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Michel Chossudovsky in Winnipeg and Vancouver, January 15-16: North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

NOVANEWS

Please forward this article on social media

We are at a dangerous crossroads. Miscalculation could lead to the unthinkable.

What distinguishes the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis from today’s crisis is that Kennedy and Khrushchev were acutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. Trump is not.

Fire and Fury: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” accusing Kim Jong-un, of being a “rocket man” on “a suicide mission.”

“Mistakes” often determine the course of world history. 

North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

Presentations by Michel Chossudovsky

Monday January 15, 2018

Two lectures in Winnipeg:

University of Manitoba (66 Chancellors Cir.)

Room 244, University College

2:30-4:00pm

University of Winnipeg (515 Portage Ave.)

Eckhardt-Grammatte Hall (room 3C00) Third Floor Centennial Hall

7:00-9:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Winnipeg FB page:https://www.facebook.com/events/143083896347193/

Come to Prof. Chossudovsky’s lectures in Winnipeg to hear what you can do to stop this war.

Eckhardt-Grammate Hall, University of Winnipeg is wheelchair accessible. Take the escalator or elevator to the third floor. Lecture theatre is located on the far south side next to the escalators.

There are various downtown parking lots and parkades around the University of Winnipeg, each may have different rates and restrictions. Map available here:

Sponsored by Menno Simons College, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, and The Geopolitical Economy Research Group.

Michel Chossudovsky will also be speaking in Vancouver on January 16, 2017

Vancouver Public Library,

350 West Georgia Street
VancouverBC V6B 6B1

7.00pm- 9.oopm

The event on January 16 is organized by The Vancouver based Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) in collaboration with the Centre for Reearch on Globalization (CRG). 

The Vancouver Library venue coincides with the January 16 Canada – U.S.  “Vancouver Group,” meeting  on North Korea, which will be attended by foreign ministers from several countries including South Korea.

For further details on the Tillerson-Freeland “Vancouver Group” venue see the background article by Graeme McQueen and Christopher Black

A brief press conference is scheduled at the Public Library at 6.00pm prior to Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, and Editor of Global Research. He is the author of eleven books. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

FREE ADMISSION. Donations gratefully accepted. Q&A to follow lecture.

Draft Transcript of Presentation 

The host organizations have limited resources, Donations in support of the events in Winnipeg and Vancouver are much appreciated

Other References on Nuclear War

How Canada Can Lead North Korean Peace Talks at Vancouver Summit

By Christopher Black and Prof. Graeme McQueen, January 06, 2018

Targeting North Korea: Can a Nuclear War be Averted? Conversations with Michel Chossudovsky and Carla Stea

By Michael WelchProf Michel Chossudovsky, and Carla Stea, December 16, 2017

VIDEO: The Privatization of Nuclear War, Towards a World War III Scenario:

By James Corbett and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 11, 2017

“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 10, 2017

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 09, 2017

God is on the Side of Us Americans. “He May Guide Us to Use It [Nuclear Weapons] In His Ways and for His Purposes”: Truman

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 27, 2017

“In a Nuclear War the Collateral Damage would be the Life of All Humanity”. Conversations with Fidel Castro: Hiroshima and the Dangers of a Nuclear War

By Fidel Castro Ruz and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 03, 2017

The Strategies of Global Warfare: War with China and Russia? Washington’s Military Design in the Asia-Pacific

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, November 07, 2017

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 09, 2017

The Globalization of War, America’s “Long War” against Humanity

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 27, 2017

America had first Contemplated Nuclear War against both China and North Korea in 1950

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 16, 2017

Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 12, 2017

North Korea versus the United States: Who are the Demons? North Korea Lost 30% of Its Population as a Result of US Bombings in the 1950s

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, September 25, 2017

Fukushima: Nuclear War without a War

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 16, 2017

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Michel Chossudovsky in Winnipeg and Vancouver, January 15-16: North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

Michel Chossudovsky in Winnipeg and Vancouver, January 15-16: North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

NOVANEWS

Please forward this article on social media

We are at a dangerous crossroads. Miscalculation could lead to the unthinkable.

What distinguishes the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis from today’s crisis is that Kennedy and Khrushchev were acutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. Trump is not.

Fire and Fury: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” accusing Kim Jong-un, of being a “rocket man” on “a suicide mission.”

“Mistakes” often determine the course of world history. 

North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

Presentations by Michel Chossudovsky

Monday January 15, 2018

Two lectures in Winnipeg:

University of Manitoba (66 Chancellors Cir.)

Room 244, University College

2:30-4:00pm

University of Winnipeg (515 Portage Ave.)

Eckhardt-Grammatte Hall (room 3C00) Third Floor Centennial Hall

7:00-9:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Winnipeg FB page:https://www.facebook.com/events/143083896347193/

Come to Prof. Chossudovsky’s lectures in Winnipeg to hear what you can do to stop this war.

Eckhardt-Grammate Hall, University of Winnipeg is wheelchair accessible. Take the escalator or elevator to the third floor. Lecture theatre is located on the far south side next to the escalators.

There are various downtown parking lots and parkades around the University of Winnipeg, each may have different rates and restrictions. Map available here:

Sponsored by Menno Simons College, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, and The Geopolitical Economy Research Group.

Michel Chossudovsky will also be speaking in Vancouver on January 16, 2017

Vancouver Public Library,

350 West Georgia Street
VancouverBC V6B 6B1

7.00pm- 9.oopm

The event on January 16 is organized by The Vancouver based Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) in collaboration with the Centre for Reearch on Globalization (CRG). 

The Vancouver Library venue coincides with the January 16 Canada – U.S.  “Vancouver Group,” meeting  on North Korea, which will be attended by foreign ministers from several countries including South Korea.

For further details on the Tillerson-Freeland “Vancouver Group” venue see the background article by Graeme McQueen and Christopher Black

A brief press conference is scheduled at the Public Library at 6.00pm prior to Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, and Editor of Global Research. He is the author of eleven books. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

FREE ADMISSION. Donations gratefully accepted. Q&A to follow lecture.

