U.S. will pay the price by attacking North Korea | AspenTimes.com

U.S. will pay the price by attacking North Korea

North Korea is the third stop on the George W. Bush tour of the Axis of Evil. The other two were Iraq and Iran. The three were accused of developing nuclear weapons. It turns out now that Iraq had none. Iran did not have them but was working on it. And Korea did not have them but apparently does now.

Iraq, along with Afghanistan, was destroyed — at a cost to us of trillions and counting. Iraq's devastation spawned ISIS and much more. Syria is nearly destroyed, and we've spent hundreds of billions more with no end in sight. Now having opened a hornet's nest, terrorist attacks are a regular thing now in Europe. And a couple have happened here.

Obama made a deal with Iran to chill on the nukes. War was avoided and Iran responded by electing a moderate leader and is trying to get their economy back on track. Trump wants to blow up the deal. Saudi Arabia hates Iran because they are the wrong flavor of Muslim. The Saudis are surely talking to Trump; and Trump surely has his eyes on some Saudi cash. Stay tuned.

Trump has also indicated a willingness to blow up North Korea. In typically playground bully fashion, "Do as I say or everybody over there dies." Most Americans can't find North Korea on a map, and most Americans care nothing for the deaths of people in foreign places. Between the Philippines, North Korea in the '50s, Vietnam, the greater Middle East, and many other countries around the world, the total American-caused death count is pushing 10 million.

If nukes are used in Korea, Americans actually will pay a price. The jet stream flows from west to east. The radiation fallout will come to the States. Over time there will be a cancer here and a cancer there. It remains to be seen what the economic fallout could be with East Asia.

People don't connect the trillions spent on wars with the changes in life here. People don't see the declining education (with swelling student debt), rising federal debt and annual deficits, the undermining of our environmental protection, aging water systems (Flint, Michigan), and crumbling highways and bridges as fallout from war spending. President Eisenhower spelled this out in his 1953 "Cross of Iron" speech and his 1961 farewell address coining the term "military-industrial complex."

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And so who really runs this country?

If you look back at all the bloody conflicts I listed, you won't find the newspapers of the day full of letters demanding we start wars. Nor will you see coverage of protesters in front of the White House screaming for an invasion of Iraq, not at least until after the propaganda blitz. Here we are, eyeball to eyeball with North Korea; so what has the Congress of the United States had to say? As usual: nothing. The president sits (occasionally) in a White House full of generals. So what should we expect? Whose "industrial complex" was that again?

In watching an interview with Noam Chomsky, I learned that North Korea had volunteered to stop their nuclear work in 2015. Obama turned them down flat. Of course, they wanted the U.S. military to stop harassing and threatening them. Unacceptable! Such deals had been made with North Korea in the past, and then broken by the likes of George W. Bush.

In the words of Aspen's favorite former Secretary of State Madeline Albright to Colin Powell: "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?"

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale

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