Tag Archives: North Korea

About Trump, by Sylvain LaForest

Is there method to President Trump’s madness? That’s a question people have been asking for the last three years. Sylvain LaForest claims there is. From LaForest at orientalreview.org:

The timing is right for everyone to understand what Donald Trump is doing, and try to decrypt the ambiguity of how he is is doing it. The controversial President has a much clearer agenda than anyone can imagine on both foreign policy and internal affairs, but since he has to stay in power or even stay alive to achieve his objectives, his strategy is so refined and subtle that next to no one can see it. His overall objective is so ambitious that he has to follow random elliptic courses to get from point A to point B, using patterns that throw people off on their comprehension of the man. That includes most independent journalists and so-called alternative analysts, as much as Western mainstream fake-news publishers and a large majority of the population.

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How the Deep State Really Works, by David Stockman

The Deep State considers itself above its servants—elected officials. From David Stockman at internationalman.com:

International Man: Last year, President Trump took the unusual step of bypassing his advisors to announce his intention to withdraw all US troops from Syria quickly. The decision rattled Washington and the mainstream media. It caused former Defense Secretary Mattis to resign. Almost a year later, the US has withdrawn only a token number of soldiers. It still has thousands of troops occupying the part of the country where oil fields are located. What is going on here?

David Stockman: Well, that’s the Deep State at work.

Donald Trump is all by his lonesome. He’s home alone in the Oval Office. Now, half of it, he can blame himself. If he hires someone, a known idiot like John Bolton, what does he expect is going to happen except that everything he wanted to do is going to be undermined.

Nevertheless, he can’t seem to find anybody who can articulate on a day-to-day basis a pathway to the more restrained America First posture that he had in mind.

He’s surrounded by people who constantly countermand his orders. You have James Jeffery, the US Ambassador and special envoy to Syria saying, “Well, Trump didn’t mean that when he said he wanted the troops out of Syria.”

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Price of the Alliance: The F-35 Undermines Korean Peace, South Korea’s National Security, by Stu Smallwood

If you’re going to be a US ally, you sure as hell are going to buy US weapons. From Stu Smallwood at antiwar.com:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in did something very unusual in early October for a leader who once deemed the Korean peace process among the highest priorities of his administration: He promoted the very fighter jets that North Korea says undermine diplomacy.

President Moon was on hand to celebrate the first delivery of the Lockheed Martin F-35A “next generation” fighter jets that, with 40 in total set to arrive by 2021, represent the most expensive weapons purchase in South Korean history according to Reuters.

“The war of the future will be a fight of science and intelligence against all elements that threaten our people’s safety and property,” Moon said in a speech to promote the jets, noting that he felt “secure about the might of [South Korea’s] military armed with new … F-35As.”

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The Media’s Betrayal of American Soldiers, by Danny Sjursen

Media hostility towards any Trump peace overtures translates into opposition to less American soldiers being killed at war. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

Bipartisan critique of Trump’s plan to roll out an Afghan peace plan during the 9/11 anniversary from Camp David misses the point: negotiation was the only hope to avoid more needless American deaths.

It is a rare thing, indeed, when both establishment and media “liberals” and “conservatives” agree on anything. Nevertheless, lightning has proverbially struck this week as both sides attack President Trump with equal vehemence. Thus, here we are, and here I am – in the disturbing position of defending Trump’s (until Sunday) peace policy for Afghanistan. Nonetheless, though I don’t particularly like the way this position befits me, I’ll take it as a sign that I just might be on to something when the clowns at Fox News and MSNBC, alike, vociferously disagree with my position on an American forever war.

Few in the political or press mainstream ever much liked Trump’s regularly touted plans to extract U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Even “liberal” Rachel Maddow – who once wrote a book critical of US military interventions – turned on a dime and became a born-again cheerleader for continuing the war. After all, in tribal America, if Trump proposes it, the reflexive “left” assumes it must be wrong, anathema even. That’s come to be expected.

Only this time, even his own party has attacked the president after he let it slip that he’d planned a secret peace conference with the Taliban at Camp David and might even have announced a deal to gradually end the US role in the war during the anniversary week of the 9/11 attacks. Gasp! How dare he? End a failing war, save the lives of perhaps hundreds or thousands of US troops, and do so near the 9/11 anniversary? This amounts to heresy in imperial Washington D.C. But it shouldn’t be unexpected: Trump’s own policy advisers have opposed any meaningful steps to end the Afghan War from the get go.

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President Moon Loses the Trust of North Korea as Prospects for Peace Look Grim, by Stu Smallwood

The prospects for peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula have taken a turn for the worse. From Stu Smallwood at antiwar.com:

“His shameless talk of dialogue between the North and South [at a time like this] raises questions about his mental faculties… We have nothing to say to South Korean authorities and have no intention of sitting down with them again.”*

These are just some of the highlights of a North Korean spokesperson’s ruthless response to Moon Jae-in’s August 15 Liberation Day speech in which the South Korean president called for unification of Korea by 2045 and the establishment of a North-South peace economy.

The “time like this” mentioned by the spokesperson for the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country is a reference to the insulting training drills ongoing between South Korean and US forces – specifically a simulated counterinsurgency campaign in North Korea after successfully conquering Pyongyang in 90 days.

Laughable as this simulated scenario is (China and Russia would never sit back and let North Korea be conquered so swiftly), the comments embody the all-too-predictable outcome of these offensive drills: the North Korean government is upset and has lost complete trust in the South Korean president who once led the peace process.

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Has Trump Turned an Important Corner? by Tom Luongo

Is Trump ready to shed his neoconservative advisors and their idiotic policies and listen to his own instincts? From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

Donald Trump’s surprise visit to North Korea last week was impressive. It was a bold first step in repairing a foreign policy in tatters after more than a year of assaults by his neoconservative boobsie-twins Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Trump took Kim at his word who said after talks broke down thanks to Bolton and Pompeo in Hanoi that no dialogue would be possible if Bolton was involved.

So, Trump sent Bolton to Mongolia. Then he went to Korea and did the one thing he had to do to begin unraveling the mess he’d gotten himself into.

Last week I asked where does Trump go after his confrontation with Iran? Trump answered that question in dramatic fashion. And he deserves a lot of credit for it.

But what does this mean in the wider context? It’s a good first step but we’ve seen this game from him before, making bold moves only to be reined in by his staff.

I would say that the optics of sending Bolton to Mongolia are pretty clear. Bolton’s time in the White House is nearly over. This is also a strong signal to Iran that Trump trying to back down without actually saying that.

The drone incident was intended to box Trump into a path to war with Iran after the tanker attack in the Gulf of Oman two weeks prior. That was likely not the Iranians but the Saudis and/or MEK, again trying to get Trump to fly off the handle, since he’s easily manipulated into emotional acts.

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Only Trump Could Go To North Korea, by Tom Luongo

The “Bile Belt”—the reflexive Washington disdain for any kind of peace overture—is one of the best word coinages we’ve seen in a while. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

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.

The Bile Belt

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