Archive | June 27th, 2020

Japan confirms scrapping US missile defence system

Four Nations to Be Protected with Lockheed Martin’s Next Gen Radar

Japan has scrapped the deployment of a multi-billion-dollar US anti-missile system, the government confirmed Thursday, days after saying the program had been suspended.

Interceptors for the Aegis Ashore system were to be placed in two regions under the costly and controversial program.

But the government reversed course under pressure from local residents concerned about the risks posed by a missile defence system in their backyard.

“The National Security Council discussed this matter and reached the conclusion that the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Akita and Yamaguchi is to be rescinded,” Defence Minister Taro Kono told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

“I want to deeply apologise that it has come to this.”

Later Thursday, Kono said Tokyo and Washington were discussing how to fend off missile threats from Pyongyang after dropping the defence system plan.

“There’s a threat coming from North Korea,” Kono told reporters.

“We have been talking with the United States on how to improve our ballistic missile defence capability or integrated air-missile defence capability,” he added.

“So we are trying to make maximum use of what we have contracted with the United States.”

The government had originally guaranteed that interceptor missile gear would not land in residential areas near where the system was based.

But last week, when initially announcing that deployment of the system had been suspended, Kano said maintaining that promise would require a costly and time-consuming hardware upgrade.

The Aegis Ashore system, the purchase of which was approved in 2017, was estimated to cost Japan $4.2 billion over three decades.

However, there have been competing claims about whether initial estimates would fall short of the real cost.

The deal to buy the system was seen both as part of attempts by Tokyo to bolster defensive capabilities after North Korean missile launches, as well as a way to foster closer ties with Washington.

US President Donald Trump has pushed allies to buy more American products, including military equipment.

Japan’s armed forces have long been restricted to self-defence and the country relies heavily on the US under a bilateral security alliance.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week his government was committed to considering alternatives to the Aegis Ashore system.

“There should not be a gap in our country’s defences. We want to hold discussions on the necessary measures,” he said.

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Ahmed Erekat: Another Palestinian life snuffed out

letter to the editor

Nephew of top Palestinian official shot dead by Israeli soldiers ...


A man is lying unconscious in a pool of blood. A panic-stricken father is held at gunpoint.The Red Crescent was prevented from reaching him.Welcome to Occupied Palestine!

Israeli soldiers has snuffed the life out of another Palestinian in Jerusalem. Ahmed Erekat was the latest casualty. The 27-year-old from Abu Dis near Jerusalem was shot dead by the Israeli army at a military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Beit Lehem. He was on his way to pick up his sister and their mother from the beauty salon. It was his sister’s wedding. Now Israel has turned this Palestinian wedding into a burial. 

Ahmed was shot after his car slipped and hit the concrete wall where the soldiers were standing behind. Israel claimed it was a car-ramming attack. Let’s pretend that Ahmed did intentionally attempt to harm the soldiers. That raises the question, “Why would he do it on his sister’s wedding and two weeks before he was supposed to get married?”

The military checkpoint between two Palestinian cities makes the soldiers “criminal trespassers,” thus they were a fair target under any law.  Ahmed was born, lived his entire life, and died under this brutal military occupation and his killer has no roots to Palestine and whose great-grandparents had never been there.

Ahmed’s story in particular broke my heart because it was completely avoidable.  There is NO excuse for denying medical help to ANYONE.
Unfortunately, the Israelis are doing to Palestinians the same thing what the Jewish people claimed happened to them in Europe during WWII. In other words, we will continue to read and hear more about needless deaths and tragic stories similar to those of Ahmed Erekat. My heart goes to his family. Allah forbid his killer/s should have any children. 


Mahmoud El-Yousseph

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What’s Next for Palestinian Popular Resistance in Gaza?

Speaking to Journalist Wafaa Aludaini

By: Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo

A Gazan mother of four was shot in the leg by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return in Gaza.
  • A Gazan mother of four was shot in the leg by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return in Gaza. | Photo: Ramzy Baroud

Aludaini was not a typical journalist chasing after a story at the fence, as she was both the story and the storyteller.

Wafaa Aludaini is a witness to many of Gaza’s recent tragedies and also never-ending resistance. She experienced the violent Israeli occupation, the subsequent blockade on the impoverished Strip, and several wars that resulted in the death and wounding of tens of thousands of Palestinians.

RELATED: On the 72nd Nakba Palestine Faces Its Biggest Threat

But none of Israel’s wars impacted Aludaini’s life as much as the 2014 onslaught which Israel dubbed ‘Operation Protective Edge.’

Of the nearly 18,000 houses destroyed, two homes, one belonging to Wafaa’s family and the other to her in-laws, were also destroyed by Israel’s bombs.

Gaza’s infrastructure, which was already dilapidated as a result of previous wars and a protracted siege, took a massive beating during the 51-day Israeli bombardment. 

The most irreplaceable of all of this tragic loss is human life, as 2,251 Palestinians were killed and over 11,000 wounded, many maimed for life.

War and siege, however, only strengthened Wafaa’s resolve as she became more involved in covering news from Gaza, hoping to reveal long-hidden truths and defy mainstream media narratives and popular stereotypes. 

Palestinian journalist Wafaa Aludaini with a Palestinian protester who was shot in the eye by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return in Gaza.

During the ‘Great March of Return’, a popular movement that began on March 30, 2018, Wafaa joined the protesters, reporting on a daily basis on the killing and wounding of unarmed youth who flocked to the fence that separates besieged Gaza from Israel, to demand their freedom and basic human rights. 

Enraged by the refugees’ daily chants of ‘End the siege’, ‘Free Palestine’, and their adamant insistence on their ‘Right of Return’ to their original villages in Palestine, which were ethnically cleansed during Israel’s violent birth in 1948, Israeli snipers opened fire. In the first two years of the March, over 300 Palestinians were reportedly killed, and thousands wounded. 

Aludaini was there during the entire ordeal, reporting on the dead and the wounded, consoling bereaved families, and also taking part in a historic moment when all of Gaza rose and united behind a single chant of freedom. 

Aludaini was not a typical journalist chasing after a story at the fence, as she was both the story and the storyteller.

“I am a journalist, but I am also a refugee. My parents were expelled from their village in Palestine, which is now in Israel,” she said. 

“Being a journalist in Gaza is not easy, because every single day, you are subjected to (the possibility) of being killed, injured, or arrested by the Israeli occupation forces. In fact, many journalists were murdered by Israeli fire this way.”

On why she chose journalism as a career although she studied English literature at a local Gaza University, Aludaini said that the more she understood mainstream media’s reporting on Palestine, the more frustrated she felt by the unfair depiction of Palestine and the Palestinian struggle. 

“Journalists who are (advancing) mainstream media (narratives on Palestine) are, in a way, helping the Israeli occupation in killing more innocent people in Palestine, in particular, in the Gaza Strip. (They) are strengthening the people (Israelis) who expelled us in 1948, encouraging them to violate international law,” Aludaini said.

“So I am asking them to come here, to Palestine, to see for themselves, to see the Apartheid wall, to see the checkpoints, to see what is happening in Israeli jails. Only after they see it with their own eyes, can they tell the truth, because journalists should tell the truth and stand for humanity, regardless of religion and regardless of anything else.”

In a similar tone, Aludaini challenged “defenders of the Israeli occupation” to come to Palestine and to “listen to the people who had their children killed; to those who got expelled from their homes. In every home in Palestine, there is a story of misery, but you will never find (these stories) in mainstream media.”

Palestinian journalist Wafaa Aludaini interviewing a Palestinian protester who was shot in the eye by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return in Gaza.

Regarding the Great March of Return, Aludaini said that the March was “a popular protest where the people of Gaza collectively gathered at the separation fence between Gaza and Israel,” to exhibit various forms of resistance that focused mostly on cultural resistance. 

Protesters carried out various forms of “traditional activities, like dancing dabka, singing old songs, cooking Palestinian dishes,” Aludaini said, noting that the most touching of these scenes were those of “elderly Palestinians holding the keys of their homes from which they were forcibly expelled in 1948 during the Nakba,” or the Great Catastrophe. 

“This kind of popular resistance is not new for Palestinians (as they) have always used all their means to fight for their rights, to fight (against Israeli military) occupation, like the weekly protests (at the Gaza fence), or (the symbolic acts of) stone-throwing. Even when Gazans resort to armed resistance, people never stop displaying popular (forms) of resistance as well.”

But is this the end of the March of Return? 

Aludaini said that the March is not over, however, the strategy will be reformulated to minimize the number of casualties. 

“After almost three years of the protests, the High Committee of the Great March of Return decided to change the approach of the protests. From now on, the marches are only going to be held on national occasions instead of being held on a weekly basis because Israel uses lethal force against peaceful and unarmed protesters.”

According to Aludaini, the Gaza Ministry of Health, which is already overwhelmed by the lack of hospital equipment, electricity, and clean water, can no longer handle the pressures of daily deaths and injuries.

Aludaini herself spent many hours in Gaza’s hospitals, interviewing and comforting the wounded. She told us of a Gazan mother of four who participated in the March every Friday without fail. “One day, she was shot in the leg, and it was hard for her to walk. But the following Friday, she returned to the fence. When I asked her why is she back despite her injury, she told me: ‘I will never allow the Israelis to steal my land. This is my land; these are my rights and I will come back (to defend them) again and again.’”

For Aludaini, it is the resilience of these seemingly ordinary people that inspires her and gives her hope.

Another story is of a 19-year-old girl who implored her parents repeatedly to join the protests. When they finally relented, the young girl was shot in the eye by an Israeli sniper. Aludaini and her comrades rushed to the hospital to show support for the protester who lost her eye, only to find her in high spirits, stronger and more determined than ever. 

“She told us that as soon as she leaves the hospital, she plans to go back to the fence.”  

Aludaini challenges “Israeli propaganda” that claims that its wars and ongoing violence in Gaza are motivated by self-defense. If that is the case, “why is Israel targeting the West Bank which is also subjected to annexation and apartheid?” she asks. 

“(Currently) There is no armed resistance (in the West Bank), but (the Israeli occupation army) still kills people every single day.” 

Aludaini, who is frustrated by the lack of emphasis on media studies in Gazan universities, is determined to continue with her work as a journalist and as an activist, because when the media fails at exposing Israeli crimes in Gaza, it is the likes of Wafa Aludaini who make all the difference.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on What’s Next for Palestinian Popular Resistance in Gaza?

Brazil Bans Release of COVID-19 Death and Infection Toll

Dozens of people participate in a protest against Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 7, 2020.

 Brazil, with some 210 million inhabitants, is the seventh most populated country in the world.

Brazil’s government stopped publishing the total accumulated COVID-19 deaths and infections, in an attempt to hide the real extent of the disease in Latin America’s largest country.

RELATED: Brazil: Health Workers Protest Against Bolsonaro

After months of criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, the government decided to withdraw a Ministry of Health website, which provided daily figures on deaths and infections.

The site was launched a while later, but totals of infections by state and for the entire country no longer appeared. Now the website only shows the figures for the previous 24 hours.

The national press has claimed that Brazilian statistics have been manipulated at times, so it may be impossible to ever know the real extent of the pandemic in the country.


The Washington Post@washingtonpost
As coronavirus deaths in Brazil surge, Bolsonaro limits the release of data

The latest official data recorded over 34,000 deaths, the third highest figure in the world and surpassing Italy.

Nearly 615,000 infections were also counted, putting them in second place behind the United States. 

 Brazil, with some 210 million inhabitants, is the seventh most populous country in the world.

