Trump’s Scary Nuclear Doctrine

Pleasing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and terrifying almost everybody else, President Trump is threatening nuclear war against North Korea and, by implication, war with Iran, as ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke explains.

By Alastair Crooke

There are acres of print analyzing “will he, or won’t he” in respect to President Trump taking military action in North Korea. And equally, volumes on what Trump may intend to do in respect of Iran: Is he engaged primarily in rhetorical “theatre” to please his base, and earn press plaudits; or is he girding up for attrition (hot or cold) against Iran?

Illustration by Chesley Bonestell of nuclear bombs detonating over New York City, entitled “Hiroshima U.S.A.” Colliers, Aug. 5, 1950.

The unanswered question is: does President Trump regard North Korea and Iran as somehow connected (albeit that Iran has no nuclear weapons, and no nuclear weapons program)? Certainly one person – one who talks to the Trump family a lot – does think the two are directly linked.

Jeffrey Sachs, who listened to Trump’s speech at the United Nations, in which the President said he was ready to “totally destroy” North Korea, tells us about the audience reaction: “Well, you could hear shuffling, chuckles, amazement, gasps, a few applause. There was Netanyahu enthusiastically applauding. It was a very odd scene. I am still a bit shaken by it.”

Of course, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some neoconservatives, a U.S. attack on the Korean nuclear program sets a wonderful precedent for Iran – for now or for the future.

We just do not know. Trump’s former career as a reality TV host has left him with a predilection for teasing and hype (“just tune in again next week, to learn more”). What is increasingly plain is that those on the inside – such as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee – are equally unsure whether President Trump is about to unleash “World War III” – or not.

We do know, however, that Trump regards himself as an expert on nuclear conflict: in an 1984 interview with the Washington Post, Trump said that he hoped one day to become the United States’ chief negotiator with the Soviet Union for nuclear weapons. Trump claimed that he could negotiate a great nuclear arms deal with Moscow. Comparing crafting an arms accord with cooking up a real estate deal, Trump insisted he had innate talent for this mission.

In a 1990 interview with Playboy, Trump said, “I think of the future, but I refuse to paint it. Anything can happen. But I often think of nuclear war.” He explained: “I’ve always thought about the issue of nuclear war; it’s a very important element in my thought process. It’s the ultimate, the ultimate catastrophe, the biggest problem this world has, and nobody’s focusing on the nuts and bolts of it.”

Five years on, Trump was asked where he would be in five years. “Who knows?” he replied. “Maybe the bombs drop from heaven, who knows? This is a sick world, we’re dealing here with lots of sickos. And you have the nuclear and you have the this, and you have the that.”

Foreseeing Nuclear Annihilation

Trump continued expressing the notion that nuclear annihilation could be on the horizon: “Oh absolutely. I mean, I think it’s sick human nature. If Hitler had the bomb, you don’t think he would have used it? He would have put it in the middle of Fifth Avenue. He would have used Trump Tower, 57th and Fifth. Boom.”

President Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Sept. 18, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

In another Playboy interview — this one in 2004 — Trump once more conveyed his nuclear despondency. He was asked, “Do you think Trump Tower and your other buildings will bear your name a hundred years from now?” Trump responded, “I don’t think any building will be here — and unless we have some very smart people ruling it, the world will not be the same place in a hundred years. The weapons are too powerful, too strong.”

During a Republican presidential debate in December 2015, candidate Trump said: “The biggest problem this world has today is not President Obama with global warming. … The biggest problem we have is nuclear – nuclear proliferation, and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That’s in my opinion, that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now. … I think – I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.”

“So for decades, it seems” David Corn writes in Mother Jones, “Trump has been haunted by the feeling that nuclear war may be inescapable. Now he is in a position to do something about the matter.”

And, as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper remarked, “[If] in a fit of pique he [Trump] decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him. …The whole [nuclear weapons] system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”

In short, should a fatalistically inclined U.S. President order nuclear tactical weapons strikes – possibly believing that nuclear conflict is somehow inevitable – there is almost nothing to stop him.

So, what might all this mean for Iran? The Iranian leadership is no more likely to know whether Trump intends to attack North Korea than Senator Bob Corker, but it must plan for the worst case – and that is, if North Korea is attacked, the case will be made by Israel, and by Iran hawks in America, that Iran will be in a position to weaponize when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has run its course – and that this threat must be pre-empted. (This argument is something of a canard, since Iran is committed to signing the NPT’s Additional Protocol – which provides for intrusive IAEA inspections – even when the JCPOA is complete).

