Statement from the CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee
Sixty years after an armistice ended the fighting in the Korean War, the situation remains tense, abnormal and dangerous on the Korean peninsula. Any military conflict in Korea carries the risk of broadening into a catastrophic war as the US, China, Japan and Russia all have strategic interests in the area. Another major Korean war would mean large increases in US military spending and more austerity and repression at home, as well as great destruction and loss of life. The crisis of March-April 2013 did not lead to a military confrontation; however, since the basic issues have not been addressed, another crisis is at some point likely.
The first source of tension is the US refusal to negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea legally ending the Korean War. Sometimes characterized as inscrutable, North Korea’s prime diplomatic objectives are actually simple and clear: sign a peace treaty with the US, get the sanctions lifted and join the international community as a respected and equal nation. It is US policy that is blocking normalization.
After World War Two, a reunited Korea would surely have chosen the popular Kim Il Sung as president since Kim had been the national leader of the Korean resistance to the Japanese occupation. Kim Il Sung, however, was also leader of the Korean Communist Party and thus unacceptable to the US, which blocked reunification. In the 1990s, North Korea participated in discussions to suspend its nuclear program in return for economic aid and movement towards recognition. In 2001, however, the Bush administration labelled Pyongyang as one of the "axis of evil" and showed in Iraq what that meant. North Korea then restarted its nuclear program and moved to further development of a nuclear weapon and long range missiles. The simulated nuclear bombing runs of US B-52s and stealth bombers practicing over South Korea only justifies in North Korean eyes their need for nuclear weapons and a powerful military.
As the world’s military superpower, far more powerful than North Korea, the US should take the initiative to reduce militarization and tensions rather than conducting provocative military exercises with South Korean forces. However, partly as a result of the Obama administration’s "pivot" to Asia/Pacific, the US has been strengthening its military presence in East Asia, including working with Japan to strengthen anti-missile defense systems. This has encouraged rightist Japanese prime minister Abe to suggest altering the Japanese pacifist constitution to allow for a stronger Japanese military presence, further inflaming tensions.
China has proposed restarting the six-party talks to energize the diplomatic process. The Chinese are North Korea’s long standing ally; China wants a denuclearized Korean peninsula and calls for reduction of US/South Korea joint military exercises and an end to provocative language. This would create a better environment for talks and reconciliation and benefit the Korean people as well as peace. China also wants closer consultation with North Korea.
CCDS urges that people contact the president and Congress to demand the US agree to negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea and stop its campaign of pressure and regime change. Talks among equal partners are the only way to improve the situation in Korea. Activists should call for cutting the military budget by the US withdrawing troops and pulling back from its growing forward position in the Asia/Pacific region.
April 25, 2013
Nurses in Chicago NATO/G8 Protests Demanding ‘Robin Hood’ Tax
National Nurses United: Linking Global Struggle
With Successful Organizing in Difficult Places
By Sandy Eaton, RN
National Nurses United, the two-year-old national union of registered nurses, called on its members and all their allies to Come Together to Heal the World in Chicago on May 18th. This marks the latest phase in the union’s campaign for a Financial Transaction Tax, the “Robin Hood Tax,” which began outside the US Chamber of Commerce on Lafayette Park last June and quickly spread to Wall Street and beyond.
NNU’s annual Staff Nurse Assembly this year bypassed Capitol Hill, its usual venue, for Chicago, the original site of the G8-NATO summit. Having sent a strong delegation to Cannes last December to target the G20 while rallying in cities across the US at the same time, the nurses seized this opportunity to advance the fight for a 0.5% tax on stock trading and other transactions in order to garner up to $350 billion per year to create jobs and meet human needs. More than 100 organizations of community, environmental, labor and health groups from around the world endorsed the event.
Read more of this article »
Statement of the National Coordinating Committee of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, March 24, 2012
March 20, 2012 marks nine years since the US invasion of Iraq. US troops have left that country but thousands of State Department security personnel and military contractors remain. The situation in the Middle East remains tense, dangerous and volatile, with many factors pointing towards greater conflict in Syria, Palestine and elsewhere.
US policy continues to be driven by those seeking to secure oil interests and strategic hegemony in the region. They now aim at regime change in Iran, a regional power and the world’s second largest oil exporter.
The loudest voices for war call for a US/Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. Prominent in war agitation are the Israeli government, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), US rightwingers and neocons, and Republican presidential candidates vying with one another to get the most pro-Israel votes. These hawks argue that a military strike would be quick and limited and set back the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program, saving Israel from the supposed existential threat.
Many US (and Israeli) military analysts, however, warn of possible Iranian retaliation widening into a costly and potentially vast regional war — as Iran is a much bigger and resourceful country than Iraq. Such a war would deal a grievous blow to the peoples concerned, to progressive movements and immediately eliminate any thoughts of cutting the US military budget and funding social programs.
The Obama administration has stated it has no current plans to attack Iran but maintains a posture of threats and intimidation by insisting "all options are on the table." Israel’s intentions are murky; Israel may calculate that a military strike would inevitably draw US support, especially in an election year. Moreover, the US strategy already in place of tough economic sanctions is causing suffering among the Iranian people and portends possible confrontation ahead.
Assassination of Iranian scientists and agitation for regime change are acts of war. A large US naval presence patrolling the Persian Gulf may lead to an unplanned incident that could spiral out of control. The Iranian leadership may over-react to these numerous provocations. Thus there is a very real danger of US involvement in another major Middle Eastern war even if the Obama administration would like to avoid it.
CCDS calls for dialogue and diplomacy to settle international problems: not war or sanctions against Iran; and US military aid to Israel should end. The UN-approved nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East points the way to security for all nations. In such a zone, no country, including Israel, could possess nuclear weapons and the US would not be allowed to bring such weapons into the region on naval forces. Every Middle East country except Israel favors a nuclear free zone. CCDS calls upon its members and friends to support this initiative and the UFPJ pledge of resistance to stop a war on Iran, see www.unitedforpeace.org
[Special thanks to Duncan McFarland and our CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee for working on this.]
On the matter of war with Iran, it seems so…Here’s a large ad in the March 5 Washington Post: