If you are not dedicated to the destruction of empire and the dismantling of American militarism, then you cannot count yourself as a member of the left. It is not a side issue. It is the issue.
But the Americans like their weapons, and they like handing them out as a show of support. But more often than not these weapons end up in the wrong hands: the ones they gave to Iraq are now in the hands of ISIS; the ones they gave to the Ukrainian nationalists have been sold to the Syrian government; the ones they gave to the government in Yemen is now in the hands of the Houthis who recently overthrew it.
The sobering fact for many Americans is that the world would be a better, far more peaceful place if only their government spent more time and resources tending to their own country’s onerous social needs. Needless to say, America would be a far better place too for its citizens.
But this eminently reasonable outcome won’t happen under present circumstances because US governance relies on imperialist conflict-making abroad.
Like most Koreans, the farmers and fishing families protested the senseless division of their nation between north and south in 1945 – a line drawn along the 38th Parallel by an American official, Dean Rusk, who had “consulted a map around midnight on the day after we obliterated Nagasaki with an atomic bomb,” wrote Cumings. The myth of a “good” Korea (the south) and a “bad” Korea (the north) was invented.