We will not be cannon fodder against North Korea!

The Korean people stand in defense of their sovereignty

This statement was first published by March Forward! in May 2009 as the Pentagon was accelerating its threats of war against the divided Korean peninsula. It is being republished as the Pentagon is in high-gear looking to exploit the death of Korean leader Kim Jung-il as pretext to launch new military and economic attacks on the sovereign nation.

Wherever U.S. troops are stationed throughout the world, we find one common purpose: a strategy of global domination by Washington and the profit-driven interests it represents.

The same is true for 28,500 of our sisters and brothers currently occupying South Korea. U.S. troops have been used to target or threaten the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, since 1945. They essentially replaced Korea’s former imperialist colonizers, Japan, following its defeat in World War II.

Seeking to thwart the Korean people’s aspirations for independence from colonial rule, the U.S. government turned to its standard tactics. It indiscriminately bombed the civilian population and marched U.S. service members into a war they had no reason to fight. Between 1950 and 1953, more than 5 million Koreans and 33,000 U.S. service members needlessly lost their lives.

For decades, we have been made to keep Korea divided. We, the enlisted service members, have had to leave our families behind—a sacrifice the officer corps does not have to make—to stand ready to kill and be killed while stationed in North Korea.

We are used every day to maintain a policy of threats, intimidation and isolation against a people who have committed no crime. Our presence in South Korea is the military component of the U.S. aggression against North Korea; the economic component makes North Korea the most heavily sanctioned country in the world. Those sanctions have created a dire living situation for North Koreans, severely limiting their access to food, medicine and other vital resources.

This economic war is a crime—a crime that U.S. service members have no reason to support.

Media reports on the recent nuclear and missile tests have portrayed North Korea as the aggressor and as a threat to peace. North Korea poses no threat to the United States or to the world, nor does it aim to do so. It is the United States that has launched criminal wars of aggression and conducted illegal covert wars throughout the globe. The United States maintains nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads and threatens North Korea on a daily basis. The leadership of any sovereign country facing these conditions would have to prepare to defend itself militarily.

North Korea has long called for a peace treaty and the normalization of economic relations, but U.S. officials have continuously refused to sign any such agreement. Washington’s goal is not peace—its goal is global empire, no matter the human cost.

The people of Korea have been carpet bombed, sanctioned into poverty and invaded by U.S. forces. The use of atomic weapons against North Korea was recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1953, and only averted by Pyongyang’s signing of a peace treaty.

The Korean people are not our enemies. North Korea is only an enemy to the U.S. ruling class, for steadfastly defending its sovereignty. North Korea has the absolute right to self-determination and self-defense. Koreans only wish to determine their own destiny. Washington only wishes to determine their destiny for them.

As service members, it is not in our interests to be a party to Washington’s continued crimes against the Korean people. March Forward! calls on all service members stationed in South Korea and Japan to refuse to take part in any military actions against North Korea.

We may be ordered to take part in the search and seizure of North Korean ships, which would be an act of war. We may be ordered to take part in bombings, missile strikes or ground invasion. We will be ordered to continue the policy of military occupation and preparedness for war. But these orders have nothing to do with what is best for us, for our families in the United States, or for anybody in the divided Korean peninsula. Those orders would have everything to do with what is best for Wall Street and its ability to dominate the region for the super-rich.

No matter how much the Pentagon brass and their media mouthpieces try to convince us that our orders are just, the Pentagon’s wars are not our wars. We have already been sent to die fighting a war of aggression against the Korean people and we will be sent to do so again if it is deemed necessary by the U.S. ruling class, unless we exercise our fundamental right as service members to refuse illegal and immoral orders.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines: Our fight is here at home, not against North Korea’s sovereignty!


get updates