Extensive compilation of news and analysis here on A Socialist In Canada, Aug 9, 2017
Trump warns North Korea new threats will be met with ‘fire and fury’
U.S. President Donald Trump has yet again called for tough and decisive action over the “dangers posed by North Korea,” while praising the UN’s solidarity over the crisis. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is reportedly reviewing missile restrictions with Seoul. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S.. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said on Tuesday afternoon.
Trump’s statement comes three days after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously voted [on August 4] to impose a new round of sanctions on Pyongyang in response to its latest ballistic missile tests.
“After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning [Aug 8], adding that “we must be tough & decisive!”
Earlier, Trump expressed pleasure with “Russia’s and China’s cooperation” with the U.S. against North Korea in adopting the UNSC resolution targeting key North Korean exports.
Washington has repeatedly pushed for the denuclearization and disarmament of North Korea, while it conducts joint drills with its allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan. The US is also reconsidering the size of missiles that South Korea can obtain as well as bolstering its defense capabilities, Reuters reports, citing the Pentagon.
“There is currently a limit on the warhead size and missiles that South Korea can have and yes, it is a topic under active consideration here,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis stated on Monday, as quoted by Reuters. “I would tell you that we would be favorably inclined to do anything which furthers the defense capabilities of South Korea and we certainly have seen our alliance change and adapt over time before,” Davis said.
The Pentagon statement came following Seoul’s request to increase the cap on payloads to 1,000kg, voiced by South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a telephone conversation with Trump on Monday, South Korean Yonhap news agency reports.
Under the 2012 agreement with the U.S., South Korea is currently allowed to develop missiles with a range of up to 800 km (497 miles) and a payload of 500 kg, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). The agreed guidelines, which increased the range of South Korean missiles by 500 km but did not increase the payload, are considered “controversial” by the NTI. The organization says the missiles can “contribute to tensions in Northeast Asia” and despite their ability to reach any part of North Korea, they wouldn’t protect from the North’s mobile missile forces and attacks from island territories.
Following what was believed to be the second intercontinental missile (ICBM) test conducted by North Korea on July 28, Moon Jae-in apparently changed his mind over American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems. Seoul requested renewed talks with the U.S. on deploying THAAD systems, while earlier the South Korean leader had criticized the decision of previous government to host the missiles and announced he would delay additional deployments until environmental concerns were addressed.
Two Twitter comments by Donald Trump threatening nuclear war:
My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before… 4:56 AM – 9 Aug 2017
… Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world! 5:03 AM – 9 Aug 2017
Did Donald Trump accidentally threaten nuclear war out of a penchant for hyperbole?
WASHINGTON—In 2012, when Donald Trump was a celebrity businessman, he wrote on Twitter: “Price of corn has jumped over 50 per cent. This will cause a jump in food prices perhaps beyond what we’ve ever seen.”
Four years later, when he was running for president, he told the New York Times that China was building, in the South China Sea, “a military fortress the likes of which perhaps the world has not seen.”
The expression popped out of his mouth again after he won the election. In December, Trump told supporters that they had created “a grassroots movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
And there it was again when Trump was ad-libbing about the opioid addiction crisis on Tuesday afternoon. He claimed that he was “very, very strong on our southern border — and I would say the likes of which this country certainly has never seen.”
Until that point, the president’s pet phrase was unremarkable. It was mere hyperbole — mere Trump. This was a man who never used “big” when “huge” could do. This was just how the man spoke. And then, minutes after his remarks on opioids, the phrase suddenly became a threat of nuclear war.
A reporter asked him if he had any response to the news, revealed by the Washington Post on Tuesday, that U.S. intelligence believes North Korea has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump responded, stern, at his golf club in New Jersey. “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Without the “like the world has never seen,” Trump’s remarks about “fire and fury” could conceivably have been taken to mean any kind of military strike. With the “like the world has never seen,” the comments are an unmistakable threat of nuclear annihilation.
It is possible that Trump intended to make just such a nuclear threat. He has, after all, promised to eradicate North Korea’s nuclear threat “one way or the other.” But it is also possible that the president bumbled into the threat because he did not understand the ramifications of a favourite phrase he had in his head.
“I’m guessing that this talking point didn’t come through the rigorous interagency process,” tweeted Dan Pfeiffer, communications director in the Obama administration.
Kim Jong Un is now confronted with the dilemma that has vexed American voters and lawmakers alike: whether or not to take Trump literally.
