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Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

We Just Witnessed 3 Major Developments That Could Easily Lead To Global War – End Of The American Dream

Posted by M. C. on August 1, 2019

Even though most Americans do not realize it, Israel and Iran are already shooting at each other. 

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/we-just-witnessed-3-major-developments-that-could-easily-lead-to-global-war

It has been a seemingly quiet summer in America so far, but meanwhile we are witnessing major developments on the other side of the globe that could change everything.  We are so close to war, and yet most people have absolutely no idea what is happening.  In fact, if you showed most Americans a blank map of the world, they couldn’t even pick out Iran, Hong Kong or North Korea.  There is so much apathy in our society today, and so little knowledge about foreign affairs, and so most people simply do not grasp the importance of the drama that is playing out right in front of our eyes.  But if a major war does erupt, none of our lives are ever going to be the same again.  So I am going to keep writing about these things, because I believe that we have reached an absolutely critical juncture in our history.

Let’s start with a stunning new development in the Middle East.

Even though most Americans do not realize it, Israel and Iran are already shooting at each other.  Israel has been striking Iranian military targets inside Syria for months, but now the rules of engagement have apparently changed, because in recent days the IDF has started conducting airstrikes against Iranian targets inside Iraq

In an unprecedented move, Israel has expanded its attacks on Iranian targets, with two bombing strikes on Iran-run bases in Iraq in the space of ten days. The Israeli Air Force carried out the military strikes with F-35 jets, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic-language newspaper published in London. News of the attacks comes just a day after the US and Israel tested a missile defence system which used targets “similar to Iranian nuclear missiles”.

The reason this is being called “an unprecedented move” is because this is the very first time since 1981 that we have seen Israeli airstrikes inside Iraq.

Needless to say, these latest airstrikes have absolutely enraged the Iranians.  It looks like the Israeli government has determined that any Iranian military targets outside of Iran itself are fair game, and it is probably only a matter of time before Iran strikes back in a major way.

And if Iran ultimately decides that one of the best ways to strike back is to start hitting targets inside of Israel, that could be the spark that sets off a major war in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, it appears that something major is brewing in China.

The political protests that have made global headlines in Hong Kong in recent weeks have greatly angered the Chinese government.  They were probably hoping that the protests would quickly subside and soon be forgotten, but that hasn’t happened.

So now China is faced with a decision.  If such protests were happening elsewhere in China, they would be brutally crushed, but Hong Kong is a special case.

If the Chinese are too harsh with the protesters in Hong Kong, that could turn world opinion against them, but if they do nothing that could encourage protests to start happening in other area of the country.

In the end, the Chinese will probably do what they always do, and that means crushing the opposition.  And Zero Hedge is reporting that Chinese forces are currently gathering “on Hong Kong’s border”

Massive anti-Beijing protests which have gripped Hong Kong over the past month, and have become increasingly violent as both an overwhelmed local police force and counter-protesters have hit back with force, are threatening to escalate on a larger geopolitical scale after the White House weighed in this week.

With China fast losing patience, there are new reports of a significant build-up of Chinese security forces on Hong Kong’s border, as Bloomberg reports:

The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.

Technically, Hong Kong is considered to be part of China, but it has always been allowed wide latitude to govern itself ever since it was handed over to the Chinese.

But now things could be about to change dramatically, and some are even using the word “invade” to describe what is about to happen.  For example, just consider this tweet from Kyle Bass

“The White House is monitoring a buildup of chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border, a senior administration official said.” Here we go..the moment the pla army marches from Shenzhen, it’s over. china’s army is going to invade HK. It’s inevitable. #hk #china

If Chinese forces start pouring into Hong Kong, the Trump administration is going to throw a fit.  Relations between our two nations are already the worst that they have been since the end of the Korean War, and the situation in Hong Kong could potentially push things over the edge.

In fact, the Chinese have already been placing the blame for the protests in Hong Kong squarely on the U.S. government

“It’s clear that Mr. Pompeo has put himself in the wrong position and still regards himself as the head of the CIA,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing. “He might think that violent activities in Hong Kong are reasonable because after all, this is the creation of the U.S.”

China’s position has been to recently declare the protests going “far beyond” what’s legal and “peaceful” amid clashes with police.

We shall see what happens, but this certainly has the potential to push the United States and China much, much closer to conflict.

On top of everything else, North Korea just fired two more missiles into the ocean

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, only days after it launched two other missiles intended to pressure South Korea and the United States to stop upcoming military drills.

