Wednesday, February 10, 2016


NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER #4, February 10, 2016.
Seeing the World As the Enemy Sees It
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.
(#1 July 19, 2012; #2 April 13, 2012; #3, Jan. 19, 2016).

What are the causes, consequences, and cures of the US empire?  Specifically:  What are the causes and what the cures for the hostility between NK and US?   Clearer thinking is possible when we return to the original name of the WAR DEPARTMENT.   


Contents North Korea Newsletter #3 at end


Contents North Korea Newsletter #4

Dick:  Eleanor Roosevelt and J. William Fulbright,Talking with Enemies

Origins of Korean War, War Crimes Korean War:  I. F. Stone’s The Hidden History of the Korean War

Mainstream Media (MM) Reports Enemy North Korea

Dick:  Thinking Critically about Reporting on NK in US MM = Thinking Critically about Reporting the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  Reading NK = Reading SU.

Dick:  Thinking Critically about University Research, Henry Giroux

Continuation of Anti-NK Reporting in US MM by Dick Bennett

Reporting North Korea in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (AD-G) Jan. 6 to Present 2016 Continued (Jan. 6 NK hydrogen nuclear bomb test).  Eight articles. 

“Japan Legislators Decry N. Korea Launch” (Feb. 10)
“Senators Say Ships Unproven, Urge Navy to Slow Deployment” (Feb. 9)
 “North Korea Launches Rocket, International Uproar” (Feb. 7)
 “N. Korea Neighbors:  Will Target Rocket Debris.”
“Japanese Emperor Prays at Philippines War Memorial.”
“Panel Oks Tighter Clamp on N. Korea” (Jan. 29)
“U.S. to China: Curb N. Korea or Face Steps: Kerry Points to Advanced Missile
      Shield.” (Jan. 28).
“Foreign Policy by Swagger” (Jan. 28).


The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

“It is possible that Westerners never fully understand the complexity of the Russian character, but I constantly kept trying to do so throughout my service with the United Nations and later, because I know it is extremely important for us to learn all we can about our powerful international opposition”  (313).


J. William Fulbright on Talking with the Soviet Union

     In The Price of Empire (1989), J. William Fulbright recounts how he tried but failed to include the Soviet Union in his educational exchange program.   Militarist, imperialist, Sovietphobic senators were too numerous and influential.  How can we negotiate or consort with the enemy, they demanded to know. 

     But Fulbright perceived a lack of empathy at the heart of US belligerence around the world.  “We seem to have great difficulty putting ourselves into the position of the Russians to see how they might look at us” (22).  Fulbright asked, in regard to President Reagan’s  Nicaraguan policies,  “what have we learned from Vietnam?”  He replied, “apparently little or nothing,” when “we should have learned, above all that we, as a nation, are no more immune than the great powers of the past from the arrogance of power.”  Then “we might start to turn away from the obsession with Russia and communism that has gripped us for over forty years” (127-8).

      The “futile quest for primacy” over the Soviet Union and Vietnam that cost the US, those countries and others, incalculable suffering similarly today blinds our leaders and inflames their thoughts against North Korea.   But today, as our deal with Iran shows to the world, we can recognize the immense value of diplomacy.  And we have a Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is capable of breaking out of the fortress of arrogant US exceptionalism, who opposed the Vietnam War, and brokered the Iran agreement.  Yet Kerry perplexingly treats NK with old warrior presidents’ eyes.  Why?



As the fixation on the “appeasement” at Munich was applied to all other situations and used to justify the US arming itself for unceasing war, the mailed fist in the face of Kim Jong-Un is justified by the fixation on NK as having started the Korean War by invading SK.  Fortunately, a book has investigated that claim to show how complex are the origins of that war.  


I.                 F. Stone’s The Hidden History of the Korean War (1950-1953) (in Mullins Library DS 918.S8 1969),

Book Review by Jay Hauben, The Hidden History of the Korean War by I. F. Stone, Monthly Review P, 1952, 1970.

Global Research, July 14, 2013
by Jay Hauben
The controversial book, The Hidden History of the Korean War by I. F. Stone was originally published in 1952 during the Korean War (1950-1953) and republished in 1970 during the Vietnam War (1960-1975). It raised questions about the origin of the Korean War, made a case that the United States government manipulated the United Nations, and gave evidence that the U.S. military and South Korean oligarchy dragged out the war by sabotaging the peace talks.

Publishing such a book in the U.S. during the time of McCarthyism, while the war was still continuing was an act of journalistic courage. Forty years later, declassified U.S., Soviet, and People’s Republic of China documents both confirmed some and corrected some of Stone’s story.