“I don’t pay much attention anymore to what the president says because there’s no point in it,” Sen. John McCain told an Arizona radio station while criticizing Trump’s comments. “It’s not terrible what he said, but it’s kind of the classic Trump in that he overstates things.”
Experts believe Kim is rational, not mad, and that he wants to avoid nuclear war. But they have long feared that Kim might be provoked by loose Trump language into miscalculating, launching a strike because he thought Trump meant precisely what he said.
“I don’t think (Trump is) brave enough to start a war with the North Koreans. But he’s dumb enough to talk like he might. And the fear I have is he’ll say something that the North Koreans will interpret as a sign that an attack is coming, and they’ll overreact,” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, told the Star in April.
As usual, there is an old Trump tweet that can be read as foretelling the current situation. “Be prepared, there is a small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us into World War III,” he wrote in 2013.
Only morons believe what the U.S. government says about North Korea
Political IQ test: What does it mean when CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and the President’s Twitter account all agree that a foreign state poses a suddenly increased threat to America?
a) If they all agree it must be true!
b) Well I dislike some of those outlets, but I trust one of them.
c) The U.S. intelligence community would never lie to us.
d) Hmm… this sounds an awful lot like the leadup to Iraq?
If you said anything but ‘d’, you are of course a moron. The United States power establishment has an extensive history of using lies, false flags and propaganda to manipulate its hundreds of millions of citizens into supporting needless military interventionism. From the Gulf of Tonkin incident to the false Nayirah testimony to the amazing network of lies spun about Saddam Hussein to the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya to the unconscionable Bana Alabed psy-op in Syria, there is no depth to which the U.S. war machine will not stoop in deceiving the public about the need to unload the military-industrial complex’s expensive inventory onto some third world country overseas, no limit to the evils that America’s unelected power establishment will commit in order to secure geopolitical dominance, and no end to the mass media propaganda machine’s willingness to report war propaganda as objective fact.
It is quite literally impossible to be too paranoid about these people. If you had an acquaintance who was a known compulsive liar with an extensive history of duping people into fighting one another for his own sociopathic amusement, how would you react if he handed you a gun and told you that your neighbor is getting ready to attack you?
The U.S. government lies about war, and Phil Donahue was fired from his top-ranked show for expressing skepticism about the Iraq invasion. This fact should overlay every single segment of news media you consume which has anything to do with a potential military rival of the United States and its allies/client states. Like Dr. Gregory House’s perpetual mantra “people lie”, awareness of the U.S. war machine’s love of deceit and manipulation is absolutely essential in forming a clear worldview.
This is not to say that the completely evidence-free and unsourced report on this matter by the Washington Post — which as usual violated standard journalistic protocol by failing to disclose in its report on U.S. intelligence that its sole owner is a CIA contractor — is necessarily completely untrue. It is entirely possible that North Korea has attained miniaturization and is now technologically capable of mounting a nuclear payload on an intercontinental ballistic missile; the DPRK has been claiming to have this capability since March of last year. It would be perfectly understandable if Kim Jong Un learned from Gaddafi’s mistake of relinquishing Libya’s rudimentary nuclear program and procured the deterrent of ICBM nukes as quickly as possible, given the increasingly shiny target that the nation has had painted on it by the western war machine.
What matters for the purpose of this consideration is not whether or not North Korea does in fact have long-range nuclear capability, what matters is that the U.S. war machine wants you to think that it does right now. A narrative is being constructed, and our focus should be on what they are planning to use it for.
If, just to put a wild example out there, Guam is flattened by a nuclear explosion next week, I will be the first person to call it a false flag. There is every reason to believe that the pervasively evil U.S. war machine would do such a thing in order to manufacture support for its securing geopolitical dominance on China’s border, and there is no reason to believe that Kim Jong Un would spontaneously do such a thing. There is no mental illness in the DSM which is both hereditary and geared specifically toward unprovoked nuclear attacks; what they’ve been saying Kim Jong Il will do is now what they’re saying Kim Jong Un will do, and it makes no sense whatsoever. Do not believe these people.
This bizarre “Kim Jong Un has nuke-button-pushing psychosis, just like his father did” narrative has been used as one of the many mealy-mouthed justifications for refusing to de-escalate and attempt diplomacy with North Korea, which is indeed on the table. From the excellent Moon of Alabama:
Now consider what the U.S. media don’t tell you about Korea:
Xinhua, March 8, 2017: BEIJING — China proposed “double suspension” to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday. “As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.