The latest launches were from the Hodo peninsula on North Korea’s east coast, the same area from where last week’s were conducted, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. It said it was monitoring in case of additional launches.

The North Koreans are greatly alarmed by the joint military drills that the U.S. and South Korea will soon be conducting, and whenever they get greatly upset about something they seem to express that displeasure by firing off more missiles.

Yes, President Trump and Kim Jong-Un have been talking, but things remain extremely tense and it wouldn’t take very much at all for a major conflict to erupt on the Korean peninsula.

Without a doubt, we live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and those with discerning eyes can see what is happening.

The chess pieces are slowly being moved into place, and the combatants are almost ready.

Any number of things could ultimately spark World War 3, and once it begins it is going to be nearly impossible to stop.

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Only Trump Could Go To North Korea – Gold Goats ‘n Guns

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

https://tomluongo.me/2019/07/01/only-trump-could-go-to-north-korea/

Donald Trump did the unthinkable. He went to North Korea. He stepped over the line in the sand demarked by Washington protocol for nearly seventy years.

And that Washington establishment, predictably, hates him for it. It can be felt from all sides of the political rotunda. They hate that Trump realizes their position, one of maximum pressure, isn’t working.

They despise that Russia and China will benefit from ending this frozen conflict not to mention Koreans on both sides of the DMZ.

The cynic in me thinks they are angry that the American people will benefit as well.

So this weekend was a good one for peaceniks around the world. Trump and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping agreed to back down on the worst of his trade war demands.

Trump presumably had a good meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin which likely set the stage for his meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-un. Remember Kim met with Putin earlier this year and designated him as his go-between with Trump after the talks in Hanoi fell apart…

And only people so full of bile and despite would not be happy about this. Only people so enthralled with the thought of war and their own political and social ambitions would look at this event and seek to tear it down.

These are the people who lost yesterday in Trump’s historic and brilliant bit of diplomacy. And they are complaining bitterly about it today.

Everyone else wins.

In the land of the Twitterati, after stripping away the snark masquerading as analysis, we are left with a bunch of malcontents bemoaning their lost relevance…

In the past few weeks we’ve seen a smarter, savvier Trump avoid the traps his allies and advisors set for him. He’s showed immense restraint.

And now, Trump is climbing down off the immense mountain of entitlement he and his advisors placed him on. By stepping over the line into North Korea and meeting with Kim for nearly an hour he’s beginning to deliver on the promises he made during the 2016 campaign.

Why wouldn’t I or anyone else be cheering?

When Iran shot down that drone I said on Sputnik Radio that to solve Iran’s nuclear weapons problem Trump should be looking to North Korea. Getting Kim to agree to freezing warhead production, and presumably dissemination, ends the possibility of Iran achieving that goal anytime soon.

After meeting with most of his ‘enemies’ at the G-20, Trump did just that. He pivoted away from Iran, now a source of political pitfalls, back to North Korea which was the right thing to do.

If Iran wanted a bomb they would have one. If Russia and China wanted Iran to have one, they would have one.

So all of this talk is simply theater. Just like the strategic importance of North Korea in 2019 is still relevant with China fully capable of projecting its interests on its own.

It’s time for this insanity to end. Full stop.

The Koreans want it. The Russians want it. The Chinese want it. Japan wants it.

And we should want it too…

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Survey: Americans Have Remarkably Ignorant Attitude Toward Nukes And North Korea – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on June 28, 2019

“Most Americans have been taught that using atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was justified because the bombings ended the war in the Pacific, thereby averting a costly U.S. invasion of Japan,” reads an excellent 2016 LA Times article on this subject by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik. “This erroneous contention finds its way into high school history texts still today.”

In reality, the sole purpose of dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was not to end the war, but to show the rest of the world in general and the Soviets in particular that the United States had both the capability and the savagery to wipe out any city in the world with a single bomb. The war, in fact, had already been won, and the Japanese were already on the brink of surrender as the fearsome Soviet forces entered into the war in the Pacific

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/26/survey-americans-have-remarkably-ignorant-attitude-toward-nukes-and-north-korea/

Half of the responders to an innovative new survey of 3,000 Americans conducted by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the British research firm YouGov reported that they would support a nuclear strike against North Korea if it tested a long-range missile capable of reaching the continental United States. A third said they’d actually prefer such a strike over other hypothetical responses.

“For example, while ‘only’ 33 percent of the US public prefer a US preventive nuclear strike that would kill 15,000 North Koreans, 50 percent approve,” the report reads.

