Category Archives: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Video: A 100 años del Natalicio de Kim Il Sung

Actividad en conmemoración de los 100 años del nacimiento del Camarada Kim Il Sung realizada por el Partido Comunista Chileno (Acción Proletaria) PC(AP) el día viernes 13 de Abril.

Los comunistas chilenos recalcamos la importancia de esta actividad, ya que apoyar a la República Popular Democrática de Corea es parte importante de la lucha anti-imperialista y por la revolución y el Socialismo.

ACTO DE HOMENAJE AL PRIMER CENTENARIO DEL NACIMIENTO DEL CAMARADA KIM IL SUNG

El 13 de Abril en la ciudad de Santiago de Chile, el Comité Regional Metropolitano, por encargo de la dirección del Partido Comunista Chileno (Acción Proletaria) PC(AP), realizó un significativo acto de homenaje a los CIEN AÑOS DEL NACIMIENTO DEL CAMARADA KIM IL SUNG.

En la ocasión junto a los vídeos, intervenciones y a la música revolucionaria de homenaje al camarada Kim IL Sung, se dio lanzamiento a la edición del libro titulado ” A CIEN AÑOS DEL NACIMIENTO DEL CAMARADA KIM IL SUNG”, el contiene un artículo del camarada Eduardo Artés titulado: ” A CIEN AÑOS DE SU NACIMIENTO, EL CAMARADA KIM IL SUNG VIVE EN LAS MENTES Y CORAZONES DE LA CLASE OBRERA Y DE LOS PUEBLOS” y la obra del camarada Kim IL Sung titulada ” ALCANCEMOS LA GRAN UNIDAD DE NUESTRA NACIÓN”, escrita el 1 de agosto de 1991.

Es de destacar el gran entusiasmo de los asistentes, reflejado, entre otras cosas, en el hecho de que compraron varios ejemplares del libro en lanzamiento, de manera de hacerlo llegar rápidamente a otros camaradas y compañeros. El libro en estos momentos se está distribuyendo por medio de los militantes del PC(AP) en todo el país.

Chile, sus trabajadores y pueblos, desde el PC(AP), no nos hemos quedado al margen de los actos de homenaje que en todo el mundo, partiendo por la República Popular Democrática de Corea RPDC, se llevan a cabo en este primer centenario del gran dirigente comunista, del camarada Kim IL Sung.

¡Honor y gloria al camarada Kim IL Sung!

Comisión Nacional de Comunicaciones
Partido Comunista Chileno (Acción Proletaria)
PC(AP)

www.accionproletaria.com

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Statistics on Crimes Committed by US Troops in South Korea

Korea International War Crimes Tribunal, June 23, 2001, New York
Report on US Crimes in Korea 1945-2001

Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea

Over 100,000 Cases of Crimes, Over 100,000 Victims

Crimes committed by US soldiers were found as early as when US troops were first stationed in south Korea. According to the south Korean government’s official statistics, 50,082 crimes were committed by US soldiers from 1967 to 1998 (including those by soldiers’ families), and 56,904 US soldiers were involved (including soldiers’ families) in these crimes. The statistics imply that the actual figure may be higher if take into account those cases not handled by the south Korean police. Based on the statistics, the total number of crimes committed by US soldiers since September 8, 1945 (when they were first stationed in Korea) is estimated to be around 100,000. Unfortunately the south Korean government does not have statistics on US soldiers’ crimes committed before 1967, because SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) went into effect in 1967, allowing the south Korean court jurisdiction over crimes committed by US soldiers with narrow and limited application.

So, from 1945 to 1967, the US had full authority in court. south Koreans were even subjected to American rulings (of course, in English language). And during 1945-1948, when the US military government took control over the south Korean government, a judge was an active US soldier, with no jury system although the court followed American court system. Many problems aroused including language barrier, lack of cultural understanding and even prejudice on the part of the judge, unfair practices on the part of interpreters.

Study by Ministry of Justice of south Korea shows that among the 39,452 cases (45,183 US soldiers involved) of crimes committed by US soldiers from 1967 to 1987, south Korea was able to exercise its jurisdiction only in 234 cases, punishing only 351 US soldiers. Among them, 84 US soldiers were convicted of rape and 89 US soldiers were convicted of murder and robbery. Taking into account the fact that rape cases were more common before 1967, and that many rape cases were intentionally hidden and forgotten, the actual number of rape cases committed by US soldiers will be much higher than what official figures suggest.

1980, the year of civilian uprising in Kwangju alone, over 1,679 crimes committed by US soldiers were reported.

Due to the military dictator, Chun Doo Hwan’s martial law at the time, south Korea lost its jurisdiction that year. Not even a single case was handled in south Korean court.

Countless cases of rape were committed by US soldiers, including a woman gang raped by 4 soldiers’ in March 1946, a 14-year-old schoolgirl raped in 1956, a daughter and a mother both raped in 1967, a woman raped by 8 soldiers in the mountains in 1971, a month pregnant teacher raped in 1986 by 5 soldiers in the middle of Team Spirit military exercise, a handicapped schoolgirl sexually harassed in 1996, and a 6-year-old girl sexually harassed in May 1997.

Gregory Henderson, who served at the US embassy in Seoul in the 1950s and 1960s, recalls in his thesis ‘politically dangerous factors in US troops exercising operation & control right in Korea’:

” … Every US soldier from officer down enjoys material indulgence in Korea. Material indulgence includes abundant supply of fresh bodies of young local women.”

Earnst W. Carston, a former chaplain in US military camp in Korea, also harshly criticized US soldiers in his report to the US government in October 1964: “90% of US soldiers in Korea lead immoral sex lives. On being stationed to their posts, a soldier indulges in illegal sex with prostitutes, and when returning to the US, he sells off the woman, her house, and furniture to the new arrival”.

, in its June 10th 1971 edition, quoted a high-ranking military officer as saying “around 2 million foreign soldiers stayed in south Korea since the Korean war, among which 70% were venereal diseases patients as well as drug addicts”.

Robert Oliver, an American adviser to former south Korean President Rhee Seong-man, once said that 2,000 US soldiers out of total 30,000 stationed in Korea were from poor class. Also, Kevin Heldman, an American freelancer writer, wrote on the Internet in September 1997 that US troops in Korea are potential criminals and losers had they stayed in the US society.

Although above comments seem to lay a blame on those less-educated soldiers from poor family background for the crimes, the crime report shows that it is the officers who are very often commit rape and robbery by faking marriages before secretly returning to the US. There is no official statistics on fake marriages, mainly because victims do not want it reported.

Long Over Stay of US Troops and Their Operation & Control Rights over south Korean military

The first 3-year history of US military government control in south Korea was not based on a mutual friendship between peoples of the two countries. Rather it was based on a cozy relationship between the two governments. Such circumstances have not changed much since then. For example, US military that withdrew after 3 years of government control in south Korea came back during the Korean war to ‘take away’ operation & control rights from the south Korean army on July 15th 1950. In October 1953, immediately after the war, the US introduced Korea-US Defense Alliance Treaty, which allowed long-term stay of the US troops in south Korea. This treaty effectively gave the US a virtual full control over the south Korea’s political, military, and economic power.

In the light of such lopsided treaty which practically handed over a nation’s sovereign rights and the eventual political, military and economical subjugation to US mighty power, it becomes easy to see why such US soldiers crimes are committed easily in south Korea.

No other place in the world, does the US soldiers enjoy such immunity over the crimes they perpetuate.

I t is reported that US troops stationed in Okinawa, Japan, called the local prostitutes ‘Yellow Stool’. It is not only humiliating to Japan, but also to Korea as well. Such word is a good indicator of how US soldiers look at the local people.

Even to these days, when they are subjected to south Korean police investigation, US soldiers frequently say “how dare you Koreans treat an American soldier like this’.

Their debased superiority often comes from the years long of propaganda from US and south Korean governments asserting that it is the US, liberated south Korea from the hands of communist north Korea and without them, north Korea will invade the south Korea right away.

Moreover, the unique military arrangement in which the visiting force, the US controls the operational command over the south Korean military and it’s own general serving as a Joint Chief of Staff of the combined army, only exacerbates the unfair situation.

Although many of the past US Secretaries of Defense have repeatedly stated that it is US’s own interest to have the soldiers stationed in south Korea, and that US troops will remain in south Korea even after the reunification of Korea, many US soldiers still believe that they are in south Korea to fight the cold war.

On sex slavery issue, a Dutch military court in 1946 convicted those who were responsible for rape against minority women. Also in 1995, when three US soldiers gang raped a schoolgirl in Okinawa, Japan, local residents demanded and received an official apology from US President Bill Clinton, US ambassador to Japan, and US military chief. All these are unimaginable in south Korea.

Such stark difference between situations in south Korea, Japan and the Netherlands illustrates international power structure among the nations.

Statistics from south Korean government shows visible drop in the number of crimes committed by US soldiers, from 1967 to 1991, 1,100 – 2,300 crimes were committed per year and from 1992, the number dropped to 700-800 cases per year.

Such improvement was possible because of high-profile murder case of Yoon Kum-i by US soldier Kenneth Markle in October 1992. The cold blooded torture/murder case brought public conscience to the “crimes committed by US troops”. The Movement to Eradicate Crimes Committed by US Soldiers was formed as a result.

However, the south Korean government still exercises very limited jurisdiction over such crimes.

In 1998, Korea handled only 3.9% of all crimes committed by US soldiers.(and 24.6% of crimes by soldiers’ families)

Source

Video: May Day in Democratic Korea

PC (AP): Public Notice

Monday, 18 June 2012

On June 17, the Central Committee of Communist Party of Chile (Proletarian Action), PC (AP) has made its plenary meeting, in which have been discussed and decisions taken regarding:

National and international situation; Labour Party Masses and Fronts International Communist Movement.

We would like to know the following agreements and resolutions:

A) It reaffirms the campaign against the two neoliberal blocks consensus and the alliance, and the forthcoming municipal elections, our policy of abstention to them; The demand and struggle for a constituent assembly for a New Constitution with popular movements. Subjects that will increase the propaganda and activism permanent fronts respective masses.

B) They greet advances in the development of the Party’s mass work in the front student union, art and culture and population, noting an increasing influence on important sectors. Measures shall be taken to achieve new and greater achievements in the tasks. In the areas of union work, we welcome the participation and integration of leading activists and trade unionists to work on developing an alternative class and combative, both within and outside the CUT.

