Trump tweets: We are about to go to war

Here is the tweet:

Locked and load means ready to pull the trigger. Making that conditional on Kim Jong-un becoming a pacifist means Trump is going to pull the trigger. Based on this statement of policy by President Trump (when President speaks/tweets, policy comes out his mouth or other orifice), bombs should be dropping, missiles flying, ancillary terrorist attacks initiated, naval forces engaged, and possibly action across the DMZ started, by the end of the day, or at least, by the end of the weekend. Tens of thousands will be dead by Wednesday. Maybe hundreds of thousands.

Or, possibly, Donald Trump is full of shit, and we elected a stupid clown as a president.

I hope the latter. I also hope that Kim Jong-un is rational enough to see this for what it is, and to let Baby Trump's tantrum settle down enough that something shiny can come along and distract him.

I also hope that the continuing erosion of support for Trump by his base accelerates a bit as the war-loving, Putin-sucking, America-hating deplorables get mad at Trump for not actually pulling the trigger and initiating World War III.

In this day of proto-apocalyptic politics in America, that would be a good day.


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Who is using the line 'In this day of proto-apocalyptic politics in America, that would be a good day.'?

I read a very anxious tone in this post, and I understand this.

When are Americans ripe for nationwide peaceful marches and other forms of protest against Trump?

Guess what happens with the world when atombomb triggers are getting pulled? Shall we then meet again and if so in what form? 14.54 PM DT.

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

That was me just now using that line. See above.

I'm asking the same question about peace marches. Boycotts, all of it.

I completely endorse you. The same must be done on all other continents. Kind regards, Gerrit, 15:07 PM DT.

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

The physical damage of this potential war would be limited to the Pacific rim. North Korean technology could not penetrate American defenses, but they might send suicide bombers or poisoners to America. South Korea would be damaged by conventional weapons. Certainly there would be great destruction and loss of life in North Korea, but the consequences for the world economy and particularly for the America economy would be catastrophic.

By D F COLLINSON (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

I desperately hope for the second scenario, or that the current lack of readiness of the U.S. military, the potential toll to allies South Korea and Japan, the strength of even a non-nuclear response from a cornered North Korea, and the global repercussions of a newly hostile China force the U.S. government to put a brake on Trump's idiotic impulses.

On the other hand, the parallels with Kaiser Wilhelm II and the First World War are sobering.

Hard to point a finger at Trump (OK, well, it is very easy to do) when the real travesty is the sixty-year escalation of the military-industrial complex and the accumulation and cost of the largest cornucopia of instruments of destruction in human history.

Both houses did this. Cause boys GOTTA have their toys.

By gingerbaker (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

Ginger, I find your attempt at false balance to be laughable.

Just because both sides have done something doesn't mean we can't just blame one when they're doing it. Just blame the "other side" when THEY do it.

Which was kinda the problemwith progressives complaining when Obama did things badly. Or, indeed, when complaining about the nonexistent electioneering from Hilary. Complaints were not accepted.


So there's no need to hold back or add false equivalency to the situation when one side is clearly doing it *now*. Just blame them NOW.

"On the other hand, the parallels with Kaiser Wilhelm II and the First World War are sobering."

Not really, as the chain of events (Austria declaring war on Serbia, Russia backing Serbia, German responding to Russia due to her treaty with Austria, and the rest falling in line while honoring their treaties as well) was a bit different than the current situation where Trump would just preemptively strike Korea because, well, I guess he can.

>I also hope that Kim Jong-un is rational enough to see this for what it is, and to let Baby Trump’s tantrum settle down

Of course he's rational. How many times has his family launched major attacks? Every so often attack South Korea in a war his country claims is ongoing, but then it quiets down. He learned from his dad and grandpa that you act crazy and the world will give you what you want.

Now Trump is trying to break this cycle with his own crazy act. Lil Kim isn't seeing the usual response of "We deplore the crazy North Korean regime. We're hoping to settle this diplomatically but all options are on the table." Trump said quiet down or there'll be fire and fury. Kim kept going. Now Trump has quietly switched from NK better not talk bad, to better not act bad. I predict no war by Wednesday.

Same rhetoric, same ad hominems used against Reagan. Trump, the USA, does not have to nuke NK. We have weapons tested, and untested, which will be effective enough to the job. I guess we expect the Kim Jong Mentally Ill of e world to have this type of behavior and to be bullies , but heaven forbid our leaders to talk and act like Teddy Roosevelt. Kim wants something and it is not annihilation. Clinton gave him what he wanted and it didn't do any good.

I wondered how long it would take a lunatic to defend the irrationality of our loon in chief.

What are your peaceful protest actions going to be in the States?

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

I bet Kim backs down. We will see. If Kim launches missiles at Guam than we will have no choice but to shoot the missiles down (if we can) and take out Kim.

