Democrat’s Position On North Korea Shows They Are A War Party

| Educate!

Above Photo: By Senate Democrats | CC BY 2.0

Popular Resistance agrees with Ajamu Baraka in his critique of Democrats criticizing Trump for the agreement reached with Chairman Kim of North Korea. We applaud the ending of US war games, which practiced military attacks, including nuclear attacks and the assassination of Korean leadership. This was a necessary step. Trump has ended a provocative and threatening practice that should have been stopped rather than expanded by President Obama. The reaction of Democratic leadership shows the US has two parties that favor war and imperialism.

The peace movement should approve this first step toward peace and urge more progress. The US needs to take further steps including removing its troops and weapons from North Korea, such as the Thadd missile system. The US should also be urged to sign a peace agreement with North Korea, South Korea and China. The US should allow South Korea to become a truly independent and sovereign nation free of US domination so they can determine their relationship with North Korea, China, Russia and other nations without US interference.

Peace and justice advocates must keep careful watch during this process as there are forces in the United States that are pushing back against peace. Too many corporations, the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies and politicians profit from conflict with North Korea. In addition, we should oppose US imperialism in North Korea as relations are normalized. After year of sanctions, the people of North Korea, not western transnational corporations, should profit from the natural resources of their nation and from their labor.

Trump has made positive steps that should have been made years ago. The Clinton administration made a successful agreement with North Korea that was undermined by George W. Bush and John Bolton. The US needs to build on Trump’s initial steps and the peace movement needs to urge greater steps toward economic normalization and peace.

– KZ and MF

If more proof was needed to persuade anyone that the Democrats are indeed a war party, it was provided when Senator Chuck Schumer and other Democrat leaders in the Senate engaged in a cynical stunt to stake out a position to the right of John Bolton on the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The Democrats asserted that the planned summit could only be judged successful if the North Koreans agreed to dismantle and remove all their nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, end all production and enrichment of uranium, dismantle its nuclear weapons infrastructure, and suspend ballistic missile tests.

Those demands would constitute an unconditional surrender on the part of the North Korean leadership and will not happen, and the Democrats know it.

But as problematic as those demands are, here is the real problem that again demonstrates the bi-partisan commitment to war that has been at the center of U.S. imperial policies: If these are the outcomes that must be achieved for the meeting to be judged a success, not only does it raise the bar beyond the level any serious person believes possible, it gives the Trump administration the ideological cover to move toward war. The inevitable failure to force the North Koreans to surrender essentially forecloses all other options other than military conflict.

This is a reckless and cynical game that provides more proof that neither party has the maturity and foresight to lead.

Both capitalist parties support the use and deployment of militarism, repression and war, but somehow – even though the historic record reveals the opposite – the Democratic party has managed to be perceived as less likely to support the war agenda than Republicans. That perception must be challenged directly.

The Democrats have had a long and sordid history connected to North Korea, and every other imperialist war that the U.S. has waged since the end of the Second World War. It was the policies of Democrat president Truman that divided the Korean peninsula and led to the brutal colonial war waged by U.S. forces. Conflict with Korea was valuable for Truman and his party advisors who were committed to re-militarizing the U.S. economy, and they needed the justification that the Korean war gave them. Truman tripled the military budget and established the framework for the network of U.S foreign bases that would eventually cover the world over the next few decades.

The bipartisan commitment to full spectrum dominance continues with no real opposition from the Democratic party-connected “resistance.” Even the Poor Peoples’ Campaign (PPC) that was launched in May and purports to be an independent moral movement still dances around the issue of naming the parties and interests responsible for the “moral failures” of the U.S.

On the other hand, the Revolutionary Action Committee, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the student- and youth-led anti-war movement and eventually Dr. King clearly identified the bi-partisan commitment to the Vietnam war. What Dr. King and the activists in the 1960s understood was that in order to be politically and morally consistent, it was necessary to name the culprits and identify the concrete geopolitical and economic interests driving the issue of war and militarism.

Appeals to morality as an element for popular mobilization against war can be useful. But such appeals have little more impact than an online petition if they substitute vague platitudes for substance and specificity.

So it was with the PPC’s week of actions against war. Just a few days before the week began, a vote took place in the House of Representatives to support yet another increase to the military budget. In a vote of 351 to 66, the House of Representatives authorized a significant hike to an incredible $717 billion a year.

And then just a few days after the PPC’s week of action on militarism and war, the Democrats delivered their reckless and opportunistic ultimatum to the Trump administration on North Korea that could very conceivably lead to another illegal and immoral U.S. war.

Not calling the Democrats out on their warmongering is itself immoral.

It is also quite clear that vague moral appeals are not enough to delineate the interests of the capitalist elites and their commitment to war as oppositional to those of working people and the poor, who in the U.S. serve the moneyed interests as enlisted cannon fodder.