 Until his death in 1989, Stone was an experienced and respected, independent, left-wing journalist and iconoclast. This book-length feat of journalism, with over 600 citations for his quotes and materials, is a testament to Stone’s search for a way to strengthen his readers to think for themselves, rather than be overwhelmed by official stories and war propaganda.

 The standard telling was that the Korean War was an unprovoked aggression by the North Koreans beginning on June 25, 1950, undertaken at the behest of the Soviet Union to extend the Soviet sphere of influence to the whole of Korea, completely surprising the South Koreans, the U.S., and the U.N.

 But was it a surprise? Could an attack by 70,000 men using at least 70 tanks launched simultaneously at four different points have been a surprise?

 Stone gathers contemporary reports from South Korean, U.S. and U.N. sources documenting what was known before June 25. The head of the U.S. CIA, Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenloetter, is reported to have said on the record, “that American intelligence was aware that ‘conditions existed in Korea that could have meant an invasion this week or next.’” (p. 2).    Stone writes that “America’s leading military commentator, Hanson Baldwin of the New York Times, a trusted confidant of the Pentagon, reported that they [U.S. military documents] showed ‘a marked buildup by the North Korean People’s Army along the 38th Parallel beginning in the early days of June.’” (p. 4)

How and why did U.S. President Truman so quickly decide by June 27 to commit the U.S. military to battle in South Korea? Stone makes a strong case that there were those in the U.S. government and military who saw a war in Korea and the resulting instability in East Asia as in the U.S. national interest. Stone presents the ideas and actions of them, including John Foster Dulles, General Douglas MacArthur, President Syngman Rhee and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, which appear to amount to a willingness to see the June 25 military action by North Korea as another Pearl Harbor in order to “commit the United States more strongly against Communism in the Far East.” (p. 21). Their reasoning may have been, Stone thought, the sooner a war with China and/or Russia the better before both become stronger. President Truman removed Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, according to Stone’s account, because Johnson had been selling this doctrine of preventive war. (p. 93)

 Stone shows that Truman committed the U. S. military to the war in Korea, then went to the U.N. for sanctions against North Korea. “It was neither honorable nor wise,” Stone argues, “for the U.N. under pressure from an interested great power to condemn a country for aggression without investigation and without hearings its side of the case.” (p. 50) But that is what the U. S. insisted should happen using, Stone argues, distorted reports to rush its case.

Then when the war came to a stalemate at the 38th Parallel, Stone makes a strong case that U.S. Army headquarters provoked or created incidents to derail the ceasefire negotiations. When the North Koreans and Chinese had ceded on Nov. 4, 1952 to the three demands of the U.N. side, the U. S. military spread a story that “The Communists had brutally murdered 5,500 American prisoners.” The talks were being dragged out, the U.S. military  argued, because “The communists don’t want to have to answer questions about what happened to their prisoners” and they are lower than “barbarians.” (pp. 324-25) At no time after these reports were these “atrocities” reported again or documented. But hope of a ceasefire subsided.

Stone takes the story in time only a little beyond the dismissal of MacArthur on April 11, 1951. He quotes press reports as late as January 1952 that “there still could be American bombing and naval blockade of Red China if Korean talks fail.”(1)

The evidence which Stone presents is solid but circumstantial. What else could it be, with the official documents still unavailable? In the 1960s, the Rand Corporation, a major think tank originally funded by the U.S. Air Force, conducted studies with additional information and according to one reviewer came to “almost identical conclusions” as Stone.(2)

Stone’s telling of the history of the Korean War, emphasizing the opportunistic response by the forces in the U.S. advocating rollback and also downplaying the role of the Soviet Union challenged the dominant assumption that this was Stalin’s war. “Until the release of Western documents in the 1970s, prompted a new wave of literature on the war, his remained a minority view.”(3)

Then in the 1990s, documents from the former Soviet archives became available, as did telegrams and other sources from the PRC archives. Scholars examining these documents and fitting the pieces together were able to make the case that Kim Il-sung had sought and eventually received Soviet support for a military effort to unify Korea. Stone had been wrong to suspect that General MacArthur and John Foster Dulles somehow colluded in the start of the Korean War.

But Stone did a service by documenting the role of sectors of U.S. policymakers looking for an opportunity to push the USSR and the PRC back from Northeast Asia. Bruce Cummings studied the detailed policy debate in the U.S. which led to the policy of active containment. Cumings’ book, The Origins of the Korean War, Volume II gives substance to the internal fight between supporters of rollback and those who supported containment, which for Stone was journalistic speculation.

In 1952 when it was published, The Hidden History of the Korean War met with almost a complete press blackout and boycott. But that included no rebuttals or answers from official U.S. sources. There was a republication in 1970 and the book has been translated at least into Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. Some chapters also appeared in French. Used copies are still available, especially from online booksellers.