C) The need to develop, in the interests of workers, a line that accounts for the tasks related to the effects of the general crisis of capitalism, which allows us to affirm the correctness of the struggle of peoples for national sovereignty against imperialist intervention. The rejection of the aggression of NATO against the Middle Eastern countries, reaffirm our solidarity with the processes of struggle for independence and national sovereignty of countries like Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador in Latin America. Also, we reaffirm our support to countries that support and build socialism as in the cases of Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The International Communist Movement, reaffirmed the need for unity from the principles of Marxism-Leninism, respecting the peculiarities of the processes of struggle in each country, keeping the discussion on secondary situations miscarry the necessary unity of the international communist claiming the materiality of the class struggle.

Central Committee of the Chilean Communist Party (Proletarian Action)
PC (AP)

On the Day of American Independence

Today is the 4th of July, a holiday celebrated all over the nation as the date of American Independence from the British crown. I was considering burning an American flag to protest US foreign policy, imperial aggression, indigenous holocaust, sponsorship of terrorism, slavery and discrimination of minorities, etc., and promptly began wondering if flag-burning on public property is considered to be a fire hazard. Today is a holiday that is spent trying to spread patriotic feelings among our people, and thus in effect to try and goad them into flag-waving, chauvinism, jingoism and xenophobia. Patriotism, the way the imperialists see it, means love for their government and love for their class of oppressors. It means love for the police, the prison complex, the courts, the army and the ruling class dictatorship. It means love for the exploitive system of capitalism and the settler-fascists that have run it from the start.

On this celebrated day of the creation of the American state, it is time to take a look back at our long, star-crossed history, and it is time to present a challenge to ourselves—what has American really been about all this time? As Frederick Douglass famously said about this particular holiday in 1852:

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

He continues,

“Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”

There are those who might say that Douglass’s words no longer ring true because of the Obama presidency, and then there are those who know that a change in the ruler’s skin color does not abolish racism and oppression overnight. In addition, Major General Smedley Butler from the US Marines speaks about what real role the US military has been playing over the years:

“I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force – the Marine Corps… And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect money in. I helped in the raping of a half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street… I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped get Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents.”

These revelations are by no means new, since they have been given by many anti-imperialist and anti-colonialists since the beginning of the domination of American imperialism, which started after World War II and strengthened itself through the selling-out of the Soviet Union during the Cold War and the collapse of socialist Albania.

To give a more detailed or complete account of American foreign policy, which has always been driven by nothing more and nothing less than the capitalist system’s desire for global hegemony under American leadership, would take many pages and several lifetimes of research into the history of the modern-day Roman Empire. But this 4th of July, and keeping with our challenge to ourselves, a few examples taken from the recent history of the United States alone should serve to give an idea of what this class dictatorship has really been about since the beginnings of its foundation.


A History Lesson

In 1945, the US invades the Korean peninsula and declares a “temporary” partition of Korea. America installs an illegitimate American-friendly regime in the South, backed by a force of 50,000 troops. After 2,617 troop incursions in the Northern Pro-Soviet half, sometimes with as many as a few thousand troops, a war ensues when North Korea finally invades South Korea in response. A three-year war takes place and millions are killed. Thousands of American troops remain in South Korea to this day.

In 1966, a US-backed coup ousted President Sukarno of Indonesia and replaced him with the fascist butcher Suharto. Over a million people were hunted down and killed, including thousands of popular leftist leaders, whose names were given to the military by the American Embassy. Suharto would go on to rule Indonesia with an iron fist for decades. Newly-liberated East Timor was then invaded by Suharto’s Indonesia the day after President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (both butchers of the Vietnam War) gave them permission. By 1989, over one-third of East Timor’s 700,000 people had been killed. Indonesia had US backing, including armaments, throughout its 24-year occupation.

In 1967, a US-backed military coup took place to prevent Greek politician George Papandreou being elected Prime Minister. The colonels declared martial law, implemented torture, beatings, arrests, leaving 8,000 dead in the first month. The coup leaders were fiercely anti-communist and pro-American, working closely with the CIA. The colonels held power until 1974.

In 1970, Marxist reformist Salvador Allende was elected as President of Chile. He nationalized the giant US companies. Soon, the right-wing, backed by the CIA and US foreign policy, engineered a 1973 coup lead by the infamous General Augusto Pinochet. Allende was overthrown and replaced by a fascist military dictatorship that used mass executions and torture. Thousands were murdered and disappeared. Chile became an economic experiment that led to economic growth for the richest while leaving many homeless and greatly decreasing economic equality.

In 1978 in Nicaragua, the popular and progressive Sandinista movement overthrows the US-backed dictator Anastasio Samoza. The US then launches a military occupation in order to prevent “another Cuba.” A program of terrorism and economic sabotage is begun, which leads to the US support of the infamous Contra death squads. The Contras prove to be one of the most brutal fighting forces Latin America has ever seen, infamous for burning down schools, churches and hospitals as well as using mass murder, rape and torture. The Contras massacre whole villages though to be sympathetic to the Sandinistas. Over 60,000 die. President Reagan labels them as “freedom fighters.”

Summation

From these examples alone—Korea, Indonesia, East Timor, Greece, Chile and Nicaragua, which are merely the most prominent of many dozens more ready-made examples including the Vietnam War—we can see that United States foreign policy has never been driven by a devotion to any kind of morality, nor by any kind of longing for freedom or democracy. From the start, the United States has been driven by the necessity to make the world safe for investment by capitalism, to enrich US armaments who contribute generously to Congress members, to prevent the development of any society which becomes an example of an independent alternative to the capitalist model and to extend its political and economic control over as much of the globe as possible.

Everyone alive today remembers the media immediately after the events of 9/11. “Why Do They Hate Us So Much?” the newspapers asked. Gee, I don’t know. Perhaps dropping bombs really pisses some “less civilized” people off. This is a simple list of the nations bombed since World War II:

China 1945-46, Korea 1950-53, China 1950-53, Guatemala 1954, Indonesia 1958, Cuba 1959-60, Guatemala 1960, Congo 1964, Peru 1965, Laos 1965-73, Vietnam 1961-73. Cambodia 1969-70, Guatemala 1967-69, Grenada 1983, Libya 1986, El Salvador 1980s, Nicaragua 1980s, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991-2002, Sudan 1998, Afghanistan 1998, Yugoslavia 1999, Afghanistan 2001 and Iraq 2003 (1).

It is worth noting that violence and exploitation are also not limited to outside the US borders, either. Of all western nations, the US has the greatest income inequality. 40% of the wealth is controlled by 1% of the population. The US has the greatest discrepancy in the world between the wealthy and the poor when it comes to health care, and also when it comes to life expectancy.

Finally, the Land of the Free has the highest number of its population in prison than any other state in the world (2). And all this is without mentioning the minute details of the oppressive structure of the class society as it exists for us every day. These sorts of atrocities will continue until this capitalist system is done away with through struggle and revolution in the US.

On the day of American Independence, among all other days, this is a fact for all of us to remember.

Sources

(1) Taken from Australian Options Quarterly No. 31, Summer 2002.

(2) From Scientific American, Dec. 2005

Source

First Speech of Kim Jong Un translated!

DPRK celebrates centennial of Kim Il-Sung’s birth

PYONGYANG, April 15 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is carrying out a great military parade here on Sunday morning to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding leader Kim Il Sung.

In a speech delivered at the grand event, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un lauded the historic contributions to the DPRK’s development by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong IL, and offered the highest respect and honor to the two late leaders.

Noting that the country is facing a momentous opportunity, Kim Jong Un called upon the whole nation to stick to the path blazed by his predecessors and strive for new victories.

Tens of thousands of people attended the ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang. A march-past of more than 30 phalanxes of military forces is under way amid thunderous cheers and clangorous music.

The ongoing military parade is one of the many activities planned to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Kim Il Sung, who passed away in 1994.

Days ago, Kim Jong Un became first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission and first chairman of the National Defence Commission.

Source

Kim Jun Un (C), supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), attends a national meeting celebrating the centenary of birth of President Kim Il Sung at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, capital of DPRK, on April 14, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Li)

DPRK holds national meeting celebrating centenary birthday of Kim Il Sung

PYONGYANG, April 14 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a national meeting at Kim Il Sung Stadium here Saturday to celebrate the centenary birthday of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung.

Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), first chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK, supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) was among those present.

Addressing the meeting, Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the DPRK said Kim Il Sung built socialism centered on the popular masses, and put forth fair, aboveboard and reasonable reunification proposals, including the three principles of national reunification, and provided a new program for achieving great national unity.

“Kim Il Jung set forth outstanding ideas, strategies and tactics on global independence and made an undying contribution to the socialist movement,” he said, adding he made a great contribution to accomplishing the cause of independence against imperialism “with his superb diplomatic strategy and energetic external activities.”

Similar meetings took place in all provinces, cities, counties and industrial complexes.

Kim Il Sung was born on April 15, 1912 and died on July 8, 1994.

Source

Kim Jong Un orders mass of promotions in army

PYONGYANG, April 14 (Xinhua) — Kim Jong Un, supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), has ordered promotions for 71 senior military officers, official news agency KCNA reported Saturday.

Kim said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea armed forces had performed great exploits for the party, revolution, country and its people and were now fully demonstrating their strength in the defense of the country and the building of a thriving nation, the report said.

According to the order, which was issued Friday, Pak Sun Hwan has been promoted to Lieut. General, Kim Yong Hwa, Son Kyong Bok and 68 others to Maj. General.

Kim said they would creditably discharge their duties as vanguard fighters of the Songun (military first) revolution in the sacred struggle to accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche generation after generation, true to the behests of Kim Jong Il.

Juche is a political thesis of Kim Il-sung, founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which says that the Korean masses are the masters of the country’s development.

Kim Jong Un was elected first chairman of the National Defense Commission on Friday. Earlier this week, he was appointed first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission.

Source

DPRK holds parade to mark founder’s 100th brithday

BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhuanet) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has started a military parade to celebrate the 100th birthday of founding leader Kim Il Sung. This parade is the largest since the foundation of DPRK 64 years ago. Now let’s take a look at some live pictures in Pyong-yang.

