Sunday, October 8, 2017

30,000 Children Died Today



On the morning of October 3, I read the following banner headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer: Massacre—Gunman kills 59 in worst U.S. mass shooting in modern times. Clearly the murder of 59 people was an unimaginably horrific event. People who were no doubt, enjoying themselves, suddenly became targets of a mass murder.

However, we can question why the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Associated Press framed their story as, “worst U.S. mass shooting in modern times”? The answer is clear. There was a mass murder in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1920. There was another mass murder in Rosewood, Florida that was made into a Hollywood movie. These and other mass murders were racist invasions of the Black communities. The perpetrators were not arrested or prosecuted by the government.

Then, we can look at the massacres at Wounded Knee and Sand Creek that were carried out by U.S. government armed forces. These massacres reflected one more chapter in the 100 year war against the original inhabitants of the nation that calls itself the United States of America. So, the government of this country did not consider the worst shootings in our history to be crimes.

However, when we talk about unnecessary deaths, we need to take a look at what happens in the world every day. According to a United Nations report issued in the year 2005, 30,000 children die of preventable diseases every day. Why are so many children dying?

Many of these children have no shoes. Parasites enter the feet of these children and they develop bloated stomachs and diarrhea. If these children do not receive simple antibiotics, they can die of dehydration. We should also consider that a child’s immunological system is not fully developed until the age of five.

Children also die because there are hundreds of millions of people in the world that don’t have enough food to eat. When mothers are malnourished they aren’t able to supply their children with a sufficient amount of breast milk. Since one out of every four people in the world don’t have direct access to electricity, there is no way to refrigerate milk.

The television news commentary 60 minutes reported that a peanut butter supplement called Plumpynut has been used to begin to deal with this problem. Plumpynut is highly nutritious but needs no refrigeration. While plumpynut may aid many children as well as adults, no one is arguing that this supplement will solve the enormous problem of unnecessary deaths of children.

They say there is no money

Those people who have political power in the capitalist world argue that there are no funds to deal with this enormous problem. In the United States, Democratic and Republican politicians are agreed that funding the military to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars is perfectly acceptable.

However, the funding of the military is small potatoes compared to the financial speculation that is a routine part of the system. Anyone who reads this blog can Google the question: How much money is invested in derivatives? The answer to this question is $1.2 quadrillion. That is one-thousand-two-hundred trillion dollars.

We should keep in mind another number that might give us some perspective. The Gross National Product is the total value of goods and services of a nation in a given year. If we add the GNP of all the nations in the world, we come up with a number of about $60 trillion. So, the value of the amount of money invested in derivatives is equivalent to the international GNP for about 20 years.

What are derivatives? These are extremely complex bets that the future of the economy will be all right. As we might imagine, sooner or later this bubble of derivatives will break, and the world will be plunged into an international depression.

Bernie Madoff and others have gone to prison for violating laws regulating the sales of bonds. Derivatives are unregulated by the government.

Understanding this reality, we can state clearly that the resources are available to eliminate poverty in the world. Yes, resources do exist to save the lives of the 30,000 children who die unnecessarily every day.

So when the press reports on the mass murders in Las Vegas as well as on September 11, 2001, we should not forget about those 30,000 children who perished on those same days. While the press talks endlessly about how to prevent these mass murders, we need to understand that the resources have been available to save the lives of the 30,000 dying children for the last 100 years.

Instead of investing in saving the lives of these children, massive amounts of money have been invested in killing machines, as well as financial derivatives that in reality have no value at all.

Cuba

For more than half a century the United States government has a trade embargo against Cuba. While Cuba has a tiny fraction of the wealth of the United States, their priorities are completely different.

After the Cuban Revolution the new government organized to bring electricity to every part of the island. This is just one reason why Cuba was able to respond to hurricanes that we have seen recently.

Every Cuban goes through training, so they will be prepared for what needs to be done before and after a hurricane strikes. The Cuban people understand that this might mean that one million or more people might be evacuated to avoid a hurricane. Every Cuban knows where they will stay if they need to be evacuated.

These measures have meant that there have been only about 45 deaths due to about seventeen hurricanes that struck Cuba. I believe about 1,833 people died in the single hurricane Katrina in the United States.