Uhm, it'll have to be the orangina fairy backing down. All Kim has to do is do some more smack talk to the USA and the fleabrain has to either weaksauce out of his "He'd better not talk like that again" threat or back down.

It's one reason why Trump is even dumber and less in control of his mind than Kim is.

"Same rhetoric, same ad hominems used against Reagan. Trump, the USA,"

The USA can't be ad hominem'd. they're not a "hominem" to ad.

Reagan was dumb as a sack of herring. Most of the rhetoric against him was just accurate.

Shrub was as dumb as a sack of spanners. Most of the rhetoric against him was just accurate.

Trump is dumber than a fishfinger full of grease. Most of the rhetoric against him is much more polite than he deserves.

Wow you are getting poetic. What next?

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

You're not making any more sense though.

There is a very simple solution (not really); lets have Trump and Kim have duel with grenades in a phone booth. I bet we could sell tickets to the event.

> Clinton gave him what he wanted and it didn’t do any good.

"Good afternoon. I am pleased that the United States and North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea’s nuclear program. This agreement will help to achieve a longstanding and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula. This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world. It reduces the danger of the threat of nuclear spreading in the region. It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community . . . This agreement represents the first step on the road to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It does not rely on trust. Compliance will be certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The United States and North Korea have also agreed to ease trade restrictions and to move toward establishing liaison offices in each other’s capitals. These offices will ease North Korea’s isolation."

Trust RickA to make an utterly nauseating remark: "....and take out Kim".

Take him out where? To a ballgame? No, you mean to attack the country and to kill tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people, you heartless cretin. Stop veiling the carnage in doublespeak. Americans can sleep soundly in their beds but the North Koreans are not allowed that same basic human right. That's what idiots like you believe. 'The powerful do what they will, and the weak suffer as they must', in the words of Thucydides, author of 'The Second War of the Pelopnnessus'.

It's frankly bizarre how in all of this rhetoric emerging about the alleged threat posed by NK missiles there is a complete absence of reflection over why that country may be just a little bit paranoid. But this is standard practice for the media of the war party, the one traditionally holding the club. The views of the usual victims, those at the receiving end of the club are afforded little attention.

Between 1950 and 1953 the US inflicted the 'hells of the Earth' on Korea, so Trump's bellicose 'Fire and fury' rhetoric is hardly new.. Upwards of 2 million died as the US systematically targeted the civilian infrastructure of the country. Dams were destroyed, flooding rice fields, farms razed, and the country was virtually bombed flat. In his memoirs, Douglas MacArthur said that he was so appalled at level of violence inflicted by the US on NK that it made him physically sick. Curtis 'Bomber' LeMay also admitted that the US committed many unspeakable acts in the country.

All of this is omitted from current western media discourse. But the North Koreans haven't forgotten. The victims rarely do. Moreover, I find it utterly hypocritical that the US can perpetually feel that it has the right to threaten other nations who don't follow orders from the global hegemon but any thoughts that the weak might strike back are considered virtually sacrilegious, beyond the pale.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

Don't expect any reason from rickA or mikeN: they're both experts on misrepresenting facts, and neither cares that any conflict on the Korean peninsula would result in huge numbers of casualties, because "those kinds of people" don't matter to them.

This entire bit is asinine because the same dubious information that says NK has been able to make a small nuclear warhead also said they have not got down the technology to guide the warhead in reentry. There has also been speculation that the missile in the most recent test mostly burned up on reentry and would not be capable of getting any payload safely to target.

The other crap from mikeN is just his continued annoyance that a black man "posing" as president actually tried to attack a complicated problem with thought rather than the ignorance Republicans use.

For clarification, from Media lens:

Current news coverage about North Korea omits significant history. The fact that the United States devastated the Korean peninsula in the 1950s is regularly buried. US General Douglas MacArthur testified to Congress in 1951 that:

'The war in Korea has already destroyed that nation of 20,000,000 people. I have never seen such devastation. I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there. After I looked at that wreckage and those thousands of women and children and everything, I vomited.' ('Napalm – An American Biography' by Robert Neer, Belknap Press, 2013, p. 100)

US Air Force General Curtis LeMay wrote:

'We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea both...we killed off over a million civilians and drove several million more from their homes, with the inevitable additional tragedies bound to ensue.' (Ibid., p. 100)

Note how all of this has been airbrushed out of any elite media discussions about perceived 'threats' posed by North Korea. It is also informative to compare the death tolls of the foreign policies of North Korea and the United States since the end of World War II. Again, our media pay no attention to this relevant fact as they ramp up the rhetoric for war. But let's take an educated guess. Let's be bold and say that a few hundred people have died because of foreign policy agendas of North Korea in the past 70 years. Now that is a real stretch. The real number iof probably a small handful.