The parade is organised by DPRK’s 1.1 million-strong military, the Korean People’s Army. The huge parade showcasing Pyongyang’s military hardware was originally scheduled for April 25. It has been brought up 10 days earlier, coinciding with the country’s founder’s birthday.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s new leader underlined the country’s “military first” policy with a budget that allocates a sizable chunk of funding to defence spending. The parade comes two days after a controversial satellite launch, which DPRK insists is for entirely peaceful purposes.

On Friday, 200,000 people rallied to mark the unveiling of huge bronze statues of the two late leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, the capital. Olive-uniformed soldiers, women in colorful hanbok gowns and men in dark-grey suits packed Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, while Pyongyang people seem to be consumed by the festive mood.

Pyongyang is set to host scores of diplomatic and media delegations, invited to a series of celebrations on an “unprecedented” scale to commemorate the reclusive state’s late leaders and rally.

Source

Media on North Korea

This article gathers and sources statements on the recent developments in the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea. As always, a re-posting of these analyses does not imply an absolute endorsement of them.

— Espresso Stalinist

“The US and the west have been virtually proved wrong on all major issue of North Korea and the Kims. […] It has been terming the regime as Communist and Marxist-Leninist, though Marxism-Leninism has been replaced by Juche ideology and all reference to Communism and Marxism-Leninism have been removed from the constitution as well as the national governance. Yet by claiming the regime to be communist – gives the imperialist powers a sinful pleasure and credibility to put all what is happening in DPRK to the vice called Marxism.”

http://otheraspect.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/kim-jong-il-dies-son-rises/

“It is true that food shortages have plagued the country. But the vilifying Kim obituaries don’t mention why North Koreans are hungry. The answer is sanctions. US foreign policy, like that of the Allied powers in WWI toward Germany, has been to starve its adversary into submission. This isn’t acknowledged, for obvious reasons. First, it would reveal the inhumane lengths to which US foreign policy is prepared to reach to secure its goals. And second, North Korean hunger must be used to discredit public ownership and a central planning as a workable economic model. North Koreans are hungry, the anti-Communist myth goes, because socialism doesn’t work. The truth of the matter is that North Koreans are hungry because Washington has made them so. Not surprisingly, calls by humanitarian groups for the United States to deliver food aid are being brushed aside with a litany of bizarre excuses, the latest being that food aid can’t be delivered because Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-eun, has succeeded him. Huh? The real reason food aid won’t be delivered is because it would contradict US foreign policy. The United States once considered the death of half a million Iraqi children “worth it”. Its leaders would consider the sanctions-produced demise through starvation of as many North Koreans worth it, as well.”

 — Kim Jong-il’s Death is a Danger for North Korea, not its Neighbors

“THE tyrant has perished, leaving a failing, nuclear-armed nation in the uncertain young hands of his “Great Successor”. His father, since 1994 the “Dear Leader” of one of the world’s most secretive and repressive states (iconic, to the right in the photo above), died on a train at 8.30am on Saturday morning, of a heart attack. North Korea’s 69-year-old supremo had been in poor health: he had heart disease and diabetes, and suffered a stroke in 2008. Nonetheless his demise places sudden and extraordinary pressure on his third son, his designated but untested successor, Kim Jong Un”

 — The Economist, in an article titled Dear Leader, Departed

“Called the ‘Dear Leader’ by his people, Kim Jong-il presided with an iron hand over a country he kept on the edge of starvation and collapse, fostering perhaps the last personality cult in the Communist world even as he banished citizens deemed disloyal to gulags or sent assassins after defectors.

He came to power after the death in 1994 of his father, Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder. His inheritance was an impoverished country with an uncertain place in a post-cold-war era. He played his one card, his nuclear weapons program, brilliantly, first defying efforts by the administration of George W. Bush to push his country over the brink, then exploiting America’s distraction with the war in Iraq to harvest enough nuclear fuel from his main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon to produce the fuel for six to eight weapons.”

 — The New York Times piece titled, A Ruler Who Turned North Korea Into a Nuclear State by David E. Sanger

“He was one of the most reclusive and widely condemned national leaders of the late 20th and early 21st century, and left his country diplomatically isolated, economically broken and divided from South Korea.

Unsurprisingly for a man who went into mourning for three years after the death in 1994 of his own father, the legendary leader Kim Il-sung, and who in the first 30 years of his political career made no public statements, even to his own people, Kim’s career is riddled with claims, counter-claims, speculation and contradiction.”

 — The Guardian

“Comrade Kim Jong Il was the most faithful, the most indefatigable and the most brilliant student of Korea’s greatest son, Comrade Kim Il Sung. It was he who took the President’s teachings of the Juche idea and the Songun idea and systematised them into a scientific programme for the revolutionary advance of the Korean people towards a great, prosperous and powerful nation.

…Comrade Kim Jong Il was modest and humble. He saw himself as a soldier and disciple of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung and as a servant of the people. He devoted himself day and night, did his best, devoted his all, to the very last moment of his life, to his revolutionary work: to the defence and security of the country, to improving the people’s livelihood, and to the lofty goals and ideals of socialism and communism.”

 — Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist) led by Harpal Barar

“There is little doubt that without Comrade Kim Jong Il leading the continued building of the DPRK as an impregnable fortress, capable of devastating retaliation on any who violate the peace, the DPRK would long since have fallen prey to the criminal aggression and wanton destruction of Anglo-American imperialism, a repeat of the Korean War of such bitter memory, wreaked upon other countries in recent times. This stand has inspired and will continue to inspire the struggling peoples of the world.

We are convinced that the Korean party and its leadership and the entire Korean people will turn their great grief into strength and march forward on the road of building a prosperous socialist country, sovereign and independent, and bring into being their cherished goal of reuniting the Korean nation by its own efforts, without outside interference. We, as they, will draw inspiration in our struggles from the heroic life and work of beloved Comrade Kim Jong Il.”

 — Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist) that follows the path of Hardial Bains

 

“Following Kim Il Sung’s footsteps Kim Jong Il led the Workers Party of Korea into the 21st century to build a strong and prosperous democratic republic. Kim Jong Il was a leading Marxist thinker who made an important contribution to the modern communist theory as well as an astute statesman who led the Korean people through thick and thin to overcome natural disasters, imperialist blockade and diplomatic isolation.

While ensuring the DPRK’s defence against the threats and provocations of US imperialism and its lackeys Kim Jong Il worked tirelessly to ease tension on the Korean peninsula to pave the way towards the peaceful reunification of Korea.”

 — New Communist Party of Britain

“Comrade Kim Jong Il led the country and the party during some of the most difficult times in the world’s history, combating the inhuman embargo imposed by the US and the resultant economic hardships. Till his end, he stood steadfast defending the principles of Marxism-Leninism and socialism. Carrying forward the legacy of the late Kim Il Sung and his theory of Juche, Kim Jong Il propounded the theory of the Shogun to suit the conditions of the country.”

 — Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Liberal Holocaust: Imperialism and the Democratic Party

This is a good article from a website that is now down. I disagree with several parts, particularly the labeling of North Korea as a “Stalinist dictatorship,” referring to the Soviet Union as an “empire,” saying that Titoite Yugoslavia was a “Leninist revolution” and denying the genocidal actions of the Milošević government. Regardless, this article makes a very important point about the Democratic Party, and exposes their true imperialist warmongering nature.

 — Espresso Stalinist 

Many people involved in US anti-war movement(s) have this naive belief that Democrats are not imperialists, that US imperialist policies, such as those pursued by the Bush administration, are just a recent deviation or limited to Republican administrations. In fact, the Democratic Party has a long and bloody history of imperialism. Democrats are imperialists and mass murderers. Nor is this limited to the more conservative democrats; left-liberals have done the same. Liberal governments have slaughtered millions.

Starting shortly before the end of World War Two, Democrats began recruiting many Nazi war criminals and using them to help expand the American Empire. Hitler’s intelligence chief in East Europe Reinhard Gehlen was used by the US, after the war, to build an intelligence network against the Soviets in East Europe. They also dropped supplies to remnants of Hitler’s armies operating in Eastern Europe, to harass the Soviet bloc. Other Nazi war criminals employed by the US included Klaus Barbie, Otto von Bolschwing and Otto Skorzeny. Some of these Nazis later made their way to Latin America, where they advised and assisted US-backed dictatorships in the area.

Harry Truman kicked up anti-communist hysteria, which lead to McCarthyism (which occurred during his administration) and helped start the Cold War. He supported numerous dictatorships, including Saudi Arabia. US involvement in Vietnam started under Truman with the US providing support for the French invaders and the CIA carrying out covert actions. In 1950 his administration issued the ultra-hawkish NSC 68. The subversion of Italian democracy was done by his administration – fearing electoral victory in 1948 by the Italian Communist party, the CIA funded various leftover Mussolinite Brownshirt thugs and other former Nazi collaborators, successfully manipulating the results to ensure pro-US candidates won. A secret paramilitary army was formed to overthrow the government just in case the Communists managed to win anyway.

In the years after World War Two a rebellion against the British puppet government in Greece broke out. This client state was largely staffed by former Nazi collaborators who the British had put back in power. The UK was unable to defeat the left-wing insurgency (which had previously fought an insurgency against the Nazi occupation during World War Two) and asked the US for help. In 1947 Truman invaded Greece and proceeded to crush the revolutionaries, keeping the former Nazi collaborators in power. Truman attempted to justify this by portraying the guerillas as mere pawns of Moscow and therefore a form of covert aggression, but he had no real proof of this. The claim is also based on a double standard: when the USSR (allegedly) covertly supports revolutionaries in another country it constitutes “aggression” and is wrong, but when the US (or UK) send actual military forces to another country in order to prop up unpopular dictatorships this is somehow perfectly just.

At the end of World War Two Japan withdrew its forces from Korea, resulting in a brief period of self-rule. A provisional government was set up in Seoul, but it had little power. Across Korea, workers took over their factories and peasants took over their land. Self-managed collectives were organized. This did not last long, as the US and USSR quickly partitioned the country into a North and a South, under the occupation of each power. In the south Truman installed a brutal military dictatorship, run mainly by former Japanese collaborators, complete with death squads, torture chambers and suppression of all opposition. The United States and its client state suppressed an insurgency, leveled whole villages and massacred thousands of innocent Koreans. The Soviets followed a similar policy in the north, where a Stalinist dictatorship was imposed. Forces from each empire repeatedly clashed until war broke out in 1950. Truman & his propagandists tried to portray the war as an attempt to defend South Korea from Soviet/Northern aggression, but the very existence of South & North Korea was the result of aggression by the US & USSR. The Korean War was an inter-imperialist war between rival empires fighting for territory, rather like a turf war between rival mafia dons, in which lots of ordinary people (who had no real stake in the war) were sent to die for their elite.

