Mike Whitney: US not interested in direct military conflict with North Korea
29 September 2017. PenzaNews. The United States are not interested in the phase of active hostilities against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The American analyst from Washington Mike Whitney expressed this opinion in his article “Why Trump Won’t Start A War With North Korea” published in a number of foreign media.
Photo: J.A. de Roo, Wikipedia.org
“Not only does the United States not have the ground forces for such a massive operation but, more important, a war with the North would serve no strategic purpose at all,” the article says.
According to it, the US already has the arrangement it wants on the Peninsula.
“The South remains under US military occupation, the economic and banking systems have been successfully integrated into the US-dominated western system, and the strategically-located landmass in northeast Asia provides an essential platform for critical weapons systems that will be used to encircle and control fast-emerging rivals, China and Russia,” Mike Whitney explains.
In his opinion, impulsiveness and unpredictability of the new American president does not give grounds for believing that the conflict with the DPRK will grow into real fighting.
“Many people think Trump is calling the shots and that he is an impulsive amateur who might do something erratic that would trigger a nuclear conflagration with the North. That could happen, but I think the possibility is extremely remote. As you might have noticed, Trump has effectively handed over foreign policy to his generals, and those generals are closely aligned to powerful members of the foreign policy establishment who are using Trump’s reputation as a loose cannon to great effect. For example, by ratcheting up the rhetoric, Trump has managed to stifle some of the public opposition to the deployment of the THAAD missile system,” the analyst says.
Meanwhile, according to him, THAAD is clearly not aimed at North Korea which is small potatoes as far as Washington is concerned; it’s an essential part of the military buildup the US is stealthily carrying out to implement its “pivot to Asia” strategy.
“Trump’s belligerence has also prompted a response from the North which has accelerated it ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing. The North’s reaction has stirred up traditional antagonisms which has helped to undermine the conciliatory efforts of liberal President Moon Jae-in. At the same time, the North’s behavior has strengthened far-right groups that – among other things – want to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the South. By playing to the right wing and exacerbating hostilities between North and South, Trump has helped to fend off efforts to reunify the country while creating a justification for continued US military occupation,” the expert says.
From his point of view, the crisis has clearly tightened Washington’s grip on the peninsula while advancing the interests of America’s elite powerbrokers.
“I seriously doubt that Trump conjured up this plan by himself. This is the work of his deep state handlers who have figured out how to use his mercurial personality to their advantage,” Mike Whitney stresses.
He believes that North Korean authorities are trying to ensure the safety of their citizens.
“The nation is still technically at war with a country that has toppled or tried to topple 50 sovereign governments in the last 70 years. The Korean War did not end with a treaty, it ended with an armistice which means the war is ongoing and could flare up at any time. And Washington won’t sign a treaty with the North because it despises their form of government, and is just waiting for the opportunity to force them from power. Trump is no different from most of his predecessors in this regard. He hates the leadership in Pyongyang and makes no bones about it,” the author of the article says.
He also stresses that the US refuses to provide the North with any written guarantees that it won’t resume hostilities.
“Kim Jong-in fully realizes that if he ever used his nukes in an act of aggression, the United States would –as Colin Powell breezily opined– ‘turn the North into a charcoal briquette.’ But Kim is not going to use his nukes because he has no territorial ambitions nor does he have any driving desire to be subsumed into a fiery ball of ash. His nukes are merely bargaining chits for future negotiations with Washington. The only problem is that Trump doesn’t want to bargain because US geopolitical interests are better served by transforming a few pathetic missile tests into an Armageddon-type drama. No one knows how to exploit a crisis better than Washington,” Mike Whitney says.
Meanwhile, he calls into question the awareness of the American president about the important stages in the development of the North Korean problem.
“Does Trump know anything about the history of the current crisis? Does he know that North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in 1994 if the US met its modest demands? Does he know that the US agreed to those terms but then failed to hold up its end of the bargain? Does he know that the North honored its commitments under the agreement but eventually got tired of being double-crossed by the US so they resumed their plutonium enrichment program? Does he know that that’s why the North has nuclear weapons today, because the United States broke its word and scotched the agreement?” he asks saying that it is not conjecture but history.
According to him, the Framework Agreement of 1994 met the requirements of both parties.
“The North got a few economic perks along with the security assurances they desperately wanted and, in return, the US got to monitor any and all nuclear sites, thus, preventing the development of weapons of mass destruction. Everyone got exactly what they wanted, right? There was only one glitch: The US started foot-dragging from Day 1. The lightwater reactors never got beyond the foundation stage and the heavy fuel deliveries got more and more infrequent. In contrast, the North Koreans stuck religiously to the letter of the agreement. They did everything that was expected of them and more,” the expert says.
“There you have it: The North kept its word, but the US didn’t. It’s that simple. This is an important point given the fact that the media typically mischaracterizes what actually took place and who should be held responsible. The onus does not fall on Pyongyang, it falls on Washington,” Mike Whitney adds.
However, in his opinion, the situation was further complicated by the election of George W. Bush to the presidency of the United States in 2000.
“The North was included in Bush’s the Axis of Evil speech, it was also listed as a ‘rogue regime against which the US should be prepared to use force’, and the Pentagon stepped up its joint-military drills in the South which just added more gas to the fire. Eventually, Bush abandoned the agreement altogether and the North went back to building nukes,” the analyst reminds.
Meanwhile, from his point of view, Barack Obama who then came to power “wasn’t much better than Bush, except for the public relations.”
“So although Obama was able to conceal his cruelty and aggression behind the image of ‘peacemaker’, relations with the North continued to deteriorate and the situation got progressively worse,” the expert says.
He shares the opinion that Barack Obama sabotaged the Six-Party Talks, abandoned the idea of direct talks with Pyongyang, and embarked on a series of military exercises with South Korea that are now at the heart of the conflict.
“Now the North has hydrogen bombs and Washington is still playing its stupid games. This whole fake crisis is a big smokescreen designed to conceal Washington’s imperial machinations. Trump is using Kim’s missile tests as a pretext to extend the Pentagon’s military tentacles deeper into Asia so the US can assume a dominant role in the world’s fastest growing region. It’s the same game Washington has been playing for the last hundred years. Unfortunately, they’re pretty good at it,” Mike Whitney resumes.