Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 22, 2017

Open Thread 2017-16

News & views ...

Posted by b on April 22, 2017 at 13:23 UTC | Permalink

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Last year Barack Obama signed an executive order to protect the US from 'extreme space weather'. Snopes fact finding site proves that Obama was really protecting the US from... extreme space weather! Urgent action was needed because sunspot activity was just nearing its... minimum.

In reality... err... according to pro-Russian internet trolls and fake news sites linked to Russian disinformation efforts the executive order actually aimed to to protect the U.S. and its power grid from the side effects of nuclear attacks and from dedicated electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons.

Yesterday power black-outs hit three major US cities. Areas of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles were hit by the still unexplained power cuts. Meanwhile the U.S. is starting a civil defense exercise that includes a simulated nuclear attack on New York City.

Fact finding site Snopes proves that Operation Gotham Shield has nothing to do with an anticipated nuclear war with North Korea.

Daily Mail dismisses the conspiracy theories. The drill will not turn into a real event. The exercise is a standard drill to prepare officials for an actual bombing.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 22 2017 13:44 utc | 1

Is there a signed pdf copy of Prof. Postol´s report of the 18th of April around?
Does he publish on an "own" site?

I tried to use the unsigned link (19.4.2017) to his PDF, but it was refuted both on the English and German Wikipedia as unreliable source.

KR, franz Austria

Posted by: Franz Piribauer | Apr 22 2017 14:06 utc | 2

Posted by: Franz Piribauer | Apr 22, 2017 10:06:19 AM | 2

This here is the original source.

You can try to get an answer from Professor Postol himself

Theodore A. Postol can be reached at

Posted by: somebody | Apr 22 2017 14:41 utc | 3

Time for another cup of coffee.

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 22 2017 14:49 utc | 4

Petri Krohn 1
The "fact finding site Snopes" (oxymoron alert) said similar things about Russian Civil Defense drills that were said to be prep against nuclear attack.
It takes real work to get to the truth these days. Like Wikipedia, Snopes can get it right when there is no dispute; otherwise you have to look at all the sources. But you have a point that some in deep conspiracy-land say drills are used to mask attacks. At the same time, some attacks have fortuitously/concidentally happened during drills.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 15:00 utc | 5

Meanwhile, the Israeli-American who made the bomb threats against Jewish Community centers in the US has been charged in the US. But will Israel extradite him to the US for further prosecution?

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 15:03 utc | 6

Power Outage
Even RT points to conspiracy theorists pointing fingers.

It's like the Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" where the aliens selectively cut and turn on power and the residents turn on each other.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 15:17 utc | 7

Very interesting negotiations between Erdogan and the US,
Looks like things have been heating up since the arrest of Mehmet Hakan Atilla last month.

If you remember Zarrab, HalkBank, Erdogan and his son Birol, and many AKP ministers and their sons were implicated in Gas for Gold sales to Iran, money laundering, corruption etc. back in 2013 - the main reason for the falling out between Gulen and Erdogan.
While Erdogan and senior ministers - all those in his now inner circle - will probably be okay, Birol and others will not!

"Turkey might further aid the United States’ interests in the region" seems as though Turkey might be over-playing its negotiating position though ...

Babak has already been arrested in Iran hasn't he?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Apr 22 2017 15:23 utc | 8

@ben | 9
"you need the ideological framework for that ..." - made me.laugh!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Apr 22 2017 15:28 utc | 10

Somebody say "theory"?

Sesame Street was created by veteran officers of the US Army’s Psychological Warfare Office with the goal of blunting the force of social-justice radicalism in the United States by promoting the liberal ideology that oppression [was] not a structural economic injustice, but a matter of poor individual character or bad social skills. In a 1970’s state-directed project to determine how humans establish cathexis with military hardware, computer engineer Alan Kay leveraged the graphical capabilities of highly-advanced prototype personal computers to display animations of one of Sesame Street’s most popular characters, Cookie Monster, because he felt this would help children see personal computers not as technological artifacts derived from Air Force weapons, but as friendly and even “magical” helpers in their lives.

h/t cryptocuttlefish and clubdescordeliers, twitterers

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 22 2017 15:28 utc | 11

"Profits Can be Made from Catastrophes With Disaster Capitalism"

From TRNN:

@ 10: Glad to provide a little humor for your day..

Posted by: ben | Apr 22 2017 15:35 utc | 12

Noirette says: " ... [Trump] flipped under threat (blackmail? …?)"

Why would he need to be 'threatened'?

Why is this meme so prevalent?

Trump has a wide-range of business interests that allow for all sorts of play-to-pay potential. He is/was friendly with the Clintons who made play-to-play an art form.

Trump is conceited and greedy enough to WILLINGLY seize an opportunity for ego-stroking self-enrichment.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2017 15:52 utc | 13

Jackrabbit @ 13 said: "Trump has a wide-range of business interests that allow for all sorts of play-to-pay potential. He is/was friendly with the Clintons who made play-to-play an art form."

"Trump is conceited and greedy enough to WILLINGLY seize an opportunity for ego-stroking self-enrichment."

Two great points.. If you're paying attention, and not too tribal, these are two undeniable points...

Posted by: ben | Apr 22 2017 15:59 utc | 14

Maxine Waters Loses Her Mind to “Anti-Russia Dementia” – Like the Rest of the Black Caucus"

From Glenn Ford & The Black Agenda Report:

Posted by: ben | Apr 22 2017 16:11 utc | 15

Something that worried me today, is that on the one hand, we have a narrative that says China is siding up with the USA against North Korea, which subsequently irked North Korea and made it spout insane threats towards China. That's a narrative even Zerohedge is pushing.

On the other hand, the second narrative goes something like, China will stand with North Korea as it's always done. Should the US try to invade North Korea, China will instantly go to war (against the USA, let's be clear), even though it doesn't want war and will keep pushing for the denuclearization of the two Koreas, which entails the US removal of its THAAD.
And that one comes from the Global Times, that's to say the Chinese State.

So, is the USA beginning to see things or what?

Posted by: Lea | Apr 22 2017 16:12 utc | 16

@2 franz.. wikipedia is an unreliable source..

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2017 16:31 utc | 17

Big nuclear drill in NYC, "Gotham Shield" exercise to simulate a 10 kiloton detonation over Manhattan.

