A Chinese View on the LEAST Understood Issue, i.e., the “North Korea,” the Most/Worst DEMONIZED Nation on Earth (I-IIV)
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HanDongping / The 4th Media News | Thursday, May 23, 2013, 15:14 Beijing
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[The 4th Media’s editorial note: The following 7 articles are written by Prof. Han Dongping, a Chinese-American scholar. At present he’s teaching at Warren Wilson College in the US. He seems to have begun to publish the following series of DPRKorea-related articles since the start of newly revived and the most recent Korean War Crisis when DPRK successfully launched their 3rd Satlelite into the orbit on December 12, 2012. The articles have been published at several different Chinese online/offline media outlets, including the China Daily, the English CPC Party Organ. The 4th Media believes Prof. Han’s approaches, perspectives and prospects on the DPRK issue as a whole seem terribly important for their very insightful analyses, ideas, and propositions on the said issue. The kind of perspectives and views Dr. Han presents in his articles seem very rare and unique, therefore his articles seem fresh, very fresh! For the most part, it seems most global populations, including many Chinese and Russians, might have not been properly guided, encouraged or led to understand probably the least understood thereby the most/worst demonized nation on earth. This is the very reason why The 4th Media decided to compile his most recent Korea-related articles and edited them into a single and unified artile. FYI, the sequence of the number before each article is the editorial work done by The 4th Media, not by the author. Some of the original titles of the articles are also a bit modified or changed. The compilation of photos are the work of The 4th Media.]
I. The DPRK Needs Nuclear Weapons for Self Defense [as long as nations threatening the DPRK are nuclear armed and threaten to use their weapons]
After the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea announced that it would test some new and more advanced nuclear devices, the U.S. Japan and South Korea all threatened to put more sanctions against the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea. Ding Gang of People’s Daily published an article, entitled: Nuclear Bomb Does Not Bring Security. He argued that PDRK should not test any more nuclear devices and accept the UN Security Council Resolution No 2087 which bans any nuclear test and launching of rockets by PDRK. In his belief, this is the only way PDRK would improve its security environment.
Ding Gang’s argument ignored the brutal reality of Korea situation, which forces the PDRK to test its nuclear devices. It was the U.S. who labeled the PDRK as part of the “ Axis of Evil,” together with Iraq, Iran and Syria. It is the United State of America that has more than two hundred military bases in South Korea and Japan, and it is the United States with its allies of Japan and South Korea that constantly carried provocative military exercise around PDRK. It is against these constant threats that the PDRK needs to test its nuclear devices.
Saddam Hussein of Iraq abandoned his nuclear program and other suspected mass weapon programs in an effort to avoid a confrontation with the U.S. But that did not bring any national security to Iraqi people. The United States blatantly violated the UN Charter and invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq, causing tremendous human suffering and physical destruction to the people of Iraq. The powerful nations of the UN Security Council watched the ongoing injustice in Iraq, did nothing and said nothing.
Kaddafi of Libya, in an effort to pacify Western Nations hostility toward his country, gave up his nuclear program as well. But that did not bring about any security to Libya. The two former colonial empires, France and Britain, with the help of the United States, bombed Libya so wantonly, destroyed Libyan military, and decimated Libyan infrastructure with a large civilian casualty as well. The powerful members of UN Security Council watched the injustice going on in Libya, did nothing and said nothing.
People who witnessed what happened to Iraq and Libya can not help wonder if it would make any difference if Saddam Hussein and Kaddafi had nuclear weapons. Would the U.S. have invaded Iraq like it did if Saddam Hussein had had nuclear weapons? If Kaddafi did not surrender to the Western pressure, and had nuclear weapons, would France, Britain and U.S. still bomb the Libya the way it did?
If the people and government of PDRK wants to avoid the fate of Libya and Iraq befalling on them, what should be their option? The answer should be clear to anyone who is clear headed.
The real threat in this world is not PDRK’s small nuclear program, but the big nuclear arsenals of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. They used their powerful military to bully other small nations. Small nations like PDRK has no choice but to develop their own nuclear program to defend their way of life and defend their national sovereignty.