I. F. Stone’s case is thought provoking and helpful, especially when tensions are being stirred up again on the Korean Peninsula, and manipulated wars are still in style. Perhaps however journalism like that of Stone’s and lessons from the first Korean War are making a second Korean War less likely.

1. Wall Street Journal, Jan. 17, 1952

2. Stephen E. Ambrose, Professor of Maritime History at the Naval College in the Baltimore Sun

3. Kathryn Weathersby, “The Soviet Role in the Korean War: The State of Historical Knowledge,” in The Korean War in World History, edited by William Stueck, University Press of Kentucky, 2004, page 63.

4. Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, Volume II: The Roaring of the Cataract 1947-1950, Princeton University P, Princeton, NJ, 1990
 This article first appeared in OhmyNews on Feb.14, 2007
Copyright © Global Research News, OhmyNews, 2013




     In North Korea Newsletter #3 I examined four of the first ten news reports from Jan. 6 reporting on NK testing a hydrogen bomb.  In all ten there was variety—within the box of US War on (of) Terror against one of the George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil nations.   That biased reporting continues.  

     Without research and critical thinking, no one can expect to derive the truth about an official enemy from any Central Authority saturated with secrecy, surveillance, and weapons.  It was true about the US mainstream media reporting of the Soviet Union during the Cold War between the US/SU mirror images.    It is true today about US mainstream reporting of North Korea.  

     To recall the propaganda war manufactured by the Cold War enemies, here are examples of my studies of the subject, a tiny part of the large, critical Cold War scholarship.  The public should be prepared to think critically regarding the present reporting of NK, but unfortunately little of the scholarly investigation of US Cold War policy and practice ever reached mainstream media, and none penetrated the Pentagon/White House propaganda machine.  The same situation prevails today regarding NK.


Critical Analyses of Cold War Reporting:

“A Comparison of Press Coverage of Communist and Pro-Western
      Dictatorships.”   Freedom of Speech Newsletter, 6 (June 1980).

“Reporting the CIA: National Security or Civil Liberties?” Freedom of Speech
7 (June 1981).

“Oceania and the United States in 1984:  The Selling of the Soviet Threat.”
      SocialTheory and Practice 10 (Fall 1984).

“Doublethink and the Rhetoric of Crisis: President Reagan’s October 22, 1983
      Speech on Arms ‘Reduction.’”  Oldspeak/Newspeak:
Rhetoric Society of America, 1985. 

“Soviet Scholars Look at U.S. Media.”  Journal of Communication 36.1 (Winter

 “Questioning the Supreme Obsession: Novels about Anti-Communism
      in the United States since World War II.”  Works and Days I0.2 (Fall 1992).


The Big Chill: How the Reagan Administration, Corporate America, and Religious
     Conservatives Are Subverting Free Speech and the Public’s Right to Know,
by Eve Pell.  Free Speech Yearbook, 24 (1985).

The Politics of Terrorism, ed. Michael Stohl, and The State as Terrorist: The
     Dynamics of Governmental Violence and Repression,
ed. Michael Stohl and
     George Lopez.  New Political Science 14 (Winter 1986).

Reagan Speaks: The Making of an American Myth by Paul Erickson.  Rhetoric
      Society Quarterly
17.3 (1987).

Soviet Military Power: The Pentagon’s Propaganda Document, Annotated, and
by Tom Gervaisi.  Quarterly Review of Doublespeak 15.1 (October 1988).

Manufactured Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky.  Contemporary
18.6 (Nov. 1989). 

Freedom at Risk: Censorship, Secrecy, and Repression in the 1980s, ed. Richard Curry.  Free Speech Yearbook 28 (1990).

The “Terrorism” Industry by Edward Herman and Gerry O’Sullivan.  Z Magazine
      3.10 (Oct. 1990).

America Insecure: Arms Transfers, Global Interventionism, and the Erosion of
     National Security
by Miles Wolpin.  The Human Quest  (Jan-Feb. 1992).

An Uncertain Future: Thought Control and Repression During the Reagan-Bush
      Era.  The Democratic Communique
11.1 (Winter 1993).

Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism and the Making of America
by Joel Kovel.  Peace and Change 21.3 (July 1996).




38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea DPRK   Regarding NK, usually MM report reports, particularly from the US government.  But 38 North works at a prestigious university; I accept their claim of informed analysis.  But is its analysis, are their analysts always able to reach conclusions outside the assumptions and policies of the government upon which they depend for considerable funds despite their being in a private university?   The answer to that question will require rather a lot of time, and may not be answerable.   But it is a good question to ask.  Henry Giroux’s books help; for example, The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex (2007).  His latest book, America’s Addiction to Terrorism, contains three chapters on education.  Chap. 7 examines “Higher Education Under Siege and the Promise of Insurgent Public Memory” (see extensive notes and further reading pp. 268-275). 



