The Dismissal of Victor Cha

Trump Moves Closer to Military Attack on North Korea

February 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


On January 30, several news organizations reported that Donald Trump had dropped the nomination of Victor Cha to be U.S. ambassador to South Korea. Cha’s offense? According to news reports, he “raised concerns about U.S. plans to use a pre-emptive military strike to give North Korea a ‘bloody nose.’”

Cha was director for Asian Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council during the presidency of George W. Bush. He advocates “enhanced and sustained U.S. regional and global pressure” on North Korea, as he wrote in a recent op-ed. This includes what he calls a “forceful military option available that can address the threat without escalating into a war that would likely kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans.” Cha’s approach is typical of how the U.S. imperialists dealt with North Korea before the Trump/Pence regime rose to power.

But this is not enough for the hard-core fascists of the Trump/Pence regime. Cha’s dismissal indicates that the U.S.’s plans for possible war to resolve its conflict with North Korea is serious as a heart attack. They don’t want anyone in a responsible position who isn’t 100 percent on board with this.

Talking about Depravity…

“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies.”

—From Trump’s January 30 State of the Union speech.

Who the hell is Trump to call anyone “depraved”?! He and his masters of nuclear war are drawing up plans to use the world’s most advanced weaponry to pound a poor and isolated country. North Korea is not any kind of “socialist” or liberatory society—but it does pose an obstacle to unfettered U.S. domination of East Asia, and the world. The concern expressed by U.S. leadership is for their troops and other Americans in Korea—not for the tens of millions of Koreans, and tens, even hundreds of millions more people, who could be killed if a conflict there sparks off wider war, as it well might! This is utterly unacceptable.

The U.S Seventh Fleet— the largest naval fleet in the world—has about 70 ships, 300 aircraft, and tens of thousands of personnel around North Korea. Last year the U.S. opened a sprawling $11 billion military base in South Korea that, according to a military expert, aims to “enable the rapid deployment of augmenting U.S. forces to the [South Korean military] and their expeditious projection to the forward area” (i.e., to invade North Korea, about 50 miles away). This is one of over 100 U.S. bases in South Korea. Trump has issued a steady stream of threats and insults at North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un.

The “bloody nose” plan Cha objected to is no schoolyard fist fight. John Nagl, a retired lieutenant colonel who worked with “Defense” Secretary James Mattis in Iraq, described this scenario: “We give North Korea a ‘bloody nose’ They respond with a conventional artillery strike on [the South Korean capital of)] Seoul. We go nuclear. China mobilizes [to prevent the fall of the North Korean government)]. … There is every prospect of a ‘bloody nose’ for North Korea ending in global war between China and the United States.”

Confront Reality… and Act to Change It

The reality is that the U.S. could launch a strike on North Korea at any moment. It could include, or quickly escalate to, an exchange of nuclear weapons. The lives of tens of millions of people would immediately be imperiled. The possibility is great that an attack on North Korea could spiral into a conflagration that would involve other powers, and spread to other parts of the world, using a range of weapons that could include chemical and biological poisons, as well as nuclear bombs.

There are some basic questions that have no moral ambiguity to them, questions that millions of people in this country must confront. Do you think Korean lives are every bit as valuable as American lives? Do you think the U.S. has no right to threaten, bully, and attack a country on the other side of the world? Do you think the slaughter that such an attack would initiate is completely unjustified and criminal? Do you need to do everything in your power, to act with and mobilize others to bring forth mass political opposition to a U.S. assault on North Korea?




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