Washington’s Corporate Media and the Imperial War on Korea by Danny Haiphong

There is no limit to the slanders spewed by U.S. corporate media – from so-called journalists to filmmakers to comedians – against North Korea, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. “The racist and inaccurate discourse around the DPRK helps justify the almost daily military operations the US backs in South Korea.” The 60-year long propaganda campaign is “part and parcel of the US imperialist agenda to militarize the Asia Pacific.”

The corporate media is the mouthpiece of US imperialism. More specifically, the Hollywood arm of the corporate media is tasked with promoting the US-Western imperialist way of life as profitable “entertainment.” Seth Rogan’s new film fits snugly into this mold. In The Interview, Rogan and James Franco play CIA recruits assigned with the job of assassinating the current leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong-un. This overtly cruel and monstrous plot line should come as no surprise to anyone following US imperialism’s decades long war against Korea.

The Korean War is labeled a ”forgotten war” by the US corporate media and political class. In reality, the US imperialist ruling class has done everything it can to erase the stain of the Korean War from popular memory. The US imperialist war on Korea formally began in 1950 after the US violated a temporary (three year) political agreement with the Soviet Union to peacefully divide Korea along the 38th parallel. Instead of abiding by the agreement, the US installed dictator Syngman Rhee in the South and armed it to the teeth at the tune of a half billion US dollars. Rhee used the funds to slaughter hundreds of thousands of guerrilla forces in the North. Despite this, Korean independence and socialist forces counter-attacked and liberated Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Washington, in a scramble to protect its interests in South East Asia from socialist construction and Chinese alliance, agreed to reserve 12 billion dollars for a land invasion in Korea.

During the invasion, the US dropped 420,000 bombs on the capital of the DPRK, Pyongyang. The bombing campaigns left large percentages of Northern Korea without homes or basic infrastructure. More than a million Koreans died. Despite heavy losses, the resistance of the Korean Peoples Army and the socialist Korean Workers Party forced the US into an armistice agreement in 1953. To this day, the US refuses to sign a peace treaty and maintains a militarized presence in the South, where 29,000 US ground troops are currently stationed. The US government also enforces economic sanctions on the DPRK. US sanctions exacerbated the DPRK’s food insecurity crisis in the early 90′s after the destabilization of the Soviet Union and socialist bloc cut off much of the nation’s access to international trade and finance.

US imperialism’s assault on Korea and the DPRK is not a “forgotten war”, but rather, a distorted one. The majority of people in the US obtain knowledge of the DPRK through the lens of the US imperialist corporate media. The Interview is just one of many Hollywood films that have dehumanized the DPRK’s leadership and socialist system in the interests of US empire. The 2004 film Team America: World Police portrayed Kim Jong-il as a literal cockroach whose insecurity fueled ambitions for world domination. In 2012 and 2013, the movies Red Dawn and Olympus Has Fallen each parroted Washington’s image of a militarist North Korea hell-bent on waging war on the US mainland.

To compliment these false and racist depictions of the DPRK, corporate journalism in the US repetitiously reports unverified instances of the DPRK repressing its own people and threatening the US with nuclear war. US imperial slander occurs so often that the fallacies only become more ridiculous. This recently took shape in the US media’s recent report of Kim Jong-un’s supposed mandate that the entire male population of the DPRK cut its hair in Un’s particular style. Of course, such slander never amounts to fact, but rather a politicized gossip partaken by the war-mongering imperialist ruling class and consumed by the rest of us.

Corporate media slander of the DPRK helps fulfill two key objectives for US imperialism. The racist and inaccurate discourse around the DPRK helps justify the almost daily military operations the US backs in South Korea. In contrast to Western media narrative, it is the US’s puppet state in South Korea that conducts regular military exercises, all of which directly or indirectly target the DPRK.  In addition to military destabilization, the US corporate media seeks to ideologically erase the heroic victories of Korean socialism. Despite being set ablaze by US bombs during the US invasion of 1950-53 and sanctioned from needed economic assets, the DPRK possesses a growing socialist economy. Housing, education, and healthcare are human rights provided to all. The food insecurity the DPRK experienced in the 90′s has been reduced mightily and the corporate media knows it, as evidenced by its recent avoidance of the issue as a talking point of DPRK demonization.