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Chokehold on diplomat exposes Nazi’s special type of apartheid

Chokehold on diplomat exposes Israel’s special type of apartheid

Israeli-US apartheid choke
Jonathan Cook writes:

An Israeli diplomat filed a complaint last week with police after he was pulled to the ground in Jerusalem by four security guards, who knelt on his neck for five minutes as he cried out: “I can’t breathe.”

There are obvious echoes of the treatment of George Floyd, an African-American killed by police in Minneapolis last month. His death triggered mass protests against police brutality and reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement. The incident in Jerusalem, by contrast, attracted only minor attention – even in Israel.

An assault by Israeli security officials on a diplomat sounds like an aberration – a peculiar case of mistaken identity – quite unlike an established pattern of police violence against poor black communities in the US. But that impression would be wrong.

The man attacked in Jerusalem was no ordinary Israeli diplomat. He was Bedouin, from Israel’s large Palestinian minority. One fifth of the population, this minority enjoys a very inferior form of Israeli citizenship.

Ishmael Khaldi’s exceptional success in becoming a diplomat, as well as his all-too-familiar experience as a Palestinian of abuse at the hands of the security services, exemplify the paradoxes of what amounts to Israel’s hybrid version of apartheid.

Khaldi and another 1.8 million Palestinian citizens are descended from the few Palestinians who survived a wave of expulsions in 1948 as a Jewish state was declared on the ruins of their homeland.

… the Palestinian minority has found itself treated both as second-class citizens and as an unwilling shop-window dummy on which Israel can hang its pretensions of fairness and equality.

Israel continues to view these Palestinians – its non-Jewish citizens – as a subversive element that needs to be controlled and subdued through measures reminiscent of the old South Africa. But at the same time, Israel is desperate to portray itself as a Western-style democracy.

So strangely, the Palestinian minority has found itself treated both as second-class citizens and as an unwilling shop-window dummy on which Israel can hang its pretensions of fairness and equality. That has resulted in two contradictory faces.

On one side, Israel segregates Jewish and Palestinian citizens, confining the latter to a handful of tightly ghettoised communities on a tiny fraction of the country’s territory. To prevent mixing and miscegenation, it strictly separates schools for Jewish and Palestinian children. The policy has been so successful that inter-marriage is all but non-existent. In a rare survey, the Central Bureau of Statistics found 19 such marriages took place in 2011.  

The economy is largely segregated too.

Most Palestinian citizens are barred from Israel’s security industries and anything related to the occupation. State utilities, from the ports to the water, telecoms and electricity industries, are largely free of Palestinian citizens.

Job opportunities are concentrated instead in low-paying service industries and casual labour. Two thirds of Palestinian children in Israel live below the poverty line, compared to one fifth of Jewish children.

This ugly face is carefully hidden from outsiders.

On the other side, Israel loudly celebrates the right of Palestinian citizens to vote – an easy concession given that Israel engineered an overwhelming Jewish majority in 1948 by forcing most Palestinians into exile. It trumpets exceptional “Arab success stories”, glossing over the deeper truths they contain.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel has been excitedly promoting the fact that one fifth of its doctors are Palestinian citizens – matching their proportion of the population. But in truth, the health sector is the one major sphere of life in Israel where segregation is not the norm. The brightest Palestinian students gravitate towards medicine because at least there the obstacles to success can be surmounted.

Compare that to higher education, where Palestinian citizens fill much less than one per cent of senior academic posts. The first Muslim judge, Khaled Kaboub, was appointed to the Supreme Court only two years ago – 70 years after Israel’s founding. Gamal Hakroosh became Israel’s first Muslim deputy police commissioner as recently as 2016; his role was restricted, of course, to handling policing in Palestinian communities.

Khaldi, the diplomat assaulted in Jerusalem, fits this mould. Raised in the village of Khawaled in the Galilee, his family was denied water, electricity and building permits. His home was a tent, where he studied by gaslight. Many tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens live in similar conditions.

Undoubtedly, the talented Khaldi overcame many hurdles to win a coveted place at university. He then served in the paramilitary border police, notorious for abusing Palestinians in the occupied territories.

He was marked out early on as a reliable advocate for Israel by an unusual combination of traits: his intelligence and determination; a steely refusal to be ground down by racism and discrimination; a pliable ethical code that condoned the oppression of fellow Palestinians; and blind deference to a Jewish state whose very definition excluded him.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry put him on a fast track, soon sending him to San Francisco and London. There his job was to fight the international campaign to boycott Israel, modelled on a similar one targeting apartheid South Africa, citing his own story as proof that in Israel anyone can succeed.

… Khaldi’s assault stands out only because he has proved himself such a compliant servant of a system designed to marginalise the community he belongs to.

But in reality, Khaldi is an exception, and one cynically exploited to disprove the rule. Maybe that point occurred to him as he was being choked inside Jerusalem’s central bus station after he questioned a guard’s behaviour.

After all, everyone in Israel understands that Palestinian citizens – even the odd professor or legislator – are racially profiled and treated as an enemy. Stories of their physical or verbal abuse are unremarkable. Khaldi’s assault stands out only because he has proved himself such a compliant servant of a system designed to marginalise the community he belongs to.

This month, however, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu himself chose to tear off the prettified, diplomatic mask represented by Khaldi. He appointed a new ambassador to the UK.

Tzipi Hotovely, a Jewish supremacist and Islamophobe, supports Israel’s annexation of the entire West Bank and the takeover of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. She is part of a new wave of entirely undiplomatic envoys being sent to foreign capitals.

Hotovely cares much less about Israel’s image than about making all the “Land of Israel”, including the occupied Palestinian territories, exclusively Jewish.

Her appointment signals progress of a kind. Diplomats such as herself may finally help people abroad understand why Khaldi, her obliging fellow diplomat, is being assaulted back home.

The reality behind the Israeli-Palestinian talks

The reality behind the Israeli-Palestinian talks

In “Highlights”

Israel’s model of political despair in Jerusalem

Israel’s model of political despair in Jerusalem

In “Highlights”

YouTube becomes Israel’s new battleground against Palestinians

YouTube becomes Israel’s new battleground against Palestinians

In “Home”

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The Corruption of Science. The Hydroxychloroquine Lancet Study Scandal

The Corruption of Science. The Hydroxychloroquine Lancet Study Scandal. Who Was Behind It? Anthony Fauci’s Intent To Block HCQ on Behalf of Big Pharma.

By: Prof Michel Chossudovsky

The Guardian has revealed the scandal behind the hydroxychloroquine study which was intent on blocking HCQ as a cure for COVID-19. “Dozens of scientific papers co-authored by the chief executive of the US tech company behind the Lancet hydroxychloroquine study scandal are now being audited, including one that a scientific integrity expert claims contains images that appear to have been digitally manipulated. The audit follows a Guardian investigation that found the company, Surgisphere, used suspect data in major scientific studies that were published and then retracted by world-leading medical journals, including the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.  ….

According to The Lancet:

… several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication. We launched an independent third-party peer review of Surgisphere …  As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process

The study was allegedly based on data analysis of 96,032 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020 from 671 hospitals Worldwide. The database, according to the Guardian could not be verified. It was false.

“I am truly Sorry”

Surgishpere CEO Dr. Sapan Desai was not in charge of the study. The lead author was Harvard Medical School professor Mandeep Mehra:

“I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry.”

CEO Dr. Sapan Desai took the blame. Who was behind him?

The Surgisphere Scientific Scam. Who was behind it?  Who “commissioned” this Report? 

Was the pharmaceutical industry and vaccine lobby group behind this initiative?  The Lancet acknowledges that the study received funding from the William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital which is held by Dr. Mandeep Mehra. In this regard, it is worth noting that Brigham Health has a major contract with Big Pharma’s Gilead Sciences Inc, related to the development of the Remdesivir drug for the treatment of COVID-19. The Gilead-Brigham Health project was initiated in March 2020.

Was the Surgisphere study intended to provide a justification to block the use of HCQ, as recommended by Dr. Anthony Fauci, advisor to president Trump? Upon reading the study (prior to its retraction),  “Dr Fauci, … grinned as he told CNN that “the data shows hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment …”Referring to the Surgisphere report: “The scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy for it [HCQ],” said Dr. Fauci. (quoted by CNN).

Here is the CNN’s authoritative assessment of Surgisphere’s  report (prior to The Lancet’s Retraction):

“Seriously ill Covid-19 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine were more likely to die or develop dangerous irregular heart rhythms, according to a large observational study [by Surgisphere] published Friday [May 22, 2020] in the medical journal The Lancet.

And Did CNN “retract” its earlier endorsement of  this “fake scientific study”? 

Dr. Anthony Fauci who is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has from the very outset led the campaign against hydroxychloroquine (largely on behalf of Big Pharma) invoking similar “scientific arguments” against HCQ, saying categorically there was no cure to COVID-19, and the only solution was the vaccine.

According to the Spectator:

The campaign to destroy hydroxychloroquine has been waged relentlessly, both by competitor pharmaceutical companies and those who want to destroy the US economy to advance their political agenda. It is shocking that it has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of taxpayer dollars. But although the corruption of science for political and/ or financial gain has become a defining characteristic of our age, it is not a new story.

The publication of the Surgisphere study had an immediate impact: According to the Guardian, “Surgisphere data led to global trials of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 being halted in May, because it appeared to show the drug increased deaths in Covid-19 patients”.

“Higher Risks of Death” if you take HCQ, according to the study. In the days following the fake Surgisphere Lancet report on May 22, several countries including Belgium, France, Italy, acted to halt the use of hydroxychloroquine. The study had concluded patients taking the anti-malaria drug had a higher risk of death than those who were not taking the medication

It is worth noting that prior to the conduct of the Surgisphere study, Dr. Fauci stated categorically that the use of HCQ had not been studied in relation to the coronavirus. “No proven drug”: “Not Enough Known”Nonsensical and false statements.

What Fauci failed to mention is that Chloroquine had been “studied” and tested fifteen years ago by the CDC as a drug to be used against coronavirus infections.  Chloroquine was used in 2002 and tested against SARS-1 coronavirus in a study under the auspices of the CDC published in 2005 in the peer reviewed Virology Journal. The main conclusion of the article was that: Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread. It was used in the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002. It had the endorsement of the CDC.

The main author Dr. Martin J. Vincent together with several of his colleagues were affiliated with the Special Pathogens Branch of the Atlanta based CDC together with co-authors from a Montreal based partner research institution.  The main conclusions of this study are that Chloroquine is a tested drug and can be used for SARS-corona virus infections.Dr. Anthony Fauci has not put forth a treatment which could be applied against COVID-19. What he is saying is that there is no treatment. And then he endorses the fake scientific study by Surgisphere which was subsequently retracted by The Lancet.

Lancet: the article was retractedThe Lancet Published a Fraudulent Covid-19 Study: Editor Calls It “Department of Error”

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been deliberately blocking a drug which was endorsed by the CDC 15 years ago for treatment of SARS-1 Coronavirus. More recently, it has been used extensively in a number of countries in relation to the Coronavirus or SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak. Whose interests is he serving?

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European Court of Human Rights Deals Major Blow to ‘Israel’s’ War on Palestine Solidarity

By: Palestinian BDS National Committee

ECHR rules unanimously that French highest court’s criminal conviction of Israel boycott advocates violates the European Convention on Human Rights’ freedom of expression article

***

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled unanimously today that the French highest court’s 2015 criminal conviction of activists with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement advocating nonviolent boycotts of Israeli goods violated article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Reacting to the breaking news, Rita Ahmad from the Palestinian-led BDS movement said:

This momentous court ruling is a decisive victory for freedom of expression, for human rights defenders, and for the BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. It confirms a 2016 European Union position defending the right to call for BDS against Israel to achieve Palestinian rights under international law.

