The United States has issued a provocative threat to North Korea of “fire and fury.” Following it up, the Guardian would report in its article, “Trump on North Korea: maybe ‘fire and fury’ wasn’t tough enough threat,” further threats being made:
Donald Trump has issued another provocative warning to North Korea, suggesting that his threat to unleash “fire and fury” on the country was not “tough enough”.
The US president told reporters that North Korea “better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world”.
The Guardian never explores precisely what “trouble” was being referred to or the other “few nations” the US was hinting at.
However, the threats come amidst a barrage of familiar talking points, fearmongering, and fabrications that have proceeded all of America’s military aggression worldwide – most notably Iraq in which “intelligence” was intentionally fabricated to bait Americans and the world into a devastating war with that cost over 1 million lives, trillions of dollars, and the effects of which are still being felt both in Iraq and throughout the Middle East today.
The Conflict with Korea Didn’t Start Under Trump
The Guardian and others across the Western media fail to place these most recent threats by the US against North Korea into a larger context regarding US-Korean relations, which stretch back to post-World War II and the Korean War which – officially – is only observing a sometimes fragile armistice yet to be fully resolved.
The South Korean government, as noted by The Week’s article, “It’s time for the U.S. military to leave South Korea,” takes full advantage of America’s military presence, using its resources to influence Asia regionally instead of tending to its own defense against threats – real or imagined – from its northern neighbor.
More likely, this arrangement is preferred by the US who uses the client regime occupying Seoul as a vector and proxy for US influence and policy throughout Asia, much in the same way it manipulates and interferes in the Middle East through proxies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and Turkey.
In order to justify and perpetuate America’s presence not only on the Korean Peninsula, but in Asia itself, the US and its South Korean partners have repeatedly and intentionally encircled and provoked North Korea – not only in terms of rhetoric and in the form of military drills – but through active attempts to infiltrate and overthrow the government.
Ongoing Attempts at Destabilization and Regime Change
The US State Department through fronts posing as charities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have attempted to flood North Korea with media aimed at undermining political stability in the country.
Under a program called “Flashdrives for Freedom,” the government and corporate-funded Human Rights Foundation along with Forum280 – a front headed by former members of the US State Department – smuggled 20,000 USB drives into North Korea.
As noted by the Guardian in its article, “Flashdrives for freedom? 20,000 USBs to be smuggled into North Korea,” it was not the first program of its kind undertaken by the US government through various fronts.
While mere allegations of nations like Russia or China attempting to influence the political landscape in the US have been labeled as clear and present threats to US national security, the US openly carries out similar operations, worldwide, including against North Korea.
When these nations react, the US cites it as an unprovoked act of aggression – further fueling its subversive actives abroad. As subversion expands to crippling economic sanctions, the resulting humanitarian crisis is likewise blamed on the targeted nation, opening up new “pretexts” for US intervention abroad.
Activities targeting North Korea have been ongoing for years – predating the Trump administration.
US aspirations to undermine and overthrow North Korea’s political order can be cited in a 2009 policy paper published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a US-based policy think tank representing the collective interests of some of the most powerful corporate-financier interests on Earth.
The 2009 paper titled, “Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea,” would explore the possibility of invading and occupying North Korea if sufficient chaos could be created amid the nation’s military and civilian leadership. It would go as far as proposing a 460,000-strong troop deployment and an ambitious socioeconomic and political program to integrate North Korea with the US-dominated client regime in neighboring South Korea.
It is a program that represents a windfall of opportunities not only for South Korean firms, but for Wall Street – who funds the CFR’s policymaking activities – as well. It would represent an opportunity to transform North Korea into another strong Asian economy, but one in which trade barriers between Koreans and US firms would be deterred by an immense and permanent US military occupation – not unlike attempts the US made in the wake of the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq under the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
For US President Donald Trump, his rhetoric is not the result of an independent conclusion he and his cabinet have drawn regarding legitimate national security threats to the United States, but instead a continuation of long-established objectives preceding his administration and determined by unelected special interests pursuing regime change in North Korea for decades.
Continuity of Agenda
It is clear that since post-World War II, the United States has sought to reestablish its presence and influence throughout Asia, and even expand it.
The Vietnam War fought between the 1950’s and 1970’s was not only an attempt to maintain Western hegemony over Indochina, but admittedly an attempt to ultimately encircle and contain China. Within the so-called “Pentagon Papers” released in 1969, it was revealed that the conflict was one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China.
Three important quotes from these papers reveal this strategy. It states first that:
…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.
It also claims:
China—like Germany in 1917, like Germany in the West and Japan in the East in the late 30′s, and like the USSR in 1947—looms as a major power threatening to undercut our importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against us.
Finally, it outlines the immense regional theater the US was engaged in against China at the time by stating:
…there are three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China (realizing that the USSR “contains” China on the north and northwest): (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.
The Pentagon Papers in fact provide for us today the context with which to properly view current tensions in Asia Pacific.
The US is still currently and deeply engaged in each and every front described in the Pentagon Papers.
It has military forces occupying Afghanistan, bordering China to the west, is occupying and provoking conflict to China’s east along the Japan-Korea front, and is deeply involved in attempts to overthrow and replace political orders across Southeast Asia to create a united front against Beijing.
In Southeast Asia alone, US efforts are most notable in Myanmar where US proxy Aung San Suu Kyi has already assumed power, in Thailand where the US is involved in attempts to overthrow and replace the nation’s entire political order with a client regime, and in the Philippines where US-Saudi sponsored terrorists are creating a security crisis exploited by the US to expand its military footprint across the island nation.
Collectively, the US has attempted to manipulate Southeast Asia – first through the South China Sea crisis it has manufactured and attempted to perpetrate – and second through the importation of militants from Syria aimed at threatening and coercing the region as a whole in a similar manner to how the Philippines is being threatened and coerced now.
The Western media attempts to frame the current crisis the US is creating with North Korea as a battle of egos between US President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un. In reality, the crisis has been brewing for decades – driven not by US presidents but by unelected special interests sponsoring policy think-tanks which in turn generate policy for legislators and talking points for the media.
Understanding this allows observers and activists on all sides to see past politicians and expose the very interests driving the policy they peddle to the public.
Exposing these interests allows people to make more conscientious decisions about how to confront them, including how to divert their money away from these large corporate-financier enterprises and toward local alternatives, taking the power and influence used by Wall Street and Washington to drive Americans to destructive and costly war abroad, and reinvesting it into stronger and more resilient communities back home.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook”.
Featured image is from the author.