Now what would the death toll of American foreign policy be in the same time frame? We can look at direct military interventions, those of proxies or just political and economic influence. A good ballpark figure would bein the order of several tens of millions of victims at the very least. A more plausible estimate is around 100 million or even more.

So the question is: which country poses the greater threat to global peace and security? The answer is obvious, ort should be. Of course this standoff could be settled thrugh diplomacy. But we have a frankly idiotic President in the White House and a tram of lunatics in the Pentagon anxious to use their hardware. It is utterly vile.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

What irks me is that this bellicose nonsense from each side is nothing like what it sounds like. Each time NK has done this, they've come to the table, ahemmed softly and taken the aid they want. Their harvest this year is down due to drought. They will be starving soon. Kim can't have that. What the Talking Yam can't understand is that Kim is bargaining the same way his dad and grandpa did. (He has only a rudimentary understanding of anything, as we know.)

Kim is too proud to ask. He wants to be bought off. The good news is that the UN is available and there are NK and US people there who are talking. Maybe we can trade food/fuel for the nukes as we did in Iran. That seems to be working, sort of.

By BobFromLI (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

Re: #21 & 22
Yes "war is hell" as General Sherman has been quoted as saying and it is true that the North Koreans suffered greatly. in the early 1950s. It is also true, however, that it was North Korean forces that invaded South Korea, not the other way around. The underarmed U. S. and ROK forces were at first unable to put up much resistance. (For one thing, the U. S. and ROK forces lacked anti-tank weaponry able to counter the large number of Russian-made T-54 tanks supporting the NK troops.) The weak military presence was in part an attempt by the U. S. to avoid seeming to threaten North Korea with an invasion.

"A more plausible estimate is around 100 million or even more."

Someone else can deal with that estimate which seemingly comes out of nowhere but your imagination.

The military response to the invasion of South Korea was sanctioned by the U. N. and involved several countries' forces not just U. S. forces. What other option was there? Should South Korea have been sacrificed as Czechoslovakia had been sacrificed just before WW 2? How did that work out?. What other option was there? A kindly, careful war? Get real. Don't forget that hundreds of thousand Chinese troops joined the fray when the NK forces were pushed back.

"Of course this standoff could be settled thrugh [sic]diplomacy"

I would hope so too, but reality may not coincide with our hopes and wishes. Certainly the North Korean people will not be able to vote on the issues and having elected a GOP Congress and President, neither will the American people, at least not for years.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

If the USA lamp NK, they'll bring China and Russia into it. If NK are attacked and lay down fire on SK and nearby neigbours with non-nuke weapons but trump decides to use nukes (or even tries to), he'll bring in pretty much all NATO and the UN along with China and Russia.

This may be 100% what his religious adviser wants,though. Armageddon out of here.

Tyvor, read some history. My imagination as you supinely call it is probably pretty accurate. Putting together the death tolls from Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq alone leads to around 5-10 million deaths. And there are hundreds millions of corpses strewn elsewhere across the globe as a result of direct or indirect US foreign policy. Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East... decades of senseless butchery and democracy deterred. British historian Mark Curtis estimated the death toll of British foreign policy since WWII in his book 'Unpeople' at several tens of millions, and of course as the global wholesale rogue state that of the US is clearly much worse.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

And yes, war is indeed hell, so long as the US is bombing or invading somewhere else. What a flippant remark. Michael Ledeen, the neocon, once said that "the US needs to throw some small, crappy little country against the wall every year just to show that we mean business". Noam Chomsky said that the US uses three criteria in the wars it wages; first, the country must be worth the trouble strategically or economically; second, it must be defenseless; third, there must be a way of giving the impression that it is a direct threat to our survival. Iraq was a clear example. North Korea seems to fit the well.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

>any conflict on the Korean peninsula would result in huge numbers of casualties, because “those kinds of people” don’t matter to them.

Yea, I'd be OK with pulling our troops from Korea and letting the more populous and wealthy South deal with the issue. It would likely lead to nuclear South Korea, since North declares the war to be ongoing and that the South is theirs.

>The other crap from mikeN is just his continued annoyance that a black man “posing” as president

That was Bill Clinton's statement. Obama actually tried to break the cycle too.

>There has also been speculation that the missile in the most recent test mostly burned up on reentry and would not be capable of getting any payload safely to target.

They launched with a very high arc. They could have kept it lower to get more range, and then less reentry.
It is plausible that they are not quite ready. They will continue to test until they are ready, unless you pay them off. Before they didn't have nuclear material, then they didn't have nuclear weapons, then they didn't have a miniature warhead that could be put on a missile, then they didn't have a long range missile...