If the U.S. and other so called peaceful nations really care about our environment, they need to stop the provocative military exercises around the PDRK, and lift the barbaric sanctions against the people and government of the People Democratic Republic of Korea. Nations regardless of its size should enjoy equal rights in this world. That is the only way for all nations to coexist peacefully.
II. There Won’t Be a War in Korea
Much has been going on in the Korea Peninsula over the past few weeks. In light of Joint Military Exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea declared null a 60-year-old cease-fire. The terms of the cease-fire hold both sides to make an effort for peace. In the eyes of the DPRK, the military exercises are anything but peaceful, and it would be pointless to honor the treaty as such. In response, the U.S. flew two Missori-based stealth bombers to South Korea, hoping to intimidate the DPRK, who has “pushed back” by declaring that any further provocative action will result in nuclear war.
Many of my American students are troubled by these tensions. I affirmed them that there would be no war in that part of the world: the U.S. cannot afford another war. The U.S., South Korea, the DPRK know this – it is no secret to anyone. This is why PDRK has been able to respond to the U.S. and South Korea’s provocation the fearless way it did.
The war in Iraq has significantly changed our world. The Bush Administration, wanting war, was confident that with U.S. military supremacy in the world, they could do whatever they pleased, wherever they pleased. Third-World nations would have to put up any and all U.S. impositions. The outcomes of Iraq War and Afghanistan War demonstrated, however, that for all its military capabilities, the U.S. cannot do whatever it pleases in this world any more. As long as the Third-World countries refuse to give up, they can bleed the superpower to its collapse in the end.
John Kerry, the new U.S. Secretary of State, lectured the Iraqi government for its collaboration with Iranian Government in his recent visit to Iraq. Kerry said that the U.S. would not allow Iraq to become an Iranian ally after making so much sacrifices in money and blood in Iraq. What can U.S. do with this situation? Can it afford to start another war there? I have doubts if the Iraqi Government would even respond to John Kerry: Iraq is an independent country and will do what it pleases. If the CIA can arm the rebels in Syria, why could not Iraq help Iran arm its own friends in Syria? The U.S. and its allies have very recently imposed many sanctions and threats against the DPRK. Why cannot the PDRK do the same to its opponents?
I do not think that the DPRK has anything to fear. If the U.S. could not pacify Iraq and Afghanistan, it will have a much harder time with the DPRK, where the citizens are much organized and more coherent than in Iraq and Afghanistan. More importantly, China and Russia will not allow the U.S. to assume any military “jurisdiction” in the Korean peninsula. Neither nation may support the DPRK’s nuclear aspirations, but they will certainly not allow the U.S. (or South Korea) to wield dominance in the area.
The U.S has provoked the DPRK in order to justify its presence in South Korea and as well as its prerogative in East Asia. As such, their prerogative has been the source of considerable tension in the region. It is time for the U.S. to leave South Korea and Japan, for its own sake as well as the sake of peace. The UN’s Security Council and General Assembly should discuss the eventual withdraws of all overseas U.S. troops in order to truly promote peace in the world.
III. The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (PDRK) Is Critical for China’s National Security
Many people in China, including some important Chinese officials on Foreign Affairs, have been upset with PDRK’s continued effort to develop nuclear weapon capabilities. Facing constant threats of joint military exercises by the US and South Korea, it is quite understandable for the PDRK to want to develop its own nuclear weapon capabilities in order to act as a deterrent against possible military attack.
These Chinese officials worry that the PDRK’s nuclear weapons could in the end become a threat to China. They demand that China cut its foreign aid to PDRK to teach it a lesson for failing to act according to China’s wishes. These people fail to see the geopolitical significance of the PDRK. They do not realize that the PDRK is crucial to China’s national security. Indeed, China needs the PDRK more than the other way round.
