Remember when Trump supporters believed that his “America First” rhetoric meant retreating from America’s role as the world’s policeman engaging in endless wars to a non-interventionist foreign policy and withdrawing behind the walls of a “fortress America”? Suckers, that’s not what Trump meant at all. America First Foreign Policy. This is an aggressive “nationalism” policy litte different from the policy Russia ad China pursue.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the U.N. Security Council has run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear program and the United States may have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon. U.S. Ambassador Haley: U.N. has exhausted options on North Korea:
“We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point,” Haley told CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that she was perfectly happy to hand the North Korea problem over to Defense Secretary James Mattis.
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China has urged the United States to refrain from making threats to North Korea. Asked about President Donald Trump’s warning last month that the North Korean threat to the United States will be met with “fire and fury,” Haley said, “It was not an empty threat.”
“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed. And we all know that. And none of us want that. None of us want war,” she said on CNN.
“We’re trying every other possibility that we have, but there’s a whole lot of military options on the table,” she said.
White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said on Friday, after the latest North Korean missile launch, that the United States was running out of patience: “We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of road.”
On Sunday, he warned of imminent danger from Pyongyang.
“This regime is so close now to threatening the United States and others with a nuclear weapon, that we really have to move with a great sense of urgency on sanctions, on diplomacy and preparing, if necessary, a military option,” McMaster told the “Fox News Sunday” program.
Our bellicose man-child Twitter-troll-in-chief tweeted on Sunday: “I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”
“Rocket Man” is not a reference to Elton John but to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. And there ar no long gas lines in North Korea because there are not that many cars.
Our bellicose man-child addressed the United Nations today and upped the ante by threatening to “totally destroy North Korea.” Trump Vows to ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea if It Threatens U.S.:
President Trump’s bellicose speech to the United Nations on Tuesday drew a series of good-versus-evil lines that forecast confrontations to come as he vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” if it threatened the United States and denounced the nuclear agreement with Iran as “an embarrassment” that he may abandon.
From the dais of an organization meant to bring the nations of the world together, the president defended his America First policy and argued that nationalism can be reconciled with common causes. He repeatedly used the word “sovereignty” to describe his approach in a setting where the term traditionally has been brandished by nations like Russia and China to deflect criticism of their actions.
But it was his sharp-edged condemnations of international outliers like North Korea, Iran and Venezuela that drew the most attention in the room as he framed the conflicts over their actions as a test of the international system. With typical Trumpian flourishes like vowing to crush “loser terrorists” and labeling North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, “Rocket Man,” Mr. Trump at times dispensed with the restrained rhetoric many American presidents use at the United Nations.
Oh hell, just say it, Trump dispensed with sanity. We have a madman for president about to take us to war to prove how manly he is (maybe he should have served in the U.S. military when he had the chance instead of dodging the draft with five deferments during Vietnam, the key deferment for “bone spurs in his heels” … poor baby).
Mr. Trump singled out North Korea for his harshest words, broadening his indictment of the Pyongyang government beyond just its pursuit of nuclear weapons to its treatment of its own people and captured foreigners like the American college student who died shortly after being released and sent back to the United States.
“No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Mr. Trump said. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
Without mentioning it by name, Mr. Trump also chastised China for continuing to deal with its rogue neighbor. “It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict,” the president said.
He went on to assail the Iran agreement, which was negotiated by President Barack Obama and leaders of five other powers and ratified by the United Nations Security Council to curb Tehran’s nuclear program for a decade in exchange for lifting international sanctions. Under American law, Mr. Trump has until Oct. 15 to certify whether Iran is complying with the agreement, which he has done twice so far since taking office. But he has made clear that he would prefer not to do so again, which could result in the unraveling of the accord.
“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Mr. Trump told the United Nations audience. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
The tough words cheered the delegation from Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and advisers applauded. (They happen to be Neocons, where Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle developed their ideas for PNAC and the Bush Doctrine working for Netanyahu).
Others called his speech over-the-top and counterproductive.
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Aaron David Miller, a former American peace negotiator now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, said Mr. Trump “awkwardly tried to reconcile” his nationalist approach with the international orientation of the United Nations. “President Trump’s speech was a confusing hodgepodge of tropes, themes and threats that made one unmistakable point: there is no coherent Trump Doctrine,” he said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hinted on Monday about the existence of military options on North Korea that might spare Seoul from a brutal counterattack but declined to say what kind of options he was talking about or whether they involved the use of lethal force. Mattis hints at military options on North Korea but offers no details:
Any conflict on the Korean peninsula could easily result in a degree of bloodshed unseen since the 1950-53 Korean War, which claimed the lives of more than 50,000 Americans and millions of Koreans and ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty.
Seoul is within artillery range of North Korea, which beyond nuclear and conventional weapons is also believed to have a sizable chemical and biological arsenal.
Asked whether there were any military options the United States could take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk, Mattis said: “Yes there are. But I will not go into details.”
Pressed on whether that might include so-called “kinetic” options that use lethal force, Mattis said: “I don’t want to go into that.”
“Kinetic action” is a euphemism to describe lethal military force.
Military options available to Trump range from non-lethal actions like a naval blockade aimed at enforcing sanctions to waging cyber attacks and positioning new U.S. weaponry in South Korea, where the United States has 28,500 troops.
South Korea has raised the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to the peninsula. Mattis acknowledged discussing that with his South Korean counterpart but declined to say whether that option was under consideration.
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Still, despite heated rhetoric and posturing in the United States and North Korea, there has been no positioning of U.S. military assets to suggest a military conflict is imminent.
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[Unlike U.N.Ambassador Nikki Haley], Mattis told reporters that he believed diplomacy and sanctions were so far succeeding in putting more pressure on Pyongyang.
“So, yes, it’s working,” he said.
Even as tensions rise, the United States and its allies have stuck to a hands-off policy when North Korea test-fires its missiles. Mattis confirmed that policy on Monday, saying it would not shoot down a North Korean missile unless it poses a direct threat to the United States or its allies.
He said Pyongyang’s calculus appeared to be designed to race forward with its missile program, “without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable.”
North Korea has an estimated population of over 24 million inhabitants … just so you know how many people Trump considers acceptable casualties when he threatens to “totally destroy North Korea.” And this does not include the casualties that are certain to occur in South Korea –where over 10 million reside in Seoul alone — and possibly Japan and Guam. Any military action may draw bordering countries China and Russia into the conflict. Russia and China are holding joint naval drills amid North Korea tensions.