I find it very funny when the left complains constantly about what president Trump does if president Trump wasn't to respond to North Korea everyone would be bitching and complaining that he should be responding since he is responding you're all still bitching and complaining it doesn't matter what the man chooses to do the left will always still do the opposite of what he does,

Yes Mike, they launched it high. That doesn't negate any of the rest of the comment.

Your racist views of the unimportance of millions of non whites is noted.

I bet Drumph backs down:
A] NK has laid out a specific response [Guam proximity "strike"] which USA cannot match- DT[once again completely outmatched in world stage strategy] is all vagueness- [and anyone monitoring success rate of anti missile tests will tell you that THAT is wishful thinking]
B] This nexus - NK's nukes - is not of DT's making . Libya, Iraq are held as lessons as to what small, non nuke countries can expect from American muscle - even AFTER they comply by not building nukes or other WMD....there is zero incentive for NK to cease WMD construction.
C] China just completed an air/sea exercise off Korean coast - [likely just a flex of muscle] as well as construction of large scale facilities to either house refugees or its own ppl on its NK border. There IS a parallel to old WWI alliances here- hopefully a few career diplomats are still left to suss out a Chinese reaction to , say , a surgical non nuclear strike on NK military targets.
D] SKorea absolutely understands that anything short of utter annihilation of its neighbor means devastating consequences.
A worst case scenario is total bio/chem usage + invasion over the DMZ with any nukes remaining headed to Guam and Japan.
E] Again- Anyone really imagine that China sits idly by? be a rather perfect opportunity to see how far they can push the India border dispute as well as pick up some Sea of Japan disputed territory .... maybe even some Taiwan mischief ... Nope- Iraq and Libya had no Big Brother - [and look what happened as soon as Syria called in Putin].... NK always has a Chinese connection .

By curtis goodnight (not verified) on 11 Aug 2017 #permalink

In amongst all this there seems this week to be very limited commentary in the States about Trump's fawning capitulation to Putin's expulsion of 750 out of ~1,100 US diplomats in Russia.

Trump's response was a gushing "thank you" for cutting the US diplomatic payroll, apparently completely oblivious to the fact that Putin didn't actually fire any US federal employees - he simply kicked them out of Russia. The 750 diplomatic staff are still on the US pay roll.

All that Trump has demonstrated to the >95% of the world beyond the US borders is that he is a weak sychophant who is so afraid of whatever it is that Putin is holding over him, that he will cede to Putin the apparent power to dictate employement and dismissal of US federal staff. Trump couldn't have made the point any clearer if he'd dropped his trousers and handed Vladimir a tube of silicone jelly.

In case any of the more conservative USAdians here are in any doubt, the rest of the world already regards the States as a washed-up wreck, fallen hard from its previous standing as the pre-eminent world power, and irretrievably sliding further from influence. My expatriot US friends are devastated by what they're observing from their external vantage points, and their depression and despair is palpable.

Make no mistake, there is no way that Trump could wield the skill required to recover a US win from the mess in which he's mired the country. China will be laughing themselves senseless over these antics: any escalation by Trump to military conflict will see the US become the international pariah in this, and anything less will be another capitulation that China will use to its advantage in its current flexing of geopolitical muscle. The fact is that whilst the West gazed fondly into its wallets and bigotries and global bullying, Putin and China have manoeuvered themselves into positions of utter strength, to the point that the US and NATO will probably never be able to dominate the global stage again.

And in large part it will be because the citizens of the USA chose Trump to obsequiously hand that advantage over on a golden platter.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

From Jeff:

Tyvor, read some history.

Indeed, here are some suggestions , as a montage arranged as bookmarks across A4 sheet.

I could also suggest some titles on the 1950s Korean war which conflict had particular resonance from living in the city which was the HQ of the regiment renowned for the stand on the Imjin. I am old enough to remember the return of that battalion with the associated wrecked lives. I also recall seeing newsreel footage on TV but with that we never saw the worst of it.

My thinking is that if Trump does attack NK the conflict is unlikely to stay local.

And in large part it will be because the citizens of the USA chose Trump to obsequiously hand that advantage over on a golden platter.

I wonder how veteran's like the one who shoved a woman at a Trump rally in Kentucky are now feeling? How strong is their cognitive dissonance.

Evidently the veteran concerned in that incident is now regretful about his behaviour. I hope so, but this does not excuse the man who has been inciting such behaviour or the media which has been amplifying the calls of hate.

Tolkein sure was prescient, but then he had first hand experience of the horrors of war and the bestiality it ferments. Civilisation is as much a myth as democracy, the US has long since lost any claim to represent the latter as Great Britain had earlier, or never could some would argue.