It has been the U.S.’s objective in the last two decades since the collapse of former Soviet Union to isolate the PDRK. The ultimately goal that the U.S. hopes to accomplish by undermining the PDRK is in fact to undermine China. After the collapse of former Soviet Union, the U.S. became the only remaining superpower in the world. George H.W Bush, the first President Bush, and the inner circle of his administration began to conceptualize for a new post-Cold War World Order, in which the U.S. would use its unprecedented military power to remake the world in its own image. Fortunately for the world, the Bush Senior was defeated by the young challenger, the then obscure Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
The new world order group, Bush Senior’s inner circle like Dick Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz got a second chance when George W. Bush got elected in 2000. On January 29, 2002, George W. Bush pinpointed Iran, Iraq and PDRK as the Axis of Evil in his State of the Union Address. Later, Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton labeled Syria, Cuba and Libya as Beyond the Axis of Evil.
Bush’s National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice listed Burma, Belarus and Zimbabwe as the Outposts of Tyranny. The New World Order group was preparing the world public opinion to justify its future military attack against these countries.
When the U.S. unilaterally invaded Iraq using the lie that Saddam’s had weapons of mass destruction as an excuse, I knew that the next target would be Iran, and after Iran, it would be the PDRK. If the Axis of Evil were taken care of, China would move onto the agenda. The U.S. would provoke China by openly supporting Taiwan’s Independence. If China responded to Taiwan’s independence militarily, China would have to face a two front attack from both North and South.
Fortunately for China and the rest of the world, the fierce resistance of the Iraqi and Afghan people engulfed the U.S. in a quagmire. The U.S. apparently underestimated the Iraqi and Afghan people’s determination to defend their motherlands and their own way of life. The problem is that the U.S. and many other imperialist nations often fail to learn lessons from their past wrongs.
They did not learn a lesson from the Korean War of the 1950s, and they did not learn a lesson from Vietnam. They will not learn their lessons from their mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that is why PDRK needs to develop its nuclear capacity to avoid the fate of the Iraqi people, the fate of the Afghan people, and the fate of Libya and Syria.
One of my American colleagues argued with me about PDRK. He said that if the PDRK fell, only a small number of the elite would suffer, and the majority of the people would benefit from the fall.
That is the argument many Chinese scholars want people to believe.
Look what happened in Iraq and Libya. The U.S. did not like Saddam Hussein, and wanted to get rid of him. But more than one million innocent Iraqis paid the price of their lives during the process to remove Saddam from power.
The U.S. and West had grudges against Kaddafi, and they wanted to get back at him for his anti-colonialism career. But in the process, the western nations decimated Libya’s infrastructure, and hundreds and thousands of innocent Libyan people were killed.
On top of that, these countries who carried out the bombing billed Libya over fifty billion dollars for their “bombing services,” which equals Libya’s oil revenue for the next 50 years.
When Kaddafi was in power, he used some of the oil revenue to provide free education and free medical care for his people. The people in Libya enjoyed the best living standards in Africa then. I wonder if the post Kaddafi Libyan authorities would ever be able to provide the Libyan people the same free education and medical without the oil revenue.
Many people in China fail to see the fact that the U.S. perceives China to be its biggest threat despite China’s constant reiteration of its peaceful rise in the world. Nobody would be fooled by China’s rhetoric of peaceful rise. There is no doubt that China wants to rise peacefully.
But to the U.S. who wants to remain number one in the world, China’s rise whether peaceful or not is seen as a threat. Indeed, not long ago a senior State Department official stated very bluntly at a talk on William and Mary campus that China was the biggest threat in the world and that the U.S.’s number one goal was to pursue all avenues available to undermine China’s growing influence in the world. The logic is simple, when you are at the top, you want to stay there, and any entity that can endanger you position at the top is viewed as a threat to your hegemony.
In this context, China must do everything it can to support the PDRK, Iran and Syria, and improve relations with Russia so that China will never need to face the U.S alone. If we view the current geopolitical situation as a game of Go (Wei Qi), with China and the US as the opposing sides, China is slowly finding itself surrounded on all sides by allies of the US. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and India are all close allies with the US. If war was to break out between China and the US, China would face possible attacks from all sides. For this reason, it is all the more crucial that China maintain its strong alliance with the PDRK.
China should never join the sanctions against the PDRK. Instead, China should increase aid to the PDRK, like what the U.S. has been doing to support its strategic ally of Israel.
