Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 12, 2020

North Korea Laments Failed Deal With Trump - Will Again Test Nukes And Missiles

Two years after a failed attempt to make peace with the United States, North Korea announced that will restart nuclear testing and its long range missile program.

On June 12 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea met for the first time and signed an aspirational document. The core part said:

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
  1. The United States and the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

This was a freeze for freeze agreement which North Korea had long offered and which China had urged the U.S. and North Korea to accept:

The U.S. stops the large "strategic" maneuvers involving nuclear capable bombers flying from Guam, aircraft carriers and the like, while North Korea stops testing nukes and missiles. North Korea achieved its first aim. It can now lower its miliary posture and develop its economy.

The situation is still somewhat unstable as both freeze steps are reversible.

The 'freeze for freeze' is, as the Chinese Foreign Minister envisioned, a starting point for a long series of talks which may finally lead to a peace agreement and some nuclear disarmament. Now comes the "dual-track approach" of a peace agreement in exchange for some disarmament "in a synchronized and reciprocal manner". This will be a "step-by-step" process which will take years or even decades.

The U.S. foreign policy borg went immediately to work to sabotage the deal. The Pentagon did not stop its common maneuvers with South Korea and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo constantly claimed that North Korea had promised to disarm without the U.S. doing anything on its side of the deal. It had never done so.

A second meeting between Trump and Kim in February 2019 failed:

The issue seems to have been the sequencing of abolishing sanctions by the U.S. side versus the destruction of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor complex on the North Korean side.

The U.S. demanded the destruction of Yongbyon and of other complexes before any change in the sanction regime. North Korea insisted on following the sequencing that was agreed upon during the first summit. The joint statement by the two leaders signed in June 2018 defined four clearly sequenced steps.
...
Eight month later new relations in form of the opening of embassies or a lifting of sanctions were not established. No peace treaty was signed. North Korea destroyed nuclear testing tunnels and a missile test stand. Some POW/MIA remains have been repatriated. But the U.S. side has taken no steps that could be seen as fulfilling its commitments.

Since the first summit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. media have done their best to ignore the sequencing. North Korea on the other side has insisted on it again and again. It made absolutely clear that it would not budge on the issue.

Earlier this week North Korea broke off its communication with South Korea:

North Korea said on Tuesday that it would cut off all communication lines with South Korea, including military hotlines, as it vowed to reverse a recent détente on the Korean Peninsula and start treating the South as an “enemy.”
...
Since Mr. Kim’s diplomacy with Mr. Trump collapsed, North Korea has stepped up pressure on the South to ignore Washington’s pressure and improve inter-Korean economic ties even before the North denuclearized. It demanded the reopening of the joint tourism venture at its Diamond Mountain resort complex and of a joint industrial park in Kaesong, both of which had served as key sources of cash until they were shut down in disputes between the two Koreas.

The New York Times has obviously adopted Pomeo's false claims as it does not even mention that North Korea never promised to denuclearize. It only promised to ' work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula' as step three of the Singapore agreement under which the U.S. has to take the first two step .

Yesterday Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon of North Korea published a long statement that lamented about the lost chances. It listed the things North Korea had done to fulfill its side of the agreement. It said that the U.S. hostility, expressed by sanctions, various maneuvers and nuclear bomber flights over South Korea, had never ended. It announced that its 'nuclear development' will now continue and that it will now work to 'build up a more reliable force'.

We can thereby expect new nuclear tests and new long range missile launches. As North Korea has fulfilled its part of the agreement while the U.S. reneged on its parts, China will now again take sides. It will ignore all UN sanctions against North Korea and the North Korean lifeline to its big norther neighbor will reopen.

North Korea is likely to time the announced tests in a way that creates maximum damage for Trump's reelection campaign.

Posted by b on June 12, 2020 at 16:50 UTC | Permalink

Comments

"...China will now again take sides. It will ignore all UN sanctions against North Korea and the North Korean lifeline to its big norther neighbor will reopen."

I certainly hope you are right, b, as actions like this by China and other nations are long overdue. It would lead to a much better world for all, not just North Korea.

Posted by: red1chief | Jun 12 2020 17:05 utc | 1

wow, just wow.

Posted by: annie | Jun 12 2020 17:13 utc | 2

red1chief,
Yes I agree 100%. Just like Iran ignoring The US threats to shipping fuel to Venezuela. Hopefully we see more leaks in the US sanction and blockade dam.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12 2020 17:14 utc | 3

"For the first time in nearly three years, three American aircraft carriers are patrolling the Indo-Pacific waters..." (csmonitor.com

What does that say?

Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 12 2020 17:15 utc | 4

It says the US thumps on its chest a lot.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12 2020 17:17 utc | 5

@ Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 12 2020 17:15 utc | 4

North Korea is not in the Indo-Pacific. It is in the northwestern Pacific.

--//--

The difference between Kim Jong-un and his predecessors can be reduced to one factor: a better developed/matured China.

He's in a very good position to simply do the reforms and opening-up a la post-1978 China and start a quick and solid economic development. This would, in turn, erode South Korea's soft power over the peninsula - hence the South Korean bourgeoisie's haste in triggering a hot war against the North: their window do colonize it and use its 25 million inhabitants as a brand-new cheap labor resources with which the chaebols could start a new cycle of capitalist accumulation is closing.

Posted by: vk | Jun 12 2020 17:54 utc | 6

Pnyx @4

Did you read the retarded first line?

"In a show of strength intended for China, three American aircraft carriers are patrolling the Indo-Pacific waters. But Beijing could interpret it as a provocation in the region, say experts."

Duh, it's a show of strength, not a provocation. Doh. say experts... whoa some pretty smart dudes.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12 2020 18:20 utc | 7

Surprise, surprise. The Trump/Kim Jong-un love affair was about as long as one of Elizabeth Taylor's romances. Kim Jong-un wrote him beautiful letters and they fell in love, yet just as quickly they fell out of love. That's the way it is with Trump. He's a male version of Elizabeth Taylor. Melania was smart to renegotiate her prenup. It appears Kim Jong-un neglected to insist on a prenup.

They Were A Match Made In Heaven But Heaven Can Wait I Guess

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 12 2020 18:31 utc | 8

There must be a good chance that Russia will improve its relations with NK just as China will.