At this time of extreme ecological and environmental peril countries and nations should be coming together not pushing for isolationism and conflict.

interesting comment on Trump's man-child brain that does not do nuanced, complex thinking.

Received an unnerving phone call from a chat-bot last night from Freedom Builder 614-721-0867. The bot asked for the man of the house. I asked "who is this?" It then proceeded to explain that it was Karl something or other and that he was calling to inform me about the awful efforts to impeach Trump being brought about by those sore loser Democrats in response to their inability to deal with the 2016 election loss. Every time the bot would ask a question about Trump I would say He is stupid, incompetent, a traitor, a liar. . While this was a lot of fun, I now realize that my voice print is now on file at Crypto Fascism Central. So I guess I can be looking forward to an all expenses paid stay at a Patriot Re-education camp some time in the future. Can't wait. So be forewarned. Cheers.

"expulsion of 750 out of ~1,100 US diplomats in Russia."

It's my understanding that most of the terminated positions are not diplomats but Russian citizens working at US posts in Russia. They will be (have been?) fired, but will still be in Russia. Of course, some are Americans, but are only a small number of the total

I'm pretty sure this is unknown at this time.

My post was based on a few articles that cited numbers like these:

But according to a 2013 review by the State Department, of 1,200 employees of the American Mission in Moscow, 333 were U.S. nationals and 867 were foreign nationals, many of them probably local Russian support staff, including drivers, electricians, accountants and security guards. That would suggest that the majority of the 755 who must be cut would not be expelled from the country.

and then went on to say there is no evidence the situation has changed significantly since 2013.

It was also pointed out Putin said

More than a thousand employees — diplomats and technical employees — have worked and are still working in Russia these days. Some 755 of them will have to terminate their activity.

indicating that he was not specifically saying every position to be ended had to be a professional diplomat.

But technically no, no specifics yet -- and there probably never will be.

The Murkan Naziis are occupying the Liberal haven of Charlottesville and are holding their summer Bund Festival there.

Nazi helmets and confederate flags abound. One TV scene showed armed, flak jacketed civilians on the way to the action. The 2017 version of the KKK is flaunting their XXX flag. Trump's Murka.

SteveP see my #35 on Charlottesville

Hi Lionel, I did see your post , which is what got me interested in the protest. Thanks. Torchlight parade with tiki lights. I'm trying to get my head around the whole adolescent narcissistic arrogance of the white nationalists, people who basically are reverting to wannabe teutonic tribalism. These dipshits think that they are the crown of human creation, and they have great representation in Trump's white house, further bolstering their sense of power. Are we headed for a new dark age? Could be.

Tracey, pretty easy to pretend a different present and then just claim what you'd like to be the case so you can justify your butthurt.

But we're here. We have dissed trump for this. We are probably what you tern the left.

How about you fucking ASK US, hmm?

Unite and stop the madness of war.

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

One can never expect reason where there is none, and Tracey has underlined that but so have the people who live in Tangier Virginia USA by not understanding why their homes are flooding and want Trump to build a wall to hold back the water.

Hope this video works:

I shake my head in disbelief.

Dean, I will show less interest for nonAmericans than Americans. The alternative would be for the US to be fighting wars everywhere to make the world safe for democracy.

The moral alternative would be to not advocate for wars in an asinine situation like this one where there is no reason or cause to advocate for war. The fact that you are advocating for war using women and children (who are always unimportant to the right wing, as long as they aren't white) is what makes your position reprehensible.

Let's assume that you have a greater care for nonWhites than I do. How far does this extend? Do you want to go to war with North Korea to defend South Korea? Do you want to pay North Korea to keep them from developing weapons? What is it you wish to do to show how much you care for these nonWhites that you think I hate so much?

"Let’s assume that you have a greater care for nonWhites than I do."

No assumption about that needed.

"Do you want to go to war with North Korea to defend South Korea?"

As pointed out, there is no need for a war now. NK does not have any potential to strike the United States, the intelligence indicates they would be lucky to hit anything they aim at with their missiles. Despite your attempts to show NK is chomping at the bit to attack somewhere, the rhetoric now is no different than it has been for years. They've been kept in check without a war, i case you haven't notice. It simply takes some intelligent leadership -- which is exactly what is lacking in this country now that we have a president with a neo-Nazi advisor (at least one), a president that is so gutless he couldn't even call out the white supremacists and nazis who caused the problems today, simply because those people represent his core supporters.

The US have so many problems on all terrains (environment, finance, economy, poverty, drugs, discrimination, housing, education, social justice), which Trump doesn't wish to solve, that I could imagine that given these circumstances, the vast majority of peoples living in the US join hands, cross the lines of ego and colour, impeach Donald Trump, start working with a powerful human rights policy, and redress the problems on all levels of the American household, federal state and states, civil servants, judiciary and legislature, industry, corporations and firms, as well as in their foreign affairs. Think great and not only for America, but for the world, together and in cooperation with other states. All of you can use our brains and minds for the common good of the multitude. Following reason, Americans have no other choice That is a task for 'you the people' of America. What would withhold you from picking this up?