During a meeting with military leaders earlier this month, Trump specifically linked North Korea and Iran, saying his administration was focused on “challenges that we really should have taken care of a long time ago, like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, ISIS, and the revisionist powers that threaten our interests all around the world. … We cannot allow this dictatorship [North Korea] to threaten our nation or our allies with unimaginable loss of life. … We will do what we must do to prevent that from happening. And it will be done, if necessary – believe me.”

Iran’s Alarm

But Iran must also prepare for the other possibility, too.  Iran is not threatening the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and Trump’s reference to Iran – as a regional bad actor – may be to please his base, play to American Irano-phobia generally, and to gratify a (vulnerable-feeling) Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

In the latter case, Trump may hope to have his cake – and to eat it, too.  He can de-certify Iran as being in non-compliance with the JCPOA. (De-certification is a purely U.S. domestic matter, which throws the burden of what to do next onto Congress. The latter must decide whether or not to re-impose the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran – after a 60-day period of cogitation. Should Congress reinstate sanctions, the U.S. would be in default on the JCPOA agreement – though the agreement would still legally stand, until and if, the United Nations Security Council should jointly, resolve otherwise).

There is some circumstantial evidence to suggest that this maybe what Trump plans: to have his cake and eat it, too. The Republican majority in the Senate is wafer thin. Trump’s bitter humiliation of Sen. Bob Corker, head of the Foreign Relations Committee, and someone with influence over Democratic senators, makes little sense, were he, Trump, to want Congress to threaten re-imposed sanctions on Iran – should the latter not agree either to tougher JCPOA terms, or to (separate) restrictions on the Iranian missile program.

Congress will be well aware of the difficulties – with gaining support of U.S. allies; in cajoling the U.N. Security Council; and of the U.S. global reputation for serial inconstancy. Even in Washington, it is understood that the triumvirate of White House generals is opposed to igniting a conflagration with Iran, and that Iran too, will never agree to renegotiate the JCPOA.

Indeed, Iran will want no truck with White House talks. Trump can nevertheless “spin” it as Trump, the “hard man,” while setting up Congress to be seen publicly again, as the “weak” component, buckling under the various (real) impedimenta. It will be difficult for Congress, nonetheless – given the wide antipathy in America towards Iran – not to sanction Iran further on whatever pretext.

These thoughts might give Iran some reassurance, but not much. Iran cannot count on the Europeans, whose banks and financial institutions are already succumbing to sanctions fright. Europe talks of countering any US imposed sanctions on Iran, but does it have the necessary grit?

But more significantly, the Iranian leadership will be aware that Israel is attempting to bully the U.S. into committing to “red lines” for Syria, concerning the Iranian, Hezbollah and Iraqi militia presence there – in the wake of ISIS’s defeat in Syria. Israel will be looking for those “red lines” to have the backing of U.S. military force.

For, as Israeli commentators have made plain, Israel has only limited capacity to sustain civilian casualties in any future conflict involving Hezbollah in Lebanon – let alone across an extended front of confrontation extending from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River. There is a sense building that Israel is coaxing its “prize bull” towards intervening first, in Syria and then, secondly, in Iran.

Iran cannot count on Defense Secretary (and retired General) Jim Mattis holding the line against a new Middle East major intervention (though he is known to oppose it). Iran has no choice, it must be tough. Which is why Iran is busy constructing a new “resistance” front with Turkey and Iraq (Syria is already there) – and with building military structures of deterrence against Israel. Iran, too, has set its own “red line”: “designate the IRGC as a terrorist group, and Iran will do similar for U.S. forces” – a “red line” that permits Iran flexibility of response, depending on how it judges events. But just to be clear, unless somehow arrested, the configuration of events is converging towards new tensions across the Middle East.

All of which takes us the full circle back to our initial (Rumsfeldian) “known unknowns”: How far has Bibi Netanyahu, through his Jared Kushner conduit, convinced President Trump of the inevitability of having to take action against North Korea and Iran – and of the inexorability of the use of nuclear weapons. (During the 2016 campaign, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough reported that Trump had thrice asked a national security adviser why a president couldn’t use nuclear weapons.)

We just don’t know what Trump might order – and, nor it seems, does anyone else — least of all, in Washington.