The Cuban Constitution says that all children on the island have a right to milk. Every Cuban also has the right to health care and education.

One of the most important ways of dealing with poverty is to provide education to women. So, when there are problems in Cuba, the Cuban people find creative ways of dealing with them.

In my opinion, the lesson here is that humanity has the potential to eliminate poverty. In Cuba people mobilize to deal with their problems. In the United States politics and economics are organized on the capitalist model. This means that while one out of every six people in this country doesn’t have enough food to eat, the number one priority is to maximize profits for the most affluent people in the world. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The unintended message of Ken Burns so-called documentary on the war against Vietnam



The Vietnam War

A film directed by
Ken Burns &
Lynn Novick

A review

The Burns—Novick documentary titled The Vietnam War has many problems. When we begin to view this film, the very title, The Vietnam War, appears to be a problem.

The nation known as the United States of America became a nation because of a revolutionary war for independence. The Declaration of Independence outlined the reasons for the revolution. The following words were taken from that document.

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Looking at the totality of this film, we see how there was indeed a “long train of abuses” established by puppet governments that were supported by the French and United States governments. So, a more accurate title of this so-called documentary would have been, The Vietnamese Revolution. However, that title would have undermined the theme of the film.

This is just one of many examples of how the theme of this film contradicts the story that the film portrays. So, first I will look at the theme of the film, and then I’m going to look at the story portrayed by the film.

First, we can say that most of this film is portrayed from the perspective of the United States. Yes, there are extensive interviews with the Vietnamese where we see a bit of their perspective. However, a basic theme of this film is about how the United States government made a series of horrendous mistakes that led to it’s defeat in Vietnam. 

For me, the theme of this film was best portrayed in the funeral of Pascal Cleatus Poolaw Sr. who was a United States soldier who lost his life in Vietnam. Poolaw was a decorated soldier in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. His three sons were also soldiers who served in Vietnam. He was also a Native American of the Kiowa nation.

At his funeral, his wife Irene had this to say:

“He has followed the trail of the great chiefs.

His people hold him in honor and highest esteem.

He has given his life for the people and country he loved so much.”

So, we see a clear and unequivocal message in this funeral. A highly respected member of the Kiowa nation gave his life because he loved the United States as well as all the people who live here.

This documentary failed to mention the history of the Kiowa people. The Kiowa are one of hundreds of Native American nations who actively fought against a genocidal war of the United States government for over 100 years. Their leaders were murdered and sent to prison. The government signed treaties with the Kiowa that allowed them to live on reservations. The U.S. government has acknowledged that it violated hundreds of these treaties with Native Americans.

So, while I respect Pascal Poolaw’s decision to support the war against Vietnam, I do not agree that this war supported the interests of the people of this country.  

What are the facts this film uncovers that in no way support the theme presented by Burns and Novick?

We can start with the number of people of Southeast Asia who were murdered because of the war. The film gives a number of five-million deaths during about eight years of the war against Vietnam. This number is equivalent to about half of the population of the cities of New York or Los Angeles.

We can also look at this horrendous number of five-million deaths from the point of view of the My Lai Massacre. On March 16, 1968 soldiers from Charlie Company under the command of Lieutenant William Calley murdered about 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians. These murders only stopped when Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson landed his helicopter between the murdered Vietnamese and Charlie Company. Thompson said that his crew would fire on Charlie Company if they continued to murder the Vietnamese.

Several members of Charlie Company went on trial for these murders. Only Lieutenant William Calley served time for this horrendous crime. Calley served three years under house arrest.

The Burns–Novick documentary failed to do the basic arithmetic that places the My Lai Massacre in perspective. The war against Vietnam lasted about eight years. Burns and Novick estimated that about five-million people lost their lives because of the war. Most, if not all these deaths were because of the United States invasion of the region.

So, if we divide five-million by 365 days of a year, and then divide that number by the eight years of the war, we get a number of 1,712 deaths for every day of the war. This means that there were the equivalent of more than three My Lai Massacres for every day of the eight years of the war against Vietnam.

We can also see from the facts presented by Burns and Novick that this massive number of deaths was no accident of war. The documentary shows how the U.S. government had a goal of reaching a “crossover point.” This crossover point was a goal to murder so many Vietnamese that the liberation forces would be unable to continue the war.