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

MikeN had me on the floor with this howler: "The alternative would be for the US to be fighting wars everywhere to make the world safe for democracy".

Excuse me while I dry my eyes. The alternative was a barf bag.

Let's get something straight. The US has never promoted democracy, freedom or human rights in its foreign policy agendas. That's simply because these noble agendas often conflict with the real agendas, always buried in elite discourse. Subjugation of other countries assets, nullification of alternative, more humane political and economic systems, and outright expansionism have long been the main drivers of US foreign policy. In virtually every case these conflict with democracy, especially if this means governments that do not act as proxies for US corporate-political power.

Thomas Carruthers was a senior official in the Reagan administration. His portfolio was, of all things, 'democracy promotion'. In his memoirs he admitted that the US rarely if ever promoted democracy in its foreign policy. When it did, Carruthers admitted that the US supported only 'limited forms of top-down control that did not risk upsetting traditional sources of power with which the US had long been allied. Otherwise democracy was downplayed or ignored'.

MikeN, you do right plenty of exceptionalist trash here. Yet you actually appear to believe the nonsense that you write.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

Dean, I suspect that you're correct. I caught the original comments about the 750 "employees" from MSNBC (Maddow) a few days ago, but just after posting the comment above I listened to another piece saying that many of the expelled were actually Russian citizens who would likely not be able to find new employment, given that they'd worked for the US.

Of course, the number of US citizens employed will likely remain unchanged at least in the short term, as they fly home for debriefing and reassignment, but Trump is correct that they'll no longer be paying any Russians who formerly worked for the US embassy. This though goes back to the original point about Putin dictating hiring and firing to Trump, and Trump saying "thank you sir, can I lick your boots as well?"

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

North Korea hasn't been kept in check. Take a look at what Clinton said. Nuclear free North(& South) Korea. Now you are saying they are kept in check because there nuclear missiles aren't good enough(I agree). In a matter of time they will be good enough based on the progress they have made to date. Are you OK with North Korea developing their program further, like Susan Rice said we should be?

However, we are also in agreement that North Korea is not going to attack us if we back down. Right now the only thing they are upset about is that we have soldiers defending their enemy, but it's not enough to make them attack for now.

MikeN- of course NK has been held in check- they still occupy the same territory - zero expansion. You may be mistaking DT's butt buddy - Putin- now there's a guy who has done quite a bit of territorial expansion. Crimea. the Arctic. Syria. Thus far the lessons of RealWorld Politik seem to be that its in every nation's best interest to obtain a nuclear arsenal ASAP- otherwise some 'Murican Cowboy is gonna invade your defenseless ass and leave behind a tribal based insurgency/civil war that never ends.... [up next: Venezuela ]

By curtis goodnight (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

North Korea is not only nuclear-armed, they now have platforms for launching those nukes against other countries.
Not only that, but North Korea repeatedly threatens pre-emptive strikes. North Korea threatens all of us - it is a Stalinist dictatorship run by sabre-rattling lunatics.

Appeasement hasn't worked. (Gosh, who'd have thought). Tough action is required, and Trump can squash that North Korean lunatic like a bug.
Unless the yank military stupidly plans on some sort of extended campaign or even plans on putting some boots on the ground, then China's response is not very relevant.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

Oh dear, the 'we are the good guys' brigade are coming out in full force now. MikeN talks about a lack of 'containment', apparently with a straight face, while ignoring the fact that the most glaring example of a lack of containment is his own country, the United States, which routinely ignores international law and I'm doing so over decades has committed numerous war crimes. The body count is enormous. Three days ago US bombs killed 29 civilians in Raquaa, Syria, including 14 children, but our media ignore it like they have a vast catalogue of atrocities committed by 'us' over the years. Only the crimes of officially designated enemies matter; ours go quickly down the memory hole.

Then Craig wades in with a vulgar statement that would even make RickA proud, about 'North Korean lunatics being squashed like bugs'. Forget the fact that in 'squashing' these 'bugs', it's likely that tens or even hundreds of thousands of people will.die. But this doesn't remotely bother Craig, who can sleep soundly and safely in his own bed at night. As long as the powerful are crushing the weak, then all is hunky dory.

Craig, I like your views on climate change, but when it comes to politics you are out at sea. Your latest comment in truth does not even deserve a polite reply. It is abominable, elitist, exceptionalist nonsense.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Aug 2017 #permalink

"Dean, I will show less interest for nonAmericans than Americans"

And less for coloured americans than white americans. And less for nonchristian americans than christian white americans. And less for nonrightwing americans than rightwing christian white americans. And less for ....