These policies of mass murder continued in both the subsequent Eisenhower administration and the next democratic administration, Kennedy. Like every other president since World War Two (and many prior to that) he supported numerous puppet dictatorships that slaughtered thousands – Mobutu, the Shah, etc. Kennedy backed a coup against the democratically elected government in the Dominican Republic because it was too independent. And lets not forget the Bay of Pigs and the many terrorist campaigns against Cuba.

Kennedy also escalated US involvement in Vietnam. During Eisenhower’s term the Vietnamese defeated US-backed French invaders and the war with France was brought to an end. The country was partitioned in two, with the Vietnamese nationalists/Communists taking over the north and the French puppet government temporarily ruling the south. Elections were to be held to reunite the two, but the US intervened to prevent this (because the Communists would have won free elections) and put in power a right-wing dictatorship headed by Ngo Dinh Diem which relied on a reign of terror in order to stay in power. In the late ’50s popular rebellions erupted against this dictatorship. By the time Kennedy came to power the survival of Diem’s dictatorship was increasingly precarious and so Kennedy escalated the situation from state terror to outright aggression. The US military, mainly the air force, was sent to crush the resistance. This failed to defeat the resistance, so Johnson fabricated a bogus attack on US destroyers by North Vietnamese forces and used this as an excuse to escalate the war, launching a full-fledged ground invasion of the south and began bombing the north. US forces set up concentration camps (called “strategic hamlets”) and committed numerous atrocities during the war. Even John Kerry testified:

“Several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command. … They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. … We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. … We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals. … We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater.”

Kerry has since claimed that Vietnam was an exception to the norm, but the evidence presented in this article shows otherwise. This testimony is corroborated by numerous other primary sources, including many Vietnam veterans. Colin Powell admitted these atrocities occurred and defended them, writing in his memoirs (My American Journey):

“If a helo [helicopter] spotted a peasant in black pajamas who looked remotely suspicious, a possible MAM [military-aged male], the pilot would circle and fire in front of him. If he moved, his movement was judged evidence of hostile intent, and the next burst was not in front, but at him. Brutal? Maybe so. But an able battalion commander with whom I had served at Gelnhausen, Lt. Col. Walter Pritchard, was killed by enemy sniper fire while observing MAMs from a helicopter. And Pritchard was only one of many. The kill-or-be-killed nature of combat tends to dull fine perceptions of right and wrong.”

In addition, Powell defends the torching of civilians’ huts in his memoirs. There are also many Vietnam veterans who strongly deny that the United States committed any kind of atrocities or wrongdoing in Vietnam at all, but they are not the first murderers to strongly deny murdering anyone. These are the kinds of atrocities the Democrat’s foreign policy leads to.

Democrats (and Republicans) tried to portray the war as a result of Chinese (or even Soviet) aggression that had to be stopped or else it would cause a “domino effect” leading to “Communist” conquest of the globe. This is shear fantasy.

Vietnam became independent in 1945 and for a brief period of time the whole country was united under the rule of Ho Chi Min and his fellow nationalists and Marxists. Then France invaded, with US support, leading to the creation of “South Vietnam,” which was a foreign puppet from day one. Attacks on it by Vietnamese were no more “aggression” than attacks on the Vichy government by the French resistance. Communists in China didn’t come to power until 1948, whereas Vietnam declared independence in 1945, so portraying the war as “Chinese aggression” is particularly absurd. Eventually, China did provide weapons, money and advisors to Vietnam (as did the USSR), but merely giving supplies to people fighting for independence hardly constitutes “aggression.” If China giving some weapons and supplies to a Vietnamese movement with substantial popular support constitutes “aggression” then what are we to make of the US, which went well beyond sending weapons and sent over 100,000 troops to keep in power a deeply unpopular puppet government? By this kind of logic, the American war for independence constituted French aggression because France gave the rebels support, just as China & Russia gave the Vietnamese support, except France went even further and sent warships to fight the British and help the US win the war. The Vietnam War was a brutal colonial war, started mainly by democrats, against a people struggling for national liberation.

Even if we ignore Vietnam, Johnson was still a murderous warmonger. In 1965 Johnson launched a secret war on Laos, which would eventually drop more bombs on it then were dropped during World War Two, in order to defeat the leftist Pathet Lao. When a popular rebellion erupted against the US-backed dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, LBJ invaded and defeated it, keeping a US puppet government in power. In Brazil LBJ supported and encouraged a fascist coup against the mildly reformist Goulart administration. Johnson also backed a right-wing coup in Indonesia. The previous ruler, Sukarno, committed the crime of trying to stay neutral in the cold war and desiring to build a strong Indonesia independent of foreign powers. So he was removed and general Suharto seized power. The US helped Suharto liquidate dissent and gave him lists of “subversives” to kill. Between 500,000 and a million people were massacred by Suharto in the period following the coup, with the covert help of the Johnson administration. When the Greek ambassador objected to the President’s plan for a resolving a dispute over Cyprus LBJ told him:

“Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked by the elephant’s trunk, whacked good. … We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about Democracy, Parliament and Constitutions, he, his Parliament and his Constitution may not last very long.”

In 1965 the Greek king, aided by the CIA, removed Prime Minister George Papandreou (who’s foreign policy was too independent for Washington) from power. In 1967 the Greek government was forced to finally hold elections again, but when it looked like George Papandreou was going to win again a military coup prevented him from coming to power. George Papadopoulos, leader of the coup and head of the new military dictatorship, had been on the CIA payroll for 15 years and was a Nazi collaborator during World War Two.

Carter, the so-called “human rights” president, was also an imperialist warmonger. He continued US support for brutal tyrants in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. Carter supported Pol Pot’s forces after they were thrown out of power due to a war with Vietnam. Under Ford Indonesia invaded East Timor and proceeded to slaughter 200,000 people. Although this invasion occurred under Ford, the worst atrocities happened under Carter’s reign. As atrocities increased, he increased the flow of weapons to the Indonesian government, insuring they wouldn’t run out and could continue massacring Timorese. Carter also backed the massacre in Kwangju by the South Korean military dictatorship. Many of the things which liberals like to blame Reagan for were actually started under Carter. Deregulation began under Carter, as did US support for the Contras in Nicaragua. Six months before the Soviets invaded he also initiated US support for the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists/”freedom fighters” in Afghanistan which would later include Bin Laden.

Bill Clinton was a mass murderer and war criminal, too. He backed numerous dictatorships, continued the proxy war against Marxist guerillas in Columbia and bombed more countries than any other peacetime president, including Iraq, Yugoslavia, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Clinton laid siege to Iraq with sanctions, “no fly zones” and bombings, killing 1.5 to 3 million people. UN-approved sanctions on Iraq were originally imposed at the start of the Gulf War in response to the invasion of Kuwait, but continued after the end of the war at US (and UK) insistence. The United States used sanctions as a weapon against Iraq. One military intelligence document titled Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities noted:

“Iraq depends on importing-specialized equipment-and some chemicals to purify its water supply … With no domestic sources of both water treatment replacement parts and some essential chemicals, Iraq will continue attempts to circumvent United Nations sanctions to import these vital commodities. … Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease and to certain pure-water-dependent industries becoming incapacitated, including petrochemicals, fertilizers, petroleum refining, electronics, pharmaceuticals, food processing, textiles, concrete construction, and thermal power plants. Iraq’s overall water treatment capability will suffer a slow decline, rather than a precipitous halt … Unless water treatment supplies are exempted from the UN sanctions for humanitarian reasons, no adequate solution exists for Iraq’s water purification dilemma, since no suitable alternatives … sufficiently meet Iraqi needs. … Unless the water is purified with chlorine epidemics of such diseases as Cholera, Hepatitis, and Typhoid could occur … Iraq could try convincing the United Nations or individual countries to exempt water treatment supplies from sanctions for humanitarian reasons. It probably also is attempting to purchase supplies by using some sympathetic countries as fronts. If such attempts fail, Iraqi alternatives are not adequate for their national requirements. … Some affluent Iraqis could obtain their own minimally adequate supply of good quality water from northern Iraqi sources. If boiled, the water could be safely consumed. Poorer Iraqis and industries requiring large quantities of pure water would not be able to meet their needs. … Alternatives are not adequate for their national requirements.”

This and other documents show that the United States intentionally used sanctions to destroy Iraq’s water supply with full knowledge of the consequences. In addition to water problems, the sanctions also interfered with the importation of basic necessities like food and medicine. The UN itself, the organization that implemented the sanctions (due to US/UK insistence), reported that they resulted in mass death. UNICEF found that on average 5,000 children died every month as a result of sanctions. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported in 1995 that 567,000 children in Iraq had died as a result of the sanctions. Those sanctions continued until the invasion in 2003, killing even more. This began under the first Bush administration, but most of it occurred under Clinton’s administration.

In 1996, faced with mounting humanitarian concerns that threatened to end the sanctions, an “oil for food” program was implemented. Officially, this was supposed to allow Iraq to import a limited amount of food and supplies in exchange for limited amounts of oil but in practice it did little to alleviate the suffering of Iraqis caused by the sanctions. Everything imported by Iraq had to be approved by a UN sanctions committee that, due to US/UK influence, frequently stopped or delayed importation of needed supplies. All money Iraq made from the sale of oil was kept by the UN in an escrow account with the bank of Paris and was not at the discretion of the Iraqi government. Some of this was used to pay for administrative costs related to the sanctions and about a third were used to pay reparations to Kuwait, the remainder was inadequate for Iraq’s needs. In 1998 Dennis Halliday, the first head of the UN’s “oil for food” program resigned because the sanctions continued to result in a humanitarian catastrophe. In 2000 Hans Von Sponeck, the new head of the “oil for food” program, resigned for the same reason. On the May 12, 1996 edition of “60 minutes” journalist Lesly Stahl asked Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s secretary of state,

“We have heard that a half million children have died [from sanctions on Iraq]. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright’s response was, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

Clinton attacked and dismembered Yugoslavia, using a “divide and conquer” strategy to install US/NATO puppet governments ruling over its corpse. During and after World War Two Yugoslavia underwent its own Leninist revolution, independent of Soviet tanks, and eventually evolved a market socialist economy based on a limited form of worker self-management. Most of the economy was run by enterprises that were officially worker owned, with elected managers, and sold their products on the market. Yugoslavia was a federation of different nationalities in southeastern Europe, with six different republics united under a federal government.

