the people

2. Judaism – the religion

3. Jewishness – the ideology

During my study of Zionism, Jewish politics, “identity politics” and culture, I have managed to avoid embroiling myself in the complexity involved with the first category – I do not deal with Jews as a race or an ethnicity. I also generally avoid dealing with Judaism (the religion). In fact, I am the first to admit that the only Jewish collective to support the Palestinians, are groups that exist within the Torah Jews. That such groups support Palestinian self-determination and autonomy is proof enough that aspects of religious Judaism can be interpreted as emphasising ethical precepts.

However – I am very critical of what I view as “Jewish ideology”, and I am also critical of what I consider to be “Jewish identity politics”.

“Jewish ideology” is basically an amalgam of racially orientated exclusive arguments. It is fuelled by assumptions about “ethno”-centric supremacy, and ideas such as “choseness”. Being a tribal setting then, Jewish ideology defies equality. It also opposes universalism. The followers of that ideology tend to believe that they are somewhat different and even better (chosen) than non Jews. And much Jewish political activity is a formulation, and expression of a tribal exclusive club that demands a “Jews only” entry card.

It is important to note that Jewish ideology and Zionism are not entirely the same – In fact, Zionism should be seen as just one manifestation of Jewish ideology. Though Israel is the fruit of the Zionist project – it is vital to realise that Zionism does not drive Israeli politics or ideology. In fact, Zionism is largely a Diaspora Jewish discourse.

While early Zionism presented itself as a promise to “resolve the Galut” (Diaspora) by “transforming” the Diaspora Jew into an “authentic civilised” human being – it is important to remember that the last few generations of Israelis have been born in Zion (Palestine) and are, therefore, not entirely shaped by Zionist ideologies. From a Zionist perspective, the modern Israeli is then, a “post-revolutionary” subject. And indeed, I myself, amongst millions of other Israelis, joined the Israeli army because we were Jews – not because we were Zionists.

Israelis do, however, follow what I define as Jewish ideology – they practise and perform a number of different measures that are there to maintain Jewish exclusivity on the land. When 94% of Israeli Jews supported Israel Defense Forces’s (“IDF’s”) murderous tactics against Gazans at the time of Operation Cast Lead, it wasn’t Zionism that motivated them. It was the total lack of empathy with other human beings. It was blindness towards others. It was supremacy and chauvinism; or, in other words, it was the ugliest homicidal manifestation of their choseness.

Almost every aspect of Israeli politics, whether it is the “unilateral disengagement” or the loyalty oath, can be grasped as an attempt to project and protect Jewish exclusivity on the land (instead of trying to resolve the Galut)

You may note that I neither refer to Jews as a racial or ethnic group; nor am I directing my critique towards Judaism, the religion. And whilst Jews can indeed succumb to what I define as “Jewish ideology”, (and many of them do) it is valuable to bear in mind they can also be its most virulent enemies: Obvious examples are Jesus, Spinoza and Marx, and one can also include Israelis such as Israel Shahak, Gideon Levy and others. It is also pertinent to mention that some early Zionists such as Nordau and Borochov were also strong opponents of Jewish ideology and culture – for them, Zionism was a necessary attempt to amend Jews. They believed that once dwelling on “their promised land”, what had hitherto been perceived as “Jewish tendencies”, (such as “non-productive inclinations”), would disappear.

It should be obvious that I am in total support of the universal and ethical ideas that are coupled with the One Democratic State (“ODS”) and State of its Citizens (“SOIC”). I would also be the first to endorse and explore any form of reconciliation between the indigenous people of the land (Palestinians) and the new comers (Israelis).

Yet, I believe that for any possible and intelligible discussion to take place – we surely must be able to freely explore the true nature of the ideology that drives the Jewish state, and Jewish politics around the world.