Note that neither Russia nor China is going to be hitting NYC with 10 kiloton weapons . . . Russian ICBMs tend to have warheads with 800 kiloton yields, which is why that size warhead was used to describe its effects over midtown Manhattan in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, see

These drills are designed to give the impression that there is a defense against strategic nuclear war, that a nuclear attack can be dealt with by FEMA, that nuclear war is survivable even if you live in NYC. In reality. NYC would probably be hit with at least several 800 kiloton warheads, maybe 10-20, as would Washington D.C.

Primary strategic targets for both the US and Russia include political and military leadership, nuclear and conventional forces, and military-industrial infrastructure.

The US has about 320 cities with populations greater than 100,000; Russia has slightly more than 200 such cities. Both the US and Russia each have 800 to 1000 launch-ready strategic nuclear warheads (minimum explosive power 100 kilotons) that can be launched with only a few minutes warning. Several thousand additional strategic warheads can be launched within another hour or so. It is not a stretch to think that most big cities would get hit in such an exchange.

Here is the description from the BAS article "What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead were detonated above midtown Manhattan?":

The initial fireball: The warhead would probably be detonated slightly more than a mile above the city, to maximize the damage created by its blast wave. Within a few tenths of millionths of a second after detonation, the center of the warhead would reach a temperature of roughly 200 million degrees Fahrenheit (about 100 million degrees Celsius), or about four to five times the temperature at the center of the sun.

A ball of superheated air would form, initiallly expanding outward at millions of miles per hour. It would act like a fast-moving piston on the surrounding air, compressing it at the edge of the fireball and creating a shockwave of vast size and power.

After one second, the fireball would be roughly a mile in diameter. It would have cooled from its initial temperature of many millions of degrees to about 16,000 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly 4,000 degrees hotter than the surface of the sun.

On a clear day with average weather conditions, the enormous heat and light from the fireball would almost instantly ignite fires over a total area of about 100 square miles.

No survivors: Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately five to seven miles of Midtown Manhattan would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers). The firestorm would rage for three to six hours. Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200 to 260 Celsius).

After the fire burned out, the street pavement would be so hot that even tracked vehicles could not pass over it for days. Buried, unburned material from collapsed buildings throughout the fire zone could burst into flames when exposed to air—months after the firestorm had ended.

Those who tried to escape through the streets would have been incinerated by the hurricane-force winds filled with firebrands and flames. Even those able to find shelter in the lower-level sub-basements of massive buildings would likely suffocate from fire-generated gases or be cooked alive as their shelters heated to oven-like conditions.

The fire would extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else. Tens of miles downwind of the area of immediate destruction, radioactive fallout would begin to arrive within a few hours of the detonation.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 22 2017 17:15 utc | 18

Franz @2

"but it was refuted both on the English and German Wikipedia as unreliable source."

Is it not interesting that reliable/unreliable sources are separated by ideology? Apparently the War Party is always 100% reliable and Peace Party is always 0% reliable.

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 22 2017 17:24 utc | 19

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 22, 2017 11:28:24 AM | 11

I am not sure the consequences were intended.

Philip Zimardo: The demise of guys

Posted by: somebody | Apr 22 2017 17:31 utc | 20

Well hey yeah!

Moon of Alabama has a featured article in!

Trump Enthrones Erdogan – Destroys Trust In U.S. Diplomacy

Way to go, Moonies!!!

And also, I have a giant exposé (hate excessive Frenchism) of the ENTIRE election methods industry! Coming soon at an open thread near you (not quite ready yet -- hold your breath)! MUCH bigger than 9/11! Bigly much!

Posted by: blues | Apr 22 2017 20:14 utc | 21

@20 they were. Hardship has been designed to specifically target middle and working class males.
neofeudalists and general greedmeisters (politicians, bureaucrats, FIRE industry sleazebags) want their huge chunk of wealth, trotskyists and multicultural communists want white males to be disempowered and unable to produce viable offspring (they are the biggest threat to their agenda, afterall.)

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 22 2017 20:16 utc | 22

Anyone interested in reading new fiction writing from a well-known 7-year-old "author"?

Posted by: Jen | Apr 22 2017 20:33 utc | 23

I wish A Canticle For Leibowitz was required reading for US highschool students.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Apr 22 2017 20:37 utc | 24

>> Hardship has been designed to
>> specifically target middle and
>> working class males.

Why? Is it because the larger the population of able-bodied, financially struggling native males, the larger the population of domestically indoctrinated, foreign-unentangled future warriors?

Besides lowering the cost of labor for oligarchs, the H1-B and offshoring programs conveniently increased that population of warrior candidates. By moving the supply curve, the market-clearing price for financially incentivizing these males to militarily "serve" the oligarchs went down. How very convenient. Doubleplusgood.

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 22 2017 20:41 utc | 25

Exactly, "dumbass" -- by creating a new class of individuals with "limited rights", the Rich Oppressors automatically create other classes with "limited rights". It's slaves beget slaves -- Just within different categories. The oppressors are fully unified, and know exactly what they want.

Posted by: blues | Apr 22 2017 20:50 utc | 26

In fact, MoA now has three featured articles in

That is a lot.

Posted by: blues | Apr 22 2017 21:14 utc | 27

@blues - wake me up when moa makes it to the nyt, wapo, or wsj...'dinosaur propaganda outlets invaded by foreign truth tellers' will be in the headlines!

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2017 21:18 utc | 28

@ james | Apr 22, 2017 5:18:18 PM | 28

I didn't think Global was a dinosaur propaganda outlet. Are they?

Posted by: blues | Apr 22 2017 21:23 utc | 29

Funny thing is that "propaganda outlet" is a favorite phrase of Sorcha Faal. Coincidence? probably. I like the phrasing, however.

"Propaganda outlet". It's Bigly!

Posted by: blues | Apr 22 2017 21:33 utc | 30

Lea 16

Alexander Mercouris has very good article at The Duran on US/China, China/Russia and North Korea.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 22 2017 21:53 utc | 31

@29 blues.. global research is alt news - generally ignored by masses.. based out of quebec, canada.

i was suggesting that when moa makes it to the mass outlets is when it will be truly newsworthy and a new day will have arrived.. that's all.

