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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/3/17

Korea Crisis Exposes Orwellian West

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The Western media would have us believe that North Korea and its nuclear arsenal is the world's number one threat. The continual depiction of a "rogue" state in the Western media plays into the US agenda of a pre-emptive attack on North Korea.

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But let's get this straight. North Korea has an estimated 10-20 total number of nuclear warheads, according to the latest annual report from the respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). That represents a minuscule fraction -- some 0.1 percent -- of the world's total stockpile of nuclear weapons.

The United States has a nuclear arsenal of some 5,000 weapons -- more than 300 times the size of North Korea's. The US along with Russia (also 5,000 warheads) account for 93 percent of the world's total inventory of nuclear weapons.

What distinguishes the US are the following pertinent facts. (Yet these facts are rarely if ever considered in Western media news coverage.)

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It was the first country to develop such weapons of mass destruction, in 1945. Russia, the second country, developed its first atomic bomb four years later in 1949.

The US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons, when it dropped two atomic bombs on Japan -- just three weeks after it successfully tested the weapon in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945. The attacks on Japan killed at least 200,000 civilians. Official US justifications about swiftly ending the Pacific War with Japan are dubious and arguably irrelevant to the immoral barbarity.

Since the end of the Second World War, the US has engaged in dozens of wars in dozens of countries, according to respected historians such as William Blum, with an estimated death toll of 20 million. Since the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the US has been in a state of permanent war over the past two decades, carrying out aerial bombardments in up to seven countries simultaneously. Official US justifications for these wars are dubious if not contemptible.

The incontestable fact is that the US is the biggest serial violator of international law with the blood of millions of civilians on its hands. It is arguable that Nazi Germany's Third Reich was succeeded by a Fourth Reich in the US.

The US may not have used nuclear bombs since the mass destruction carried out in Japan in 1945. But in spite of the heinous shame of its unique criminality, American leaders continually reserve the right to threaten other nations with nuclear annihilation. The oft-repeated phrase "all options on the table" is the Orwellian language used by the US to refer to its self-ordained prerogative to use nuclear weapons, codified in its "first-strike doctrine."

US President Donald Trump routinely invokes the veiled threat of nuclear annihilation against North Korea. His warning of "fire and fury like the world has never seen before" is a chilling reference. While Trump's senior administration have sought to temper his comments with vaguely worded possible diplomacy, they too at other times openly use the "all options on the table" nuclear threat.

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North Korea's defiant testing of ballistic missiles is wrongly presented by Western media in complete isolation from the crucial context of the United States habitually threatening Pyongyang with pre-emptive war.

Both Russia and China have rebuked the US for its current display of military force during its annual "war games" on the Korean Peninsula as being destabilizing. But with incorrigible arrogance, Washington insists on its right to conduct such "defensive" maneuvers, and the Western media dutifully indulge this irrational distortion.

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Author and journalist. Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal (more...)
 

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