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

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24 comments for “Trump’s Scary Nuclear Doctrine

  1. Abe
    October 12, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    “the gloves will soon come off where Israel as the instigator of crises is concerned. Bibi and Trump meeting in Washington, the role of AIPAC in pressing for sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, and the provocative geostrategic role the Netanyahu government has played equal overwhelming circumstantial proof of the tiny nation’s responsibility for Middle Eastern chaos. […]

    “the acute problem for the Israeli regime is not Assad anymore. Since the Syrian Army with Russian and Iranian assistance has nearly eradicated ISIS, Tel Aviv is worried about the aftermath of the Syrian mess. And about their precious Golan Heights. […]

    “Bypassing Russia and Iran, cutting Syria off as a gateway for delivering energy, destroying any semblance of resistance to Israeli power in the region, shoring up America’s dominance in the global scheme – these deals and strategies show tradeoffs that have created massive crises. And the Zionists that run Israel are smack in the middle of all of them. This is no longer arguable. The question remains, ‘What can we do about it?’

    “The answer to the question is not a positive one, for in the west the game is pretty much rigged. Citizens are either distracted by local crises, or they are uneducated and apathetic toward global geopolitics. In short, we’re ill prepared to do anything at all. This is one reason why we see globalist magazines like Foreign Policy, and even leading politicians, unafraid to simply lay out the plans. These revelations we are seeing are a consequence of our own indifference, and the solutions to Israeli or US encroachments are not easy for people to accept. Where Tel Aviv is concerned, the only mediation that will get its attention is force. […] until the international community (or Russia perhaps) slaps Israel down (and hard) these crises will only escalate. Israel had the key role in Arab Spring, and in the regime change targeting Assad and Syria. As a result, millions of people are now displaced or worse. It’s high time that these Zionist autocrats face the music. The alternative will be a cataclysm.”

    Israel’s Role in the Cataclysm to Come
    By Phil Butler
    https://journal-neo.org/2017/10/07/israel-s-role-in-the-cataclysm-to-come/

  2. Abe
    October 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    “The 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires nuclear states to eliminate their nuclear weapons and non-nuclear states to refrain from acquiring them. In 2005, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told the Institute for Public Accuracy, ‘The US government is not adhering to Article VI of the NPT and we show no signs of planning to adhere to its requirements to move forward with the elimination — not reduction, but elimination — of nuclear weapons.’

    “In 1996, the International Court of Justice stated in an advisory opinion, ‘There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.’ But the nuclear powers have ignored that decision.

    “And in spite of UN Security Council Resolution 687, which established a weapons-of mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle East, Israel maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal. […]

    “Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are reportedly counseling Trump to certify that Iran is complying with the JCPOA.

    “But Trump has consistently criticized the Iran deal, probably because it was concluded on Barack Obama’s watch and Israel is dead set against it.

    “In any event, Trump is playing with fire — nuclear fire — in both North Korea and Iran. We must pressure the White House and Congress members alike, and hope that cooler heads prevail. The stakes are unbearably high.”

    In Iran and North Korea, Trump Is Playing With Nuclear Fire
    By Marjorie Cohn
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42220-in-iran-and-north-korea-trump-is-playing-with-nuclear-fire

  3. Abe
    October 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Israel’s Stall-Forever Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons Plan

    Israel’s nuclear installation is located in the Negev desert, about thirteen kilometers south-east of the city of Dimona.

    Israel has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

    The purpose of the reactor includes the production of nuclear materials for use in Israel’s nuclear weapons. Information about the facility remains highly classified. Israel maintains a policy known as “nuclear ambiguity” by officially refusing either to confirm or deny their possession.

    Israel had produced its first nuclear weapons by 1967 and it has been estimated to possess up to 400 nuclear weapons. In addition to its nuclear arsenal, Israel has a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

    Israel nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

    Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy’s Dolphin-class submarines.

    The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707’s.

    In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel’s nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

    The Mossad, Israel’s secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

    At the time of Vanunu’s kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

    Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

    According to a lawsuit filed in Be’er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

    In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel’s attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing “untruthful cover” about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

    • Peter Loeb
      October 13, 2017 at 7:02 am

      ISRAELI WANTS TO RUN NOT ONLY THE MIDDLE EAST BUT THE WORLD…

      I don’t see gloves coming off. I am in no position to know but what I
      truly believe Israel fears most (beyond he fabrications of Zionism)
      is the establishment of othersources of power.

