As Matthew Vadum notes, the violent anti-Trump groups Refuse Fascism and the Workers World Party are siding with North Korea and “spouting pro-North Korean propaganda talking points, and in at least one case, copying and pasting official North Korean statements into communiques.” As it happens, North Korean propaganda is also showing up in the establishment media.
Consider “Reunification, not war, in Korea,” a “special” piece for the Sacramento Bee on September 5, when Kim Jong-un was fondling his new hydrogen bomb. Author Geoffrey Fattig, a “former speechwriter for the U.S. State Department,” is not disturbed by “Kim Jong-un’s blatant disregard of the will of the international community,” and describes it only as “distasteful.”
So threatening the United States and its allies is a matter of taste, as Molotov once said about fascism. Fattig’s problem is Donald Trump. “Unfortunately,” he explains, “sanity doesn’t seem to be a hindrance facing our new president.” But this is no boilerplate anti-Trump screed. For former State Department speechwriter Geoffrey Fattig:
“The problem, though, is not simply or even primarily Trump. The problem is that the country he leads has shown itself to have a capacity for violence that is matched only by its ignorance of foreign affairs. North Korea is not a threat to the United States; the only reason we fought the country in the first place was because the Truman administration split the peninsula immediately after World War II, then committed U.S. troops when Kim Il-sung sought to reunify the country in 1950.”
Likewise, regarding North Korea as a threat to the United States “profoundly misjudges the nature of the regime” which is “driven by a singular goal of reunifying the Korean peninsula, a goal that cannot be achieved while U.S. troops remain stationed in South Korea.” And back stateside:
“An American public that is naturally predisposed to fear and war” supports military action against North Korea. Instead of joining this chorus, “U.S. leaders should start thinking of ways to atone for our original sin of dividing the peninsula in 1945.” And according to Geoffrey Fattig, “Kim Jong-un isn’t going anywhere, and neither is his stockpile of nuclear weapons.”
Those fearful, violent, warmongering people in Anchorage, Boise, and Baton Rouge, can be forgiven for regarding Fattig’s “special” piece as goose-stepping North Korean propaganda. The former U.S. State Department speechwriter has had a lot of practice on that theme.
Fattig’s work has often appeared on the website of the Institute for Policy Studies, an interlocking directorate of the left. Despite the North’s “military bluster,” Fattig explains in a 2013 IPS piece, “there are signs that Kim Jong-un has been cautiously embarking on economic reforms during his first year in power.” Here Fattig shows the deft touch of a Walter Duranty or Anna Louise Strong, but there’s more.
The Korean standoff will improve with “withdrawal of American military forces, a normalizing of its dysfunctional relationship with the United States, and coordinated economic assistance from its neighbors.” So just get out, give Kim Jong-un what he wants, and all will be well.
On the other hand, as Fattig argued in a 2012 piece for IPS, “the North will not consider relinquishing its nuclear program without fundamental changes to the security dynamic in the region. Economic incentives alone are insufficient.”
Fattig shows little concern over the North Korean Stalinist dictatorship, by all indications the worst in history as Blaine Harden showed in Escape from Camp 14. On the other hand, in a piece for Foreign Policy in Focus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IPS, Fattig lamented “South Korea’s troubling downward trend in freedom of expression.” Likewise, he finds South Korea’s anti-terrorism policy to be worrisome.
Earlier this year Fattig wrote “How not to respond to a North Korean nuclear test,” chiding the “overreaction from the governments of both the United States and South Korea.” That appeared on the website of North Korea News, an “independent privately owned specialist information source,” with “no agenda to fulfill beyond being an honest broker of timely and reliable information to its readers.”
Just like I.F. Stone’s Weekly, one might say. Former U.S. State Department speechwriter Geoffrey Fattig turns back the clock to Stone’s The Hidden History of the Korean War, in which the KGB-funded Soviet agent argued that the South invaded the North, the official Communist position.
The American left has always supported North Korea’s Stalinist regime and still contends that the United States and its allies are the villains in any conflict. When Kim Jong-un starts firing nuclear missiles westward, his apologist Geoffrey Fattig warns that the regime and its nuclear stockpile are here to stay. So those ignorant, violent, fear-ridden Americans in Guam, Long Beach, Kansas City and Albany must repent for their country’s “original sin” of dividing Korea.
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee did not explain which U.S. State Department officials might have delivered speeches written by Geoffrey Fattig but did say he can be contacted at [email protected]. So maybe the IPS vet can provide a few names.