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2017 22:18 utc | 32

Does anyone have a link to the article which Reuters is writing about here?: "The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in an editorial on Thursday: "In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only US imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the US mainland and reduce them to ashes,"

I could only find the following articles, I can't find the one that contains the above quote.
Actual Maneuvers Aiming at Preemptive Strike at DPRK

U.S Intent for Preeptive Attack Will Accelerate Its Self-Ruin

I really would like to see full editorial Reuters is quoting because I suspect the context is U.S. aggression. The two editorials that I was able to find have that context.

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Apr 22 2017 23:07 utc | 33

The thing that bothers me about the power outages is that neither CNN or Breitbart would make the obvious connection about all 3 happening at the same time , even if the conclusion was that it was coincidence. That I only saw that connection made on RT and later Zero Hedges made me wonder. Then news that exercises for an EMP event were being planned and......

My theory is that to facilitate the effectiveness of the training exercises they wanted some recent hard data on the effect of a power outage and peoples response. MSM told not to make connection to avoid people from speculating. Granted I limit my exposure to MSM beyond a quick look at CNN and Breitbart headlines and occasionally read the articles if I have some tinfoil handy, so maybe connections were made elsewhere

Posted by: Pft | Apr 22 2017 23:26 utc | 34

" ... Alex Jones Tries to Say He Is Just Pretending"

Or is Alex Jones the fellow whose lawyer recently told a judge at a pretrial hearing in a child custody case in Austin: “He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist.” The lawyer, Randall Wilhite, declared “that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in Batman.”

Posted by: x | Apr 23 2017 1:57 utc | 35

Strange regrets in liberal press, The Guardian edition:

title: Trump is president. That's reason enough not to go to war with North Korea
Isaac Stone Fish

I am not a fan of Mr. Trump, but titles like that make me think that there is a silver lining in his election.

a paragraph: George W Bush may have lost all credibility by invading a country for non-existent weapons of mass destruction. But at least he knew which country he was invading, and which direction his ships were sailing in. He knew the difference between Saddam Hussein and King Hussein.

Ah good old times! A president that could actually fit into a bomber jacket! By the way, the regrets in the articles are caused by the fact that Mr. Trump had a speech implying that he is sending a powerful armada to North Korea when in actuality it sailed from Indonesian straights to Australia. And this maneuver was duly noted by North Korean, so it was effective in making them "concerned".

title: North Korea warns Australia of possible nuclear strike if it 'blindly toes US line'

In other words, Mr. Kim is concerned how slavishly Pacific nations like Palau, Micronesia and Australia toe US line.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 23 2017 2:26 utc | 36


Please watch & then share by all means possible ... Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist who occasionally appears on RT to discuss Syria, live Eva Bartlet she has more credibility than the MSM because she is actually there amongst the eyewitnesses & not holed up in the Sheraton in Tel Aviv like the MSM who described this incident as a 'mishap'.

It is useful info to offset the MSM and western narratives on Syria - it is important to hear from Syrians in Syria, please spread the word.

Posted by: Stephen Bell | Apr 23 2017 2:41 utc | 37

Gareth Porter:
- Trump ordered the launch of the cruise missiles into Syria to disarm his partisan critics. He had to show that he had a "backbone".
- The Trump administration is concerned about North Korea. And are trying to pressure China to put pressure on North Korea.

- Is China "buckling" under US pressure ? Because it seems China has reduced/stopped the supply of oil/gasoline to North Korea.

I came across one report that since a few days North Korea is suffering under gasoline/petrol shortages.

- Is this also the reason why Russia is moving troops "eastwards" ? In the Far East Russia DOES border on North Korea.

The US allegedly moved the USS Carl Vinson towards North Korea

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 2:50 utc | 38

- Trump c.s. said that the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson is directed to North Korea but that seems to be bluff. The Carl Vinson was sailing from Singapore eastwards and not northwards.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 2:52 utc | 39

This article also contains a good timeline on developments regarding North Korea. The timeline however omits 2 important things:
1) The US didn't supply North Korea with oil - as promised - in the 1990s. The US didn't live up to its promises it made.
2) The Bush administration deliberately increased tensions with North Korea. And there were some clear signs that the Bush c.s. was preparing a strike on North Korea. Don't blame Bush personally. It was the neocon bunch (e.g. in the Pentagon (one Paul Wolfowitz)) that wanted a war.

North Korea's reply was to restart the nuclear program.

- I thought that all the news about the tensions regarding North Korea was "a lot of hot air" but the current developments seem to point to something more serious.

- Keep also in mind that increased tensions surrounding North Korea also benfits one Shinzo Abe in Japan. He has made several steps that clearly point to his intentions. He wants to increase japanese defense spending (dramatically).

Read/Listen the following:

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 3:21 utc | 40

@40 w2, 'Don't blame Bush personally ...'

... he was only the potus. you've gotta be kidding.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 3:45 utc | 41

@JFL: Bush was overrun by Dick Cheney and his neocon cabal. Something like Trump is overrun by the Military Industrial Congressional complex.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 3:50 utc | 42

- Ichiro Ozawa was japanese prime minister in 2009 and wanted better relations with China but that was not to the liking of the US.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 3:58 utc | 43


Similar to Korean recently ex-president Park Geun-hye. She was getting good relations with China. They impeachment her in a lawfare maneuver. It does not mean she is innocent. They just used a corruption case that is quite common in the US (lobby for corporations) to destroy her politically.

Posted by: Nick | Apr 23 2017 5:45 utc | 44

@ Nick and Willy2

Nice to see some perceptive patrons of MoA.......thanks

My ongoing solution rant on these premises is to take away finance from the global elite and make it all public directed and beneficiary.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23 2017 6:38 utc | 45

@42 w2

that's true to an extent, but the buck stops on the potus' desk, as harry truman is said to have said. bush, obama, and trump were none of them forced to take the job. they all might have said, 'no thanks, i'm not up to it.' none of them did.

none of them are worthy to tie putin's shoelaces, in my opinion. certainly putin has his faults, but the bald betrayal of the russian people has not so far been among them.

Russia prepared to provide Syria with air defense missile systems: Official

A senior Russian official says Moscow would not hesitate to supply the Damascus government with the air defense missile systems it needs to protect war-ravaged Syria against any future foreign military aggression once a bilateral agreement is struck.