… Wang said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is mainly between the DPRK and the United States, but China, as a next-door neighbor with a lips-and-teeth relationship with the Peninsula, is indispensable to the resolution of the issue.
FM Wang, ‘the lips’, undoubtedly transmitted an authorized message from North Korea: “The offer is (still) on the table and China supports it.”
North Korea has made the very same offer in January 2015. The Obama administration rejected it. North Korea repeated the offer in April 2016 and the Obama administration rejected it again. This March the Chinese government conveyed and supported the long-standing North Korean offer. The U.S. government, now under the Trump administration, immediately rejected it again. The offer, made and rejected three years in a row, is sensible. Its rejection only led to a bigger nuclear arsenal and to more missiles with longer reach that will eventually be able to reach the United States.”
I am not interested in defending Kim Jong Un here, just in pointing out that the U.S. war machine lies constantly in order to justify regime change in sovereign nations. That’s all. It’s hard to be sure through the immense veil of western media spin how much of what is said about the disobedient communist government is a distortion of the facts, but we can be absolutely 100 percent certain that it is a sovereign nation, and that the U.S. power establishment has an extensive, consistent history of lying to manufacture support for war. Be intensely skeptical. That’s all I’m saying here.
There is only one government in history that has used nuclear bombs on human beings, and it did so without necessity. A patriotic myth still pervades mainstream America that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an unfortunate but necessary means of ending the war quickly and ultimately saving lives. This is patently false. The Allied forces could have accepted a conditional surrender from Japan in May of 1945, which would have instantly ended the worst war in history if they had agreed to allow the nation to maintain its sovereignty and government. That was in May. Little Boy and Fat Man were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. The U.S. war machine did not kill 90,000–146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 in Nagasaki by unleashing the atomic horror because it wanted to spare lives, it did so because it insisted, as always, upon regime change.
There is one government in the mix here that has proven itself completely sociopathic and untrustworthy in such matters, and it ain’t the DPRK. Stay skeptical, stay watchful, and stay woke.
Note by Roger Annis:
 The intentions of the wartime Japanese government as it faced an increasingly hopeless military situation in the spring of 1945 are debated intensely by historians. While it is true that the Japanese government wished “to maintain its sovereignty and government” in the face of calls by the United States for surrender, this formulation of the issue simplifies the increasingly complex dilemma faced by Japan’s military-fascist leaders (and the U.S. government), particularly following the defeat of fascist Germany in Europe by the Soviet Union and the subsequent concentration of its military forces against Japan. See this historical survey of Japan’s dilemma in Wikipedia, and for a book on the matter, see The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, by Gar Alperovitz (1995, 897 pp).
From an email appeal for financial support by the Arms Control Association (Washington DC), Aug 9, 2017
- President Trump wants his advisors to find a way to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal even though the agreement is working and Iran is complying with the nuclear limits.
- Trump has denounced the 2010 New START agreement, which expires in 2021. Without New START or a follow-on treaty, there will be no limits on the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.
- “Pro-testers” in Congress want to repudiate the U.S. pledge under the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty not to conduct nuclear test explosions.
- Congress is poised to authorize development of a new ground-launched missile for deployment in Europe to counter Russia’s alleged violation of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
North Korea ponders striking U.S. base in Guam after Trump threatens Pyongyang with ‘fire & fury’, RT.com, Aug 9, 2017
U.S. nuclear bombers flew test mission over S Korea on Aug 7 along with Japanese and S Korean fighter jets
Trump: ‘U.S. nuclear arsenal stronger than ever after I ordered modernization’, RT.com, Aug 9, 2017
The madman with nuclear weapons is Donald Trump, not Kim Jong-un, by Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept, Aug 9, 2017
Forget Russia. Is provoking a nuclear war with North Korea grounds for impeachment?, interview with journalist Alan Nairn (on the Russia-truthing Democracy Now!, Aug 9, 2017)
The source of Trump’s real clout, by Keri Leigh Merritt, Consortium News, August 9, 2017
The image of Donald Trump’s “deplorables” – as Hillary Clinton dubbed them – is a bunch of bigoted blue-collar whites waving Confederate flags, but the secret of Trump’s real power lies elsewhere.
The notion that white workers elected Trump is a myth that suits the ruling class, by Paul Street, published in Truthdig, July 8, 2017