Chosen Nukes

Fry and Laurie (or Laurel and Hardy) could do it nicely:

- The Chosen have got nukes. They’ve gone nuclear!
- Well, is that news? Israel has had hundreds of nuclear bombs for some twenty years, according to Vanunu, but only antisemites ever mention it.
- Sorry, I did not mean the Chosen People, I mean the People of the Chosen, and “Chosen” is the Korean name for North Korea.
- The Chosen? How dare they challenge the international community! Where do these Chosen men get off thinking that they are chosen?

The successful underground nuclear test in North Korea unleashed a huge wave – a wave of hypocrisy, that is. The state with by far the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, the country that has already used A-bombs against civilians, the US, expressed its outrage. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said, “The United States thinks that this is a grave violation of international law and a threat to regional and international peace and security and therefore the United States will seek a strong resolution with strong measures.” According to Rice, it is not invasion, it is not occupation, it is not aggression, but rather it is arming oneself against a very probable invasion, aggression and occupation that violates international law. And she did not remind us of a well-forgotten fact: for many years it was North Korea that called for turning the whole of Korean peninsula into nuclear-weapons-free zone, and it was the US that insisted on having its nukes on North Korea’s doorstep.

North Korea, or the Chosen in its own language, is a country of indomitable men and women. They are strong, independent and hard-working. They shake hands with an iron grip. Their names are short, their cabbage is fiery, their national pride knows no limits – and for good reason: they fought against the US in its prime, and survived the worst onslaught ever engineered by Man. Think Dresden, multiply by Gaza and add Iraq to equal Korea in the 1950s. The US and its satellites dropped more bombs on this small mountainous country than they had dropped on Germany. General Douglas Macarthur wanted to nuke them, but Harry Truman stopped him: there were no objects worth nuking, for every single standing man-made structure had already been destroyed. The Korean War was mass murder writ large: millions of Koreans were killed, burned by napalm, shot and executed by the Americans and their allies. Any Korean village’s death rate could compete with that of Auschwitz.

The Koreans survived and rebuilt their country. But the massive bombing took a heavy toll on the people’s psyche. A nation will never be the same after saturation bombing, any more than will an individual who has been gang raped. Usually they break down into total submission for a generation (that is why gang rape is the prisoners’ way to assume control over a disobedient inmate), so did Serbs, so did Germans, so did the Japanese after being sodomised by US bombs. The Koreans’ own post-traumatic syndrome consisted of withdrawal, extreme self-reliance and endless fear of another attack. This fear was well-grounded in reality: US troops and bases still occupy the south of the Korean peninsula. South Korea is still as far from independence as it was before the WWII, only the US has replaced Japan as the colonising power.

More importantly, the US has carried out relentless sanctions warfare against unvanquished, independent Korea. This well-developed strategy of blockade was utilised with great success against Iraq and Cuba, and now Americans plan to use it against Iran. Noam Chomsky correctly defined the US strategy: never give up; keep destroying countries which do not submit by all means possible including economic warfare. Whoever does not surrender should be pushed back into the Stone Age.

Korea was willing to dismantle its nuclear facilities, provided the US would cease its economic warfare. They signed an agreement, closed down the reactor, but the US reneged on the agreement and turned up its hostilities. America, as ruled by its “Chicago boys,” is neo-liberal to the bone and cannot tolerate a socialist state. Korea would not let American companies take over its economy, and that is why the US and its satellites kept impounding Korean bank accounts and interfering with its trade. The imperial media were kept busy churning out dreadful stories (actually, regurgitated anti-Communist urban legends from McCarthy’s days) about starving Koreans under commies’ yoke. They were not going to allow Korea to live its own, socialist way.

When the people of South Korea began to express their wish to unite with the independent North, South Korea was robbed by the Mammonites who engineered the great Tiger crisis of 1997. Everything you are experiencing now during the 2009 crisis the South Koreans went through twelve years ago. Their great economy was broken to pieces and bought for peanuts by the trans-nationals. All their accumulated labour of many years was snatched by George Soros et al. At the same time, the American offensive against independent Korea was intensified.

President GW Bush (or his speechwriter David Frum) designated Korea, next to Iraq and Iran, to be part of the Axis of Evil. In this situation, the Koreans were right to develop the ultimate weapon of defence. And this holds equally true for Iran today. A Korean and Iranian nuclear deterrent would be a defensive shield for these independent countries.

