By Jacob G. Hornberger
September 17, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “fff” – The U.S. military-industrial complex and the U.S. mainstream media often describe the leadership of North Korea, headed by President Kim Jong-un, as crazy and irrational. But what could be more crazy and irrational than doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
What better way to describe the actions of the U.S. national-security establishment and its loyal acolytes in the mainstream press whenever North Korea does something that they don’t like, such as engaging in underground nuclear testing?
In response to North Korea’s latest round of underground nuclear testing, the national-security establishment responded with its standard, predictable response by flying two B-1 bombers, flanked by several U.S. fighter planes, right near the South Korea-North Korea border.
What’s that supposed to accomplish? Does the Pentagon really think that that’s going to stop North Korea from engaging in more nuclear testing? If so, one has to ask why Pentagon officials would believe that given that the last time they did the same thing, North Korea responded with another round of nuclear testing.
Notice how the U.S. mainstream press uses North Korea’s underground nuclear tests to show how crazy and irrational the regime is. Well, take a look at this photograph. It shows an above-ground nuclear explosion, with several troops looking on. Those troops are not North Korean troops. They are American troops. And the nuclear explosion too place right here in the United States during the 1950s as part of the U.S. national security establishment’s Exercise Desert Rock.
Now, if you’ll go back and read accounts in the U.S. mainstream press during the 1950s, I’ll guarantee you that not one single one of those articles will describe the officials who carried out those nuclear explosions as crazy and irrational. That’s because they bought the national-security state’s justification for the explosions, hook, line, and sinker.
What was that justification? The Pentagon maintained that the nuclear testing was necessary to deter a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union as part of a supposed international communist conspiracy to take over America. That rationale seemed totally sane and rationale to the U.S. mainstream press, especially those who were serving as assets for the CIA under its infamous Operation Mockingbird, the secret CIA plan to influence and indoctrinate the media.
Of course, that wasn’t the only nuclear test carried out by the Pentagon in the 1950s and 1960s. There were many others, both above ground and below ground. And those tests weren’t carried out only here in the United States. Take a look atthis photograph. It shows one of several nuclear explosions that the U.S. national-security establishment carried out in the Pacific Ocean.
The Pentagon, the CIA, and the U.S. mainstream media considered those tests to be perfectly sane and rational. That’s because they were necessary, U.S. national security officials maintained, to protect America from the communist hordes that were supposedly coming to get us.
In fact, let’s not forget the national-security establishment’s initial fierce opposition to President John Kennedy’s proposal to enter into the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union as part of his plan to bring an end to the Cold War. The Pentagon finally dropped its opposition to the treaty, perhaps because it was limited to above ground testing and would still permit the Pentagon to carry out underground nuclear explosions, the same type of underground testing that North Korea has been carrying out. (See FFF’s ebook JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne.)
An obvious question arises: Once U.S. officials had dropped two nuclear bombs on the Japanese people in 1945, why was more testing necessary? The bombs had worked. They had killed more than 200,000 people. But if continuous testing was, in fact, necessary for the U.S. national-security to perfect its nuclear program, why doesn’t the same principle apply to North Korea’s nuclear program? Since the Pentagon considered it rational to continuously test its nuclear weapons, why is it considered crazy and irrational for North Korea to do the same?
According to CNN, the U.S. commander in South Korea, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, called North Korea’s nuclear test “a dangerous escalation” and “an unacceptable threat.”
Really? Does that mean that the U.S. testing in the 1950s and 1960s was “a dangerous escalation” of the Cold War and “an unacceptable threat” to the Soviet Union as well?
Indeed, what does Brooks consider that B-1 flyover near the North Korean border to be — a peaceful and diplomatic outreach in friendship? On the contrary, it’s a childish but extremely dangerous act of provocation that is designed to remind the North Koreans of the mass devastation that B-52 bombers carried out against North Korean cities and villages during the Korean War, which involved a U.S. intervention into another nation’s civil war that was illegal under our form of constitutional government. Don’t forget, after all, that the Pentagon was waging war on North Korea and killing multitudes of North Korean people without the congressional declaration of war that the U.S. Constitution requires.
