Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The latest US sleight of hand on North Korea

A rule of thumb in warfare: the best defence is offence. And president Obama and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton are now aggressively pursuing a tack to put North Korea on the defencive and pressure China to twist Kim Jong il's arm.
Obama's and Clinton's 'clever' deception has its moorings in the ability to rewrite history as the US sees it; to blame the victim, which in the case of North Korea does not require much, the more especially since it is branded a 'contemptible state'; and to wage a war of propaganda with the media in tow, the academic clerisy in tow, the elite in tow, and with a manipulable uninformed and disinterested public.
Obama, on 5 December 2010, rang up China's president Hu Jintao urging him repeatedly to 'check North Koreans'. Hu listened during the 30 minutes that this 'telephone conference' lasted. He remained non committal which did not go down well with the American president. Yet since the Chinese president gave no clear indication of feeling or attitude, Obama saw a sign of hope. What swallow of a promised spring did he discover: Hu did not say anything about the ever escalating US South Korean military exercises with live fire close to North Korea watchers. So the US head of state, in another exercise of tendencious justification for his hard line, hostile policy towards North Korea, saw a Chinese stamp of tacit approval. Wrong!
As GuamDiary has continually noted, Obama's policy towards North Korea has escalated tensions in a divided Korean peninsula, which runs more and more the danger of renewed warfare there. Washington has intensified joint war games in the Yellow Sea, which China has a strong strategic interest.
Consider that in September 2010, days before another joint US South Korea naval and air exercises in the Yellow Sea near North Korea waters, China held two important exercises of its own: one, naval, the other air. And with live ammo. Beijing had shot a powerful warning across Washington's and Seoul's bow. Yet, its purport did not sink fully in the American and South Korean capitols.
And then two months later, the returning of North Korea's fire to yet another joint South Korean and US naval exercise with live ammo, did the tempo of war drums along divided Korean borders significantly increase.
China issued a call for emergency talks which the US rebuffed. Not only that, as a way of thumbing its nose at the Chinese, the US carried out joint exercises with Japan in an area which China contests and which remains a sore point in Sino Japanese relations.
So, in the face of reality, how can Obama & co. be assured of China's neutrality or passivity in the light of increasing US and South Korea warlike measures militarily, politically, or economically?
It looks as though America's 'best and brightest' in and out of government do not take seriously China's negotiating style. They should! GuamDiary suggests a reading or a rereading of Whiting's 'China crosses the Yalu' and Maxwell's 'India's China war' as a quick refresher course to bring them up to speed.
Mme. Clinton has formed a united front of 3 rejectionist countries - the US, South Korea, and Japan - who refuse to join China's call for an emergency meeting to lessen rising tensions in the Korean peninsula. They won't budge when and until North Korea bends to meet their demands: denuclearise, turn a compliant cheek to aggressive South Korean list of ultimata which the US, following ROK president Lee Myung bek's conditions which offer little or no room for discussion, and which have one aim: to insult and humiliate North Korea.
Well, ain't that a sure policy for rejection!
In truth, as GuamDiary reported in 'Washington Seoul Tokyo axis trying to stymie China', Mme. Clinton has not stopped playing her dangerous little game which brings ever closer the two Koreas to the abyss of military confrontation. She is engaged in a cynical game of chicken, and is betting that North Korea will blink first. Wrong!
Had she the smallest grasp of history, she would know that she's on an fool's errand. But she's is convinced that the 'mighty' US can get its way with forcing China to clamp down on North Korea. And her advisors and the US North Korea clerisy, as an expression of its romance with its own ideology and of its role of servile flatterer of power, encourages her in her fantasy.
GuamDiary says, 'wake up and smell the coffee'. 'Get real'. When conditions change, and as they have in the two Koreas, try to change policy accordingly.
Well since Obama became president, the US has been conducting a self defeating policy towards Korea, especially North Korea. It has gotten nothing but grief for its effort, in spite of sanctions and boycotts.
As Wikileaks relase of US diplomatic cable show, sanctions and boycotts are easily gotten around. North Korea is a nuclear power thanks to George W. Bush, and is on the cutting edge of advanced rocket technology. Its skills and products are in great demand even among supposedly loyal US allies in the third world!
Even Romantics well know, reality asserts itself over the kind of wishful thinking Obama & co. are substituting for 'realpolitik'.
Will Obama's and Clinton's sleight of hand obtain. Yes, for a brief while. The US game will tip of the balance of mutual destruction along the 38 parallel and the contentious NLL [Northern Limit Line] to a dangerous point where renewed war on the Korean peninsula is the only issue.

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