Censorship, Information Control USA Post-WWII
     Recently I read again Fahrenheit 451   By showing the doubly anti-fireman Guy at the end flaming books and television sets, Ray Bradbury called us to resist control of information, intellect, thought, individuality.    Burning books (and all information leading to critical thinking) is the leading theme announced by the title.  Burning televisions is more complicated:  television brings information, but too generally for conformity for consumption (its function is the advertising).  The two themes help us understand metaphorically how our system of control operates.  And he significantly connects them to permanent war.
What is fire? It's a mystery. . . . Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences. A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it.
Beatty, he thought, you're not a problem now. You always said, don't face a problem, burn it. Well, now I've done both. Good-bye, Captain.

"You know the war's on?"

And then he came to the parlour where the great idiot monsters lay asleep with their white thoughts and their snowy dreams. And he shot a bolt at each of the three blank walls and the vacuum hissed out at him. They made an even emptier whistle, a senseless scream. He tried to think about the vacuum upon which he had performed, but he could not.
     That was the 1950s.  By now we have a system of information control so systematic, so infused in the capillaries of our foreign policy political body, as to be invisible to most people.   Today President Eisenhower would recognize not merely the Military-Industrial (Congressional) Complex, but the Corporate, 1%, Pentagon, White House, Congress, Mainstream Media, Public Education, Secrecy, Surveillance, Fossil Fuels Industry, Imperial, National Fear and Security Complex.   But the system, The Problem, is not perceived (it would be revolted against?), or the public subservient. 
     Please will somebody compile a twenty-four volume encyclopedia of the US censorship system?   Here’s one example of thousands, this one intricate because the truth was finally told but the public slumbered.   The US Senate’s recent Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation program (after several years of delay) was a compendium of horrors.  With what result?   Massive public outcry?   A million indignant citizens determined to rescue our morality marched on the White House?   No, barely a peep.  But from the Bush White House that promulgated the torture came an outpouring of angry justifications.  How explain this topsy-turvy democracy as part of the censorship system?
    I own about half of Noam Chomsky’s books   No flame throwers are at my house.  Chomsky is free to write all he wishes to expose the system, The Problem. The publishing companies making his books available to the public are not punished.   Yet he is our strongest single critic of the US National Fear/Security State.  There’s not an illusion or lie he has not punctured.  He freely, ceaselessly works to expose the Complex.   Yet the government has never tried to apply their flamethrower to extinguish him.   How can this be?    The answer is darker than Orwell’s in 1984 or Huxley’s in Brave New World because the containment of Chomsky is the result not of total dictatorship or total drugged escapism, but because the system keeps his book on the shelf and not in the classrooms or internet or in the minds of the people or in the streets.   But how does this “system,” so obvious in its consequences, actually work?
      My question becomes then: How does censorship work today in the US to blunt and nullify criticism of US policy without resort to burning the Senate’s CIA study or Chomsky’s collected works?  
     See my NK Newsletter #3 for a series of examples of mainstream newspaper reporting of North Korea, the only one of the old AXIS of EVIL remaining as a threat, with an introduction by Glenn Greenwald.  
Glenn Greenwald, Reading NK in US Mainstream Regurgitating Media

Dick Bennett, Reading NK in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    Mainstream Official Megaphone Media reports only the Debate Over How to
    Promote Fear, Pentagon, Budget, War, Empire, Fossil Fuels.  Chomsky’s not
    here; no representative of the peace and justice movement speaks here.

*Lee (AP), Who Teaches Youth to Hate and Conquer, Invade and Intervene?

10 Reports on NK’s Claimed Nuclear Test 2016

AD-G Staff (from wire reports). Who’s the Problem, What’s the Problem, Who’s Threatening Whom, Who’s Got the Muscle, Who’s Crazy?

*Staff.  SK Turns on the Loudspeakers to Make Kim Jong-un Boo Hoo.

 Staff.  China Blames U.S. for Destabilizing Region Staff. 

Staff.   Bans, Bans, Bans, Bans

*AD-G Editorial.   Ka-boom. 

Staff.   Cheer Scientists, Develop Weapons, Defend the Nation.

Hyung-Jin Kim (AP).  Target Practice.

Sam Kim (Bloomberg News).  The Enemy Says: You Gimme This, I’ll Givee You That, and the US says:
*Isabel Reynolds (Bloomberg News).  Come on China, Join the Gang

*David E. Sanger (New York Times).  Contain THE PROBLEM (The Problem contains the Problem?).  Contains?