Draft Transcript of Presentation 

The host organizations have limited resources, Donations in support of the events in Winnipeg and Vancouver are much appreciated

Other References on Nuclear War

How Canada Can Lead North Korean Peace Talks at Vancouver Summit

By Christopher Black and Prof. Graeme McQueen, January 06, 2018

Targeting North Korea: Can a Nuclear War be Averted? Conversations with Michel Chossudovsky and Carla Stea

By Michael WelchProf Michel Chossudovsky, and Carla Stea, December 16, 2017

VIDEO: The Privatization of Nuclear War, Towards a World War III Scenario:

By James Corbett and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 11, 2017

“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 10, 2017

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 09, 2017

God is on the Side of Us Americans. “He May Guide Us to Use It [Nuclear Weapons] In His Ways and for His Purposes”: Truman

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 27, 2017

“In a Nuclear War the Collateral Damage would be the Life of All Humanity”. Conversations with Fidel Castro: Hiroshima and the Dangers of a Nuclear War

By Fidel Castro Ruz and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 03, 2017

The Strategies of Global Warfare: War with China and Russia? Washington’s Military Design in the Asia-Pacific

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, November 07, 2017

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 09, 2017

The Globalization of War, America’s “Long War” against Humanity

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 27, 2017

America had first Contemplated Nuclear War against both China and North Korea in 1950

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 16, 2017

Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 12, 2017

North Korea versus the United States: Who are the Demons? North Korea Lost 30% of Its Population as a Result of US Bombings in the 1950s

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, September 25, 2017

Fukushima: Nuclear War without a War

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 16, 2017

Posted in North KoreaComments Off on Michel Chossudovsky in Winnipeg and Vancouver, January 15-16: North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

Canada Should Play Conscientious Role in Korea

NOVANEWS
 

Featured image: A family eats ice cream in North Korea (Source: Eva Bartlett)

Lawyer Chris Black and Prof. Graeme MacQueen are helping build a revitalized peace movement. Part of that involves standing up to the barrage of propaganda on North Korea, and demanding that our government play a more positive role in defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. We discuss their recent op-ed article in the Toronto Star, the less-known reality of Korea, and the U.S. as a stopping block to peace.

Posted in Canada, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on Canada Should Play Conscientious Role in Korea

Trump’s Nuclear Threat Warrants Removal From Office

NOVANEWS

By Marjorie Cohn

A man watches a television news broadcast showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's New Year's speech, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on January 1, 2018. (Photo: JUNG YEON-JE / AFP / Getty Images)

A man watches a television news broadcast showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s speech, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on January 1, 2018. (Photo: JUNG YEON-JE / AFP / Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s veiled threat to use nuclear weapons against North Korea is not only horrifying, but also illegal. It warrants his removal from office.

On New Year’s Day, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asserted, “The entire area of the US mainland is within our nuclear strike range. The United States can never start a war against me and our country,” adding, “The United States should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table.” Kim clarified that he would not use those weapons except in response to aggression.

Not to be outdone by Kim, Trump tweeted in response, “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

To read more stories like this, visit Human Rights and Global Wrongs.

The president’s cavalier threat to start a nuclear holocaust cannot be dismissed as the rant of an immature bully. Trump controls a powerful nuclear arsenal. In fact, a few days after Trump’s nuclear button tweet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared it would sponsor a public meeting to cover “planning and preparation efforts” in the event of a nuclear attack.

Trump’s Tweet Is Illegal

Trump’s tweet violates several laws. Threatening to use nuclear weapons runs afoul of the United Nations Charter, which forbids the use of or threat to use military force except in self-defense or when approved by the Security Council. North Korea has not mounted an armed attack on the United States nor is such an attack imminent. And the UN Security Council has not given the US its blessing to attack North Korea. Trump’s tweet also constitutes a threat to commit genocide and a crime against humanity.

The ominous tweet follows Trump’s promise last summer that North Korean threats would be “met with fire and fury,” a phrase that found its way into the title of Michael Wolff’s explosive new book. Trump also told the UN General Assembly he would “totally destroy North Korea.”

“Nuclear war is not a game,” said Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, in a statement. “We are flirting with unacceptably high risks that carry catastrophic consequences for the country and the world. No one can afford to not take Trump’s threats seriously — least of all the North Koreans, who could be provoked into striking first in order to preempt what they perceive as an imminent attack.”

Lawmakers are echoing the concerns of advocates like Johnson.

“A nuclear conflict on the Korean peninsula would be a catastrophe, leading to the deaths of potentially millions of people, including American service members and families stationed there,” Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) stated.

Indeed, “even a conventional war between the US and [North Korea] could kill more than 1 million people; a nuclear exchange, therefore might result in tens of millions of casualties,” The Intercept reported.

Jeffrey Lewis, an expert in nuclear policy at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told HuffPost that after a nuclear strike, “there would be survivors for days trying to make their way out of the rubble and back home, dying of radiation poisoning.”

Markey said that Trump’s tweet “borders on presidential malpractice,” adding, “We cannot let this war of words result in an actual war.”

Eliot A. Cohen, assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the George W. Bush administration, was alarmed by Trump’s nuclear button tweet.

A president can be constitutionally removed from office without actually committing a crime.

Cohen tweeted, “Spoken like a petulant ten year old,” adding, “But one with nuclear weapons — for real — at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me.”

Some of those surrounding Trump are indeed laughing: Consider the disturbing comments of Michael Flynn Jr., son of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Flynn Jr. thought Trump’s tweet was “just awesome.” Flynn Jr. tweeted, “This is why Trump was elected. A no bulls#t leader not afraid to stand up for his country.”

Removal Under the 25th Amendment

A president can be constitutionally removed from office — either by using the 25th Amendment or impeachment — even without actually committing a crime.

The 25th Amendment provides for the vice president to assume the presidency when he and a majority of the president’s cabinet declare in writing that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” If the president challenges that determination, two-thirds of both houses of Congress are required to affirm that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

“This tweet alone is grounds for removal from office under the 25th Amendment,” tweeted Richard Painter, ethics lawyer for George W. Bush and currently vice chairman of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington DC. “This man should not have nukes.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The New York Times in October that Trump was setting us “on the path to World War III.” He said, “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.” Corker noted that those apprehensions “were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.”

In his new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Wolff writes that his interviewees “all say [Trump] is like a child.” One source said it was frequently impossible for staff to determine what Trump wished to do. It was like “trying to figure out what a child wants.”

Wolff wrote in the Hollywood Reporter, “Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country’s future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.”

Impeachment of the President

The Constitution provides for impeachment when the president commits “high crimes and misdemeanors.” This does not require actual law breaking. A president can be impeached for abuse of power or obstruction of justice, which were two of the articles of impeachment charged against Richard Nixon.

Impeachment is a political, not a legal, process. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 65, offenses are impeachable if they “proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Hamilton added, “They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

As I described in my article, “Time to Impeach Trump,” his illegal threats against North Korea and his efforts to obstruct justice regarding the Russia investigation constitute grounds for impeachment.

But we cannot expect the Republican-controlled Congress will either impeach Trump or affirm a decision to remove him under the 25th Amendment. They are thrilled that Trump spearheaded their tax cuts for the rich and is appointing radical right-wing judges who will eliminate reproductive and LGBTQ rights.

“By all accounts,” Eric Levitz wrote in New York Magazine, “most GOP Congress members recognize that Donald Trump” maintains “only peripheral contact with reality.” But, Levitz added, “They have, nonetheless, decided to let him retain unilateral command of the largest nuclear arsenal on planet Earth because it would be politically and personally inconvenient to remove his finger from the button.”

