Home > Columnists > Korea: Don’t Let Trump Normalize Genocide | Stanley Heller

Korea: Don’t Let Trump Normalize Genocide | Stanley Heller

About The Author

Stanley Heller Administrator of and writer for Promoting Enduring Peace and hosts “The Struggle” TV News, at www.TheStruggle.org. He can be reached at stanley.heller@pepeace.org.

At a meeting in early August President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” He was worse at the U.N. this week. There talking about the U.S. he said, “if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” Totally destroy? A country has a right to defend itself from an actual attack, but not to wipe out the entire nation of the offending government. That’s the immense crime of genocide. Trump threatened genocide and the corporate media just blandly reported it. The politicians were deafeningly silent.

There seems to be no limit to what crimes you can threaten in in this brutal world. Talking about North Korean Supreme Leader Kim this month John McCain said “If he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction.”

For its part (if corporate media translators are to be believed) Kim’s government uses similar language to make monstrous threats. In April his Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Han threatened a “pre-emptive” nuclear attack if North Korea felt it was going to be attacked. In July a spokesperson said if there was the “slightest hint” that the U.S. was trying to remove Kim there would be a “merciless blow in the heart of the U.S.” with our “powerful nuclear hammer.”

Members of CodePink demonstrate at the White House Sept. 20, 2017. (photo: CodePink

The difference, of course, is that while North Korea is developing a nuclear force, the U.S. could actually annihilate North Korea right now.

The U.S. public is quiet, either buying Trump’s line or acting as if both side were just blowhards who would never dare to go through with their warnings. Yet even if Trump and Kim don’t really want nuclear war things have a habit of getting out of hand. People get angry, accidents happen, mistakes are made and …

Like it or not, lots of countries have nuclear bombs and intercontinental missiles. Many of these governments are called by U.S. politicians “crazy” and tyrannical. Yet while North Korea is accused of cruel acts towards other Koreans what foreign countries has it actually attacked or invaded? Now compare NK with nuclear-armed Israel which has gone to war with all its neighbors repeatedly. Look at the nuclear-armed U.S. which has hundreds of bases all over the world, which claims the right to intervene anywhere and which killed immense numbers of civilians in Iraq, Vietnam, Guatemala and a whole host of countries.

The point is not to get hysterical and start a nuclear war.

What can be done? Some ideas.

  • Demand our leaders stop using the rhetoric of annihilation and genocide. React with horror if they use often used mad language like “nothing is off the table”;
  • Publicize the recent legally binding U.N. treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons;
  • Insist the president make a deal with North Korea – Pursue the “Freeze for a Freeze” idea, no more North Korean nuclear and long range missile tests in exchange for a halt to U.S. war games and fly overs of South Korea. PUBLIC negotiations so we can really see what the parties are proposing;
  • Clean our own house. Openly admit that the Israeli government possesses nuclear weapons;
  • Announce that the U.S. will not launch any first strike nuclear attack against North Korea;
  • Call on North Korea to explain what it wants and give it lengthy TV air time to explain it. At the same time insist Kim stop his illegal threats of “pre-emptive” attacks;
  • Demand Congress formally remind the president that only Congress can declare war and that going to war on his own say so is an impeachable offense;
  • Listen to the Left forces in South Korea. It’s their country. Korea is not a U.S. possession;
  • Remove the provocative Thaad missiles from South Korea;
  • Get out in the streets and say “No Korean War.”


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