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After Iraq: North Korea and Beyond

by Joseph P. Diaferia Friday, Feb. 14, 2003 at 3:35 AM New York City

Iraq and North Korea are only the beginning.

After Iraq: North Korea and Beyond.

By Joseph P. Diaferia

February 12, 2003

In recent months, the foreign policy of the Bush administration has taken what many perceive to be a paradoxical turn. The administration is preparing for war with Iraq because that country allegedly possesses weapons of mass destruction even though many U.N. and U.S. officials—including some conservative Republicans—have testified to the contrary. However, in the case of North Korea—a country that has reportedly admitted to having such a weapons program—the preferred avenue of engagement appears to be diplomacy. Surely, it is very easy to conclude that the administration’s foreign policy is marked by gross inconsistency.

Unfortunately, there is demonstrable consistency to U.S. policy with both countries. While many well-meaning critics of U.S foreign policy offer simple explanations (along the lines of: “Iraq won’t fight back and North Korea will”), U.S policy with Iraq—and the Middle East in general has always been aimed at conquest and control. Until very recently, the U.S. strategy in the Far East seemed to be one of mere encirclement and destabilization. Threatening North Korea with the possibility of war—it was thought—would occasion the economic collapse of that country, since it would be compelled to divert much of its already scarce resources to war preparedness.

However, in late January British Prime Minister Tony Blair let slip the military agenda of his country and the United States—after Iraq is conquered, North Korea will be next.

Blair made his comments during a heated debate in the British House of Commons on Wednesday, January 29. Responding to a heckler who demanded, “Who’s next?” Blair declared, “After we deal with Iraq, we do, yes, through the United Nations, have to confront North Korea about its weapons program.”

It is now evident that the Bush administration’s façade of peaceful intent toward North Korea is a tactical maneuver aimed at easing tensions until its war against Iraq has ended.

Many highly placed American public policy “experts” –including former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski—have warned that U.S. global pre-eminence would be jeopardized without its complete economic control of the Eurasian continent. Moreover, American political leaders have had added reason to want to flex U.S. military sinew in the Far East since the inauguration of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Founded on June 15, 2001 by the heads of state of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the stated purpose of the Organization is to strengthen the mutual trust between the Member countries by promoting their cooperation in such areas as politics, economy, social responsibility, culture, education, energy, communications, environmental protection, and other fields.

The SCO represents unity among potential economic rivals to the United States, hence a likely obstacle to American globalization. Therefore, the United States and those nations who number among “the willing” will launch a full scale invasion of North Korea, to illustrate to SCO members nations that regional political formations deemed inimical to U.S. interests will not be tolerated.

While North Korea is not a member of the SCO, because of its geographic proximity to the aligned nations, and its failure heretofore, to privatize its economy, it will be pummeled into accepting an economic and political order favorable to the American globalists.

It should be noted that American acts of banditry in Grenada and Panama during the 1980s were intended to intimidate Caribbean and Latin American nations into full cooperation with Washington and Wall Street. In the case of Nicaragua, the collapse of its Sandinista regime attended the U.S. invasion of Panama by only a matter of months. The Nicaraguan people understood that their failure to elect George H.W. Bush’s puppet Violetta Chamorro to the presidency, would invite the same death and destruction that Panama suffered. (This is not to overlook the murderous ten year war of attrition waged against Nicaragua by the U.S. trained and funded Contra mercenaries. The deaths of thousands of Nicaraguan civilians obviously contributed to that country’s capitulation.)

After it has conquered and occupied Iraq, the United States will unleash a similar bloodbath upon North Korea in the hopes of—among other things—intimidating the SCO into dissolution, and its Member nations into servile obeisance to the United States. By attacking North Korea, the United States will also demonstrate that it is entirely undaunted by the possibility of its adversaries having nuclear weapons, and that should Russia or China ever become military targets, the U.S. will not be dissuaded by the risk of an even larger-scale and potentially omnicidal nuclear confrontation.

But doesn’t North Korea’s production of nuclear weapons signify a threat to other countries? No. North Korea has every reason to want to develop the best possible means of defense against a U.S. attack. It was the United States that killed 3 million Koreans between 1950 and 1953, not vice-versa. In addition, as the case of Iraq clearly illustrates, complete cooperation and disarmament are not guarantees against U.S. belligerence.

The actual motives that drive U.S. policy with both Iraq and North Korea have nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction or tyrannical leadership. Obviously, these are merely public relations gimmicks intended to cultivate public support for war. The United States is simply continuing its long history of international brigandage. The shift to untrammeled militarism that followed the Bush restoration and the events of September 11, 2001, are the result of years of planning by elite members of the corporate and national security establishment.

For the Bush administration’s purposes, the order in which the governments of North Korea and Iraq are to be sacked may or may not be relevant. For these military ventures along with the invasion of Afghanistan are merely the first installments in a campaign of capitalist global conquest. Generally agreed to as the world’s sole superpower, the United States is seeking to reconfigure the entire world politically and economically.

It is a fallacy to presume that what might appear foolish or wrongheaded to the average American, is also irrational to the makers of U.S. foreign policy. Official policy may seem senseless because the rationales used justify such policy are nitwitted, not because the policies themselves are. Furthermore, the desperate attempts by the administration to enlist support for military action—such as we have seen in recent weeks—should not be dismissed as a response to some vacuous desire for war for its own sake. From U.S. capitalist perspective, the era of war that the United States is about to embark upon is an economic, geopolitical necessity, and (also from a capitalist viewpoint) a lot of time has already been wasted.

The Clinton administration is seen by some members of the ruling class as having been lethargic in its globalist endeavors. This in spite of the Clinton administration’s destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999, its bombing of Iraq in December of 1998, its missile attacks against Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan in August of 1998, its invasion of Haiti in 1994, and its escalation of the war against Somalia in 1993. As a result, alliances such as the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 were able to come into force, thus creating competition for the American imperialists. Indeed, this is what led to the near destruction of his presidency—not his affair with an intern, and certainly not his introduction of Arkansas’s political sewer to Washington (When has official corruption ever been of manifest concern to high government officials?).

Ergo, as one who became president of the United States in spite of losing the 2000 election by more than 500,000 votes, George W. knows he has a special duty to carry out the dictates of his class with a promptitude and a ruthlessness that would place him beyond the doubt of any possible ruling class detractors. Furthermore, as new alliances such as SCO emerge, and while others such as NATO fracture, the Bush administration’s war drive will appear increasingly maniacal.

Nonetheless, no matter how frenetic the Washington war dancing becomes, it cannot be held that the war itself is illogical. George W. Bush is the principal executor of capitalist class policy and unfortunately, Mr. Bush knows exactly what he is doing and precisely why.

Therefore, it is important that as a working class, we take note, and act—in any way we can—to prevent the destruction that George W. Bush threatens to deliver upon the world, and perhaps focus less on that which he has already wrought upon the English language.


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