As the Soviet empire declined and fell western financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank began pressuring Yugoslavia to implement neoliberal capitalist reforms such as privatization, austerity measures and so on.

Yugoslavia implemented these on a limited basis. These programs lead to a declining economy that opened the door for opportunistic politicians to whip up nationalism for their own benefit, scapegoating other nationalities for economic problems. They also stressed relations between the federal government and the republics because money that would have gone to the republics instead went to servicing Yugoslavia’s debt. The United States and Western Europe took advantage of this to encourage the breakup of Yugoslavia into NATO protectorates.

In 1990 separatists won elections in Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia. The new Croatian government began to persecute the Serb minority living in Croatia, even bringing back the flag and other symbols from when it had been a World War Two Axis puppet government (run by a fascist organization called the Ustase) that attempted to exterminate the Serbs (who were regarded as “subhuman”). Croatian President Franjo Trudjman refused to condemn the Ustase and claimed, “the establishment of Hitler’s new European order can be justified by the need to be rid of the Jews.” Croatia and Slovenia declared independence in 1991. West Europe and then the US recognized Slovenia and Croatia as independent states despite warnings from the UN that this would encourage Bosnia to declare independence and bring about a civil war, which it did.

The Yugoslav federal government fought a small ten-day war with Slovenia, after which Slovenia was allowed to leave Yugoslavia. Croatia and Bosnia fought bloody civil wars with the Yugoslav government. In Bosnia the main forces fighting against the federal government were Croat fascists, supported by Croatia, and Islamic fundamentalists, led by Alija Izetbegovic, who aimed to turn Bosnia into a theocracy similar to Iran or the Taliban. Most of Bosnia’s Serb minority sided with the Yugoslav federal government. The US covertly backed the Islamists and fascists by secretly supplying them with weapons and even flying in Muslim ‘holy warriors’ from Afghanistan so they could join the Jihad. Initially the Islamists and fascists in Bosnia worked together against the Serbs and Yugoslav government. Later they started fighting each other, but US & West European pressure eventually put a stop to that. When the Yugoslav government started winning the war NATO sent in the air force to bomb them and support the separatists. Many atrocities were committed on both sides of the war, but Western governments and media emphasized and exaggerated Yugoslav and Serb atrocities while downplaying or ignoring atrocities committed by the separatists.

In 1995 the war came to an end, in a defeat for Yugoslavia. Under a UN fig leaf, NATO “peacekeeper” troops occupied much of the former Yugoslavia while Bosnia was made into a de-facto NATO colony, occupied by NATO troops and with a “high representative” responsible to foreign powers in charge of the country. Yugoslavia was dramatically shrunk, with only two out of six Republics, Serbia and Montenegro, remaining in the union (Macedonia had been allowed to peacefully leave the union in the early ’90s but at this time was still largely outside the Western sphere of influence).

The next phase of Clinton’s conquest of Yugoslavia began in the late ’90s when the CIA began covertly supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a terrorist organization that has been linked to Osama Bin Laden. The KLA launched a guerilla war in the Kosovo province of Serbia, advocating independence for Kosovo. In 1999, under the guise of “peace negotiations,” the US/NATO issued an ultimatum demanding Yugoslavia allow NATO troops to occupy the entire country. Yugoslavia obviously refused this unreasonable demand and Clinton used this refusal as an excuse to begin a major bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. After several months of bombing pulverized the country a peace deal was reached allowing NATO “peacekeeper” troops to occupy Kosovo (but not the rest of Yugoslavia), effectively turning the province into a NATO protectorate. A year later a revolt led by US-funded groups and politicians overthrew the Yugoslav government, putting pro-US/NATO leaders in charge. The new government abolished Yugoslavia and became a Western puppet. This conquest was completed shortly after Clinton left office, when KLA forces attacked Macedonia. Macedonia saw the writing on the wall and allowed NATO troops to occupy it. Clinton succeeded in not only ripping Yugoslavia apart, but in achieving US/NATO domination over the Balkans and in forcing an economic system favorable to Western investors on the region. A wave of privatization has swept over the former Yugoslavia, transforming it into a corporate capitalist economy colonized by Western capital.

The standard excuse Clinton used to justify the military interventions in Yugoslavia was that it was supposed to stop “ethnic cleansing”/”genocide” allegedly being perpetrated by the Serbs/Yugoslav government. This is obviously bogus because the US helped instigate the conflicts that lead to the various massacres in the war and also because Clinton largely turned a blind eye towards atrocities committed by separatist forces (like the massacres in Gospic and Krajina). It is also not credible because Clinton ignored other genocides (such as Rwanda) and even funded Turkey’s genocide against the Kurds, which occurred at roughly the same time and resulted in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds.

The death toll of the democrats is quite large:

Greek Civil War: 160,000 (Truman)
Korean War: 3 million (Truman)
Assault on Indochina: 5 million (started under Truman, accelerated under Kennedy & LBJ)
Coup in Indonesia: 1 million (LBJ)
East Timor: 100,000 (Carter)
Kwangju Massacre: 2000 (Carter)
Argentine Dirty War: 30,000 (mostly Carter)
Iraq sanctions: 1.5 million (mostly Clinton)
Turkish Kurdistan: 40,000 (mostly Clinton)

That’s at least 10,8022,000 killed by democrats, 9,292,000 if one only counts the liberal governments (Clinton wasn’t really a liberal). For comparison, the Nazi holocaust killed roughly 6,000,000 Jews. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; these are only the most famous incidents over the last couple of decades. If you add up the total from periods preceding this and the less famous incidents the number get much, much higher. If you add in starvation (a direct result of capitalism) it gets even higher.

Democrats could have stopped the congressional authorization for the Iraq war (via filibustering) but instead lots of them defected to the warmongers’ side. They could have stopped many of the nasty things the Republicans are doing by filibuster but choose not to. Many democrats actively supported the war. Most of those who did oppose it offered little opposition, chickening out when the shooting started and either abstained or voted in favor of the pro-war “support our troops” resolution in March. Even Dennis Kucinich, leader of the “anti-war” opposition in the house, abstained from the vote instead of voting against it. It was only after Bush’s war started going sour that vocal criticism began to come from democrats, which is completely opportunistic. Bush’s lies and fabrications about the Niger Uranium had already been exposed prior to the war, but it wasn’t until after the invasion was completed and the democrats needed an issue to attack Bush with that they started whining about it.

The Democratic Party, the party of slavery, has a long history of mass murder and empire building. They are not an alternative to the American Empire. Especially on foreign policy, there is remarkable consistency between republican and democratic administrations. If the Nuremberg standards were applied every President since World War Two, both democrat and republican, would have to be hung. Both parties have the same basic goals; they just disagree on minor details. It would have been much harder for Bush to conquer Iraq (perhaps politically impossible) if Clinton hadn’t been waging war against it for his entire term. The policies implemented by the US government have more to do with the specific circumstances of the time period then with which particular individual happens to occupy the white house. If a democrat is elected he will inherit this Pax Americana and it is unlikely that he would dismantle it (or even be capable of dismantling it). A vote for the democrats is a vote for imperialism and war (as is a vote for the Republicans).

Video in Spanish: El enigma de Corea del Norte (The Enigma of North Korea)

Democratic Korea in solidarity with Occupy movement

Biggest Protest against Capitalism in 300 Odd Yrs

Pyongyang, October 18 (KCNA) — The working masses’ struggle against capitalism was staged all at once across the world on Oct. 15 and 16. This was the biggest organized one ever in history of capitalism spanning more than 300 years.

Taking part in it were millions of people from all walks of life in more than 1 500 cities in 80 odd countries.

This struggle was erupted at Wall Street in Manhattan of New York in the United States, the heart of the capitalist economy and a synonym for monopolistic capital on Sept. 17. Under the slogan of “Occupy Wall Street!” dozens of protestors set up tents outside a stock exchange in New York to go into an action of protest. This turned in a twinkle to a chain movement across the U.S. including Washington, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Occupy Wall St movement was an eruption of the exploited classes’ pent-up wrath at the exploiters. It was also an expression of the will to remove the stronghold of capitalism as a whole which brings only exploitation, oppression, unemployment and poverty to the popular masses. In San Diego, California, a man in his forties jumped down from a high-rise building to death to protest against the corrupt society where the rich get ever richer and the poor get ever poorer.

Young Americans formed a mainstream of the ranks of demonstrators at first. But they were joined by people from all walks of life who varied in their ages including day laborers, poor and unemployed Americans as well as employees of companies and housewives.

Their actions included marches, sit-in strikes, occupation of bridges and various other forms of protests and non-stop protests at night.

The protesters are now expanding their ranks after setting forth such slogans clearer in nature as “equality, democracy and revolution”.

Ruling quarters in the U.S. are crying in distress that the “class struggle has been launched.” The authorities have arrested and cracked down upon the demonstrators with mobilization of huge armed police to soothe over the class contradiction but failed to check the spread of the struggle.

The U.S. chief executive formally recognized that this is a manifestation of feeling of frustration toward the U.S. society.

The American protestors set October 15 as “day of international movement”, calling on the working people the world over to respond to it.

In response to this call anti-capitalist demos took place all at once in Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, etc. on October 15 and 16.

The protestors contended that the blame for the capitalist economic crisis is on the greedy financial capital and corrupt politicians. They demanded final end to poverty and economic inequality, chanting such slogans as “Reject capitalism!” and “Give us jobs!”

In south Korea more than 400 civic and public organizations and workers’ organizations launched protest, chanting “Occupy Seoul!”

These unprecedented actions of the working masses in capitalist countries are attributable to the extremely acute socio-class contradictions created after the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2007.

