President Obama is facing his first major foreign policy test after North Korea fired a rocket that traveled sufficiently close to Japan for conducting a missile strike. It was deliberate provocation. The US and Japan had warned Pyongyang that the rocket would be shot down if fired. The rocket was fired. Nothing was done to stop it. American, South Korean and Japanese officials who monitored the launch from nearby warships said that that North Korea was really testing long-range ballistic missile technology that could be used to carry a nuclear warhead to as far as America.
As yet all that Obama could do was to criticize North Korea's test and propose a summit in Washington to ratify a ban on nuclear testing. He wants also to create a nuclear fuel bank for servicing peaceful nuclear power. Obama said: "I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. This goal will not be reached quickly -- perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change."
This response is pathetic. It is plain hot air. Why is the US impotent? It is because the world's statesmen and media acting as obedient voices of international finance capital dare not state the obvious truth: North Korea is nothing but an instrument controlled and used by China. Pakistan is the same. In Pakistan however America shares some influence. In North Korea it has none. All the technology for North Korea's defence comes from China's People's Liberation Army. China can bring North Korea to its knees within forty-eight hours if it stops fuel and food supplies. And yet the US and mainstream media continue with the fiction that UN sanctions are the only way to effectively pressure North Korea.
In the forthcoming debate in the UN China will reveal its hand. If it cooperates to bring North Korea to heel it would seem that China is ready to assume a constructive role as a world power. If it softens the demand for UN sanctions and does not force North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme that would indicate that China will persist with its present policy of using proxy nations to harass and intimidate other big powers. Obama will continue to whistle in the dark. He is helpless. The powerful international finance capital lobby still controls US policy. Witness how bankers who robbed the public were bailed out while ordinary folk lost jobs. This corporate lobby, as repeatedly stated in these columns, is the architect and main beneficiary of the unholy and unhealthy US-China business nexus.
President Obama's newfound resolve for a world without nuclear weapons, that follows the newfound advocacy for the same objective by Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, is a laudable goal. It is especially desirable for India which arguably is the softest target for the world's first possible future terrorist nuclear strike. But it is futile to repose hope in America to initiate effective policy for total nuclear disarmament. India can occupy centre stage and help achieve this much faster if it pursues an innovative policy.