Korea did not take it lying down. This rather small and far away country, enfeebled by blockade and sanctions, contributes more than its fair share to the most important battle over Palestine. The Koreans, who suffered so much from the American-imposed siege, do help besieged Gaza and other neighbours of the Jewish state to acquire weapons. Not necessarily nukes – even conventional arms interfere with the total freedom of Israelis to kill Palestinians and to fly over Beirut and Damascus.

Using the nuclear issue as a pretext, the pro-Israel Lobby pushed for the decision to search all Korean shipping. They also orchestrated a vast public campaign in the mass media, uniting anti-Communists and nuke-fearing pacifists against socialist Korea. We are supposed to be afraid of Korean A-bombs and call upon Obama and Netanyahu to disarm the rebels.

God knows I am a peaceful man, but I’m not a pacifist. Weapons are needed to defend people from Israeli-American state terrorism. A so-called pacifist who supports American and Israeli attempts to maintain their monopoly on nuclear arms is, in my book, just another supporter of the Judeo-American war machine. If he is an honest man, let him call for the disarmament of the Chosen Peoples of Israel and America, and postpone dealing with the Chosen people of Korea and the Iranians until after Dimona is dismantled and American nukes are turned into ploughshares.

The struggle for Korean nuclear independence is extremely relevant for the Middle East, and first of all, for the Iranian nuclear project. It is true that Iran is not seeking military application for its nuclear industry, being perfectly content with peaceful energy. However, the Judeo-American interests want to turn North Korea into an example for Iran. They wish to do something nasty to not-too-relevant Korea so that Iran will fall in line.

Obama could settle with Korea at the quite reasonable price of stopping the interference with its life. Sign a peace treaty, stop the threats, remove the sanctions, terminate the campaign of hate. The Koreans would pay for normalisation of their relationship with the US by giving up their nuclear facilities. But that would neither frighten nor seduce Iran. So Obama may choose a violent action including a naval blockade, so that a suitably impressed Iran will close down its reactors.

This would be a pity. A pity for Koreans who deserve, like everybody else, to live their lives the way they like. A pity for Korea’s enemies, for the Koreans are not easy to defeat. And a pity for the Middle East which badly needs the deterring presence of a nuclear-capable Iran.

The Israeli media published a poll claiming that “some 23 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon”. The idea is to push the US and Europe into a frenzy of anti-Iranian action, for no country would like to absorb two million Israeli refugees. This is the secret Doomsday weapon of Zionist propaganda: if pushed hard, we’ll just go back to your countries and you are not going to like it. However, the small print of the survey shows that this fear of Iran is spread mainly among suggestible Israelis, 39 percent of women as opposed to 22 percent of men – they swallowed their government’s propaganda — hook, line and sinker.

Paradoxically for us Israelis, nuclear Iran represents hope for peace, not a threat to it. Our greatest danger lies in the aggressive tendency of our generals and politicians. They have already caused so many unneeded wars by attacking Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinians. There is need for a counterbalance, for a great and powerful state that would keep our [Israeli] hawks in check. Since Iraq was subdued by the US army and Egypt by political means, Israeli generals have gone to war every two years. Only a nuclear Iran is likely to check Israeli warmongers and force Israel to proceed with peace process.

No sane Israeli expert, not even an extreme hawk, believes that a nuclear Iran would endanger or threaten Israel. Israel is too powerful, perfectly capable of delivering a deadly second strike. But this mind-boggling freedom of action the Israeli military enjoys would be gone, and that would be a good thing.

The balance of fear, or MAD (mutual assured destruction) is still the only way to deal with the Israeli-American threat. This was the reason for the martyrdom of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; by helping the USSR to build their nuclear bomb they saved uncounted millions from horrible death, even at the price of their own life.

The Voice of Saruman


It is extremely worrisome that Russia and China, two friends of independent Korea, did not throw the American-sponsored resolution right out the high window of the Security Council. True, they refused the Americans’ call for sanctions, but this is not enough. They should not agree with any sort of condemnation of an independent country acting within its own legitimate rights. Russia and China fought on the side of Pyongyang against the US, and they should not betray their war-tried ally, and with it their own dead soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army and the fallen pilots of the Russian Air Force.