The PDRK is more important to China than Israel is to the U.S. The PDRK is not China’s liability. It is China’s most crucial friend in the world as far as China’s national security is concerned. The two nations have a bond cemented by blood, and China should value that bond as much as it can because its national security is at the stake, and it should never allow anybody to hurt its bonds with the PDRK. Anybody who advocates abandoning China’s bonds with PDRK is bordering on treason.
IV. What is Good about Rule of Law?
According to a World.Huanqiu.com report, U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke made a comment at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held at People University, Beijing on February 25, that China’s success in the future will depend on the rule of law.
The rule of law has been a catchy phrase in Chinese politics in the last few decades. But very few people examine what the rule of law really means. Many people privately uphold the U.S. as the example of rule by law out of ignorance. As a graduate of Boston University Law School in 1975, Gary Locke’s rule of law must be based off the U.S. legal system as well.
What has been the consequence of rule of law in the United States? The American population accounts for five percent of the world total, but American prison population account for 25 percent of the world total, which means the rule of law in the U.S. locks up five times more people in prison than the world average.
In other words, crimes rate in the U.S. is five times higher than the world average. Of course, this does not mean that the American people are more likely to commit crimes by any means. It simply means that the U.S. has more police officers and these police officers are better trained and equipped to catch “criminals.”
We live in a class society, and our legal system and our laws are bound to reflect those class distinctions. In the U.S. the people who are locked up in the prison system are more likely to be the poor and minorities, because they cannot afford to hire lawyers to get themselves out of legal trouble. One out of 90 white people are in prison, but one out of nine African American young people are in prison in the U.S. The racial difference among the prison population in the world is shocking.
When I was teaching in Illinois in late 1990s, a law professor and his students did a study of twenty death roll inmates in Illinois. They were shocked to find out that out of the twenty death roll inmates, twelve were actually convicted of crimes they had nothing to do with. In the end, Governor Ryan, a Republican, decided to pardon all the death roll inmates, more than 150 of them, on a Sunday, right before he left office. He said that his conscience would not allow these death roll inmates to be executed knowing that more than sixty percent of them were convicted wrongly.
If this is rule of law, what is good about it?
In New York City, over 600,000 people are stopped and frisked by police each year, and over eighty percent of these people were let go, but a significant percentage of these people were arrested for resisting arrest. I did not know the word “frisk” before, and by looking up the dictionary I discovered that it was a police procedure of patting a suspect down to see if he or she was carrying anything illegal on the body.
If a police officer finds a person suspicious, he can stop the person and frisk him. Of course, the people who are stopped and frisked are mostly the poor and minorities. This practice reminded me of the scenes I saw mostly in the Chinese movies, when the Japanese invaders stopped and frisked the Chinese in the occupied regions to arrest people who were engaged in some kind of resistances against the Japanese Occupation.
If this the rule by law, what is good about it?
For more than three decades, the Chinese Government has been stressing the importance of rule of law or rule by law. Each new session of the People’s Congress has passed some new laws …….. Chinese people tend to assume rule of law or rule by law is a good thing. But what has been the result of rule of law or rule by law in China in the last three decades? The crime rate has gone up several folds since the beginning of the economic reform. To deal with crimes, the number of police officers has gone up by several folds, but still the police are overwhelmed by the increase of crimes in China.
I have studied a village in Henan. This village of over two thousand people had no crimes before the economic reforms. Nobody was ever arrested by the police. If somebody made a mistake in the village, he was publicly criticized and let go. But during the last three decades of the rule of law, over two hundred villagers were arrested and sentenced to prison. Two of them were even executed during a campaign of Yanda in 1983.
There are about two thousand people in my village as well. From when I was nine until I was 23 when I left the village to go to college, there had been no crimes in the village. In the town where my village was part of the administrative unit, I seldom heard of any crimes take place either. Since I left the village, a couple dozen of people in my village have ended up in prison, and hundreds of people in the town have found themselves in trouble with the law.
I hope that the Chinese people can more critically examine the so called rule of law and understand its implications for their lives.
V. US Meddling is Causing Surge in Extremism
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, recently condemned the recent demonstrations and protests against the US in the Middle East and elsewhere. It seems that both President Obama and Secretary Clinton still don’t get it.