This is a major legal blow to Israel’s apartheid regime and its anti-BDS lawfare. At Israel’s behest, European governments, especially in France and Germany, have fostered an ominous environment of bullying and repression to silence Palestine solidarity activists.

The ECHR decision comes at a time of widespread condemnations of Israel’s plans to formally annex large swathes of the occupied Palestinian territory. In response to these plans and to Israel’s ongoing “apartheid regime” and “de facto annexation,” Palestinian civil society has reminded states of their obligations to adopt “lawful countermeasures,” including a ban on “arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel” and on trade with Israel’s illegal settlements.

In 2009 and 2010, eleven activists in France had participated in peaceful protests inside supermarkets calling for a boycott of Israeli goods in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. They were convicted by French courts of “incitement to discrimination.”

Rita Ahmad said:

At a time when European citizens, inspired by the Black Lives Matter uprising in the US, are challenging the ugly legacy of European colonialism, France, Germany and other EU countries must end their racist repression of human rights defenders campaigning for Palestinian human rights and for an end to Israeli apartheid.

Europe is deeply complicit in Israel’s occupation, siege of Gaza and slow ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and elsewhere. For as long as this complicity continues, BDS campaigns will too.

We salute Palestine solidarity activists in France who, despite the prevalent anti-Palestinian repression, have effectively campaigned against Israeli apartheid and against corporations that are complicit in its war crimes against Palestinians, including AXAVeolia and Orange.

*

Background to the lawsuit (source: ECHR website):

Baldassi and Others v. France (nos. 15271/16, 15280/16, 15282/16, 15286/16, 15724/16,

15842/16, and 16207/16)

The eleven applicants are: Mr Jean-Michel Baldassi, Mr Henri Eichholtzer, Ms Aline Parmentier, Ms Sylviane Mure, Mr Nohammad Akbar, Mr Maxime Roll, Ms Laila Assakali, Mr Yahya Assakali, Mr Jacques Ballouey, Ms Habiba El Jarroudi, and Ms Farida Sarr-Trichine. The applicants are all French nationals, apart from Mr Nohammad Akbar and Ms Habiba El Jarroudi, who are Afghan and Moroccan nationals respectively. Mr Eichholtzer and Ms Parmentier live in Habsheim and Zillisheim respectively. Mr Jacques Ballouey lived in Mulhouse, as did the other applicants.

The cases concern the complaint by activists in the Palestinian cause about their criminal conviction for incitement to economic discrimination, on account of their participation in actions for boycotting products imported from Israel as part of the campaign “BDS : Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”.

The applicants are members of the “Collectif Palestine 68”, which is a local relay for the international campaign “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS). This campaign was launched on 9 July 2005 with an appeal from Palestinian non-governmental organisations, one year after the opinion issued by the International Court of Justice which states that “[t]he construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law”.

On 26 September 2009 five of the applicants took part in an action inside the [C.] hypermarket in Illzach, calling for a boycott of Israeli products, organised by the “Collectif Palestine 68”. They displayed the articles which they considered to be of Israeli origin in three trolleys so that they could be seen by customers, and handed out leaflets. A similar event was organised by the “Collectif Palestine 68” on 22 May 2010 in the same hypermarket. Eight of the applicants were involved. They also presented a petition to be signed by hypermarket customers, inviting the hypermarket to stop selling products imported from Israel.

The Colmar public prosecutor summoned the applicants to appear before Mulhouse Criminal Court for, inter alia, incitement to discrimination, which offence is provided for in section 24(8) of the Law of 29 July 1881.

By two judgments of 15 December 2011, Mulhouse Criminal Court acquitted the applicants. By two judgments delivered on 27 November 2013, Colmar Court of Appeal set aside the former judgments inasmuch as they acquitted the applicants. It found the applicants guilty of the offence of incitement to discrimination.

As regards the incidents on 26 September 2009, the Court of Appeal imposed on each of the five accused a suspended fine of EUR 1,000 and ordered them to jointly pay each of the four admissible civil parties (the International League against Racism and Antisemitism, the Lawyers without Borders association, the “Alliance France-Israël” association and the “Bureau national de vigilance contre l’antisémitisme”) EUR 1,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,000 on the basis of Article 475-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (civil party expenses not defrayed by the State).

Concerning the incidents of 22 May 2010, the Court of Appeal imposed on each of the nine accused a suspended fine of EUR 1,000 and ordered them to jointly pay three of the civil parties (the International League against Racism and Antisemitism, the Lawyers without Borders association, the “Alliance France-Israël” association), each, EUR 1,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,000 on the basis of Article 475-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (civil party expenses not defrayed by the State).

By two judgments of 20 October 2015 the Criminal Division of the Court of Cassation dismissed the appeals on points of law lodged by the applicants, who had alleged, in particular, a violation of Articles 7 and 10 of the Convention. It found inter alia that the Court of Appeal had justified its decision since it had rightly noted that the constituent elements of the offence laid down in section 24 (8) of the Law of 29 July 1881 had been made out and that the exercise of freedom of expression, set out in Article 10 of the Convention could, pursuant to paragraph 2 of that provision, could be subject to restrictions or sanctions which were, as in the present case, measures necessary in a democratic society for the prevention of disorder and the protection of the rights of others.

Relying on Article 7 (no punishment without law) of the Convention, the applicants complain that they were convicted on the basis of section 24(8) of the Law of 29 July 1881 on freedom of the press of incitement to economic discrimination, whereas that text did not cover economic discrimination. Relying on Article 10 (freedom of expression), they complain of their criminal conviction on account of their participation, in the context of the BDS campaign, in actions calling for a boycott of articles produced in Israel.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Europe, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on European Court of Human Rights Deals Major Blow to ‘Israel’s’ War on Palestine Solidarity

Virus Contact-Tracing for All – Singaporeans to be Tracked by Gov’t in Post-COVID World

By: Zero Hedge

Singapore is on the cusp of rolling out a mandatory COVID-19 tracing program that will identify people who had come in contact with virus carriers. The program will distribute tiny microchips to all 5.7 million residents, in what will be the most extensive tracing program globally, reported Reuters.

The city-state, located in Southeast Asia, has already developed a tracing app for smartphones, called TraceToegether, to identify people who have interacted with virus carriers. The app was downloaded by more than 1.5 million residents but did not work well on iPhones since Bluetooth activity goes dormant when app runs in the background.

Singapore officials overseeing the tracing app had several discussions with Apple, but no resolutions were found.

Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan spoke with Parliament on Friday, gave members of the government update on the tracing program:

“Because TraceTogether does not work equally well across all smartphones, we have decided therefore, at this point, not to mandate the compulsory use of TraceTogether.

“We are developing and will soon roll out a portable wearable device that will … not depend on the possession of a smartphone.

“If this portable device works. We may then distribute it to everyone in Singapore … This will be more inclusive, and it will ensure that all of us will be protected,” Balakrishnan told Parliament.

Balakrishna said the pivot to wearables would mean residents will have to wear a tiny microchip at the end of lanyard or can be carried in pocket or bag. He expects it to be rolled out in the near term.

The technology behind the wearable was not discussed, and at what range the government can track people.

There are many privacy concerns about tracing devices. Especially when the government wants widespread use, it will have to make it mandatory. Other concerns are about who gets the tracking data, and it was said that the Singapore government would only collect data via the first app if a person becomes infected with COVID-19. There are many privacy concerns about contact tracing devices and how the government will use the data.

For instance, this week, the US government and law enforcement agencies are using contact tracing and big tech to identify rioters.How the Fight Against Covid-19 Has Brought Us a Step Closer to an Orwellian Nightmare

The war on COVID around the world has ushered in a massive surveillance state with weaponry that governments can deploy at any time: thermal imaging camerasdrones, contact tracing, biometric databases, etc.

No one is safe from government in a post-corona world. 

Posted in HealthComments Off on Virus Contact-Tracing for All – Singaporeans to be Tracked by Gov’t in Post-COVID World

The COVID-19 War in Japan: Is National Face-Saving More Important than the People’s Lives?

By: Prof. Joseph H. Chung

The performance of Shinzo Abe in the war against the corona virus has been less than poor. 

Abe is blamed for having put the policy priority to the Olympics and Abenomics over human life.

The Japanese people have the legendary docility and they seldom protest government policies.

But, this time, the life of each Japanese person is threatened. Would they continue their docility and silence?

In this paper I will do the following.

First, I will discuss the problems of Abe’s handling of the COVID-19. I argue that Abe made two errors, namely the missing of the golden time and mismanagement of the whole process of fighting the virus.

Second, I will see the nature and the depth of the ordinary Japanese people’s dissatisfaction with Abe’s government’s handling of the corona-virus crisis.

Third, I am asking myself how much longer the ordinary Japanese people will tolerate the corruption of the right-wing establishment, risk the restoration of the pre-1945 military imperial Japan and the ruin of the national economy which Abenomics could not prevent.

The COVID-19 Crisis and Abe’s Policy Failure

From the mid January 2020, the cases of the infected were observed in several prefectures. The government was aware of this trend and began to prepare anti-virus measures.

On January 30, the government established the Novel Corona Virus Response Headquarters under the Task Force headed by the Deputy Chief Secretary of the Cabinet, Okita Yoshiki with high ranking government officials who were far from being experts in the field of infectious diseases.

On February 6, the medical tests and consulting system was established. On February 16, Abe held the first meeting with the experts.

And, the criteria of testing were the fever of 37.5 C for four days and pronounced fatigue. This criterion was largely criticized as being too restrictive to find out the extents of infections.

In fact, a good part of infected is not symptomatic, that is, there are no visible signs of infections. In some studies, the asymptotic cases represent as much as 80% of the infections.

On February 25, Abe announced concrete anti-virus measures consisting of home quarantine and social distancing. These measures required that those who were of high risk should not go the hospital for treatment and they should get the prescription through phones.

Thus, Abe’s government was well aware of the crisis by creating needed institutions, but the trouble was that these institutions could not do their expected functions.

The basic problem of Abe’s anti-virus measures may be characterized in terms of the choice of wrong policy priority, bad planning and poor coordination.

Six People From The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Have Now Died ...

The bad choice of policy priority was shown with the arrival of the cruiser Diamond Princess on February 3 in Yokohama Bay. This seems to have disturbed much Abe’s government.

There were already unknown infections cumulated up in January and, now, there were 3,711 individuals on the cruiser without knowing how many were infected among the passengers and the crew.

But, 13 individuals infected were allowed to leave the ship without tests; they were allowed to use public transportation facilities. If these 13 individuals were infected in addition to unknown infected persons on the land who had not been quarantined, they could have transmitted the virus to a huge number of individuals.

Suppose that there are 100 persons infected and that the multiplier of virus propagation, Ro is 2 and that the transmission period is three days. It means that the number of infected doubles every three days.

On Day 1, we have 100 infected; on Day 3, we have 200 infected; on Day 6, we have 400 infected; on Day 9, we have 800 infected; on Day 12, we have 1,600 infected. Nobody knows how many persons were infected in Japan by February 3, the day of the cruiser’s arrival in Yokohama Bay.

But, one thing sure was that the government should have better managed the situation on the board of the cruiser and made suitable planning of the anti-virus war.

Speaking about the government’s handling of the Diamond Princess cruiser, Iwata Kentaro of Kobe University a specialist on infectious diseases was known to have evaluated the cruiser handling as “the violation of all elementary principles of dealing with infectious diseases”.