Chinese leaders may remember Mao’s decision to go nuclear. When China exploded its first atom bomb, he declared:

“This is a major achievement of the Chinese people in their struggle to strengthen their national defence and oppose the U.S. imperialist policy of nuclear blackmail and nuclear threats. To defend oneself is the inalienable right of every sovereign state. To safeguard world peace is the common task of all peace-loving countries. China cannot remain idle in the face of the ever-increasing nuclear threats from the United States. China is conducting nuclear tests and developing nuclear weapons under compulsion.

The Chinese Government has consistently advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. If this had been achieved, China need not have developed nuclear weapons. But our proposal has met with stubborn resistance from the U.S. The nuclear tests ban treaty of 1963 by the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union was an attempt to consolidate the nuclear monopoly of the three nuclear powers and tie the hands of all peace-loving countries, and that it had increased, and not decreased, the nuclear threat of U.S. imperialism against the people of China and of the whole world. . . .By developing nuclear weapons, China’s aim is to break the nuclear monopoly of the nuclear powers and to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

Every word in this wonderful, ringing declaration is as right today as it was then. Just put ‘Korea’ or ‘Iran’ in place of ‘China’, and you’ll agree that Korea and Iran “cannot remain idle in the face of the ever increasing nuclear threats from the United States”. Korea and Iran are “conducting nuclear tests and developing nuclear weapons under compulsion”. If and when President Obama eliminates American and Israeli arsenals, Korea and Iran’s turn will surely come.

Russia’s leaders Medvedev and Putin should apply their own doctrine of a multipolar world to the case of Korea. If they sincerely dispute the US doctrine of full spectrum dominance and believe in the sovereignty of every state, they should accept the sovereign right of Koreans to self-defence and deterrence. Nuclear monopoly is ethically wrong, for it establishes two tiers of states: these entitled to a nuclear shield and those deemed unworthy of it.

They should reject the ploy of “joint responsibility” that the Russians have repeatedly fallen for. There is no such thing as “joint responsibility” or “joint security” between the Empire and the rebels. Gorbachev was a great adept of joint responsibility and security, and he ruled long enough to see his Russia skinned by creditors and surrounded by NATO bases. Putin was taken in by this ploy in 2001, when he supported George W. Bush’s War on Terror, facilitated his conquest of Afghanistan, and willingly dismantled two important naval bases in Cuba and Vietnam. Later he learned that the US had exploited his credulity to move its own bases forward and undermine Russia’s standing in her own backyard.

Russia and America are interlocked in a zero-sum game, and that is why America promotes the anti-Russian policies of Georgia and the Ukraine, and tries to isolate Russia in the great pipeline competition. Russian leaders should recognise this sad fact of life and give more support to Iran and Korea. They should kick their oh-so-human desire to hobnob with the Western leaders. This is a constant problem of people’s representatives: trade union leaders discover that they do enjoy sumptuous lunches with factory owners more than hanging out with factory hands. Socialist leaders are prone to accept the cajoling of Western leaders and to sign on the dotted line against the best interest of their people.

Gorbachev has sold his country down the river for the sheer pleasure of being embraced by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Anwar as-Sadat would give up Arab interests for a prime-time interview with Barbara Walters. In the very beginning of his rule, Vladimir Putin was for a while taken in by bonhommerie of his G8 mates, fellow rulers and shepherds of men.

They listened to the voice of Saruman. In the Lord of the Rings, the evil sorcerer Saruman tries to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, and he proposes to Gandalf, the leader of the good guys, a “joint responsibility” proposal in front of his friends and foot soldiers:

“Our friendship would profit us both alike. Much we could still accomplish together, to heal the disorders of the world. Let us understand one another, and dismiss from thought these lesser folk! Let them wait on our decisions! For the common good I am willing to redress the past, and to receive you. Will you not consult with me? Will you not come up?”

The good guys got scared. They felt like “stupid servants overhearing the elusive discourse of their elders, and wondering how it would affect their lot. It was inevitable that Gandalf and Saruman should make alliance. Gandalf would ascend into the tower, and they would be left outside, dismissed to await the allotted work or punishment. Even in the mind of Théoden the thought took shape, like a shadow of doubt, “He will betray us; he will go, we shall be lost.”

Then Gandalf laughed. The fantasy vanished like a puff of smoke.”

This is the right reply to the American offers of “joint responsibility”. Russia and China are the leaders of the free world, the world free from American bases and troops, free from Israeli diktat, free from consumerist mania, free from neo-liberal dogma. They are responsible for the Freedom of Man, and they should laugh off every suggestion about what they will do together with the great oppressors.