      Being a member of the nuclear “club” has symbollic significance
      but given the nuclear dominance of the US and Israeli nuclear abilities
      is less important.

      With large multinational corporation in NATO eager to invest in
      Iran as soon as next year (eg Renault) one can well imagine
      the creation of a financial power relationships which Israel
      does not wish onh its borders. In the US, a system has been
      in place for decades called FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) or
      “outsourcing”. US corporations invest in manufacture abroad..
      The fortunes made abroad (on c heap labor etc) must be
      RECYCLED in the case of the US that has traditionally
      been in US Treasury Bonds. These are very lucrative
      for big investor. They are basically what once was called
      “paper” (securities , derivatives, etc.). The recycled profits
      are used to pay for US deficit spending such as
      in defense. social security etc.

      US Treasury Bonds do not employ many xcoal miners
      or subsidize their ailing plants. Nor are they known
      for creating high-paying jobs for steelworkers.

      The current President of France was formerly an
      investment banker (speculation) for Rothschilds I believe.
      (Correct me if I am wrong on that detail10 He know very
      well how the system—the speculation economy–works.
      Though young, he has been there, done there.

      He is no friend of French workers who by and large did
      not support his candidacy for President.

      There will undoubtedly be som so-called “labor reforms”
      which will serve to enable this process for the benefit of
      the wealthty elite.

      There is an interdependence with “twin defitis”.

      Economic is not in the area of competency of this commenter.
      I refer you instead to Jack Rasmus’ SYSTEMIC FRAGILITY IN
      THE GLOBAL ECONOMY (2016).

      To sum up, I believe Israel and the USW are more afraid of the
      development of the power of Iran in the Middle East than
      of the specific nuclear abilities or inabilities of its nuclear devices.
      These are but a factor.

      The US is always talking about “the international community of
      nations” which in the past meant those nations controlled
      by the US. When the issue of ?Syria’s self-defense came
      up, the “community of nations” did anothing. In fact these law
      abiding folks gleefully awaited the destruction of Syria.

      Other nations did respond. Whether the Syrian war is over
      or not, it has succeeded in creating a strong bond between
      many nations including Russia and often China.

      And where does NATO fit into this. Perhaps the core nations
      wuill invest in Iran for profit and the periphery of the Eruozon,
      already in debt and struggling, will beg for some of the dollars
      intended for “America First”. Time will tell…

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  4. ranney
    October 12, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    The litany of remarks Trump has made over the years about nuclear war that Crooke cites is very frightening to me. I’m not a psychologist, but I wonder if this apparent preoccupation of nuclear destruction by Trump could be like an arsonist who publicly expresses horror at the destruction fires cause, while internally he’s coping with the overwhelming desire to set off a firestorm, hoping that his constant talk about how bad fires are will remove him from the suspect list when he does set a fire.
    In other words, does Trump have an inner compulsion to start armageddon? I think it would be helpful to have a psychiatrist weigh in on that. Crook’s list of Trump’s nuclear bomb quotes are new to the news cycle. Apparently no one in the MSM has bothered to do the research. If Crooke is accurate, this is something that our psychiatrists should consider.
    I have read their book of essays on the Danger of a Trump Presidency, they have some interesting points, but they spend a great deal of words exonerating themselves from the Goldwater Rule which they apparently take very seriously. So the upshot of the book is that a large number of Dr.s and psychiatrists have concluded that Trump is dangerous and they must speak out, but they can’t really diagnose a person they haven’t actually talked to or “tested” so the concern is couched in very vague terms, often using other people as an analogy.
    I would be interested in a psychiatrists analysis of the behavior of arsonists – what causes the urge to set fires, how they behave, before and after, etc. etc. I think Trumps remarks over decades are sign posts toward something unthinkable. Now that he has the power to cause this conflagration, will he have the ability to control himself?

  5. Nun of That
    October 12, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    DONALD J. TRUMP is getting old. As an Old Soldier (Military Academy), he must learn to fade away, not overdose on heroin or theatrical heroism. The same Powers & Principalities that disappeared WTC 1, 2, 7 could strike Trump Towers and Resorts, like an Act of God.

  6. mike k
    October 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    The last sentence of the article sums it up: we don’t know what Trump will do. We have a dangerous and unstable person in command of the power to destroy the world. We need to find a way to get him out of that position. Not to do so means that we don’t really care about the fate of our world enough to do whatever is necessary to remove this dangerous and immoral man from the Presidency.

