By David William Pear, February 14, 2018
[Photo: North Korean cheerleaders wave unification flags during Team Korea's ice hockey game against Sweden at the Gwandong Ice Hockey Center in Gangneung, Monday. / Yonhap, Korean Times http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/sports/2018/02/702_244132.html ]
Despite all the efforts of a paranoid and unpredictable US regime, the Koreans are making peace not war during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The US is furious and pulling out all the stops to tarnish the Games, and it is trying to put South Korea back on the US colonial leash. South Korea's democratically elected peace-president Moon Jae-in is showing signs that he is not an America poodle on a short leash.
Even during the Olympics, the US feels threatened by peace, unity and cooperation. Like a drone hurling bombs at wedding parties and funerals, the US regime tries to sabotage the Olympics’ peaceful spirit. The US feels the need to flex its military muscle in order to feel strong and powerful. A large group of high value targets which the US cannot control triggers an algorithm of paranoia in want of a signature strike. The US habit is to shoot first and ask questions later.
US Weaponized the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
As Obama said , "I have two words for you, Predator Drone.” It worked for Obama during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. For almost eight years Russia had been preparing for the celebration of its emergence from the ashes of chaos sown by US neoliberal economists that preached privatization, looting of state enterprises, and austerity for Russian citizens during the decade of the 1990's.
The US economic advisors to Russia's president Boris Yeltsin led Russia down a yellow brick road they said would lead to a golden transformation from communism to Western-style capitalism. When the neoliberal transformation turned into an economic train wreck the US Nobel Prize winning economists from the Chicago School of Economics said it was just a temporary hard landing. The Russians had had enough of US-style voodoo economics and elected Vladimir Putin as their leader. Putin told the Chicago boys thank you very much, showed the economic shamans and their cronies to the exit door and kicked them out of Russia. The US would never forgive Putin and they would go on to do everything they could to shun, vilify and regime-change him.
During the years while Vladimir Putin was engineering a recovery of Russia's economy, the US regime was spending $5 billion plotting a coup d'etat in Ukraine. The putsch came while Russia was distracted celebrating the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. To prepare the US public for a resumption of a US-led Cold War the international cartel of Western propaganda organs had been laying the groundwork of anti-Russian propaganda for years. The Russia vilification project was to smear Vladimir Putin as a thug, homophobic killer of journalists, invader of Georgia, and an evil dictator. Later Putin would be accused of invading Ukraine. Western anti-Russian propaganda turns the truth upside down.
While the Russians and the rest of the world celebrated in Sochi, fascist agent provocateurs instigated a violent overthrow of Russia's neighbor (and the heart of Russia’s historical civilization) Ukraine and its democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych.
After the coup became a fact on the ground, fascist groups such as Svoboda, Right Sector, OUN and the Azov Battalion became emboldened, especially after the visit to Ukraine by CIA director John Brennan in April 2014. Fascists supported by the US were given military aid; and they are hero worshipers of Stepan Bandera, and his ideology of anti-Semitic white supremacy and Ukrainian nationalism. Ukrainian nationalism advocates the ethnic cleansing of Ukraine in what is called anti-terrorist operations (pogroms), indiscriminate shelling of cities and the massacre of civilians.
Ukrainian fascists have committed lynches and atrocities against those that opposed the putsch; oppose fascist Ukrainian nationalism, Russian speaking Ukrainians, Jews, homosexuals, non-whites, and ethnic Russians. Ukrainian fascists have been responsible for violence such as in Odessa where scores of anti-coup activists were burned to death in the House of Trade Unions building, reminiscent of WW2 war crimes of forcing people into buildings and burning them alive.
When the historically Russian Crimean Peninsula’s ethnic Russian population voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia, Putin would be accused by Western propaganda of invading Crimea. Western propaganda kept making front page news that Russia had invaded Ukraine with little green men, but when the evidence proved false the retractions were buried.
Many Russians have relatives, friends and deep ties to Ukraine. It is to be expected that some Russians would voluntarily jointed the Donbass and Lugansk (eastern Ukraine) separatist movements and self-defense forces. Russia still openly sends truck convoys of humanitarian aid to the cutoff eastern Ukraine, and has acknowledged having limited covert personnel in Donbass and Lugansk, but no invasion.
The US, which has illegally invaded dozens of countries since World War Two, chose to lead an economic sanction regime against Russia over its annexation of Crimea, its limited involvement in Ukraine, and Russia’s legal military aid to Syria. The real motive of the US seems to be to intensify the Cold War for geopolitical reasons.