Arby, patrolling with three carriers is not nowadays, in the days of decent and numerous Chinese anti ship missiles, a show of strength. More like providing a target rich environment and no doubt the Chinese will be testing themselves against them.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jun 12 2020 18:37 utc | 9

JohninMK,
The article said that, not me.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12 2020 18:46 utc | 10

re: " three American aircraft carriers are patrolling the Indo-Pacific waters"
The Indo-Pacific is huge, and these carriers are nowhere near China.
Nimitz -- EastPac -- just left San Diego
Reagan -- WestPac -- just left Japan
Roosevelt -- Philippine Sea -- east of Philippines

This is a replay of the three carriers in the Pacific before which were intended to make DPRK buckle. That didn't succeed either, any more than a long-time carrier force near Iran has ever impressed Iran. This "chest-thumping" (thanks arby) is what passes for US "diplomacy." We shouldn't take it seriously, or even repeat it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2020 18:53 utc | 11

North Korea is likely to time the announced tests in a way that creates maximum damage for Trump's reelection campaign.

It matter little which flavor of the establishment a US President hails from.

All Presidents are portrayed as 'peacemakers'. Only peacemakers can claim to fight 'just' wars.

USA is effectively at war with Syria (via dubious legality of occupying Syrian oilfields), Venezuela (having seized Venezuelan State assets with the pretense that Juan Guaidó is the true head of State), and Yemen (via support for Saudi and UAE war on Yemen). And USA leads/forces its allies in a Cold War with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Then there is the backstabbing of the Palestinians and the US-backed coup in Peru. Trump is merely spokesperson for all this belligerence. When he's gone, whether that occurs in 4 months or 4 years, TPTB/Deep State will turn the page and start again.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 12 2020 19:04 utc | 12

The Korean Armistice Agreement was a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was ever signed. In effect the Korean war never ended.

DPRK will not give up her nukes, but that’s not where its strength lies. Japan and South Korea are within range of regular ballistic missiles, where US personnel are just sitting duck. All this talk about nukes is hooey.

Aside from China, let’s not forget Russia, which has a skin in this game. It has an 11 mile border, and 15 mile maritime border with DPRK. It will do it’s utmost for North not become South.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 12 2020 19:06 utc | 13

Thanks for this update b. Total failure by the Outlaw US Empire, but also by South Korea's Moon. IMO, he should have taken much greater initiative to assert his authority over his military to ignore the Empire and conform to the genuine interests of all Koreans. The potential political fallout must include Moon as well as Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 12 2020 19:18 utc | 14

@ SB 14
re: Japan and South Korea are within range of regular ballistic missiles, where US personnel are just sitting ducks
Actually it's worse than that. The recently expanded Camp Humphreys is now the largest U.S. military base outside of the continental U.S. It cost some $10.7 billion and the ROK provided 90 percent of the funds. Humphreys with its 30,000 Americans in high-rise family housing is well within range of North Korea's mobile rockets, so the US will never attack.

SEOUL, South Korea, Jun 4, 2008 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday that he supported extending the tours of thousands of troops stationed here to three years and allowing their spouses and children to live with them during their assignments.. .“I don’t think anybody considers the Republic of Korea today a combat zone,” Mr. Gates told reporters. . .here

So Korea is just where the US wants it, an ambiguous, unstable, divisive (the two Koreas) situation which requires the America people to be afraid, very afraid of yet another threat on US citizens' freedom, and thank you for your service.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2020 20:18 utc | 15

@ karlof1 15
re: . . .but also by South Korea's Moon.
Moon has done about as much as he can do. If he were to completely slip the traces he would most likely suffer a terrible accident.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2020 20:21 utc | 16

Here’s my 2 cents. North Korea should never denuclearize. The US is never going to remove itself from South Korea. The only reason it won’t ever be attacked, is if the cost of attacking it is too great to justify. Timing this announcement to damage Trump isn’t smart. Yes, Trump gets sabotaged by Pompeo, Bolton when he was around and many others, but at the end of the day the attack order is still his call and it’s been obvious Trump doesn’t want a war with them. He’s mostly just bluffing with his threats towards others. If you get Biden in there, he won’t be running the show. Youll have the Pentagon and the neoliberals in charge. They will be less tough talk on Twitter, but definitely more of a threat to start a major war

Posted by: DannyC | Jun 12 2020 20:26 utc | 17

"We are here to go, we gotta find a way off this goddamn cop-ridden planet."

— William S. Burroughs

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 12 2020 20:39 utc | 18

Pnyx @ 4:

The line you quote tells me that whoever wrote that CS Monitor (or Christian Science Monitor) article needs to learn geography, perhaps by being sent out on one of those air carriers if its crew can somehow find its way back to the US even with all the technological navigation resources available to them.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12 2020 20:45 utc | 19

karlof1 @ 15:

I agree with Don Bacon @ 17. There are institutions in Sth Korea that likely benefit from the present ambiguity and uncertainty between the two Koreas, not least the Sth Korean military and intel esrablishments. A former SK president, Park Chung-hee, was killed by his own intel agency in 1979 and he was hardly an insignificant figure: he'd been ruling SK as a virtual despot since 1961. There are probably still people among the SK elite who would like to bring his autocratic style of rule back.

Incidentally Park was the father of former President Park Geun-hye who was impeached in 2017 for corruption.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12 2020 20:54 utc | 20

It's important to speculate that the relations between the USA and South Korea have their contradictions.

The South Korean elite certainly would like a complete victory over the North under their terms (unconditional surrender to the South). That would allow the dream scenario for South Korea: ransacking their infrastructure (by the chaebols) and absorbing their 25 million population as cheap workforce.

The South Korean military would also love this scenario, as an enlarged Korea, bordering both China (in a very favorable terrain for a terrestrial invasion in collaboration with the Americans) and Russia, with 75 million inhabitants, could rival Japan as the favorite vassal of the USA in the northwestern Pacific. This would embolden the nationalists at home, open space to crush the center-left (social-democrats) and add fuel to the melting pot of East Asia.

A unified Korea under capitalist hegemony would also enable the Korean military to charge the Americans for much more money, military equipment and other infrastructure in exchange for keeping their occupation. It would also absorb the North's nuclear weapon technology, know-how and infrastructure, so it would automatically be a nuclear power. It could even rise above Japan in geopolitical importance in the American eyes for this reason - it could essentially be an Israel in East Asia, directly threatening China in the name of the USA.

For that reason I think the USA doesn't want a unified and strengthened Korea - even one unified under the South's terms.

The American are already bleeding money and resources on Israel, NATO, Japan and the already existing South Korea. To have another emboldened vassal would bleed the American fiscus even more.

Besides, the Americans see themselves as the owners of South Korea, in the sense that South Korea owes their own existence to American occupation. If the North is to fall, I don't think the USA will allow the South Korean bourgeoisie to simply grab the North Korean resources and nuclear know-how. I don't think they will make the same mistake they did with Germany (by allowing the Western elite to absorb the East entirely, which opened the gates to the creation of the EU and then to the German conquest of Central Europe).

My bet is the North resources would mainly fall to American capital if it was to be conquered. Maybe the American won't even allow a unified Korea - at least not de facto.