The study found little change in preference for a preemptive nuclear strike whether the hypothetical scenario offered to respondents entailed the death of 15,000 North Korean civilians or one million. Preferences for a preemptive strike only dropped when the hypothetical scenario reduced the probability of success (meaning elimination of North Korea’s nuclear retaliatory capabilities) was reduced from ninety to fifty percent.

The survey found a large knowledge deficit in responders regarding nuclear weapons, with a majority reporting an unrealistic amount of confidence in both the US military’s ability to eliminate all of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal in a preemptive strike and in its ability to shoot down North Korean missiles using current missile defense systems. This inaccurate perspective was significantly higher among Trump supporters.

While the study found that a majority of Americans would prefer to de-escalate against North Korea if given the choice, a jarring number of them would be willing to use nuclear weapons at the drop of a hat, and believe it’s possible to do so at relatively little risk to Americans.

“As we have previously found, the US public exhibits only limited aversion to nuclear weapons use and a shocking willingness to support the killing of enemy civilians,” write the report’s authors.

And really, why would we expect anything else? After all, Americans are taught the lie since they are children that their nation, the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, did so with the goal of bringing a quick and painless end to a horrible world war. Like so much else, this ultimately boils down to the effects of propaganda.

“Most Americans have been taught that using atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was justified because the bombings ended the war in the Pacific, thereby averting a costly U.S. invasion of Japan,” reads an excellent 2016 LA Times article on this subject by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik. “This erroneous contention finds its way into high school history texts still today.”

In reality, the sole purpose of dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was not to end the war, but to show the rest of the world in general and the Soviets in particular that the United States had both the capability and the savagery to wipe out any city in the world with a single bomb. The war, in fact, had already been won, and the Japanese were already on the brink of surrender as the fearsome Soviet forces entered into the war in the Pacific. The narrative that the use of nuclear bombs was a tragic but necessary means to end World War II is a lie that the US has used its cultural hegemony to circulate around the world, much like the lie that America was mostly responsible for Germany’s defeat and not the USSR.

I always get a lot of pushback from Americans when I point to this, not because I don’t have facts on my side but because it’s so glaringly different from the dominant narratives that Americans are spoon fed in school. If you don’t believe me, read the aforementioned LA Times article titled “Bombing Hiroshima changed the world, but it didn’t end WWII“, or this article from The Nation, or this one from Mises Institute.

Seriously, read the articles if this is upsetting you. This is an established fact to which contemporary generals at the time have attested. The uncomfortable feeling you’re experiencing upon reading this is called cognitive dissonance. It’s what learning you’ve been lied to your whole life feels like.

This report on the American public’s widespread ignorance of and indifference to the consequences of nuclear weapons use comes shortly after the US Joint Chiefs of Staff briefly published and then removed from public access an update on their position on the use of nukes which contains the alarming line, “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability. Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

So the people responsible for forming America’s nuclear strategies believe using nuclear weapons is not just acceptable, but potentially beneficial. The mass media have been completely ignoring this horrifying revelation, and the public are too awash in disinformation to do anything about it themselves.

Anyone who believes it’s acceptable to use nuclear weapons for any other reason than retaliation against another nuclear attack shouldn’t be allowed to operate heavy machinery, much less participate in the formation of nuclear strategy for the most powerful military force in the history of civilization. The correct response to North Korea having nuclear retaliatory capabilities is the same as the response to any other nuclear power: leave them alone. The narrative that North Korea’s leadership is likely to launch an unprovoked attack is exactly as baseless and moronic as the narratives about Iraq or Iran launching an unprovoked attack. It’s not a thing.

As tensions continue to escalate between nuclear powers around the world while the faltering US empire becomes increasingly desperate to maintain its global hegemony, human extinction via nuclear annihilation is just as real a possibility as it was at the height of the last Cold War.

But it isn’t just the use of nuclear weapons which threatens us. Their very existence warps us as a species. Arundhati Roy writes the following in her book The Algebra of Infinite Justice:

“It is such supreme folly to believe that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they are used. The fact that they exist at all, their very presence in our lives, will wreak more havoc than we can begin to fathom. Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behaviour. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meathooks deep in the base of our brains… The nuclear bomb is the most anti-democratic, anti-national, anti-human, outright evil thing that man has ever made. Through it, man now has the power to destroy God’s creation.”

This needs to change. And it won’t be changed by those in power who benefit from the status quo. Humanity itself must awaken from the propaganda cages which have been built around our minds so that the people can use the power of their numbers to force a change. The time to wake up is now.