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Department
In the you can’t make this stuff up department: US educated and John McCain buddy Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia who attacked ethnic Russians in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, was given Ukrainian citizenship in 2014. Saakashvili had fled Georgia to avoid criminal arrest. In 2015 he was appointed the mayor of the Odessa region; along with many other carpetbaggers to Ukraine. In 2017 Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship and he fled to the US. He is now wanted by Ukrainian authorities.
For those that don’t remember, Saakashvili was the one who set off the Russo-Georgia war, which Western propaganda turned upside down and accused Putin of invading Georgia. Is it a coincident that this all happened during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics? More likely, it was a coincident and had to do with US elections.
Saakashvili attacked South Ossetia and Abkhazia during his friend John McCain’s failed presidential bid against Barack Obama. McCain tried to use the trouble to boost his election chances, which were about sunk. McCain who is virulently anti-Russian embarrassed himself by saying, “today, we are all Georgians". That battle cry against Russia gave him little traction. McCain still says he is a Georgian, but his old friend Saakashvili is a man without a country.
US Politicizes 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics
For the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea the US has been ramping up tensions and imposing more economy killer-sanctions (i.e. embargo-blockade) on North Korea. South Korea is championed for the propaganda value that democracy and Western-style capitalism produced its miracle economy; while it is said that North Korea cannot feed its own people: so let’s add tougher sanctions?
Miracles only happen in fairytales, and South Korea’s miracle economy took billions of dollars in US aid, and a US $55 billion bailout of South Korea’s in 1997. South Korea did not develop under Western democracy and capitalism; it developed under military dictatorships and a planned export economy.
In 2017 the US regime got a sneaking suspicion that things were not going as planned. The feisty South Korean people said they had had enough of the US-backed president Park Geun-hye, granddaughter of the US-backed military dictator Park Chung-hee, who ruled from 1963 to 1979. In late 2016 the South Korean people began mass protests, holding candlelight vigils demanding the impeachment of Park Geun-hye.
Candlelight vigils have become a tradition of South Korean protesters since the 2002 killing of a South Korean girl by US occupation soldiers. When the soldiers were being court martialed by the US military, the South Korean people held candlelight vigils demanding justice. They didn't get it. The soldiers were found not guilty, but the non-violent candlelight vigils continued as a tradition of political protest.
The candlelight vigils against Park Geun-hye grew in 2017 until the South Korean parliament was forced to respond and impeach Park for corruption and influence peddling. Park Geun-hye is now in prison, where her grandfather should have once been too, if an assassin's bullet had not found him first in 1979. Her grandfather had also been a collaborator during Korea's humiliation of Japanese colonialism. Collaboration and corruption run in the family.
In the May 2017 elections that followed Park's ouster the South Korean people, especially the younger generation, said they had had enough of US instigated animosity between them and their Northern brothers and sisters. Moon Jae-in ran an election campaign on a platform of anti-cronyism with industry, increased social programs for the people and a Sunshine Policy 2, similar to that of former President Kim Dae-jung. Moon won a landslide victory on his platform of peace and social justice.
The US regime has been sulking, plotting and hyperventilating with sarcasm, saber rattling and retaliation against both South Korea and North Korea for resuming relations that had been put on pause in 2008 with the election of hardliner Lee Myung-bak. Before Moon could even take office in May, the US regime humiliated him and caused him to lose face in April by putting THAAD missiles in South Korea. Thousands of South Koreans protested against the THAAD's, but since the US has military operational (colonial) control in South Korea the peoples' protests were ignored. Instead the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rained on the Sunshine before it even dawned.
In April 2017 Tillerson was already advocating tougher economic sanctions against North Korea. For months now the US has been raising the volume of the rhetoric against North Korea, threatening war, installing THAAD missiles, shipping more nukes to Guam, and tightening the screws of the embargo. All options are on the table except the diplomatic option.
Vice President Pence even refused to stand with everyone else during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. That was more than bad manners in Korea where face and harmony are socially important, and it reflects badly on the US. According to the Korean Times, Pence later said that he was “opposed to inter-Korean talks until North Korea agreed to start negotiations on denuclearization”.
Pence continues the propaganda word games on negotiations: it is the US that refuses to negotiate until North Korea meets certain preconditions. The US will not even say what the preconditions are and may not know itself. The US vacillates on talks from one day to the next and depending on who is speaking: Trump, Tillerson, Pence or the State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. The North Koreans have consistently offered to negotiate without any preconditions. The mainstream media rarely is honest, usually telling the public that the North Koreans “refuse to come to the negotiation table”.
