To many mainstream pundits, the solution to the crisis in Korea is for U.S. officials to sit down and “talk” to North Korea in the hopes of negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. While it won’t guarantee that a deal will be worked out, they say, “talking” is the only chance there is to resolve the crisis.
They ignore an important point: Any deal that would be reached would involve trusting the U.S. government to keep its end of the bargain. And trusting the U.S. government would be the stupidest thing North Korea could ever do. That’s because as soon as U.S. officials found it advantageous, they would break the deal and pounce on North Korea, with the aim of achieving the regime change they have sought ever since the dawn of the Cold War more than 70 years ago.
Look at what U.S. officials did to Libya. Muammar Qaddafi, agreed to give up his nuclear-weapons program in return for regime security. That turned out to be a stupid move. As soon as U.S. officials saw an opening, they pounced with a regime-change operation. Today, Qaddafi is dead and Libya is in perpetual crisis and turmoil. That wouldn’t have happened if Qaddafi had a nuclear deterrent to a U.S. regime-change operation.
Look at what U.S. officials are doing to Iran. They entered into a deal in which the U.S. government agreed to lift its brutal system of sanctions, which has brought untold suffering to the Iranian people, in return for Iran’s abandoning its nuclear-weapons program. After the deal was reached and Iran had complied, U.S. officials broke their side of the deal by refusing to lift their brutal system of sanctions and even imposing more sanctions. U.S. officials also now looking for any excuse or justification for getting out of the deal to which they agreed.
Even longtime partners and allies of the U.S. government can never be certain that the Empire won’t suddenly turn against them.
Look at what happened to the U.S. government’s loyal partner and ally Saddam Hussein. U.S. officials worked closely with him during the 1980s to kill Iranians. But when Saddam invaded Kuwait to settle a oil-drilling dispute, U.S. officials went after him with a vengeance, and notwithstanding the fact that, prior to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, they had falsely indicated to Saddam their indifference to his dispute with Kuwait. Result? Today Saddam is dead, and the U.S. government succeeded in achieving regime change in Iraq.
Look at Syria, which for a time served as a loyal partner and ally of the U.S. government, as reflected by the secret agreement to torture Canadian citizen Mahar Arar on behalf of U.S. officials and report their findings back to the CIA. Later, U.S. officials turned on Assad’s ruler, Bashar al-Assad, in a regime-change operation.
Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. Recall the countless agreements that U.S. officials made in the 1800s with Native Americans. U.S. officials were notorious for breaking them once it became advantageous to do so. Native Americans were entirely justified in accusing U.S. officials of speaking with a “forked tongue.”
If you were a North Korean, would you trust U.S. officials? Would you give up the one thing that is deterring a U.S. regime-change operation in return for a promise from U.S. officials that they would not initiate a regime-change operation? That would really be a really stupid thing to do, from the standpoint of North Korea. As soon as the U.S. government found it advantageous to break the deal and invade North Korea, engage in another state-sponsored assassination, or impose a new round of regime-change sanctions, they would do it.
“Talking” to North Korea will do no good because North Korea will never trust the United States to fulfill its part of any deal that is worked out. There is but one solution to the crisis in Korea: withdraw all U.S. forces from that part of the world immediately and bring them home. Anything less will only continue the crisis or, even worse, result in a very deadly and destructive war.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. Send him email.