DEPLOYING a heavily armed naval “strike group” to the Korean peninsula is a chilling action that once more shows that the United States leadership is willing to play games of life and death on a grand scale.
The US Pacific Command called it a “prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the western Pacific,” a statement that can only be understood on the assumption that the US owns the world.
Far from being prudent it is a horrifically rash manoeuvre that will only increase tensions in east Asia and the likelihood that something disastrous will happen.
US military officials identified North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme as “the number one threat in the region,” but the development of such barbaric weapons has its own deplorable logic given the decades of US aggression and intimidation of which these warships are only the latest example.
No-one should possess nuclear weapons, but US pretences of “countering the threat” are entirely threadbare given that it — along with Russia, Britain and France — has made an ostentatious show of boycotting United Nations talks on banning the bomb.
Instead of engaging diplomatically and peacefully with the dynastic regime in Pyongyang, successive US warmongers and their willing puppets in Seoul have opted to rattle the sabre — deploying thousands of troops, missiles and billions of dollars of other weaponry just miles from the North Korean capital.
This action combines with the US’s illegal missile barrage on Syria — an act of aggression or at the very least international terrorism — to show just how misguided were those who thought President Donald Trump might shun international conflict to preserve US global domination.
Both events reveal an extreme recklessness of the sort that could provoke a major international conflict — whether with China in the Far East or with Russia in the Middle East.
Such a war is entirely avoidable and absolutely must be avoided, or the entire world will pay the price in blood.
So it is shameful, if predictable, when the British government — and the rest of the British media — bangs the drum for more war.
Tory ministers swiftly reacted to the meaning behind the illegal US strike on Syria and are fully in line behind the superpower.
So we have the disgusting spectacle of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelling a prearranged trip to Moscow, claiming that events in Syria had “changed the situation fundamentally.”
He is, of course, correct: but the momentous event is the US decision for illegal violence against the Syrian state, rather than as he supposes the sarin gas killings in Khan Sheikhoun.
Those deaths must be the subject of an independent, international investigation and whoever is responsible held to account.
It must be stressed that it is still not clear who is responsible, yet the deaths of those dozens of Syrian civilians have been seized as an excuse for yet more war by our politicians.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says, with no evidence, that he blames Russia for every one of those deaths.
He would surely dismiss out of hand the counter-charge, that we should hold Fallon responsible for every single civilian death in Yemen — as Britain continues to arm, train and supervise the Saudi despots who are slaughtering them.
Fallon’s interest in civilian deaths only extends to the point where he can make political use of them to demand more war, more dead civilians that he will not care about.
We must reject this thirst for bloodshed. Otherwise the consequences could be very dire indeed.