As a youngster I once fell in with a rather rough crowd of boys who liked to set off fire-crackers, also known as ‘bangers’.
Fireworks were not hard to get hold of at the time – and my apprentice delinquent friends knew how to hustle. The group of us would head out of an evening and cause minor mischief – simple acts of puerile wickedness such as blowing up garden gnomes.
As soon as I plucked up the courage to give these maniacs a wide berth, I never looked back. Their company got on my nerves. It wasn’t just guilty feelings of wrong-doing or the increasing likelihood we’d all get caught. I was seriously concerned they’d blow me up too – not out of spite as much as by accident. Immature maniacs and gunpowder are an explosive mix.
Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin: keeping cool in the company of hoons
I was reminded of this experience yesterday when I watched the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, emerge from an exhausting closed session of the UN Security Council. The meeting had been called at Russia’s behest. It asked to discuss the latest tensions on the Korean peninsula and try to preserve the peace.
CNN covered Mr Churkin’s press conference, which seemed to be conducted entirely in flawless English. Churkin’s tone was ‘diplomatic’ – but unlike his western counterparts, he was not required to purvey blatant disinformation. Consquently his words were reasonably easy to understand.
The weary Ambassador looked like I felt after surviving an evening out with a bunch of banger-throwing bad boys. He’d survived the experience – but at considerable cost to his nerves.
But what about Korea? What about the world?
Will there be “peace in our time?”
That’s not so clear.
As far as I can tell, the pugnacious leadership in Seoul, egged on by the Americans and the rest of the squalid US cheer squad, is insisting on its ‘right’ to carry out military exercises so close to the North Korean border they’re actually shelling disputed territory.
Why, for God’s sake? WHY?
The only possible reason is to ratchet up tension. Why do that? (I recall the adolescent brat who enjoyed knife-throwing and took offense when I objected to him demonstrating his prowess by narrowly missing my feet. Who need’s that?)
I can’t think of any good reasons to tempt fate like this – not for Koreans at any rate. In any outright conflict, the South with its superpower-on-steroids big buddy would almost certainly prevail. But much of the Korean peninsula – north and south – could become nuclear wasteland in the process. Millions could die. Land could become uninhabitable.
That’s not victory. It’s insanity. Why do that? Who needs it?
Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, gave her press conference shortly after the Russian. She explained the inability of the Security Council to come up with a unanimous position was partly due to the reluctance of some countries to condemn the North for sinking the South Korean submarine Chenoan back in March 2010. She didn’t spell it out, but Russia was clearly one of the Governments that resisted this push.
Rice is too much of a liar – and Churkin was too diplomatic – to explain what that dispute is really about. Russia won’t condemn North Korea over the Chenoan incident because it is not convinced North Korea is actually guilty of the allegations against it. That’s for good reasons.
Evidence over the Chenoan is contradictory and inconclusive at best. Western nations no longer enjoy the benefit of the doubt. We’ve lied too often – and been caught out lying too often. Wisely, the Russians and the Chinese no longer believe everything these governments and their corrupt mass media say – if indeed they ever were so naive. But they do prefer eshewing open accusations of ‘liar’, leaving that kind of plain-speaking to welterweights such as Presidents Chavez and Ahmadinejad. The Russians and Chinese are extremely interested in avoiding World War Three. That’s also for a very good reason. They’re not completely nuts.
Are governments of the western world completely nuts? There are alarming signs that might indeed be the case. Certainly US policy over Korea makes no apparent sense.
If the idea is to end the division of Korea and bring about national reconciliation, this is an crazy way of setting about it. Committing to peace, opening borders, freeing up trade and facilitating the migration of people is the obvious way to help the North change for the better. There are complicating factors. For example, the Chinese have legitimate interests to protect. They don’t want American missiles on their border. That’s understandable – and fair enough. The best solution for Korea is surely is the best solution for the world. Koreans need demilitarisation and disarmament – not a ratcheting up of hostility and tension.
All the Korean people I can remember meeting have been delightful, friendly and very intelligent people. Korea has had a blighted last century. It’s protracted division in this limbo state of ‘no war, no peace’ is a tragedy. But Koreans – north and south – can rightly be proud of remarkable achievments. South Korea has laboured hard to develop one of the most advanced economies on earth. North Korea has survived and remained independent – against all the odds.
Left alone, Koreans could unite at their own pace and lead the world by example. But will they be left alone? Will the bodgy bullies who’ve foisted their presence on Korea blow them up in childish miscalculations?
US bombing of Wonsan, 1951: the brutal war in Korea that still awaits peaceful resolution
A number of commentators have mentioned there seems to be a whiff of August 1914 in the air. With luck, that’s just frazzled nerves and paranoia. But one interest group on earth is interested – or so it would seem – in getting a hot war started. It’s not much bothered about East Asia – but once bangers go off they can start exploding all over the place…
That interest group is the State of Israel. Its main obesession seems to be trying to destroy Iran (with Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon also on the priority hitlist). The whole idea is complete luncacy of course, But the existence of such a push is not in doubt. There’s no secret about the Zionists’ lust to see Iran attacked.
But Israel has at least two problems.
First, it rather lazily wants the USA to do the dirty work on its behalf. Why risk Israeli pilots if another, bigger maniac State is willing to serve as proxy? Yet sections of the US government and military are resisting.
Second – and I suspect this is the key constraint tempering the Israel Lobby’s war lust – it’s maniacs-in-chief know full well that another war started in the middle east would be blamed on Israel (and by extension on Zionists and Jews as a whole) by a majority of the world’s people. However much the western media might spin stories about ‘Iranian provocations’ or uncritically report new false-flag operations, the maniacs know a significant proportion of the people wouldn’t be fooled again.
However… a war that started in Korea, half a world away. Who could blame poor little Israel for that?
Warmongering is a crazy game. Humanity can’t this craziness any longer. The stakes are so high in the 21st century that war, quite simply, must be set aside. It’s a childish thing we shouldn’t do any more…
For the sake of us all, North and South Korea must cool it and do some serious peace-making work.
Zionists and other warmongers should butt out and give peace a chance.
No more wars for Israel!