The fundamental question is about Abe’s perception of the corona virus crisis. Professor Iwata Kentaro was quoted to have said that “the leaders’ sense of entitlement was breeding indifference to the crisis and incompetence in dealing with the crisis” (1)

Koichi Nakano of Sophia University was quoted to have said:

“The Abe government has approached this crisis first as and foremost economic crisis and government public relation crisis rather than an epidemiological crisis.” (2)

This was clearly shown by the nomination of Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister of economic rehabilitation, as minister of corona virus counter measures. Abe was concerned with the salvaging what was left of his Abenomics.

The most important issue for Abe was the opening of the July Olympics, which was threatened by the corona virus crisis.

For Abe, the Olympics Game was a sort of saviour for him and for his government. It could be redemption for the failure of Abenomics; Abe was hoping to have tens of billions of billion dollars of income through Olympics related tourism; there was huge expected income from the rights of TV diffusions. The huge multiplier effects of employment and income deriving from the construction of facilities would have been considerable

For Abe, the Olympics Game was something perhaps more important than the economic and financial bonanza; it was also the question of “saving face of Japan.”

Japan was losing face because of the three-decade economic deflation, the mishandling of the 2011 triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear melt-down in addition to disappointing treatment received from Trump and the “Japan-passing” in the North-Korean peace dialogue.

So, it was more difficult for Abe to give up the Olympics, In fact, he waited until March 24th, before he postponed it for July 2021.

In the meantime, for more than three months from January to mid March had passed and the number of infected could have increased beyond our imagination; nobody knows how many, but it could be several tens of thousands, may be, more than hundred thousand, given the total population of 127 million inhabitants.

In fact, there are some experts who think that the total number of the infected could be 8 times of the reported cases of infections, if the testing campaign were more aggressive.

Nevertheless, Abe waited until April 7 before he declared the state of emergency for Tokyo and six surrounding prefectures. The world could not understand Abe’s way of handling the crisis.

Professor Koichi Nakano of Sophia University said this.

“Abe seemed generally reluctant to call the state of emergency, so may be out of fear of further damaging the economy, he dragged his feet too long, but he had no choice but to accept the outbreak which is now out of control.” (3)

Thus, Abe missed the golden opportunity to save Japanese lives most likely because of his concern about his Abenomics and the interests of his corporate friends.

Abe has been criticized for the wrong timing of the closing of schools in February without proper planning and coordinating.Korea-Japan Trade Plus War: Where Are You Going Mr. Shinzo Abe?

Abe was widely criticized for the terribly sub-standard face masks which were suspected to have been produced by incompetent company close to the establishment.

But, Abe’s failure the most criticized was the poor testing. As of May 3, the number of tests in Japan was 1.3 per 1,000 people as against 12.0 for South Korea and 18.0 for the United States.

And the number of cases of infections, as of May 3, was 15,789 to increase to 16,779 as of June 3. The number of death rose from 549 to 900 in the same period.

It is the generalized view that the number of cases and deaths are low, simply because the number of tests is low. Abe tries to justify the low level of tests by evoking the poor reliability of the test kits, the lack of hospital facilities to deal with a large number of cases.

Such arguments are not very convincing, because Japan has been boasting about the high quality of the public health system.

The Voice of the Ordinary Japanese

One of the sad aspects of the corona virus crisis is the Japanese people’s impression that Abe attaches greater importance to money and the glory of his “New Japan” than to human life.

The ordinary Japanese have been enduring the decades-long economic deflation, shrinking value of income, decreasing real jobs, the wide spread corruption of the establishment of the Japanese society and suffering of the elderly from hunger and social alienation.

But, now, they might have had enough; the life of each Japanese man, women and child is threatened. This is a new experience; they are frightened. They might have decided not to accept the loss of human life for Abenomics and Japan’s Face-Saving.

In fact, they seem to have given up their legendary docility and have decided to open up their mind; they seem to liberate themselves from the pejorative image of “docile sheep”.

The following is the results of the poll conducted by Mainichi Shimbum in collaboration of a research partner on May 8, 2020.

Evaluation of the government and political parties

Do you support the current administration in Japan led by Abe?

  • No (45%);
  • Yes (40%)

Which political party do you support?

  • LDP (30%),
  • the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) (9%),
  • Nippon Innovation Party (11%),
  • four other minor political parties (below 5 %)

It is interesting to notice that while 40% of the poll respondents support the government, only 30% support the Liberal Demographic Party (LDP) led by Abe. This seems to show that Abe is losing people’s support. In the past, LDP used to have 70% popular support.

Evaluation of the COVID-19 policies

Do you think that the declaration of state of emergency in the area you live can be lifted by the end of May?

  • No (46%),
  • Yes (36%)

Do you feel uneasy about Japan’s medical and testing system in relation to novel corona-virus?

  • Yes (68%);
  • Not uneasy (14%)

How do you evaluate the administration’s response to novel corona virus?

  • Negatively (48%);
  • Positively (22%)

As many as 46% of the respondents believe that the state of emergency will not be lifted, while it has been lifted.

This means that Abe has ignored the people’s fear. Such fear seems to come from their mistrust in the medical and the testing system. As a matter of fact, 68% do not feel easy with the system. All in all, 48% of the respondents evaluate negatively the government response to corona virus.

Japanese people’s docility

Since the declaration of the state of emergency did you go out of home?

  • Not at all (15%);
  • went out for essential needs such as works and shopping (82%)

How much have your own direct contacts with other people declined since the declaration of the state of emergency?

  • Declined by 80% (56%);
  • by at least 20% (26%)

The respondents’ responses to these questions seem to reflect that the Japanese people respect the government instruction of self quarantine and social distancing.

Since the declaration of the state of emergency 15% did not go out all, while 82% went out for essential missions.

On the other hand, as many as 80% of the respondents say that, since the declaration of the state of emergency, the contact with other people declined by 56%.

These poll results seem to lead to two conclusions. First, the Japanese people are not happy with the way the government has been handling the corona-virus crisis.

Second, even if they are not satisfied with the whole system of public health and government reactive policies, the Japanese people could have saved many lives by virtue of self quarantines, social distancing, saluting by bowing instead of shaking hands, frequent hand washing and the culture of wearing face masks.

However, nobody knows how many lives have been saved by the Japanese docility and popular culture. It is more than certain that the real number of the infected and the corona-virus related death could be much higher than the reported figures.

There is a theory saying that the government does not report the true figures of infections and deaths, even if it has the true data, in order not to make the people feel insecure.

But, this theory does not seem defendable, because each individual having the risk of being infected should be eager to know the truth. Anyway, by the end of June, the true picture might emerge.

What will happen to the Japanese Culture of Docility and Harmony?

A part of my education took place in Korea under the Japanese rule. I used to admire the docility, the obedience to authorities, strict disciplines and the quest for harmony of the Japanese people.

On the other hand, I was sad to see that the great majority of the Japanese people had to suffer from decades-long war without much complaining; it was difficult for me to see the Japanese families sending their fathers, sons, brothers to Kamikaze fighter planes.

I was wondering for whom the war was? I was wondering who was benefitting from the war?

Was it for the people or for the glory of a few ambitious political and military leaders who had the illusion of conducting the “holy war of liberating Asia from the White”?

Even now, I see, in front of my eyes, the poor Japanese children and the elders starving to death on the street of Tokyo and other Japanese cities in 1944 and 1945.

The Japanese people thought, since the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki, that they would enjoy peace, prosperity, the end of Kempeitai (cruel military police) and ordinary people-friendly government.

In short, they were hoping a decent and human society in which even the ordinary people can enjoy. But the ordinary Japanese people have been denied of such world.

History tells us that, if a single political force rules the country for very long period, the probability of corruption of the political establishment, the abuse of power and the alienation of the week increases. This has happened in Japan.

One of the amazing political scenes in Japan is the one in which one political party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ruled, since 1957, 57 years out of 63 years, or 91% of the period.

During this period, Japan had 21 prime ministers. The longevity of Japanese prime ministers has been as follows:  1-year PMs: 4;  2-year PMs: 11;  3-year PMs: 2;  5-year PMs: 2;  8-year PM:1; 10-year PM:1

Shinzo Abe has been prime minister for 10 years (2006-2007 and 2012-2020).

Yasuhiro Nakasone (1982-1987) and Junichiro Koizumi (2001-2006) were two 5-year prime ministers.

Abe’s maternal grandfather, Nobuske Kishi (1957-60) and Hayato Ikeda (1961-64) were two 3-year prime ministers.

The instability of the Japanese government is well reflected by the fact that 71.4 % of prime ministers since 1957 were 1-year or 2-year prime ministers.

The excessive instability of the Japanese government was attributable partly to the different term for the party presidency (3 years for LDP) and the term of prime minister (4 years). The prime minister is the president of the party in power; this can create confusion.

However, the more important reason for the instability could be the never ending corruption of the political leaders. In fact, many of them killed themselves or lost the position of prime minister because of corruption.

One of the notorious scandals was the Recruit Scandal in which 70 lawmakers bought, in 1988, the stock of a company before its listing and made fortune. There were savage sex offenses at night clubs by lawmakers of the LDP. The bribery scandals of construction industry has been a part of the corruption culture of the establishment.

The land dealing scandal in which the first lady was involved was related to the acquisition of public land for a small portion of the land’s market price; the land was for the establishment of a Meiji-era inspired ultra-right primary school, Moritomo Gakuen.

The scandal which made the Japanese the very angry was the scandal of prolonging the tenure of the Tokyo chief prosecutor, Hiromu Kurokawa, from 63 years to 65 years.

The chief prosecutor is a strong supporter of Abe, who needed the prosecutor in order to use the Bureau of Prosecutor for Abe’s political purpose including the silencing of the voice of objections to his ambitions.

For the first time, 4 million twitters of the ordinary Japanese people emerged to protest Abe’s hidden intention. It happened that Kurokawa played, for money, the illegal “mahjong” game and he resigned.

There is a close correlation between the length of power and the extent of the corruption culture. As we saw, out of 63 years since 1957, the year of the creation of LDP by Abe’s grandfather, it ruled Japan for 57 years, that is, 91% of the period.

Such long period of power leads necessarily to the creation of the corruption culture dominated by big business, bureaucrats and politicians. This group begins with money-power collusion, then the creation of the oligarchy and eventually the creation of corruption culture.

Once you come to the era of the corruption culture, it is very difficult to get rid of it. We have seen it in South Korea under the 58-year rule by the conservative governments since 1948, that is, 81% of the period, 1948-2020.

The most disastrous effect of the corruption culture is this. The core of the culture is the monetary-political establishment whose interest is the maximization of the interests of the establishment at the expense of those of the ordinary people.

The nomination and the expulsion of prime ministers are most likely determined by the establishment. Many of the short-term prime ministers are those who might have done something which he establishment did not like.

Under this situation, the economic prosperity has not been very beneficial to the ordinary Japanese. One of the popular descriptions of Japan since the 1980s was “the country is rich but, the ordinary people are poor.”

There is another political phenomenon which makes the Japanese people worried and insecure; it is the Abe group’s dream of restoring the pre-1945 military imperial empire of Japan.

Abe’s decades-long ambition has been the amendment of the Peace Constitution, in particular, Article 9, which prevents Japan from making offensive wars. His group proposes even the way Hitler changed the Weimer Constitution by force.

The statement of the deputy prime minister who was also foreign minister, Taro Aso, showed how much the Abe team admired the Nazi constitution.

“German’s Weimer constitution was changed into Nazi constitution before anyone knew. It was changed before anyone else notices. Why don’t we learn from that method?” (4)

There was also the State Secret Act adopted in 2013 designed to silence the voices of objection. This Act has the following characteristics.

  • Civil servant who leaks state secrets can be imprisoned up to 10 years.
  • Civilians and journalists who reveal state secrets may be imprisoned up to 5 years.
  • It is the government which defines what should be state secrets

To restore the old Japanese empire, Abe has to silence the voice of objection. Abe has made the NHK (Japan’s national TV) into “Ave TV.”

