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U.S. / North Korea: False Alarm in Hawaii and the Threat of Nuclear War

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Trump’s aggressive and erratic policy could unleash war on the Korean peninsula with devastating global consequences. The anti-Trump movement needs to stop this right-wing administration and its hawkish, imperialist approach.

“The first thing I noticed was nine missed calls from my dad, then my mom’s texts telling me to take shelter and that she loved me,” reported Sara Donchey after the horrific missile alert on Hawaii on Saturday, January 13. The radio anchor from Houston, on a visit on Hawaii, gives with her account a glimpse of the horror that people went through after the message was sent out over text and across Hawaiian television stations: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” For 38 minutes people on the islands tried to reach their loved ones. People tried to find refuge with the knowledge that there is no shelter against a nuclear strike.

A lot of questions are raised. How such a horrific warning could go out without even a second person verifying the threat, just one person pressing the wrong button. Why did it take 38 minutes to send out a second message to call off the alarm? The whole event shows the callous disregard of the authorities for the feelings and fears of ordinary people

A deeper question is also posed: how is it possible that we are living again in a situation were the peril of nuclear extinction is real enough for people believe such a false alarm? How did this billionaire president Donald Trump and his right-wing squad in the White House bring working people into this nightmare? And what can we do about it?

Trump Raises the Stakes

With its “America First” strategy, Trump’s administration is playing a dangerous game. With the rise of China, U.S. imperialism’s position globally and especially in the Far East is diminished. Despite still being the strongest power on the planet, the hopes of the billionaire class for a unilateral U.S. domination after the fall of the Soviet Union never materialized. The Trump administration in a clumsy, erratic and aggressive way has tried to restore U.S. imperialist ambitions with brute force where soft power – diplomacy based on economic strength, and just a hint of military might – eroded.

From day one, Trump identified China as the big, new rival in the 21st century. The pressure on North Korea is part of his power play in Asia. Trump is resorting to a foreign policy of inflammatory rhetoric with the imminent danger of a full escalation. However, already under Obama, the U.S. turned toward the Pacific. What Trump tries to achieve with unilateral intimidation and military power, is what his Democratic Party predecessor aimed to achieve with neoliberal free-trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This alliance with twelve nations was aimed as an aggressive economic policy to contain China’s rise. Trump cancelled the TPP, but not to protect U.S. American workers. He replaced this neoliberal trade deal with his neo-nationalism that now brings back the horrific threat a nuclear war which was visualized in the 38 heartbreaking minutes on Hawaii.

There is no doubt, that the North Korean regime is brutal in its repression against its people. While claiming to be “communist” its whole ideology is based on defending the interests of the ruling elite around dictator Kim Jong-un.
However, decades of military intimidation by the U.S. and its allies against North Korea help the regime in Pyongyang to justify its actions in front of its own people. And still, to date, the only country which has used nuclear weapons is the U.S.

We need to reignite the movement in the streets against Trump and the anti-working class, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT agenda of the Republicans. The movement against the right must also take up the demand an end to the U.S. military presence on the Korean peninsula which has nothing to do with defending the Korean or the American people and everything to do with defending the interests of imperialism in the Far East. This must be combined with the demand to drive out Trump who is a danger to the entire world.

The actor Jim Carrey wrote from Hawaii, “I woke up this morning in Hawaii with ten minutes to live. It was a false alarm, but a real psychic warning” – a warning the whole anti-Trump movement should take up.

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