The administration of Lyndon Johnson reached this crossover point and believed that they were winning the war in 1967. Then, the Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive and attacked the over 500,000 U.S. soldiers at every location where they were stationed.

This horrendous number of deaths needs to be contrasted to the claims by the United States government that this war was about giving aid to Vietnam. Clearly there were many U.S. soldiers in Vietnam like Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson who honestly wanted to aid the Vietnamese. As we have seen, Thompson threatened Charlie Company if they continued the My Lai Massacre.

The U.S. forces also constructed infrastructure projects that helped modernize the country. President Johnson argued that the Mekong River could be used to generate massive amounts of electricity.

However, Johnson’s hypocrisy was exposed in a private conversation he had with the CEO of the CBS broadcasting company. One of CBS’s reporters, Maurice Shaffer, reported on a story of how U.S. soldiers were burning the homes of Vietnamese civilians.

After this story went on the air, President Johnson made a phone call to the CEO of CBS. Johnson asked this CEO, “Are you trying to f­­––– me?" Johnson then demanded that CBS fire Shaffer because he reported this story. The Johnson administration then labeled CBS as the “Communist Broadcast Service.”

What was the horrendous crime Maurice Shaffer committed? He reported the truth about what was happening in Vietnam. Given President Johnson’s response to this story, we see how reporting the truth was completely unacceptable to the United States government.

We can also think about a statement by President Eisenhower. The United Nations had mandated Vietnam to have an election while Eisenhower was president. The U.S. government prevented this election from taking place. Eisenhower argued that if these elections had been allowed, the leader of the liberation forces, Ho Chi Minh, would have won about 90% of the vote.

The liberation of Vietnam

A legitimate question to be asked is: How did the Vietnamese people manage to decisively defeat the most powerful armed force in the history of the world?

First, we can say that the U.S. government did manage to use their influence and military might to overturn several democratically elected governments in the world. Some of those governments include: Arbenz in Guatemala, Lumumba in the Congo, Mosaddegh in Iran, and Allende in Chile.

However, the Vietnamese people had experienced literally centuries of foreign rule by the Chinese, Japanese, French, and the United States. Yes, we can find many problems with the leadership of the National Liberation Front in Vietnam. However, their leadership combined with the will of the Vietnamese people to resist further foreign domination proved to be a force a United States was unable to defeat.

In this film, a U.S. officer was asked about the fighting capabilities of the Vietnamese liberation soldiers. He responded that they were the best soldiers he had ever seen and wished that he could have 200 soldiers with their abilities and determination.

We should also mention the challenges the NLF soldiers faced. The U.S. had an immense advantage in the fact that it dominated the air war. When U.S. soldiers were trapped they could make a call to headquarters and order a bombing raid of the Vietnamese positions.

Oftentimes the U.S. air force dropped napalm on these targets. One U.S. airman observed Vietnamese soldiers firing at his aircraft moments before napalm bombs burned them to death.

In the book The Tunnels of Cu Chi by John Penycate and Tom Mangold we see how the Vietnamese built an extensive tunnel system. They used these tunnels to ambush their enemies and then retreat without ever being discovered. Some Vietnamese soldiers lived in these tunnels for years. These tunnels were also equipped with machine shops and hospitals.   

Because of the U.S. advantage in the air, Vietnamese forces developed a strategy of engaging with their enemy in close quarters. This strategy neutralized the advantage of the air because air raids would kill U.S. soldiers as well as the Vietnamese.

We also see how the Vietnamese mobilized to rebuild the north after massive U.S. bombing raids. The U.S. government thought that these raids would neutralize the NLF. Washington would learn that it was the U.S. armed forces that would be forced to leave Vietnam.

The international anti-war movement

Initially the overwhelming majority of the population in the United States supported the war. As the war continued, growing numbers of people were won to the demand of total, complete, and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Vietnam.

While the U.S. government increased the number of soldiers they sent to Vietnam, people viewed televised reports of the gruesome realities of the war. Under these circumstances, it was only natural that large numbers of people joined in demonstrations opposed to the war. Towards the end, about eighty percent of the U.S. population opposed the war and supported the demand of bringing the troops home.