The Japanese people have endured all these realities; they have suffered from 3-decade long economic deflation; they have had to watch helplessly how Abenomics could not find the solution.

As a matter of fact, Abenomcs has failed. The fiscal arrow and the monetary arrow have hit the wrong targets. The fiscal arrow has increased the national debt to 253% of GDP. The monetary arrow had inundated cash, in the name of QE (quantity easing), in the financial institutions without really connecting the money to the real economy, the good-producing economy.

The real arrow was the third arrow of structural adjustment. This policy means the strengthening of the industries by not bailing out the hopeless big companies. Most of the monetary and fiscal resources have been used for the bailout of businesses close to LDP.

The Japanese people have endured all these hardship caused by wrong policies. Yet, they have not gone down to the streets to protest.

They did once for the antiwar movement in 1969. In 2011, more than 300 civic organizations made street demonstration against the government mishandling of the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meld-down.

But, they could not continue, because of the lack of sustained backing of political forces.

However, Abe’s choice of the glory of New Japan (neo-military and imperial Japan) at the expense of simple happiness of simple people might lead to the open protests against Abe’s political forces.

The simple happiness of simple Japanese is peace, more equal distribution of the fruits of economic development and a little better social status recognized and respected by the elite group.

To do this, they need strong opposition parties. But, there are too many small political parties and the Abe’s LDP is too strong and still popular.

However, if united, the ordinary Japanese people can change things.

*

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Professor Joseph H. Chung is professor of Economics and co-director of the Observatoire de l’Asie de l’Est (OAE) of the Centre d’Études sur l’Intégration et la Mondialisation (CEIM), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Notes

(1) thedailybeast.com/japans-covid-19-state-of-emergency-locks-down-criticism

(2) Ibid

(3) theguardian.cm/world/2920/apeil/09/dash-loom-in-japan-as-tokyo-governor-says-abe-covid-mesures-not-enough)

(4) thedeadlybeast.com/japan-shinzo-abe-government-has-a-thing-about-hitler-it likes-himThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof. Joseph H. Chung, Global Research, 2020

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Posted in Health, JapanComments Off on The COVID-19 War in Japan: Is National Face-Saving More Important than the People’s Lives?

America’s War against the People of Korea: The Historical Record of US War Crimes

By: Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Today, June 26, 2020 we commemorate the onslaught of the US led war on the people of Korea, 70 years ago, June 26, 1950.

The following text by Michel Chossudovsky was presented in Seoul, South Korea in the context of the Korea Armistice Day Commemoration, 27 July 2013

A Message for Peace. Towards a Peace Agreement and the Withdrawal of US Troops from Korea.

Introduction

Armistice Day, 27 July 1953 is day of Remembrance for the People of Korea.

It is a landmark date in the historical struggle for national reunification and sovereignty.

I am privileged to have this opportunity of participating in the 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013.

I am much indebted to the “Anti-War, Peace Actualized, People Action” movement for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on peace and reunification.

An armistice is an agreement by the warring parties to stop fighting. It does signify the end of war.

What underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 60 years.

The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. 

The armistice remains in force. The US is still at war with Korea. It is not a peace treaty, a peace agreement was never signed.

The US has used the Armistice agreement to justify the presence of 37,000 American troops on Korean soil under a bogus United Nations mandate, as well as establish an environment of continuous and ongoing military threats. This situation of “latent warfare” has lasted for the last 60 years. It is important to emphasize that this US garrison in South Korea is the only U.S. military presence based permanently on the Asian continent.

Our objective in this venue is to call for a far-reaching peace treaty, which will not only render the armistice agreement signed on July 27, 1953 null and void, but will also lay the foundations for the speedy withdrawal of US troops from Korea as well as lay the foundations for the reunification of the Korean nation.

Michel Chossudovsky Presentation: 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013, Seoul, ROK. 

Armistice Day in a Broader Historical Perspective.

This commemoration is particularly significant in view of mounting US threats directed not only against Korea, but also against China and Russia as part of Washington’s “Asia Pivot”, not to mention the illegal occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US-NATO wars against Libya and Syria, the military threats directed against Iran, the longstanding struggle of the Palestinian people against Israel, the US sponsored wars and insurrections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Armistice Day July 27, 1953, is a significant landmark in the history of US led wars.  Under the Truman Doctrine formulated in the late 1940s, the Korean War (1950-1953) had set the stage for a global process of militarization and US led wars. “Peace-making” in terms of a peace agreement is in direct contradiction with Washington “war-making” agenda.

Washington has formulated a global military agenda. In the words of four star General Wesley Clark (Ret) [image right], quoting a senior Pentagon official:

“We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” (Democracy Now March 2, 2007)

The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first major military operation  undertaken by the US in the wake of  World War II,  launched at the very outset of  what was euphemistically called “The Cold War”. In many respects it was a continuation of World War II, whereby Korean lands under Japanese colonial occupation were, from one day to the next, handed over to a new colonial power, the United States of America.

At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the US and the Soviet Union agreed to dividing Korea, along the 38th parallel.

There was no “Liberation” of Korea following the entry of US forces. Quite the opposite.

As we recall, a US military government was established in South Korea on September 8, 1945, three weeks after the surrender of Japan on August 15th 1945. Moreover,  Japanese officials in South Korea assisted the US Army Military Government (USAMG) (1945-48) led by General Hodge in ensuring this transition. Japanese colonial administrators in Seoul as well as their Korean police officials worked hand in glove with the new colonial masters.

From the outset, the US military government refused to recognize the provisional government of the People’s Republic of Korea (PRK), which was committed to major social reforms including land distribution, laws protecting the rights of workers, minimum wage legislation and  the reunification of North and South Korea.

The PRK was non-aligned with an anti-colonial mandate, calling for the “establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state.”2

The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG. There was no democracy, no liberation no independence.

While Japan was treated as a defeated Empire, South Korea was identified as a colonial territory to be administered under US military rule and US occupation forces.

America’s handpicked appointee Sygman Rhee [left] was flown into Seoul in October 1945, in General Douglas MacArthur’s personal airplane.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.

Moreover, it is important to understand that these US sponsored crimes against humanity committed in the 1950s have, over the years, contributed to setting “a pattern of killings” and US human rights violations in different parts of the World.

The Korean War was also characterised by a practice of targeted assassinations of political dissidents, which was subsequently implemented by the CIA in numerous countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Afghanistan, Iraq.

Invariably these targeted killings were committed on the instructions of the CIA and carried out by a US sponsored proxy government or military dictatorship. More recently, targeted assassinations of civilians, “legalised” by the US Congress have become, so to speak, the “New Normal”.

According to  I.F. Stone’s “Hidden History of the Korean War” first published in 1952 (at the height of the Korean War), the US deliberately sought a pretext, an act of deception, which incited the North to cross the 38th parallel ultimately leading to all out war.

“[I. F. Stone’s book] 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, 3

In Stone’s account, General Douglas MacArthur “did everything possible to avoid peace”.

US wars of aggression are waged under the cloak of “self defence” and pre-emptive attacks. Echoing I. F. Stone’s historical statement concerning General MacArthur, sixty years later US president Barack Obama and his defence Secretary Chuck Hagel are also “doing. everything possible to avoid peace”. 

This pattern of inciting the enemy “to fire the first shot” is well established in US military doctrine. It pertains to creating a “War Pretext Incident” which provides the aggressor to pretext to intervene on the grounds of “Self- Defence”. It characterised the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1941, triggered by deception and provocation of which US officials had advanced knowledge. Pearl Harbor was the justification for America’s entry into World War II.

The Tonkin Gulf Incident in August 1964 was the pretext for the US to wage war on North Vietnam, following the adoption of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution by the US Congress, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to wage war on Communist North Vietnam.

I. F. Stone’s analysis refutes “the standard telling”  … 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. 4

According to the editor of France’s Nouvel Observateur Claude Bourdet:

“If Stone’s thesis corresponds to reality, we are in the presence of the greatest swindle in the whole of military history… not a question of a harmless fraud but of a terrible maneuver in which deception is being consciously utilized to block peace at a time when it is possible.”5

In the words of renowned American writers Leo Huberman and Paul Sweezy:

“….we have come to the conclusion that (South Korean president) Syngman Rhee deliberately provoked the North Koreans in the hope that they would retaliate by crossing the parallel in force. The northerners fell neatly into the trap.” 6

On 25 June 1950, following the adoption of UN  Security Council Resolution 82General Douglas MacArthur, who headed the US military government in occupied Japan was appointed Commander in Chief of the so-called United Nations Command (UNCOM). According to Bruce Cumings, the Korean War “bore a strong resemblance to the air war against Imperial Japan in the second world war and was often directed by the same US military leaders” including generals Douglas MacArthur and Curtis Lemay.

US War Crimes against the People of Korea

Extensive crimes were committed by US forces in the course of the Korean War (1950-1953).  While nuclear weapons were not used during the Korean War, what prevailed was the strategy of  “mass killings of civilians” which had been formulated during World War II. A policy of killing innocent civilians was implemented through extensive air raids and bombings of German cities by American and British forces in the last weeks of World War II. In a bitter irony, military targets were safeguarded.

This unofficial doctrine of killing of civilians under the pretext of targeting military objectives largely characterised US military actions both in the course of the Korean war as well as in its aftermath. According to Bruce Cummings:

On 12 August 1950, the USAF dropped 625 tons of bombs on North Korea; two weeks later, the daily tonnage increased to some 800 tons.U.S. warplanes dropped more napalm and bombs on North Korea than they did during the whole Pacific campaign of World War II. 7

The territories North of the 38th parallel were subjected to extensive carpet bombing, which resulted in the destruction of 78 cities and thousands of villages:

“What was indelible about it [the Korean War of 1950-53] was the extraordinary destructiveness of the United States’ air campaigns against North Korea, from the widespread and continuous use of firebombing (mainly with napalm), to threats to use nuclear and chemical weapons, and the destruction of huge North Korean dams in the final stages of the war.  ….

As a result, almost every substantial building in North Korea was destroyed. …. 8

US Major General  William F Dean “reported that most of the North Korean cities and villages he saw were either rubble or snow-covered wastelands”

General Curtis LeMay [left] who coordinated the bombing raids against North Korea brazenly acknowledged that:

“Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population. … We burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea, too”. 9

According to Brian Willson:

It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerence of another.” 10

Translation: the city of Pyongyang was totally destroyed in 1951 during the Korean war

Extensive war crimes were also committed by US forces in South Korea as documented by the Korea Truth and Reconciliation Commission. According to ROK sources, almost one million civilians were killed in South Korea in the course of the Korean War:

“In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.” 11

During The Second World War, the United Kingdom lost 0.94% of its population, France lost 1.35%, China lost 1.89% and the US lost 0.32%. During the Korean War, the DPRK lost more than 25% of its population. The population of North Korea was of the order of 8-9 million in 1950 prior the Korean War. US sources acknowledge 1.55 million civilian deaths in North Korea, 215,000 combat deaths. MIA/POW 120,000, 300,000 combat troops wounded. 12

South Korean military sources estimate the number of civilian deaths/wounded/missing at 2.5 million, of which some 990,900 are in South Korea. Another estimate places Korea War total deaths, civilian plus combat at 3.5 million.)

North Korea: A Threat to Global Security?

For the last 60 years, Washington has contributed to the political isolation of North Korea. It has sought to destabilize its national economy, including its industrial base and agriculture. It has relentlessly undermined the process of reunification of the Korean nation.

