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Do These Guys Prefer War with North Korea?

May 31, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

No one yet knows if there’s going to be a summit with
North Korea. But the alternative to a Trump-Kim tête-à-tête should
be a different form of diplomacy, not war, as the administration
and its cheerleaders have suggested.

When Lord Acton coined the phrase “power tends to corrupt,
and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he might have had
America in mind. Never mind U.S. leaders’ professed good
intentions: possession of extraordinary military power continues to
lead otherwise sensible people to pursue dangerous, even monstrous

So it is with North Korea. President Donald Trump beat the war
drums loudly last year. He sounded a lot like Kim Jong-un when he
threatened to visit “fire and fury” upon the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea. Senator Lindsey Graham led the
Greek chorus in support of the administration, amplifying the
president’s threats.

Never mind the consequences of a Second Korean War.
“Japan, South Korea, China would all be in the crosshairs of
a war if we started one with North Korea,” Graham admitted.
But that would just be unfortunate collateral damage. “If
there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim], it will be over
there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there.
They’re not going to die here,” he explained.

John Bolton and Lindsey
Graham are saber-rattling as though armed conflict is the only

The prospect of a summit between Trump and Kim halted the talk
of war. But on May 20, Graham began spewing threats anew. On Fox
News he declared that “If [the North Koreans] don’t
show up that means diplomacy has failed.” Which in turn
“puts us back on the path to conflict. It would be time to
take American families and dependents out of South Korea.” Or
if the North Koreans “do show up and try to play Trump, and
that means military conflict is the only thing left.”

But, he promised, “they will lose it, not us.” Thus,
“President Trump is going to end this problem with North
Korea one way or the other, and he should.”

Shortly thereafter North Korean officials objected to John
Bolton’s talk of the “Libya model,” which
resulted in the ouster of Moammar Gaddafi after he agreed to close
his missile and nuclear programs. (Bolton was involved in
negotiating the surrender of Gaddafi’s weapons. In 2011, he
publicly called for the U.S. military to take out the Libyan

The implications for Kim were obvious—too obvious for
Bolton not to be aware of, which is why some observers suspect he
meant to sink the summit. Yet rather than dismiss Bolton’s
implied menace, the president responded with a threat: “If
you look at that …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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