Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
South Korea's Ship Sinking:
Another False Flag?
By Stephen Lendman
Al-Jazeerah, ccun.org, June 7, 2010
This writer's May 5 article included a history of noted previous
ones, accessible through the following link:
Important ones caused the Spanish-American War, WW II, the Vietnam War,
and Iraq and Afghanistan wars post-9/11 (a glaring false flag).
Besides constant Middle East tension, more now looms after North Korea was
blamed for the March sinking of South Korea's Cheonan warship near the
western border with the North.
At the time, New York Times writer
Choe Sang-Hun headlined (March 26), "S. Korean Navy Ship Sinks in Disputed
"A South Korean Navy patrol ship sank....after
suffering damage to its hull....raising suspicions about the possible
involvement of North Korea, whose navy has skirmished with South Korean
ships in the waters off the Korean Peninsula."
Then on May 19,
Sang-Hun headlined, "South Korea Publicly Blames the North for Ship's
"South Korea formally accused North Korea....of
responsibility for the sinking....killing 46 sailors in one of the deadliest
provocations" since the July 1953 Korean War armistice, leaving a "state of
war" in place to this day. Also, longstanding economic sanctions in
violation of the armistice and UN Charter's Article 39, permitting them only
to restore international peace and security during war or when they're
Washington bogusly imposed them, saying:
-- "North Korea is seen as posing a threat to US national security,"
although for years Pyongyang sought normalization and was rebuffed;
-- "North Korea is designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor
or supporter of international terrorism," despite no evidence to prove it;
-- "North Korea is a Marxist-Leninist state, with a Communist
government," though nothing in international law prohibits it; and
-- "North Korea has been found by the State Department to have engaged in
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," - true or false, America not
only proliferates, it threatens their use preemptively against any nation
perceived as a threat, even non-nuclear ones.
South Korea Blames
Pyongyang for the Cheonan Sinking
Claiming a North Korean attack,
Seoul said there's "no other plausible explanation....The evidence points
overwhelmingly to the conclusion that (a) torpedo was fired by a North
Korean submarine," even though none was detected in the area.
Official statements from Britain, Australia, Sweden and Washington backed
Seoul, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs saying on May 19:
United States strongly condemns (this) act of aggression. (It's) one more
instance of North Korea's unacceptable behavior and defiance of
international law. The attack constitutes a challenge to international peace
and security and is a violation of the armistice agreement."
Korean President Lee Myung-bak said "We will take resolute counter-actions
against North Korea. We should make North Korea admit to its wrongdoing
through international cooperation." Obama promised full support.
South Korea investigator Yoon Duk-yong said fragments were found, consistent
with North Korean torpedo specifications listed in materials it distributes
to export them, and they matched a stray Pyongyang torpedo found seven years
ago. He added that the Cheonan "was split apart and sunk due to a shock wave
and bubble effect produced by an underwater torpedo explosion (manufactured)
in the North."
Pyongyang categorically denied it, calling it a
"fabrication," threatening "full-scale war." Seoul refused its offer to send
inspectors to challenge the allegation, forcing its Notational Defense
Commission, headed by Kim Jong-il, to threaten retaliation against any
On June 4, AP reported that, for the first
time, South Korea officially referred North Korea to the Security Council,
its ambassador Park In-kook handing a letter to Mexico's Claude Heller, its
current president, asking for a response to "deter any further
On May 23, Japan Today released poll numbers showing
more of their readers think America, not North Korea, sunk the ship: 48 -
46%, and at one point Washington lead by 10 points.
Democracy Now on May 27, Korean expert Bruce Cumings discussed similar past
incidents, including in 1999 when "a North Korean ship went down with 30
sailors lost and maybe 70 wounded." Then last November, another "North
Korean ship went down in flames. We don't know how many people died in that.
This is no man's land....off the west coast of Korea that both North and
South claim. We have no idea what" happened to the Cheonan, but whatever did
"is being blown way out of proportion."
Aggression or a False Flag?
The incident begs the question as to what Pyongyang could possibly gain
from an attack, especially since for years it's wanted a formal end to the
Korean War, a lasting peace, and normalization with America and Seoul,
despite decades of betrayal and snubs by successive US administrations,
Obama no different than his predecessors.
