Speech given by Anti-War Committee member, Rhea Smykalski, on 1/20/2018 at our protest to mark the 1 year anniversary of Donald Trump taking office.
I want to thank everyone for coming out today, it’s a great way to start the first day of Trump’s government shutdown. We’ve been coming out week after week the past year to fight against all the injustices the new administration has been throwing at us. Throughout his presidency, Trump has proven over and over that he knows nothing about diplomacy, and his impetuous behavior is about to cause a nuclear war.
In the last few months, Trump has been ramping up the attacks on Korea. His tweets, which include, ‘Rocket man,’ ‘Talking is not the answer,’ ‘Fire and fury,’ and ‘My button is bigger than your button,’ are the words of a bully wanting to kill millions of innocent Koreans on a whim. Let’s be clear, the U.S. government is the biggest bully on the international playground and has been for decades. The Trump administration portrays itself as the ‘victim’ of north Korean aggression, but at every turn the U.S. has increased hostility and tension on the peninsula.
But, the people of Korea have not forgotten what war and bloodshed look like. During the Korean War, nearly 30% of the population was killed after the deliberate bombing of civilian centers by the U.S. The war never officially ended, and the U.S. has never left the peninsula. The U.S. has maintained a standing occupation force of about 30,000 soldiers in South Korea and has been threatening North Korea for over 60 years.
It is key to look at North Korea’s missile tests within the context of the president’s increasing threats. Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous. The risk is not only a war between the US and North Korea, but a regional or world war. Even if the war is limited to the Korean peninsula, the lowest casualty estimates state that millions of Koreans on both sides of the border would die. Threats of war on North Korea are NOT calls for liberation of a country – they are war drums seeking the obliteration of North Korea.
This past November, when Trump visited South Korea, he was accompanied by three US aircraft carriers, guided-missile destroyers, and submarines. This was part of planned military exercises, but it was a disgusting show of force from the U.S. trying to intimidate North Korea. More recently North and South Korea have been holding peace talks for the first time in two years. They have agreed to march under a “unified Korea” flag at next month’s Winter Olympics showing an undivided Korean peninsula and will also have a joint women’s hockey team, which is a historic first for the region. And how does the Trump administration react to this show of diplomatic progress? He deploys stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and submarines to the region. It’s obvious he’s not interested in peace.
This is AFTER the U.S. had agreed to postpone military training and exercises in the region. Additionally, bombers that can carry nuclear weapons are now positioned in Guam only 2200 miles away, several ships that carry advanced attack places are headed to the region, and Japan is preparing to evacuate its citizens from North Korea. Our SHITHOLE president is trying to take credit for the peace talks while carrying out endless dangerous and aggressive military maneuvers that are provoking Nuclear War.
We need to act NOW to oppose the U.S. government and its senseless threats of war against North Korea. Korea has a right to self-determination. We need to demand the U.S. stop threatening millions of Koreans with obliteration. It is our duty as U.S. citizens to put pressure on him and Congress to stop impeding peace efforts in the region, and to do everything we can to stop Trump from destroying us all in a nuclear war!
When Korea is under attack, what do we do? Stand up! Fight back!