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Trump’s Nuclear Threat Warrants Removal From Office

Sabotaging Peace in Korea

NOVANEWS
Image result for TRUMP Sabotaging Peace IN KORIA CARTOON
By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF 

It just might be that the two Koreas are figuring out a way to avoid war, much to the anger and chagrin of President Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment, who are obviously increasingly viewing war as inevitable and even in the best interests of the United States.

Why, even the U.S. mainstream press, which oftentimes seems to operate as an ex officio spokesman for the U.S. government, appears irritated over North Korea’s initiation of talks with South Korea. The press describes North Korea’s overtures not as an attempt to avoid war but instead as a cynical attempt to “drive a wedge” between the United States and South Korea.

Actually, it’s President Trump, who is obviously upset that the Koreas are marginalizing him, that is using his ridiculous and dangerous tweeting abilities to further provoke North Korea, with the obvious intent of “driving a wedge” between North Korea and South Korea, a wedge that could conceivably sabotage talks between them.

Let’s first get to the root of the problem in Korea. That root is the U.S. government, specifically the U.S. national-security branch of the government, i.e., the Pentagon and the CIA. That’s the reason there is a crisis in Korea. That’s the reason why war could suddenly break out, killing hundreds of thousands of people and more if it the war turns nuclear.

The U.S. government and its acolytes in the mainstream press say that the problem is with North Korea’s nuclear development program.

Balderdash! The problem is with the Pentagon’s and CIA’s decades-old aim to effect regime change in North Korea, a Cold War aim that they have never been able to let go of. That’s why the Pentagon has some 35,000 troops stationed in South Korea. That’s why they have regular military exercises over there. That’s why they have those bomber fly-overs. They want regime change, bad, just like they still do in Cuba and Iran, and just like they wanted (and got) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and so many other countries.

That’s why North Korea wants nuclear bombs — to protect its communist regime by deterring the United States from attacking and fulfilling its decades-old aim of regime change. North Korea knows that a nuclear deterrent is the only thing that might deter the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking.

The nuclear deterrent strategy certainly worked for Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, that stopped the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking and invading the island again and even caused President Kennedy to vow that the Pentagon and the CIA would not again invade the island.

North Korea also has seen what happens to impoverished Third World regimes that don’t have nuclear weapons, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. They go down quickly to defeat and regime change at the hands of an all-powerful First World country.

Here’s the big point: Korea is none of the U.S. government’s business. Never has been and never will be. The Korean conflict was always nothing more than a civil war. A civil war in an Asian country is none of the U.S. government’s business. It wasn’t in the 1950s when the war broke out. It still isn’t. Korea is the business of the Korean people.

Keep in mind also that U.S. interventionism into the Korean War was always illegal under our form of constitutional government. The Constitution, which the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA, swear to uphold, requires a congressional declaration of war. There was never a congressional declaration of war against North Korea. That means that U.S. troops and CIA agents had no legal right to kill anyone in Korea, not with rifles, artillery, carpet bombing, or with the use of germ warfare against the North Korean people.

The Pentagon and the CIA claimed that it was necessary to illegally intervene in Korea because the communists were coming to get us. It was a lie, just as the entire Cold War was a lie. It was all just one great big fear-mongering racket to solidify the power and control of the military and intelligence services over the American people.

Those 35,000 U.S. troops in Korea today have no business being there, not only because the communists are still not coming to get us but also because they are simply the outgrowth of the original illegal intervention in the 1950s. The Pentagon has those troops there for one reason and only one reason: No, not to defend and protect the South Korean people, who are of minor importance to U.S. officials compared to the United States, but rather to serve as “tripwire” to guarantee U.S. involvement should war once again break out between the two Koreas.

In other words, no congressional deliberation on a declaration of war on whether to get involved should war break out. No national debate. Once tens of thousands of troops are automatically killed, the United States is, as a practical matter, stuck, trapped, committed. That’s why the Pentagon and the CIA have those troops there — to box in the American people — to deprive them of a choice on whether to get involved in another land war in Asia or not.

That makes U.S. soldiers in Korea nothing more than little pawns. Their assigned role is to die in order to ensure that Congress has no say on whether the U.S. gets involved in another land war in Asia. The Pentagon and the CIA, not Congress, remain in charge.

Why hasn’t the U.S. already attacked North Korea? One big reason: China. It says that if the United States starts the war, it’s coming in on the side of North Korea. China has lots of troops that could easily be sent into Korea to fight against U.S. forces. It also has a nuclear capability that can easily hit the United States.

So, that leaves Trump and his national security establishment doing their best to provoke North Korea into “firing the first shot,” or at least making it look like they have fired the first shot, like what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin or what the Pentagon hoped to accomplish with Operation Northwoods and a concocted war against Cuba.

If Trump can successfully taunt, tease, antagonize, and provoke North Korea into attacking first, then he and his national-security establishment can exclaim, “We’ve been attacked by the communists! We’re shocked! We’re innocent! We have no choice but to protect America by carpet-bombing North Korea again, this time with nuclear bombs.”

And as long as it’s not the United States that suffers the death and destruction, it will all be considered acceptable. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops will be dead. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans will also be dead. Both countries will be devastated. But the United States will remain intact and, equally important, will no longer be threatened by North Korea’s growing nuclear capability. It will all be considered a victory as far as the United States is concerned.

That’s why the South Koreans are smart in agreeing to talk to North Korea. If they were really smart, they would give Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA the boot. The best thing South Korea could ever do is immediately kick out every U.S. soldier and every CIA agent out of their country. Send them packing back to the United States.

Sure, Trump would be hopping bad, just as the Pentagon and the CIA would be. So what? It would be the best thing that could ever happen to Korea, the United States, and the world.

Posted in North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on Sabotaging Peace in Korea

Beijing responds to report of secret aid to North Korea with two words

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Image result for Fake news CARTOON

‘Fake news’

Asia Times 

An unverified report that Beijing was negotiating a secret deal with Pyongyang, published on Tuesday by the Washington Free Beacon, and syndicated by the Washington Times newspaper, has not gained much traction beyond that spattering of conservative American news outlets, garnering only a healthy dose of skepticism.

Not surprisingly, China was also not interested.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang responded Wednesday to a Chinese-language question on the report with two words – in English.

“Fake news,” Geng was quoted as saying in the official transcript of Wednesday’s regular press breifing. Next question, please.

The “top secret” document published in the report was purported to be from “a person who once had ties to the Chinese intelligence and security communities,” whatever that means, but the author also said he could not independently verify the document.

The question we posed yesterday is whether conservative media’s reporting of the document as newsworthy will pique Trump’s interest, regardless of its veracity. If the report was true, it makes Trump look like he was played like a fiddle, so he might be careful not to draw attention.

