Those who believe that the latest ominous war threats coming from the White House represent a sea change in US foreign policy are mistaken. The fact is that right from the days of the Monroe Doctrine, the underlying aim of US foreign policy has always been to extend the power and control of Yankee imperialism across the western hemisphere and beyond. Under virtually every administration, both Republican and Democrat, a wide range of economic, diplomatic and military tools have been used to achieve this goal.
That said, differences in strategies and tactics have a profound impact on global events. Donald Trump’s vow to destroy the entire country of North Korea (more accurately known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) represents a dramatic escalation of the traditional US tactic of threatening to use overwhelming military force against any rival which challenges its domination. Even when the US launched an illegal war of aggression and occupation against Iraq, the stated aims of the Bush administration did not include the annihilation of the Iraqi people. Anyone who thinks the DPRK leadership should dismiss Trump’s words as the ravings of an erratic president is missing the point: the individual in the White House has his finger on the nuclear button and could destroy the DPRK at any time.
Clearly, the situation in the Korean Peninsula poses an immense danger. There is no guarantee that a US military attack on the DPRK could be limited in scope. Such a war could easily turn into a wider regional conflict, with catastrophic consequences for the entire planet. Diplomatic efforts to defuse this confrontation are urgently needed, but in the long run, only a massive mobilization of the peoples of the world can begin to dismantle the vast imperialist war machine that endangers our future.