To make sure that he spoils the good mood of the Olympics, Pence announced that the US would, “soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever”. An embargo is war by other means. Christine Ahn of Women Cross DMZ said to The Real News Network that the US economic embargo is a “policy of strangulation”.
The embargo is siege warfare like that used in the Ancient Era. The US is holding North Korean children hostage, and it is literally saying that it will kill one North Korean child every day until North Korea bends to the US will. This is barbaric, uncivilized and inhumane. It is a war crime and a crime against humanity. It is against the Geneva Conventions, even though the embargo was authorized by the UN Security Council.
After the First Gulf War and during the 1990’s UN Security Council embargo of Iraq, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reminded the parties involved that:
“Any decision by the Security Council to impose economic sanctions in the course of an armed conflict has to be in conformity with international humanitarian law, in particular with the provisions on relief for needy civilians as set out by the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
With the knowledge of hindsight we know that the economic embargo against Iraq killed over 500,000 Iraqi children. Even knowing that, the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a person without a human conscience, said on television that “IT WAS WORTH IT”.
Any coercion of one country against another is aggression, especially if that country is acting within it legal rights as a sovereign nation. North Korea has broken no international law and it has as much right as South Korea, Japan and the US to have nuclear power for electricity, to test missiles; and it has as much right as the US to have a nuclear arms program and nuclear bombs.
North Korea has not committed aggression against any other country or threatened to attack anyone except in self-defense. The US, its allies and the UN have overstepped their bounds in punishing North Korea for what it has every legal right to do. If the US is so concerned about nuclear proliferation, then it should start living up to its own obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which the US has not done, and go talk to their friends Pakistan, India, and Israel.
It should be remembered that the US was the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Korean Peninsula. It is a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for the nuclear armed US to threaten a non-nuclear power, which is why North Korea has developed nuclear weapons. In 1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower unilaterally nullified paragraph 13(d) of the 1953 Armistice Agreement and introduced nuclear weapons into South Korea (YouTube).
Economic embargos kill by restricting the imports of food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. Economic embargos deny the victim the ability to export its products in exchange for hard currency, puts a freeze on their foreign assets, and makes international monetary transactions nearly impossible. In the 21 st century economic sanctions, embargos, blockades, call them whatever; they are siege warfare, and a weapon of mass destruction. Embargos kill civilians and non-combatants indiscriminately and disproportionately. It is by definition a war crime.
North Korea has proven that the US propaganda that it refuses to sit at the negotiation table is a lie. The North Koreans have offered time and again to negotiate with the US, it has offered to suspend its nuclear program, and North Korea has even offered multiple times to negotiate a final peace treaty to the Korean War, which ended in 1953 with an armistice, but not a final peace. North Korea and South Korea are at the negotiation table now.
North Korea and South Korea are meeting, talking and marching under a unified flag. The US is throwing a tantrum and accusing Kim Jong-un's extended olive branch as being a dirty trick. The US says that Kim Jong-un is just trying to divide South Korea from the US. The US regime is humiliating South Korean by saying that they are weak, off the colonial leash, and going it alone without paternalistic protection.
South Korea and North Korea have taken the initiative to resolve their differences peacefully. The US is trying to abort the peace process, it is acting aggressively, it is engaged in war by other means, and it is illegally imposing an embargo on North Korea. The embargo is siege warfare and a weapon of mass destruction that kills indiscriminately and disproportionately non-combatants, especially the young, the elderly and the sick. The US is committing a premeditated war crime and a crime against humanity.
The US has victimized Korea since the US first invaded it in 1871. The US backed the Japanese subjugation and colonization of Korea when the US mediated the Treaty of Portsmouth ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The US interfered in the Korean Civil War of 1950 to 1953, killing several million Koreans and destroying every city, town, village and the civilian infrastructure in North Korea and much of South Korea. The US has refused repeated offers by North Korea to negotiate a final peace treaty to the Korean War, and the US has perpetuated the unnatural division of Korea. Korea deserves the liberation and independence the US promised them at the end of World War Two in 1945. All the US needs to do is get out of the way and let the Koreans decide their own destiny.
David William Pear, currently serving as a senior contributing editor for The Greanville Post, is a progressive columnist writing on economic, political and social issues. He is also a regular columnist and commenter on OpedNews. His articles have also been published by The Real News Network, Truth Out, Consortium News, Russia Insider, Pravda and many other progressive publications.