Posted by: vk | Jun 12 2020 20:59 utc | 21

@DB16.

Hey DB. A voice from the past. Good to see your posts again.

On Korea, I think we are in full agreement then.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 12 2020 22:11 utc | 22

Oh, man! So Trump won't get his Nobel Peace Prize? And after Obama got one for free. I was kinda looking forward to Trump picking up the prize, too - it would be a real symbol of the era of full spectrum stupid we are living through right now.

Posted by: teri | Jun 12 2020 22:24 utc | 23

Karlofi-
" Total failure by the Outlaw US Empire"

Failure like all the other"failures".

I don't think that word fits. It gives the impression that they tried and things didn't work out.
IMO, they are getting just what they want. Same as everywhere else.
I suppose in their minds success would entail the complete surrender and total compliance by the countries they call "threats", but they are glad to accept the next best thing.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12 2020 22:28 utc | 24

Kim Jong Un is more than a match for the dope Trump and his class of '86 wargamers. With this particular agreement the USA confirmed in everyone's eyes that it remains incapable of making and keeping a deal between nations. It would have been cheap and easy for Trump to walk away with a deal to give himself security in his second term runup. He cheated, he lied, and he bragged and so now that very agreement is a lance that the North Korean people can torment and bleed Trump with for the next six months and more.

Let's be clear about how important and sane the original deal was: relax the oppressive sanctions, diminish nuclear threats, remove invasion threats in exchange for repatriated human remains, and NK to destroy its nuclear production facility. That ignorant Pompeo nixed the deal on his very next visit and proved to Kim on his first round with the USA that the president was a puppet and the USA incapable of being trusted.

It was easy, it was inexpensive, it was painless and the USA could not do it.

And so Trump handed a weapon to Kim to stab at him throughout his own re-election. No brains in Kushner or Ivanka's heads as they too have handed a golden opportunity to the North Korean fox. Fools all.


The North Koreans have only their liberty and nation to lose and they would not lose it back in the 1950's and they sure wont lose it now. All the more so to a scabrous pack of greedy Chaebol mafia from the south. Do not forget that the USA bombed the North Koreans continuously, almost every village was bombed in a free fire zone approach that was repeated in Vietnam a decade or so later. Koreans were slaughtered in their millions by this grubby little USA mendacity and it is remembered through the generations. Korea had only just repulsed the Japanese occupation. They remember - and they wont be suckered by some clown nation in the Pacific.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 12 2020 22:48 utc | 25

Since this nothing-burger appears to have kicked off with an article in the NYT, it looks to me as though someone reminded The Swamp that Iran hasn't been disarmed and is thus not the kind of soft target that can be pushed around with impunity by AmeriKKKa. Imo, Iran is a lot closer to the top of the Military Genius pecking order than AmeriKKKa. i.e. Iran has made it quite clear that "Israel" will cop the blowback if Iran is attacked, and has also demonstrated its ability to conduct high-precision strikes on US bases & bunkers in the region. Iran is also quite good at swapping insults with AmeriKKKa and Iran's insults are usually funnier than AmeriKKKa's...

Threatening North Korea probably seemed like a better/safer idea than threatening Iran but only until China's diplomatic comedians start ripping into AmeriKKKa's loud-mouthed dorks and daydreamers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 12 2020 23:08 utc | 26

DPRK is an ally of both China and Russia, US enemies which are currently besting the US by undermining its influence. .. from the Senate 2021 proposed budget summary:

Two years ago, the National Defense Strategy (NDS) outlined our nation’s preeminent challenge: strategic competition with authoritarian adversaries that stand firmly against our shared American values of freedom, democracy, and peace— namely, China and Russia.These adversaries seek to shift the global order in their favor, at our expense. In pursuit of this goal, these nations have increased military and economic aggression, worked to develop advanced technologies, expanded their influence around the world, and undermined our own influence. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2020 23:27 utc | 27

Don Bacon, Jen & arby--

Thanks for your replies. Yes, Moon must navigate past the forces of reaction within RoK, but it appeared he was doing so prior to COVID-19. It seems bigger carrots are needed for both Moon and Kim. Remember all the speculation regarding Kim riding his horse back in December; what ever became of that?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 12 2020 23:36 utc | 28

Posted by: vk | Jun 12 2020 17:54 utc | 7 use its 25 million inhabitants as a brand-new cheap labor resources with which the chaebols could start a new cycle of capitalist accumulation is closing.

Not to mention the estimated *6-10 trillion dollars* in natural resources that North Korea has.

North Korea Has Trillions of Dollars in Mineral Wealth

From another article: "An estimate from 2012 by a South Korean research institute values the North’s mineral wealth at $10 trillion, 20-odd times larger than that of the South."

It's always about the money (and power).

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 12 2020 23:38 utc | 29

Don Bacon @28--

Thanks for providing that Howler! Peace as an American value?!? National behavior proves that to be a Big Lie. Same with the other two "values." And in reality, just who is undermining who? Seems the Neoliberal plan is doing most of the work "to shift the global order" while Russia and China focus on their internal development and extending Eurasian communications and trade. The incompetence is stupendous, certainly tops in the world!

My Happy Hour beverage will taste much better knowing our national decline will continue unabated thanks to the utter brilliance of our Bureaucrats.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 12 2020 23:46 utc | 30

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 12 2020 20:39 utc | 19 "We are here to go, we gotta find a way off this goddamn cop-ridden planet." — William S. Burroughs

Ah, Bill Burroughs. One of my favorite writers. One of his lines is one of my favorites: "...ultimate safety must be computed in immortal terms. So beware a fool's safety." He hated cops, and he hated people who "have to be right."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 12 2020 23:59 utc | 31

Karlofi, BTW already had my cocktail or two, but,

"It seems bigger carrots are needed for both Moon and Kim. "

What do you mean by that? Kim was handed a rotten carrot way past it's use by date, and Moon is already way past expecting a decent carrot.

Posted by: arby | Jun 13 2020 0:02 utc | 32

@32 Burroughs hated everything. Especially himself. The only things he liked were heroine and little Morrocan boys. See Barry Mile's excellent biography.

Posted by: dh | Jun 13 2020 0:09 utc | 33

Just another distraction.

Heck US aircraft carriers used to visit HK quite often until recently, even after the hand over. They anchored in the harbor while thousands of sailors headed to the Wanchai bars, although after the hand over they anchored in a less visible part of the harbor. China didn't have a problem.

I doubt China sweats a couple of aircraft carriers when we have large bases in Japan and South Korea, not to mention Guam.

False conflicts with China, North Korea, Russia and Iran are needed to keep support for MIC and Security State which cost 1.2 trillion a year.

