President Trump has been more outspoken against the provocations of North Korea than any other public official in recent memory. But this has brought on more rhetorical hostility from Kim Jong-un and his government than ever before. It seems like, the problem is bigger, but is it?
The fact is we have been gunning for regimes all over the world for many of the worst reasons, all the while, claiming to do it in the interests of freedom and democracy. Trump himself spoke about this frequently during his last campaign.
Simultaneously, the American worker has been left behind in favor of turning our attention abroad. As this ongoing international scandal continues, a true rogue nation has been allowed to threaten its neighbors with next to zero consequences from the international community.
This has changed since Trump took office, with predictable results. The president has called out Kim Jong-un for his crimes and hostile gestures, and he has threatened the U.S. with nuclear war. Again.
While Trump’s condemnation of North Korea is justified, if a bit over the top, the natural hope is that we can solve this problem without resorting to the use of our deadliest weapons which would kill millions and poison affected areas for decades.
Author, physician, and former Congressman Ron Paul thinks he has an idea that will work.
Paul, a prominent figure within the libertarian movement who made several White House bids of his own, has been particularly influential in articulating the non-interventionist foreign policy objectives adopted by many of Trump’s populist backers — including Steve Bannon.
Like Trump, he has expressed an interest in putting the needs of Americans before any other concern. So it would seem that he and Trump supporters would have a natural affinity for each other.
However, Paul wags his finger at Trump for calling Jong-un “Rocket Man,” and disapproves of the tone of the president’s rhetoric generally.
“Why goad him into launching some sort of action; to provoke an American response?” Paul asks, referring to the North Korean despot. “Maybe the US president is not even going to wait for that.”
Paul accused the president of looking for an excuse to attack North Korea. He reminds us of the Gulf of Tonkin, where the U.S. set off a false flag attack that never really even happened. He supposes Trump’s provocative mode of speech is meant to set the tone for a war with North Korea.
“We are in extremely dangerous territory and Congress for the most part either remains asleep or is cheering on the saber-rattling,” Paul added.
Paul casts doubt on the common perception that Jong-un is a madman, going on to add us that we were told the same thing about “Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, and everyone else the neocons target for US military action.”
Of course, our taking down those regimes had a very different purpose. Removing Saddam made it possible for terrorist groups to flourish in Iraq, which created the excuse for the Patriot Act- stripping Americans of the legal protections of their privacy. Removing Gaddafi allowed hordes of Syrian migrants to flood into the west, exacerbating the conflict with radical Islamic terrorism. And the vilification of the Assad regime is a continuation of that effort.
Attacking North Korea fulfills none of these goals as far as we can tell. So, it is hard to understand Paul’s objection to the idea of the removal of a nation that is actually belligerent to the international community and which refuses to cease making credible threats against every nation it interacts with.
“Making matters worse, there is very little understanding of the history of the conflict,” Paul continued. “The US spends more on its military than the next ten or so countries combined, with thousands of nuclear weapons that can destroy the world many times over. Nearly 70 years ago a US-led attack on Korea led to mass destruction and the death of nearly 30 percent of the North Korean population. That war has not yet ended.”
He is calling for cooler heads to speak up, and he correctly says that there seems to be none. It is not clear that the U.S. should allow North Korea to persist as he suggests. But he has offered a three-part plan to diffuse the confrontation with them:
1. Remove all U.S. troops from North Korea.
2. End all military exercises on the border.
3. Encourage talks between North and South Korea.
Paul’s plan might place South Koreans in danger of falling prey to the same horrific conditions that North Koreans currently endure. But, his ideas are still a valuable contribution to the discussion.
~ Liberty Planet