We might also see if the US president buys the “fake news” line — which he uses exclusively to lambast hostile liberal media — when it is used against conservative media supportive of his administration.

Posted in China, North KoreaComments Off on Beijing responds to report of secret aid to North Korea with two words

How Politics Shaped the Korean War

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www.nationalparks.org

As is the case in any war, politics can be a driving force.  Militarist Carl von Clausewitz said that “war is politics by another means.”  The Korean War was no different than any other war.  Many decisions involving the conduction of the war were politically driven on both the domestic and foreign fronts.  Conversely United States’ politics was affected by the Korean War.

The United States was involved in the economic recovery of Europe at the end of World War II.  This assistance had the beginnings of anti-Russian communist intent. The Truman Doctrine promised U.S. aid to any country who sought protection from aggression, either externally or internally, by countries or factions within countries who espoused Communism.   The Truman Doctrine gave Turkey and Greece economic support but was also a doctrine of encirclement as it also included Iran, Pakistan, Japan, and China.  Also at this time the French were back in Indochina and the United States’ aid was supplied to Chiang Kai-shek for his Nationalist cause in China.

The Marshall Plan poured money into the recovery of Europe after World War II.  European countries were pleased with U.S. aid and sought assurances of total U.S. attention to their concerns.  The European nations did not want money diverted from their uses to that of the Koreans as these people fought for their freedom and reunification.  Congress sided with the European countries.  Europe also wanted assurances that the U.S. would assist in keeping Russia out of Eastern Europe.  Involvement on a second front, in the Pacific, might very well cause United States’ support to be lessened on the European front

Before U.S. involvement in Korea the Republican Party was comprised of internationalists and their counterpart isolationists.  The isolationists, under the guise of non-interventionism were support for Nazi Germany and feared that FDR’s New Deal policies were socialist in base.  Additionally, key Republicans had long term business relationships in Nazi Germany.    These businessmen and corporations used isolationist policies in an attempt to pressure the government into continuing to give them a free hand to support German war industries despite the Neutrality Act.

Though isolationists and noninterventionists were characterized as Midwestern conservatives, often of German ancestry, these groups full filled a primary purpose of influencing public opinion against American efforts against Axis intervention on a world-wide scale.

The eighty-first Congress, which Harry Truman had inherited with his Presidential win, had no intention of cooperating with its new commander-in-chief by supporting the Truman Doctrine or the Marshall Plan.   The conservatives did not share Truman’s or Secretary of State Marshall’s enthusiasm for a program for containment of Communism.   Republicans wanted an end to the graduated income tax, no labor unions, an end to the social security system, end of antitrust legislation, and a foreign policy based on the use of military force in support of American economic interests. Conservative Democrats (Dixiecrats) wanted   continued restriction of voting franchise, an implementation of a national police force with broad powers of search and seizure, control of the press, arrest and detention without habeas corpus, recognition and implementation of a national religion that is Christian, Protestant, Evangelistic and xenophobic with mandated prayer in schools and direct financial support for religious institutions, the creation of a secondary level of citizenship based on race, religion, national origin, political beliefs, and a series of physiological and intellectual criteria, and restriction of women’s rights and the enfranchisement of women.. This is the traditional Republican agenda.

The collapse of the Nationalist China gave the Republicans fuel against the Democrats.  The United States wrote the China White Papers to state its attitude towards the Communist versus Nationalist civil war in China.  The U.S. denied any responsibility for the loss of mainland China to the Communists, but the Republicans issued a public statement that the U.S. withheld weapons from the Nationalist Chinese and placed Asia in danger of being consumed by Communism.   The Republican Party wanted Kai-shek returned to mainland China and did not want the Truman Administration to recognize Red China.   The China White Paper states that “social and political upheavals within China gave Communists the country.”    Republicans blamed the results on pro-Communists in both Roosevelt’s and Truman’s administrations and further declared that these pro-Communist groups gave China to the Communists.

Senator Joseph McCarthy attacked the State Department and accused it of being pro-Communist and responsible of Mao’s victory in China.  McCarthy said, “In my opinion the State Department, which is one of the most important government departments, is thoroughly infested with Communists.”   The explosion of Russia’s first atomic bomb and the conviction of Alger Hiss for perjury after declaring he had never been in the Communist party all increased the pervading fear or distrust of Communism.

A Congressional election was approaching for November 1950 and the Republicans decided the most effective way to win more seats in Congress was by opposing the current administration. Congress was often divided on acceptable policies in dealing with the Korean War.   This political body alternately advocated the opposite positions of complete withdrawal from the Korean Peninsula or the waging of an all-out war against China.   An all-out war at this time would have meant global war.  “The Congressional Republicans throughout the 1950-1953 periods were seriously divided over the question of transforming the unification of Korea from a political to a military goal.

David Rees, author of Korea: The Limited War states that “The Korean decision was primarily a political decision in the Jeffersonian tradition of American idealism.”   The U.S. interest in Korea went beyond disgust of the Communist invasion of Korea, a defenseless country.

A limited war is a political war in that the home government’s political demands restrain the military.   The U.S. at times favored a limited war despite the military wishes for all-out war.  The three reasons why the U.S. decided to conduct a limited war were that they did not want to provoke Russia to enter the war, did not want to overextend in Korea and leave Europe vulnerable, and the U.S. allies were reluctant to expand the war.  The Republican dominated Eightieth Congress cut defense spending and delayed appropriating money for the army in 1949.  This was why the U.S. withdrew from South Korea in September of 1947.  Congress withheld monies again when it refused to give $60 million more in 1950 and 1951.  Without money armies cannot be maintained.

In the early part of the war the congressional Republicans approved of U.S. actions of moving into Korea.  Republican Senator Knowland warned of a Munich-like appeasement.  He vowed that if Korea fell to Communism, then all of Asia would be threatened.    He referred to appeasement as surrender on the installment plan. Republican Alexander Smith of New Jersey said,” We Republicans to a man—while we have been critical of the Far Eastern policy of the past—are united now with the administration.   While some Republicans were behind the administration, McCarthy was spouting that any failure of foreign policy was due to Communists within the State Department.

Eventually Republicans rallied around McCarthy and also joined in the anti-communist rhetoric.  Even Democrats voted for anti-subversive legislation.   There were witch hunts for Communists in the United States including the State Department.  Public demand for anti-Communist and anti-subversive legislature encouraged both Republicans and Democrats to vote for these measures.  The anti-communism band wagon seemed like a good ride as the elections of 1950 approached.  The Republicans planned to unseat the Democrats in Congress.

