George Washington and Thomas Jefferson set forth one of the founding principles of our nation:
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.—George Washington
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.—Thomas Jefferson
That guiding principle went out the window with the advent of the U.S. national-security state, a governmental apparatus consisting of an enormous standing army, military-industrial complex, overseas military bases, CIA, and NSA, and, of course, ever-increasing military alliances in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.
One of those entangling alliances — the one with South Korea — is now subjecting the American people to the mercies of South Korean activists who are provoking North Korea by sending balloons over the North with anti-communist messages.
The North Korean communists are saying that if this activity continues, North Korea will consider it an act of war and respond with a military attack on the South.
The South Koreans activists should, of course, be free to send any number of balloons into the air with any messages they like.
But that’s not the point insofar as Americans are concerned.
The point is that if the balloons cause war to break out in Korea, the American people will automatically be embroiled in another land war in Asia.
That’s because the U.S. national-security state has thousands of U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea, many of them along the border between the two countries. Their purpose is to serve as a “tripwire” that will guarantee that the United States will automatically be a party to renewed warfare between North Korea and South Korea.
Imagine that: Some South Korean political activists with balloons have the ability to send the entire United States into another land war in Asia owing to the entangling alliance that has U.S. soldiers serving as a Cold War-era “tripwire.”
The conflict between North Korea and South Korea is nothing more than a civil war, no different from the civil war that was waged between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The country is really Korea. It is artificially divided between North and South.
In 1950, when war broke out between North Korea and South Korea, the United States, now operating as a national-security state, intervened in the conflict by sending U.S. forces on the side of South Korea. Many of those U.S. soldiers were conscripted (i.e., forced) to fight in the conflict.
There was no congressional declaration of war, which is what our constitutional system of government required before the president could lawfully wage war.
How did President Truman get around that critically important constitutional restriction on his power? He said that the Korean War was not a real war but instead simply a “police action,” one in which U.S. troops were serving as international policemen. Needless to say, that was ridiculous and deceitful. No one ever refers to the Korean War as the Korean Police Action, especially given that more than 30,000 American soldiers were killed during the war.
The U.S. government had no more business embroiling the United States in the Korean civil war than it did embroiling out nation in Vietnam’s civil war, where U.S. officials sent 58,000 American men, many of them conscripted, to their deaths for nothing.
Would a resumption of Korea’s civil war be regrettable? Of course, just as the American civil war was regrettable. But that doesn’t mean that the United States should be involved in the war, any more than Korea should have been involved in America’s civil war.
There is but one solution to this: Leave Korea to the Koreans. Bring all U.S. troops home immediately. In the event of war, American citizens would be free to go join up with the South Korean army to help out. Here’s my prediction: Not one single American, especially the most ardent of U.S. interventionists, would volunteer. None of them would consider the conflict worth dying for. After all, don’t forget: Not one single American interventionist has volunteered to join the Iraqi forces resisting the Islamic State, notwithstanding the fact that every single American interventionist is claiming that “national security” is at stake.
The Founding Fathers were right: Keep America out of foreign wars and avoid entangling alliances. Otherwise, prepare yourself for more death, destruction, and financial bankruptcy. The American people need to stop passively deferring to America’s Cold War-era national security state apparatus. Bring the troops home before America is embroiled in another land war in Asia.