Trump, Korea, NATO: Where is the world going?

Even as the Trump administration unleashes the repressive instruments of the state to terrorize, imprison and tear apart im/migrant families in the U.S., the bigot in chief and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seem bent on using their bully pulpit to castigate many countries that have been close allies of U.S. imperialism.

NATO members like Canada, France and Germany are special targets of Trump’s invective right now. Yet these capitalist governments have endorsed Washington’s aggressive, predatory wars, going all the way back to the massive U.S. assault on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1950 and continuing, with almost no exceptions, right up to the present-day horror shows against the Arab and Muslim world.

Origins of NATO

NATO was born in the days of the Cold War, when the imperialists put aside (partially) their rivalries in order to have a united front against the Soviet Union, People’s China, the workers’ states of Eastern Europe and the liberation struggles gaining strength all over the world in countries trying to free themselves from colonialism and its successor, neocolonialism.

NATO was a nuclear-armed gang, led by the financial rulers of what they called the “free world” and held together by their utter hatred and fear of the rebellions against capitalist wage slavery and oppression shaking much of what was then termed the Third World.

It was unthinkable in those days for high officials in a U.S. administration to openly criticize any of their NATO partners, no matter how fierce the subterranean competition among them to control world markets and exploit both the resources and labor power of developing countries.

‘America first’

But that is happening now, big time. And it isn’t just Trump and his tweets. Pompeo, speaking to the Detroit Economic Club on June 15, said that “asymmetric trade relationships” with Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico had to change. He was merely echoing the “America first” rhetoric of his boss, who has made a fine art out of twisting facts into pretzels in order to blame other countries for the failings of the capitalist system here.

Regarding trade and the imposition of tariffs, the biggest attacks by the administration have, of course, been aimed at China. By decree Trump has already imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, thereby opening what is expected to become a tariff war with China. Since last summer’s meeting with Xi Jinping, when the U.S. president professed friendship and respect for the most populous country in the world with the fastest-growing economy, he has made a complete U-turn.

Perhaps the kinds of deals he had expected to make with China, which would have enriched him and his already filthy-rich class of billionaires, didn’t quite pan out?

Charm offensive

Now the Trump administration is on another tack. With sentiment in all of Korea clearly being in favor of ending the hostility between north and south — remember the utter isolation of Vice President Mike Pence at the PyeongChang Olympic Games in February, when everyone else was cheering for the united north-south Korea team? — Trump has made friendly overtures to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and met with its leader Kim Jong Un.

The meeting was a victory for the north, which, before it had demonstrated its advanced scientific and technological capability by developing its own nuclear weapons, was ridiculed and belittled by the entire imperialist establishment around the world.

So, from launching crude insults at the DPRK leader, Trump suddenly switched to a charm offensive and actually sat down with Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Korea’s strength

Unlike the chaotic and unpredictable Trump administration, the political leadership of the DPRK has a solid foundation, forged over decades of heroic anti-colonial, anti-imperialist struggle. Kim Il Sung, founder of the DPRK, fought first against Japanese colonialism, which oppressed all of Korea from 1910 to 1945, and then against U.S. ­imperialism.

The Workers’ Party that he founded continues to lead the country today, adhering to the socialist principles that have guided it through many difficult times. The party and government have successfully mobilized the people again and again to counteract the war threats and punishing economic sanctions emanating from the U.S.

In South Korea, a strong people’s movement toppled the previous corrupt president and is firmly behind the efforts of the Moon Jae-in government to improve relations with the DPRK.

Meanwhile, U.S. imperialism is no longer the dominant economic power it was when it emerged from World War II as producer of half the world’s manufactured goods. Europe was in ruins then, as was much of Asia. Today, it is a different story.

This new reality can be seen in the frantic efforts of the current administration to bully the rest of the world into deals that would further enrich sections of the U.S. ruling establishment. To quote someone, “Ain’t gonna happen.”

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