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Top US journalists spread fake news claiming North Korean official was ‘purged’ – then he shows up on TV | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on June 10, 2019

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/03/us-journalists-fake-news-north-korean-official-purged/

By Ben Norton

Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet and a who’s who of pundits circulated a blatantly false report that North Korean nuclear negotiators were killed and imprisoned, exposing their non-existent editorial standards on Official Enemies.

The corporate media’s editorial standards for reporting on Official Enemies of the US government, especially North Korea, are as low as ever. Blatantly false stories are regularly circulated by leading news outlets without any kind of accountability.

In the latest example of fake news disseminated without any hint of skepticism by America’s top journalists, virtually every major media outlet reported that a senior North Korean official named Kim Yong-chol was supposedly forced into a “labor camp,” as part of a larger deadly “purge.”

Two days later, that same official turned up alive at a public art performance, seated next to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Bloomberg kicked off the fake news frenzy on May 30 by publishing a report claiming, “North Korea executed its former top nuclear envoy to the U.S. and four other foreign ministry officials in March after a failed summit between Kim and Donald Trump.”

Bloomberg’s source for this false story was South Korea’s far-right newspaper Chosun Ilbo, which has a long history of fabricating stories about North Korea. In turn, Chosun Ilbo’s story was based on a single unidentified source.

That is to say, the fake report obediently echoed by the Western press corps was based entirely on the claims of one unnamed person.

This obvious lack of evidence did not stop credulous reporters from jumping on the sensationalist propaganda. The false story was circulated by The New York Times, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, The Daily Beast, Fox News, CNBC, TIME, ABC News, The Financial TimesThe Telegraph, VICE, Rolling Stone, The Independent, The Washington Times, The New York Post, HuffPost, France 24, The Japan Times, Haaretz, The Times of Israel, Democracy Now, the US government’s Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, and many more.

Twitter even went out of its way to create a shareable Moment based on the fake news.

Careful readers (only a small percentage of total readers) might have noticed that Bloomberg quietly admitted in its original report, “Previous South Korean media reports about senior North Korean officials being executed following the talks have proven false.” But this concession didn’t stop the rest of the corporate media from running with this fake story.

On June 2, the commentariat’s favorite fable fell apart: North Korea’s nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol showed up on state media, sitting a few seats away from Kim Jong-un at a musical performance.

The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, and CNN quickly published new reports making light of the news  — but none of these contained mea culpas or official retractions.

As of June 3, the vast majority of blatantly false reports published in dozens of outlets remain uncorrected…

Lots of Tweets-hit the link if you want

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North Korea Launches New Missiles

Posted by M. C. on May 9, 2019

Between John Bolton, war games on their doorstep and what happened to Qaddafi and Hussein after they agreed to de-nuke can you blame Kim?

Short range…Why is this a US problem?

China doesn’t want thousands of NK refugees. N Korea could use some help on re-unification. At least they are trying. Japan is busy grabbing it’s ankles for Uncle.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2019-05-09/north-korea-launches-new-missiles

By Paul D. Shinkman

North Korea on Thursday launched two short-range missiles, marking the second weapons test in less than a week and further straining U.S.-led efforts toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

The South Korean joint chiefs of staff announced the launch in a statement, saying the missiles were fired from the northwest city of Kusong and traveled roughly 260 miles to the east. American negotiators are currently in South Korea for discussions on how to break the impasse following two high-level summits between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that failed to secure any lasting changes.

The launch comes less than a week after North Korea fired several short-range missiles on Saturday, the first such weapons test since November 2017. Trump has previously cited North Korea’s lull in missile and nuclear tests as evidence that his outreach to the Hermit Kingdom was proving successful.

North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday defended Saturday’s launch as a “routine and self-defensive military drill.” A spokesman said the test was “nothing more than part of the regular military training, and it has neither targeted anyone nor led to an aggravation of [the] situation in the region.” In a separate statement, North Korean state media reported that the missiles did not threaten the U.S., South Korea or Japan and dropped into North Korean-controlled waters.

Analysts say the missile trajectory and the distance it traveled were not indicative of ballistic weapons.