“The necessary quantity [of air defense systems] can be supplied on a priority basis. It will not place an onerous burden on our defense industry,” Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, told Sputnik news agency in an exclusive interview on Saturday.

The remarks came a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus and Moscow were engaged in negotiations to put into operation more air defense systems inside Syria.

“Damascus has always been interested in the latest generation of military hardware, but that depends on the accessibility of the systems, Russia’s policies as the supplier and prices,” he said.

... the cost of the systems will be yet another sanction, yet another bit of economic warfare, directed at the syrian people and their economy by the criminal us aggressor.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 7:07 utc | 46

3 Syrian forces killed in fresh Israeli attack on military camp

Three Syrian forces have been killed in a fresh Israeli attack on a military camp near the southwestern city of Quneitra, a military official says.

The attack hit the al-Fawwar camp on Sunday, wounding two others, the unnamed official told the French news agency AFP.

The Tel Aviv regime regularly hits positions held by the Syrian army in the Golan Heights, claiming that the attacks are retaliatory. Syria says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.

... the syrians need those russian anti-aircraft systems yesterday ... asap.

Major highway from Aleppo to east Syria reopened for the first time in 5 years

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 A.M.) – For the first time in five years, the Aleppo-Hasakah Highway has been reopened for commerce and travel to all Syrian citizens.

A recent agreement put in place by the Syrian government and PYD (Kurdish party) has allowed for the Aleppo-Hasakah Highway to be reopened, with all pro-government and pro-Kurdish forces manning the checkpoints along the roadway.

... that's certainly welcome news. i hope the syrians and kurds join hands to drive the turks out of their country and to protect and defend it from the coalition of death, devastation, destruction, and deceit headed by the us.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 9:52 utc | 47

"none of them are worthy to tie putin's shoelaces, in my opinion. certainly putin has his faults, but the bald betrayal of the russian people has not so far been among them."

The current Russia, Putin's Russia I think of as, is something new and fresh, a vision for a multi polar world.
US comes across like an old whore, trying to flog her wares.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 23 2017 10:12 utc | 48

When will things 'kick off'?

Monday May 1st - Red May Day.
Sunday May 7th - French Presidential Election run-off.
Tuesday May 9th - Korean Presidential Election.
Tuesday May 9th - Russian World War II Victory celebrations.

Surely the week before (May 1-7) or immediately after (May 8-14) presents as a fortnight of maximum danger coming up - so many big time geopolitical events in a few days there

Just when is it the US Carrier Groups are due in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula??

If they're being sent there to do something, they won't be hanging around doing nothing in particular for months on end, they'll be sent there to do something fairly quickly - ie - within weeks. Perhaps in the first half of May.

And how would this play in the UK General Election for instance? Surely in favour of the incumbent Theresa May who would no doubt be in gung-ho support of any US military action while Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn would be portrayed as a weak appeaser and this would diminish even further his chances at the UK Election.

Posted by: Julian | Apr 23 2017 10:16 utc | 49

Julian 49
The main threat to US is China. US is in a quandary over this, as China has integrated into their economy, and any attack on China will destroy their economy, yet if the US do nothing, China will destroy the $US as world trade currency and will take down the US?
F#cking hard times for the US. Will it go nuke or will it accept the inevitable?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 23 2017 10:33 utc | 50

It would be helpful to know if the U.S. has good poker players in this "game".
Know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 23 2017 11:01 utc | 51

@ Peter AU | Apr 23, 2017 6:33:30 AM | 50

You say:
The main threat to US is China. US is in a quandary over this, as China has integrated into their economy, and any attack on China will destroy their economy, yet if the US do nothing, China will destroy the $US as world trade currency and will take down the US?
F#cking hard times for the US. Will it go nuke or will it accept the inevitable?

I parroted the whole thing because it is exactly 100% correct.

The day any hostility breaks out between the U.S. and China will be the day Wal-Mart closes all its doors and the U.S. economy folds like worn-out dishrag.

I am mostly convinced that the U.S. CIA/mafia gangsters that I think constitutes the real big-bosses are now either inbred or just plain stupid. Empires fall when stupidity overtakes corruption. It's a sort-of Dunning–Kruger effect thing meets a runaway social degeneracy scenario.

Posted by: blues | Apr 23 2017 12:15 utc | 52

North Korea could pull off a "Monsters are Coming to Maple Street" scenario just by detonating a few warheads in the atmosphere off the coast of California. They would cause few casualties, but would shut down every computer along the West Coast, plunging the population into total chaos...which could well kill more people than any nuclear blast.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 23 2017 12:16 utc | 53

Many engineers question the effectiveness of a nuclear EMP attack.

The NorKos could probably pull a "Samson Option" by conventionally blasting South Korea and Japan's ~ 70 spent nuclear fuel pools. Most of these are located on the ocean coastlines. That would bring a quick end to the whole life-on-earth scene.

Posted by: blues | Apr 23 2017 12:30 utc | 54

@Nick: I don't know whether or not the former korean prime minister wanted to improve the relationship with China. But the corruption case against her was REAL. In the past it was a common practice to bribe korean politicians but it seems that the tide in south Korea has changed as well. Like in so many other countries (think: election of Trump, Arab Spring, Brexit, etc.) the people in Korea are no longer willing to "take it any more".

The best solution is to get rid of the north korean trade boycot that was imposed after the Korea war ended. But the US, Japan, South Korea and China all have one or more reasons to NOT lift the sanctions against North Korea.

The most troubling is that the north korean people are suffering the most under these tensions. Kim Jung Un and his buddies seem to live well in spite of these sanctions & tensions. Just look at the fat round belly of Mr. Kim Jun Un.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 12:31 utc | 55

So, bigly has now entered the lexicon?
How jejune...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 23 2017 12:38 utc | 56

- And Kim Jung Un seems to be developing a double chin. See picture in the link in post #55.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 12:38 utc | 57

Julian 49
The main threat to US is China. US is in a quandary over this, as China has integrated into their economy, and any attack on China will destroy their economy, yet if the US do nothing, China will destroy the $US as world trade currency and will take down the US?