Many veterans of the war joined in the anti-war demonstrations and became leaders of the movement. There were reports that returning veterans were spit on by those who opposed the war. Apparently these reports were a complete lie designed to slander the anti-war movement. As far as I know, there was not a single incident where a soldier was spit on by someone who opposed the war.

To the contrary, anti-war protesters were murdered by the U.S. armed forces at Kent State, Jackson State, and in Los Angeles, California. These murders demonstrated that the government was more interested in stopping the anti-war demonstrations than they were interested in defending the constitutional right of freedom of speech.

The best source of information on the anti-war movement in the United States is by a leader of the movement, Fred Halstead, titled Out Now: A participant’s account of the movement in the United States against the Vietnam War.

Rebellions erupt in cities across the United States

We might also mention that at the same time as the Vietnamese were fighting for their liberation, Black people engaged in literally hundreds of rebellions in cities across this country.

We can start by recalling the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to sit in the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The ensuing Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 385 days and Black workers of that city walked for miles to work rather than sit on segregated buses.

We might also think about the fact that on May 7, 1954 the French military forces stationed at Dien Bien Phu surrendered to the Vietnamese. This French defeat was the beginning of the end of the French occupation of Vietnam.

By 1965 the civil rights movement had so much influence that the government was effectively forced to adopt the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. These laws effectively overturned the segregationist Jim Crow laws that had denied Black people citizenship rights.

However, discrimination continued to exist throughout the United States. Black people were fed up with discrimination in housing, employment, and education. It was the issue of police brutality sparked open rebellions.

The recent film Detroit documented how police officers of that city kidnapped and then murdered unarmed residents in the year 1967. These officers were never convicted of those murders. Over 50 people lost their lives in the Detroit rebellions largely because of the National Guard invasion of that city.

In this same year a rebellion broke out in my hometown of Newark, New Jersey. I was fourteen years old at the time. At the time the National Guard had tanks running up and down the streets of Newark. Out of more than twenty people who were murdered during the rebellions, three were children.

If I had a different skin color and lived a short distance from our residence, I might have been one of the children murdered by the National Guard. Yet, when I graduated from high school a few years later, the government required me to register for the draft to fight in the war against Vietnam.         

We might also consider that while the U.S. government was ordering federal troops into the cities of this country, this same government ordered the Air Force to carry out Operation Rolling-Thunder in Vietnam. This was a bombing campaign aimed a crippling the economy of North Vietnam. As the rebellions in this country continued the Vietnamese forces of the NLF carried out their Tet Offensive where they attacked every U.S. military base in their homeland.

One Black soldier who was interviewed in the film said that he lost his fear in Vietnam. While he was stationed there, he felt that death was almost a certainty.

When this soldier returned to this country, he was ordered to join the National Guard troops that were occupying the Black community. He refused to obey this order.

Martin Luther King gave a speech in 1967 where he opposed the war. In this speech King argued that given the immense damage the U.S. had done to their country, the people of Vietnam must have thought that the U.S. armed forces were “strange liberators.”

Malcolm X talked about the Vietnamese freedom fighters in the following passage:

“You think you can win in South Vietnam? The French were deeply entrenched. They had the best weapons of warfare, a highly mechanized army, everything that you would need. And the guerrillas come out of the rice paddies with nothing but sneakers on and a rifle and a bowl of rice. And you know what they did in Dien Bien Phu. They ran the French out of there. And if the French were deeply entrenched and couldn’t stay there, then how do you think someone else is going to stay there who isn’t even there yet?” 

Why did the United States government go to war against Vietnam?

This question was answered in a pamphlet written by Vladimir Illyich Lenin in the year 1917 decades before the war against Vietnam erupted. The title of this pamphlet is Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.

Lenin was raised in tsarist Russia and learned first hand about the effects of imperialist exploitation. At that time the French working class had made gains and French capitalists responded to these gains by building factories in Russia.

The working conditions in these factories were so horrendous it is difficult to even imagine. We are talking about sixteen hour working days where women received wages that were half of what men were paid. Women worked through their pregnancies and oftentimes delivered their children in the factory. Children routinely staved to death because their mothers were malnourished.

Lenin understood that these conditions didn’t exist because individual capitalists made mistakes where they weren’t sensitive to the needs of workers. No, he argued that these conditions existed because the capitalist system is driven to cut costs and to obsessively work towards world domination.