  7. turk 151
    October 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Trumps rhetoric is dramatically different than the slick democrats or the staid Republican establishment types. I just don’t see how is actions are any different, if anything he has murdered far less than his predecessors.

    Is the issue that it is impolite to talk about our savegry in public?

  8. Joe Tedesky
    October 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Donald Trump is appealing to the dark side of our military, policing, and working class segments of our American society, and by his making sour remarks about Tillerson, well Trump looks like he is a devil-some guy bucking the system. I believe Trump’s stance on the ‘taking a knee in the NFL’ is a gift to the dark side of law enforcement. To be clear I do think there is more good in our military, and police departments nation wide, but Trump seems to play to that dark side….like asking why an officer must protect the head of the arrestees while getting them into the back seat of the cop car, isn’t playing to the bigger percentage of who do play by the rules. In fact Trump isn’t doing the police any favors with their receiving respect from the public either, his actions only divide people.

    Trump’s threatening to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, coupled with his ‘fire & fury’ threats to Kim Jung un, is classic second rate tough guy talk. His loose talk about nuclear weapons being used, is proof he only knows how to go for the utterly fantastic in the most bombastic way to get attention, and might I add scare a lot of worldwide citizenry at the same time. What a jerk. Too much of that jingoistic loose talk, and no action, will only prove to discredit Trump in the world’s view of not taking him seriously. Well spoken, and deliberate is more the way to be in my opinion, but I might add that if my opinion were put to action that there would have been no more wars after WWII.

  9. D.H. Fabian
    October 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    The anti-Israel claims of today’s liberal bourgeoisie just don’t add up when we include the fact that the US is one of the top three providers of weapons to the surrounding Arab states, some of which seek to establish a 100% “pure” Moslem Mideast, eradicating the Jews.

    • anon
      October 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      I see no evidence at all for that intent of Arab states armed by the US. Do you have any?

    • turk151
      October 12, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      You have a point, but the arms deals are going to Saudi Arabia to fight Iran; Israel’s sworn enemy according to Bombs Away Netanyahu. Historically, it was true that the Saudi’s were colluding with Texas Oil and British Intelligent because of antisemitism, but those politics have shifted. Currently, the Israel-Saudi-US alliance is guiding most of US foreign policy.

      I also dont believe that Iran is really Israel’s true enemy, but rather the enemy du jour to give defense contractors and our feckless politicians a purpose in life. Of course, they are not willing to become a US vassal state which makes them a de facto enemy of the alliance.

    • Hide Behind
      October 13, 2017 at 1:10 am

      There is but one “State” in Midwest that wants a “Pure Islamic State” in Middle East, and that is Saudi Arabia with it’s fanatical brand of Islam Wahabism.
      The goal of Israel is just as fanatical in its own Zionist bastardization of Judaism in order to return all lands of the pseudo Davidic Era boundarys.
      And it is as bad as NAZI Germany’s Aryan purity, with the same genocidal outlook upon rest of worlds populace as not being human.

    • Curious
      October 13, 2017 at 3:20 am

      D.H.F,
      The term “liberal bourgeoisie” must be a new vernacular ‘buzz word label’ for something you don’t understand. Let me be more clear here. The article, with the help of Abe, explains the nuclear weapons undeclared by Israel. They are not piece and parcel of any international agreement and simply pretend they don’t have them. Oh, poor, poor Israel. Israel far exceeds the rebellious nature of NK by megatons. Add in their biological wmd to the mix and we are talking about two very different levels of weapons regarding Israel and the surrounding countries. You say the US is one of the top three providers of weapons to the surrounding Arab States, but is the US providing nuclear weapons to any surrounding countries?
      And while you’re trying to figure out what the heck a liberal bourgeoisie is, also try and delve into the intricacies of Persia, Shia, and the large Sunni contingent. Not all have talked of eradicating Israel, so painting them all with the same ‘consevative proletariate brush’ (like you?) is just dumbing down the discussion. A more productive discussion would be why is Israel the only country in the world which has not declared their nuclear arsenal? Nor have they declared, or have even tried to eradicate their biological WMD. I await your aristocratic reply.

  10. JM
    October 12, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I think ranney makes a good point. And, we must not forget that Bannon is an Armageddon true believer and certain that we are now in the Kali Yuga.