How is China a threat to USA? American small towns are littered with abandoned factories, very sad looking small towns with diminished employment opportunities and booming meth production, but this is not a problem for American ruling class. I read an article in Foreign Policy about Chinese bullet train network which is apparently build in a rather shoddy way. By the way of contrast, Trump administration is busy cutting subsidies from transit projects like conversion of San Francisco - San Jose railroad to electric propulsion. Is it 21st century? 50 years ago all suburban train lines around Warsaw in Poland were electric. Some time later, all major intercity passenger rail lines were electric. That was caused in part by Poland being a coal country, so the transition was from coal steam to coal electricity, but electric trains have many superior characteristic over diesel as long as the trains are sufficiently frequent. The article on Caltrain describes locomotives from 1950-ties that have pre-electronic controls, and they are not replaced because it would be absurd if the transition to electric locomotive will happen, but Trump nixed that.

I guess North Korea will fair better than California, NYC and Maryland under Trump. Clearly, MOABs and Tomahawks will not help transit, health care etc. The threat is not China.

My theory is that China has very mercantilic government, with chief pre-occupation with domestic manufacturing and fostering infrastructure that would allow it to spread all over the country (like those somewhat shoddy bullet trains that nevertheless chug along at 200 mph and compare very favorably to any mode of mass transportation in USA, which is either woefully obsolete, or, in the case of air transportation, run by sadists). An intricate web of international agreements controls the markets and is frequently negotiated, what is dumping, what are unfair subsidies, unfair trade regulation etc. Chinese have eye on the manufacturing. Americans try to get deals that are favorable for corporations that do not care where the production is, but where they can save some pennies (that add up). And additionally, frenetic imperialistic part of government tries to convince foreign countries to do assorted irrelevant stuff, and China has some cards to play there, like being more or less "constructive" on the irrelevant issue of North Korea, like limiting their opposition to American Middle East policies to purely verbal or not and so on. After huge effort, America gets some "goodies" from China, like the purely verbal position in the Middle East and faintly "constructive" attitude in respect to North Korea, and in the same time American LED and solar panel industries are wiped out etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 23 2017 12:44 utc | 58

@50 p au, 'The main threat to US is China.'

china is not a 'threat to the us'. the domineering fools in power in the us are the 'main threat to the us'.

those fools are the ones who - under the tutelage of the transnational corporations and finance centers - have formulated the zero-sum, us-dominates-all-or-crashes 'game' they're playing. china looks to develop and enrich itself, sure ... some 'special', 'communist' part of its population more than others, perhaps, but not to rule the world, as the us 1% does.

and the us has gone all-in with its preposterous, impossible gamble for world-dominance by the transnational corporate financial class. it's officially burnt its bridges behind it, there is no going back in the eyes of the morons who run our country.

The main threat to the US is ... in the mirror of the 535+2 'elected' and 9 unelected federal 'officials', when they shave or otherwise apply their 'makeup' every morning.

it doesn't have to be this way. we could absolutely clean house ... both the white one and the one full of tnc representatives, and their senate, and - after a little restructuring - their supremes as well in a half-dozen election cycles. we could build ourselves into a nation of political charles and charlene atlases in the process - no more kicking sand, or worse, in our faces! - if we each simply practiced a little 'dynamic tension', a little 'dialectic', and then put one foot in front of the other and walked ourselves home, in each of our 150,000+ electoral precincts in the us of a.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 12:53 utc | 59

@53 @54

north korea is not a threat to life on earth. the united states of america is the threat to life on earth.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 12:55 utc | 60

I don't want to seeem like I supported the recently impeached prez since I am old enough to remember General Park Chung-hee her father's antics. For those with shorter memories General Park Chung-hee took control of the nascent state of South Korea in a CIA backed coup, dismissing the elected government. He clung onto power chiefly by violent oppression, surviving many assassination attempts until even his allies decided enough was enough and a certain alphabet agency paid his palace guard to off the prick.
Anyway somehow his daughter Park Geun-hye managed to use some of Dad's stash to buy the prezdency for herself.
While I'm sure that some of the move against her came from those who oppose corruption, AFAIK she did nothing her predecessors didn't do, and what her replacements will certainly engage in.
Her real crime was being a woman in a medieval patriarchal power structure. I'm not saying the citizens felt that way but I am sure that the military/bureaucratic/corporate types who would normally pull out all stops to prevent any prez from being dismissed for what they consider to be doing the job, did.
I reckon the same types probably decided to kill two birds with one stone the other bird being Samsung boss Jay Y. Lee. After a couple of notorious screw ups at Samsung, the South Korean deep state decided he should go but they must've felt that resigning for screwing up the S-7 Note may create an unfortunate precedent if say, a Hyundai's wheels kept falling off, and had to be recalled, so Lee was indicted as the briber that Park Geun-hye took money from and he will go down for that when a thorough investigation would find barely a chaebol in the land didn't throw kazillions of won in Park Geun-hye's direction.
It's damn shame we haven't heard from our regular South Korean contributor for a while as he could doubtless give us the v iews of Koreans on this.
But I have little doubt that gender was a major determinant in her dismissal - not that she didn't deserve to go, just that it is difficult to see a bloke south korean prez copping the same treatment (maybe if he were a "pinko faggot" or whatever but in that case they would probably just poison him the way they reckon the North does).

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 23 2017 13:08 utc | 61

@60 the image ... and that goes for 'assad gases his own people', 'putin is a totalitarian dictator', 'russia hacked us elections', 'iran is a terrorist country', 'war is peace', 'the indispensable country spreading democracy' ... and all the other vile spew of the dnc/cia/tnc-msm and the neocon plague that have infested the us of a since the beginning of the new american century.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 13:20 utc | 62

@61 DiD, 'not that she didn't deserve to go'

that's the beauty of keeping a stable of corrupt whores, from the pimp cia's point of view ... it's like the undated letter of resignation they're all required to submit when they're anointed ... offing them is no problem ... and often the people will even cheer!

next ...

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 13:27 utc | 63

Crowds, heightened security and scuffles

Posted at 13:47

If you are just joining us, welcome, and here is a round-up of how the day is unfolding:

- Voter turnout in the first round of an election that will determine who will become France's next president is said to be on course for 80%
- Polling stations have been busy across France - and elsewhere - since opening in the country at 08:00 local time (06:00 GMT)
- Security has been stepped up following the killing of a police officer in Paris on Thursday, with about 50,000 police and several thousand armed soldiers deployed across France
- The leading candidates - including the Front National leader Marine Le Pen, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon - have cast their votes.
- There have been scuffles in Hénin-Beaumont, where two topless women in Le Pen face masks chanted mockingly "Marine, President"

As the world watches France in the most unpredictable election in the country in years, with 11 candidates vying for the top job ...