Yes, there are extremists in this world. But it takes more than extremists to hold such large scale demonstrations and protests against the US presence in the Middle East. US leaders are blinded by their own arrogance. And as result, they can’t see the connections between these demonstrations and its foreign policies toward third world countries and their involvement in other countries’ internal affairs.
During his speech at the UN General Assembly, Obama also defended freedom of speech to justify his government’s refusal to ban the internet movie The Innocence of the Muslim. Yes, freedom of speech is a fundamental right that the American Constitution endows in its citizens. But freedom of speech is not limitless. One needs to exercise one’s freedom of speech wisely and prudently.
To defend the American freedom of speech amid wide spread demonstrations and protests by the Muslim population in the world is sheer American arrogance.
President Obama, in his speech to the UN, also vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
This is yet another example of American arrogance. The US was the first to develop nuclear weapons, and was the only country to use nuclear weapons against another country.
The US developed ten plans to attack the former Soviet Union between 1945 and 1949.
The US only gave up its plans after the USSR acquired its own nuclear bombs in 1949.
Before China developed its nuclear bombs in 1964, the US threatened to use nuclear weapons against China eight times. Many countries have found it necessary to develop nuclear weapons solely because if they do not have them, they would forever have to face threats by those countries that do have them. Today, there are close to twenty countries that officially and unofficially have nuclear weapons.
The US needs to explain to the world why some countries can have nuclear weapons, and why other countries cannot have them.
Why it is reasonable for the US and its allies to have them, while at the same time, it is unacceptable for other countries to have them? How can the US and the UN preach the ideals of fairness for all countries, while still advocating this exclusionary measure? Does the moral principle of fairness to all mean anything in the UN General Assembly?
The devastating destruction caused by the US Invasion of Iraq, by its fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, by the American involvement in Libya and Syria is the real reason behind the mass protests that are occurring around the world, and not the existence of extremists.
The people in the Muslim world have felt and seen the impact of US foreign policy and military action.
It can be argued that it is exactly US foreign policy and military action in the Muslim world that has generated the phenomenon of so called extremists. It is time for US leaders to pause and reflect.
Why do Muslims hold such strong anti-US sentiments? Who are these extremists?
And why do they feel so strongly about this issue that many are willing to sacrifice their lives for its cause? The US has military bases in more than 120 countries, and stations over four hundred thousand troops on foreign soil.
The US does this in the name of national security. Apparently, these military bases and large scale military spending have not made Americans any more secure. Since Sept 11, 2001, Americans have constantly been under the threat of terrorist attacks overseas and at home.
Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister was quoted as saying that he was surprised to see the scale of CIA operations in Libya when he saw the large number of Americans that had to be evacuated at the airport when Ambassador Stevens and his bodyguards were killed.
The huge amounts of money that the US has spent on its military in the past 60 years has not necessarily equated to a level of security you might otherwise expect from such a large military budget. On the contrary the biggest effect of such a large military budget has been its negative effects on the US domestic infrastructure and the well-being of its own people.
One former Chinese leader said before that every time the American government builds an overseas military base, it ties a knot around its own neck, and in the end, it would strangle itself.
It is really tragic that the US government cannot see this for themselves, and continue to involve itself with other countries’ internal affairs, and continues to build more military bases overseas.
These overseas military bases and CIA operations messing with other countries’ internal affairs are not only a big burden for the US government and the American people, but it also generates anti-American sentiment around the world as demonstrated by the recent demonstrations and protests.
The US should not forget that Iran has become one of the deadly enemies of the US exactly because of the CIA’s involvement in Iran’s internal affairs and its support for the Shah of Iran at the expense of its people.
It is time for the US to have a general discussion about why there has been such anti-US sentiment around the world. It is time for the American people to see that military muscle does not necessarily generate security for the US. But goodwill toward other people can.
VI. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Has Been A Rational Actor
Since the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea tested its nuclear bomb, launched its satellite, and threatened to retaliate eye-for-an-eye if the U.S. or South Korea attacked, many media commentators, including Fenghuang TV of Hong Kong, called the DPRK a contemporary “madman”: delusional and unpredictable.