Lenin also saw how the First World War erupted as a direct consequence of this need by capitalists of competing nations to dominate the world. With the decline of the British empire, Germany and the United States went to war in order to decide which nation would dominate the world.

When we look at the war against Vietnam from this perspective, we can see how government officials in the United States were driven to win the war in spite of their clear hesitations about their capability of achieving this goal. Imperialism doesn’t happen because of bad government decisions, but because it is necessary to the capitalist system.

Remembering the days of the war against Vietnam, there was one fact that stood out to me. The United States spent about 350 billion dollars on the war. Had even one tenth of that amount been used in unconditional aid to Vietnam, the war not only would have been avoided, but we would be living in a much better world. However, I can’t even remember one media outlet that made this argument.

As Lenin once said: If capitalism were to have a genuine interest in feeding hungry people, it wouldn’t be capitalism. 

Communism

The U.S. government argued that the reason for the war was to “stop the spread of communism.” Since I’ve been a communist for the past 45 years, I believe I can offer some insight to this question.

I have been lucky that I’ve never served time in prison. This is becoming increasingly difficult for more and more workers in this country. However, the socialist Eugene Debs did serve three years in prison for giving a speech against U.S. participation in the First World War. Eighteen members of the Socialist Workers Party served time in prison because of their position in opposition to U.S. participation in the Second World War.

We might think about the fact that the idea of freedom of speech is supposed to be guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Today the nation of Cuba follows a Marxist point of view. Cuba has more doctors and teachers per capita than any other nation in the world. Education and health care are rights that every Cuban is entitled to. Yet Cuba is a relatively underdeveloped nation.

Not only does Cuba have more doctors and teachers, but that nation has trained thousands of doctors from all over the world. The only payment Cuba expects from these doctors is that they give medical care to communities that lack these services.

I happened to be in Cuba this year and was a member of 2017 May Day Brigade where people from all over the world came to learn about the Cuban reality. On May Day, I witnessed over one million Cubans giving their enthusiastic support to the government.

The recent hurricane Irma did a tremendous amount of damage to Cuba. However, Cuba sent it’s doctors to the other Caribbean islands to aid in their recovery.  

The United States had a different policy with respect to it’s colony in Puerto Rico. Recently the Puerto Rican government instituted massive cutbacks in order to pay off an astronomical debt of the island. Then, a hurricane hit Puerto Rico that eliminated all electrical power and most cell phone service. Residents now collect rainwater so they might be able to flush their toilets.

The United States government has responded to this crisis by sending 3,000 troops to Afghanistan. The war against Afghanistan is already the longest war in U.S. history.

When we look at this history there is one inescapable conclusion. Communism in no way is a threat to working people in this country. In my opinion, what we need in the United States is a government that makes human needs and not profits the top priority.

Conclusion

Today many people in this country have big problems with the seemingly mindless chatter coming out of the Donald Trump administration. When we think about these seemingly idiotic statements, we might also think about the reality of what the government of this country did to Vietnam.

Thinking about that reality, I believe that we can say clearly that the administration of Donald Trump isn’t the only problem facing working people in this country and around the world.

I believe that we need a government that will never go to war against poor people ever again. What we need is a government that makes it their top priority to eliminate poverty throughout the world.

I will end this blog with one of my favorite quotations from the novelist and social critic, James Baldwin.


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“Power, then, which can have no morality itself, is yet dependent on human energy, on the wills and desires of human beings.  When power translates itself into tyranny, it means that the principles on which that power depended, and which were its justification, are bankrupt.  When this happens, and it is happening now, power can only be defended by thugs and mediocrities––and seas of blood.  The representatives of the status quo are sickened and divided, and dread looking into the eyes of their young; while the excluded begin to realize, having endured everything, that they can endure everything.  They do not know the precise shape of the future, but they know that the future belongs to them.  They realize this––paradoxically––by the failure of the moral energy of their oppressors and begin, almost instinctively, to forge a new morality, to create the principals on which a new world will be built.”

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fire and Fury?



