Just a coincidence?
Near the end of February, the U.S. and the regime in south Korea will begin joint military exercises off the coasts of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — north Korea.
Last year, these war “games” involved more than 12,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands more from south Korea and Japan, the former colonial overlord in Korea.
The DPRK made several gestures this month indicating a desire to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. It agreed to reunions for families divided ever since the war of 1950-1953. It also asked the U.S. to suspend its annual war “games” — which are a rehearsal for an invasion of the north.
The U.S. refused to call off the war exercises. Then, a week later, a special commission of the United Nations issued a scurrilous report accusing the north of every kind of “human rights” violation.
Where did this commission come from? It was established in response to a bill passed in 2004 by the U.S. Congress. Called the “North Korean Human Rights Act,” the bill was sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. Now governor, Brownback is “a hero of the country’s Christian right” who is pushing “a bullishly conservative agenda” in his state. (New York Times, Feb. 13)
The act established a special office on “human rights in North Korea” at the State Department, headed by Jay Lefkowitz. He was described by the Washington Post as a “cerebral neoconservative” who was invited to take the job by Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush’s national security adviser. Part of his job was to get a U.N. cover for this effort to defame the DPRK.
We should remember that the U.N. is in no way an impartial world body. It was a U.N. vote that authorized the monstrous U.S. assault on the DPRK in 1950 that killed millions of Koreans and demolished the north. The DPRK fought back heroically, forcing the U.S. to finally agree to an armistice. It has been rebuilding ever since.
And let’s not forget that in 2002, then Secretary of State Colin Powell went before the U.N. to present “evidence” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It was all lies. But it was the prelude to the huge U.S. assault on Iraq called “Shock and Awe.”
The U.N. has never been a forum to condemn the many crimes of U.S. imperialism against the peoples of the world. This commission has no right to rubber stamp the U.S. continued occupation of south Korea in the name of “human rights.”