The CNN article also cited an unnamed U.S. intelligence official who said that North Korea is the only country in the world that threatens others with a nuclear attack.
Not so! The United States does that all the time. Whenever U.S. officials declare that “all options are on the table” in disputes with other countries, what they mean by that is that they are reserving the right to employ nuclear weapons, including against countries that don’t have nuclear weapons. Moreover, let’s not forget that U.S. officials still express no regret or remorse for dropping nuclear bombs on two civilian targets during World War II, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and, in fact, are still proud of the fact they did it.
Indeed, let’s also not forget that in the early 1960s, the Pentagon was recommending to President Kennedy that the United States initiate a surprise attack on the Soviet Union using its massive arsenal of nuclear weapons. The rationale? Pentagon officials were convinced that a war with the Soviets was inevitable anyway and so it would be advantageous for the United States to strike first in a surprise nuclear attack. They told Kennedy that with a surprise attack, the United States could win the war because it would suffer only 40 million deaths while everyone in Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union would be wiped out.
Kennedy concluded that those Pentagon officials were nuts. He privately exclaimed to an aide, “And we call ourselves the human race.”
What the Pentagon, the CIA, and the U.S. mainstream press just don’t get is that North Korea’s nuclear program is based on the same purported rationale as the U.S. nuclear program — not to initiate war but to deter a war on North Korea by the United States.
The North Koreans are not dumb. They know that regime change has been a core element of the U.S. national-security establishment since its inception in the 1940s. They saw the U.S. regime change operation in Iraq. They’re familiar with the CIA’s regime change operation in Iran in 1953. They see the current sanctions on Iran as another attempt at regime change. They know that U.S. officials believe that the North Korean regime was part of an axis of evil. They are fully aware of the fact that insofar as North Korea and Cuba (and Russia) are concerned, the Cold War has never ended for the U.S. national-security establishment. They know that U.S. national-security state officials have never given up their Cold War hope of achieving regime change in North Korea and Cuba (and Russia).
So, what’s the only thing that would keep the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking and invading North Korea? Nuclear weapons! The North Koreans are smart enough to know that they could never win a conventional war against the United States. They are also smart enough to know that the prospect of North Korea firing nuclear bombs at Seoul and even at Japan will likely deter the same type of regime-change attack and invasion that the U.S. national-security establishment carried out against Iraq.
After all, don’t forget the Cuban Missile Crisis. While U.S. officials have long maintained that the Soviets installed nuclear missiles in Cuba for offensive purposes, nothing could be further from the truth. They were installed there to deter another U.S. invasion of that Third World country, either by the CIA (as at the Bay of Pigs) or by the Pentagon (as the Joint Chiefs of Staff were recommending during the Missile Crisis). When President Kennedy agreed that the United States would abandon all plans to invade Cuba (over the fierce opposition of the Pentagon and the CIA), the Soviets withdrew their missiles. If nuclear missiles could deter another U.S. invasion of Cuba, why wouldn’t it be logical for the North Koreans to believe that their nuclear weapons will deter a U.S. invasion of North Korea?
What U.S. officials and the U.S. mainstream press just don’t get is that the North Korean communist regime just wants to be left alone, just as many people in the Middle East want to be left alone and, indeed, just as many Americans want to be left alone. The problem is that the U.S. national security establishment won’t leave people alone. Stuck with their Cold War mindsets (except with respect to Vietnam’s communist regime, which they now are embracing), U.S. national security officials have a vested interest in maintaining a crisis environment in Korea. The bigger the crisis, the better, so that they can demonstrate how necessary it is for them to keep us safe from the communists … or the terrorists … or the drug dealers … or the illegal immigrants … or the Muslims … or the Russians … or the Chinese … or the Syrians … or ISIS … or whoever the official enemy de jour happens to be.
Meanwhile , here at home the mainstream press is calling for the same policy prescriptions they always call for in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test: by calling for more enforcement of sanctions against North Korea, by calling for U.S. officials to exercise leadership, and by calling on China to do something. In other words, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I’ve got a different idea. Just leave North Korea alone. Yankee, come home!
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. http://www.fff.org/