If the US were serious about confronting China there would be sanctions and not tariffs. China and US are partners. We sell them chips that they put in our electronics and sell to us, so we can spy on our people, and they test out our social control technology on their own people. They clothe us, sell cheap API’s for drugs and they invest in treasuries and other US assets and we educate their young talent and give them access to our research and technology and fund some of their own research and share numerous patents

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 13 2020 0:10 utc | 34

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 12 2020 23:08 utc | 27 Threatening North Korea probably seemed like a better/safer idea than threatening Iran

North Korea can't really be compared to Iran.

The problem with Iran is that they will never surrender if attacked, and the resulting war will go on for thirty years until the US is exhausted and forced to retreat. That's fine with the military-industrial complex - they get a couple hundred billion dollars a year for thirty years.

North Korea, on the other hand, has the military capability to inflict fifty thousand US casualties in the first ninety days, according to Pentagon war games, even *without* using any nukes (which they wouldn't ever use because one US sub could obliterate North Korea.) North Korea has a million man army with more tanks than anyone except the US and Russia. It's all old hardware, but there's so much of it that the US military would have a very hard time defeating North Korea. And the North Korea terrain is a nightmare for invaders: hills, mountains, all honeycombed with tunnels and bunkers the North has prepared for the US for decades. And the North is motivated - even if the US defeated them, the resulting insurgency would make Iraq look like a tea party.

For motivation, look at the two North Korean Special Forces soldiers who escaped a grounded NK mini-sub some years back. They went on the run in South Korea, pursued by the entire South Korean military and police forces. They survived for 53 days and killed 11 of their pursuers. And North Korea has an estimated 120,000 of those boys ready to infiltrate South Korea and do sabotage if NK is ever attacked.

Attacking North Korea would be a hot mess that not even Trump would risk. Attacking Iran would be a mess, but not a *hot* mess - at least initially. Iran would be a long, drawn-out mess (except for Hezbollah's ability to completely screw Israel within the first sixty days or so.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 0:11 utc | 35

30 years of war with Iran, huh?
President RS Hack, Please play the game laid out for you.
The war with Iran didn't get past day 7.
Please pull the trigger Richard. You know you want to. Many Iranian babies are waiting their 72 virgins as well.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 13 2020 1:57 utc | 36

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 12 2020 23:08 utc | 27
Nice post.
There was a time that two countries sat between Israel and Iran.
Due to empire's follies, now, nutty has to run to daddy Putin and ask: don't let the Iranians any closer that 40 miles to our border.
How the world has indeed changed.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 13 2020 2:03 utc | 37

Another reason for the US keeping the pot boiling in Korea: It facilitates US air bases within one flight hour of Beijing and Shanghai (if they ever manage to get off the ground).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2020 2:18 utc | 38

Thanks to b and all of you. Been around here long enough to remember Don and many other monikers.

Posted by: TominAZ | Jun 13 2020 3:04 utc | 39

Earlier this week North Korea broke off its communication with South Korea:

NYT from b's post.

Matt Taibbi seems to think that the NYT and much of the USA media have broken off communications with reality, journalists and the US public.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 13 2020 3:24 utc | 40

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 13 2020 3:24 utc | 41

From Matt's article:

"Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat’s theorem."

Outstanding. Couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 3:39 utc | 41

Richard Steven Hack #42

Touche - loved that line. If I took a nip every time Taibbi dropped a priceless putdown I would be a basket case. He has this razor cutting wit that seems a blend of George Carlin and Hunter S Thompson. Urbane and deadly. He is excellent on his own site - free.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 13 2020 3:49 utc | 42

USA is effectively at war with Syria (via dubious legality of occupying Syrian oilfields) ...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 12 2020 19:04 utc | 13

Here Jackrabbit slyly tries to smuggle a totally false preposition, namely that legality, dubious or non-dubious, pertains to activities of United States as a state and to activities of officials of United States as persons. Nothing like that is true.

In the arena of "international law", USA kind of recognizes jurisdiction of UNSC, where it never forgets to veto any resolution in its own direction. ICC is recognized by USA only when it does not deal with USA, and if some activity of ICC, by necessity harmless, is directed at USA, a whole slew of measures can be considered. Kidnapping children? Probably not. Probably. Freezing accounts, arresting them through an obedient government, UK, Canada, Australia or, say, Bulgaria, we may yet to see something like that.

In the arena of "domestic law", the doctrine of "qualified immunity" extends to all officials. To cite a unanimous decision of Supreme Court:

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the court, called the communication [time for traffic troubles for Fort Lee] “an admirably concise email.”

She went on to write that “the evidence the jury heard no doubt shows wrongdoing — deception, corruption, abuse of power.”

“But the federal fraud statutes at issue do not criminalize all such conduct,” she wrote. “Under settled precedent, the officials could violate those laws only if an object of their dishonesty was to obtain the Port Authority’s money or property.”

US activites in Syria seem to be in the same category, "deception, corruption, abuse of power" (I stress, in the lens of domestic law), and thus legal.

-----

No wonder that the phrase "international law" is progressively discontinued, instead we have "international [X] rule based order", where [X] is a place to insert "liberal" if you do not detest that word (like the current Administration). "Rules" are Presidential findings, decisions by some flunkies in the Department of Treasury etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 13 2020 4:15 utc | 43

one of many mistakes that Putin made is agreed with USA to place sanctions on North Korea. THat is why NK won't trust Putin, and the two should be natural allies. Too bad because Russia could really help NK and NK can help Russia. KN knows it has no allies or friends and its back is against the wall. Even China barely tolerates them.
Good for Kim that he finally understood and isnt afraid to speak that the Americans cannot be trusted. But he should have known this sicne the 1990s, when the US renegaded on their promises. Seem Kim was just playing for time wth trump. I bet Trump won't do or sy anything about NK for a long long time. USA is playign the long game, they figure they can wait NK out.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 13 2020 4:55 utc | 44

JackRabbit @13

The coup was in Bolivia mate, not Perú.

Speaking of that and the NYT, they just wrote an article on it and the OAS colaboration. Everyone in South America already knew of that but very few admited it.

Might they be forecasting the fall of Bolsonaro's government and with it, the Bolivian junta?? I am hoping so.

Posted by: Mariátegui | Jun 13 2020 4:58 utc | 45


@Jackrabbit 13

It matter little which flavor of the establishment a US President hails from.

All Presidents are portrayed as 'peacemakers'. Only peacemakers can claim to fight 'just' wars.

Precisely.

Posted by: Jacquard | Jun 13 2020 5:33 utc | 46

China gives NK a lot more support than is commonly acknowledged. They lost nearly a million soldiers defending North Korea during the Korean War and prevented the colonization of the entire peninsula. NK's most recent nuclear bomb is a very close replica of third generation Chinese bomb, obviously a lot of Chinese help there. I have little doubt China would go to war defending NK from Anglo aggression.

