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Bring the Troops Home From Korea


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There is one good solution to the Korean crisis, one that the mainstream press commentators simply will not confront. It’s not a solution that is likely to be adopted, especially by a blustery and bellicose president and a national-security establishment that has a Cold War anti-communist mindset. Nonetheless, it bears pointing out.

What is the solution to the Korean crisis: For all U.S. troops to vacate South Korea immediately and come home. No more threats. No more bluster. No more regime-change activity. No more anti-communist crusade. Just exit the country and come home.

There is one — and only one — reason that North Korea has been spending years trying to get nuclear weapons — to deter a U.S. regime-change operation in North Korea or to defend itself from a U.S. regime-change operation in North Korea. The North Koreans have learned that that’s the best way to deter the Pentagon and the CIA from initiating one of their storied regime-change operations against North Korea.

North Korea’s actions are entirely rational. The U.S. national-security establishment has been committed to regime-change in North Korea for almost 70 years. That’s what U.S. intervention in Korea’s civil war in the early 1950s was all about — removing the North Korean communist regime from power and putting it under the control of South Korea, which was ruled by a pro-U.S. regime. It’s why the Pentagon and the CIA remained in South Korea for the next six decades. It’s why U.S. officials have imposed ever-increasing sanctions on North Korea, in the hopes that a starving populace will overthrow their regime and install a pro-U.S. regime in its stead.

We shouldn’t forget that there is one nation that isn’t likely to let that happen. That’s China. Like Russia’s attitude toward Ukraine, China is not likely to permit the Pentagon and the CIA to fulfill their decades-long dream of taking over North Korea to that they can place U.S. missiles and U.S. troops along the North Korean-China border.

Thus, in the event that Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA succeed in initiating a war with North Korea (which, needless to say, they will claim was “necessary” and in “self-defense”), Americans had better be prepared for conflict with China as well, which is precisely what happened during the Korean War. It was Chinese intervention that prevented the Pentagon and the CIA from taking over North Korea and installing U.S. troops and missiles along the North Korean-China border.

As tensions continue to ramp up in North Korea, it’s also important to emphasize Madison’s point about war and liberty: Of all the enemies to liberty, war is the biggest because it encompasses all the rest. This is when dictatorship — including elected dictatorship — comes into being, especially as increasing numbers of Americans are killed or maimed. Make no mistake about it: If the United States ends up with a war with North Korea and possibly China, freedom in America at the hands of the U.S. government will be destroyed even further than it already is.

And let’s not forget the out-of-control federal spending and debt. We are already seeing the Chicken Little op-eds and editorials calling on Congress to lift the debt ceiling again. Like I have been predicting for the past three years, the pundits are repeating their standard lines that they use every time the debt ceiling is hit — that the United States will fall into the ocean if the federal government is not permitted to incur more debt.

Yet, as I pointed out the last time the debt ceiling was raised, not one of the Chicken Littler’s has called for a reduction in federal spending since the last time the debt ceiling was raised. After laughing about how they scared Congress into raising the debt ceiling last time, they have supported ever-increasing federal spending, knowing that they could pull their Chicken Little act again once the new debt ceiling was reached again.

How will Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA fund a war with North Korea (and China)? As Madison pointed out, debts and taxes. And as he further pointed out, debts and taxes are one of the time-honored ways by which regimes subjugate their citizenry.

Leave North Korea alone. Bring the troops home and discharge them into the private sector. That’s the solution to the Korean crisis.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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