US Protection Racket Root of Korea Conflict

The best way to understand the seemingly reckless, recurring threat of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is this: the East Asian region is being run like a Mafia protection racket. And the criminal Mafia is the US.

The conflict emanates from Washington and is perpetuated by Washington. Why? To justify what would otherwise be seen as simply outrageous US militarism in the Asia Pacific hemisphere, and in particular a criminally aggressive agenda towards the main geopolitical targets of Washington: China and Russia.

Korea’s conflict is not primarily about North and South “enemy states”. It is, as it has been for the past 68 years since the end of World War II, about Washington using military force to criminally assert its hegemony on the global stage.

But you wouldn’t know this from a casual reading of the Western news media. No, we are told over and over again that the US is “protecting” South Korea and its other Asian allies. The military presence of the US is “serving” as a “deterrent” to aggression from a “sinister” North Korea. In this depiction, the US is the good guy, while North Korea is the menacing reprobate that is a scourge on everybody’s well-being and security. Kim Jong-un is the embodiment of the Axis of Evil.

That so-called “quality” news media such as the BBC, New York Times and Guardian can get away with seriously presenting this situation in terms portraying the US as a benevolent force is an astounding feat of reality inversion and brainwashed mind control. The irony is that such media implicitly mock North Korea as a Stalinist “Big Brother” state, where critical thought and expression are forbidden. Yet, these media display the very same habit of mental conformity that they disparage North Korea for.

As noted above, the only way of properly interpreting the recent weeks of threat and counter-threat of all-out war in Korea is to recall scenes from the classic Mafia movie, The Godfather. You know the drill. The mobster goes around the neighborhood demanding loyalty, respect and tributes “for protection”. If the residents don’t conform to the racket, then the boss arranges self-fulfilling violence to rain down on those who dare to reject his magnanimous “protection”.

The exact same arrangement applies in Korea under the tutelage of the US. The Peninsula was unilaterally partitioned in 1945 by Washington into North and South statelets because the US could not abide the fact that the Korean population at that time was strongly anti-imperialist and yearning for socialist democracy. That egalitarian sentiment helped the Koreans resist the occupying Japanese imperialists prior to and during World War II.

Tellingly, in order to assert its hegemony over Korea and the Asia Pacific, the US worked the neighborhood over assiduously in order to defeat the popular movement for independence and democracy that the Korean people exhibited so boldly. Washington achieved this by installing pro-Japanese collaborators as the rulers of newly formed South Korea. Think about that one. The US fought a war allegedly to defeat fascism and imperialism, only to immediately collude with the same political forces to defeat Korean democracy.

The dropping of the atomic bombs by Washington on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was part and parcel of American efforts to demarcate a postwar hegemony in the Asia Pacific to the Soviet Union and China – and this is why Korea was also fractured into two alien states that were then precipitated into war between 1950-53.

That war — in which a third of the northern Korean population were exterminated by American indiscriminate carpet-bombing and napalm incineration — has never officially ended. The armistice signed in 1953 under Washington’s dictate is technically only a ceasefire. For decades, North Korea’s demand for a full peace treaty has been repeatedly rejected by Washington and its South Korean client state. In other words, Washington has retained the implicit prerogative to resume its aerial bombardment of the North Korean population at any time it chooses. That constitutes a constant threat, or a policy of state terrorism by Washington.

The threat from the US towards the Korean population has and continues to include nuclear annihilation. During the Korean War, the US air force would regularly fly nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the Peninsula. People on the ground would recognize the aircraft, but they did not know what the operational intent was. Can you imagine the terrorism that this conveyed? — barely five years after the US vaporized the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and at the same time that US military were compelling Koreans to live in caves as the only way of escaping mass destruction from conventional bombing.

This same thuggish behaviour by the US government is consistent with its authorization during this past week for the flying of nuclear-capable B-2 and B-52 bombers over the Korean Peninsula. The dropping of “inert bombs” by these aerial monsters has to be seen as a heinous calculation in Washington aimed at heightening the terrorism.

Yet, absurdly, the Western propaganda organs, otherwise called news, portray this American state terrorism as “protection”.

The New York Times, for example, quoted one so-called expert as explaining North Korea’s response to the latest American provocation by saying: “The North Korean populace has to be regularly reminded that their country is surrounded by scheming enemies. Otherwise, they might start asking politically dangerous questions.”

The laugh about this brain-washed expert thinking, and the New York Times promoting it, is that the people of Korea are indeed surrounded by a scheming enemy — the US — and if the wider international public and media were to start thinking about that fact, then there would be “politically dangerous questions” such as: what gives the US the right to conduct annual military “war games” off and on the Korean Peninsula for the past six decades, including the deployment of nuclear annihilation?

The people of Korea, North and South, deserve and desire peace. Despite the antagonism and belligerence highlighted in the Western propaganda media, the majority of people of North and South Korea have, in fact, no wish for war. The consensus among ordinary Koreans is for peace and a democratic resolution to decades of conflict imposed on their homeland from outside. But they won’t obtain that reasonable condition as long as Washington continues to run its “protection racket”.

And, unfortunately, the American government will not, cannot stop its criminal behaviour – because domination, aggression and terrorism are the hallmarks of Washington’s Mafia regime.

Finian Cunningham is a frequent contributor to PressTV where this article appeared. Read other articles by Finian.