In the eyes of these so-called foreign affairs experts, small nations like the DPRK should take abuses quietly. If they try to talk back to a powerful country, they are denounced as mad, unpredictable and delusional. Thus, the logic of Western-inclined mainstream commentary.
But the DPRK has learned lessons from Hussein and Kaddafi, and they know the only way to deal with the bully in this world, is to be prepared to fight as hard as you can, and fight to the end.
Faced with the threat of American invasion, Saddam chickened out, allowing UN monitors to come in and inspect his nuclear facilities and give in to the demands of the US. Saddam was willing to surrender, but the U.S. would not allow it: they wanted to take over Iraq and to control their national resources.
After weakening Saddam, the U.S. invaded Iraq (without an UN sanction), toppled the government, captured Saddam, humiliated and then hanged him in the end. In the process, hundred and thousand Iraqi innocent people became the collateral damages of the U.S. vision for Iraq and the Middle East.
Under the concerted U.S. sanctions, Kaddafi backed down as well. He abandoned Libya’s nuclear program, and made great concessions to the West. But it was not enough for the U.S., who did not want to deal with Kaddafi if they could simply get rid of him.
According to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U. S. sent Christopher Smith, former U.S. Ambassador to Benghazi to coordinate a rebellion against Kaddafi.
Amidst rebellion and chaos, the West imposed and enforced a no-fly-zone over Libya, then bombed them with a free hand. High-tech weaponry of American, British and French fighter jets decimated Libyan’s military and infrastructure, and again, the western Nations accomplished its political objective of toppling the Kaddafi Government… But at what cost? Sadly, thousands of innocent (and not-so-innocent) Libyans were simply collateral damage.
With these recent precedents of U.S.-Third World relations, can the PDRK afford to appease America? Do you think the people of the DPRK would allow themselves (and their hard-built livelihoods) to become collateral damage for the U.S.?
The Chinese people have an old saying called Bishang liangshan (to be forced to go up the Liang mountain to fight back for survival); it would seem that the DPRK has now been forced to take such drastic measures for their own survival.
They cannot afford to show any signs of weakness at this juncture – any concessions would be suicidal. They cannot trust anybody to come to their aid any longer. They are in a corner. The U.S. and its Western allies have imposed sanctions after sanction upon the DPRK, hoping to strangle the small nation into a quiet death.
Yet apparently, the U.S. and the rest of the world did not expect the people and government of the PDRK to have such great resolve and determination to defend their dignity and what they have in this world.
The Korean people are a brave people; though they may not have as many lethal weapons as the U.S. and its allies, if they are determined to fight to the end, they will be able to inflict enough damages on an opponent to make them think twice before they venture into war. Seen from this angle, the strategy of the DPRK has been very rational and calculated.
The people and the government of DPRK do not want war, but they are certainly prepared to avert conflict with their determination to fight to the end.
The mainstream commentators have called the PDRK delusional and unpredictable simply because the DPRK did not play the U.S.’ game according to the U.S.’ rules. In this jungle of a world, the weak nations can simply not afford to play games: they’ll have to fight their own way in order to survive.
I think that the DPRK has fought to its advantage this time. It has very little to lose.
But the U.S. and its allies have a great deal more at stake in a war with DPRK.
VII. DPRK (aka, “North Korea”) Has Stood the Test and Made History: The Lesson Is Invaluable for the People of the World
A couple of weeks ago, amid the heightened belligerence against the DPRK by both the U.S. and its allies, I wrote a blog entry for China Daily assuring my students and others that there would not be war in Korea.
To me, it was very clear that the people and the government of DPRK never wanted war. What they wanted is very simple: the right to self-determination, and to pursue their own way of life without outside interference.
The U.S., controlling the most powerful war machine in human history, wanted to use war to scare the people and the government into line, but cannot afford to do so any longer. In other words, this American posturing was mostly blackmail. If the PDRK refuses to be intimidated, the U.S. blackmail can only backfire.