We must find a way to admit to ourselves that the Jewish ideological, political and cultural discourse is a tribal discourse: it is foreign to universalism and ideas of true equality. Also, we need to realise that the Israeli notion of “shalom” (peace) is interpreted by Israelis as “security for Jews” instead of reconciliation.

Unless we are brave enough to confront these issues, and discuss them freely, the pro- Palestinian movement is trapped in a futile discourse on the verge of self-indulgence.


Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?

by Paul Atwood

CounterPunch (April 21 2017)



We are fighting in Korea so we won’t have to fight in Wichita, or in Chicago, or in New Orleans, or in San Francisco Bay.

– President Harry S Truman, 1952



Why has this tiny nation of 24 million people invested so much of its limited resources in acquiring nuclear weapons? North Korea is universally condemned as a bizarre and failed state, its nuclear posture denounced as irrational.

Yet North Korea’s stance cannot be separated out from its turbulent history during the twentieth century, especially its four decade long occupation by Japan, the forced division of the Korean peninsula after World War Two, and, of course, the subsequent utterly devastating war with the United States from 1950~1953 that ended in an armistice in which a technical state of war still exists.

Korea is an ancient nation and culture, achieving national unity in 608 CE, and despite its near envelopment by gigantic China it has retained its own unique language and traditions throughout its recorded history. National independence came to an end in 1910 after five years of war when Japan, taking advantage of Chinese weakness, invaded and occupied Korea using impressed labor for the industries Japan created for the benefit of its own economy. As always the case for colonization the Japanese easily found collaborators among the Korean elite Koreans to manage their first colony.

Naturally a nationalist resistance movement emerged rapidly and, given the history of the early twentieth century, it was not long before communists began to play a significant role in Korea’s effort to regain its independence. The primary form of resistance came in the form of “peoples’ committees” which became deeply rooted throughout the entire peninsula, pointedly in the south as well. It was from these deeply political and nationalistic village and city committees that guerrilla groups engaged the Japanese throughout World War Two. The parallels with similar organizations in Vietnam against the Japanese, and later against the French and Americans, are obvious. Another analogous similarity is that Franklin Roosevelt also wanted a Great Power trusteeship for Korea, as for Vietnam. Needless to say both Britain and France objected to this plan.

When Russia entered the war against Japanese in August of 1945 the end of Japanese rule was at hand regardless of the atomic bomb. As events turned out Japan surrendered on 15 August when Soviet troops had occupied much of the northern peninsula. It should be noted that American forces played no role in the liberation of Korea from Japanese rule. However, because the Soviets, as allies of the US, wished to remain on friendly terms they agreed to the division of Korea between Soviet and American forces. The young Dean Rusk, later to become Secretary of State under Kennedy and Johnson, arbitrarily drew a line of division across the 38th Parallel because, as he said, that would leave the capital city, Seoul, in the American zone.

Written reports at the time criticized Washington for “allowing” the Red Army into Korea but the fact was it was the other way around. The Soviets could easily have occupied the entirety of Korea but chose not to do so, instead opting for a negotiated settlement with the US over the future of Korea. Theoretically the peninsula would be reunited after some agreement between the two victors at some future date.

However, the US immediately began to favor those Koreans who had collaborated with the Japanese in the exploitation of their own country and its people, largely the landed elites, and Washington began to arm the provisional government it set up to root out the peoples’ committees. For their part the Soviets supported the communist nationalist leader, Kim Il-Sung who had led the guerrilla army against Japan at great cost in lives.

In 1947 the United Nations authorized elections in Korea, but the election monitors were all American allies so the Soviets and communist Koreans refused to participate. By then the Cold War was in full swing, the critical alliance between Washington and Moscow that had defeated Nazi Germany had already been sundered. As would later also occur in Vietnam in 1956, the US oversaw elections only in the south of Korea and only those candidates approved by Washington. Syngman Rhee became South Korea’s first president protected by the new American armed and trained Army of the Republic of Korea. This ROK army was commanded by officers who had served the Japanese occupation including one who had been decorated by Emperor Hirohito himself and who had tried to track down and kill Kim Il Sung for the Japanese.