The North Korean statement condemned the continuation of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the region, which Kim has repeatedly condemned as provocative “war games.”…

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Trump Tells the Truth: Sanctions Cause People to Suffer – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 2, 2019

They are just another form of war. In fact they are perhaps the cruelest form of war because they do not target the military of an adversary, but rather the innocent civilian population. As President Trump said, they make people suffer.

https://original.antiwar.com/paul/2019/04/01/trump-tells-the-truth-sanctions-cause-people-to-suffer/

This week President Trump admitted what the Washington policy establishment of both parties would rather be kept quiet. Asked why he intervened to block a new round of sanctions on North Korea, he told the media that he believes the people of North Korea have suffered enough. “They are suffering greatly in North Korea… And I just didn’t think additional sanctions at this time were necessary,” he said.

The foreign policy establishment in Washington, whether they are neocons, “humanitarian interventionists,” so-called “realists,” or even progressives have long embraced sanctions as a way to pressure governments into doing what Washington wants without having to resort to war.

During my time in Congress I saw many of my antiwar colleagues on the Left vote for sanctions because they believed sanctions are more “humane” than war. Neocons and other interventionists endorse sanctions because they know that sooner or later they will lead to war, their preferred foreign policy.

With his characteristic bluntness, President Trump has exposed this big lie…

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MoA – Judge Identifies CIA Related Man Who Led The Raid On North Korea’s Embassy In Spain

Posted by M. C. on March 29, 2019

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/03/judge-identifies-cia-related-man-who-led-the-raid-on-north-koreas-embassy-in-spain-.html#more

Judge Identifies CIA Related Man Who Led The Raid On North Korea’s Embassy In Spain

A Spanish judge released new information about a raid on the embassy of North Korea in Spain. The leader of the raid was a shady U.S. ‘activist’ who earlier reports from Spain associated with the CIA.

On March 13 the Spanish newspaper El Pais Spain reported that Spanish authorities identified two CIA related persons who took part in a raid of the North Korean embassy in Madrid. The raid happened on February 22, a few days before the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, and seemed designed to influence that event. We asked Who Ordered The CIA To Assault North Korea’s Embassy In Spain?

The embassy raid was no normal thievery. There were eight people in the embassy when it was raided at 3:00 PM local time. They were bound, bags were put over their heads and some were interrogated. The thieves left with computer hardware and the cellphones of the personnel.

The Spanish version of the El Pais piece included this detail (machine translated):

After analyzing the recordings of the security cameras in the area, questioning the hostages and analyzing the diplomatic vehicles used in the flight, it has been possible to identify some of the assailants. Although the majority were Koreans, at least two of them have been recognized by the Spanish information services for their links with the American CIA.

The indications that point to the US espionage service, in probable cooperation with that of South Korea, are so strong that Spanish interlocutors have contacted the CIA to ask for explanations. The response was negative, but “unconvincing”, according to Government sources.

Two days after the El Pais report the Washington Post national security reporter claimed that the raid was done by a shady group of allegedly North Korean revolutionaries. The report was based on anonymous sources and a ‘former’ CIA analyst. The group was identified as Cheollima Civil Defense or Free Jaseon.

As the group and its website had all the signs of a CIA regime change front Moon of Alabama headlined:

CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea’s Embassy In Spain

We also noted that the British Sun related the group to the South Korean spy service which is essentially a subsidiary of the CIA.

Yesterday a Spanish judge lifted the seal of the case and issued arrest warrants against two of the people involved in the raid:

De la Mata identified citizens of Mexico, the United States and South Korea as the main suspects being investigated on charges that include of causing injuries, making threats and burglary. He named Adrian Hong Chang, a Mexican citizen living in the United States, as the break-in’s leader.Hong Chang flew to the U.S. on Feb. 23, got in touch with the FBI and offered to share material and videos with federal investigators, according to the court report.

While in Madrid, Hong Chang also applied for a new passport at the Mexican Embassy, the investigation found, and used the name “Oswaldo Trump” to register in the Uber ride-hailing app.

Others identified as part of the assailants’ group were Sam Ryu, from the U.S., and Woo Ran Lee, a South Korean citizen. Their whereabouts and their hometowns weren’t immediately known. None of the suspects were thought to be still in Spain, the judge wrote.

The New York Times adds:

Mr. Hong Chang left for Lisbon and then boarded a plane to Newark Liberty International Airport, where he landed on Feb. 23, according to Judge de la Mata. He said that Mr. Hong Chang got in touch with the F.B.I. and offered to share “audiovisual material” obtained during the embassy attack.

On March 20 the Cheollima Civil Defense group uploaded a new short video to its Youtube channel. It says “Recently, on our homeland’s soil ..” and then shows a man, face hidden, taking pictures of the deceased North Korean rulers Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il off a wall and smashing them on the floor. Embassy grounds are considered to be territory of the country they represent. It is likely that the video “on our homeland’s soil” was made during the raid on the North Korean embassy in Spain…

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Did Bolton Blow North Korea?