The US desperately needs to maintain hegemony in the region by keeping Korea divided and disallowing the DPRK to expand political influence in the region through national unity. China’s rise in the east has counterbalanced US imperial power with a more powerful economic system. The destabilization of the DPRK is part and parcel of the US imperialist agenda to militarize the Asia Pacific in an attempt to slow down inevitable crisis and collapse. Corporate media depictions of the DPRK need to be placed within the context of US imperial decline. One of the challenges for the left in this period is to fight the US’s racist narrative of the DPRK, not only for the sake of the Korean people but also for all people struggling to dig the final grave for US imperialism.



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Announcement for BS Students: Pol Science II

Dear Students of Pol Science II course,

Please note that assignment on the topic , “History of Feudalism” should be submitted by Monday 31 March, 2014. Please note that  this Friday I will not be available during office hours, so if you have any question please send text and come to my office for discussion on Wednesday and Thursday (26 and 27 March).


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Announcement for Replica Students

Dear students of Replica class (National and International Affairs course),

Please note that presentations content will not be included in final term exams.

(Happy !……………….)

Only following topics/questions will be the part of final term exams. Note, questions will be subjective type and no choice will be given.

Kashmir issues (question could be: what do you think that what were and are the real issues with reference to Kashmir dispute? Do you think Pakistan is responsible for the intervention and uprising in Kashmir? How do you evaluate the standpoints of Pakistan and India on Kashmir issues? Etc.

Word after 9/11

Define and compare the concept of the unipolar and bipolar world and Pakistan position in both systems

What is the black economy? Evaluate the role of black economy in the present situation

How terrorism and back economy has a deep relationship (see Dr lal khan column in daily Dunya)

Do you think that war against terrorism in nothing but a pretext to control world oil resources and trade route?

How has terrorism influenced the economy of Pakistan?

Please focus on lectures first and then collect relevant content. Be critical and logical when you answer the questions.

Best of Luck for the final exams.

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Announcement For Development Journalism Students

Dear Students of National and International Affairs Course,

As per recommendation and suggestion of Prof Shabir Sarwar sb I inform you that only those topics which I am mentioning below will be the part of final term exams. Remember questions will be of subjective type and no choice will be given and paper should be attempted only in English language.

Terrorism and Pakistan (Question will entail any of the dimension of war on terrorism and Pakistan e.g. The effects of terrorism war on Pakistan’s image

The effects of terrorism war on Pakistan economy (Madrassas and economy of funding and donations, columns of Dr Lala khan should be consulted in terms of black economy and terrorism relationship)

The effects of terrorism war on Pakistan economy (Business, commerce, investment etc.)

Foreign policy of Pakistan:

Definition of FP, importance of comprehensive foreign policy on country’s economy, politics, etc.

Critical review of Pakistan foreign policy according to the basic postulates of FP formulation

The post second world war and cold war scenario

The concept and debate of unipolar and bipolar world

The Pakistan position in bipolar and unipolar world (e.g. Issue of Afghanistan and Pakistan role)

Note: if you have any question please communicate through your CR.

Best of Luck for the final term exams.

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Ukraine and NATO Eastern Expansion by Michael Werbowsky

Ukraine and NATO’s Eastern Expansion: The “Containment” of Post Soviet Russia

By Michael werbowsky

It is perhaps not too alarmist to compare the current stand off between the West and Russia to a period in history, which harkens back to the Berlin Wall (1961) or Cuban missile crisis of 1962.


Here is a snippet for an exchange in Vienna over the Berlin Wall stand off and the city’s status, between the two cold war leaders.


Khrushchev told Kennedy in 1961,

“Force will be met by force. If the U.S. wants war, that’s its problem.”