  11. Zachary Smith
    October 12, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    And, as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper remarked, “[If] in a fit of pique he [Trump] decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him. …The whole [nuclear weapons] system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”

    In short, should a fatalistically inclined U.S. President order nuclear tactical weapons strikes – possibly believing that nuclear conflict is somehow inevitable – there is almost nothing to stop him.

    This is scary stuff. Maybe I’m overlooking something, but I can’t imagine why there would be any need for nuclear weapon use on North Korea.

    If I were sitting in the White House in place of the orange headed guy, I’d ask my planners if an attack on the deeply dug in North Korean long range artillery was practical. One which would take out 90% of the guns on the first pass and the rest the moment they exposed themselves. If that could be done, I’d simply cut off the electricity to the NK enrichment and waste reprocessing plants and keep it off. Well, that and have all the troops within range of ordinary artillery WELL dug in.

    It seems to me that China and Russia might have an interest in some such scheme. Given the current tensions, I’d most certainly run this plan by them before implementing it.

  12. David G
    October 13, 2017 at 4:32 am

    I’m gobsmacked that Trump used the phrase “revisionist powers”.

    I’m not so much interested in what he meant by it, as just amazed at the fact of the utterance — basically the same reaction I’d have if a dog had scratched the words in the dirt at my local dog run.

  13. David G
    October 13, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Alistair Crooke writes:
    “The unanswered question is: does President Trump regard North Korea and Iran as somehow connected (albeit that Iran has no nuclear weapons, and no nuclear weapons program)? Certainly one person [i.e. Netanyahu] – one who talks to the Trump family a lot – does think the two are directly linked.”

    In the following paragraph this assertion is supported by Netanyahu’s gleeful reaction to Trump’s U.N. speech, but I see that as just generic brown-nosing, not evidence that Israel is actively linking aggression against the DPRK to the anti-Iran agenda.

    And I don’t see anything else in this piece that directly goes to that point.

    Considering the strength of Israeli influence on Trump (as on so much of the U.S. establishment), such linkage would be very significant and worrisome. But is there evidence for it?

  14. October 13, 2017 at 10:58 am
    • turk151
      October 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Great article Robert, thank you.

  15. Hide Behind
    October 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    When it comes talk of nuclear weapons it seems the one nation with most advanced weapons development is seldom mentioned; and that is India.
    Some may remember when India’s very secret development of extremely small but quite powerfully neutron tactical warheads was announced to world.
    Very quickly Bush the minor paid a strange visit with India’s PM and came away with coverstory of Special Status of Trade for India’s exports to US; we knew we were going to get avocados but whatever did we get.
    Tactical Neutron weapons are not limited by U.N. edicts.
    The reduction in size programs In US had the most brilliant minds here working within it but after India’s PROVEN results our fellas said they had figured we were still 12 years from success.
    Speculation is that Israeli Scientist had aided Indias’developement.
    Our nuke modernizing program was for power increase but smaller in size warheads so that existing ICzbM and MIR ballistic and battle field could hold many multiple war heads. As To Israel they may of tested one known neutron for the Saudi’s in Yemen, and somehow got one into Ukraine that was mistakenly used.
    MANY small tactical ? Battle field nukes are now in US and Isaeli hands.
    As to destroying N. KOREA CONCLUSIVELY BY US, piece of cake.
    Single US bomber equipped with neutron under size of old size conventional 500s’ ; SCARY.

  16. Kozmo
    October 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Wouldn’t that first nuclear explosion destroy the second bomb before it could detonate?

    I’m always curious about these sort of things.

    • Hide Behin
      October 13, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      It is possible for a close byexploding nuke to sympathy say an enemies nearby nuke warhead if it is not properly shielded.
      In fact the most terrifying of Fukushimas hydrogen explosion and consequent nearby two nuke plants ripping apart exposing a vast area to massive radiation burst ; was that they were afraid such a sympathy would affect Diachis’ other plants instruments causing yet more meltdowns.
      Hense reasonthey immediately took down other plants Z fast; Even disregardi in place safety program
      Once first nuke had expended its initial burst of radio magnetic waves a second nuke can be dropped near by. Nuke warheads are very well protected and after dropping nar target it could (zlight chance) xisrupt air, surface or subsurface but I may be wrong as no longer privy to US weapons of joy.

  17. Yahweh
    October 13, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    all of my children through out the earth, it is time to come home to the land which I have given you. It is now time to leave all of the lands of exile. Your final home, Israel. Come my children.

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