12/6/17 Robert Alvarez on the catastrophe of the Korean War

Robert Alvarez joins Scott to discuss his latest article for CommonDreams.org “Korea: End the 67-Year War.” According to Alvarez there’s no political will on either side to end the war—instead, the United States believes tensions between the two countries further U.S. national interests. Alvarez explains why he doesn’t believe that the North Korean nuclear threat is as significant as it’s been portrayed. He then takes on the argument that North Korea serves as a convenient excuse for the U.S. to exert its power and control over the region. Scott asks: “if the U.S. made nice with Mao Zedong, why can’t they do it with Kim?”

Alvarez then returns to his days in the Department of Energy in 1994 when he traveled to North Korea to help hammer out the Agreed Framework. Alvarez describes the progress the Clinton administration made with North Korea, before George W. Bush unraveled all the progress in the aftermath of 9/11. Scott then asks Alvarez about the debate about North Korea’s uranium enrichment program—did they have one, and if so, what was it used for? The two then discuss the horrors of the Korean War, which, counter to popular belief was a catastrophic failure.

Robert Alvarez is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. He served as a senior policy adviser in the Department of Energy from 1993 to 1999.

Discussed on the show:

  • “Deadly Lessons: The Last Time China and America Went to War” (National Interest)
  • 38th Parallel
  • Korean DMZ Conflict (1966-69)
  • “North Korea Says It Might Negotiate On Nuclear Weapons. But The Washington Post Isn’t Reporting That.” by John Schwartz (The Intercept)
  • “A grand bargain with China could remove North Korea’s nuclear threat — but it would destroy America’s global influence” (LA Times)
  • “Kim Jong Un wants to join Trump’s club,” by David Ignatius (Washington Post)
  • “Carter Visit to North Korea: Whose Trip Was It Really?” (New York Times)
  • “Americans once carpet-bombed North Korea. It’s time to remember that past,” by Bruce Cumings (The Guardian)
  • “Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? One Reason — They Remember the Korean War.” (The Intercept)
  • Korean Armistice Agreement
  • “North Korea: The Rubicon is crossed,” by Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post)
  • “War with North Korea would be ‘catastrophic,’ Defense Secretary Mattis says” (CBS)

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and Darrin’s Coffee.

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