Republican charges of subversion in the administration colored foreign policy in the Far East.  By the summer of 1950 Truman had rejected peace efforts by India and England.  Then the administration used the conflict to achieve policy objectives in Europe.   The peace efforts of both India and England included the acceptance of People’s Republic of China into the United Nations as well as Korean War settlement. England wanted to maintain good relations with China for her own economic reasons.   If the administration had shown a willingness to accept Communist China, the Republicans would have used this to prove that there were Communists in the Administration as well as the State Department.  Public opinion in the U.S. was in favor of not accepting India’s peace initiative.

Republicans had allocated a tremendous amount of money for military aid in South Korea in October, 1949.  This money was to be used to build Korea’s army, but was never used for this purpose.  This would have been due to the reservations of the administration to give Rhee an army to use at his own discretion.  The administration was concerned that Rhee would take this army and attack North Korea and this would bring China and Russia into the fight.

The republicans had started to “prey on the fears of the electorate in times of crisis for the sake of political gain.”   The conspiracy group in Congress started to say that the U.S. had deliberately lost Manchuria, China, Korea, and Berlin in a loss of strategic areas throughout the world.   Republicans played on the U.S. population’s mounting fear of Communism within the U.S. as well as through out the world.

Truman asked Congress to “…remove the limitations on size of armed forces…authorize the establishment of priorities and allocations of materials to prevent hoarding and requisitioning of necessary supplies…raise taxes and restrict consumer credit…and (allocate) an additional ten billion for defense.”    The authority to control prices, wages, and distribution of consumer goods at retail level vested in the President more arbitrary power over lives of American people than any other legislation past or present.   Republicans demanded a cut in domestic spending and protested the increase powers the President would have.

The major fact that Truman did not consult with Congress before committing troops to Korea affected the 1950 Congressional elections.  If he had consulted them, hoping they would approve, those opposed to the way the conflict was going would have not be able to place blame on Truman and call the conflict Truman’s War.

Republican Senator Taft called for votes for the GOP in order to stop Communism on the home front, “creeping socialism” as well as high taxes and inflation.    Finger pointing at the Democrats in essence said that Democrats are why we have this problem with Communism and that is a good reason to get them out of Congress.

By 1950 the Republicans were supporting American intervention in Korea and aligned themselves with the “no substitute for victory” mentality of McArthur while at other times calling for withdrawal from Korea.  Congress professed to want intervention in Korea but withheld funds necessary to keep an army there.    It is possible that Truman may have thought about the political consequences of his acts, but this did not stop him from doing what he thought was necessary.  The policies changed from time to time and at times there seem to be some confusion as to which policy or military strategy was appropriate and would be successful. The Republicans used McCarthyism to create fear of Communism to turn the public against the administration. This was done strictly for partisan reasons and to affect elections.

By the 1952 Presidential election, the real intent of the Republican Party was visible.  Despite at one time wanting both the U.S. out of Korea and supporting McArthur’s all out policy they nominated a military hero who had no plan for ending the war even though his platform was against unification at times and all out military policy.  The Republican Party was not consistent in what it thought the U.S. should do and did not present a working alternative, thus what they did was for political maneuvering. Foreign politics put pressure on the United States to abandon financial aid to Korea to assist it in its fight for independence and reunification.  American politics did affect the Korean War, but not to the extent that the Republicans would have wished. Truman was able to conduct the war as he saw fit.  Domestic politics did bring a Republican President to the White House, but not one whose policies differed that much from the outgoing President’s.

References

Caridi, Ronald J.  The Korean War and American Politics: The Republican Party as a Case Study.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968. pp. 3,5,11,12,15,21,29,55,98

Congressional Record, June 26, 1950. p. 9158

Congressional Record, July 5, 1950. p. 9666

Congressional Record, Aug. 14, 1950. p. 12400

Congressional Record, Sept. 5, 1950. p. 14214

Duff, Gordon.  Historian.

Goldman, Eric.  The Crucial Decade and After. New York, 1960. p. 142

Highman, Charles.  Trading With the Enemy:The Nazi-American Money  Plot 1933-1949.  New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1983. pp. XV-XiX.,7

Kaufman, Burton I.  The Korean War: Challenges in Crisis, Credibility, and Command.  New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1986. pp. 52, 55

Rees, David. Korea: The Limited War. New York, 1964. p. 11

Reeves, Thomas C.  Life and Times of Joe McCarthy.  New York, 1982. pp. 305-314

The New York Times, January 4, 1950, pp. 1 & 6

Truman Memoirs II. pp. 329, 348

Posted in North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on How Politics Shaped the Korean War

The Real Reason Washington Is Worried About North Korea’s ICBM Test

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The Real Reason Washington Is Worried About North Korea’s ICBM Test. An Effective Self-Defense?

With its ICBM test signaling its capability to retaliate against US aggression, North Korea has made clear that the United States’ seven decades long effort to topple its government may never come to fruition—a blow against US despotism, and an advance for peace, and for democracy on a world scale

This article first appeared on GR in July 2017.

A number of countries have recently tested ballistic or cruise missiles and a handful, not least Russia and China, possess nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States. And yet the missiles and nuclear weapons program of only one of these countries, North Korea, arouses consternation in Washington.

What makes tiny North Korea, within its miniscule defense budget, and rudimentary nuclear arsenal and missile capability, a threat so menacing that “worry has spread in Washington and the United Nations”? [1]

“The truth,” it has been said, “is often buried on the front page of The New York Times.” [2] This is no less true of the real reason Washington frets about North Korea’s missile tests.

Image result for David E. Sanger

David E. Sanger (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In a July 4, 2017 article titled “What can Trump do about North Korea? His options are few and risky,” reporter David E. Sanger, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the unofficial think-tank of the US State Department, reveals why Washington is alarmed by North Korea’s recent test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“The fear,” writes Sanger, “is not that [North Korean leader] Mr. Kim would launch a pre-emptive attack on the West Coast; that would be suicidal, and if the North’s 33-year-old leader has demonstrated anything in his five years in office, he is all about survival.”

Washington’s alarm, according to Sanger, is that “Mr. Kim [now] has the ability to strike back.” In other words, Pyongyang has acquired the means of an effective self-defense. That, writes Sanger, makes North Korea “a dangerous regime.”

Indeed, to a world hegemon like the United States, any renitent foreign government that refuses to place itself in the role of vassal becomes “a dangerous regime,” which must be eliminated. Accordingly, allowing pro-independence North Korea to develop the means to more effectively defend itself against US imperialist ambitions has no place in Washington’s playbook. The United States has spent the past 70 years trying to integrate the tiny, plucky, country into its undeclared empire. Now, with North Korea’s having acquired the capability to retaliate against US military aggression in a manner that would cause considerable harm to the US homeland, the prospects of those seven-decades of investment bearing fruit appear dim.

US hostility to North Korean independence has been expressed in multifarious ways over the seven decades of North Korea’s existence.