Various relief measures taken by the Western countries after the financial crisis eruption were, in essence, for saving the huge monopolistic capitals on the maw of bankruptcy. Those steps deepened concentration of capital only on big monopolistic enterprises while bringing the popular masses’ life to worse phase.

Suffering biggest are working masses laid off due to the wholesale dismissal measure taken by the business side to make up for the loss.

401 000 people were registered as unemployed in the U.S. for first one week in October. The number of the unemployed reached 22 785 000 in EU countries in August.

The unemployment is bound to lead to the increase of the poor.

The number of people under poverty stood at 46.2 million last year, an increase of 2.6 million from the year before. The income of the U.S. families showed nearly 10 % decrease for the past four years. Economists estimate that the living conditions of Americans are the worst in scores of years and the economic slowdown has not stopped yet.

About 80 million people are living under the poverty line in EU countries.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner, voicing his support for the protest sweeping the capitalist world, clarified that the society is covering the losses caused by the avarice of financial capitalists while a few bankers are raking in the profits.

Source

“New Albania: A Small Nation, A Great Contribution!” Part IV: International Relations and the Foreign Policy of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania

Albania is the only socialist country in the world today, and as such its foreign policy is different from the foreign policy of any other country. It follows an open, independent policy, guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. This means that Albania constantly guards and maintains its independence and defends the interests of the socialist homeland. This also means that Albania supports the revolutionary struggles of the working class and people throughout the world, for national liberation and socialism working always to assist these struggles and to increase the fighting unity of the people against their common enemies.

In taking this stand, Albania opposes the threats and interference of the two imperialist blocs, headed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In contrast to the two superpowers, who dictate and dominate over the world’s people and whose rivalry for power is threatening all humanity with a new world war, Albania maintains a policy of peaceful coexistence with countries of different social systems. It develops foreign trade, cultural and scientific exchanges based on equality and mutual interest, and respect for freedom and national independence. It has always worked to strengthen sincere relations of friendship and collaboration with all the freedom-loving and peace-loving peoples, with all those who fight against the aggressive and hegemonic policy of imperialism.

Self-Reliance Paves the Way For Foreign Trade

On the basis of forty years of socialist construction, Albania has been able to build a strong and diversified economy. As a result it has increased its foreign trade, adding new products to its exports and achieving a balance of imports and exports. At present Albania has trade relations with over 50 countries and hundreds of firms. Its exports include fuels, electric power, chromium, ferrochrome, basic nickel carbonate, tobacco, fresh and canned vegetables, agricultural and artisans’ goods and other products. Machinery and some kinds of raw and primary materials for the expansion of production make up the overwhelming portion of imports. During this Five-Year Plan (the seventh), Albania is working to keep the growth of exports higher than imports. It gives priority to exports so as to ensure that the export-import balance results in the increase of their reserves for foreign currency.

In addition to foreign trade, Albania has cultural and scientific exchanges with many countries. It has always highly valued the friendship of peoples throughout the world, and their contributions to culture, science and the progress of humanity. lt has worked to extend its friendly relations on every continent. The reports of trips to and from Albania in the magazine, “New Albania”, give a vivid picture of the growing ties and friendship of Albania with the people of the world. Diplomatic relations have grown from year to year and in 1981 numbered 95 stetes and commercial and cultural relations exist with many more. These include countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as in Europe.

How Does Albania Conduct Trade Relations While Remaining Free From The Domination and Dictate of the Superpowers?

One of the problems which confront the developing countries of the world is interference and control over their economies by one or the other superpower. The newspapers have been filled with the serious difficulties faced by the Latin American countries as they suffer under tremendous debt to the U.S. and particularly the U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund. Using these debts as a club, the U.S. is demanding even greater sacrifice by the peoples of these countries and further increasing its control over these countries.

How is it that a small country like Albania is free from such domination? The answer lies in the socialist policies of Albania, beginning with the victory of the people’s revolution and continuing today. Albania has never accepted any inequality, discrimination, exploitation and political or economic submission it rejects all imperialist attempts to gain a foothold in Albania under the guise of trade.

Speaking at the Paris Peace Conference, 1946

Albania has been able to do this by implementing from the beginning the Marxist-Leninist principle of establishing state monopoly on foreign trade. This means that the state, which is controlled by the working class, concentrates in its hands all foreign trade activity. Albania’s economy is protected from indiscriminate flow of foreign goods and from the economic crisis of the capitalist countries. Thus, imports and exports are included in the economic plan. Albania trades its surplus of mineral products and energy in order to obtain products and technology it needs to sustain its industrial growth and meet the material needs of the people.

Visiting China

Since liberation, Albania has never allowed the resources of the country to be given away to foreign companies. As its Constitution states, “…In the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the granting of concessions to, and the creation of foreign economic and financial companies and other institutions or ones formed jointly with bourgeois and revisionist capitalist monopolies and states, as well as obtaining credits from them, are prohibited.” Albania is completely free of foreign debt and the entanglement and domination by the superpowers and other capitalist states which these debts create.

Thus Albania is living proof that even a small country and one which started out very backward economically can achieve socialist construction and maintain complete independence from the big imperialist powers, by relying on its own resources and uniting all its people in a valiant struggle.

Albania and the Struggle Against Revisionism

During World War II and after, Albania allied with the Soviet Union, then a socialist country. Under the leadership of Stalin, the Soviet Union provided assistance and fraternal aid to Albania. Based on a united struggle for building socialism and supporting the revolutionary struggles around the world, Albania and the Soviet Union had Lies of mutual benefit and cooperation.

But with the death of Stalin and rise of revisionism in the Soviet Union, a struggle broke out — not only between these two countries but between all the true fighters for socialism in the world and the traitors of the Soviet Union, who destroyed socialism and re-established capitalism. This was a just and vital struggle in the interests of the people, and the Albanians, led by their Marxist-Leninist Party, the Party of Labor of Albania, played a leading role in exposing the Soviet revisionists. They put forward for all to see that the path the Soviets had taken was against the interests of the people and would cause the Soviet Union to become an aggressive, imperialist power. Reality today proves the Albanians right.

E. Hoxha being welcomed at Moscow airport by Soviet Minister V. Molotov, 1947

After World War II, the Albanians also had relations with Yugoslavia and China. In both of these cases, a similar struggle unfolded. The Yugoslav government and party tried to make Albania an appendage of the Yugoslav economy and to hamper the socialist industrialization of Albania. They tried to isolate Albania and exploit the country through unequal exchanges and hostile interference. And here too, an ideological struggle developed, with the Albanians once again exposing that the policies and stands of the Yugoslavs reflected not socialist ideals, not Marxism-Leninism, but capitalism and service to the rich.

Albania and Yugoslavia were allies in the anti-fascist war before the Titoite deviation into the capitalist camp.

The situation with China developed at a later date. Again there was a fierce ideological struggle, with the Albanian people fighting to defend the interests of the working class and people, and the Chinese taking a stand in support of U.S. imperialism. The Chinese, like the Yugoslavs and Soviets, promoted revisionist lines and policies which harmed the struggles of the people and caused great confusion.

Stamp made to celebrate the warm relations between E. Hoxha's Albania and Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam

In each case, the revisionists attempted to sabotage the economy of Albania, unilaterally canceling contracts and agreements. They tried to fool the Albanians into accepting their dictate and when this didn’t work they resorted to other means of attack leaving projects unfinished, providing false reports on mineral deposits and so on. In the face of this, the great strength and determination Albania has shown to oppose all forms of revisionist and imperialist attack and to continue on the socialist road is a great inspiration to all people interested in freedom and progress.

With General Secretary of the CP-Peru (M-L) Saturino Paredes Macedo

The struggle waged by the Albanians under the leadership of the PLA, has been discussed and analysed in recent works by Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the PLA. In these books — The Khrushchevites, The Titoites, Reflections on China (on the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and China respectively), and Imperialism and the Revolution, Hoxha provides great detail and insight, while making important contributions to the understanding and analyses of imperialism and revisionism on a world scale. These books, as well as  the consistent and open policy which Albania pursues today readily show why the imperialists slander Albania. They attack Albania because it refuses to accept revisionism and the path of betrayal of the people, and because it remains independent of the dictate and domination of the imperialists. In fact, it is a great danger to the imperialists and social-imperialists and thus they do everything to silence its voice and confuse people about Albania. But day after day, Albania shows the world that it is the imperialist powers who are becoming more and more isolated, as the peoples increase their struggle against the superpowers and all their local tools of reaction.

The Foreign Policy of Albania: Based on a Marxist-Leninist Analysis of the World

In order to have a consistent internationalist stand which both safeguards the revolution in Albania and supports the struggles of the world’s peoples, the Albanians make a careful objective analysis of the international situation. They explain that imperialism is the source of all aggression and predatory wars, the source of the suffering of the world’s people. U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism are competing and maneuvering to carry out various aggressions and occupy other countries. These two superpowers, along with other imperialist and capitalist powers (European countries, Japan, China, etc.), are trying to outdo each other in gaining economic, political and military superiority and in capturing new strategic positions. This is what leads to dangerous tensions and threatens the peoples with a new world war. The superpowers make secret deals and interfere in and attack various countries and nations in order to gain markets, raw materials and other advantages.

With Gensek of CP France, W.M. Thorez, 1959

The Albanians show that imperialist war, oppression and exploitation have run into great resistance from the working class and peoples of the world. They bring out that the struggles of workers and other oppressed peoples is a cause for great optimism.

While analysing that the imperialist superpowers and their NATO and Warsaw Pact allies are powerful and ferocious, the Albanians also expose that they are in decay, suffering from all round crisis. They explain that for the world’s people to escape once and for all from the suffering they experience under capitalism, under the neo-colonialist yoke of foreign imperialists and domination by local reactionary rulers, there is only one path. This is the path of socialist revolution, to overthrow imperialism and all reactionaries. This struggle is an objective historical process that no force can stop.

Albania Supports The International Working Class and Oppressed Peoples

Albania strengthens its support for the working class world-wide while safeguarding and defending socialism at home. In every available international forum, Albania presents a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world, which recognizes that the working class in every country is the leading force of the revolution. And as their own experience confirms, the victory of the revolution depends on the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class on the ability of this party to unite the people in struggle against their enemies and to organize the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. For this reason, the PLA pays great attention to strengthening and increasing its unity with Marxist- Leninist parties worldwide, and on developing the unity and strength of the international communist movement. Its consistent struggle against revisionism has been a very valuable contribution to the growth and development of the revolutionary movement world-wide. The great accomplishments of Albania in socialist construction and its firm stand against imperialism and revisionism has made it the leading ideological and political force in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

Speaking at a rally of the people, 1967.