... wonderful opportunity for marianne to hook the arm of the right man ... we'll know tomorrow morning ... that is, i will.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 13:37 utc | 64

@22 "aaaa" sez...

"...trotskyists and multicultural communists want white males to be disempowered and unable to produce viable offspring."

You are a classic "useful idiot". But hey, keep chasing ghosts and your own tail and listening to Alex Jones instead of following the evidence that's in front of your eyes. Your capitalist rulers thank you (but they won't spare you).

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Apr 23 2017 14:13 utc | 65

@64 "jfl"

The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Apr 23 2017 14:17 utc | 66

- Israel & Saudi Arabia share a (drone ? military ?) base in Jordan ??? And the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun originated from there ????????????????????

I know that both countries have more than one interest in common but this news is - for the time being - "one bridge too far".

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 15:46 utc | 68

- Hillary Clinton was/is paranoid ?? And spied on the people who worked for her presidential campaign ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23 2017 15:50 utc | 69

Meanwhile, the Deep State is busy making its coup against French Republic.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 23 2017 20:58 utc | 70

OSCE car hits roadside bomb in Lugansk Region (Ukraine), one person's killed, two wounded.
The footage from the blast.
This is going to complicate the situation even more.

A side note. Not so long ago, now reportedly killed A. Hug was confronted by an old lady:
When will the truth be out? Don't lie to us. Who lies to us... Sasha, who does wrong to people takes God's punishment, remember this!
She wanted to know when he's going to visit her town and said she will make bread and pirogi for him. Wise and kind babushka! Wish he would listen to her.
Babushka Galya from Petrovka

Posted by: iegee | Apr 24 2017 0:08 utc | 71

@64 ts

thanks for the link to diane johnstone. i rely on her for my knowledge, such as it is, of french politics. but i don't follow counterpunch much anymore so i miss her.

looks like the americanization of french politics is complete though: although le pen is no trump, macron is very nearly clinton, and if it comes down to macron and le pen, it'll be anybody-but-le-pen, according to my other tutor in french politics, noirette.

maybe i'm wrong. maybe mélenchon will be the one to face le pen in the run off. doesn't look like it though. france seems ready for a return to sovereignty but, like st augustine, just not yet.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2017 0:36 utc | 72


tried subscribed now. How Labour Can Win the Snap Elections.

All we have to do is take the case to the electorate. All the electorate have to do is vote in their interests.

... hope is last to die.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2017 0:45 utc | 73


I may not have agreed with you in the past (re trump), but you are definitely on a roll on this thread; I like 99% of everything you wrote here, agree with you and I enjoyed reading it. Just thought I'd let you know.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 24 2017 0:52 utc | 74

Who remebers back in the 70's when it was the white assed pseudo-left playboy millionaire wannabe pols who always got caught tweaking the crotches of 'aides'? Yeah cigar Bill was much later but it was the public's jaundiced view of the Kennedys and ol whathis name the derp who thought getting horizontal with a young luvely on a rethug lobbyist's boat was a smart thing for a dem presidential candidate to do - what was his name again? - you know, the man who gave us George H Bush?
Gary Hart. That's right he really made the big time that fella - he just had to pull the pin as ambassador to Northern Ireland - heh he couldn't even squeeze the Eire gig outta obalmblam but I suppose his 'family interests' chucked a coupla mill at the DNC.

Anyway apropos of nothing else I was just reading an an article about Roger Ailes and his rapes & attempted rapes saw his pic (yeech!) and got to thinking that while it doubtless is of little interest to the rapee, at least the Kennedys, Harts et al rapists, scrubbed up a bit better than the Ailes, O'Reilly and Trump rapists do.
I guess that the difference eh - real power means that you can get away with fucking the help even if yer about 90 not out and are as ugly as a hatful of assholes, but the weakling dems had to have a jaw as square as the Hef and a spiel that wasn't at all square to pull off their stunts.
I'm not sure which crew is the more despicable or indeed if there is any difference in despicabilty.
I guess we'd have to ask the victims but I'd say it would be a toss up as to which type was the least fun to be raped by, a whining self centered pretty boy, or a really fugly old man who barely noticed the human attached to the hole he was pushing his viagra engorged meat into.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 24 2017 1:07 utc | 75

@72 jfl
Nope, it'll be neo-liberal, pro TTIP, pro-NATO Putin- and Assad-hater, bankster emeritus Macron who will lead the country.
Already, the spineless fools that were official candidates from both former main parties, PS and Republicans, called to vote for him instead of the abominable beast that surely must be the FN leader.
What a glorious day when progressives are calling en masse to vote for a white cis male instead of a woman. Hillary Clinton must be so proud of the French.
Honestly, I hope they'll go to 50% abstention for 2nd round, they don't deserve more voters than that - and thankfully, the few acquaintances I have are so disgusted they're really going to go on with abstaining or voting blank - meaning Macron will win, but with a far narrower margin than if the French repeat the united anti-FN front of 2002, and with so few votes and such a low turnout that he'll be a lame duck for his whole mandate.

As for return to sovereignty, France will get a reality check the next few years, just like the US is going through one right now. Jt really looks like, in both cases, there's no clean redemption possible.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 24 2017 1:11 utc | 76

@72 jfl
Nope, it'll be neo-liberal, pro TTIP, pro-NATO Putin- and Assad-hater, bankster emeritus Macron who will lead the country.

Resistance is futile, all power to the Borg! Maron seems to be a high quality cyborg, some of his parts were already tested in Tony Blair. I guess that the Borg uses the inferior parts in USA where the public is less demanding.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 24 2017 1:27 utc | 77

- Topic: North Korea.

- Information out on the internet suggests(!!) that China was less and less pleased on how the government in Pyongyang behaved. I could imagine that the murder of Kim Jung Nam this year was the final straw on the camel's back and that the chinese leaders made a deal with Trump to try to get rid of the current government in North Korea. That could explain the - at least - reduced supply of oil from China to North Korea. It also could explain why Russia is moving troops to the Far East.

