Tag Archives: Peace

Heaven Forbid Peace Should Break Out Between the US and North Korea!

US bombing Korea

Hamhung, North Korea, June 30, 1950

As long as the US Empire can be funded and maintained on the backs of its taxpaying public, the chance of de-escalation of tensions not only on the Korean peninsula, but throughout the world are practically nil.  And, as long as the nation’s current interventionist ideology holds sway, it will only be through a financial meltdown that the US’s role as global policeman will come to a much-needed end.

The most recent example of the world’s biggest bully escalating matters is its on-again, off-again badgering of North Korea.  In contrast to Western/CIA media reports, the November 28 launch of what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15, was not unprovoked.  Instead, the North Korean test firing was in response to the unexpected announcement of further US/South Korean military drills to take place starting on December 4.  The exercises are, in part, to show off the latest mass murdering “product” of America’s military industrial complex, the USF-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet.

Before the latest launch, the Kim Jong Un regime had not fired a missile for two months and was in discussions with other intermediaries about how tensions could be lessened on the Korean peninsula. For the bellicose US, however, not even an uneasy “truce” can be tolerated.  The next American scheduled drill was not to take place until the spring of 2018, yet, while negotiations were taking place, the US abruptly, and to the outrage of everyone involved, renewed exercises.  Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, explains:

We have been working with Pyongyang.  Then,

all of a sudden two weeks after the United States

had sent us the signal [about readiness to dialogue],

they announced unscheduled drills in December.

there is an impression that they were deliberately

provoking [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un to

make him break the pause and gave in to their

provocations.*

This, of course, is not the first time that the US has acted with duplicity in foreign matters.  Its barbaric dealing with two Middle Eastern strongmen (Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi) are grisly examples of what happens to those who run afoul of the US Empire, especially those who do not possesses a nuclear deterrent.

North Korea, too, has witnessed the wanton destructive capabilities of the American military during the so called “police action” of the early 1950s:

The US Air Force estimated that North Korea’s

destruction was proportionally greater than that

of Japan’s in the Second World War. . . .   American

planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea . . .

including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to

503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific

theatre of WWII.**

The loss of life was, to say the least, catastrophic as 10% of the population, some 3 million people, perished due mostly to American bombing while the destruction of property was equally brutal.  “By the end of the war,” North Korean sources assert, “only two modern buildings remained standing in Pyongyang.”***

Is it any wonder that the North Korean leadership gets a little antsy when the US scramble its jets.  It does not want a repetition of the holocaust inflicted on it by the merciless American Air Force.

Of course, these inconvenient facts are rarely if ever spoken about in the Western media, academia, and certainly not by war-mongering politicos like U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.  They are simply ignorant of history or pretend not to know.

The US Empire only accepts peace if it favors its interests.  For the Korean Peninsula that means that Kim Jong Un must disband his nuclear program.  Such a move, however, would mean a premature death to Un and the eventual carpet bombing of his country.  The North Korean strongman will do no such thing.

The Trump Administration may huff and puff all it wants and enact greater sanctions on the North, but unless it wants to risk a nuclear confrontation that may spread into a general world war, it has little options.

Instead of another round of destabilizing military maneuvers, maybe President Trump and his foreign policy team should try to engage in genuine negotiations to bring about an equitable solution to the matter.

Why not “give peace a chance?”

*”Russian FM Reveals First Victims in Case of War on Korean Peninsula.”  Sputnik News.  2 December 2017.  https://sputniknews.com/asia/201712021059640205-russia-provocations-korea-war/

**Charles K. Armstrong, “The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea, 1950-1960.”  The Asian-Pacific Journalhttp://apjjf.org/-Charles-K.-Armstrong/3460/article.html

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

What President Trump and the West Can Learn from China

Trump Trip China

Instead of a demonstration of its overwhelming military might intended to intimidate tiny North Korea and pressure China to lean on its defiant communist neighbor, President Trump and the West should try to learn a few things from China.

