Beyond Obama’s Rhetoric / Kim Petersen

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OBAMA SAID, “North Korea’s nuclear ballistic missile programs pose a great threat to the peace and security of the world and I strongly condemn their reckless action.”

If indeed what Obama says is true, then what of the US’s nuclear ballistic missiles? They must also “pose a great threat to the peace and security of the world.” Russia certainly claims that it feels threatened by US ballistic missiles in Eastern Europe.1 Does Obama also “strongly condemn” “reckless action” on the part of the US, or does Obama propose US exceptionalism? It does not take special critical thinking ability to detect the hypocrisy.

Obama: “North Korea’s actions endanger the people of Northeast Asia, they are a blatant violation of international law, and they contradict North Korea’s own prior commitments.

North Korea’s actions were to develop a nuclear deterrent against US aggression. If such actions are a violation of international law, then what were the 1,054 nuclear tests by the US? If nuclear missiles endanger the people of Northeast Asia — and never minding the fact that the US had nuclear missiles stationed in South Korea for years — then what should one infer about the presence of US nuclear submarines that ply waters near North Korea ? And what of using Japanese territory for nuclear command?2 What do the proximal US nuclear weapons represent for Northeast Asia?

And “blatant violations of international law”? In Nicaragua v. United States, the World Court found the US guilty of what amounts to terrorism. The US was ordered to cease its illegal activities and “to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by the breaches of obligations under customary international law.” The US ignored the judgement.

Further, what does the ongoing occupation of Iraq represent? Does Obama wish to argue that the aggression-cum-occupation was legal? Do the military violations of Pakistani territory respect legality? When the US-Canada-France deposed elected Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide, did that represent legality? Etc.

Obama: “Now, the United States and the international community must take action in response. The record is clear: North Korea had previously committed to abandoning its nuclear program.”

One assumes that Obama is referring solely to abandoning a nuclear weapons program. But does not the NPT commit the US among other signatory nuclear powers to abandoning nuclear weapons programs? Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states:

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

Obama: “Instead of following through on that commitment it has chosen to ignore that commitment.”
Does that mean that the US has not ignored
its commitment under the NPT for good faith negotiations to abandon nuclear weapons?

Obama: “These actions have also flown in the face of United Nations resolutions.”

How steadfast is the US in its concern about UN resolutions? After all, its most favored client state Israel is the most prolific violator of UN resolutions. Or do UN resolutions only matter when applied to US enemies and not US client states?

Obama: “As a result, North Korea is not only deepening its own isolation, it’s also inviting stronger international pressure — that’s evident overnight, as Russia and China, as well as our traditional allies of South Korea and Japan, have all come to the same conclusion: North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and illegal weapons.”

Threats? Who is North Korea threatening? North Korea has sought a peace treaty with the United States. The US is a rejectionist on this matter. The US sets, as a pre-condition, North Korean disarmament (of course the US does not have to disarm). In a sane world, this cannot be considered as a genuine commitment to peace (or fairness).

Obama: “We will work with our friends and our allies to stand up to this behavior and we will redouble our efforts toward a more robust international nonproliferation regime that all countries have responsibilities to meet.”

So when will the US dismantle its nuclear weapons along with other nuclear weapon states?

Obama is much more articulate than Bush. But glibness must not excuse the substance of the person. Obama’s decisions to inflame Afghanistan and Pakistan, his continued US military occupation of Iraq, and his subservience to the Zionist occupation of Palestine reveal him not to be a man of peace.

Obama guised himself as a man bringing hope to the people. False prophets are many; the people must beware of the futility of holding on to false hope. Citizens have an obligation, at least to themselves, to critically contemplate the words of their leaders. Obama’s words may distract from his actions, but they are not difficult to comprehend.

  1. Ballistic missiles in E. Europe threaten Russia – chief of staff,” RIA Novosti, 24 May 2006. []
  2. U.S. Nuclear Command And Control Operations In Japan,” the Nautilus Institute, 19 July 1999. []

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at:

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