“It’s up to the U.S. to decide whether there will be war or peace.”

“The decision to sign a peace treaty is firm and irrevocable, and the Soviet Union will sign it in December if the U.S. refuses an interim agreement.”

To this, Kennedy replied,

“Then, Mr. Chairman, there will be a war. It will be a cold, long winter.”


Can you imagine such talk today between the man in the White House and the Kremlin?


But lets looks into maybe why the Russians are so miffed about Ukraine and why the US has fumbled the ball diplomatically so far, by issuing empty threats and ultimatum instead of really engaging Russia in serious discussions about ways to defuse the crisis. To understand what is at issue  here, we need to back to the end of the cold war.


 NATO’s Eastern Expansion


If you know the directed in directions such left and right or east and west, then you’ll know what I am getting at here. After the cold war ended former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev gave his go-ahead for the unification of Germany. He was however betrayed by the Western powers that assured him that a united Germany would not be incorporated into NATO. Germany joined in 1990, despite assurances from George W. Bush senior to the contrary. Then NATO did it again. In 1999, despite Moscow’s admonitions not to do so, NATO expanded to central Europe (Poland, Czech and republic and Hungary).

Then came another wave of expansion in to an area, which in geopolitical terms makes up the inner or marginal ring which surrounds  the “Heartland” deep inside Euro-Asia. The heart of course, this case is Russia itself.

In a second wave of NATO’s further drift eastwards, the Atlantic alliance incorporated three former Soviet republics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) as well as another central European state Slovakia and two Balkans states. This gave NATO members access to the Black sea (Bulgaria and Romania). Thus NATO managed to surround Russia from the Baltic to the Black sea. Do you see a pattern or a trend yet?


Then last but not least in 2009, Albania and Croatia joined the NATO club. In other words, a hostile military alliance (in Moscow’s view) now had access and almost total control of the Adriatic coast as well. This is nothing more or less than classic policy designed by the brilliant strategic thinker and diplomat of his day, George F Keenan. Keenan, who was also the father of a policy called “containment”.

This is a very key word. We are seeing today a revival of this containment policy, which was designed to curb Soviet, might throughout the cold war. In addition to containment there is a conscious intent by Brussels  (NATO HQ) and Washington to strangle Russia, by cutting it completely off from sea and land access beyond its borders or for its fleet and military supplies to remain mobile. It needs to be mentioned at in the last years of his life Kennan was absolutely opposed to NATO expansion, and warned such a policy would do grievous harm to East-West relations. Which it did.


But may I stress this: we are no longer living in the Cold War as some policy wonks or Rip van Winkles in Washington might think.  Russia today like America is pivoting to the east and looking for ways to counterbalance NATO by means of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (which comprises Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan) . This club is effectively almost the Eurasian equalvent of NATO. Russia does not want to badger the west on its Western or central European flank any longer unless it is provoked to do so. Witness in addition to the drive of NATO east, the stalled plans to install a missile base and radar network in Russia’s NATO neighbours, which Washington now wishes to ramp up again.


Russia really wants to go east. It has no designs on former East Bloc states, which are all now, NATO members but the west wants to bait the country into a confrontation on its western flank. The current crisis in Ukraine has made it plainly evident the West and by extension NATO wants to continue its eastward push or incursion into Russia’s front lawn and the same time try to scuttle all attempts by Moscow to create the formation of an alternative strategic, economic and yes military alliance to NATO.


This is what’s its all about in my view; and the stakes are high almost as high as they where when Kennedy and Khrushchev played hardball politics and with the world as their baseball. Just like Obama and Putin are doing today. Let’s hope neither drops the ball this time.



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National and International Relations

Dear Students of National and International Relations (Replica/DJ Program) please send  soft copy of your presentation along with one page hand out before your presentation date on kuasoomro@gmail.com.

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BS Theory I: Announcement

Dear Students,

Please send soft copy of your power point presentation and one page handout  by 28 January, 2014.

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