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Yo, Donald! Decapitating Heads of State is a Risky Business

Wackos in Washington

 

Back in the 18th century, there was an unwritten understanding in the conduct of warfare that one didn’t kill the generals in battle. This wasn’t about protecting the elite while the “grunts” of the day slaughtered each other. It was a matter of common sense: If you killed the general, there was no one in a position to order a withdrawal or to surrender, once it became clear that one side was winning. With no general in command, things could become chaotic, leading to more bloodshed than necessary.

In the US, ever since the brief presidency of Gerald Ford, and in the wake of the Senate’s Church Committee hearings into the nefarious activities of the CIA and other secret agencies during the Nixon administration and earlier -- particularly efforts to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro and some other national leaders -- it has been US policy not to kill heads of state. In fact, a Ford executive order, number 12333, signed by President Ford in the mid 1970s, specifically bans the killing of government leaders, however brutish.

If one wants to see an example of why this is a logical policy, just look at what happened during the Obama administration, when Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafy was murdered by his US-backed captors (with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s enthusiastic support), leaving Libya in a state of total chaos from which it has never really recovered.

Yet now there is talk by President Trump and his increasingly neoconservative- dominated National Security and Pentagon team of advisors of “taking out” North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, even as an aircraft carrier attack group steams towards the Korean peninsula.

Trump's using a carrier battle group to 'take out' North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un could lead to unintended consequencesTrump's using a carrier battle group to 'take out' North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un could lead to unintended consequences
 

Getting rid of Ford Executive Order 12333 would be no difficult hurdle for President Trump, who has been “governing” the country through ill-though-out executive order issuance -- most of them written by his political strategist Stephen Bannon, since he assumed office Jan. 20. Bannon, now being sidelined by more traditional cold war neo-cons, may not be writing those orders for his boss now, but someone else could easily do it, erasing E.O 12333 with the stroke of a pen.

What would such a change mean?

In the case of North Korea, it could mean a quick “decapitation” strike by US aircraft from the USS Carl Vinson -- one which would presumably destroy North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapon-making capability, while also killing Kim and the country’s top military leadership around him.

But what would the result of such a decapitation strike be?



story | by Dr. Radut