Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s comments (reported Aug. 10 in the article entitled “Blumenthal: North Korea strike near Guam would put military action on the table“) place too much emphasis on escalating threats. The idea that an exchange of threats or actual violence will resolve any differences with North Korea is at best ill-informed, and at worst, war mongering that only perpetuates our ongoing path of endless wars.
Notable politicians and academicians have suggested that the only sensible way to reduce tensions is to engage in negotiations. For example, we could end the increasingly large scale military drills that take place annually, bring closure to the Korean War by replacing the armistice with a peace treaty, and reassure North Korea that it will not be subject to continuing military threat if North Korea freezes its nuclear program.
It’s important to remember that in the 1950s, the U.S. carpet bombed North Korea indiscriminately for three years
On Aug. 10, 60 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary Rex Tillerson urging him to replicate the model of the Agreed Framework from 1994 which was largely effective until the Bush Administration actively sought its demise. None of the Connecticut representatives have signed the letter to date.
All of this is happening in the context of a government that has turned into an empty shell by the refusal to fill positions and accept any expertise from the well informed. This intentional strategy condenses executive power even further into a presidency which declares itself immune from checks and balances.
Perhaps most frighteningly, the escalating rhetoric against North Korea is also a mirror of the war that the Trump Administration is waging against an ever expanding percentage of the population inside the U.S. One would hope that Sen. Blumenthal would see the connection between the militaristic mentality at home and abroad and be as committed to opposing the war mongering overseas as he has been in zealously protecting human and civil rights in the U.S.
Jane Nadel lives in Essex.