In South Korea, the US has maintained its stranglehold over the entire political system. It has ensured from the initial appointment of Sygman Rhee the instatement of non-democratic and repressive forms of government which have in large part served the interests of the U.S.

US military presence in South Korea has also exerted a controlling influence on economic and monetary policy.

An important question for the American people. How can a country which has lost a quarter of its population resulting from US aggression, constitute a threat to the American Homeland?

How can a country which has 37,000 US troops on its immediate border constitute a threat to America?

Given the history war crimes, how do the people of North Korea perceive the US threat to their Homeland. There is not a single family in North Korea which has not lost a loved one in the course of the Korean War.

The Korean War was the first major US led war carried out in the immediate wake of World War II.

While the US and its NATO allies have waged numerous wars and military interventions in all major regions of the World in the course of what is euphemistically called the “post War era”, resulting in millions of civilians deaths, America is upheld as the guardian of democracy and World Peace.

War Propaganda

The Lie becomes the Truth.

Realities are turned upside down.

History is rewritten. North Korea is heralded as a threat.

America is not the aggressor nation but “the victim” of aggression.

These concepts are part of war propaganda which is fed into the news chain.

Since the end of the Korean War, US led propaganda –funnelled into the ROK news chain– has relentlessly contributed to fomenting conflict and divisiveness between North and South Korea, presenting the DPRK as a threat to ROK national security.

An atmosphere of fear and intimidation prevails which impels people in South Korea to accept the “peace-making role” of the United States. In the eyes of public opinion, the presence of  37,000 US occupation forces is viewed as “necessary” to the security of the ROK.

US military presence is heralded as a means to “protecting the ROK” against North Korean aggression. Similarly, the propaganda campaign will seek to create divisions within Korean society with a view to sustaining the legitimacy of  US interventionism. The purpose of this process is create divisiveness. Repeated ad nauseam, the alleged “North Korean threat” undermines –within people’s inner consciousness– the notion that Korea is one country, one nation, one history.

The “Truman Doctrine”

Historically, in the wake of World War II, the Truman doctrine first formulated by Foreign Policy adviser George F. Kennan in a 1948 State Department brief established the Cold War framework of US expansionism:

What this 1948 document conveys is continuity in US foreign policy, from “Containment” during the Cold War era to “Pre-emptive” War. It states in polite terms that the US should seek economic and strategic dominance through military means:

Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. (…)

In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with regard to the Far East. We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and—for the Far East—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. 13

The planned disintegration of the United Nations system as an independent and influential international body has been on the drawing board of US foreign policy since the inception of the United Nations in 1946. Its planned demise was an integral part of the Truman doctrine as defined in 1948. From the very inception of the UN, Washington has sought on the one hand to control it to its advantage, while also seeking to weakening and ultimately destroy the UN system. In the words of George Kennan:

Occasionally, it [the United Nations] has served a useful purpose. But by and large it has created more problems than it has solved, and has led to a considerable dispersal of our diplomatic effort. And in our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part.

In our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part. 14

Although officially committed to the “international community”, Washington has largely played lip service to the United Nations. In recent years it has sought to undermine it as an institution. Since Gulf War I, the UN has largely acted as a rubber stamp. It has closed its eyes to US war crimes, it has implemented so-called peacekeeping operations on behalf of the Anglo-American invaders, in violation of the UN Charter.

The Truman Doctrine Applied to Korea and East Asia

The Truman doctrine was the culmination of a post World War II US military strategy initiated with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and the surrender of Japan. [Harry Truman left]

In East Asia it consisted in the post-war occupation of Japan  as well the US takeover of Japan’s colonial Empire including South Korea (Korea was annexed to Japan under the 1910 Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty).

Following Imperial Japan’s defeat in World War II, a US sphere of influence throughout East and South East Asia was established in the territories of Japan’s “Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”.

The US sphere of influence included Philippines (a US possession occupied by Japan during World War II), Thailand (a Japanese protectorate during World War II), Indonesia (Occupied by Japan during World War II, becomes a US proxy State following the establishment of the Suharto military dictatorship in 1965). This US sphere of influence in Asia also extended its grip into France’s former colonial possessions in Indochina, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which were under Japanese military occupation during World War II.

America’s hegemony in Asia was largely based on establishing a sphere of influence in countries which were under the colonial jurisdiction of Japan, France and the Netherlands.

Continuity: From the Truman Doctrine to the Neo-Conservatives

The Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a (bipartisan) “Post War” foreign policy framework, which provides the basis for the planning of the contemporary wars and atrocities including the setting up of torture chambers, concentration camps and the extensive use of prohibited weapons directed against civilians.

From Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, to the CIA sponsored military coups in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the objective has been to ensure US military hegemony and global economic domination, as initially formulated under the “Truman Doctrine”. Despite significant policy differences, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, over a span of more than sixty years, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama have carried out this global military agenda.

US War Crimes and Atrocities

What we are dealing with is a criminal US foreign policy agenda. Criminalization does not pertain to one or more heads of State. It pertains to the entire State system, it’s various civilian and military institutions as well as the powerful corporate interests behind the formulation of US foreign policy, the Washington think tanks, the creditor institutions which finance the military machine.

Starting with the Korean War in 1950 and extending to the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, this period is marked by extensive war crimes resulting in the death of more than ten million people. This figure does not include those who perished as a result of poverty, starvation and disease.

War crimes are the result of the criminalization of the US State and foreign policy apparatus. We are not solely dealing specifically with individual war criminals, but with a process involving decision makers acting at different level, with a mandate to carry out war crimes, following established guidelines and procedures.

What distinguishes the Bush and Obama administrations in relation to the historical record of US sponsored crimes and atrocities, is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain “the global war on terrorism” and support the spread of Western democracy.

Historical Significance of the Korean War: America’s Project of Global Warfare

The Korean War had set the stage for subsequent US military interventions. It was an initial phase of a post-World War II “military roadmap” of US led wars, special operations, coups d’etat, covert operations, US sponsored insurgencies and regime change spanning over of more than half a century. The project of global warfare has been carried out in all major regions of the World, through the US military’s geographic command structure, not to mention the CIA’s covert operations geared toward toppling sovereign governments.

This project of Worldwide conquest was initially established under the so-called “Truman Doctrine”. The latter initiated what the Pentagon later (in the wake of the Cold war under the NeoConservatives) entitled America`s “Long War”.

What we are dealing with is global warfare, a Worldwide process of conquest, militarization and corporate expansionism. The latter is the driving force. “Economic conquest” is implemented through the support of concurrent intelligence and military operations. Financial and monetary destabilization is another mechanism of economic warfare directed against sovereign countries.

In 2000, preceding the eleciton of George W. Bush to the White House, The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), A Washington Neoconservative think tank had stipulated  four core missions for the US military:

  • “defend the American homeland;
  • fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
  • perform the “constabulary” duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
  • transform U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs;”

George W. Bush’s Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney had commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the 2000 presidential elections.

The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest.

It calls for “the direct imposition of U.S. “forward bases” throughout Central Asia and the Middle East: “with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential “rival” or any viable alternative to America’s vision of a ‘free market’ economy”

Distinct from theater wars, the so-called “constabulary functions” imply a form of global military policing using various instruments of military intervention including punitive bombings and the sending in of US Special Forces, etc. Constabulary functions were contemplated in the first phase of US war plans against Iran. They were identified as ad hoc military interventions which could be applied as an “alternative” to so-called theater wars.

This document had no pretence: its objectives were strictly military. No discussion of America’s role in peace-keeping or the spread of democracy. 15 The main PNAC document is entitled Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.(The PNAC website is:  http://www.newamericancentury.org)

US Military Occupation of South Korea, The Militarization of East Asia

Washington is intent upon creating political divisions in East Asia not only between the ROK and the DPRK but between North Korea and China, with a view to ultimately isolating the DPRK. In a bitter irony, US military facilities in the ROK are being used to threaten China as part of a process of military encirclement. In turn, Washington has sought to create political divisions between countries as well fomenting wars between neighboring countries (e.g. the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the confrontation between India and Pakistan).

The UN Command Mandate (UNC)

Sixty years later under a bogus UN mandate, the military occupation by US forces of South Korea prevails. It is worth noting that the UN never formally created a United Nations Command. The designation was adopted by the US without a formal decision by the UN Security Council. In 1994, the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali clarified in a letter to the North Korean Foreign Minister that “the Security Council did not establish the unified command as a subsidiary organ under its control, but merely recommended [in 1950] the creation of such a command, specifying that it be under the authority of the United States”

Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces Command (CFC)

South Korea is still under military occupation by US forces. In the wake of the Korean War and the signing of the Armistice agreement, the national forces of the ROK were placed under the jurisdiction of the so-called UN Command. This arrangement implied that all units of the Korean military were de facto under the control of US commanders. In 1978 a binational Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces Command (CFC), was created, headed by a US General. In substance, this was a change in labels in relation to the so-called UN Command. To this date, Korean forces remain under the command of a US general.

The CFC was originally to be dismantled when the U.S. hands back wartime operational control of South Korean troops to Seoul in 2015, but there were fears here that this could weaken South Korea’s defenses. The change of heart comes amid increasingly belligerent rhetoric from North Korea.

Park told her military brass at the briefing to launch “immediate and strong counterattacks” against any North Korean provocation. She said she considers the North’s threats “very serious,” and added, “If any provocations against our people and country ake place, the military has to respond quickly and strongly without any political consideration.” 16

United States Forces Korea (USFK)

United States Forces Korea (USFK) was established in 1957. It is described as “as a subordinate-unified command of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)”, which could be deployed to attack third countries in the region including Russia and China. There are officially 28,500 US troops under the jurisdiction of USFK. Recent figures of the US Department of Defense confirm that 37,000 US troops under USFK are currently (April 2013) stationed in South Korea.

USFK integrated by US forces is distinct from the Combined Forces Command (CFC) created in 1978. The CFC is commanded by a four-star U.S. general, with a four-star ROK Army general as deputy commander.17 (See United States Forces Korea | Mission of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command).

The current USFK commander is General James D. Thurman (See CFC photo op below) who also also assumes the position of CFC Commander and UNC Commander. 18 (See United States Forces Korea | USFK Leadership).

General Thurman who takes his orders from the Pentagon overrides ROK president and Commander in Chief Park Geun Hye.

Regular active troops of the ROK Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) theoretically under national ROK command consist of more 600,000 active personnel and more than 2 million reservists. According to the terms of the CFC, however, these troops are de facto under the CFC command which is headed by a US General.

What this means is that in addition to the 37,000 US troops of the USFK, the US command structure has de facto control over all operational units of the Korean Armed Forces. In essence, what this means is that the ROK does not control its armed forces. ROK armed forces essentially serve the interests of a foreign power.

President Park Geun-hye (center), Combined Forces Command commander Gen. James D. Thurman (second from left, back row), deputy CFC commander Gen. Kwon Oh-sung (second from right, back row) and allied troops. Source Korean Herald, 28 August 2013

Annually the US-ROK conducts war games directed against North Korea. These war games –which simulate a conventional and/or nuclear attack against North Korea– are often conducted in late July coinciding with Armistice Day.

In turn, US military bases along South Korea’s Western coastline and on Jeju island are used to threaten China as part of a process of military encirclement. In view of the ROK-US agreement under the CFC, South Korean troops under US command are deployed in the context of US military operations in the region, which are actively coordinated with USFK and USPACOM.

South Korea is multibillion bonanza for America’s weapons industry. In the course of the last 4 years the ROK ranked the fourth largest arms importer in the World “with the U.S. accounting for 77 percent of its arms purchases.” It should be noted that these weapons are purchased with Korean tax payers’ wons, they are de facto under the supervision of the US military, namely the CFC Joint Command which is headed by a US General.