Consistent with assisting the unity and struggle of the working class world-wide is Albania’s support for the struggle of all people for democracy, independence and socialism. The Albanians support each step in the struggles for freedom, independence and social progress won by other peoples, such as those of the Iranians in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Shah and the Nicaraguans in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Somoza. These triumphs help them and the other peoples of the world by weakening the common enemy.

With Gensec of Romanian Worker's Party, G.Georgiu Dej, 1956.

In the international arena, the Albanians work to expose the superpowers and their allies and to put forward an internationalist stand in support of the just struggles of the people for national and social liberation. For example, the consistent exposure of the phony character of the disarmament talks by the superpowers is one effort the Albanians have made to prevent the world’s people from being fooled.

E. Hoxha meeting with Kim Il-sung

The fact that Albania vigorously opposes, ideologically and politically, the stands of other countries does not prevent them from having friendly relations. Yugoslavia, for example, has taken hostile actions toward Albania and has attempted to destroy its socialist homeland. Despite the ideological differences with the Yugoslav revisionists, and their continuing plots against Albania, the Albanians aim to carry on normal diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia . At the same time, they have repeatedly warned the Yugoslav government against continuing its brutal, chauvinist policy toward the almost two million Albanians in Kosova and other parts of Yugoslavia. These people were separated from Albania during the imperialist dismemberment of the country before World War II. The Kosovars have demanded their own republic within the Yugoslav Federation, the right to develop their own national art and culture, to become acquainted with their own history and so on. The Kosovars have refused to reconcile themselves to an inferior status among the peoples of Yugoslavia, where their political, economic and national rights have been denied. Albania has never interfered in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia, but it has defended and will continue to defend the rights of the Kosovars in Yugoslavia.

With Stalin, 1947

Albania works not only for good relations with Yugoslavia, but with all the Balkan countries (Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania) and with European states in general. It aims to create a friendly atmosphere and to relax tensions. It seeks to resolve disputes by protracted negotiations rather than by threats and violence. It has called on these countries (as well as those in the rest of the world) not to ally themselves with the superpowers, saying that there is no safety under their aggressive “nuclear umbrellas”. It has also called on its neighbors to refuse to allow superpower military bases on their soil or to permit the superpowers to use their ports for refueling or rest stops.

Albania has formal diplomatic relations with China, but since 1978 when the Chinese social-imperialists lined up against the PLA and the Albanian people, there have been no other contacts. In 1978 the Chinese violated official agreements between the two countries, revealed information harmful to Albania’s security and sabotaged projects underway.

At a meeting of working in a Leningrad factory.

As for the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, the Albanians consider them the most savage enemies of the freedom and independence of the peoples and of peace and security in the world. They do not and will not have relations with these enemies of the people and will resolutely continue their exposure of these powers’ aggressive and hegemony-seeking policy and activity. Albania also refuses to have diplomatic relations with South Africa and Israel.

The foreign policy of Albania is an open, correct and principled policy, which defends the victories of socialism and supports the progressive struggles of people in the world. Providing a clear example of what is possible when a people rely on their own efforts, and unite under the leadership of a true Marxist-Leninist party, the Albanian people and state have won the respect and sympathy of millions of people all over the world.

Conclusion

In spite of the conspiracy of silence in all the U.S. bourgeois media the achievements of socialist Albania cannot and should not be hidden from democratic and progressive Americans. This pamphlet has been produced to help break this silence and to tell the inspiring story of this small country and its forty years of brilliant achievements since liberation and the triumph of the people’s revolution.

Alternating with the capitalist media’s usual silence have been lies and falsifications about Albania. But progressive organizations world-wide and many eyewitnesses to Albania’s socialist construction insist an spreading the true facts about the new socialist life being developed.

Facts show the Albanians are blazing a historic trail. Socialist Albania, the first country in the world to abolish taxes, the only country without such capitalist evils as inflation and unemployment, is a country that anyone eager to learn how these “miracles” have been accomplished should investigate. Starting as the country which was the most backward in Europe before World War II, Albania has become completely self-sufficient in feeding its people and constantly provides a better material and cultural life for its people.

Albania has accomplished all of this despite constant attacks and pressures by the imperialist powers. In particular, the United States government has been responsible for ongoing attacks against Albania, in collaboration with Britain, Yugoslavia and other European countries. These provocations continue today.

Albania deserves the support of all democratic and progressive people. It provides a shining example of how the working class and people can completely change their lives for the better. Using the experience of centuries of struggle against foreign occupation, the Albanian people rose and developed their Communist Party, the strong leadership capable of meeting the historic challenge before them. This Party, now the Party of Labor of Albania, led the people in defending their rights and waging a war of national and social liberation. Today after forty years of triumphant socialist construction the people, firmly united around the Party, are actively participating in the running and organizing of the state and economy, defending their homeland and joining with the people of the world to fight for peace, democracy and social progress.

Socialist Albania shows the reality that can be achieved when the working class and people take history into their hands and determine their own destiny.

Kim Jong-il’s Death is a Danger for North Korea, not its Neighbors

By Stephen Gowans

There are a few facts to keep in mind to understand what’s going on in the wake of the death this week of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

#1. US foreign policy vis-a-vis North Korea has always sought to force the latter’s collapse to pave the way for its absorption into the US-dominated South [1] — and did so well before Pyongyang began to work on nuclear weapons. US hostility toward North Korea has never been about nuclear weapons. On the contrary, North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a consequence of US hostility. US hostility, now in its seventh decade, is about what it has always been about: putting an end to what Washington mistakenly calls North Korea’s Marxist-Leninist system (Marxism-Leninism has been replaced by Juche ideology—a home-grown doctrine of self-reliance), its non-market system, and its self-directed economic development [2]. None of these offer much latitude for US profit-making at North Korea’s expense, and hence are singled out for demolition.

#2. North Korea only began to seek nuclear weapons after the United States announced in 1993 that it was retargeting some of its strategic nuclear missiles from the former Soviet Union to North Korea. Since then the country has only been able to develop its nuclear capability to a kindergarten level. [3] The plutonium devices it tested in 2006 and 2009 produced only one-tenth the power of the Hiroshima blast. There is no evidence it has miniaturized a warhead to fit atop a missile. And its missile program is plagued by problems. [4]

#3. North Korea is a military pipsqueak, whose personnel are deployed in large numbers to agriculture. The military budgets and weapons’ sophistication of its adversaries, the United States, South Korea and Japan, tower over its own. If the Pentagon’s budget is represented by the 6’ 9” basketball player Magic Johnson, North Korea’s military budget is 1”, about the height of a small mouse. South Korea’s is 4.5” and Japan’s 3.9”, multiple times larger than the North’s. [5]

#4. North Korea has no more military heft to mount a provocation against the United States than a mouse has to beat Magic Johnson on the basketball court. Nor has it the capability to wage a civil war against its southern compatriots and expect to win. North Korea is not an aggressive threat. “In the Obama analysis,” writes New York Times reporter David Sanger, “the North is receding into what the president’s top strategists have repeatedly called a ‘defensive crouch,’ trying to stave off the world with a barrage of missile and nuclear tests…Constantly on the brink of starvation, its military so broke that it cannot train its pilots, it has no illusions about becoming a great power in Asia. Its main goal is survival.” [6]

#5. Because the United States is a military Gargantua compared to North Korea, and South Korea and Japan have better equipped militaries, they can safely stage provocations against the North, forcing Pyongyang into a defense-spending drain of its treasury, bringing closer the realization of the US goal of tipping the country into crisis and possibly collapse. On the other hand, North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party wants to avoid confrontations at all costs, short of surrendering to the demands that it close up shop, and re-open under South Korean management.

#6. Provocations, then, are all on the other side. There are few acts more provocative than the United States’ targeting of North Korea with strategic nuclear missiles, nor former US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s warning that the Pentagon could turn North Korea into a charcoal briquette [7]. Six decades of Washington-led economic warfare against the country is equally provocative, and a principal cause of North Korea’s impoverishment. Tens of thousands of US troops are deployed along the North’s southern borders, US warships and nuclear missile-equipped submarines prowl the periphery of its territorial waters, and US warplanes menace its airspace. Pyongyang is only the immediate architect of North Korea’s Songun (military-first) policy. Washington is the ultimate architect. Finally, US and South Korean militaries conduct regular war games exercises, one of which, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, is an exercise in invading North Korea. Who’s provoking who?

#7. Kim Jong Il, the recently deceased North Korean leader–literally depicted in South Korean children’s books as a red devil with horns and fangs [8]–has been equally demonized in the Western mass media for starving his people. It is true that food shortages have plagued the country. But the vilifying Kim obituaries don’t mention why North Koreans are hungry. The answer is sanctions. [9] US foreign policy, like that of the Allied powers in WWI toward Germany, has been to starve its adversary into submission. This isn’t acknowledged, for obvious reasons. First, it would reveal the inhumane lengths to which US foreign policy is prepared to reach to secure its goals. And second, North Korean hunger must be used to discredit public ownership and a central planning as a workable economic model. North Koreans are hungry, the anti-Communist myth goes, because socialism doesn’t work. The truth of the matter is that North Koreans are hungry because Washington has made them so. Not surprisingly, calls by humanitarian groups for the United States to deliver food aid are being brushed aside with a litany of bizarre excuses, the latest being that food aid can’t be delivered because Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-eun, has succeeded him. [10] Huh? The real reason food aid won’t be delivered is because it would contradict US foreign policy. The United States once considered the death of half a million Iraqi children “worth it”. [11] Its leaders would consider the sanctions-produced demise through starvation of as many North Koreans worth it, as well.

#8. The death of Kim Jong-il is a potential boon for US foreign policy. There is a possibility of disorganization within the leadership, and internal conflicts leading to a fraying unity of purpose. Rather than focusing on external threats, the leadership may be divided, and pre-occupied with succession. If so, this is, from the perspective of the United States and South Korea, a pivotal moment—a time when the country may be tipped into collapse. And so, at this moment, who would you expect to unleash a provocation: Pyongyang? Or Washington and Seoul? At the best of times, Pyongyang wants to avoid a fight. At this critical juncture, it absolutely needs to. But the calculus works the other way round for the predators. Now is when North Korea is most vulnerable to predation.