The President’s trip to the Far East came on the heels of the completion of China’s 19th National Congress where the current president, Xi Jinping, has cunningly positioned himself as China’s unchallenged leader.  In an address at the opening of the Congress, Xi cautioned that the country faced “challenges” that are “extremely grim” yet, despite these, the nation’s future is “extremely bright.”*

While Western politicos and pundits bemoan the lack of political pluralism that exists within China and President Trump complained about bad trade “deals,” they miss an important factor as to why China has transformed itself from a socialist basket case some three decades ago into an economic powerhouse which now boasts over a third of the world’s billionaires!

China’s economic ascendancy can be attributed not only to the implementation of market reforms in the 1990s, but also its lack of “political competition.”  As a one-party state, resources, time, energy, and capital are not allowed to be channeled into wasteful political processes, but instead are used and “invested” in wealth-creation activities – construction, factories, plants, equipment, research, technology – all of which leads to more and cheaper consumer goods.

The US and the West spend too much on elections, campaigns, polling, political consultation, etc., which diverts scarce resources away from the private wealth sectors of society.  For example, in her last failed presidential campaign run, the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua alone spent over a half of billion dollars.

Under Western democratic pluralism, public debt and state spending have increased to unsustainable levels.  In the US alone – history’s greatest debtor nation – the national debt is in excess of $20 trillion, while its total debt officially is $68 billion with a federal deficit (GAAP) running yearly at $5 ½ trillion.

Such staggering numbers are the result, in part, from political parties seeking public office and once elected exploiting their position to enrich themselves, their constituents, and create dependent classes among the ever shrinking productive segments of society.

China’s foreign policy – an extension of politics – has also been conducive for wealth creation.  Instead of wasteful spending on military hardware, the maintenance of a far-flung global empire, and involvement in incessant wars, China has a rather meek military compared to its national income and has conducted a pretty much non-interventionist foreign policy – witness its diplomacy with North Korea.

The US is almost the polar opposite.  It spends more on “defense” than the next eight countries combined.** Instead of the production of useful consumer goods, billions are siphoned off into the military/security industrial complex.  Not only does this impoverish Americans at home, but it leads to never ending involvement in wars, conflicts, and disputes, most of which are created or exacerbated by US spy organizations.

Def spending

After meeting with Chinese leadership, President Trump tweeted:

I don’t blame China, I blame the incompetence

of past Admins for allowing China to take advantage

of the U.S. on trade leading up to a point where the

U.S. is losing $100’s of billions.  How can you blame

China for taking advantage of people that had no clue?

I would’ve done the same!

Making better trade deals will not revitalize the moribund US economy.  Instead, there should be less politicization of society and adoption of market reforms as China has done.  The most important plank of such a policy would be the encouragement of real savings – not the creation of bank credit – through the normalization of interest rates.  This would begin the arduous process of capital accumulation, the basis upon which any economy can be built.

Another sign of the divergence between the two is China’s continued push to make the yuan the world’s reserve currency with apparently some sort of gold backing to it.  Contrarily, the Trump Administration has continued the same disastrous policies of its predecessors and has chosen a Janet Yellen clone to head the Federal Reserve with a continuation, no doubt, of the suppression of interest rates.  On the other hand, China continues to import massive quantities of gold and encourages its citizens to own the yellow metal while the West is in the midst of a crypto currency mania, another fraudulent monetary scheme.

China’s economic miracle, while certainly impressive, would not look as astounding if Western economies had not been in a state of stagnation and decline over the past half century.  It was not political liberalization that led to China’s phenomenal growth, but economic freedom which used to be a staple of Western life.  The lesson that should be taken from President Trump’s trip is less politics domestically and more free markets.