In recent developments, the ROK president has hinted towards the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against North Korea.

“As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I will trust the military’s judgment on abrupt and surprise provocations by North Korea as it is the one that directly faces off against the North,” Park said, according to the London Telegraph. “Please carry out your duty of guarding the safety of the people without being distracted at all.”

Park’s defense minister also promised an “active deterrence” against Pyongyang and seemed to suggest Seoul would consider carrying out preemptive strikes on North Korean nuclear and missile sites. 19

The Korea Nuclear Issue. Who Threatens Whom?

Historical Background: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

America’s early nuclear weapons doctrine under the Manhattan Project was not based on the Cold War notions of “Deterrence” and “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD).

US nuclear doctrine pertaining to Korea was established following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which were largely directed against civilians.

The strategic objective was to trigger a “massive casualty producing event” resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. The objective was to terrorize an entire nation, as a mean of military conquest. Military targets were not the main objective: the notion of “collateral damage” was used as a justification for the mass killing of civilians, under the official pretence that Hiroshima was “a military base” and that civilians were not the target.

In the words of president Harry Truman:

“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. … This weapon is to be used against Japan … [We] will use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. …  The target will be a purely military one… It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” 20 (President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945)

“The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians..” (President Harry S. Truman in a radio speech to the Nation, August 9, 1945).

[Note: the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; the Second on Nagasaki, on August 9, on the same day as Truman’s radio speech to the Nation]

Nobody within the upper echelons of the US government and military believed that Hiroshima was a military base, Truman was lying to himself and to the American public. To this day the use of nuclear weapons against Japan are justified as a necessary cost for bringing the war to an end and ultimately “saving lives”.

The Hiroshima Doctrine applied to Korea: US nuclear weapons stockpiled and deployed in South Korea

During the Korean War, the US had envisaged the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea shortly after the Soviet Union had tested its first atom bomb in August  29, 1949, about ten months prior to the onset of the Korean War in June 1950. Inevitably, the possession of the atom bomb by the Soviet Union acted as a deterrent against the use of nuclear weapons by the US in the course of the Korean War.

In the immediate wake of the Korean War, there was a turnaround in US nuclear weapons policy regarding North Korea. The use of nukes weapons had been envisaged on a pre-emptive basis against the DPRK, on the presumption that the Cold War nuclear powers, including China and the Soviet Union would not intervene.

Barely a few years after the end of the Korean War, the US initiated its deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea. This deployment in Uijongbu and Anyang-Ni had been envisaged as early as 1956.

It is worth noting that the US decision to bring nuclear warheads to South Korea was in blatant violation of  Paragraph 13(d) of the Armistice Agreement which prohibited the warring factions from introducing new weapons into Korea.

The actual deployment of nuclear warheads started in January 1958, four and a half years after the end of the Korean War, “with the introduction of five nuclear weapon systems: the Honest John surface-to-surface missile, the Matador cruise missile, the Atomic-Demolition Munition (ADM) nuclear landmine, and the 280-mm gun and 8-inch (203mm) howitzer.” 21 (See The nuclear information project: US Nuclear Weapons in Korea)

The Davy Crockett projectile was deployed in South Korea between July 1962 and June 1968. The warhead had selective yields up to 0.25 kilotons. The projectile weighed only 34.5 kg (76 lbs). Nuclear bombs for fighter bombers arrived in March 1958, followed by three surface-to-surface missile systems (Lacrosse, Davy Crockett, and Sergeant) between July 1960 and September 1963. The dual-mission Nike Hercules anti-air and surface-to-surface missile arrived in January 1961, and finally the 155-mm Howitzer arrived in October 1964. At the peak of this build-up, nearly 950 warheads were deployed in South Korea.

Four of the weapon types only remained deployed for a few years, while the others stayed for decades. The 8-inch Howitzer stayed until late 1991, the only of the weapon to be deployed throughout the entire 33-year period of U.S. nuclear weapons deployment to South Korea. The other weapons that stayed till the end were the air delivered bombs (several different bomb types were deployed over the years, ending with the B61) and the 155-mm Howitzer nuclear artillery.22

Officially the US deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea lasted for 33 years. The deployment was targeted against North Korea as well China and the Soviet Union.

South Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Concurrent and in coordination with the US deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea, the ROK had initiated its own nuclear weapons program in the early 1970s. The official story is that the US exerted pressure on Seoul to abandon their nuclear weapons program and “sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in April 1975 before it had produced any fissile material.” 23

The fact of the matter is that the ROK’s nuclear initiative was from the outset in the early 1970s  under the supervision of the US and was developed as a component part of the US deployment of nuclear weapons, with a view to threatening North Korea.

Moreover, while this program was officially ended in 1978, the US promoted scientific expertise as well as training of the ROK military in the use of nuclear weapons. And bear in mind: under the ROK-US CFC agreement, all operational units of the ROK are under joint command headed by a US General. This means that all the military facilities and bases established by the Korean military are de facto joint facilities. There are a total of 27 US military facilities in the ROK 24

The Official Removal of Nuclear Weapons from South Korea

According to military sources, the removal of nuclear weapons from South Korea was initiated in the mid 1970s:

 The nuclear weapons storage site at Osan Air base was deactivated in late 1977. This reduction continued over the following years and resulted in the number of nuclear weapons in South Korea dropping from some 540 in 1976 to approximately 150 artillery shells and bombs in 1985. By the time of the Presidential Nuclear Initiative in 1991, roughly 100 warheads remained, all of which had been withdrawn by December 1991. 25

According to official statements, the US withdrew its nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991.

The Planning of Nuclear Attacks against North Korea from the Continental US and from Strategic US Submarines

This withdrawal from Korea did not in any way modify the threat of nuclear war directed against the DPRK. On the contrary: it was tied to changes in US military strategy with regard to the deployment of nuclear warheads. Major North Korean cities were to be targeted with nuclear warheads from US continental locations and from US strategic submarines (SSBN)  rather than military facilities in South Korea:

After the withdrawal of [US] nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991, the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has been tasked with nuclear strike planning against North Korea. Since then, strike planning against North Korea with non-strategic nuclear weapons has been the responsibility of fighter wings based in the continental United States. One of these is the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. …

We simulated fighting a war in Korea, using a Korean scenario. … The scenario…simulated a decision by the National Command Authority about considering using nuclear weapons….We identified aircraft, crews, and [weapon] loaders to load up tactical nuclear weapons onto our aircraft….

With a capability to strike targets in less than 15 minutes, the Trident D5 sea-launched ballistic missile is a “mission critical system” for U.S. Forces Korea. Ballistic Missile Submarines and Long-Range Bombers

In addition to non-strategic air delivered bombs, sea-launched ballistic missiles onboard strategic Ohio-class submarines (SSBNs) patrolling in the Pacific appear also to have a mission against North Korea. A DOD General Inspector report from 1998 listed the Trident system as a “mission critical system” identified by U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea as “being of particular importance to them.”

Although the primary mission of the Trident system is directed against targets in Russia and China, a D5 missile launched in a low-trajectory flight provides a unique very short notice (12-13 minutes) strike capability against time-critical targets in North Korea. No other U.S. nuclear weapon system can get a warhead on target that fast. Two-three SSBNs are on “hard alert” in the Pacific at any given time, holding Russian, Chinese and North Korean targets at risk from designated patrol areas.

Long-range strategic bombers may also be assigned a nuclear strike role against North Korea although little specific is known. An Air Force map (see below) suggests a B-2 strike role against North Korea. As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb, the B-2 is a strong candidate for potential nuclear strike missions against North Korean deeply buried underground facilities.

As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb [with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb,see image right above] and a possible future Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, the B-2 stealth bomber (below)could have an important role against targets in North Korea. Recent upgrades enable planning of a new B-2 nuclear strike mission in less than 8 hours. 26

Whereas officially the US deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea lasted for 33 years, there is evidence that a large number of nuclear warheads are still stockpiled in South Korea.

“Although the South Korean government at the time confirmed the withdrawal, U.S. affirmations were not as clear. As a result, rumors persisted for a long time — particularly in North and South Korea — that nuclear weapons remained in South Korea. Yet the withdrawal was confirmed by Pacific Command in 1998 in a declassified portion of the CINCPAC Command History for 1991. 27 (The nuclear information project: withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea,)

Recent reports have hinted to a remaining stockpile of nuclear weapons in South Korea to be used on a pre-emptive basis against North Korea.  It is well understood that such an action would engulf the entire Korean peninsula in an area of intense nuclear radiation.

The Bush Administration’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review: Pre-emptive Nuclear War.

The Bush administration in its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review established the contours of a new post 9/11 “pre-emptive” nuclear war doctrine, namely that nuclear weapons could be used as an instrument of “self-defense” against non-nuclear states

“Requirements for U.S. nuclear strike capabilities” directed against North Korea were established as part of  a Global Strike mission under the helm of  US Strategic Command Headquarters in Omaha Nebraska, the so-called CONPLAN 8022, which was directed against a number of “rogue states” including North Korea as well as China and Russia:

On November 18, 2005, the new Space and Global Strike command became operational at STRATCOM after passing testing in a nuclear war exercise involving North Korea.

Current U.S. Nuclear strike planning against North Korea appears to serve three roles: The first is a vaguely defined traditional deterrence role intended to influence North Korean behavior prior to hostilities.

This role was broadened somewhat by the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review to not only deter but also dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Why, after five decades of confronting North Korea with nuclear weapons, the Bush administration believes that additional nuclear capabilities will somehow dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction [nuclear weapons program] is a mystery. 28

The Threat of Nuclear War. North Korea vs. the United States.

While the Western media in chorus focus on the North Korean nuclear threat, what prevails when reviewing Korean history is the asymmetry of nuclear capabilities.

The fact that the US has been threatening North Korea with nuclear war for over half a century is barely acknowledged by the Western media.

Where is the threat?

The asymmetry of nuclear weapons capabilities between the US and the DPRK must be emphasised,

According to ArmsControl.org (April 2013) the United States

possesses 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons.”

According to the latest official New START declaration, out of more than 5113 nuclear weapons,

the US deploys 1,654 strategic nuclear warheads on 792 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers… 29

Moreover, according to The Federation of American Scientists the U.S. possesses 500 tactical nuclear warheads.

On April 3, 2013 the U.S. State Department issued the latest fact sheet on its data exchange with Russia under New START, sharing the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads and New START-accountable delivery systems held by each country, 2. On May 3, 2010, the United States Department of Defense released for the first time the total number of nuclear warheads (5,113) in the U.S. stockpile. The Defense Department includes in this stockpile active warheads which are operational and deployed or ready to be deployed, and inactive warheads which are maintained “in a non-operational status, and have their tritium bottle removed.” Sources: Arms Control Association, Federation of American Scientists, International Panel on Fissile Materials, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Department of State).30

In contrast  the DPRK, according to the same source:

“has separated enough plutonium for roughly 4-8 nuclear warheads. North Korea unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010, buts ability to produce highly-enriched uranium for weapons remains unclear.” 31 (ArmsControl.org)

Morever, according to expert opinion:

“there is no evidence that North Korea has the means to lob a nuclear-armed missile at the United States or anyone else. So far, it has produced several atomic bombs and tested them, but it lacks the fuel and the technology to miniaturize a nuke and place it on a missile” 32

According to Siegfried Hecker, one of America’s preeminent nuclear scientists:

“Despite its recent threats, North Korea does not yet have much of a nuclear arsenal because it lacks fissile materials and has limited nuclear testing experience,” 33

The threat of nuclear war does not emanate from the the DPRK but from the US and its allies.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the unspoken victim of US military aggression, has been incessantly portrayed as a war mongering nation, a menace to the American Homeland and a  “threat to World peace”. These stylized accusations have become part of a media consensus.