A three-year US-led war of aggression, from 1950 to 1953, exterminated 20 percent of North Korea’s population and burned to the ground every town in the country [3], driving the survivors into subterranean shelters, in which they lived and worked. US General Douglas MacArthur said of the destruction the United States visited upon North Korea that

“I have never seen such devastation…After I looked at the wreckage and those thousands of women and children and everything, I vomited.” [4]

A vicious seven-decades-long campaign of economic warfare, aimed at crippling the country’s economy, and engendering attendant miseries among its people, has conferred upon North Korea the unhappy distinction of being the most heavily sanctioned nation on earth. Nestled among the tranches of US sanctions are those that have been imposed because North Korea has chosen “a Marxist-Leninist economy,” [5] revealing what lies at the root of US hostility to the country.

For decades, North Koreans have lived under a US nuclear Sword of Damocles, subjected repeatedly to threats of nuclear annihilation, including being turned into “charcoal briquettes” [6] and “completely destroyed,” so that they “literally cease to exist” [7]—and this before they had nuclear weapons and the rudimentary means to deliver them. In other words, in threats to vaporize North Koreans, Washington has threatened to make them the successors to aboriginal Americans as objects of US perpetrated genocides.

We should remind ourselves why North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the first place. As University of Chicago history professor Bruce Cumings writes, for North Korea the nuclear crisis began in late February 1993, when

General Lee Butler, head of the new U.S. ‘Strategic Command,’ announced that he was retargeting strategic nuclear weapons (i.e., hydrogen bombs) meant for the old U.S.S.R, on North Korea (among other places.) At the same time, the new CIA chief, James Woolsey, testified that North Korea was ‘our most grave current concern.’ By mid-March 1993, tens of thousands of [US] soldiers were carrying out war games in Korea…and in came the B1-B bombers, B-52s from Guam, several naval vessels carrying cruise missiles, and the like: whereupon the North pulled out of the NPT.” [8]

Two and half decades later the B1-B bombers and several naval vessels carrying cruise missiles—this time, US ‘power-projecting” aircraft carriers—are back.

Last month, Washington sent not one, but two aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, to the waters between Japan and Korea, to conduct “exercises,” “a show of force not seen there for more than two decades,” reported The Wall Street Journal. [9]

At the same time, the Pentagon sent B1-B strategic bombers, not once, but twice last month, to conduct simulated nuclear bombing runs “near the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two Koreas;” in other words, along the North Korean border. [10]

Understandably, North Korea denounced the simulated bombing missions for what they were: grave provocations. If the communist country’s new self-defensive capabilities spurred consternation in Washington, then Washington’s overt display of its offensive might legitimately enkindled alarm in Pyongyang. The Wall Street Journal summed up the US provocations this way: the “U.S. military has conducted several flyovers near the Korean Peninsula using B-1B [i.e., nuclear] bombers and directed a Navy aircraft carrier group to the region—all to North Korea’s consternation.” [11]

Robert Litwak, director of international security studies for the Wilson Center, explains the reason for Pyongyang’s consternation, if it’s not already blindingly obvious. US-led war games “[may look] like a defensive maneuver for us, [but] from North Korea‘s perspective, they may think we’re preparing an attack when you start bringing B2 fighters.” [12]

In January, North Korea offered to “sit with the U.S. anytime” to discuss US war games and its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Pyongyang proposed that the United States “contribute to easing tension on the Korean peninsula by temporarily suspending joint military exercises in south Korea and its vicinity this year, and said that in this case the DPRK is ready to take such responsive steps as temporarily suspending the nuclear test over which the U.S. is concerned.” [13]

The North Korean proposal was seconded by China and Russia [14] and recently by South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in. [15] But Washington peremptorily rejected the proposal, refusing to acknowledge any equivalency between US-led war games, which US officials deem ‘legitimate’ and North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, which they label ‘illegitimate.” [16]

US rejection of the China-Russia-South Korea-backed North Korean proposal, however, is only rhetorically related to notions of legitimacy, and the question of legitimacy fails to stand up under even the most cursory examination. How are US ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons legitimate and those of North Korea not?

The real reason Washington rejects the North Korean proposal is explained by Sanger: an agreed freeze “essentially acknowledges that the North’s modest arsenal is here to say;” which means that Pyongyang has achieved “the ability to strike back,” to stay the US hand, and deter Washington from launching a regime change aggression in the manner of wars it perpetrated against Saddam and Gaddafi, leaders who led pro-independence governments which, like North Korea, refused to be integrated into the informal US empire, but which, unlike North Korea, relinquished their means of self-defense, and once defenseless, were toppled by US-instigated aggressions.

“That is what Mr. Kim believes his nuclear program will prevent,” writes the Council on Foreign Relations member, referring to the US effort to bring the United States’ seven-decades-long campaign of regime change against Pyongyang to a head. And he may, Sanger concedes, “be right.”

Anyone concerned with democracy should take heart that North Korea, unlike Gaddafi’s Libya and Saddam’s Iraq, has successfully resisted US predations. The United States exercises an international dictatorship, arrogating onto itself the right to intervene in any part of the globe, in order to dictate to others how they should organize their political and economic affairs, to the point, in North Korea, of explicitly waging economic warfare against the country because it has a Marxist-Leninist economy at variance with the economic interests of the upper stratum of US society whose opportunities for profit-making through exports to and investments in North Korea have been accordingly eclipsed.

Those countries which resist despotism are the real champions of democracy, not those which exercise it (the United States) or facilitate it (their allies.) North Korea is calumniated as a bellicose dictatorship, human rights violator and practitioner of cruel and unusual punishment of political dissidents, a description to a tee of Washington’s principal Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, a recipient of almost illimitable military, diplomatic and other favors from the United States, showered on the Arabian tyranny despite its total aversion to democracy, reduction of women to the status of chattel, dissemination of a viciously sectarian Wahhabi ideology, an unprovoked war on Yemen, and the beheading and crucifixion of its political dissidents.

If we are concerned about democracy, we should, as Italian philosopher Domenico Losurdo argues, also be concerned about democracy on a global scale. The worry that has spread in Washington and the United Nations is a worry that democracy on a global scale has just been given a boost. And that should not be a worry for the rest of us, but a warm caress.

Notes

1. Foster Klug and Hyung-Jin Kim, “North Korea’s nukes are not on negotiation table: Kim Jong-un,” Reuters, July 5, 2017.

2. This may be attributable to Peter Kuznick, co-writer with Oliver Stone of The Untold History of the United States.

3. According to US Air Force General Curtis LeMay, head of Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, cited in Medi Hasan, “Why do North Koreans hate us? One reason—They remember the Korean War,” The Intercept, May 3, 2017. LeMay said, we “killed off…20 percent of the population…We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea.”

4. Glen Frieden, “NPR can’t help hyping North Korea threat,” FAIR, May 9, 2017.

5. “North Korea: Economic Sanctions,” Congressional Research Service, 2016.

