One of the crucial reasons behind the crisis in north-east Asia is that the Trump administration are terrified of losing influence in this massive energy producing region. North Korea have long been the fly in the ointment, with United States officials dearly wishing they could overthrow Kim Jong-un and install a client regime.
Unfortunately for American elites, the Kim Jong-un government both loath and fear the declining superpower and its long-held imperial ambitions. Can the North Koreans be blamed for these feelings? Its leader Kim Jong-un must be aware of the horrendous crimes the US military perpetrated against his country during the Korean War (1950-53).
After the first year of the conflict all notable buildings in North Korea had been utterly levelled by the US Air Force. By the end American fighter pilots had committed further war crimes such as destroying a number of North Korea’s dams – the type of offence people were hanged for at Nuremberg.
To rub salt into open wounds, the Americans gloated about the bombing of the dams which destroyed thousands of acres of rice crops – as the “Asians” scurried about trying to survive. Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, was the North’s leader at the time, and remained so up until 1994.
As a result, Kim Jong-un could only have been affected upon hearing direct accounts of the dreadful crimes committed against his country. How would the Americans have felt if Kim Il-Sung’s air force had destroyed major buildings in Washington and New York, and then blown up the Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams for good measure? It would hardly be forgotten.
The fact is North Korea is situated at the heart of one of the planet’s crucial resource regions. The Americans have a huge presence in this area for a reason. It is certainly not for “democracy promotion” purposes or the usual nonsensical arguments put forward by Western apologists.
China lies northwards and westwards of North Korea, while South Korea and Japan – both major industrial powers and US client states – are situated to the south. The US would loath to leave this region exclusively to growing Chinese influence, whose economy next year is forecast to overtake the US. What’s more, China need a buffer between themselves and pro-American positions of South Korea and Japan.
Trump, at heart, is a hard-nosed corporate businessman or “great dealmaker” and he surely recognises the need to retain a significant presence here. The US President has repeatedly lambasted China for “doing nothing” to help “solve” the stand-off with North Korea, but the Chinese are not easily intimidated.
It must be remembered that China have been the victims of callous Japanese and American imperialism within the past century alone. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s policies have been increasingly brazen of late despite protestations from Washington thousands of miles away.
How dare China ignore demands to stop performing military exercises in the seas around the Chinese coast. The US concern is not surprising as global power continues to shift to the East. A third of the world’s trade – around $5 trillion – passes through the South China Sea every year, which Beijing claims the majority of.
Elsewhere, US interference in Venezuela has reached a point whereby Trump can openly debate “a military option… We have many options for Venezuela, this is our neighbour.” The distance between Venezuela’s capital of Caracas and Washington is more than 3,300 km.
Largely because of increased US meddling, living conditions in Venezuelan society have deteriorated in recent years. The state’s health services in particular have been affected – in the hospitals there has been a growing shortage of medical supplies and equipment.
It was reported in 2016 that almost 75% of Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds due to malnutrition, while rising inflation has also become a problem. The hand of imperialism has been exploiting the problems and destabilising the oil-rich country by supporting right-wing groups.
Earlier this week the respected Australian journalist John Pilger said of the situation, “The US has already invaded Venezuela with its subversive groups, such as the NED, that back a so-called opposition that seeks to overthrow an elected government by force: a high crime under international law”.
Pilger outlined that “the decent world must stand with Venezuela, now subject to a virulent propaganda that is war by media”. The NED that Pilger was referring to (National Endowment for Democracy) was founded in 1983 and is another branch of American imperialism which is “largely funded by the US congress”.
The NED’s title is a classic Orwellian phrase, meaning in reality it performs the opposite function. “National Endowment for Subversion” would be closer to the mark judging by its record.
The “war by media” is with regard huge anti-Maduro bias emanating from the Western corporate press – with outlets widely labelling Maduro a “dictator” and relaying disingenuous American concerns that “democracy is being lost” in Venezuela.
The US’s “grave concern” for democratic rights is seemingly being reported in serious tones – while their insatiable need for oil goes unmentioned. Despite the increasing interference and intimidation from Trump, Nicolas Maduro has not lacked in fight saying earlier in the week, “Everyone has to join the defence plan, millions of men and women, let’s see how the American imperialists like it”.
Maduro was referring to a “national civil-military exercise” that would seek to mobilise the Venezuelan people to defeat another possible illegal US military intervention in Latin America. As Pilger said, “if Venezuela falls, humanity falls”.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.