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Trump lays bare the barbaric imperialist nature of US: Scholar

US President Donald Trump points at his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) after addressing a meeting on prison reform at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 18, 2018. (AFP photo)

US President Donald Trump has threatened to decimate North Korea but he’s up against forces that will not be intimidated, says Professor Dennis Etler, adding that Trump "has no qualms in laying bare the barbaric imperialist nature" of the United States.

Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on a statement by Trump who has threatened North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with the same fate as Libya's Muammar Gaddafi if Pyongyang does not abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Trump issued the threat at the White House when he was asked about the recent suggestion by US National Security Adviser John Bolton that the “Libyan model” be a template for dealing with North Korea at a summit between Trump and Kim planned for June 12 in Singapore.

The model Bolton was referring to was Gaddafi’s agreement in December 2003 to surrender Libya’s nuclear weapons program, which included allowing uranium centrifuges to be shipped out to the US.

But Trump appeared to be unaware of that agreement, and interpreted the “Libyan model” to mean the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya in support of an uprising, which ultimately led to Gaddafi’s murder at the hands of Western-backed rebels in Tripoli.

"One thing that can be said about Trump is that there is no pretense to what he says. He is quite direct and forthcoming in a way that previous presidents have never been. They’ve always equivocated and tried to portray their actions as somehow of a humanitarian nature and based on the ideals of American freedom and democracy. Trump will have nothing to do with that. He just admits point-blank that the US went into Libya to decimate it. No US president would have ever admitted to that in the past,” Professor Etler said.

“But Trump has no qualms in laying bare the barbaric imperialist nature of the US.  This is sometimes declared as gunboat diplomacy. The US was willing and more than able to conduct itself in that fashion in the past and early on it was not shy in admitting to it. Of course as the US position in the world gained predominance there were always attempts to sugar-coat the actions that the US conducted overseas and try to portray it in a fashion that was benign and beneficial to the nations that it set out to destroy,” he added.

“Trump is clear in his threats. He’s not shy in telling Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, that he won’t have any qualms in going in there and basically following up on the devastation of the Korean War of the 1950s. Basically do as I say or you will pay the price,” the analyst noted.

'Trump drawing a red line he won't cross it'

“Of course Kim Jong-un is not going to take that laying down. Neither will China nor Russia. Even though Trump is willing to basically draw a red line he will not be able to cross it. No matter how pompous and vitriolic he may sound we’ve seen that given his bombast and boastful rhetoric in the past he’s always shied away from putting into effect his most outrageous predictions,” he said.

“So I wouldn’t take him at his word, he’s not going to be able to do what he says. Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and also you can add the president of South Korea, President Moon, they have been actively working together, framing a strategy to allow for a peaceful resolution of the denuclearization problem on the Korean peninsula, so I wouldn’t take Trump’s word as gospel, it’s basically an attempt to intimidate, but he’s up against forces that will not be intimidated,” the commentator said.

“So, I don’t really see his threats as having much backing. If the North Koreans, the Chinese find the deal that Trump wants to make is not to their liking they’ll just walk away from it and then we’ll be back to square one. But, Trump will be shown to be a paper tiger in the process. So, we’ll just have to wait and see it’s still up in the air. I’d suggest that the talks will proceed and all Trump’s bluster will basically recede and they’ll get down to brass tacks. And we’ll see what the result may be,” concluded Professor Etler, who has a decades-long interest in international affairs. 

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