Only one point of view:  armed force will solve the NK problem.  No other perspective is allowed to complicate the simple solution.  Let’s look at a few more examples of how the one-sided reporting of US foreign policy pervades US mainstream media.  



READING US MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORTING NORTH KOREA  Jan. –Feb. 2016 (AD-G refers to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette).  Items in reverse chronological order.


 “Japan Legislators Decry N. Korea Launch” (February 10).

 “Senators Say Ships Unproven, Urge Navy to Slow Deployment.”    AD-G (Feb. 9)

 “North Korea Launches Rocket, International Uproar” (Feb. 7)

 “N. Korea Neighbors:  Will Target Rocket Debris.” 

“Japanese Emperor Prays at Philippines War Memorial.”

“Panel Oks Tighter Clamp on N. Korea”

“U.S. to China: Curb N. Korea or Face Steps: Kerry Points to Advanced Missile Shield.”  

“Foreign Policy by Swagger.”

“North Korea Launches Rocket, International Uproar.”


Reporting NK’s Feb. 6 Long-Range Rocket Launch

AD-G Staff from Wire Reports, “Japan Legislators Decry N. Korea Launch” (February 10, 2016).  An itty-bitty report that repeats the familiar formula twice each:  “serious provocation” demands “sanctions,” once adding “[provocation] that poses tremendous threat to the peace and safety of Japan and the region, as well as the international society.”   Since the “allies” repeat and are reported as repeating the same things, I am compelled to ask the question Kim Jong-Un surely asks but is never reported by MM: If the US, UK, Russia, Israel, France, India, and Pakistan are allowed nucs ready to launch, why not NK?  What is needed is the abolition of nuclear weapons from all nuclear nations and henceforth.  Until then we will experience nuclear proliferation and extreme danger.


Tony Capaccio (Bloomington News).  “Senators Say Ships Unproven, Urge Navy to Slow Deployment.”    AD-G (Feb. 9, 2016).   Senators John McCain and Jack Reed ask Navy to tone down its cheerleading and slow its deployment of the six new Littoral Combat Ship until the ships are fully tested. (One is named the USS Little Rock, now undergoing trials, so Arkies have a special interest.)  

     What do these ships have to do with NK?   They are part of “President Obama’s administration’s promised ‘pivot to the Pacific.”  The USS Fort Worth is already based in Singapore, “with plans to have two there by December and four by 2018.”  .  And the Navy plans “to use littoral ships in Pacific exercises.   The ships are intended for operations in the littoral zone, for surface warfare, mine clearance, and submarine-hunting.  It’s not a large strong arm, not anything like the US/SK annual joint maneuvers with nuclear capable B-52s flying near NK’s borders, but it adds up.  And there’s more.  Mine-clearing is “its top mission.”  Anti-submarine, apparently, next.  These are close-in, war-fighting ships. Look at them from NK’s perspective.  Should we call him paranoid in his ravings and rantings?

Foster Klug (AP).  “North Korea Launches Rocket, International Uproar.”  AD-G (Feb. 7, 2016). 

     In his opening paragraph, the AP reporter chooses the inflammatory, threat-laden framing (but not the worst: see my last sentence below):  NK’s launch of “a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others call a cover for a banned test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.”  The claim gets to the heart of the matter.   The U.S. has long possessed and tested long-range missiles.  The US initiated its first land-based ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistics Missile) in 1946 (intended for nuclear warheads, used for satellites), and development has continued to this day.  Testing occurs at Vandenberg AFB on the West Coast (!) to ensure its operational capacity.  The US also has operational submarine-launched missiles. That is, the NK has for decades been threatened by US missiles.  None of this, the motive for NK’s fear-drenched build-up, is mentioned in the article.

     Yet NK’s rocket launch is labeled a “further provocation” by the US and its allies (several of which have operational ICBMs), demanding further sanctions. And we are reminded that the “U.N. Security Council prohibits North Korea from nuclear and ballistic missile activity.”  

    The whole account reeks with cant.   The deepest culprit here perhaps is the arrogant, self-serving US doctrine of US “exceptionalism” and its special double-standard, keenly analyzed in American Exceptionalism and Human Rights by Michael Ignatieff.    US leaders sign treaties and then exempt the US.    They judge “enemies” by higher standards than for the US and its friends.  And our president judges deny the jurisdiction of treaties (laws of our land).
      The reporter did give NK’s point of view once in a masterful, softening imprecision:  ”North Korea says its nuclear and missile programs are necessary to defend itself against what it calls decades of U.S. hostility.”   Just add:  nuclear tipped and, in an incalculably immense intensification of the bombings of the Korean War, now targeting NK cities with nuclear bombs.   But reporter Klug was better than the reporting in “Opponents Target Rising Pair,” compiled by the AD-G Staff from Wire Reports the same day.   Perhaps to fit the mood of the GOP presidential candidates seeking to be “tougher” against NK than their rivals, the Staff makes a fact out of what Klug reports accurately as an enemy’s opinion:  the rocket was “a covert test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland” (see opening paragraph).



