By Jacob G. Hornberger
If war ends up breaking out in Korea, President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA will be announcing that it was all North Korea fault. They’ll say that North Korea was “begging for war,” and that the United States was “forced” to act to protect “national security.” Of course, in the process they will be ignoring the interventionist sanctions that the United States and the United Nations have imposed on North Korea for decades, an indirect act of war that has targeted and killed countless North Korean citizens.
In the event of war, Trump and his national-security establishment will be speaking falsely and disingenuously. In fact, the root cause of another war in Korea will be interventionism, the philosophy of foreign policy that has held the United States in its grip for more than a century.
Notice something important about North Korea’s behavior: None of it is aimed at Switzerland, notwithstanding the fact that Korea is about 1,000 miles closer to Switzerland than the United States.
Why not? Why is North Korea’s attention devoted toward the United States and not toward Switzerland?
The answer lies in interventionism, the immoral and destructive foreign-policy philosophy that undergirds the United States but not Switzerland.
Notice that Switzerland has no troops stationed in Korea. The United States does — tens of thousands of troops.
Notice that Switzerland does not conduct joint military exercises with the South Korea military. The United States does, on a regular basis.
Notice that Switzerland is not committed to regime change in North Korea. The United States is.
The Swiss government minds its own business. It is committed to the principle of self-defense. If another nation-state were to attack Switzerland, the Swiss would be more than prepared to defend themselves. That’s why no one, including the Nazi regime in World War II, dares to attack and invade Switzerland. The Swiss would chew them up and spit them out.
The U.S. government, on the other hand, is the world’s premier intervenor, interloper, and meddler. That’s why it is in Korea — to intervene, interlope, and meddle in a civil war that has never been any of its business.
Don’t forget something else: U.S. troops in Korea are there as leftovers from the illegal U.S. intervention into the Korean civil war more than 60 years ago. It was illegal, given that the Pentagon and the CIA, whose officials pledge to support and defend the Constitution, waged that war without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war.
If the U.S. government were not intervening, interloping, and meddling in North Korea, the United States would stand in the same position that Switzerland stands. The North Korean regime would have as much interest in targeting the United States with nuclear weapons has it has in targeting Switzerland — i.e., no interest whatsoever.
There is one and only one reason why North Korea is striving for nuclear missiles that can hit the United States: to deter a U.S. regime-change operation, like the ones that Pentagon and the CIA have initiated ever since their inception after World War II. The North Koreans are not stupid. They know that a nuclear capability is the one thing that might deter a U.S. regime change operation against North Korea.
Thus, there is one surefire way to bring an end to the crisis in Korea — end U.S. interventionism. Bring all U.S. troops home immediately. And discharge them. They’re not necessary, not for a nation that embraces non-interventionism.
Of course, Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA are not about to do that. Pride and national honor are at stake, they would say.
And so the crisis continues, as it always does when it comes to foreign interventionism. Whenever one finds the U.S. government intervening, interloping, and meddling, it is a virtual certainty one will also find a crisis.
In a perversely dysfunctional way, the North Korean and U.S. governments thrive off each other. The North Korean regime cites the threat of an ever-present U.S. regime-change operation to centralize its power and its control over the North Korean people. The U.S. regime cites the threat of a possible nuclear attack by North Korea on the United States to centralize its power and its control over the American people.
War in Korea is a distinct possibility because Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA could rationalize the importance of striking North Korea before it is able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile. They would consider the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in Korea, on both sides, to have been worth it because those lives would be considered of secondary importance to the lives of the American people.
That’s why the South Koreans are missing the big point here. It is they, not the American people, who will pay the price for another U.S. interventionist war in Korea. The smartest thing the South Koreans could do is to give the United States the boot and throw all U.S. troops out of their country. That would save their country from the consequences of U.S. interventionism.
Given that reason will be in short supply if war breaks out, what everyone should realize now is that no deaths are necessary in Korea. No war is necessary. All that needs to be done if for America to abandon its morally bankrupt and destruction foreign policy of interventionism and bring all U.S. troops home now. Forget pride and national honor. Just bring them home.
But if war does break out, perhaps the deadly and disastrous consequences will finally cause a critical mass of the American people to force a change in foreign policy, one that mirrors that of Switzerland and, for that matter, the non-interventionist foreign policy on which our country was founded.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.