Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cassandra Castro on North Korea

Just when the US thought 'el lider' Fidel Castro plagued by severe health problems, had cotton to spin on his own personal survival, he spoke up, clad in mufti, before the Cuban national assembly for the first time in four years. His speech was a mere ten minutes but Dr. Castro said enough to put the US Obama administration [BHO]on guard that its unrelentless hard nosed policies towards the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] and the Islamic Republic of Iran, were inching by their internal logic towards nuclear confrontation.
Mr. Castro raised his voice in the same vein in June 2010 in an interview on Cuba's television programme 'la mesa rodanda' [roundtable].
'El lider's' appearance before the Cuban parliament has raised his concern to a higher level. The foreign press, including the US', reported the event.
Many of Mr. Castro's critics will dismiss his concerns and warnings as sour grapes or another opportunity to sock it to Uncle Sam for a half century of blockading Cuba.
Others may ignore his warnings as the mutterings of an aging, ill figure. Still a few should and may give his words some weight and thought.
Consider the BHO administration's forward policy on North Korea. It has the acrid odour of the past: the object all sublime with sanctions and joint military exercises with the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea]is 'rollback', forcing North Korea to capitulate to America's demands.
There is no other way to describe the aggressive foreign policy tack on the DPRK. There is no way to misread its an ugly, unmistakably warlike tone. It is precisely this assertive overarching reading by Dr. Castro, that pushes him to speak out clearly.
Simply, not only is alerting the world to overt and hidden implications of US policy towards the DPRK but the possibility of unthinkingly siddling up to a point of no return that the only option left is nuclear confrontation.
[It may not to far fetched to remind GuamDiary's readers of the unresolved nut of history: the origins of the 'Great War', 'the war to end all wars', which we know as World War One. The bad, poorly thought out moves of Imperial Germany, Tsarist Russia, Great Britain, France, and the multi national Austro Hungarian empire which suddenly erupted in a war which ushered in a century of more war and revolution, toppling empires and weakening seemingly impregnable world powers or sending other to the dustbin of history. It is in this sense, we believe, that Fidel Castro went public.]
The recent publication by the US German owned publisher Random House of Bruce Cummings' well received 'the Korean War', warrants mention here. Written for publication on the 60 anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean war, Dr. Cummings' narrative underpins Mr. Castro's ill ease at the current backwards looking policy toward the DPRK.
GuamDiary is not forgetting that Dr. Castro also spoke of Iran. He worries that the BHO lady warrior diplomat secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her merry men of cold warriors are basking in the light of their own over the top triumphalism of a return to a policy of containment. Stripped of its patina, it is a raw picture of regime change and capitulation, no more, no less.
The DPRK's case raises the disturbing question of little the US has a taste for history. The Cummings' book on the Korean war, is a good taste of common sense and food for thought on the past which so colours American policy towards North Korea.
Cummings' thoughtful treatment of this 60 year old war which is leaning towards another 100 year war [frozen as it is by an Armistice Agreement].
It is an indictment against the reactionary and the relentless lock step mentality which has gripped the American clericy of North Korean experts [see GuamDiary's comments]. Nothing underscores this than the CFR's [Council of Foreign Relations]report on 'US policy towards Korea'. It is a call not only containment but rollback. You've the impression that an ice age had put thinking on the DPRK by the US government and the think tanks and the subsidised NGOs and experts in and out of government, in the deep freeze locker.
The CFR report offers solutions that are root and branch in the Truman administration's policy of containment and rollback of Communism.
Cummings announces a wake up call: the DPRK leadership is still smarting from a brutal war which the US led UNC [United Nations Command] wages in the North. That forward policy is indelibly imprinted in Kim Jong il & co. They will fight to their last breath to maintain the integrity of their own people and by extension the preservation of Koreans north and south who nourish the dream of reunification of a divided Korean peninsula.
Although admirably respectable, Dr. Cummings is 'persona non grata' in the councils of the US clericy of Korea experts. To them, he is not on their side. Now this is an 'ad hominem' attack against him, but things being what they, common sense is banished.
Now as GuamDiary has noted, if this is the best that the American clericy of Korean experts can come up with, things have gone to such an extent that no independent thought let alone an honest examination of the past can take place in the White House no matter which party is in power. The military thought fox is in the henhouse of US diplomacy.
And it is this that put a note of urgency into Dr. Castro's warning about US policy towards both the DPRK and Iran. For him, Iran is all the more urgent given the incessent itch America's client Israel has on the trigger finger. And the US has not denied plans for a hit on Iran should it not give up its nuclear programme.
Mme. Clinton & co. are tragically tone deaf as they carry out policies which one false move can declench.
It is in this sense that Fidel Castro is a Cassandra. Like Priam's daughter, he is cursed with ringing the alarums which go unheeded.

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