Posted by M. C. on March 5, 2019

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/march/04/did-bolton-blow-north-korea/

Written by Ron Paul

…One leading Democrat, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), attacked Trump for meeting with Kim because speaking to the North Korean “gives him legitimacy.” Does it make any sense that we should not even speak with our nuclear-armed adversaries because it gives them “legitimacy”? He’d rather have a nuclear war as long as Kim remains “illegitimate”? This is sadly the kind of thinking that prevails in Washington.

The media reported that Trump walked away from the meeting before the scheduled signing ceremony and closing press event. The talks broke down, it was reported, because Kim demanded an end to all sanctions before any reduction in North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Washington sighed with relief and said all together, “better no deal than a bad deal.”

Meanwhile the North Koreans held a rare press conference clarifying that they only asked for partial sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling one of their main nuclear facilities. Further, press reports began to surface that National Security Advisor John Bolton threw additional demands on the table which led Kim to draw the meeting to an early close.

Who’s telling the truth? We likely won’t know. But given Bolton’s strong opposition to any kind of peace agreement with North Korea it’s hard to doubt that he had something to do with the blow-up of the summit. As the New York Times reported over the weekend, while Trump’s advisors were shocked when he decided to meet Kim face-to-face the first time for negotiations, John Bolton wasn’t worried at all. As the Times writes, “Mr. Bolton told colleagues not to worry. The negotiations, he said, would collapse on their own.” And so they did.

Will Trump continue to allow his diplomatic efforts to be undermined by his own staff? Let’s hope the president will ignore Washington, ignore the neocons, and continue to work for peace with North Korea.

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The Promise in This Week’s ‘Failed’ Trump-Kim Talks | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on March 4, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-promise-in-this-weeks-failed-trump-kim-talks/

By Harry J. Kazianis

No matter what happens in the coming days between the United States and North Korea, Washington has only one objective: avoiding military conflict with the hermit kingdom—at nearly all costs.

What about denuclearization, you ask? No offense, but the 1990s want their garbage foreign policy ideas back.

While getting rid of the North’s nukes should remain an important goal, Chairman Kim Jong-un’s potential 65 nuclear weapons are clearly an expensive insurance policy in case the hawks in Washington decide to forget the lessons of history and try to enact regime change. If Kim ever used them in an offensive manner, launching some sort of suicidal first strike, his regime, along with the majority of his 25 million citizens, would be destroyed thanks to the nuclear firepower of just one late 1970s era U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine—and he knows that.

Whether we like it or not—and despite how he treats his own people—Kim is a rational actor on the world’s stage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Trump doesn’t always get it wrong on the Middle East, by Patrick Cockburn – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on January 26, 2019

It may not turn out that way, but Trump’s approach is more realistic than those who dismiss it as dangerous idiocy. For all his verbal belligerency, Trump is a genuine isolationist who has yet to start a war anywhere. It is an achievement not to be underrated.

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/why-trump-doesnt-always-get-it-wrong-on-the-middle-east/

The exceptions are important but Trump does not get credit for them because of the knee-jerk hostility which rules out any possibility that Trump may be right and his vast array of critics wrong.

North Korea, Russia and Syria are good examples of the positive side of Trump foreign policy, however unorthodox its expression.

He may not have got as far as he wanted through talks with Kim Jong-un, but war in the Korean peninsula is certainly less likely than it was in pre-Trump times. Any contact between Trump and Vladimir Putin is portrayed by most news outlets as a hideous act of betrayal of the west. But Russia has a nuclear arsenal capable of blowing up the world several times over, so it is surely unwise to refuse to talk to, and treat as a pariah, the Russian leader who could press the nuclear button?

Trump’s sudden decision in December to pull US troops out of Syria was condemned by everybody from the most liberal Democrats to the most belligerent Republicans. They all jumped on to their moral high horses, but none proffered an alternative policy and happily pretended that the status quo was sustainable – though it is not.

The US is a bit player in Syria where the Kurdish-led forces it backs have largely defeated Isis. “Oh no they haven’t,” shouts the Washington foreign policy establishment, but Isis used to rule eight million people in a powerful state stretching from the outskirts of Baghdad to the Mediterranean. It now controls only part of a single small town, Hajin, in the depths of eastern Syria. The jihadis are never going to run up the white flag, but if this is not defeat it is something very close to it….

Be seeing you

graveyard

 

 

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