The USA has the moral low ground going into North Korea

Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump

Does Donald’s bird’s nest Trump Kim’s Jong-Unfortunate undercut?

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has recently offered an unprecedented invitation to United States president Donald Trump to visit North Korea and meet with him personally to begin talks about the myriad problems facing the Korean peninsula. Trump has expressed optimism about a diplomatic solution, though American officials are quick to point out that the US will continue putting intense pressure on North Korea despite any diplomatic overtures.

As U.S. national security advisor Henry McMaster put it:

We’re determined to keep up the campaign of maximum pressure until we see words matched with deeds and real progress toward denuclearization.

As the prospect of such an incredibly historic summit begins to crystalize, I can’t help but balk at the absurdity of this image of America the Peacemaker.

With words like these, the state department is trying to maintain the same image it always tries to project on the global stage, draping the United States in the cape of a reluctant global hero and champion of peace. Henry McMaster is just the most recent in a very long line of American diplomats who have tried to paint a picture of the USA as a peace-loving and merciful gentle giant with a massive heart that’s intent on bringing peace and freedom to the world.

As the prospect of such an incredibly historic summit begins to crystalize, I can’t help but balk at the absurdity of this image of America the Peacemaker.

Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.

Cults of personality will never not make me super uncomfortable.

To be clear, I am not a North Korea apologist. As an anarcho-communist, I am very much opposed to any state oppression in any form, and even though much of what you hear about North Korea is Orientalist propaganda, it’s unquestionably true that North Korea is oppressive and abusive towards its people. But this article isn’t about building a case against North Korea — there are thousands of other articles out there that have plenty of negative info about North Korea if that’s what you’re looking for, and the United Nations have consistently condemned the DPRK and placed sanctions on its leaders, so I won’t be beating that dead horse for the time being.

What I want to know is, where is all this outcry and sentiment against the USA? Why would anyone take seriously the idea that America should take a position of leadership when it comes to dealing with the despots and tyrants of the developing world when we ourselves are a nation that has left bloody handprints all over countless developing nations throughout modern history and around the world?

What gives the United States of America, of all nations, the moral high ground to pontificate to other countries about subjects like peace and ethical statesmanship? Here is a country which has consistently built and maintained ruthless, self-serving, underhanded, and deceptive campaigns of violence and war since its inception, both domestically and abroad.

America has a very long history of militaristic imperialism.

Let’s say we can put the chattel slavery and genocide of Native Americans and 19th century Gun Boat Diplomacy to bed as an unfortunate and closed chapter of early American history (of course, we can’t – but for the sake of argument, let’s just say we can). Let’s further assume we get a feather in our cap for “beating the Nazis” (with incredibly significant and unsung support and sacrifice of the USSR and our other allies). Let’s start the clock at the end of World War II, which was incidentally the dawn of the tensions in Korea. Can anyone say with a straight face that the USA is significantly better than North Korea when it comes to human rights, both in terms of our domestic abuses as well as the militaristic bloodthirstiness we’ve demonstrated abroad?

Let’s spend a little more time on that last point. Donald Trump was elected president of the United States with votes from just around 25% of eligible voters. My own votes in the presidential elections never matter at all, because I come from a “winner take all” state where whoever gets 51% or more of cast votes will take all of the electoral college ballots. Even if we ignore the fact that Russia carried out an immense campaign to manipulate our election, we can’t ignore the shadowy field of capitalist agents who are even more powerful than the Kremlin. Ever since Citizens United, corporations and other for-profit institutions have been infinitely emboldened to influence American democracy, now free to pour money into our elections without restraint.

Comrade Jeb gets a pass.

It is absolutely inexcusable for one family to hold so much power in the DPRK, that goes without saying. But America has no dearth of dynastic families wielding immense power: the Bushes, the Clintons, the Koch Brothers, hell, event the Kennedys are making a comeback. And of course we have Trump, who has knotted the white house together with family ties.

For every lurid story you read about North Koreans executing innocent victims I can show you a counter-example of US soldiers, police, and clandestine agents carrying out sadistic and unjustified murder of unarmed and innocent civilians domestically and abroad. For every testimonial accounting of human rights abuses at the hands of the Kim regime, I can point to acts of torture and humiliation committed by American agents in places like Abu Ghraib and Bagram.

The United States indefinitely incarcerates detained aliens and we continue to indefinitely detain innocent foreign civilians at Guantanimo Bay.

None of this is intended as a whataboutistic defense of North Korea. Even most children realize that two wrongs don’t make a right. The topic of North Korea, and how much it deserves condemnation, is a topic for a future article. For now I’ll continue to focus on totality of American violence and interventionist outcomes which constitute an overwhelming indictment against the United States of America and its position in Korea.

These issues need to be sorted out by the residents of the peninsula, and no other states nor their agents should intervene.

South and North Korea are finally sitting down to settle their differences and the United States, as hypocrites and warmongers and puppeteers of brutal regimes around the world, has no legitimate place at the table. These issues need to be sorted out by the residents of the peninsula, and no other states nor their agents should intervene. This should be plainly obvious to anyone who truly believes in liberty and self-determination!

The real question we as leftists should all be asking is, where are the sanctions against the USA? Where is the flurry of international demands to open up our democracy and shed light on the clandestine operations of our pathologically violent regime? Why aren’t peaceful nations showing up on our doorstep to demand that we dismantle our nuclear weapons program?

USA, North Korea, and nuclear missile

Q. Which of these oppressive regimes should have its nuclear arsenal confiscated and its oppressive regime overthrown? A. Yes.

As we move towards this diplomatic dog and pony show between the regimes of North Korea and the USA, every true leftist must remain stalwart in our critical support for the North Korean people. We must reject sensationalistic Western propaganda that portrays North Koreans as violent savages and remember that they are just another population of pawns, the most recent in a long line of deadly American diplomatic wargaming in the developing world.

Certainly, the people of Korea deserve liberation from repressive state authority wherever and however it exists (and it exists in the capitalist South as well as in the Jucheist North), but they are equally deserving of a future that’s brighter than anything America’s puppeteers and regime builders might foist upon them.

As leftists we must resist American interventionism in Korea and around the world. So long as America sews seeds of violence and capitalist-imperialism on a global scale we must demand that the United States government withdraw from the peninsula and refrain from any further intrusion into these discussions.

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