An Elite Coalition Emerges Against a Trump-Kim Agreement

Media coverage of the Trump-Kim summit has highlighted a political reaction that threatens to torpedo any possible U.S-North Korean agreement on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, says Gareth Porter.

By Gareth Porter
Special to Consortium News

An implicit coalition of corporate media, Democratic partisans and others loyal to the national security state are actively hostile to any agreement that would endanger the continuation of the 70-year-old Cold War between the United States and North Korea.

The hostility toward Donald Trump on the part of both corporate media (except for Fox News) and the Democratic Party establishment is obviously a factor in the negative response to the summit. Trump’s dysfunctional persona, extremist domestic strategy and attacks on the press had already created a hyper-adversarial political atmosphere that surrounds everything Trump says or does.

But media coverage of the Singapore summit shows that something much bigger and more sinister is now in play: a consensus among foreign policy and national security elites and their media allies that Trump’s pursuit of an agreement with Kim on denuclearization threatens to undo seventy years of U.S. military dominance in Northeast Asia.

Those elites are determined to resist the political-diplomatic thrust of the Trump administration in negotiating with Kim and have already begun to sound the alarm about the danger Trump poses to the U.S. power position. Not surprisingly Democrats in Congress are already aligning themselves with the national security elite on the issue.

The real concern of the opposition to Trump’s diplomacy, therefore, is no longer that he cannot succeed in getting an agreement with Kim on denuclearization but that he will succeed.

The elite media-security framing of the Trump-Kim summit in the initial week was to cast it as having failed to obtain anything concrete from Kim Jong-un, while giving up immensely valuable concessions to Kim. Almost without exception the line from journalists, pundits and national security elite alike compared the joint statement to the texts of previous agreements with North Korea and found that it was completely lacking in detail.

Ignoring Kim’s Concessions

Thus The Washington Post quoted a tweet by Richard Haas, chairman of the über-establishment Council on Foreign Relations, that the summit “changed nothing” but “makes it harder to keep sanctions in place, further reducing pressure on North Korea to reduce (much less give up) its nuclear weapons and missiles.”

The New York Times cited the criticism of former CIA official Bruce Klingner, now at the Heritage Foundation, that the joint statement failed to commit North Korea to do as much as promised in agreements negotiated in 1994 and 2005. And CNN reported that the Joint Declaration “did not appear to make any significant progress” in committing the North Koreans to complete denuclearization, citing the use of the word “reaffirmed” in the document, which it opined “highlighted the lack of fresh commitments.”

Those criticisms of the joint statement conveniently ignored the fact that Kim had already made the most significant concession he could have made in advance of detailed negotiations between the two states when he committed North Korea to ending the testing of both nuclear weapons and long-range missilesin April following meetings with then CIA Director Mike Pompeo earlier in the month. That commitment by Kim meant that North Korea was entering negotiations with the United States before it had achieved a credible threat to hit the United States with an ICBM armed with a nuclear weapon.

First contact. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The fact that no mention of Kim’s centrally important concession can be found in any of the reports or commentaries on the summit underlines the scarcely hidden agenda at play. Mentioning that fact would have pointed to understandings that Pompeo had already reached with Kim and his envoy to Washington before the summit and were not reflected in the brief text. Pompeo actually confirmed this in remarks made in Detroit on June 18, which only Bloomberg news reported.

Furthermore, the trashing of the summit also employed the politically motivated trick of deliberately ignoring the vast difference between a joint statement of the first ever meeting between the two heads of state and past agreements on denuclearization reached after weeks or months of intensive negotiations.

What really alarmed and even outraged the media and their elite national security allies, however, was that Trump not only announced that he would suspend U.S.-South Korean joint exercises or “war games” as long as the North Koreans were negotiating in good faith on denuclearization, but even called the exercises “very provocative.”

One journalist and commentator after another, including CNN and the Times’ Nicholas Kristof, denounced that description as “adopting” his adversary’s “rhetoric” about the exercises. In a podcast with former National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor, former NSC official Kelley Magsamen, now at the Democratic Party’s Center for American Progress, rather than acknowledging that a vital principle of diplomacy is to put oneself in the position of one’s opponent, charged that Trump had “internalized the language of our adversaries.”

The media and critics deploring Trump’s willingness to suspend the joint U.S.-South Korean war games have portrayed it as a betrayal of the security alliance with South Korea. But that claim merely dismisses the desires of South Korean President Moon and betrays ignorance of the history of U.S.-South Korean war games.

Been Called ‘Provocative’ Before

When Trump called the drills “provocative,” he was merely expressing the same view that some U.S. officials adopted as long ago as the mid-1980s. These officials also called the exercises “provocative,” according to a State Department official interviewed by historian Leon Sigal for his authoritative account of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

Donald Gregg, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea from 1989 to 1993, observed in an interview with Sigal that the North Koreans mobilized their forces at great expense every time the drills, called “Team Spirit,” were held in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who was an Army general and chief of U.S. military intelligence in Korea in the early 1990s, later confirmed to Sigal that the North Koreans would “go nuts” during the annual Team Spirit exercises. Part of the reason for that extreme North Korean anxiety about the drills was that the United States routinely flew nuclear capable B-52s over South Korea as part of the exercises – a practice resumed in recent years after a long hiatus and no doubt reviving the trauma of the U.S. devastation of North Korea from 1950-53.