*Chris Buckley, “Xi Jinping Opens China’s Party Congress, His Hold Tighter Than Ever.”  The New York Times, 17 October 2017.   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/world/asia/xi-jinping-communist-party-china.html

**Peter G. Peterson Foundation.  “US Defense Spending Compared to Other Countries.”  1 June 2017.  https://www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0053_defense-comparison

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

The United States of Hubris

hubris of empire

If anyone should have any questions about whether the United States of America is not the most aggressive, warlike, and terroristic nation on the face of the earth, its latest proposed action against the supposed rogue state of North Korea should allay any such doubts.

Last week, the US circulated a draft resolution which it intends to present to the UN Security Council that would give the American Navy and Air Force the power to interdict North Korean ships at sea to determine if they were transporting “weaponry material” or fuel and that US forces would be given “the right” to use “all necessary measures” to “enforce compliance.”*

Not surprisingly, Nikky Haley, the blood-thirsty and incompetent American Ambassador to the UN, has enthusiastically backed the resolution, utterly clueless of its ramifications if passed, the most horrific of which would be the igniting of WWIII.  Trump’s selection of the neocon mouthpiece as UN Ambassador has been a disaster on several fronts: first, it was an early and quite telling sell out of his political base whom he promised an American First foreign policy of less belligerency and intervention.  Second, Haley had no foreign policy experience and has made a fool of herself internationally on more than one occasion with her inane statements.

That the US is even considering such a provocative scheme once again shows the hubris which exists within its vast corridors of power.  Any other country which would suggest such an audacious act would be rightly condemned, ostracized, and labeled as a rogue state.  Yet, it is US lawmakers, policy wonks, and the CIA/NSA-directed American press corps that charge others (mostly those who do not kowtow to US dictates) of “terrorism.”

This year, as of yet, North Korea has not been responsible for a single death of a foreign national.  Nor has the tiny communist state ever used a nuclear weapon against an enemy like the US did with its immoral and hellish destruction of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the conclusion of WWII.

On the other hand, since the start of the Trump Presidency, US-backed forces have been responsible for the deaths of some 3700 civilians in Mosul, Iraq.**  This is not to mention its murderous armed strikes in Yemen and Afghanistan.  Nor is American aggression limited to direct military action, but its arms supply sales to despots and its puppets has escalated tensions and makes conflicts that do break out much more brutal.

Fortunately, for the future of global peace, US hegemony is coming to an end.  The nation is hopelessly broke while its welfare/warfare economy is beyond reform and faltering badly which means that when the inevitable collapse does happen, it will mean the end or a serious pull back of the Empire.  A similar situation took place in Great Britain in 1945 after it took part in another senseless global conflict which liquidated the British Empire once and for all.

Any sober thinking realist would recognize the deteriorating societal and economic conditions at home, yet because of the collective hubris embedded in the political class, American bellicosity continues.

The last hope of changing US overseas affairs in a peaceful direction was Donald Trump who throughout the campaign spoke of an American First foreign policy which garnered widespread support.  Within Trump’s foreign policy statements, however, there were many troubling ones: call for increased defense spending, “wiping out ISIS,” updating the nation’s nuclear arsenal, putting an end to the North Korean “problem.”  The encouraging words about non-intervention and getting along with Russia were quickly scuttled while the militaristic side of Trump’s campaign rhetoric has won the day.

History is replete with examples of hubristic regimes which appeared invincible and everlasting, but quickly fall with severe and quite nasty retribution from their enemies.  While the US goes about the world threatening, bombing, and destabilizing those it does not like, it too, possibly in the not too distant future, will face the deserved wrath of those it has humiliated and terrorized.

*David E. Sanger, “U.S. Seeks U.N. Consent to Interdict North Korean Ships.”  New York Times.  6 September 2017.

**Adam Johnson, “Corporate Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Civilian Death Toll in Iraq.”  Fair.  19 July 2017.  http://fair.org/home/corporate-media-largely-silent-on-trumps-civilian-death-toll-in-iraq/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

Donald Trump is an Economic Ignoramus!

