Trump Talks War and Peace with North Korea: Two Faces of the Same Imperialist Gangsterism

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


If anybody thinks the world is a safer place because Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a summit meeting next month with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, they need to take a hard look at some realities.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton recently said that any agreement with North Korea would follow the “Libyan model.” This refers to how Libya’s Gaddafi made a “deal” with the U.S. and other powers to shut down his weapons programs—and then those same powers massively bombed that country, overthrew Gaddafi, and had him killed.1 On May 17, Trump said Kim will remain in power if North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons—and then followed that immediately by threatening that if “we don’t make a deal,” what would take place “most likely” is the “model with Gaddafi, that was a total decimation.” Remember that this is the same Trump who threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, a country of 25 million people.

Whether or not the Trump-Kim summit and any U.S.-North Korea agreement happens, here are some key realities to understand:

  1. Starting with the 1950-53 Korean War and continuing to today, the U.S. has been the imperialist aggressor in the Korean Peninsula. In that war, the U.S. carpet-bombed and burned down every town in the North and killed an estimated three million civilians.2 Since then, the U.S. has surrounded and threatened North Korea with massive military force, including nukes and tens of thousands of troops stationed in South Korea. North Korea has produced a few nuclear weapons and apparently has the capability to deliver them long distances—a program widely acknowledged to be for the purpose of deterrence, in other words, preventing a U.S. attack. In contrast, the U.S. has thousands of nuclear weapons, and it is the only country in the world that has actually used them—reducing the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2 to rubble and killing hundreds of thousands of people.
  2. Whether through war or negotiations, the Trump/Pence regime and the U.S. rulers overall are pursuing their imperialist interests. These interests are totally against the fundamental interests of the masses of people worldwide, including in the U.S. They are about maintaining U.S. domination—including military domination—of not only the Korean Peninsula but the Asia-Pacific Region and the entire globe, in a rapidly changing world with intensifying great power rivalries.
  3. The proposed talks do not get rid of the threat of war. In fact, the Trump/Pence regime could end up using these talks—or the breakdown of negotiations even before the summit—to justify renewed threats against North Korea or even launching a military attack, claiming that they had “walked the last mile for peace.” Any negotiations are taking place in the context of an increasingly bellicose stance, direction, and policy posture overall by U.S. imperialism around the world. The fascist regime is greatly and quickly ramping up U.S. military spending—including expanding, modernizing, and making more “usable” the U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons.
  4. The Democratic Party has not seriously opposed Trump’s moves against North Korea. In fact, they have said in the past that Trump’s sanctions against North Korea, which harm millions of ordinary people in that country, were not “tough” enough, and that war would be needed if Kim Jong-un refused to cave in to U.S. demands. Now they’re expressing support for the Trump-Kim talks. This is because the Democrats are “on the same team” as Trump, as Obama said right after Trump’s election—they both represent the interests of the rulers, the capitalist-imperialists, even as there are differences in how to pursue them. The Democrats are proceeding—and are training those who are under their influence to proceed—entirely from U.S. imperialist interests. Whether those interests lead to war or to some kind of an agreement between the U.S. and North Korea in the coming period, the Democrats are setting the masses of people up to be badly misled—to collude with great crimes against humanity.
  5. As Bob Avakian puts it:

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way. (BAsics 3:8)

There is a whole system—the system of capitalism-imperialism—that spawned this fascist regime. The “normal” workings of this system have brought immense horrors and suffering for people—including wars of aggression that have murdered millions. The Trump/Pence fascist regime must be driven out through massive nonviolent protest of millions, before they can do even greater harm to the world. But there will be nothing good for humanity in going back to “imperialism as usual.” People in the U.S. need to break out of starting from the interests of the “USA” in any way, shape, or form, and to think and act based on the interests of humanity. And there is an urgent need to work for an actual revolution—to hasten the time when conditions have been brought into being where millions can be led to go all-out to overthrow this monstrous system, with a real chance to win.

1. For more, see “The 2011 U.S.-NATO War Helped Turn Libya Into Hell on Earth: Now the Imperialists Are Preparing to Wage War Again”  [back]

2. For more, see “American Crime Case #93: The U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950”  [back]


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