We would all love to see President Obama taking his soldiers and hardware back home from Iraq and Afghanistan, from Italy and Germany, from Japan and South Korea, and turning the US into a friendly giant. This still can happen: this week, his Pentagon issued a medal for courage to an American soldier who survived the Israeli attack on USS Liberty in June 1967, 42 years after this atrocity was first hidden from the public. This could herald a new turn in American politics and the end of Zionist ascendancy. If and when that happens will be the time for greater cooperation between countries. But meanwhile, it is freedom that is at stake, and North Korea is the place to defend it.

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Appendix

The Atomic Bomb, Statement of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, October 16, 1964


China exploded an atomic bomb at 15:00 hours on October 16, 1964, thereby successfully carrying out its first nuclear test. This is a major achievement of the Chinese people in their struggle to strengthen their national defence and oppose the U.S. imperialist policy of nuclear blackmail and nuclear threats.

To defend oneself is the inalienable right of every sovereign state. To safeguard world peace is the common task of all peace-loving countries. China cannot remain idle in the face of the ever increasing nuclear threats from the United States. China is conducting nuclear tests and developing nuclear weapons under compulsion.

The Chinese Government has consistently advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. If this had been achieved, China need not have developed nuclear weapons. But our proposal has met with stubborn resistance from the U.S. imperialists. The Chinese Government pointed out long ago that the treaty on the partial halting of nuclear tests signed in Moscow in July 1963 by the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union was a big fraud to fool the people of the world, that it was an attempt to consolidate the nuclear monopoly of the three nuclear powers and tie the hands of all peace-loving countries, and that it had increased, and not decreased, the nuclear threat of U.S. imperialism against the people of China and of the whole world. . . .

The atomic bomb is a paper tiger. This famous statement by Chairman Mao Tse-tung is known to all. This was our view in the past and this is still our view at present. China is developing nuclear weapons not because it believes in their omnipotence nor because it plans to use them. On the contrary, in developing nuclear weapons, China’s aim is to break the nuclear monopoly of the nuclear powers and to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The Chinese Government is loyal to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. We believe in the people. It is the people, and not any weapons, that decide the outcome of a war. The destiny of China is decided by the Chinese people, while the destiny of the world is decided by the people of the world, and not by nuclear weapons. China is developing nuclear weapons for defence and for protecting the Chinese people from U.S. threats to launch a nuclear war.

The Chinese Government hereby solemnly declares that China will never at any time or under any circumstances be the first to use nuclear weapons. . . .

The Chinese Government will, as always, exert every effort to promote, through international consultations, the realization of the lofty aim of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. Until that day comes, the Chinese Government and people will firmly and unswervingly follow their own path to strengthen their national defence, defend their motherland and safeguard world peace.

We are convinced that man, who creates nuclear weapons, will certainly be able to eliminate them.

Source:
from Break the Nuclear Monopoly, Eliminate Nuclear Weapons (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1965), pp. 1-5.

Appendix 2

Voice of Saruman, a chapter in Two Towers by Tolkien


“Our friendship would profit us both alike. Much we could still accomplish together, to heal the disorders of the world. Let us understand one another, and dismiss from thought these lesser folk! Let them wait on our decisions! For the common good I am willing to redress the past, and to receive you. Will you not consult with me? Will you not come up?”

So great was the power that Saruman exerted in this last effort that none that stood within hearing were unmoved. But now the spell was wholly different. They heard the gentle remonstrance of a kindly king with an erring but much loved minister. But they were shut out, listening at a door to words not meant for them; ill mannered children or stupid servants overhearing the elusive discourse of their elders, and wondering how it would affect their lot. Of loftier mould these two were made; reverend and wise. It was inevitable that they should make alliance. Gandalf would ascend into the tower, to discuss deep things beyond their comprehension in the high chambers of Orthanc. The door would be closed, and they would be left outside, dismissed to await allotted work or punishment. Even in the mind of Théoden the thought took shape, like a shadow of doubt, “He will betray us; he will go, we shall be lost.”

Then Gandalf laughed. The fantasy vanished like a puff of smoke.

Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir is a critically acclaimed and respected Russian Israeli writer. He has written extensively and translated Joyce and Homer into Russian. He lives in Jaffa, is a Christian, and an outspoken critic of Israel and Zionism.