Hyung-Jin Kim (AP).  “N. Korea Neighbors:  Will Target Rocket Debris.”  AD-G (Feb. 5, 2016)
     NK informed the world it would launch an observation satellite aboard a rocket.  SK said it would direct all of its surveillance to monitor the preparations.  SK and US said “a launch would threaten regional security and violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.”  Diplomats at the Security Council, we are told, have pledged additional sanctions.  So far a helpful summary of recent events.      
     But then SK President Park Geun-hye is reported to have  “called for strong U.N. sanctions that will make North Korea realize it cannot survive if it does not abandon its weapons programs” (my italics).   I trust such Armageddon rhetoric is only figurative or refers only to sanctions.   Thankfully, China “urged restraint,” and U.N. S-G Ban Ki-moon referred temperately to concerns in the international community.   Remember when Premier Kruschev told the US:  “We will bury you,” and our nation’s warriors called for preemptive war, when Kruschev had merely referred to basic Marxist analysis of the inevitable self-destruction of capitalism?
     One possibly very important item of information is provided by reporter Kim:  the existence of “38 North,” a NK-focused web-site “run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.”  I have been watching NK reporting for several years, and this is the first citation of 38 North I have noticed.   Looks like Kim is trying to bring readers reliable scholarly information.  Thank you reporter Kim of the Associated Press.



(AP).  “Japanese Emperor Prays at Philippines War Memorial.”

      Japan’s former prime minister traveled the world to apologize for injuries done to invaded countries during WWII.  This report focuses upon Emperor Akihito’s visit to the war memorial for the Japanese soldiers killed in the Philippines and his expression of “deep remorse” for the damage caused by the war, though he did not, according to the writer, “offer a straightforward apology.”   The day before, we learn, “Akihito and his wife led a wreath-laying ceremony at Manila‘s Heroes Cemetery, where more than 44,000 Filipino soldiers from WWII are buried.”  

     Now let us consider not the probability of an apology but the possible effects of a US president apologizing to N. Korea.  (US exceptionalist arrogance gives no chance of an apology, but let’s imagine its effects on President Kim Jong-Un and the people of NK.)  But first let’s clarify by remembering two aspects of the Korean War.

     All we ever hear from the Pentagon-White House-Congressional Complex regarding the origin of the Korean War is that NK invaded SK.  But it was immensely more complicated than that, as we saw above in the review of I. F. Stone’s book on the Korean War.  

     Secondly, the US decimated NK during the War (google US bombing North Korea during Korean War).   According to one scholar, extensive war crimes were committed against the Korean people, with 20 to 30% of the population killed in some three years of bombings, in which “78 cities and thousands of her villages” were destroyed.
     Now, these contexts should surely create at least a bit of humility, or if not ethical regret (never mind remorse) a touch of rational reconsideration regarding that war’s and the present threatening’s justice.  Years of tit for tat pushing and shoving from NK and SK until NK attacked full-scale, and we showed them a shock and awe lesson, including strong threats of nuclear bombings, except that it wasn’t the people of NK who chose to attack.  (US nuclear madness:  Stone and Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States, 239-245). 

 “Panel Oks Tighter Clamp on N. Korea” (Jan. 29, 2016).

     Yes the familiar tighter clamp which has proven utterly futile in stopping NK’s—Kim Jong-Un’s—nuclear development, just as his pitiful bitty counter-clamping has not slowed that of the US, which could annihilate NK in a moment (not an exaggeration: the US has enough nuclear bombs to drop obliterate not only NK’s cities but its villages too).   

     During the Cold War the Senate Foreign Relations Committee went along with the rampant Sovietphobia, except while Senator J. William Fulbright was Chairman of the Committee.  Now the bipartisan SFRC clamps “expands on the legislation passed in the House two weeks ago. . . .aimed at denying Pyongyang hard currency for its weapons programs.”   (No way Kim Jong-Un can match that.)  This report ends with an appropriate reminder to its readers:  “North Korea already faces wide-ranging sanctions from the United States.”

      So we should ask, given the diplomatic calming recently achieved between the US and Iran, why all this sanctioning against NK?  Can anyone say it has worked?  Let us ask for diplomacy with NK.



AD-G Staff (from NYT and AP reports).  “U.S. to China: Curb N. Korea or Face Steps: Kerry Points to Advanced Missile Shield.”   January 28, 2016.

