War is Peace

May 19, 2024
Military defence strategy and warfare cost management Abstract Background, with blue planet earth

“War is Peace” was an anchoring concept within the astonishing dystopia portrayed in George Orwell’s “1984”. This extraordinary, ground-breaking novel was a warning to the world, which drew on Orwell’s deep understanding of Stalin’s USSR. But even Orwell, in 1984, did not conceive of a Nobel Peace Prize recommendation pivoting on active preparations for a new war. For that instructive breakthrough, we are, in 2024, in debt to America.

For over a hundred years, the relationship between Japan and Korea has been, based on historical events, intensely bitter at a fundamental level, despite robust, contemporary trade and tourist links.

After Japan defeated Qing Dynasty China in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russian-leaning, Korean Queen Min was assassinated by Japanese agents. By 1910, Japan had formally annexed Korea under the gunboat-enforced, Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty after defeating Russia in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Japan retained complete control of Korea (and Taiwan) until it was defeated in World War II in 1945.

Japan certainly helped modernise Korea during its colonial occupation but it also exploited its ascendency on the Korean peninsula with exceptional ruthlessness. Imperial Japan began waging relentless war, first in China, from 1937, and then pitting itself against the US and the UK and allies, throughout East and South East Asia and Australasia from December 1941. The consequences for Korea were particularly horrific as the Japanese enforced military-sex-slavery through the notorious Comfort Women regime and Korean industrial, slave-labour supporting the Japanese war effort totalled more than 750,000 persons, according to the Voice of America.

South Korea and Japan also have active, long-running, local island territorial disputes. And the veneration, by leading Japanese politicians, of Japanese war-dead (including several Class A War Criminals) honoured at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo is another focus of unambiguous Korean resentment.

As it happens, the most fierce and successful Korean opposition to Imperial Japan, according to the leading American commentator, Professor Bruce Cumings, was the guerilla leader and later leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung. Despite extraordinary efforts, the Japanese were never able to capture and kill him. In 2017, Cumings noted that: “The baleful, irreconcilable hostility between North Korea and Japan still hangs in the air”.

Japan and Korea are, today, home to the largest foreign-based, US military garrisons (directed at China) in East Asia by a long measure. There are over 70,000 US service personnel, in total, stationed in these two countries backing up very powerful, local military forces. The various US bases are bristling with warships, war planes, missiles, marines and countless other military assets.

However, for America, the deeply embedded Korean-Japanese hostility is now conspicuously awkward. Given that the barely covert Plan A is to goad China into a hot war over Taiwan, if needs be it is most inconvenient that the two major proximate, garrisoned-state-allies in the US-project to stem or reverse the rise of China are so unswervingly accustomed to glaring at each other.

Washington, though, has found a solution.

As a result of amplified American encouragement and guidance, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea have now met several times in order to establish how they, with the US, could: “take their trilateral cooperation to new heights”.

And it gets better.

The Nikkei news service recently reported that the US Deputy Secretary of State, Kurt Campbell, has found a fresh way to smooth the pathway to enhanced Japanese-Korean warfare-readiness. He announced that Prime Minister Kishida and President Yoon deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for their courage, “in rebuilding their bilateral relations”.

Mr Campbell, demonstrated some circumspection: he modestly abjured suggesting a trifecta of Japan, Korea and the US for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile, right-leaning elements in Japan (with Washington’s blessing) have also been actively undermining another awkward impediment to winding up Japan’s war-footing, the American applied, post-war Japanese pacifist constitution.

The final word can safely be left to the former US Congress member, presidential candidate and authoritative conservative commentator, Ron Paul. Here is his recent, acute explanation of the dangerous essence arising from America’s severely warped, contemporary worldview:

“When President Biden signed the $95 billion bill to keep wars going in Ukraine and Gaza and to provoke a further war with China, he called it a ‘a good day for world peace’. Yes, and ‘War is Peace’. Debt is good. Freedom is slavery. We are living in a post-truth society where billions spent on pointless wars are ‘not a whole lot of money’. But the piper will be paid and the debt will be cleared.”

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