A commentary by Steve Halpern

This past week I’ve read comments by President Donald Trump that have been on the front pages of newspapers all across the nation. First, Trump threatened North Korea with, “Fire and fury.” Trump followed up this statement with the words: “Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.” He clarified these words stating that, “North Korea better get their act together, or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble.” For Trump, these statements weren’t enough. Speaking from his private golf club, while he is reportedly, “working on his vacation,” a banner headline from the Philadelphia Inquirer read, “Trump: U.S. military ‘locked and loaded.’”

To the best of my knowledge President Trump hasn’t specifically threatened North Korea with nuclear warfare. However, the above statements clearly imply, that is exactly what he is doing.

Listening to these statements many have concluded that Trump is different from other presidents. However, when we look at the history of this country, we might argue that while Trump might be more blunt than other Presidents, the content of his words have been a matter of routine policy in this country for decades. This is the history the pro-capitalist press rarely, if ever, reports on. So, this blog is an outline of the history of mass murder, as well as the resistance to U.S. policy, since the Second World War.

Japan

Most people know about the fact that the United States dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What most people don’t know is that the United States carried out a fire bombing campaign against Japan for six months before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The late E. Bartlett Kerr wrote a book documenting this history in his Flames over Tokyo – The U.S. Army Air Forces’ Incendiary Campaign Against Japan 1944 – 1945. Kerr reported that the U.S. military invented specialized phosphorous (fire) bombs to be used specifically against civilian areas of Japan. The military decided to use these bombs because most Japanese housing was made of wood that would easily burn. Experiments were carried out to ensure that these bombs were effective. Close attention was paid to the direction of the wind to ensure that there would be maximum destruction.

At the end of Kerr’s book he gave a list of sixty-seven Japanese cities that were firebombed. The largest city in Japan is Tokyo. Kerr claimed that 50.8% of that city was destroyed with these phosphorous bombs. Kerr also listed cities in the United States that had similar population as the 67 Japanese cities that experienced firebombing. New York City had a similar population as Tokyo at that time.

We might recall the horror of the three thousand deaths at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. It is unimaginable to think about what it would have meant if half of the city of New York was burned to the ground. However, that is exactly what happened to Tokyo before the end of the Second World War.

E. Bartlett Kerr makes the seemingly insane argument that these bombings were necessary in order to force Japan to surrender. In fact, the United States went to war against Japan because both nations wanted to dominate Asia. The U.S. government was in a hurry to end the war because they knew that the Soviet Union was mobilizing their armed forces to go to war against Japan.

At that time, Japan was effectively defeated and posed no threat to the United States. As we will see, the U.S. wanted to be in a strong position to reverse the revolutions that were erupting in China, Korea, and Vietnam.

China

After the war, the Chinese Revolution erupted. China had been dominated by foreign powers since the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century. As a result, tens of millions of Chinese died of starvation.

This problem of massive starvation was new to China. The Chinese built their Grand Canal that stretched for about 1,500 miles. So, in the past when one section of China experienced food shortages, relief supplies were shipped on the Grand Canal.

The foreign powers, dominated by Britain, had no interest in maintaining this canal. These powers were only interested in the profits they could amass from China. So, when there were food shortages tens of millions of people starved to death.        

After the Second World War, China had a tremendous debt mostly due to their purchase of armaments. We might keep in mind that the Chinese government of those days was not only at war with the occupying Japanese army, but also with the Chinese forces under the command of Mao Zedong.

In order to attempt to pay this massive debt, the pro-capitalist Chinese government put in place a system of massive inflation. This policy literally destroyed the Chinese capitalist economy. So, the forces commanded by Mao Zedong took political control of the nation in a relatively bloodless revolution.

The political officials in the United States were enraged by the Chinese Revolution. They actually argued that they, “lost China.” So at the end of the Second World War, the U.S. government attempted to keep the armed forces mobilized in the Pacific. The reason for this continued mobilization was to attempt to bring down the new Chinese revolutionary government.

The problem was that the soldiers stationed in the Pacific wanted to go home. They experienced the horrors of war, and didn’t see any reason to continue fighting a war against China. So members of the U.S. military organized a movement to bring the GIs home. This movement forced the U.S. government to temporarily abandon their plans to place a puppet regime in China.   

Korea

Just as in Vietnam and China, there was an insurrectionary movement in Korea to free itself from Japanese occupation. After the war, those who fought against the Japanese took control over the entire nation. However, just a few days after Japan’s surrender, the U.S. armed forced invaded Korea and divided the nation into the northern and southern sections.