The positions staked out by the leadership of the Democratic party just confirmed what was already commonly understood as the hegemonic positions among the majority in the foreign policy establishment.

Objectively, there was never much ideological space between the right-wing policies of Dick Cheney or John Bolton and the neoliberal right-wing policies of Democratic party policy-makers. The differences were always merely tactical and not strategic in the sense that they all want the North Koreans to be supplicants.

Unfortunately, the general public is the only sector confused about the intentions and interests of elitist policy-makers, especially those elements of the public conditioned to believe that the Democratic party is less belligerent and less committed to militarism than the Republicans.

The fact is that the Democratic party establishment is also firmly entrenched on the right. Defeating the bi-partisan right must be the task for ourselves and for the world.

That is why the peace, anti-war and anti-imperialist forces must do the work to clear up that confusion. The movement must declare without equivocation the position of the Black Alliance for Peace: Not one drop of blood from the working class and poor to defend the interests of the capitalist oligarchy.

  • ywsf

    oye, Shame on popular resistance for claiming democrats want war. they want real peace, not PR stunts.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Your head is somewhere the sun doesn’t shine. As much as I detest Trump (with grudging kudos for NK, where the devil will be in the details…), I hate HClinton viscerally. A Killary administration would have already had us at war with Russia, NK…while of course continuing or likely even hardening the bipartisan policy of kicking the Palestinians at every juncture of that hapless people’s forced march to genocide. (And never forget The Killary’s cackle about President Qaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died” — via butcher knife up his derriere.)

  • kevinzeese

    I could not tell if this comment was being sarcastic or really was ignorant. The Democrats have been consistently in support of war and expanding military budgets.

    Obama could have met with North Korea and moved toward peace. North Korea was ready, he didn’t. He could have stopped the “war games” rather than expanding. Obama institutionalized drone wars and the kill list where he personally approved drone killings. He expanded US militarism throughout Africa. Libya was destroyed and Qaddafi was murdered under Obama. Obama created the Syrian war with the CIA and funding “insurgents” building on long-term regime change efforts of both parties dating back to the 1940s. Obama through regime change campaigns reversed the movement toward progressive-left democracy in Latin America.

    That is just some of Obama. Every Democratic president has a history of war.

    As to North Korea, our response is, it is a first step. Our job as peace advocates to urge more steps toward peace. There is much to be done. But, Trump deserves credit for taking the first step. Democratic leadership responses criticizing the first step toward peace is counterproductive and not what we need in the political dialogue.

    I hope your comment was just being sarcastic. It is often hard to tell in online writing. If it was not sarcastic, it certainly was false and inaccurate.

  • jemcgloin

    I don’t know about the whole Democratic Party, but the centrists led by the Clintons and including Obama, are definitely for war. They just voted for a Republican budget with 25% more military spending, on top of voting for Iraq and the many examples listed by Kevin.
    But it was a Republican budget that raised military spending by 25%. It was Republicans that invaded Iraq, twice.

    And if you think that this is really a “first step” toward peace with NK, your being overly optimistic.
    Trump is a pathological liar who flips positions daily and was threatening nuclear war a few months ago. It is equally likely that this is a ruse so that in a few weeks Trump will declare that Kim cheated (on his non-agreement) and attack NK, so he can declare martial law and cancel elections. He is completely unpredictable and seemingly untethered to reality, because he doesn’t care about anything but himself. (Even he said his interest in NK is to build condos in their beaches. If peace gets in the way of that he could attack.)
    IfI love to see a peace treaty signed and war games cancelled. We never should have attacked Korea in the first place, and attacking them would likely mean WWIII.
    But if you think that that meeting the other day means that Trump and the Republican Party are interested in peace, you’re drinking Trump cool aid.

  • jemcgloin

    Google and read Al Gore’s 2002 speech on Iraq, where he quibbles slightly with Bush’s reasoning, but declares unequivocally that an invasion of Iraq is necessary.
    I’m so sick of hearing that it’s Ralph Nader’s fault we invaded Iraq. The Clinton administration was running recon missions in Iraq by 1999.
    Nader was the only candidate in that election not looking for an excuse to invade Iraq.

    But if you believe anything Trump says, believe it when he says he is for violence, war, and murder .

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Both your and Kevin’s positions have merit. Trump is unpredictable, for starters. With him for me, it’s not “trust but verify”: it’s “never trust while hoping (in any conceivable situation) that his Everest-sized ego will be satisfied by some measure of rationality that averts his lashing out in a cataclysmic reaction to what he and only he might perceive as a brake on his power and narcissism.” I believe that Trump treats women, his commercial endeavors, and now his reign astride the world with the same adolescent, bullying, my-way mindset. Woe unto all human denizens of the planet if he decides to use the immense-vast-immeasurable power that he now has at his disposal. (With, BTW, the execrable John Bolton at his side.)