Official Washington is in full-throated fury over a new North Korean nuclear test, but fails to note that North Koreans face a vast array of U.S./South Korean military might, including potential U.S. nuclear weapons, writes James Bradley.
By James Bradley
North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test on Friday, drawing condemnation from President Obama and a charge from the Pentagon that the test was a “serious provocation.” Ho-hum, here we go again.
Every year, America pays its vassal-state South Korea huge sums of U.S. taxpayer money to mount 300,000-man-strong military “games” that threaten North Korea. North Koreans view images that never seem to make it to U.S. kitchen tables: hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. armaments swarming in from the sea, hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops – their turrets and rifles pointed north – and nuclear-capable U.S. warplanes screaming overhead.
But when a young dictator straight out of central casting responds to U.S. threats with an underground test on North Korea’s founding day, it’s the number-one story on the front page of the New York Times.
Let’s connect some dots. Washington and their note takers in the American press constantly tell us that crazies in Pyongyang and Tehran are nuclear threats. The misplaced, but easily sold, fears of the “North Korean missile threat” and the “Iran missile threat” allows the Pentagon to install “defensive” missile systems in South Korea and Eastern Europe which actually amount to offensive systems targeting Beijing and Moscow (by making first strikes against China and Russia more feasible).
We need to look beyond the simplistic, race-based cartoon-like scaremongering to see that far more reality-based and frightening is the nuclear threat posed by the United States.
President Obama — the Nobel Prize winner who pledged to lead a nuclear-free world — has committed over $1 trillion dollars to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal. Almost unreported by the press, we have been spending a bundle to make nukes “usable,” by miniaturizing them. And to top it off, Obama has maintained a “first use” option for the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
Forget the tin-pot dictator with a bad crew-cut who leads an impoverished country. Here’s for some really scary reading:
James Bradley is author of several bestsellers including Flyboys and Flags of Our Fathers. His most recent book is The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia.