Sometimes, you cannot believe what you read in the papers or see on TV. I'll admit that I was as fooled as anyone once I got wind of Donald Trump's aircraft carrier move to just off the Korean Peninsula.
You have to admit, the word "frightening" isn't even close to what the press accounts have been talking about. President T-Rex has stated that he is considering a first strike on the DPRK if it proceeds with its nuclear weapons test, scheduled for May 15th. For one thing, an American strike on either North Korean nuclear facilities or on Kim Jong Un personally would almost certainly unleash those 16,000 pieces of heavy artillery that have been pre-aimed at various locations around Seoul, South Korea. It might take less than 30 seconds for a command to be given to simultaneously load and fire those guns, and it's been estimated that millions of South Koreans would die as a result.
Of course, Trump could consider a first strike on those artillery pieces; but it would require a string of tactical nuclear weapons to do so. Besides being a crime against humanity, this would no doubt arouse the ire of both China and Russia. World War III would not be out of the picture under these circumstances.
However, the Chinese could peacefully retaliate by suddenly unloading $500 billion worth of US Treasuries on the world market. Interest rates in the US would immediately go up to say, 15% overnight. The whole world economy would have a heart attack, and collateral damage could be the death of the euro. So Great Depression II is another scenario here.
The obvious reaction is that the Orange Wonder is our answer to Caligula. That is no doubt a reasonable reaction. And the conventional media, while often disparaging the Conman in Chief, also has nothing but nice things to say about Generals Mattis and McMaster, both of whom are seen as the adults in the kindergarten that is the White House. So the whole world is trying not to froth too much at the mouth over the mystifying and incredibly risky and dangerous policies that #45 is following.
But think about this for a moment. Didn't Donny run on a polciy of non-intervention? Wasn't Hillary Clinton the dangerous warmonger for suggesting that the US should immediately get more deeply involved in Syria, for example? And don't you find it slightly amazing that the First Liar did a 180 on Korea -- becoming a little Teddy Roosevelt? How many times in American history has a president totally reversed himself on the issue of peace versus war?
When I began to think about these things, I began to smell a rat. Donald Trump's natural impulses would not be to pay too much attention to the DPRK. I mean, how much did he talk about North Korea on the campaign? And then he suddenly totally flips and reverses!
Being out of the US, I'm sure you hear a lot more of the propaganda than I do. Kim Jong Un is intensifying his missle testing and atom bomb building programs. Some day soon, he might have the capability to have an ICBM. And some day, he might have the capability of putting a miniaturized atomic weapon on one missle. Or perhaps he will have the equivalent of an American Polaris missle on a submarine. And all of this is an existential threat to the United States. Give me a break! Given Kim Jong Un's current military capabilities, the best way for him to deliver a nuclear weapon to the USA would be by Fed Ex.
So just what is happening here? For one thing, it would appear that the Trumpster had swallowed US Defense Department propaganda lock, stock, and barrel. His newly found fixation on showing the North Koreans must be traced back to Generals McMasters and Mattis (the so-called adults in the room). I contend that the generals are the ones who put Donny up to this. They've had their plans on file for some time now, and they've sensed weakness in the DPRK leadership. The reality is -- Trump is a chump, a fool easily led by the sweet words that the national security apparatus has put in his ears.
And here is where I thought of a similar circumstance. In 1999, President Clinton took an extremely dangerous position on Yugoslavia, almost daring Russia to declare war on us for our intervention in that splintered country. Not many people know this, but Clinton avoided World War III at 2AM on August 9th, 1999 when he got out of bed and ordered Gen. Wes Clark to stand down from his position as NATO commander. Clark had ordered NATO troops to "meet" i.e. possibly militarily engage with Russian troops at the Pristina, Yugoslavia airbase. Yes, we did come that close to being radioactive carbon.
Now think about this. Doesn't the current situation for North Korea sound remarkably familiar to our warmongering position for Yugoslavia? To me, the answer is indisputably, "YES!" And if there is going to be a peaceful outcome to the current crisis, it will have to follow the Yugoslavian road map.
Leftists complain about our heinous lust for ill-begotten military adventure. Right wing conservatives are enraged at Trump's broken promises to concentrate on America first instead of engaging in ruinous miitary adventures. But the reality is, the constellation of defense contractors, neocons, and Wall Street consistently push for foolhardy and expansionistic military involvement for their own self-interest.
Barack Obama called this foreign and military conglomeration The Blob, as in that old 1950s horror movie. Sometimes invisible, but nevertheless always present, The Blob can spring out of nowhere -- swallowing and engulfing any country that does not want to play by multinational rules 100%. How many countries has the US Government overthrown, and for what reason were they overthrown? Libya, Syria, and Iraq are but three examples of many.
Oftentimes, The Blob will decide to intervene in a country when it senses weakness, and then it will strike. It doesn't take much to make up some cheesy propaganda about how nerve gas or nuclear weapon will be delivered to New York City by some guy on a camel (or some other ridiculous story). War fever and patriotism can be quickly ginned up, and to hell with the consequences.
Now going back to our 1999 example, once the war scare passed, it was easy to get all parties to the negotiating table, and some sense of stability could be worked out. I believe that this time is different, in that President Drumpf just met with Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jing Ping. I believe that China is playing along with the US on this one. News reports say that 150,000 Chinese troops have beem massed on the North Korean border, and China has turned back shipments of North Korean coal.
All of this suggests to me that China will play the good cop on this caper, and we already know who will be the bad cop. After this major war scare passes, the playbook is that all parties can return to the negotiating table and work out some new relation between North Korea and everyone else. If this is true, this indicates that in many respects China may actually be more of a partner in international affairs with the US in future capers.
Mind you, the United States is making things extremely difficult -- saying that it will only accept talks if the DPRK gives up its nuclear capabiility. Under the current circumstances, this might seem almost impossible. But what if Pyongyang were able to end the Korean War, and recieve full diplomatic relations from the US and others? That might be incentive enough for Kim Jong Un to consider.
As it is now, the situation is analogous to a SWAT team surrounding the house where there's a man with a gun. The SWAT team has a series of plans and techniques to allow the man with the gun to eventually peacefully surrender. Nine times out of ten, SWAT plans actually do defuse a bad situation.
The only problem comes if someone on the SWAT team makes a mistake, or if the man inside the house does something rash. In that case, something terrible will happen.
The problem with this analogy is that an accident with Pyongyang could result in either nuclear war or economic catastrophe. The world is waiting -- holding its breath.