With Korea thus seemingly divided permanently, both Russian and American troops withdrew in 1948 though they left “advisers” behind. On both sides of the new artificial border pressures mounted for a forcible reunification. The fact remained that much of rural southern Korea was still loyal to the peoples committees. This did not necessarily mean that they were committed communists but they were virulent nationalists who recognized the role that Kim’s forces had played against the Japanese. Rhee’s forces then began to systematically root out Kim’s supporters. Meanwhile the American advisers had constantly to keep Rhee’s forces from crossing the border to invade the north.

In 1948 guerrilla war broke out against the Rhee regime on the southern island of Cheju, the population of which ultimately rose in wholesale revolt. The suppression of the rebellion was guided by many American agents soon to become part of the Central Intelligence Agency and by military advisers. Eventually the entire population was removed to the coast and kept in guarded compounds and between 20,000 and 30,000 villagers died. Simultaneously elements of the ROK army refused to participate in this war against their own people and this mutiny was brutally suppressed by those ROK soldiers who would obey such orders. Over one thousand of the mutineers escaped to join Kim’s guerrillas in the mountains.

Though Washington claimed that these rebellions were fomented by the communists no evidence surfaced that the Soviets provided anything other than moral support. Most of the rebels captured or killed had Japanese or American weapons.

In North Korea the political system had evolved in response to decades of foreign occupation and war. Though it was always assumed to be a Soviet satellite, North Korea more nearly bears comparison to Tito’s Yugoslavia. The North Koreans were always able to balance the tensions between the Soviets and the Chinese to their own advantage. During the period when the Comintern exercised most influence over national communist parties not a single Korean communist served in any capacity and the number of Soviet advisers in the north was never high.

Nineteen forty-nine marked a watershed year. The Chinese Communist Revolution, the Soviet Atomic Bomb, the massive reorganization of the National Security State in the US all occurred that year. In 1950 Washington issued its famous National Security Paper-68 (“NSC-68”) which outlined the agenda for a global anti-communist campaign, requiring the tripling of the American defense budget. Congress balked at this all-encompassing blueprint until, in the deathless words of Secretary of State Dean Acheson, “Thank God! Korea came along”. Only months before Acheson had made a speech in which he pointedly omitted Korea from America’s “Defense perimeter”.

The Korean War seemed to vindicate everything written and said about the” international communist conspiracy. In popular myth on June 25, 1950 the North Korean Army suddenly attacked without warning, overwhelming surprised ROK defenders. In fact the entire 38th Parallel had been progressively militarized and there had been numerous cross border incursions by both sides going back to 1949. On numerous occasions Syngman Rhee had to be restrained by American advisers from invading the north. The Korean civil war was all but inevitable. Given postwar American plans for access globally to resources, markets and cheaper labor power any form of national liberation, communist or liberal democratic, was to be opposed. Acheson and his second, Dean Rusk, told President Truman that “we must draw the line here!” Truman decided to request authorization for American intervention from the United Nations and bypassed Congress thereby leading to widespread opposition and, later, a return to Republican rule under Dwight Eisenhower..

Among the remaining mysteries of the UN decision to undertake the American led military effort to reject North Korea from the south was the USSR’s failure to make use of its veto in the Security Council. The Soviet ambassador was ostensibly boycotting the meetings in protest of the UN’s refusal to seat the Chinese communists as China’s official delegation. According to Bruce Cumings though, evidence exists that Stalin ordered the Soviet ambassador to abstain. Why? The UN resolution authorizing war could have been prevented. At that moment the Sino-Soviet split was already in evidence and Stalin may have wished to weaken China, something which actually happened as a result of that nation’s subsequent entry into the war. Or he may have wished that cloaking the UN mission under the US flag would have revealed the UN to be largely under the control of the United States, which indeed it was. What is known is that Stalin refused to allow Soviet combat troops and reduced shipments of arms to Kim’s forces. Later, however Soviet pilots would engage Americans in the air. The Chinese were quick to condemn the UN action as “American imperialism” and warned of dire consequences if China itself were threatened.