#9. Predators never let on that they’re the hunters. Always they portray themselves as seeking to safeguard their security against the multiple threats of a dangerous world. Through guile and cunning, the mouse might just outmanoeuvre Magic Johnson and sink a basket or two. So it is that the United States, South Korea and Japan are said to be on high alert, in case the North Koreans stage another “provocation,” like the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan (for which the evidence of North Korean involvement is laughably thin at best [12]) or another Yeonpyeong Island artillery barrage (which the South set off by firing its own artillery into disputed waters, that, under international customary law, belong to the North. [13])

But as we’ve seen, it makes no sense to expect the scenario of a North Korean-furnished provocation to unfold. The more likely explanation for why US, South Korean and Japanese militaries are on high alert is because now is an ideal time for pressure on Pyongyang to be intensified, and because the triumvirate might be preparing to intervene militarily if conditions become propitious.

Sources

1. New York Times reporter David Sanger (“What ‘engagement’ with Iran and North Korea means,” The New York Times, June 17, 2009) notes that “American presidents have been certain they could … speed (North Korea’s) collapse, since the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953.” At the same time, Korea expert Selig S. Harrison has written that “South Korea is once again seeking the collapse of the North and its absorption by the South.” (“What Seoul should do despite the Cheonan”, The Hankyoreh, May 14, 2010.)

2. According to Dianne E. Rennack, (“North Korea: Economic sanctions”, Congressional Research Service, October 17, 2006) many US sanctions have been imposed on North Korea for reasons listed as either “communism”, “non-market economy” or “communism and market disruption.”

3. In an article on Newt Gingrich’s fantasies about North Korea or Iran setting off a nuclear device far above US territory in order to unleash an electromagnetic pulse attack, New York Times’ reporter William J. Broad cites a US military expert who characterizes “the nations in question (as being) at the kindergarten stage of developing nuclear arms.” (“Among Gingrich’s passions, a doomsday vision”, The New York Times, December 11, 2011.)

4. Keith Johnson, “Pyongyang neighbors worry over nuclear arms”, The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2011

5. The annual military budgets in billions are: United States, $700; North Korea, $10; South Korea, $39; Japan, $34. With the exception of the Pentagon’s budget, annual military expenditures were estimated by multiplying a country’s GDP by its military spending as a percentage of GDP, as estimated by the CIA and reported in its World Factbook. The source for the Pentagon’s military budget is Thom Shanker and Elisabeth Bumiller, “Weighing Pentagon cuts, Panetta faces deep pressures”, The New York Times, November 6, 2011.

6. David Sanger, “What ‘engagement’ with Iran and North Korea means,” The New York Times, June 17, 2009.

7. “Colin Powell said we would…turn North Korea into a ‘charcoal briquette,’ I mean that’s the way we talk to North Korea, even though the mainstream media doesn’t pay attention to that kind of talk. A charcoal briquette.” Bruce Cumings, “Latest North Korean provocations stem from missed US opportunities for demilitarizaton,” Democracy Now!, May 29, 2009.

8. David E. Sanger, “A ruler who turned North Korea into a nuclear state”, The New York Times, December 18, 2011.

9. See Stephen Gowans, “Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare”, What’s Left, July 20, 2010. http://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/amnesty-international-botches-blame-for-north-korea%E2%80%99s-crumbling-healthcare/

10. Evan Ramstad and Jay Solomon, “Dictator’s death stokes fears”, The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2011.

11. Asked about a UN estimate that sanctions had killed 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five, then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said infamously, “It’s a hard choice, but I think, we, think, it’s worth it.” 60 Minutes, May 12, 1996. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4. Retrieved June 19, 2011

12. See Tim Beal’s Crisis in Korea: American, China and the Risk of War. Pluto Press. 2011.

13. See Tim Beal, “Theatre of war: Smoke and mirrors on the Korean peninsula on the anniversary of the Yeonpyeong incident,” Pyongyang Report V13 N2, December 6, 2011 http://www.timbeal.net.nz/geopolitics/Theatre_of_War9.pdf and Stephen Gowans, “US Ultimately to Blame for Korean Skirmishes in Yellow Sea”, What’s Left, December 5, 2010. http://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/us-ultimately-to-blame-for-korean-skirmishes-in-yellow-sea/

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PC (AP) Statement on Kim Jong-Il’s Death

I post this article here despite disagreements with the PC(AP)’s line on the DPRK, which seems to differ from most M-L parties.

— Espresso Stalinist

Dear comrades:

On December 17 comrade Kim Jong Il, top leader and leader of the Labour Party of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Korean people, died. His death attracted various comments and speculations by capricious and malicious agencies, reactionary and imperialist news, and even the machinery of war in Japan, U.S. and South Korea which are put on “maximum alert” and of course, as usual, not only the openly reactionary and imperialist pour their poison, also false anti-imperialist leftists stick their voice to refer to the death of Comrade Kim Jong IL, as the death of a “dictator”, a “Stalinist” to the Communists never been an offense, rather it is that we honor appoint “Stalinist.” All with morbid excitement seeking “signs of popular discontent” in order to reaffirm their reactionary plans, last minute, to justify an imperialist military progression.

For those who, from Marxism-Leninism, assume the national liberation struggle for popular democracy and socialism, the death of Comrade Kim Jong IL, is a source of genuine and deep regret. Korean people, under his guidance, learned to face the aggressive maneuvers of imperialism and the South Korean puppets, always sought the support and supported those who dared to walk on their own feet and use their own heads, who are not subjected to imperialist hegemony, many unresolved battles and all the lands with which the DPRK under the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Il, has demonstrated the dignity, courage and to stand with those who fight and defend self-determination, anti-imperialism, and socialism.

Comrade Kim Jong Il, through great courage and as an internationalist revolutionary, was not discouraged by the revisionist betrayal restored capitalism in the former USSR and other Eastern European countries, on the contrary, scientific and burning attachment revolutionary, unmasked as a betrayal of the working class, the people and its system, socialism, stating clearly that the main cause lies in the fact that the leaders of those countries moved away and abandoned the ideology of the working class, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

At present we can only join the pain of the workers and people of Korea, and with them to honor the memory of Comrade Kim Jong IL, a loyal fighter for self-determination, national sovereignty, for socialism Only then can we impose the truth of the workers and peoples of the manipulations, falsifications and lies of the reactionaries and imperialists, and only win!

Honor and Glory to Comrade Kim Jong IL!

Eduardo Artés

First Secretary of the Chilean Communist Party (Proletarian Action) PC (AP)

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Kim Jong-Un Becomes Head of North Korea

By CHOE SANG-HUN
Published: December 26, 2011

SEOUL — North Korea indicated on Monday that Kim Jong-un, the son and successor of its deceased leader, Kim Jong-il, was being elevated to the top of the ruling Workers’ Party’s hierarchy, calling him head of its Central Committee.

The young successor’s apparent rise to the party leadership came two days after the North’s state-run news media published an entreaty for him to become supreme commander of the country’s Korean People’s Army, whose support is considered crucial to his consolidation of power. The top brass also moved quickly to swear their allegiance to Mr. Kim.

Since Kim Jong-il’s death was announced on Dec. 19, a series of pronouncements from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, have indicated that his son was rapidly consolidating his grip on power by assuming top titles, or that whoever was rallying the key agencies of power behind the young leader was ensuring that the son would not share power, at least in the public eye.

Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack on Dec. 17. His funeral is set to take place on Wednesday, and a memorial is scheduled for Thursday.

On Monday, Kim Jung-un met the first South Korean visitors since his father’s death when a former South Korean first lady and the chairwoman of Hyundai-Asan, which had business ties with North Korea, expressed their condolences at Pyongyang’s Kumsusan mausoleum, where the late leader lay in state, according to the South Korean government.

Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, and the Hyundai-Asan chairwoman, Hyun Jeong- eun, the widow of Hyundai’s former chairman, Chung Mong-hun, were the only South Koreans allowed by the government in Seoul to lead private delegations to Pyongyang.

Mr. Kim thanked the South Korean visitors, the North Korean official news agency, K.C.N.A, said.

Ms. Lee and Ms. Hyun laid their wreathes and walked around Kim Jong-il’s glass coffin to show their respect, K.C.N.A said. In a message in the visitors’ log, Ms. Lee wrote that she hoped the two Koreas would achieve an “early reunification” by honoring a 2000 summit agreement in which her husband and Kim Jong-il promised to encourage political reconciliation and economic exchanges.

The younger Mr. Kim, his father’s third son, is believed to be in his late 20s. There has been no indication that he had worked in the government or the military before his father, who had a stroke in 2008, unveiled him as his successor last year and put him on a fast track to be groomed as heir.

On Monday, the North’s main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, urged North Koreans to “defend the party’s Central Committee headed by respected Comrade Kim Jong-un.”

The same slogan was used for his father when he was alive. Over the weekend, the North Korean media were blessing the son with the same honorifics until now reserved for his father: “heaven-sent leader,” “the sun of the 21st century” and eobeoi, the Korean word for parent, which North Korea has used only for Kim Jong-il and his father, Kim Il-sung, the North’s founding president.

Under the charter of the Workers’ Party, the head of its Central Committee doubles not only as general secretary but also as chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission.

Kim Jong-un was made vice chairman of the Central Military Commission when he was anointed as successor.

The Seoul government said that Ms. Lee and Ms. Hyun were reciprocating for the North Korean delegations that visited Seoul to express condolences over the deaths of President Kim Dae-jung and of Mr. Chung.

Hyundai-Asan led a flurry of South Korean investments that followed a 2000 summit meeting between the two Koreas. But the South suspended its signature project in North Korea — a hiking and spa resort near the North’s Diamond Mountain — after North Korean guards shot a female South Korean tourist who had strayed off the resort in 2008.

“I hope my trip will help improve South-North relations,” Ms. Lee told reporters before crossing the border on Monday.

On Sunday, striking a typically strident note, North Korea reiterated that if the South blocked private delegations from visiting Pyongyang for Mr. Kim’s funeral on Wednesday, there would be “unimaginably disastrous consequences” for relations between the two.

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