Jacob G. Hornberger – February 17, 2018
Among the U.S. government’s worst nightmares is the participation of North Korean athletes in the Winter Olympics, which are being held in South Korea. That’s because Americans might get to know some of the North Koreans, who might just come across as regular people, perhaps even likeable.
That’s not a good thing for a regime that has been committed to regime change for almost 80 years. Given the brutal sanctions that the U.S. government enforces against North Korea and given the distinct possibility that U.S. officials could still initiate a surprise military attack on North Korea or provoke an attack, the last thing U.S. officials want is for the American people to personalize any North Korean citizen.
In fact, if you happen to catch photographs of any of the North Korean athletes (here’s one and here’s another) or happen to see them on television or the Internet, perhaps being interviewed, think about this: These are the young North Korean people, along with many others, that the U.S. government is trying to kill with its brutal sanctions. The idea is that if the sanctions can kill enough North Korean young people or adults, the North Korea regime will fall and a pro-U.S. dictator can be installed in his place, who will then, it is hoped, permit U.S. official[s] to install missiles on China’s border. In other words, the same aim as U.S. regime change in Ukraine, where the ultimate goal was to install U.S. missiles on Russia’s border.
Or if war were to break out in Korea — a still distinct possibility — the last thing U.S. officials want is for Americans to think about Korean families in any way other than as just a bunch of communists. In that way, Americans won’t have any reservations or compunctions about U.S. bombers carpet-bombing North Korean towns and villages, like they did in the Korean War. “The only good communist is a dead communist” was the mindset that U.S. officials inculcated in American children and adults throughout the Cold War. It’s the mindset that they want Americans to continue having about North Korean citizens.
U.S. reporters and commentators, who sometimes behave like they are products of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, are telling Americans to not be taken in by any “charm offensive” conducted by North Korea. They are emphasizing that North Korea brutally oppresses its own people. To ensure that Americans get that political point, Vice President Pence is even going to the Olympics with Fred Warmbier, whose son Otto died from injuries received in a North Korean jail after being convicted of violating North Korean law.
A communist regime brutal? Well, duh!
But hey, when it comes to brutality, the U.S. government isn’t exactly a piker either. Just ask all the people who have been held captive in the Pentagon-CIA torture camp and prison at Guantanamo Bay or the families of prisoners who have died there. They’ll confirm that U.S. national-security state officials can be every bit as brutal as their national-security counterparts in North Korea.
Or just talk to the family of Abed Hamed Mowhoush, the Iraqi general who was killed after he surrendered to U.S. forces after the U.S invaded Iraq under a WMD deception. Indeed, talk to all the Iraqis who were brutalized and abused, perhaps even raped, by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Or the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been shot, killed, tortured, or executed or had their homes or businesses destroyed by the U.S. invasion and occupation of their country — notwithstanding the fact that neither the Iraqi government nor the Iraqi people ever attacked the United States or even threatened to do so.
Indeed, while we are on the subject of Iraq, Korea, and U.S. sanctions, let’s not forget about the brutal U.S. sanctions against Iraq. U.S. officials killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children with those sanctions. Confirming that U.S. officials are no pikers either when it comes to brutality and indifference to brutality, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright told “Sixty Minutes” that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were worth it — that is, worth trying to achieve regime change. Yes, children!
Some U.S. commentators are pointing out that North Korean officials engage in assassination. Well, duh! Again, this is a communist regime we are talking about. But let’s not forget something important: So does the U.S. government, specifically the national-security branch of the U.S. government, the most powerful branch. It too is no piker when it comes to assassination. Recall the U.S. assassinations of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son Abdulrahman. Or the execution of American citizens Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi in Chile. Or the assassinations of Frank Olson, Mary Pinchot Mayer, Dorothy Kilgallen, and John Kennedy. Or the unknown number of people killed by the CIA’s MKULTRA. Indeed, let’s not forget the quite obvious fact that U.S. officials are assassinating people in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan on a regular basis, notwithstanding the fact that none of the victims were or are attacking the United States.
In fact, let’s not forget about the tyrannical and oppressive dictatorial regimes that the U.S. national-security state, especially the CIA, has put into power and which have brutally oppressed their people: Iran, Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil come to mind. Indeed, let’s not forget about U.S. support of tyrannical and oppressive regimes today. Egypt comes to mind. So do Iraq and Afghanistan.
State surveillance in North Korea? Well, duh! It is a communist state. But hey, let’s not forget that the U.S. national-security state is no piker either when it comes to surveillance of the American people. Just ask the NSA and the FBI.
Undoubtedly, during the Olympics U.S. officials and their acolytes in the mainstream press will be reminding people that North Korea is, in fact, a communist state. And their point is, what? Vietnam is a communist state too. We don’t see U.S. officials trying to achieve regime change there. In fact, it’s the exact opposite: Pentagon officials are embracing the Vietnamese Reds as if they were two long-lost Big Brothers.
In fact, it’s worth reminding everyone of the characteristics of North Korean communism, which strongly resemble the things that American statists love. They have Social Security there, just like the U.S. does. They also have Medicare and Medicaid. They have public schooling, where children receive pro-North Korea indoctrination, just as American schoolchildren receive pro-U.S. indoctrination in their public schools. While U.S. officials employ the minimum wage to help American workers, North Korea guarantees every citizen a state job. While U.S. officials take only around a third of people’s income, North Korea equalizes wealth by taking everything from everyone to fund its massive welfare state and warfare state. What the North Korean Reds have done is take the principles of America’s welfare-state, regulated-economy, warfare-state way of life and applied them totally and consistently in North Korea.
Indeed, let’s not forget that both North Korea and the United States are both national-security states. So is China. So is Vietnam. So is Russia. Nothing exceptional there.
Among the biggest differences between the U.S. national-security state and North Korea’s national security state is with respect to aggressiveness and belligerence. Ever since the end of the Korean War, the North Korean communist regime has not invaded one single country. Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold true for the U.S. national-security state. It has waged wars of aggression against many nations, with the aim of achieving regime change in such countries. It has still not given up the possibility of invading North Korea. Despite the ostensible end of the Cold War, U.S. officials remain as obsessed with regime change in North Korea as they do in Cuba, where the U.S. economic embargo is still inflicting as much economic harm on the Cuban people as possible.
During the Olympics, you can rest assured that U.S. officials and their assets in the mainstream press won’t be telling Americans the big reason that North Korea wants nuclear weapons that can hit the United States — not to initiate a war against the United States, as U.S. officials and the U.S. mainstream press maintain, but rather to deter one of the U.S. government’s violent regime-change operations against North Korea.
The best thing that could ever happen to the American people and the people of Korea, both North and South, is if U.S. officials, including Pence, stayed home during the Olympics and, more important, pulled all U.S. troops out of Korea, brought them home, and discharged them. That’s because it is U.S. interventionism in Korea that is the root cause of the problems in that part of the world.
This article was originally published at FFF.org. Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.