The war went badly at first for the US despite numerical advantages in forces. Rout after rout followed with the ROK in full retreat. Meanwhile tens of thousands of southern guerrillas who had originated in peoples’ committees fought the Americans and the ROK. At one point the North Koreans were in control of Seoul and seemed about to drive American forces into the sea. At that point the commander-in-chief of all UN forces, General Douglas MacArthur, announced that he saw unique opportunities for the deployment of atomic weapons. This call was taken up by many in Congress.

Truman was loathe to introduce nukes and instead authorized MacArthur to conduct the famous landings at Inchon in September 1950 with few losses by the Marine Corps vaunted 1st Division. This threw North Korean troops into disarray and MacArthur began pushing them back across the 38th Parallel, the mandate imposed by the UN resolution. But the State Department claimed that the border was not recognized under international law and therefore the UN mandate had no real legal bearing. It was this that MacArthur claimed gave him the right to take the war into the north. Though the North Koreans had suffered a resounding defeat in the south, they withdrew into northern mountain redoubts forcing the American forces that followed them into bloody and costly combat, leading Americans into a trap.

The Chinese had said from the beginning that any approach of foreign troops toward their border would result in “dire consequences”. Fearing an invasion of Manchuria to crush the nascent communist revolution the Chinese foreign minister, Zhou En-Lai declared that China “will not supinely tolerate seeing their neighbors invaded by the imperialists”. MacArthur sneered at this warning. “… They have no airforce … if the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be a great slaughter … we are the best”/ He then ordered airstrikes to lay waste thousands of square miles of northern Korea bordering China and ordered infantry divisions ever closer to its border.

It was the terrible devastation of this bombing campaign, worse than anything seen during World War Two short of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that to this day dominates North Korea’s relations with the United States and drives its determination never to submit to any American diktat.

General Curtis Lemay directed this onslaught. It was he who had firebombed Tokyo in March 1945 saying it was “about time we stopped swatting at flies and gone after the manure pile”. It was he who later said that the US “ought to bomb North Vietnam back into the stone age”. Remarking about his desire to lay waste to North Korea he said “We burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea too”. Lemay was by no means exaggerating.

On November 27 1950 hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops suddenly crossed the border into North Korea completely overwhelming US forces. Acheson said this was the “worst defeat of American forces since Bull Run”. One famous incident was the battle at the Chosin Reservoir, where 50,000 US marines were surrounded. As they escaped their enclosure they said they were “advancing to the rear” but in fact all American forces were being routed.

Panic took hold in Washington. Truman now said use of A-bombs was under “active consideration”. MacArthur demanded the bombs … As he put it in his memoirs:

I would have dropped between thirty and fifty atomic bombs … strung across the neck of Manchuria … and spread behind us – from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea – a belt of radioactive cobalt. It has an active life of between sixty and 120 years.

Cobalt it should be noted is at least 100 times more radioactive than uranium.

He also expressed a desire for chemicals and gas.

It is well known that MacArthur was fired for insubordination for publically announcing his desire to use nukes. Actually, Truman himself put the nukes at ready and threatened to use them if China launched air raids against American forces. But he did not want to put them under MacArthur’s command because he feared MacArthur would conduct a preemptive strike against China anyway.

By June 1951, one year after the beginning of the war, the communists had pushed UN forces back across the 38th parallel. Chinese ground forces might have been able to push the entire UN force off the peninsula entirely but that would not have negated US naval and air forces, and would have probably resulted in nuclear strikes against the Chinese mainland and that brought the real risk of Soviet entry and all out nuclear exchanges. So from this point on the war became one of attrition, much like the trench warfare of World War One. casualties continued to be high on both sides for the duration of the war which lasted until 1953 when an armistice without reunification was signed.