Ultimately it will be China that kicks America out of Korea and reunifies the country.

Posted by: Jason | Jun 13 2020 6:22 utc | 47

Posted by: Jason | Jun 13 2020 6:22 utc | 48 I have little doubt China would go to war defending NK from Anglo aggression.

They've said (somewhat sub rosa via their press) that if a war breaks out and the US starts it, they would indeed "prevent" the North from being occupied.

"Ultimately it will be China that kicks America out of Korea and reunifies the country."

Quite possibly.

I'm more interested in where you got the info that any of NK's nukes are in any way based on Chinese nukes. Got a link? I'm interested, but only slightly...too slightly to do a Google search on this particular topic. If you're not interested enough to provide a link, I'll understand. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 7:09 utc | 48

@49
I'll see if i can get that nuke info for you. I am at work and seat-of-my-pants blogging, so i don't have the info handy.

What i have seen isn't probably very convincing...the similarities being a strong visual resemblance to the nukes China developed in the late 80's for Multiple Vehicle Reentry type ICBM's. It is really pretty advanced and a large jump in technology from the earlier NK designs.

Posted by: Jason | Jun 13 2020 7:47 utc | 49

Jason #59

You cant rely on external appearance as anything more than an indicator of the transport vehicle (rocket) whereas the internals are the key to the design provenance. Might be worth considering the Pakistan designer Abdul Qadeer Khan had a way with these things and is said to have assisted other needy scientists in other countries.

I would suggest that successive North Korean leaders were vitally interested in NOT being invaded by the USA or its running dogs and to that end would have paid well for technological advice and training for its scientists.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 13 2020 8:22 utc | 50

Wow just wow.

Pat Lang's site sst now requires a password to enter.

Posted by: mcohen | Jun 13 2020 8:35 utc | 51

@mcohwen, #52:

Yeah, thanks for confirming that. Do you live stateside? I am abroad, and I wondered if perhaps Lang was just filtering by region, or connection method.

He did it with no warning, so it may be that he got into his cups again, went paranoid (he's quite prone to that, no doubt because of all that past work he did inducing paranoia and fear in others), and flipped a switch on the back-end.

He has threatened to quit a couple of times before, but I'm surprised he set up a password and blocked the entire site. He was quite proud of the work he'd done in the past, and certainly it was a useful archive. I'm scratching my head over it, frankly.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jun 13 2020 9:46 utc | 52

Posted by: mcohen | Jun 13 2020 8:35 utc | 52 Pat Lang's site sst now requires a password to enter.

He has repeatedly threatened to shut down the blog in the past because too many people disagreed with him on subjects. Apparently he's under such pressure now from people who think he's a butthead that he's "retreated behind the ramparts" and decided to make it nothing but an echo chamber for his own bullshit. Not a surprise. I was banned from there some time ago and good riddance.

Some of his correspondents and some of the commenters - including me when I was commenting there - had some decent information, but he was mostly useless except for his expertise in the Middle East which is considerable. The only thing I gave him any credence for is his recognition that Trump was an idiot when it came to foreign policy. But he thought Trump was a genius in regards to China and the domestic economy - which shows how much he understood about those subjects.

His primary problem was he's a complete asshole to everyone except his favorites.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 9:48 utc | 53

mcohen #52

SST looks to me like a mistake in configuration - or a hack. Expect it will be back up soon.

Posted by: marcus | Jun 13 2020 10:35 utc | 54

There was much pomp and fanfare about the USA President and the Dear Leader meeting directly, but to me it always seemed unlikely this would result in any serious reconciliation.

Firstly and majorly, because the USA has nothing to gain and everything to lose. They would have to recognize right to existence of a communist 'regime'. And would then face the prospect of a political framework to potentially re-integrate the Korean peninsular. Withdrawal of their military forces. Which, let's face it, aren't there just to intimidate a little country like the DPRK.

Secondly, Americans governments are notoriously fickle. The Russians have described them as 'agreement-incapable', and that doesn't seem inaccurate. All previous US-DPRK 'agreements' have failed because the USA has never provided the alternative energy supplies, or relief from sanctions as hoped for by the DPRK side, in order to give up their nuclear ambitions.

And the leaders of the DPRK are well aware of the fates of Saddam Hussein, Moamar Khaddafi, Manuel Noriega, et al. Dare I mention Usama bin Laden, who never had the opportunity to defend himself in a court of law against various allegations...

I suspect this is why the four-step process was agreed to. It was all optics. There was never a snowball's chance on Venus that the US would honour either of the first two steps.

Posted by: Ant. | Jun 13 2020 13:02 utc | 55

Ant.

A bit of tangential trivia.

At the time, OBL was never on the FBI most wanted list post 9/11.

Posted by: Guidoamm | Jun 13 2020 13:23 utc | 56

@ Ant. 56
re: They [USA] would have to recognize right to existence of a communist 'regime'.
It depends upon the regime -- Communist Vietnam which defeated the US fifty years ago is just fine because it is an enemy of Communist China. US presidents visit there and US warships enjoy liberty there. Okay, not full liberty.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2020 13:34 utc | 57

NK's continuation of its nuclear weapons program is totally justified after what it has already experienced at the hands of U.S. genocidal maniacs.

Over the three years of the Korean War, in the words of General Curtis LeMay, the US Air Force "burned down every town in North and South Korea". The US used 12,000 pound "Tarzan" bombs until there were no more targets for them, in addition to thousands upon thousands of bombing sorties. Thousand pound napalm bombs were dropped from B-29s to "wipe out all life" in tactical localities. Towards the end of the war, the US bombed North Korea's dams. One resulting flood "scooped clean" 27 miles of river valley.

Moreover, it is the US which has made repeated nuclear threats against North Korea, despite the fact that North Korea has never posed a serious threat to the US. The use of nuclear weapons was considered several times during the Korean War, both tactical and strategic. In April 1951, B-29s with nuclear weapons were deployed to Guam, ready for use if China escalated its conventional involvement in the war. Later in the war, lone B-29s simulated nuclear attack runs on Pyongyang. Over the course of the war, a million North Korean civilians were killed by US, UN and South Korean forces.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/04/201341695253805841.html

Posted by: krypton | Jun 13 2020 13:35 utc | 58

"Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat’s theorem."

My sentiments precisely. He's in the Oval Office because the sadistically & criminally psychopathic extractive wealthy elite want him there every bit as much as they wanted Ota Benga on display at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan and the Bronx Zoo. For the "protests" to become a movement and then an insurrection and then a revolution, the focus must be the extractive wealthy elite. They must be rounded up and imprisoned for centuries of crimes against humanity that continue to this day and are just as insidious and egregious. There can be no progress without justice and a reconciling of the past. The choking weeds must be pulled by the roots.