- My personal opinion is that the best way to get rid of the current government in Pyongyang is to lift the trade embargo first, before trying to "break" that government with these oil sanctions.

- If the current government in Pyongyang can be removed then a very interesting situation emerges. The US has stationed some 20 Thousand troops in South Korea south of the DMZ. The US also has increased the amount of troops in the rest of South Korea in recent years. All supposedly to deter North Korea from attacking South Korea. The fall of the current government in Pyongyang would undermine that story. If the US don't reduce the amount of troops in South Korea then it will only re-inforce the notion that the US is preparing for a war with China.

See also this video: "The coming war with China":

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 24 2017 1:39 utc | 78

Definitely reached the farce stage ...


Posted by: x | Apr 24 2017 3:17 utc | 79

@ x who wrote: "Definitely reached the farce stage ..."

When the Saudi's were put in charge of a UN Human Rights Council last year I think we were at farce. The in-your-face patriarchy that your link refers to needs another stage descriptor of human devolution more apt like "Definitely reached the cretin stage...."

Sigh! The cancer of humanity survives like in the Zinn link/article in your comment on the Poll....thread because of centuries of honing and executing ruthless social control measures and killing off any potential leadership challenges anywhere in the world.

My hope is to educate folks to understand and rally around the End Private Finance concept world wide which would take away their unrecognized tool of power/control and end the God of Mammon social incentives, hopefully to be replaced by more humanistic incentives.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2017 4:57 utc | 80

There'a already some wiggle room in the (preliminary) French Election result. The cited margins are pretty much the same as the "Macron First" Punditocray's Poll Predictions, including voter turnout.
69.42% seem to have cast a vote. 22.9% seem to have abstained from voting = 7.68% flexibility factor (5x what Erdogan had to play with).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 24 2017 6:17 utc | 82

Dutch banker exposes Luciferian nature of the ruling 8,000 to 8,500:

Posted by: Anoncommentator | Apr 24 2017 6:24 utc | 83

Zio Jazeera had a snippet on Russia's WWII theme park. There's a reproduction of the Reichstag complete with hammer and sickle flag. There was a ceremonial re-enactment of the Russian victory over the German Nazis at the weekend attended by lots of young Russians hoping, one presumes, to be present when resolute Russia humiliates AmeriKKKa's Nazis on their home turf (after 6 million warnings).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 24 2017 6:32 utc | 84

It also could explain why Russia is moving troops to the Far East.
Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 23, 2017 9:39:35 PM | 78

Russia has said it's not moving troops to the NK border (China 24 a few days ago).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 24 2017 6:50 utc | 85

Resistance is futile, all power to the Borg! Maron seems to be a high quality cyborg, some of his parts were already tested in Tony Blair. I guess that the Borg uses the inferior parts in USA where the public is less demanding.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 23, 2017 9:27:15 PM | 77

I feel the Borg did very well in summoning Obama to power from out of nowhere...the well versed Constitutional Lawyer from Chicago who reduced the status of his chosen book of study to that of toilet paper... like Macron, the bankers mate, and from Obama's playbook, Macron will forge an extra close relationship between Corporation an State: the terrorist threat will be used to protect the people in the form of an invasion of effect.

Hillary was well fitted with Borg hardware, her own human shell let her down however.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 24 2017 8:35 utc | 86

^^ nil effect.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 24 2017 8:36 utc | 87

reaction to Stephen Bell (37)
This is a sickening new low in Syria. 200 children who did not have seen decent food since I don’t know for how long, were lured with chips out of a busses with refugees by terrorists and blown to death, while mothers had to watch in the closed off busses. The children were piled up in Turkish ambulances allready waiting and droven away to Turkey. White helmets appeared after the explosion with camera teams “helping” the victims. All the time the mothers were not allowed to go to their injured and dead children.

Vanessa Beeley reports:

Posted by: Ingrid | Apr 24 2017 8:36 utc | 88

No country for Trumpsters
No pardon for Assange either.

And while Trump may somehow not know about the DOJ's decision to arrest Assange, we are confident he knows that any potential pardon of Assange is long gone. As for Donald Trump "loving" Wikileaks, that was so six months ago.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Apr 24 2017 10:20 utc | 89

And this is how Americans are as a whole.

Trump knows his base well. MAGA!!!

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Apr 24 2017 10:34 utc | 90

Kremlin Advisor Reveals 'Cure For US Aggression'

"The United States has no tools to make all others use the dollar other than a truncheon. That is why they are indulging in a hybrid war with the entire world to shift the burden on their debts onto other countries, to confine all to the dollar and weaken territories they cannot control."

"The more aggressive the Americans are the sooner they will see the final collapse of the dollar as the only way for the victims of American aggression to stop this aggression is to get rid of the dollar. As soon as we and China are through with the dollar, it will be the end of the United States’ military might," Sergey Glazyev said in an interview with TASS.

short and sweet.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2017 12:59 utc | 91

Hashd al-Sha'abi calls on Erdogan to stop meddling in Iraq

The group, known as Hashd al-Sha’abi by its Arabic name, has joined forces with the Iraqi government against Daesh terrorists.

Last November, the Iraqi Parliament approved a law, giving legal status to the fighters and recognizing them as part of the national armed forces.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made incendiary remarks about the fighters in an interview with Doha-based al-Jazeera television channel, calling the group a terrorist organization supported by Iran.

“Who has given Erdogan the right to intervene in Iraq’s internal affairs? Iraq is a democratic country with institutions elected by its people. No one has the right to intervene in Iraq’s domestic affairs,” he said.