Of course the victims suffering worst were the civilians. In 1951 the US initiated “Operation Strangle” which officialls estimated killed at least three million people on both sides of the 38th parallel, but the figure is probably closer to four million. We do not know how many Chinese died – either solders or civilians killed in cross border bombings.

The question of whether the US carried out germ warfare has been raised but has never been fully proved or disproved. The North accused the US of dropping bombs laden with cholera, anthrax, plague, and encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever, all of which turned up among soldiers and civilians in the north. Some American prisoners of war confessed to such war crimes but these were dismissed as evidence of torture by North Korea on Americans. However, none of the US POWs who did confess and were later repatriated were allowed to meet the press. A number of investigations were carried out by scientists from friendly western countries. One of the most prominent concluded the charges were true. At this time the US was engaged in top secret germ-warfare research with captured Nazi and Japanese germ warfare experts, and also experimenting with Sarin, despite its ban by the Geneva Convention. Washington accused the communists of introducing germ warfare.

Napalm was used extensively, completely and utterly destroying the northern capital of Pyongyang. By 1953 American pilots were returning to carriers and bases claiming there were no longer any significant targets in all of North Korea to bomb. In fact a very large percentage of the northern population was by then living in tunnels dug by hand underground. A British journalist wrote that the northern population was living “a troglodyte existence”. In the Spring of 1953 US warplanes hit five of the largest dams along the Yalu river completely inundating and killing Pyongyang’s harvest of rice. Air Force documents reveal calculated premeditation saying that “Attacks in May will be most effective psychologically because it was the end of the rice-transplanting season before the roots could become completely embedded”. Flash floods scooped out hundreds of square miles of vital food producing valleys and killed untold numbers of farmers.

At Nuremberg after World War Two, Nazi officers who carried out similar attacks on the dikes of Holland, creating a mass famine in 1944, were tried as criminals and some were executed for their crimes.

So after a horrific war Korea returned to the status quo ante bellum in terms of political boundaries but it was completely devastated, especially the north.

I submit that it is the collective memory of all of what I’ve described that animates North Korea’s policies toward the US today which has nuclear weapons on constant alert and stations almost 30,000 forces at the ready. Remember, a state of war still exists and has since 1953.

While South Korea received heavy American investment in the industries fleeing the United States in search of cheaper labor and new markets, it was nevertheless ruled until quite recently by military dictatorships scarcely different than those of the north. For its part the North constructed its economy along five-year plans and collectivized its agriculture. While it never enjoyed the sort of consumer society that now characterizes some of South Korea, its GDP grew substantially until the collapse of communism globally brought about the withdrawal of all foreign aid to north Korea.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, as some American policymakers took note of the North’s growing weakness Secretary of Defense Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz talked openly of using force finally to settle the question of Korean reunification and the claimed threat to international peace posed by North Korea.

In 1993 the Clinton Administration discovered that North Korea was constructing a nuclear processing plant and also developing medium range missiles. The Pentagon desired to destroy these facilities but that would mean wholesale war so the administration fostered an agreement whereby North Korea would stand down in return for the provision of oil and other economic aid. But in 2001, after the events of 9-11, the Bush II neo-conservatives militarized policy and declared North Korea to be an element of the “axis of evil”. All bets were now off. In that context North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, reasoning that nuclear weapons were the only way possible to prevent a full scale attack by the US in the future. Given a stark choice between another war with the US and all that would entail this decision seems hardly surprising. Under no circumstances could any westerner reasonably expect, after all the history I’ve described, that the North Korean regime would simply submit to any ultimatums by the US, by far the worst enemy Korea ever had measured by the damage inflicted on the entirety of the Korean peninsula.

(Acknowledgement to Bruce Cumings and I F Stone)