Meanwhile, Washington is now implementing a $32 billion refurbishing of strategic nuclear weapons as well as a revamping of its tactical nuclear weapons, which according to a 2002 Senate decision “are harmless to the surrounding civilian population.”

These continuous threats and actions of latent aggression directed against the DPRK should also be understood as part of the broader US military agenda in East Asia, directed against China and Russia.

It is important that people across the land, in the US, Western countries, come to realize that the United States rather than North Korea or Iran is a threat to global security. [Obama at the DMZ using the UN Flag in violation of the UN Security Council]

Obama  together with President Park Geun Hye at the DMZ

Korea’s Economic Development

The US military occupation of South Korea has largely supported and protected US economic and financial interests in Korea. From the very outset in 1945, there was no democratization of the South Korean economy. The exploitative Japanese factory system was adopted by the Korean business conglomerates, which were in part the outgrowth of the Japanese imperial system.

At the outset this system was based on extremely low wages, Korea’s manufacturing base was used to produce cheap labor exports for Western markets, In many respects, the earlier Korean manufacturing base was a form of “industrial colonialism” in derogation of the rights of Korean workers.

The rise of the South Korean business conglomerates (Chaebols) was the source of impressive economic growth performance starting in the 1970s. The Chaebols are conglomerates of many companies “clustered around one holding company”. The parent company is often controlled by single family or business clan. The latter in turn had close ties to officials in the ROK’s military governments.

South Korea’s industrial and technological revolution constituted a challenge to Western capitalism. Despite US military presence, the ROK was no longer a “developing country” with a “dependent” economy.  Inserted into a competitive World market, South Korean capitalism was competing with both Japanese and Western multinationals.

The 1997 Asian Crisis: Financial Warfare Directed against South Korea

The ROK had developed into a World capitalist power. It had acquired its own technological base, a highly developed banking system; it was categorised by the World Bank as a so-called “Asian tiger”.

Yet at the same time, the entire political fabric –which included the conduct of macroeconomic policy– was controlled by Washington and Wall Street, not to mention the military presence of US occupation forces.

The Asian crisis of 1997 was an important watershed. In late 1997, the imposition of an IMF bailout contributed to plunging South Korea, virtually overnight, into a deep recession. The social impact was devastating.

Through financial manipulation of  stock markets and foreign exchange markets by major financial actors, the Asian crisis contributed to weakening and undermining the Korean business establishment. The objective was to “tame the tiger”, dismantle the Korean business conglomerates, and restore US control and ownership over the Korean economy, its industrial base, its banking system.

The collapse of the won in late 1997 was triggered by “naked short selling” on the foreign exchange markets. It was tantamount to an act of economic warfare.

Several Korean business conglomerates were fractured, broken up or precipitated into bankruptcy on the orders of the IMF, which was acting on behalf of Wall Street.

Of the 30 largest chaebols, 11 collapsed between July 1997 and June 1999.

Following the IMF’s  December 1997 financial bailout, a large part of the Korean national economy, its high tech sectors, its industrial base, was “stolen” by US and Western capital under various fraudulent clauses negotiated by the ROK’s creditors.

Western corporations had gone on a shopping spree, buying up financial institutions and industrial assets at rock-bottom prices. The devaluation of the won, combined with the slide of the Seoul stock market, had dramatically depressed the dollar value of Korean assets.

Acting directly on behalf of Wall Street, the IMF had demanded the dismantling of the Daewoo Group including the sell-off of the 12 so-called troubled Daewoo affiliate companies. Daewoo Motors was up for grabs. This was not a spontaneous bankruptcy, it was the result of financial manipulation, with a view to transferring valuable productive assets into the hand of foreign investors. Daewoo obliged under the IMF agreement to sell off Daewoo Motor to General Motors (GM) in 2001. Similarly, the ROK’s largest corporation Hyundai was forced to restructure its holding company following the December 1997 bailout.

In April 1999 Hyundai announced a two-thirds reduction of the number of business units and “a plan to break up the group into five independent business groups”. This initiative was part of the debt reduction plan imposed by Western creditors and carried out by the IMF. It was implemented under what was called “the spin-off program” whereby the large Korean business conglomerates were to slated to be downsized and broken up into smaller business undertakings.

In the process, many of the high tech units belonging to the large Korean holding companies were bought out by Western capital.

South Korea’s banking landscape was also taken over by “US investors”. Korea First Bank (KFB), with a network of branches all over the country, was purchased at a negative price by the California based Newbridge Group in a fraudulent transaction. 34

A similar shady deal enabled the Carlyle Group –whose board of directors included former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush (Senior), his Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and former Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci — to take control of KorAm Bank in September 2000. KorAm was taken over in a Consortium led by The Carlyle Group in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase. KorAm Bank had been established in the early 1980s as a joint venture between Bank America and a group of Korean conglomerates. .

Three years later, CitiBank purchased  a 36.7 percent stake in KorAm from the Carlyle Group and then bought up all the remaining shares, in what was described as “Citibank’s biggest acquisition outside the Western Hemisphere”. 35

Following the 1997 Asian Crisis which triggered a multibillion dollar debt crisis, a new system of government had been established in South Korea, geared towards the fracture of Korea’s business conglomerates and the weakening of Korean national capitalism. In other words, the signing of the IMF bailout Agreement in December 1997 marks a significant transformation in the structure of the Korean State, whose regulatory financial agencies were used to serve the interests of  Korea’s external creditors.

Concluding Remarks: Towards Peace.

The US is still at war with Korea.

This US sponsored state of war is directed against both North and South Korea. It is characterised by persistent military threats (including the use of nuclear weapons) against the DPRK. It also threatens the ROK which has been under US military occupation since September 1945.

Currently there are 37,000 US troops in South Korea. Given the geography of the Korean peninsula, the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea would inevitably also engulf South Korea. This fact is known and understood by US military planners.

What has to be emphasized prior to forthcoming negotiations pertaining a “Peace Treaty” is that the US and the ROK are not “Allies”.

The “real alliance” is that which unifies and reunites North and South Korea against foreign intrusion and aggression.

What this signifies is that the US is in a state of war against the entire Korean Nation.

The formulation of the Peace Treaty, therefore, requires the holding of bilateral talks between the ROK and the DPRK with a view to formulating a “joint position” regarding the terms to be included in a “Peace Treaty”.

The terms of this Peace Treaty should under no circumstances be dictated by the US Aggressor, which is committed to maintaining its military presence on the Korean peninsula.

It is worth noting in this regard, US foreign policy and military planners have already established their own scenario of “reunification” predicated on maintaining US occupation troops in Korea. Similarly, what is envisaged by Washington is a framework which will enable “foreign investors” to penetrate and pillage the North Korean economy.

Washington’s objective is to impose the terms of Korea’s reunification. The NeoCons “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC) published in 2000 had intimated that in “post unification scenario”, the number of US troops (currently at 37,000) should be increased and that US military presence could be extended to North Korea.  In a reunified Korea,  the military mandate of the US garrison would be to implement so-called “stability operations in North Korea”:

While Korea unification might call for the reduction in American presence on the peninsula and a transformation of U.S force posture in Korea, the changes would really reflect a change in their mission – and changing technological realities – not the termination of their mission. Moreover, in any realistic post-unification scenario, U.S. forces are likely to have some role in stability operations in North Korea. It is premature to speculate on the precise size and composition of a post-unification U.S. presence in Korea, but it is not too early to recognize that the presence of American forces in Korea serves a larger and longer-range strategic purpose. For the present, any reduction in capabilities of the current U.S. garrison on the peninsula would be unwise. If anything, there is a need to bolster them, especially with respect to their ability to defend against missile attacks and to limit the effects of North Korea’s massive artillery capability. In time, or with unification, the structure of these units will change and their manpower levels fluctuate, but U.S. presence in this corner of Asia should continue. 36 (PNAC, Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, p. 18, emphasis added)

Washington’s intentions are crystal clear.

It is important, therefore, that these talks be conducted by the ROK and DPRK without the participation or interference of outside parties. These discussions must address the withdrawal of all US occupation forces as well as the removal of economic sanctions directed against North Korea.

The exclusion of US military presence and the withdrawal of the 37,000 occupation forces should be a sine qua non requirement of a Peace Treaty.

Pursuant to a Peace Treaty, the ROK-US CFC agreement which places ROK forces under US command should be rescinded. All ROK troops would thereafter be brought under national ROK command.

This a fundamental shift: the present CFC agreement in essence allows the US Command to order South Korean troops to fight in a US sponsored war against North Korea, superseding and overriding the ROK President and Commander in Chief of the ROK Armed Forces.

Bilateral consultations should also be undertaken with a view to further developing economic, technological, cultural and educational cooperation between the ROK and the DPRK.

Economic sovereignty is a central issue. The shady transactions launched in the wake of the IMF bailout in 1997 must be addressed. These transactions were conducive to the illegal and fraudulent acquisition and ownership of a large part of South Korea’s high tech industry and banking by Western corporate capital.  Similarly the impacts of the insertion of the ROK into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) must also be examined.

The Peace agreement would also be accompanied by the opening of the border between North and South.

Pursuant to the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration in August 2000, a joint ROK DPRK working commission should be established to set an agenda and a timeline for reunification.


Michel Chossudovsky’s Presentation to the Japanese Foreign Correspondent’s Club on US Aggression against the People of Korea, Tokyo, August 1, 2013 

Notes

1 Interview with General Wesley Clark, Democracy Now March 2, 2007.

2 Martin Hart-Landsberg, Korea: Division, Reunification, & U.S. Foreign Policy. Monthly Review Press. New York, 1998 pp. 65–6). The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG.

3  Jay Hauben, Book Review of I.F. Stone’s “Hidden History of the Korean War”, OmnyNews, 2007, http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-hidden-history-of-the-korean-war/5342685

4  Ibid.                                           

5  Quoted in Stephen Lendman, America’s War on North Korea, Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-war-on-north-korea/5329374, April 1, 2013

6  Ibid

7  Bruce Cumings, Korea: Forgotten Nuclear Threats, 2005

8 Ibid

9  Quoted in Brian Willson, Korea and the Axis of Evil, Global Research, October 2006.

10  Ibid.

11  Associated Press Report, http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-coverup-extrajudicial-killings-in-south-korea/9518, July 6, 2008

12  Wikipedia

13  George F. Kennan, State Department Brief, Washington DC, 1948

14 Ibid.

15  The main PNAC document is entitled Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, The PNAC website is:  http://www.newamericancentury.org

16  Chosun Ibo, April 13, 2013

17 See United States Forces Korea | Mission of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command.

18  See United States Forces Korea | USFK Leadership

19  U.S.- S. Korea Military Gameplan | Flashpoints | The Diplomat, April 4, 2013

20 President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945

21 See The nuclear information project: US Nuclear Weapons in Korea

22 Ibid.

23 Daniel A. Pinkston, “South Korea’s Nuclear Experiments,” CNS Research Story, 9 November 2004, http://cns.miis.edu

24 See List of United States Army installations in South Korea – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

25  The Nuclear Information Project: Withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea

26 Ibid

27 The Nuclear Information Project: Withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea, emphasis added

28 Ibid, emphasis added

29  ArmsControl.org, April, 2013

30 Ibid

31 Ibid

32 See  North Korea: What’s really happening – Salon.com April 5, 2013

33 Ibid

34  See Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.

35 See Citibank expands in South Korea – The New York Times, November 2, 2004.

36. Project for A New American Century (PNAC), Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, Washington DC 2000, p. 18, emphasis addedWhy Does North Korea Want Nukes?The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020


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