     ‘’This is a threat the United States must take extremely seriously,’ Kerry said of North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal.”   Now where have we heard this before, and with infinitely more credibility?   Yes, Pres. Kim Jong-Un.  He and his country are truly threatened, ringed as they are with US nuclear-armed missiles.   What astonished me is that Kerry is the same man who just completed negotiating with another country to disarm.    What’s the difference?  Kerry’s the same man.   And our ally Israel which encouraged war is not involved.   Why this pugnacity and against China?!   Jon Stewart writing this  might have NK say to US: we take your B-52 and joint maneuvers with SK (backed up by bases on Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii and all the way to the Bangor Trident submarine base in Washington State) extremely seriously, and threaten (well, appeal to) China to intervene, “NK to China: Curb USA or Face Steps.”  Obviously such a power difference would inspire Stewart.

     But that’s only the beginning.  I now suspect it was some warmonger Republican member of the House impersonating Kerry:  “The United States will take all necessary steps to protect our people and allies?   ALL steps?   All   This by our Iran deal negotiator?   And then he descends into the crap trap of cant: “ We don’t want to heighten security tensions.”  OH?  “But we won’t walk away from any options.”  ANY?  ANY? 

     So far I have been drawing from the first three short paragraphs of the AD-G’s first page.   A question occurs to me:  Who chose to place such extreme bellicosity—headline and text--at the top of page one?   Did Kerry if he thusly began his remarks following talks with the Chinese Foreign Minister?  Did the writers from AP and NYT?  Or did the compilers from the AD-G?  

     The article continues for half of page 8.  There we learn SK’s president would consider accepting the offered US missile system called THAAD, or Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, “to better cope with the North’s growing nuclear missile threats.”  So the US had offered missile protection prior to NK’s test.  And we know missile shields enable a first strike.   So who is threatening whom?  We also learn that China agreed to new U.N. sanctions against the North.  And the US “made clear” it expected China “to pressure” NK “to give up its nuclear arsenal.”   To “curb exports of oil ad oil products, including aviation fuel” and to “crack down” on NK’s “banks and businesses.”    And the other side, what would they give?   Iran was offered a deal.  Diplomacy was applied.     What was NK offered?   No mention of what the US and China were  to give up in a negotiation, but only power pressure was considered.




Hoyt Purvis, “Foreign Policy by Swagger.”  AD-G (Jan. 28, 2016.  Prof. Purvis herein reasonably appraises examples of Republican tough talk regarding Iran: bombast produces worse consequences than noise.  In his conclusion regarding President Obama, however, he seems to have been thinking of some other dimension of reality than NK:  “Obama’s administration favors carefully gauged use of power and patient and effective use of diplomacy.”  For Iran yes, for Iraq and Libya and NK no.    If only the President would listen to Prof. Purvis.

A note about the motives underlying the US/NK puffing up:
Plenty of evidence has shown the fear of humiliation among the promulgators of superpowers, especially one whose leaders and followers have swallowed the myth of US  Exceptionalism.  I suppose a similar fear has propelled and deranged, more and less,  the Kims as much as it has the US presidents.   See Blema Steinberg’s Shame and Humiliation: Presidential Decision Making on Vietnam (1996), an extended study of humiliation as motivating factor in both the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and Myra Mendible’s paper “Post-Vietnam Syndrome: National Identity, War, and the Politics of Humiliation.”  ---Dick

What’s at Stake:
J. William Fulbright during the height of the Cold War attempted to extend his Exchange Program to the Soviet Union, but his plan to acquire a part of WWII Lend Lease money the Russians were repaying was scuttled by US Sovietphobes, esp. by Senator “Scoop” Jackson of Washington State.  But aren’t some nations Evil?  What about President Bush’s “Axis of Evil”?    “The depiction of [the Soviet Union] as evil releases some of our worst, not our best, qualities.”  J. William Fulbright, The Price of Empire (199).  Another Arkansas native, Betty Bumpers, wife of then Senator Bumpers, created the women’s organization, Peace Links, to exchange women from the US and Russia and other countries.   Today we urgently need direct nonviolent citizen contact with “enemy” nations, including particularly exchanges with all nations our leaders perceive to be “evil.”  And as soon as our nation has designated another nation our “enemy” every college that wishes to be respected as a center of independent thought should create a course on the culture of that “enemy.”  

