At the end of her interview yesterday on ABC’s This Week, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was asked by an incredulous George Stephanopoulos if it was a mistake for the United States to “take out” deceased Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and deceased Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
“It was, absolutely,” replied Gabbard, because you can’t say “It was, absolutely, you fucking idiot” on ABC.
We've got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history. pic.twitter.com/EVmPBEg0Ay
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 15, 2018
In what political commentator Zach Carter has accurately called “One of the most honest statements ever made by a member of Congress,” Gabbard took yet another bold stand that will doubtless earn her many fans and many enemies, calling upon President Trump to sit down at the negotiating table with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “without preconditions” with the understanding that the DPRK has obtained its nuclear arsenal precisely because Pyongyang has been observing the way America treats nations which don’t fall into line with its interests.
“I’ve been calling for President Trump to sit across the table from Kim Jong Un without preconditions, work out the differences, figure out a way to build this pathway towards denuclearization,” Gabbard said. “Because there is so much at stake.”
Asked about Kim Jong Un’s assertions that North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons, Gabbard responded that it’s essential during negotiations to have a clear understanding of why that is.
“Our country’s history of regime change wars has led countries like North Korea to develop and hold onto these nuclear weapons, because they see it as their only deterrent against regime change,” said Gabbard. “And this is what’s important for President Trump to recognize. It is critical that we end our policies of regime change wars to provide that credible guarantee that the United States is not going to go in and topple the North Korean regime, so that these conversations can begin toward denuclearization.”
“Just to be clear, you’re saying that Kim Jong Un’s nuclear arsenal is our fault?” Stephanopoulos asked in response.
Gabbard’s epic response reads as follows:
“What I’m saying is that Democrat and Republican administrations for decades, going back over 20 years, failed to recognize the seriousness of this threat, failed to remove it. And we know that North Korea has these nuclear weapons because they see how the United States, in Libya for example, guaranteed Gaddafi, we’re not going to go after you; you should get rid of your nuclear weapons. He did, then we went and led an attack that toppled Gaddafi, launching Libya into chaos that we are still seeing the results of today.
North Korea sees what we did in Iraq, with Saddam Hussein, with those false reports of weapons of mass destruction. And now seeing in Iran how President Trump is decertifying a nuclear deal that prevented Iran from developing their nuclear weapons, threatening the very existence and the agreement that was made.
So yes, we’ve got to understand North Korea is holding on to these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history.”
The lesson learned from Libya is: “If you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t have them, get them.” https://t.co/Yiwesj3wdU
— The Intercept (@theintercept) August 8, 2017
The congresswoman is absolutely correct. According to the Trump administration’s own Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, the lessons the world learned from America’s interventionism in Libya was “If you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t have them, get them.”
And that is indeed exactly what we can expect from Pyongyang, because whatever his other flaws, Kim Jong Un is neither stupid nor crazy. Neoconservatism and institutionalized American supremacy has led to a demented foreign policy in which any government which does not bow and grovel in the interests of the US power establishment is branded a “rogue nation” and slammed with sanctions, provocations, CIA sabotage, terrorism, and, ultimately, regime change with the collaboration of sycophantic international coalitions.
The official argument for this policy is that America’s victory over its only rival superpower in the Cold War against the Soviet Union means that the United States has been selected by history to be the leader of the world, and it needs to do everything necessary to maintain that leadership role. Allies must be rewarded for acting in accordance with the will of the US power establishment, and enemies must be punished viciously until eliminated.
The trouble with this neoconservative agenda, of course, is plainly evidenced by what it leads to. US interventions in places like Iraq and Libya have, as Gabbard rightly claims, been spectacularly disastrous. Iraq alone is reason enough for the world to tell the US defense/intelligence complex to fuck right off forever, but since we’ve all seen what happens to the few governments with the balls to do that nobody ever speaks up.
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) September 30, 2017
I am aware that this is pure fantasy on my part, but if the world ever did decide that it wants to get nuclear weapons out of the hands of “rogue nations” there is a surefire way to accomplish this. An international, aggressively enforced law against any nuclear-armed nation attacking or invading a non-nuclear nation in any way, shape or form would cause governments like North Korea to give up their nukes and prevent governments like Iran from obtaining them. The international community would essentially be dividing the world’s warfare into a two-tiered system and making any warfare between those two tiers into a war crime. If a nation wants to have nukes to protect itself that’s fine, but they may only go to war with other nuclear powers.
Such a move would of course be wildly unprecedented, but it would definitely be enforceable. If America decided it wants to regime change yet another small, weak country due to noncompliance, all it would take is international sanctions and the dissolution of treaties to cost it its superpower status.
I won’t hold my breath, but I just wanted to remind my fellow humans that there are other options out there besides allowing a few sociopathic plutocrats to imperil us all with dangerous nuclear escalations and psychotic ecocidal corporatism.
Remember: Kim Jong Un has explicitly said that the DPRK won’t use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is encroached upon. The United States has a longstanding policy of never making such assurances. There’s one nation posing a clear and present danger to our world, and it ain’t North Korea.
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