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Do the Pentagon, CIA, and Trump Want War in Korea?

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Even though war has not yet broken out in Korea, one gets the distinct impression that President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA would not be disappointed if it did. In fact, one gets the impression that they would be absolutely elated if North Korea were to strike first, so that they could exclaim, “We’ve been attacked! We’re innocent! We have the right to defend ourselves against communist aggression,” before killing every single North Korean with a nuclear carpet-bombing of the entire country.

In the law, there is a term called “reckless disregard.” It describes a person who engages in extremely dangerous action while ignoring the potential consequences of such action.

No one can reasonably deny that Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment are acting in reckless disregard with their actions against North Korea.

From Trump’s provocative tweets, to the Army’s provocative military exercises, to the Air Force’s provocative bomber flyovers near North Korea, the message sent is clear: “We don’t really care if we provoke North Korea into attacking first and we even hope that it does.”

By this time, it should be clear to everyone that North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear bomb development program. It would be stupid to do so. North Korean officials know that their nuclear capability is the only thing that could possibly deter the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking and invading North Korea in their decades-long goal of regime change, one that would put the entire country under U.S. control, thereby enabling the Pentagon and the CIA to put U.S. bases and missiles on the Korea-China border, just as they hoped to do on Russia’s border with Ukraine. North Koreans also are smart enough to realize that U.S. officials could never be trusted to keep their end of any bargain reached.

So, the choice for Trump and the national security establishment is: Do we just sit back and let North Korea continue improving its nuclear capability until it can defend itself against a U.S. regime-change operation by striking the United States with nuclear missiles? Or do we start or provoke a war now, before North Korea achieves the ability to defend itself with a nuclear strike on the United States, knowing full well that millions of people, including U.S. troops and civilians living in South Korea, will die or be injured in such a conflict.

Trump, the Pentagon, the CIA, and their mouthpieces in the mainstream press are clearly prepping Americans for war, the same way they did in the run-up to their war of aggression on Iraq, which succeeded in destroying an entire country and killing, maiming, torturing, and exiling millions of people, none of whom had ever attacked the United States.

Including among the prepping is the notion, emphasized by the mainstream press, that North Korea is acting “aggressively” by developing a nuclear capability. In the minds of the mainstream media, whenever an independent nation takes steps to defend itself from a U.S. attack, it is acting “aggressively.”

Of course, we witnessed this same phenomenon during the Cold War with respect to Cuba. Throughout the Cold War and beyond, U.S. officials continually said that Cuba was acting “aggressively” as part of a supposed international communist conspiracy to take over the world, including the United States.

Many Americans, deeply fearful that communists were coming to get them, fell for it — hook, line, and sinker. That’s what caused them to remain silent and defer to the authority of the national-security establishment when it invaded Cuba, tried to assassinate (i.e., murder) Cuban officials, and committed acts of sabotage and terrorism within Cuba.

What most everyone failed to notice in all this mayhem was that Cuba never attacked the United States, never assassinated any American, and never initiated any acts of sabotage or terrorism on American soil. The U.S. government was the aggressor against Cuba the entire time.

In fact, the Cuban Missile Crisis was quite similar to what is happening today with North Korea. When Cuba invited the Russians (i.e., the Soviets) to install nuclear weapons in Cuba, U.S. officials and their acolytes in the mainstream press maintained that this was an act of communist aggression.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it was a defensive measure to defend Cuba from the prospect of another U.S. invasion of the island. The Russians and the Cubans figured that if the United States was faced with the possibility of Cuba’s defending itself with nuclear weapons, that might deter the United States from again attacking. Alternatively, they figured that if the U.S. did attack, they would be able to better defend themselves against a much more powerful military force with tactical nuclear weapons.

As soon as President Kennedy promised not to invade Cuba again, the Russians removed their nuclear weapons from the island. That’s not to say that the U.S. gave up its goal of regime change. It continued trying to achieve that with its brutal embargo, which continues to this day, and its assassination program against Castro.

Throughout the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Pentagon and the CIA were aching for war, even if it meant all-out nuclear war with the Soviets. They figured that since war with the communist world was inevitable anyway, better for Americans to start it now when the Soviets’ nuclear capability was still limited.

In fact, I’ll bet that most Americans don’t realize that the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented Kennedy with a plan calling for a surprise full-scale nuclear attack on the entire Soviet Union. They assured Kennedy that “we” would win the war because we would only lose 40 million people while everyone in Russia and the Soviet Union would be dead. Kennedy walked away from the meeting muttering angrily and indignantly, “And we call ourselves the human race.”

And then there was Operation Northwoods, the plan the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously recommended to Kennedy. It called for terrorist attacks and plane hijackings here in the United States carried out by federal agents falsely portraying themselves as Cuban communist terrorists. To make the plan more authentic, real people would die. Kennedy’s job would be to go on national television and falsely exclaim, “We’ve just been attacked by the Cuban communists and so we must now invade the island to defend ourselves.” To Kennedy’s everlasting credit, he rejected Operation Northwoods, just as he rejected the Pentagon’s plan for a surprise nuclear attack on Russia.

But the fact is that even though the Cold War ended in 1989, the Pentagon and the CIA have never lost their Cold War mindset, at least not with respect to Russia and North Korea and, to a certain extent, China. That’s what the continued embargo against Cuba is all about. That’s what the anti-Russia brouhaha is all about. It’s what the U.S. “pivot” to the Asia is all about. It’s why U.S. troops are still stationed in South Korea more than 70 years after suspension of the country’s civil war.

And so here we are in 2017 facing the very real possibility of war in Korea, a war that could very quickly turn nuclear, with the distinct possibility of Chinese involvement. The big difference between then and now is President Kennedy and President Trump. Kennedy was willing to stand up to the national-security establishment. Trump isn’t; in fact, it is clear by now that he has been fully absorbed by the national-security establishment. That doesn’t bode well for the people living in both North Korea and South Korea. It also doesn’t bode well for Americans and everyone else.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.