6. Colin Powell warned North Korea that the United States could turn it into a “charcoal briquette.” Bruce Cumings, “Latest North Korean provocations stem from missed US opportunities for demilitarization,” Democracy Now!, May 29, 2009.

7. US General Wesley Clark, quoted in Domenico Losurdo, Non-Violence: A History Beyond the Myth, Lexington Books, 2015, Clark said, “The leaders of North Korea use bellicose language, but they know very well that they do not have a military option available…Were they to attack South Korea, their nation would be completely destroyed. It would literally cease to exist.”

8. Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History, W.W. Norton & Company, 2005. p. 488-489.

9. Gordon Lubold, “North Korea, South China Sea to dominate Defense Secretary’s Asia Trip,” The Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2017.

10. Jonathan Cheng, “U.S. bombers fly near North Korean border after missile launch,” The Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2017.

11. Jonathan Cheng, “North Korea compares Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler,” The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2017.

12. “US experts argue in favor of scaling down S. Korea-US military exercises,” The Hankyoreh, June 20, 2017.

13. Korean Central News Agency, January 10, 2015.

14. Jonathan Cheng and Alastair Gale, “North Korea missile launch threatens U.S. strategy in Asia,” The Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2017.

15. David E. Sanger, “What can Trump do about North Korea? His options are few and risky,” The New York Times, July 4, 2017.

16. Jonathan Cheng and Alastair Gale, “North Korea missile launch threatens U.S. strategy in Asia,” The Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2017.

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Trump Threatens N.Korea with Nuclear War

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Trump Threatens North Korea with Nuclear War. My Nuclear Button is Bigger and it Works

 

The Trump administration has begun the year with an open and reckless threat of nuclear war against North Korea—a conflict that would inevitably drag in other nuclear-armed powers, with catastrophic consequences for the world.

In a New Year’s speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered talks with South Korea to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula but warned the US he was ready to defend North Korea. The entire US mainland, he declared, was “within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office.”

US President Donald Trump fired off a derogatory and provocative tweet:

“Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

The remarks further inflame an extremely tense situation and undermine the meeting between North and South Korea scheduled for next Tuesday. In an earlier tweet, Trump was decidedly cool toward the prospect of such talks, saying:

“Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not—we will see!”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders faced hostile questioning over Trump’s tweet, with one journalist asking: “

Should Americans be concerned about the President’s mental fitness that he appears to be speaking so lightly about threats regarding a nuclear button?”

Sanders responded by questioning North Korean leader Kim’s mental fitness, then aggressively defending Trump’s threat.

“This is a president,” she declared, “who’s not going to cower down and he’s not going to be weak, and is going to… stand up and protect the American people.”

Sanders attacked the previous Obama administration for failing to tackle North Korea and declared that the Trump administration was going to continue its strategy of “maximum pressure” on the Pyongyang regime. Trump has insisted he will not allow North Korea to build a nuclear missile capable of reaching continental America and will, if necessary, use military force to prevent it.

Trump came under fire from several congressional Democrats, with Ro Khanna calling for new legislation restricting the president’s ability to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike without authorisation. Jim Himes expressed the fear that Trump’s tweet could result in a fatal miscalculation with North Korea, warning:

“That would get real very quickly.”

These reactions reflect sharp divisions in ruling circles in Washington over Trump’s confrontational policies toward North Korea and China, which have produced mounting calls for the president’s removal.

“This Tweet alone is grounds for removal from office under the 25th Amendment. This man should not have nukes,” Richard Painter, a lawyer who worked for President George W. Bush commented.

Under the 25th amendment, the vice-president and a majority of cabinet can dismiss a president deemed to be unfit to hold office.

The bitter factional disputes in Washington are tactical in character. The political establishment as a whole has backed a succession of criminal wars of aggression over the past 25 years and would not hesitate to back the use of nuclear weapons to defend US economic and strategic interests. Those opposed to Trump, however, view Russia rather than China as the most immediate threat to be dealt with.

Trump’s bellicose threats to use the huge US nuclear arsenal are not just aimed at North Korea. They are designed to send a warning to any country that poses a challenge to American global hegemony. Trump has continued President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” against China that includes a huge military build-up in the Asia Pacific region in preparation for war.

The Trump administration has exploited the supposed North Korean threat to justify huge joint military exercises with South Korea and pressure China to impose crippling sanctions on the Pyongyang regime. The Chinese leadership is clearly concerned at the danger of war, including nuclear war, in its backyard, but also reluctant to provoke a crisis in North Korea that could be used to install a pro-US regime in Pyongyang.

An editorial in the state-owned Global Times yesterday expressed alarm at Trump’s tweet, declaring that “vying for who has a bigger, more powerful nuclear button is definitely not a solution” to the confrontation.

The editorial warned that the standoff on the Korean Peninsula could not continue.

“It will get better, or get worse. If there is no major turnaround, a horrible situation might not be so far away,” it stated.

The Trump administration has repeatedly rejected Chinese proposals for negotiations with North Korea.

The terrible scale of destruction that even a limited war on the Korean Peninsula, or restricted nuclear exchange, was outlined in a lengthy essay entitled “The Korean Missile Crisis: Why Deterrence Is Still the Best Option” in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs.

The author Scott Sagan, who is highly critical of Trump, warned that the current confrontation with North Korea was more dangerous than the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, during which the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war. He argued for a policy of containment and deterrence of a nuclear-armed North Korea, akin to US strategy during the Cold War.

The alternative, Sagan explained, would be horrendous.

“According to NUKEMAP, a single 100-kiloton nuclear weapon detonated above the port city of Busan, in South Korea… would kill 440,000 people in seconds. A weapon of that size detonated over Seoul would kill 362,000; over San Francisco, the number would be 323,000.”

These estimates did not include deaths from fires and nuclear fallout.

A nuclear war would kill millions, even if it did not involve other nuclear-armed powers such as Russia and China. Yet that is exactly what Trump is threatening. Using the United Nations as a world stage last year, he belligerently declared he would “totally destroy” North Korea if it posed a threat to the US.

Sagan’s assessment was echoed this week by former US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen who warned that the world was “closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been.” Mullen was pessimistic about any peaceful solution, saying:

“I don’t see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point.”

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Trump Nuking North Korea Would “Make America Great Again”?

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Trump Nuking North Korea Would “Make America Great Again”? Trump is a Modern-day Machiavelli Who doesn’t Care about Morals and Ethics

If Trump is willing to accept the enormous loss of American life — which are the only people that he cares about as the US President — then turning the Korean Peninsula into Asia’s nuclear panhandle would indeed “Make America Great Again” by permanently handicapping its Russian & Chinese geostrategic competitors as well as its Japanese & South Korean economic ones.