The admission you make is probably what you're proudest of, and it's why you're least human here.

"Appeasement hasn’t worked"

What way hasn't it worked? What would your alternative that "would have worked" produced, craig? There wasn't any war with that asshole for two or three generations. And the USA has proven that only nuclear states are safe from obeying the USA. Can't fault them for caring more about North Koreans in the Kim family than non-North Koreans.

"“Let’s assume that you have a greater care for nonWhites than I do.”

No assumption about that needed. "

And how about assuming as much care for whites and nonwhites?

THIS from "mike" is why BLM complaints "What about WHITE lives, you racists!!!" is just more racist dogwhistling. They assume that if you care for A you don't for B. If A lives matter, B lives can't. You're leftwing or your righwing. You believe in god, you believe there isn't a god (because by believing in god you "think" that means you believe there IS one, that would be gnostic theist).


These dipshits think that they are the crown of human creation, and they have great representation in Trump’s white house...

Things turned very nasty late yesterday when some of those 'dipshits' drove a car at speed into anti far-right protesters, killing one and injuring many others. This isn't going to end well.

Trump has been justifiably criticised for his part in whipping up already smouldering resentment.

Some elements of the US population are clearly the equivalent of the Taliban as far as cognition and education are concerned.

I urge commentators to get a hold of some Korean history especially the 1950s Korean war, its triggers and aftermath.

A useful primer would be 'The Korean War' by Max Hastings —review

Brutality and brawls in POW compounds on both sides...

Learn about Koje-do, an island taken over by prison compounds for Chinese and NK prisoners of war that was so badly run that the prisoners had their own forge for creating weapons with petrol to light fires supplied by the guards, many of whom would abandon their posts to avail themselves of the three thousand prostitutes available. The prisoners were left to form armed companies and openly drilled without hindrance. The forces of North Korea inserted destabilising agents into their attack formations so that these would be captured and then become the focus for prison camp disruption and violence. Will we see similar developments in US prisons as the Alt-Right exerts itself further?

Discover the barbarities conducted by both sides, and in particular on the civilian population.

Hastings' work is far more encompassing than the above suggests being on a par with 'Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era' by James M. McPherson in the detailed treatment of context.

A friend of mine commented the obstacles of American to get united to inhibit Trump c.s. for going to war. As Trump said he could murder in broad daylight in public and he is not stopped. I start to understand why. Here is what my friend wrote: "I agree with you that Trump (this ignorant and dangerous clown) and his cabinet are not capable nor willing to adress the major issues confronting the US and the world today. Yet my point is that the problem is'nt really just Trump!!
The problem is actually "the American way of life".

Take for instance the issue of health care! The former, honorable president Obama realised a feat which many presidents before him could'nt achieve. Now if you were to analyse, how come such a powerful, wealthy and industrialised nation was'nt or is'nt willing to solve such a humane and civilised issue like health care (an issue that afflicts all Americans), then you would realise that this political and cultural system is rotten in the core because it's based on principles of exploitation and a 'dog eat dog'-mentality.
The sole opposition by the mayority of the Republicans (and to some extent some conservative Democrats too) to what has been dubbed "Obamacare" is a stark example of this uncivilised and inhumane mentality. And it permeates all levels in the American society to the extent that any effort to change that mentality is countered by a backlash of those who do not seek cooperation, to solve problems, but return to a basic mentality of exploitation!
Just take a good glance at the history of the US and you cannot miss the obvious that it's based on a mentality of domination and exploitation of the one over the other.
The incidents yesterday in Charlotteville ,VA is a grim example of the way this "cultural abberation" approaches changes to the American mentality of divisiveness, domination and exploitation.
Trump only emboldens a mentality that lies beneath the surface of this society. He is not the cause!
The cause lies much deeper!!
So, this "great" society is not capable of solving the problems like social injustice, racism or poverty simply because it's built on them!

Health care for the mayority of the Americans? Why hell no! "Let us repeal and replace it" Why would you want to repeal and replace something that is good for so many Americans?
I am not even talking about a universal health care coverage system. And why would you want to do so without a system that would replace and is better than Obamacare?!
This really is mind boggling to me and in search of an answer I cannot but conclude that the American way of life is based on exploitation, divisiveness and domination. So, I don't think that groups or people in America will massively take to the streets and demand change.
My hope of getting Trump impeached is centered on Robert Mueller. He has to find the smoking gun!! If he fails then the USA is really heading in an unstoppable spiral of decline."

Trump c.s. can go to war, and America can win, but against how many American casualties (body bags) an at what economic costs? At the end of the great war America is completely broke and lost power. Better invest this energy in making the world great instead of making America lost.