“Iran’s policy vis-à-vis regional issues is completely transparent and clear. It helps the new and democratic Iraq in the fight against Daesh,” Assadi said.

i hope the 'shia crescent' becomes more and more self-conscious ... and more and more heterogeneous.

i don't see how lebanon, syria, iraq, and iran can survive without making common cause with the druze, the assyrians, the kurds ... with all of the other peoples living in the area. the wahabists - the turks the saudis and the pipsqueaks in the gcc - want to kill them all ... they need to realize that, and to make their diversity their strength.

i'm sure they can do it.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2017 13:07 utc | 92

according to polls of the us populace 60% of usaians believe that us aid to israel is either 'much to much' - 32% - or just 'too much' - 28%.

when asked how the $38,000,000,000 in the mou with israel might be spent ... just 17% said 'it should be spent on israel', 83% suggested it could be better spent on us veterans, on education, on the us national debt, on us infrastructure, on a middle east peace plan, or on some other project.

the us ruling class has given israel $254,000,000,000 inflation adjusted dollars over my lifetime - well, since 1949, when i was 2.

what have the american people reaped for that fantastic investment in a 'nation' whose jewish population - the only portion to which are in any way beneficiaries of the ruling class' largesse - falls between the populations of the us states of missouri and indiana. that's on the order of $40,000/capita to the recipients.

i mean, besides 9/11, the 21st century neo-con take-over, the new american century, and the hatred of a majority of the world's population ?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2017 14:03 utc | 93

Ted Galen Carpenter:
- Trump's approach of the North Korea problem is counter productive

Carpenter makes another interesting remark in the interview. China has a problem/dilemma when it comes to North Korea.
- On the one hand is China's patience with Pyongyang wearing thin and would like to see a less odious government in North Korea.
- On the other hand China doesn't like to see the trade sanctions lifted because then there will be a unified Korea. And a unified Korea brings an opportunity for the US to increase its influence over Korea. It could mean that the US could build military bases in what's now North Korea. And perhaps even on Southern bank of the Yalu river which is currently the border between China and North Korea.

- China currently seems to reduce/stop oil/gasoline exports to North Korea. I think that China won't "push" too hard and that these measures are meant to see how willing Pyongyang is to listen to chinese (policy) demands.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 24 2017 17:03 utc | 94

@94 "If the Trump administration wants China to get tough with North Korea, it will need to make it worthwhile for Beijing to do so."

Sounds good but how tough is China supposed to get? assuming they even want to get tough?

And what sort of carrots can the US offer China? Remove the THAAD system maybe? Stop complaining about the South China Sea?

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2017 17:26 utc | 95

@95: Remember what I wrote earlier in this thread. China seems to reduce/stop oil/gasoline exports to North Korea. China has a reason to do that. But what's that reason ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 24 2017 17:38 utc | 96

@96 Has the gas export cutback been officially confirmed?

"The issue was raised at a regular Chinese Foreign Ministry news conference in Beijing on Friday after a Chinese media outlet, Global Times, reported gas stations were restricting service and charging higher prices.

But spokesman Lu Kang gave an ambiguous response when asked if China was restricting fuel deliveries.

"As for what kind of policy China is taking, I think you should listen to the authoritative remarks or statements of the Chinese government," he said, without elaborating on what those remarks or statements are. "For the remarks made by certain people or circulated online, it is up to you if you want to take them as references.""

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2017 17:59 utc | 97

Labeled “very unusual”

White House to brief full Senate as Trump calls North Korea ‘real threat to the world’

In phone call with Merkel, Trump cites ‘urgent security challenge’

The Trump administration is preparing to brief all 100 senators this week on the situation in North Korea, as President Donald Trump calls the country a “real threat to the world” and confers with the leaders of China, Japan and Germany.

The unusual full-Senate briefing is scheduled for Wednesday, according to reports, and comes after Trump criticized North Korea’s “continued belligerence” in a phone call with President Xi Jinping of China on Sunday. In a separate call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, Trump discussed “the urgent security challenge posed by North Korea,” the White House said.
The administration has expressed concern over Pyongyang’s missile tests and nuclear ambitions.

Trump has ratcheted up rhetoric against North Korea in recent days, saying Monday at the White House that “North Korea is a big world problem,” and that “people have put blinders on for decades.” He didn’t disclose intentions, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that in their Sunday phone call Trump “has indicated by his words and actions that all possible options are on the table.”

A White House spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment about the briefing. But Reuters reported that all 100 senators have been invited to the White House for a briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You think Trump is destined to do stupid?

b had this guy pegged; spot on.
What a whopper Trump! Looking for a diversion from unprecedented debt and the bypassing of petro-US$ in global trade. $100 trillion –unlimited currency printing by all central banks - did not cure the 2008 financial crisis.

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 24 2017 19:38 utc | 98

More info about the ongoing battle to establish a Multipolar World and put the Unipolar model and its despot into the dustbin. Analyst Andrew Korybko has published a new essay focusing on the importance of the CPEC--an item most have probably never heard of despite its importance--that includes links to other essays and presentations of additional import.

Perhaps the most important of those is "Re-Thinking the BRICS: On the Concepts of BRICS+ and BRICS++" by "Chief economist with the Eurasian Development Bank and Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club Yaroslav Lissovolik" since it appears Modi's India is becoming the weak link in BRICS,

Off to the French Election with Pepe Escobar, whose prevote estimate I linked to earlier. Here he says: "Yet what’s supposed to be the shock of the new is not exactly a shock. The more things veer towards change (we can believe in), the more they stay the same. Enter the new normal: the recycled “system” – as in Emmanuel Macron — versus “the people” — as in the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, battling for the French presidency on May 7."

Looks like France will have yet another neoliberalcon misleading it to ruin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2017 20:07 utc | 99

bumped into this fascinating article (albeit from a source/writer I detest) on how Trump's belligerence towards Mexico and south of the border migrants may have deep deep deep ripple effects (Mexico may finally pivot to China, which has been attempting to "court" them for a very long time). Fascinating too to see mention of the "ripple effect" of China's admission into the WTO. Those great and glorious NAFTA jobs went poof, like that river that disappeared.

The average hourly wage in Chinese manufacturing is now $3.60. Over that same period of time, hourly manufacturing wages in Mexico have fallen to $2.10. Even taking into account the extraordinary productivity of Chinese factories—not to mention the expense that comes with Mexico’s far greater fidelity to the rules of international trade—Mexico increasingly looks like a sensible place for Chinese firms to set up shop, particularly given its proximity to China’s biggest export market
Atlantic: Mexico’s Revenge By antagonizing the U.S.’s neighbor to the south, Donald Trump has made the classic bully’s error: He has underestimated his victim..

(This is separate from the effect of his proposed import taxes on food alone may well upset the apple cart for many many Americans trying to feed their families. Mexico has in recent history rebuffed China's courting to avoid American "displeasure" ... that may change). Next election just over a year from now. Stay tuned.

Posted by: susan_sunflower | Apr 24 2017 20:09 utc | 100

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