Trump & Trade II

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has followed in the infamous footsteps of his presidential predecessors in the transition from candidate to chief executive.  Invariably, every candidate for the presidency makes a whole host of promises, the vast majority of which are horrible and typically only exacerbate the problems they attempt to resolve.  Among the proposals, however, there is an occasional bright spot.  Yet, once elected the stupid polices are eagerly pursued while the good ones are quickly discarded.

What was somewhat unique about Donald Trump was that he was the first candidate in a long while who had a number of refreshing and much needed proposals – border wall, “drain the swamp,” criticism of Ma Yellen and the Fed, rapprochement with Vladimir Putin and Russia, a deescalation of U.S. imperialism.  There were bad ones, too, but the good ones were enough to lead him to a smashing win over the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua.

Even before being sworn in, however, the president-elect began to downplay his most positive positions and emphasize the worst.  At the top of this list, and what Trump has been consistently wrong about since the inception of his political career, and even prior to it, has been “trade.”

Trump considers himself an “economic nationalist” in the mold of Patrick Buchanan.  Both, however, are simply wrong in this regard demonstrating that they do not have a grasp of the most basic of economic principles.

The latest Trump tirade on trade was reported during his recent trip to Europe and a meeting with high-ranking officials.  Trump is reported to have lashed out at German auto makers who the President accused of being “very bad” because of the “millions of cars that they sell in the U.S.”  The Donald bemoaned, “Terrible, we’re going to stop that” and added “I don’t have a problem [with] Germany, I have a problem with German trade.”*

Such talk makes Trump sound like a fool.  What is “bad” about providing American consumers with first-class automobiles that they apparently want in large quantities and are voluntarily willing to pay for?  And what of American workers employed with Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen?  What is so horrible about the jobs and income that is provided by German firms to these workers?

Instead of berating German car manufactures, Trump should direct his ire at the immigration policies of psychopathic politicians like Frau Merkel.  Candidate Trump was very vocal about this and criticized European leaders for allowing their countries to be turned into multicultural cesspools.

The benefits of free trade and the baneful consequences of protectionism have long ago been elucidated by right-thinking economists, while the historical record has shown that lands which engage in “free trade” are decidedly richer than those that do not.  That Trump could spout off such nonsense about the evils of German trade shows how far the level of economic understanding has fallen.

Not only does free trade allow for the extension of the division of labor and specialization, but it has very important non-economic fruits.  When trade is unregulated, there is less of a tendency of trading partners to engage in bellicose actions toward each other.  Free trade and peaceful coexistence among nations are synonymous.  It is when trade is prohibited, skewed by governments to “protect” favored industries, which creates tensions among peoples.

Free trade does not require measures such as NAFTA or negotiated deals by politicians.  Instead, producers of one region are free to sell their goods at whatever prices or quantities to consumers of other areas that agree to buy them.  Ultimately, trade is up to individual producers and consumers in what they contractually agree to exchange, there is no need for political involvement.

Trump’s lambasting of the German auto makers, however, underscores a more fundamental problem with the U.S. economy.  America no longer produces goods that the world’s consumers desire, but instead, produces military hardware that it sells to despotic regimes which enables them to remain in power and wreck havoc on their enemies.  Predictably, this escalates tensions abroad while, domestically, the standard of living of Americans fall as scarce resources that could have been used in the production of useful consumer goods are diverted to the creation of murderous military armaments.

Trump has repeatedly boasted about his and his appointees’ abilities to negotiate great trade “deals.”  His bashing of the German auto makers right after his multi-billion dollar arms sales to the Saudis show not only that he is clueless in regard to the immense benefits of free trade, but that he is just another adherent, like his predecessors, to the ideals of crony capitalism.

*Tyler Durden, “Trump Slams ‘Very Bad’ Germans for Selling Millions of Cars in US: ‘We Will Stop This.'”  Zero Hedge 26 May 2017. http://www.zerohedge.com/print/596683

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com