In the long run, Richard Seymour writes, “It has been a mainstay of this book that successful antiwar movements are those that have been able to make direct links with those in the flight path of US aggression and to bring their struggles and concerns directly into the US political arena.  Indeed, direct comprehension of their urgent struggles has often been a radicalizing factor in antiwar campaigns.””   American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism (2012)p. 193.  After decades of unceasing hostility by the US toward Iran, finally our government changed course and Secretary Kerrry negotiated a peace plan.  We should be trying to do the same with North Korea, instead of threatening nuclear war. How many of you know why the leaders of NK might be so suspicious and hostile?  Do you know the history of the Japanese occupation?  Do you know how many cities the US levelled during the Korean War?  Can you name the cities?  Do you know the name of even one NK civilian killed during the bombings?   Let us do all we can to imagine the lives of the leaders and people labeled our “enemy,” if we are to have the empathy necessary to enable us at last to create amity between us.

Contact your Senators, Representative, and President Obama
None of the senators or representatives publishes his e-mail address, but each can be contacted by filling in forms offered through his website.
Senator John Boozman: (202)224-4843
Senator Tom Cotton: (202)224-2353
Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District: (202)225-4076
Rep. French Hill, 2nd District: (202)225-2506
Rep. Steve Womack, 3rd District: (202)225-4301
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
3333 Pinnacle Hills, Suite 120
Rogers, Arkansas 72758
Rep. Bruce Westerman, 4th District: (202) 225-3772

President Barack Obama: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
 similar fear propels and deranges

Contents North Korea Newsletter  #3, Jan. 19, 2016

Peace Movement Teaching History and Striving for Empathy and Peace, Not Preparing for War 

Who Is threatening whom? Who is endangering the world?  The Zeese and Flowers essay offers an introduction and confirmation of the thesis that the US is The Problem.  For a rationale for not also presenting the Pentagon complex’s perspective see my essay “National Power and Objectivity in the Classroom,” College English (December 1989) 805-824.


 And See OMNI’s US Westward Imperialism Newsletters.  Here is the link for the latest, #18, December 19, 2015.   Imagine what we would think if N. Korea had moved across the Pacific establishing military bases with our firepower.

NK Newsletter #3 is mostly organized chronologically to remind us, even though it is a small sample, of the depth and duration of US peace perspectives.  That they have been generally invisible we can attribute to US mainstream media alignment with official doctrine of NK Evil.


 Chossudovsky, North Korea lost close to 30% of its population as a result of US bombings in the 1950s, 2010



Zeese and Flowers, The Real Aggressor, 2013

Swanson, US and West Bound and Blinded by Armed Force,

       Peace Movement Striving for Peace, 2013

Stansfield Smith, NK’s Perspective, Justifiable Anger, 2013

Castro, Avoid War in Korea

VFP, Peace Vigil

7 articles discuss US violent threats intended to stop NK’s missile test. 



United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Support Nuclear Diplomacy 2015

US/S. Korea’s War Games: Annoy the Enemy Today2015

The Washington Post on US Crimes in NK 2015

Ann Wright, Women Walk for Peace on Korean Peninsula, Spring 2015

VFP, Reducing Tensions, 2015

Reducing Tensions Between N. and S. Korea, August 2015

Global Research Publications, 2015-16


AFSC, No More Sanctions, Keep Open Humanitarian Behavior, January 2016

Johnson, Global Zero, Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Crises, January 2016

Chossudovsky, Pentagon’s WWIII Plans, 2016

Giroux, America’s Addiction to Terrorism, 2016.

Vets for Peace, Protest US Refusal to Negotiate, 2016


North Korea’s Peace Feelers

Congressional Research Service, North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and  Internal Situation, 2015  OMNI’s Newsletters about nuclear weapons.

NK to Send Athletes and Cheering Squad to Asian Games—for Peace, 2014

NK’s Military Visits SK, 2014

NK Offers to Negotiate, 2015


Reading North Korea in US Mainstream, Corporate Newspapers

Greenwald: US Mainstream Media Regurgitations

*Dick:  Analysis of Lee on N. Korea Teaching Youth to Hate USA, 2013

Ten  Reports of NK’s Jan. 6, 2016 Hydrogen Bomb Test:

Dick:  Hydrogen Bomb Test: UN and West Condemn and Threaten,
        January 7 

*Dick:  S. Korea Warns N. Korea and Resumes Broadcasts, Jan. 8

China Blames Us, Jan. 9

Bans Have Not Been Enforced, Jan. 11

*Dick:  AD-G Editorial

Kim Jong Un Urges Scientists to Boost Nuclear Research To Prevent
     US Invasion, Jan. 12, 2016

SK Fires on NK Drone, Jan. 14

NK’s Deal for Stopping Nuclear Testing, Jan. 16

US Dep. Sec’t. of State Blinken Urges Stronger Sanctions, Jan. 17

*Dick: David E. Sanger, New York Times, “Containing Pyongyang: The Problem is North Korea.”  Jan. 17

Contact Your Congressional Delegation and the President

OMNI Newsletter, Index, Blog

Contents #1 and #2



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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)