Human Zoos: America's Forgotten History of Scientific Racism

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 13 2020 13:36 utc | 59

Follow the money. Always. It always tells. Keep your eye on the gorilla, not the ball.

AmEx Wins Clearing License for China’s $27 Trillion Market

Monkey Business

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 13 2020 13:49 utc | 60

Jeez, a browser issue turned into a rant about Pat Lang. I come in on opera browser, no vpn, and sure haven't seen any password requirement at SST.

Posted by: Morongobill | Jun 13 2020 13:54 utc | 61

"Having been long forsaken like a good-for-nothing cucumber stalk thrown into swill, they should have now been aware too well of their sad lot, "

Says a North Korean Diplomat about South Korea


link

Posted by: arby | Jun 13 2020 14:03 utc | 62

@ Posted by: Jason | Jun 13 2020 6:22 utc | 48

Another curious fact about the Korean War is the fact that it may have been the trigger for China's obsession with developing its own aircraft.

During the war, the USA kept air superiority the whole time. PLA soldiers had to crawl and advance very slowly just to get to the front lines. Even then, bombing was incessant and, as a result, the PLA suffered disproportional casualties.

Zhou Enlai was reportedly livid with this situation. He was truly pissed off. If that's true, then it is remarkable, as Zhou is known for his calmness even in the most dire situations (he's one of the very few top CCP officials to go untouched during the Mao and Deng governments).

True or not, fact is we now have Chinese jets. The Korean episode may explain why the Chinese didn't simply import Soviet/Russian jets, and why building its own jet is, still now, a point of honor and pride for the Chinese.

Posted by: vk | Jun 13 2020 14:32 utc | 63

Jeez, a browser issue turned into a rant about Pat Lang. I come in on opera browser, no vpn, and sure haven't seen any password requirement at SST.
Posted by: Morongobill | Jun 13 2020 13:54 utc | 62

The password requirement mentioned by mcohen | Jun 13 2020 8:35 utc | 52 was real but temporary. Earlier today I visited SST and read the latest Russia SITREP. When I saw mcohen's #52 I clicked on my SST Bookmark and a pop-up requiring a password & username appeared. I don't have either and cancelled the pop-up. I was informed in an Error message that I'm denied access. When I saw your #62 a few minutes ago I googled sic semper tyrannis and clicked on the first link to turcoplier typepad which got me straight to SST. Then I used my bookmarked link and it worked normally.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 13 2020 14:36 utc | 64

Is Trump really "uniquely toolless"? Or are all Presidents equally toolless, but before Trump they managed to look super powerful by carefully aligning their publicly stated political postures with what the "Deep State" and oligarchic elites were willing to go along with?

For example, perhaps deep down in some hidden part of his corrupted and CIA-owned soul Obama wanted to avoid destroying Libya; however, since the strategists for the empire had already decided that destruction was happening no matter what, Obama carefully nurtured the image of Presidential might and power by going along with the demolition of the most progressive and prosperous nation of the continent of Africa.

I am NOT arguing that I think Obama opposed turning the country with by far the highest Human Development Index in Africa into a place where you can now buy slaves. I am simply pointing out that if Obama had visibly opposed destroying Libya, that destruction would have gone forward anyway, and then Obama too would have appeared "toolless".

Doubtless Trump looked at America's conflict with North Korea and thought it would be ridiculously easy to resolve. As a businessman, albeit a crooked one (but aren't they all?), Trump knew that you cannot get something for nothing. You've got to give a little to get something in return, even if you cheat on the value of the negotiated exchange. Where North Korea was concerned the demands they were making were ones that would save money for the US government. No more expensive war games and military provocations and NK would give up its nuke program? That's an easy no-brainer! From Trump's naive perspective that would be win-win, with both wins being for himself and the US. Trump simply didn't understand that the "Deep State"/establishment never had any intention of giving anything in any negotiations. Trump still believed the fairy tale that citizens of the empire tell themselves about how the empire is fair and reasonable. I doubt he understood at the time that the way the empire "negotiates" is "You give me all I demand and I won't regime change you or bomb you into the Stone Age."

I would argue that the appearance of Trump being more "toolless" than previous Presidents is more a product of his behavior being out of sync with the "Deep State"/establishment. A more recent example would be Trump suggesting that SARS Mk II is artificial. The "Deep State"/establishment panicked about that and tried to shoot that notion down not to protect the reputation of the Chinese, but rather because the virus IS artificial, but made in the USA. The domestic origin of that virus is a fact that will inevitably come to light if the idea that the SARS Mk II virus being man made loses its taboo status in public discourse, so the "Deep State"/establishment had to squash that narrative before it could get any more traction. This, of course, added to Trump's appearance of toollessness.

In short, I don't think Trump is any more toolless than any previous President. He is just out of step with imperial policy... accidentally stepping on the toes of those in the empire he is supposed to dance with.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 13 2020 15:13 utc | 65

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 13 2020 14:36 utc | 65

Just tested it with Firefox and I can confirm SST is now accessible again. I suppose it was just another Typepad screwup - or whoever runs the site for Lang is incompetent. They've had issues before.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 15:18 utc | 66

In short, I don't think Trump is any more toolless than any previous President. He is just out of step with imperial policy... accidentally stepping on the toes of those in the empire he is supposed to dance with.

Bullshit. If this was the case, he'd be Six Feet Under by now. They would have assassinated him long ago. He's POTUS because "they" want him there. He's a tool and a fool despite, and on top of, his psychopathic narcissism.

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 13 2020 15:25 utc | 67

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 13 2020 15:13 utc | 66

My issue with Trump is primarily he's an ignorant narcissist who is also a blowhard. Obama was correctly described by Norman Finkelstein as a "stunning narcissist", but Trump goes way past that and ladles on a ton of ignorance and gracelessness that makes George Dubya seem like the Duke of Wellington. He can't even do real estate without declaring or nearing bankruptcy several times.

I'm not sure he's entirely out of step with the Deep State. I think he's hard to control - being a rabid narcissist *and* ignorant of his proper status vis-a-vis the Deep State - which must drive them crazy. But for people used to manipulating people, especially ignorant narcissists, he can't be that hard to control and lead around by the nose. His son and daughter appear to be much better at that than he is. So while he may be "out of step" with the Deep State, they still find him valuable because of his rabid support for Israel and his willingness to bluster and threaten anyone he can be convinced is not an ally of the US (and one that spends money in the US like Saudi Arabia.) His unwillingness to be *blamed* for starting a new war - because a narcissist can't afford to accept blame for anything - makes him a slight problem for the warmongers, but that can be overcome with the right pretext, as proven with the Syria cruise missile strikes and the incredibly stupid Solimanei assassination.