Writer Stephen Gowans
calls the North a "product of its history," from Japan's colonization
through "its daily struggle with the United States to survive." Like other
nations, it rejects domination, wants its economic and political sovereignty
recognized, and normalization with its neighbors and the West. Washington
has other aims, its customary imperial ones, needing enemies that would have
to be invented if they didn't exist. In Asia, it's North Korea like Saddam
was in the Middle East and the Soviets were during the Cold War. As a
result, it's been vilified, isolated, and called a regional threat, again
after a very suspicious incident, unlikely that Pyongyang caused. So who
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen suspects a false flag,
manufactured to blame the North. So does Beijing after Kim Jong Il's hurried
visit to explain as well as Seoul's unconvincing, contradictory story.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also expressed doubts about South
Korea's account, and wants independent verification of the evidence.
Stephen Gowans also is suspicious, saying the sinking had "all the markings
of another Gulf of Tonkin incident (by) the aggressor....accus(ing) the
intended victim of an unprovoked attack to justify a policy of aggression
under the pretext of self-defense."
Key perhaps was to pressure now
former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatayoma "to reverse course on moving
the US Marine Corp base off Okinawa," Japan's southern-most, poorest
prefecture, home for thousands of US troops.
Since WW II, America
has maintained 88 bases in Japan, 37 on Okinawa, a tiny sliver of land about
the size of a large US city. Understandably, Okinawans are furious, and with
good reason. Their choicest real estate was stolen. They've practically been
pushed into the sea, and for decades US forces have committed thousands of
robberies, rapes, homicides, assaults, and other abuses they'd never get
away with at home.
On Okinawa, they're subject to "administrative
discipline" under US jurisdiction, not Japan's, the result of America's
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Article 17 (on criminal justice) stating:
"The custody of an accused member of the United States armed forces or
the civilian component (shall) remain with the United States until he is
In other words, it shields US felons from prosecution
under Japanese law, whisks them out of the country to avoid it, and creates
an intolerable situation for Okinawans or wherever US forces are stationed.
The Pentagon is in charge, not the host country. Imagine how that would go
down in America if, say, China or Russia had bases here. Okinawans have no
choice but to protest as 100,000 did in late April, to no avail.
After the Cheonan's sinking, Hatoyama agreed to change course, clearly
Washington's aim that has everything to gain from stoking tensions, even
more conflict, to gain popular support for diffusing a threat by a
self-proclaimed nuclear power that threatens only self-defense if attacked.
Madsen said the incident occurred near Baengnyeong Island opposite
North Korea, "heavily militarized and within artillery fire range....across
a narrow channel."
"The Cheonan, an ASW corvette, was decked out
with state-of-the-art sonar, (and) was operating in waters with extensive
hydrophone sonar arrays and acoustic underwater sensors." Yet it detected no
evidence of a submarine, mini-sub or torpedo in the area. Everything was
quiet at the time.
However, Baengnyeong "hosts a joint US-South
Korea military intelligence base," US Navy SEALS, and four US ships were in
the area for a joint exercise. Further, the suspect torpedo's "metallic and
chemical fingerprints" were German, not North Korean as claimed. Germany
sells no torpedos to Pyongyang. It does to Israel and the Pentagon.
Other red flags further arouse suspicions, including the "presence of the
USNS Salvor," a Navy salvage ship, earlier involved "in mine laying
activities." Former Japan Times editor Yoichi Shimatsu reported them at
lower depths, able to explode with enough force to sink the Cheonan. He also
said Pyongyang has no underwater vessels stealthy enough to slip past
Byeongnyeong Island's advanced sonar and audio detectors.
SEALS may have attached "horizontally fired anti-submarine mines on the sea
floor of the channel (or perhaps) a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of
a covert program aimed at influencing public opinion," stoking tensions
enough to get Japan and South Korea to want our forces in the region -
Washington's aim by whatever means, including perhaps sinking an ally's ship
and killing 46 members of its crew, a minor externality to tighten its
imperial grip, even at the risk of all out war.
lives in Chicago and can be reached at
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