09 October 2006

North Korea tests nukes

It appears that North Korea has gone good on its threats and performed a nuclear test.

I'm picking up reports that this is what some US officials secretly wanted all along, in order to make a stronger argument for a hard-line policy against North Korea, leading up to a new war on the Korean Peninsula. The talking point would be that the "appeasement" policy, pursued by Bill Clinton and South Korea's leftist Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moo-Hyun regimes, was a failure. This is an argument very popular in Los Angeles's gigantic Korean-American community, which strongly supports W and his hard-line policy.

The truth is not that, however. Clinton, Kim, and Roh had used a good mix of carrot and stick that had kept the Kim Jong-Il regime at bay, successfully suspending the nuclear program and averting a near-war in 1994. It was W, and his rhetoric of "Axis of Evil" linking North Korea with two unrelated rogue states, that started the escalation. The real problem was that while Kim, Roh, and the South Koreans do not vote in US elections, the Korean-Americans do - and they never liked Bill Clinton and his sexual innuendos. So anything that undoes Clinton's initiatives was a good move - to W and his Korean-American puppets. Now, everyone in the two Koreas, and many in the US, are set to pay the price, when the war breaks out in Korea and a few stray nukes find their way to some US city.

The real disaster, in my opinion, is that W's hardline policy and Roh's sunshine policy did not coordinate at all, and Kim Jong-Il decided that he would use Roh's financial aid to arm himself against W. Everyone loses in this deal. It's no secret that South Korea wanted John Kerry to win the 2004 presidential election, so that there would be a better coordination. But again, the Korean-American community not only has helped out with W's re-election, it's also helping right-wing candidates in South Korea's presidential race - ones who will report not to the Korean voters, but to W's imperialist cabal.

Lastly, I am reminded of the ugliness of blind nationalism - here, seen in three distinct flavors. It's the rampant American nationalism that keeps W going. It's the rampant leftist Korean nationalism that makes Kim Jong-Il defy the international community. It's the rampant rightist Korean "nationalism" that keeps South Korea - and the Korean-American community - at the whims of the US Republican Party, just like it had kept the Korean Peninsula under "benevolent" Chinese and Japanese influence for 1,600 years. I hope these ugly nationalisms do not coalesce into an ugly war that kills millions.

Talking Points Memo