Shaked Ayelet, the former Israeli Minister of Justice, once said in another context that with Trump as President, "There is no better time" to push the settlements and other Israeli policies. Israel recognizes that Trump is someone who can be led by the nose in certain directions, even if he is more difficult in other areas and can be unpredictable.

I think Obama, being ignorant of everything but Constitutional law, was not too hard for the military to manipulate in Afghanistan. But Obama wasn't as idiotic as Trump is. Even Bush Jr. wasn't, particularly because he had his dad and Jim Baker to advise him. Trump's got nothing and he has no one but Zionists and neocons around him. The only problem for them is his predilection for firing anyone who crosses him for any reason. Re the latter, Ivanka tells a story about how she was driving one day and heard him interviewed on the radio. He was asked if he would even fire her from the company and Trump replied he would fire her "like a dog." She called him up and asked him why he had to say, "like a dog."

Gotta be hard to work for an asshole like that. I've had some experience working for conceited narcissists - it's not fun.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 15:36 utc | 68

It's a fact that any president can't be a complete autocrat and substantially change anything, given Dealey Plaza (Kennedy wanted greatly to recast US-USSR relations in 1963). The US is a "democracy" under the control of other people than the President and his staff (but not the citizens). However Trump has taken some positive steps (some if them non-intended):
> Killing the Trans Pacific Partnership, which was the foundation of the US (Obama) "pivot" to East Asia (which has gone nowhere). So the US has been reduced to piddling around provoking China in the South China Sea, of all places.
> Seriously harming the US-Europe world-control alliance including especially NATO, with the latest being the plan (yet to be implemented) to withdraw 1/3 of US military from Germany, and similar talk about South Korea and Afghanistan.
> Continued fumbling with Russia and China, which has strengthened the alliance of those two countries and promoted the coming Eurasian world dominance. (fumbling Covid-19 also helped in this regard)
> Most of all, no new wars, an important change from the previous head monkeys.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2020 15:52 utc | 69

Lang is now threatening the extrajudicial murder of antifa supporters. I believe such threats are considered criminal.

Posted by: sleepy | Jun 13 2020 16:37 utc | 70

Don Bacon-
"Most of all, no new wars, an important change from the previous head monkeys. "

I still believe the no new wars are the fact that Russia stopped the rampage in Syria, and to a much lesser degree Donald Trump. You even state that whether Obama wanted a war or not in Libya , war happened.

Posted by: arby | Jun 13 2020 16:42 utc | 71

sleepy @ 71:

Lang posted that the article is not his opinion but of "J".

Posted by: Ian2 | Jun 13 2020 16:45 utc | 72

mcohen | Jun 13 2020 8:35 utc | 52
Pacifica Advocate | Jun 13 2020 9:46 utc | 53
what?
No such thing at sst?
I surf from Norway with vpn server set to Norway and i have just read his latest posts, no password required. Probably just a temporary fault or some kind of attack at his site i presume.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jun 13 2020 16:46 utc | 73

@71, he's threatened the same with me. I informed him I was going to contact the FBI. He taunted me and said go right ahead, that he was good friends with the Director at the time. The Director at the time was James Comey. So Comey is chums with Lang. They're both undemocratic fascist scumbags as far as I'm concerned. Lang is a psychopathic murderer. No doubt he has a long trail of extrajudicial murders in Vietnam and elsewhere. His words to me were, "we'll do to you what we did to Che." I take that as an admission he and his fellow special ops goons had their hand in Che's execution. Comey is an accomplice and coddler of murderers. Murder is murder whether it's legal or not. And yet Lang is obviously a Trump supporter. It's all so incestuous and the public feuds appear to be FAKE. Behind the scenes out of public view they all love each other and belong to the same club.

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 13 2020 16:52 utc | 74

sleepy @Jun13 16:37 #71

Lang is now threatening the extrajudicial murder of antifa supporters.

FBI has infiltrated groups like the militia movement and black panthers but USA is powerless against Antifa?

Lang/J advocate for death squads to intimidate and polarize.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 13 2020 16:59 utc | 75

You even state that whether Obama wanted a war or not in Libya , war happened.
Obama's mistake was Clinton as Secretary of State.
His first appointment as Pres, was Rahm Emanuel.
If anyone had doubts you were screwed, that closed the case.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 13 2020 17:01 utc | 76

Lang's place is working, for what it’s worth.. The first article from a guest named J suggests creating death squads a la Chile or El Salvador to deal with antifa, and then another one by the host suggests "invading" Capitol Hill in Seattle.
Once a spook always a spook, he gave himself square as a gringo adviser to central american goons like the infamous Arana Osorio when in a lapse he reffered to Ocassio Cortez as Osorio Cortez, wow, an adviser to one of the cruelest and most blood thirsty guatemalan torturers. The old man is nuts.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 13 2020 17:30 utc | 77

DH @77.
I really wonder at all the "mistakes' and "failures" of the US as they destroyed country after country. Geez, and they were only trying to help.

Posted by: arby | Jun 13 2020 17:55 utc | 78

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jun 13 2020 16:46 utc | 74

Nice try...nah, you're bullshit.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jun 13 2020 18:12 utc | 79

@ 81 pacifica advocate.. i guess i must be full of bullshite too... my experience echos per/norways... maybe there is a random thing going on here?

Posted by: james | Jun 13 2020 18:15 utc | 80

@ 79 arby... i think all of the usa's actions are by design and of course it has nothing to do with the bullshit they peddle explaining the rationale for their actions either..

Posted by: james | Jun 13 2020 18:17 utc | 81

It puzzles me that people get so worked up about Col.Lang. He is an old soldier with certain values and if you go to his site you shouldn’t be offended by what you read because you already know where he’s coming from. I don’t agree with everything on the site but respect the general atmosphere, which is moral in an old-fashioned way. Similarly there are some posters on MoA whose posts I really value and look forward to reading - for instance some committed Marxists. I am not one of them - but have great respect for their knowledge and wisdom even if I can’t go along with their analyses.
My world would be poorer without SST.

Posted by: Montreal | Jun 13 2020 18:18 utc | 82

Paco, @78:

Yap. My suspicion is likely the explanation: Pat was drinking late into the night, got angry that so many "Chinese" were "trolling" his site, and hit a button that--once he was sober--he recognized was a bad choice.

But let's not forget that Col. Lang--a man who took it upon himself to expose the travesties of the Clinton-Bush-Clintabma administrations--is prone to the same social failures that every other late-aged self-oppressed Smedley Butler is subject to.