The U.S. government placed Syngman Rhee in charge of South Korea. Rhee lived in the United States for decades and had university degrees from George Washington, Harvard, and Princeton. He was also one of the few Korean supporters of the U.S. who was fluent in English.

While the press in this country has been highly critical of the repressive policies of North Korea, we read very little about the long history of repression in South Korea. These repressive policies began with Syngman Rhee. Rhee wanted to take control of the entire Korean peninsula and deliberately provoked the North to invade the South.

Because of his repressive policies, few in the South defended Rhee and the Northern Korea forces took control of the South in a short period of time. The only reason why there is a nation of South Korea today was because of a massive U.S. invasion.

General Douglas MacArthur felt that the U.S. armed forces would overwhelm the Koreans. He also believed that these armed forces could proceed to invade China and take control of that nation.

Well, the Koreans and Chinese allowed the U.S. forces to move north all the way to the Chinese border on the Yalu River. Then, the Chinese and Koreans counterattacked and trapped an entire battalion of U.S. soldiers.

As a part of the U.S. war against Korea General Curtis LeMay claimed that U.S. bombers destroyed about 20% of North Korea. The Air Force dropped about 32,000 tons of napalm bombs. These bombs literally burned Koreans. The Air Force also dropped 630,000 tons of explosive bombs on the country. Many of these bombs were dropped on the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. The residents of this city didn’t leave their homes for days because many of these bombs were time-delayed and the residents had no idea when they would explode.

It was General Curtis LeMay who was the Air Force Commander during the wars against Japan, Korea, as well as Vietnam. In Vietnam, LeMay argued that, “We should bomb Vietnam back into the stone age.” In the war against Korea and Vietnam, literally millions of people were killed by the U.S. forces. In other words, U.S. politicians gave the Air Force permission to carry out LeMay’s horrendous vision.

However, Vietnamese resistance, as well as the anti-war movement that erupted around the world, forced the United States to leave Vietnam. That anti-war sentiment continues to this day.

Conclusion

This blog gives just some of the facts that demonstrate how the current statements threatening war against Korea by President Trump are nothing new. In fact, most of the U.S. wars of the twentieth century took place when there was a Democratic Party President.

Today, South Korea is the only nation that I know of that changed from being underdeveloped to a highly developed nation. We should also keep in mind that, as in all capitalist nations, there is large-scale poverty in South Korea. People around the world know of the corporations Samsung, LG, and Hyundai. I believe that we can say that South Korea isn’t just a developed nation, but it has taken on imperialist characteristics. All of this happened because of massive capitalist investment in the nation.

We might keep in mind that the cause of the First and Second World Wars was the competition of the world powers for which one would dominate the world. Clearly, the United States capitalists have an interest in restricting South Korean global interests.

Clearly the Korean people don’t want another U.S. war against their country. Clearly, China doesn’t want that war either.

Yet, today there are about 80,000 U.S. soldiers stationed on Korean soil. While U.S. politicians portray the North Korean government as crazy, history tells another story. We don’t need to embrace the government of Kim Jon-un to understand that the United States has been the aggressor in Asia for quite a long time.

President Donald Trump isn’t a worker. He has no idea what it means to work for a boss in order to support his family. All wealth comes from working people who provide all the goods and services we all need and want. Donald Trump has no idea of what it means to be a garment worker, or a farm worker, or what it means to work in a factory or a meat processing plant. He was born into wealth, and probably didn’t need to work a day in his life.

Understanding this I believe that Donald Trumps threats to Korea underscore the idea that he has no idea what the word courage means. No, in my opinion Trump and his democratic and republican co-thinkers are motivated by another emotion: fear.

Trump ran for President because he sees the instability in the world. He clearly doesn’t like to think about the fact that this instability can lead to the loss of all the obscene amounts of wealth he owns. Trump believes in the impossible dream that his policies of, “America First,” will create some kind of stability in the world. He is learning that this idea has no more chance of success, than an elephant attempting to dance and the head of a pin.


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I believe that there are enough nuclear weapons in the world to destroy this planet five times over. We who live here have literally every reason to oppose all U.S. moves towards war.