David H. Hackworth
November 15, 1994


Less than six months ago, there was serious war talk coming out of both Washington and Pyongyang, and it looked like all the huffing and puffing would lead to a shoot out.

Precious boys and girls bearing missiles and other costly war toys were rushed to South Korea to reinforce the U.S. and South Korean defenders, while the Communists ratcheted up their war machine.

While heavy-handed politicians like Senator John McCain called for the military solution, Korean War II blazed hot on the front burner -- until Jimmy Carter met with the late Kim Il Sung and turned off the gas.

Wars are tough on the teenagers who fight them and the innocent folks who get in the way, but they bring in megabucks to those who build the bombs and bombers, and, who just incidentally, toss a lot of dough into the lawmakers' money chests along the way.

The flap was not only hyped by Hawk politicians and the weapons makers' propagandists, it was also promoted by the rest of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex (a term coined by Dwight Eisenhower) and the CIA. All count on wars and the rumors of wars to stay in business and enjoy their taxpayer-funded good life.

Bill Clinton and the diplomats have stepped in and solved the Korean nuclear problem with words rather than weapons, and the last remaining survivor of the "Evil Empire" has joined the growing peace movement gaining momentum in the Mid-East and Ireland.

Japan, South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to replace North Korea's reactors with friendly types that don't make weapon's grade plutonium the war-pushers pointed their fingers at in the first place.

The "North Korea has the bomb" scam was a big fuss over nothing. There's more weapon's grade plutonium available in Moscow flea markets than in all of North Korea. But since the Soviet Union is now on U.S. food stamps and the cold war is no more, the MICC/CIA is desperate for an excuse -- any enemy, imagined or manufactured -- to justify its existence and its annual $300 billion arms habit.

North Korea's nuclear weapons, contrary to CIA hype, were never a problem. For openers, if they had them, the only way a "nuke" weapon could have been delivered would have been by Mack truck, UPS'd down the expressway from Pyongyang to Seoul. Contrary to the CIA's BS, North Korea has no aircraft or missile that can carry a huge, crude atomic weapon.

Now that the nuclear reactor problem has been solved, General John Shalikashvili is preaching with newfound zeal that North Korea's huge military machine is a "threat," and we must keep U.S. forces on the Korean DMZ as a deterrent. Because the MICC has got to keep finding and picking war scabs to keep the money flowing into its coffers.

The solution to this wasted spending is to pull our forces out of South Korea, leaving the USAF manning Osan Air Force Base as a tripwire, always up to snuff for our reinforcements.

Think of the savings! Several hundred thousand military personnel are held on a tight string in the Pacific and the U.S., all ready to gallop to the Korean front and blow things up. They could be redirected, saving tens of billions of defense dollars.

And once we've pulled out, the two Koreas will work out their differences and, like the two cold war Germanys, peace and unification will follow.

Since 1945, the USA has been defending the world. It's about time we backed off and stopped being the Global Supercop. Why should the USA pay to defend South Korea, Japan, Europe and the Arab states while they're zapping us on the economic front. Pulling out of South Korea would be the start of unwinding Pax America and getting our cop off the world beat.

Long ago -- even before I was born -- Major General Smedley Butler said, "War is a racket." In light of the trillions of dollars spent during the cold war -- and one hell of a lot of it flat wasted -- this incredible, double Medal of Honor winning Marine got it only half right.

Preparing for war is also a racket.

If our citizens wake up, the "racket" will be busted, and billions of defense dollars can be diverted to jump-starting America's much needed recovery.