Because the DPRK has stood their ground, the U.S. and its allies has had to back down, now willing to resort to diplomacy to solve their issues.
However, I doubt that U.S. and its allies will be able to get what it wants with diplomacy what it could not get with military threats. In most people’s eyes, the U.S. is the most powerful nation in the world. It has repeatedly used its military forces to interfere in external affairs, in complete disregard of UN Charters and causing tremendous harms upon human lives and the environment.
Since the end of WWII, the U.S. fought more wars than anybody else, both overtly and covertly. It interfered in the Korea civil war with UN mantel, and lost miserably both in terms of human casualties and resources, and the U.S. still has close to one hundred bases in South Korea.
It has illegally interfered in Vietnamese Civil War for over ten years, dropping more bombs than both sides of WWII combined, without breaking the will of the Vietnamese people, but bringing about popular anti-war sentiments.
Consequently, the U.S. began to suffer from “Vietnam syndrome”, a term used to describe loss of self-confidence in waging wars in third world countries.
However, after having lured former ally Saddam Hussein into Kuwait and rallying its allies to drive him out, the victorious, senior George Bush thought that the U.S. had finally beat Vietnam Syndrome.
But the subsequent U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, despite initial successes, turned out to be disastrous in the end. After trillions of dollars and hundred and thousands of casualties, the U.S. failed to pacify the resistance of the Iraqi and Afghan peoples.
If the U.S. could not pacify Iraq or Afghanistan, it could never dare to attack the DPRK. The western media has portrayed the DPRK as a poor, starving country.
But I know what the western media is capable of, from my own life experiences:
I lived through socialist China of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. When I first came to the U.S., I was shocked to read how the western media described Chinese people’s life at that time.
I have never been to the DPRK myself. But I talked to two people who have, and whom I would rather trust than the western media. One is my former village chief and one is my former college teacher.
I grew up with my former village chief. Before he went there, he heard rumors about livelihoods in the DPRK, and prepared two bags of dried shrimps and other staple food from my hometown.
But once there, he saw no hunger and starvation, and that the DPRK was just like China in 1970s. I immediately knew what he meant, because we shared a common past. In the end, he gave the two bags of dried foods to an elevator operator in the hotel, who accepted the gift with a smile, saying “You heard that we were starving, right?”
My former college professor told me that Pyongyang was the greatest capital in the world; where there was few cars, and people used buses or bikes. It was clean and orderly. People were disciplined and in high spirit.
In the 1960’s-70’s, socialist China was able to withhold both American and Soviet embargo and sanctions and hostility without giving up any ground because the nation was united and the state had the support overwhelming majority of the people.
If any country in the world could defy today’s U.S. sanctions and hostilities, that country has to be the DPRK.
Some people claim the U.S. could easily destroy the DPRK with its powerful arsenal. People forget that the U.S. has the military capability to destroy the whole world several times over including itself – but that does not mean that the U.S. will do it.
Only crazy people fight wars simply to destroy.
Wise people only fight to accomplish a political objective.
I strongly believe that the U.S. will be able to inflict tremendous material damage to the life and environment of DPRK, but would also need to be prepared to sacrifice close to one hundred military bases in South Korea and over one hundred bases in Japan, which would endanger one hundred thousand American military and non-military personnel.
What is more, the peace loving people in the world, including the American people, will not stand idle if the U.S. provokes a war in Korea. If the U.S. provoked the war in Korea, it will most probably be the end of American empire in Asia.
That was why I was able to affirm that there would not be war in Korea. America would have so much to lose and so little to gain.
In a different blog for China Daily, I said that the people and the Government of DPRK was a rational actor. They are calculated and doing their best to avoid harm in dealing with the pressure and threat the U.S. and its allies imposed on them.
I and all the peace loving people in the world should congratulate them for their courage, their determination to defend their way of life and their right for self determination.
They have withheld the U.S. blackmail, and in doing so they are making history. They are demonstrating to the people of the world. They do not need to bow to a bully, and the best way to deal with the bullies in this world is to be prepared to fight with them.
That lesson will be invaluable for the people of the world.
Dr. HanDongping, a Chinese-American, is Professor of Warren Wilson College in the US.