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 13 Aug 2017 #permalink

Curtis we agree that other nations have learned the lesson to get nukes, if not before then especially when Khadafy gave up his WMD program and got killed for it.
However, while North Korea has been held in check physically, they have still advanced their nuclear weapons program, which we were told that the previous money given to them would prevent them from doing so.

"we were told that the previous money given to them would prevent them from doing so."

I'd like to see where that happened.

Because i really don't trust the rightwing to get things right when they complain about giving Iran billions for nuke development when the solid fact of the matter it was money owed to Iraq for the oil bought and not paid for by the USA.

All those who advocate some sort of military action: please provide an example from the last 50 years of world history where this has been an effective, long term , foreign policy solution. From Viet Nam forward, Americans in particular, seem to buy into the myth of limited, surgical, quick and easy, armed violence as the way to bring ohter small nations into line. The truth is - that however frustrating it may be to witness insane despots , long term diplomatic efforts HAVE worked- NK HAS become increasingly isolated. China HAS shown a willingness to move away from their former very close ally. S Korea continues to be an economic powerhouse [a la W vs E Germany]
Trump has already been out maneuvered by Russia in Syria, by China beginning with the seized sea drone incident, even Mexico has quite publicly thumbed their nose at paying for The Wall while DT backpeddles on all that anti NAFTA BS...much like Bush, this posturing displays an ineptitude that would be laughable except for the oh so real cost of acting out these cowboy fantasies. [ironic that "liberal Hollywood" is the most prominent dispencer of bloody white man righteous vengeance myths...]

By curtis goodnight (not verified) on 13 Aug 2017 #permalink

#28: "What a flippant remark"

General Sherman didn't mean it flippantly and neither did I. It is a truly horrible thing.

I note that you never acknowledged my remarks about Korea or what the non-war alternative was to the North Korean invasion. Do you imagine that there would not have been a significant death toll in South Korea in the aftermath of a North Korean success? Do you think there would be even an approximation of freedom if Korea had been successfully united by North Korean conquest? Maybe you should try asking some South Koreans what they think about the UN forces role in their country's history.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 13 Aug 2017 #permalink

Do we want peace?

By Gerrit Bogaers (not verified) on 13 Aug 2017 #permalink

Re: #27
My remarks about Korea were not meant to deny that the foreign policies of the U. S. and the subrosa activities of the CIA as part of that policy) have been misguided and tragic in their effects on people in many other countries. Korea, though, as I said, was not in that category.

Regardless of whether your higher estimates or much lower estimates I have seen are closer to correct, I agree that many millions of people who themselves posed no immediate or latent threat to the U. S. have died as a result of U. S. foreign policy. War forced by an attack is tragic enough but these kinds of deaths and hardships are just disgusting.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 13 Aug 2017 #permalink

heaven forbid our leaders to talk and act like Teddy Roosevelt

I just read an appropriate answer to this in some other comment section:

Teddy Roosevelt was about speaking softly and carrying a big stick.
Your president speaks bigly and is carrying a small stick.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 14 Aug 2017 #permalink

But it looks YUGE in his tiny paws.

Even Racoons say to each other "doesn't he have tiny paws?".

It looks like Kim did back down.

Win for Trump.

Yeah, right. By "backs down" you mean didn't bomb Guam like the rightwing media said when Kim said he'd lob bombs near it. You know, like when you go "I'm not touching you! Don't complain to Mum, I'm not touching you at all!" when you troll your brother or sister.

It's not a win. Every time the "appeasement" got NK to not be a dick on the international stage, it was just as much a win. Kim's a nutjob and they fluff the public with these bombasts. It's not for international consumption, it's for propaganda at home. Much like trump's rehashed unthinking "like the world. Has never. Seen believe me.". It's for the consumption of his supporters, like the bomb threat.

Looks like Trump backed down too beccuse it doesn't look like North Korea is going to stop calling them shit instead of "the shit" and Trump no longer has the excuse "but he threatened innocent civilians!!!". Where is the hidden threat in the "He'd better stop talking like that"?

I also note,"mike", that there's no place where the appeasments were supposed to prevent NK getting nukes like you complained of earlier.

Still looking? Or not bothering because you don't care what's true or not, just what sounds nice to you?

" This agreement will help to achieve a longstanding and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula. This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world. It reduces the danger of the threat of nuclear spreading in the region. It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community . . . This agreement represents the first step on the road to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It does not rely on trust. Compliance will be certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency"

By now we should have tens of thousands dead, perhaps hundreds of thousands, according to the brilliant sage Greg Laden.
For other predictions he makes, should we divide by 10000, 100000, or subtract?

Here's hoping war continues to be avoided. Predicting no war by Wednesday was an easy call though.