The war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald J. Trump has suddenly taken a very foreboding turn, with both men now talking about “nuclear buttons” and openly hinting at the prospects of carrying out a preemptive first strike against the other.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

The first thing to remember is that Trump is dead serious (pun intended) about his desire to “Make America Great Again”, and that he will stop at nothing to see his vision fulfilled in the future, including if he has to use nuclear weapons to make it happen.

Normative objections like arguing about how “terrible” and “evil” this is have absolutely no effect on Trump, who has come to be the literal embodiment of the “Mad Man Theory” and cares nothing about such concerns, ruthlessly viewing the world through a Neo-Realist prism where everything revolves around power.

If there’s any “emotional” point that would give Trump pause to think, then it’s about the lives of the nearly quarter-million Americans (including servicemen and their families) living in South Korea who could easily be killed in the opening days of a Korean Continuation War, and this is the only reason why Trump has yet to use nuclear weapons against North Korea.

Right now the President whose opponents label as a “heartless psychopath” is actually very concerned about the moral responsibility that he would have to forever shoulder in potentially sacrificing so many Americans, but if he ever surmounts his conscientious objections to this or is misled by the “deep state” into believing that North Korea is in the imminent process of launching its own preemptive strike (or is provoked by the military to already do so), the he might “make peace with himself” in the “comfort” that “only” 250,000 Americans had to die (notwithstanding the millions of Asians that he doesn’t care about) in order to “Make America Great Again”.

Brutally speaking, the only real consequence that the US would suffer from nuking North Korea is the death of its South Korean-based compatriots as “collateral damage”, and the possibility of a Chinese military response to America’s brazen bombing(s?) could be avoided if Washington provokes Pyongyang into striking first because of Beijing’s previous pledge not to intervene if its wayward “ally” is the one most directly “responsible” for reigniting hostilities.

US bases in South Korea

Source: Oriental Review

Accepting that the US would quickly emerge as militarily victorious in this conflict, it’s now time to examine how the destructive consequences of nuking North Korea would actually “Make America Great Again” from Trump’s “Kraken”-like Neo-Realist perspective.

To begin with, almost all of North Korea’s territory could be rendered inhospitable depending on the scale and scope of the US’ nuclear arms use, thus turning it into the ultimate “buffer zone” and therefore making the decades-long question of whether the (now-former) country would be occupied by Chinese or American-South Korean troops after a speculative continuation war moot.

Secondly, the atmospheric aftereffects of America’s nuclear weapons use are difficult to precisely predict and should be left to more competent experts to comment upon in detail, but it can confidently be presumed that this would affect South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, up to and including making some of their territory also inhospitable.

Not only that, but Seoul and even Tokyo could be wiped out if Pyongyang is successful in nuking them in its final moments, and even if they’re not destroyed, then the resultant nuclear atmospheric damage to South Korea and Japan would devastate these once-strong Asian economies and reduce them to uncompetitive “Third World” states.

The same can also happen to a large chunk of China in its rustbelt “Manchurian” region of the Northeast, as well as the base of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and its “Window to Asia” in Vladivostok, though the exact consequences are again subject to the atmospheric ramifications resulting from the scope and scale of any speculative American nuclear bombing of North Korea.

One of the relevant tangential developments that could unfold is that China’s domestic agricultural industry could collapse, and this could combine with the widespread fear resulting from the nearby radioactive panhandle to produce unpredictable socio-political consequences in the People’s Republic.

Furthermore, the nuclear destruction of North Korea and the attendant apocalyptic aftereffects that this would have for Northeast Asia would for all intents and purposes remove each of these victimized nation-states from the geopolitical game except for perhaps Russia, seeing as how they’d all be wreaked with internal turmoil in dealing with the long-term radioactive fallout of what happened, thus restoring the US to its immediate post-World War II “glorious” position in recapturing the majority of the global economy and literally “Making America Great Again”.

It’s precisely this “reward” that is so tempting to Trump and why his finger is itching to press the nuclear button, but then again he’s still held back by the thought of the quarter-million American lives that might have to be sacrificed as a result, though he might “console” himself with the “excuse” that this was “necessary” in order for the remaining 320+ million to “rule the world”.

As for the millions upon millions of Asians who would surely die in this scenario, Trump would “rationalize” it by convincing himself that he was taking North Korean “slaves” “out of their misery” and that all the others who allowed Kim Jong Un to “get out of control” and launch what the Pentagon might provoke to be Pyongyang’s first strike “deserved it”, shedding all personal responsibility for this by claiming that he “inherited an impossible mess” from his hated predecessors who already made its dynamics “irreversible” and therefore its conclusion “inevitable”.

The only realistic chance that Trump can be stopped from nuking North Korea in the event that he “gets over” the potential deaths of a quarter-million Americans (considering that the deaths of Asians aren’t anything that he cares about) and/or is misled into thinking that North Korea is on the cusp of launching its own imminent first strike (or was provoked into doing so) is if Russia and China convey the message to the US — whether openly or discretely — that they will respond with nuclear weapons if Washington dares to use them.

This brinksmanship would be very dangerous because there’s no telling whether Kim Jong Un would introduce nukes into any forthcoming conflict first, though from Pyongyang’s perspective it would have to in order to ensure its survival or “go out with a bang” like it’s been threatening, resultantly giving the US a semi-“plausible” right to respond in kind, albeit much more disproportionately.

However much some people may wish, it is unlikely that Russia and/or China would go to nuclear war against the US over North Korea, especially in the event that Pyongyang used nukes first (whether justifiably or not), and in spite of the long-term radioactive fallout that could devastate their two countries (China much more so than Russia in this case).

In addition, it can be assured that any US nuclear (counter-)attack against North Korea would be preceded by the scrupulous monitoring of all Chinese nuclear assets “just in case”, meaning that Washington would be on “red alert” to nuke China if Washington thought that Beijing was about to bomb its overseas bases or homeland in preemptive response for the deadly radioactive future that the US would be giving it, thus representing an unimaginably dangerous situation fraught with the risk of even the smallest misstep leading to a nuclear war between the US and China and further diminishing the chance that Beijing would strike back.

All in all, Trump is proving himself to be the consummate risk-taker who’s not afraid to up the stakes in any situation, and a thorough read of his personality proves that he wouldn’t shy away from using nuclear weapons against North Korea, deeply believing that it’s the key to “Make America Great Again” even if this would run the chance of a nuclear war with China too.

Trump is a modern-day Machiavelli who doesn’t care about morals, ethics, and principles when it comes to advancing his country’s grand strategic interests on the world stage, but it’s because of the little bit of “humanity” that’s still left within him in caring about the fate of a quarter-million Americans that he has yet to push the nuclear red button that’s sitting so tantalizingly close on his desk.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Trump Nuking North Korea Would “Make America Great Again”?

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