I pity the man, and honor him for his dedication to his service to the Constitution.

However flawed an individual he may be, he has always served a higher power: not like Clinton, Obama, Trump, Bush, Bush Jr, Cheney, Kamala.....

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jun 13 2020 18:23 utc | 83

I called Lang once on his experience as a junior officer in Vietnam, on the rough side of the CIA -- Special Forces, Operation Phoenix, with torture assassination etc. His response was that they were only doing what the president of South Vietnam (a US puppet) wanted.
On the plus side, more recently, Lang was openly and publicly against the Iraq invasion.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2020 18:45 utc | 84

Fuck you....
Posted by: Per/Norway | Jun 13 2020 16:46 utc | 7

And fuck y'all, too:
Posted by: james | Jun 13 2020 18:15 utc | 81
Posted by: Paco | Jun 13 2020 17:30 utc | 78

I'm going to forego the "money shot", here, and just let y'all savor the contempt of Richard Steven Hack--

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 9:48 utc | 54

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jun 13 2020 18:47 utc | 85

You're a weak man indeed if this many people go out of their way to apologize for your war crimes. Lang proves that the far left is just a whisper from the far right. Both gravitate to the war criminal Lang and suck his limp dick. The far left and far right are kissing cousins. Lang proves it. Ian Welsh continues to keep a link to Lang's blog and yet Welsh is a self-described progressive. If that's progressive, and it is apparently, no thanks. No political spectrums for me, thank you. It's best to transcend that pigeon-holing nonsense. And it's best, and wise and prudent, not to coddle, and provide apologia for, war criminals and to not appeal to them as some form of authority.

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 13 2020 19:22 utc | 86

@ 86 pa.... i tend to share @83 montreals view.. it ain't worth getting worked up over.. i am not sure why some people do!

@ 87 - 450? what? who is sucking up?? nothing is so black and white as some would like to make it..

Posted by: james | Jun 13 2020 20:26 utc | 87

450.org 68: "Bullshit. If this was the case, he'd be Six Feet Under by now."

Sure, if Trump declared himself the enemy of the CIA & Co. then they would certainly take him out ASAP. But there is more than just the fact that Trump claims to them that he is on their side that is keeping him alive. Trump is an oligarch himself, and has allies among the oligarchy. The CIA takes its marching orders from the oligarchy, so until there is some sort of consensus among that gang that he has to go then Trump is safe.

Then there is the issue that the oligarchy and its tools are getting nervous about an uprising among the great unwashed masses. This ain't 1963, and assassinating the President now with the tensions in society would likely spark a serious conflagration. That would be even worse for the empire's PNAC dreams than all of Trump's fumbling and bumbling.

Next is that the credibility of the institution of western capitalist "democracy" has already take a series of serious hits, whereas back in 1963 the "purity" of American democracy was universally unquestioned. They could get away with an assassination back then because at the time the notion that the system would eat its own was unthinkable. The fact that the term "Deep State" has entered common usage should tell you all you need to know about how that has changed, though.

Finally, most of the big screw-ups by the CIA/"Deep State" lately have not really been Trump's fault. Those screw-ups have been the CIA's own, and they partially know it. Trump stepping on their toes isn't crippling them, just annoying them. Assassinating Trump for that would bring them more trouble than it is worth, so they grit their teeth and bear it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 13 2020 20:27 utc | 88

Richard Steven Hack @69: "I think he's hard to control - being a rabid narcissist *and* ignorant of his proper status vis-a-vis the Deep State"

I think the only role Trump was ever fully briefed on was his role of trying to make Clinton look good in contrast to himself back in 2016. I doubt the CIA has ever filled him in on all of the covert operations in progress around the world, so there is always the chance that Trump will step on one or another of them when he gets on Twitter and starts bloviating.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 13 2020 20:41 utc | 89

Posted by: arby | Jun 13 2020 16:42 utc | 72 I still believe the no new wars are the fact that Russia stopped the rampage in Syria, and to a much lesser degree Donald Trump. You even state that whether Obama wanted a war or not in Libya , war happened.

I agree. The trope about "he hasn't started any new wars" needs the operative word "yet."

People keep telling me he won't start a war because since he promised no new wars, it would harm his re-election.

I point out two things: 1) his "promises" are worth nothing, and 2) what happens *after* the election when he no longer has to worry about a second term?

I usually get crickets in response. People who think Trump won't start a new war are simply cognitive dissident. They don't want a new war, so they convince themselves that Trump doesn't either.

The other point I keep bringing up is that Trump is like Obama: a "stunning narcissist". That means he doesn't want to be *blamed* for starting a new war. That's all. It has nothing to do with what he "wants" in terms of an actual war.

And the final point I bring up is that if the Deep State (or Israel or whoever) engineers a serious enough incident, Trump will have no choice but to go to war.

As an incidental, people think that it's "easy" to start a war. In fact, it requires all kinds of maneuvering, politicking, deceit, preparation, etc. Look at the history of any war. Most of them didn't just start when a ruler wakes up one day and says "invade whoever." Even the war-mongers know they have to be careful what they wish for, so they prepare as much as possible. Even Hitler had to prepare Germany for WWII. From the outside of the inner circle, for the average citizen, it may look sudden, but it really isn't.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 13 2020 23:07 utc | 90

@ RSH 91
Important people (or anybody) ought to be judged on their record, and not on what they MIGHT do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2020 4:08 utc | 91

@76 Jackrabbit "FBI has infiltrated groups like the militia movement and black panthers but USA is powerless against Antifa?"

Yes, that is a point that has nagged away at me these past few weeks.

Pat Lang and his cheer squad have been acting as if Antifa is a black-box, with its inner workings and financial backing a complete mystery to everyone.

Pig's Arse.

If Antifa was capable of directing these recent protests / demonstrations / riots / whatever then the FBI would have infiltrated it years ago. To the very highest levels, and in numbers so large that they might even be able to take control of the damn thing.

And if they *haven't* been able to do that then that tells you that Antifa is such a loosely organized bunch of anarchist wankers that it is incapable of effectively organizing itself, much less orchestrate a nation-wide uprising. In effect, FBI infiltration would be pointless, precisely because the organization being infiltrated is utterly hopeless.

But the idea that Antifa can be both
(a) an effective threat to the ruling regime in Washington while
(b) its inner workings remain a complete mystery to those some people
is an absurdist claim.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 14 2020 12:07 utc | 92

RSH,
I think starting another overt war without Russia intervening in some serious way is now almost impossible and whoever it is that longs for wars is mated.
There are no easy targets anymore. This Humanitarian, Democracy and freedom shit don't fly no more.

Posted by: arby | Jun 14 2020 13:30 utc | 93

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