Ambassador Gregg had supported the idea of suspending the annual Team Spirit exercise in 1992 as part of a proposed effort to get North Korea to change its mind about wanting nuclear weapons. Furthermore the South Korean government itself formally announced in January 1992 that the Team Spirit exercises were being suspended in light of “progress” on North-South nuclear issues. Furthermore, the Clinton administration cancelled Team Spirit drills each year from 1994 to 1996 in an effort to demonstrate the U.S. seriousness in pursuing an agreement with North Korea for an end to its production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Trump leaving Singapore. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

The provocative character of the joint U.S.-South Korean military drills became even more pronounced after North Korea began testing nuclear weapons and then intercontinental ballistic missiles. In 2015, the U.S. and South Korea adopted a new war plan codenamed OPLAN 5015, which calls for surgical strikes on North Korea’s nuclear and missiles sites and command-and-control facilities, as well as “decapitation” raids targeting senior North Korean leaders, according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency.

Although the U.S. Command in South Korea has always insisted that all joint exercises are defensive in nature, press reports said that the war plan, which could only be based on a first strike strategy, would be the basis of the publicly announced Ulchi Freedom Guardian war games scheduled for August 2017.

What the national security elite and their media allies are really upset about is the real possibility that Trump will succeed in negotiating a denuclearization deal with North Korea that includes a formal end to the Korean War.  That could complicate the Pentagon’s continuing strengthening of the U.S. military posture vis a vis China.

Fareed Zakaria, CNN’s establishment foreign policy pundit, recalled the Pentagon’s aim during the Clinton administration to maintain at least 100,000 U.S. troops in Northeast Asia, and worried that, if the U.S. military alliance with South Korea is deemphasized, the U.S. would “fall below that threshold.”

Ian Bremmer, the CBS News national security pundit, explained that Trump’s willingness to suspend military exercises means that “the United States is probably going to be a much more marginal player at the end of the day in this region.”

Magsamen suggested a similar concern about Trump weakening the alliance with South Korea in an interview with Vietor, commenting that “a lot of us…see the North Korean challenge in a broader context vis a vis our adversaries, like China and Russia.”

These are early indications of a showdown between Trump and the elite alliance arrayed against him. Senate Democrats can be expected to push back against any agreement that portends possible withdrawal from South Korea, as indicated by the bill proposed by Senators Chris Murphy and Tammy Duckworth to forbid troops withdrawal without Pentagon approval.

If his opponents are dissatisfied with the agreement Trump negotiates, the Senate probably wouldn’t ratify a treaty to end the Korean War that Pyongyang would certainly demand. The most promising diplomatic development in East Asia in seven decades could thus be nullified by the shared interests of the loose coalition in preserving a status quo of tension and possible war.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

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64 comments for “An Elite Coalition Emerges Against a Trump-Kim Agreement

  1. Robert C
    July 4, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Some of the anxiety speaks to the element of change. Everything is not anything like before!

  2. June 28, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    From the stellar Gareth Porter to CIA asset Graham Fuller. At least no one can accuse CN of not having a range of views.

    “The elite media-security framing of the Trump-Kim summit in the initial week was to cast it as having failed to obtain anything concrete from Kim Jong-un, while giving up immensely valuable concessions to Kim.” It tracks.

    It takes my breath away, and I’m very familiar with it by now. I’m referring to the way unprincipled, self-modified (from normal to neoconservative) people with power just can’t, or don’t – take your pick – speak truthfully. They of course see themselves as so full of godly wisdom and light (which is why, when I read horrible history, the worst criminal soldiers and politicians talk about what they do as being blessed by God. One lunatic – from Eric Schlosser’s establishment book about “Command And Control” of nuclear weaponry – said that he had no doubt Jesus would approve of nuking countries.) Ideology plays a role of course, but it also ruins people, mentally and spiritually, to the point where leaders and the led talk trash, not with a conscious intent to manipulate, but solely out of that ruined state. Russia is now the epitome of evil and the only hope for mankind is ‘leadership’ of the United States. Others do terrorism, not uncle Sam and his instruments of repression. Peace is war. The US has been doing cyberwarfare forever, but its ruling class has no hesitation about accusing others – notably Russia – of doing it, which is why I often say that if you want to know what the US ruling class is up to, just listen to its spokespersons’ accusations against others. The rich who feed and support the wild beast of Corporatocracy, reveal the same perverse behavior. When victims of neoliberalism squawk about the pain that austerity causes them, they are going for the throats of those who have something because they are so hard-working, innovative, righteous, etc.. If you are willing to bend the truth, then you are willing to completely break it.

  3. Willy2
    June 24, 2018 at 8:42 am

    – Trump has very little to nothing influence when it comes to foreign policy. People like Navarro, Miller and even Bannon have more influence. And then Pompeo has to follow that pack when it comes to making policy on the topic “North Korea”.

  4. Hide Behind
    June 23, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    A reverse of what happened when Clinton made agreements with North concerning nuke energy plants, and the Republican Congress scuttled the agreement.
    Scuttled even though N. Korea had spent around 50 millions of there cash strapped economy going along with plans, and even to pulling some of troops from DMZ, and with S. Korea building small factories in an economic zone in the North.
    Big money within US Japan and Phillipines partnerships and military industrial, already barely able to compete with S. Korea productivity and hi-tech fear a combined South expertise with mineral rich N. Korea and it’s millions of cheap labor forces.
    That would put Korea’s on tract to join Russia and China “Silk Road” project.
    A move that would put S. Korean goods and heavy equipment along a far less expensive road to Euro markets.
    Also make them far less dependent on US market demands, and savings of shipping cost to Europe.
    And let’s not forget a majority of S. Koreans do not like what is an actual occupation by US military, an occupation force that they would no longer need with a peaceful and cooperative northern neighbor.

  5. evan jones
    June 23, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I was impressed with Donald Trump during the election and for awhile, and then changed my assessment. It seemed he was a dullard that had no idea how to proceed with sensitive international discussions. And now??? It appears to me that he has hit upon a masterful way to bypass a totally corrupt swamp. He might be far more intelligent and able than a lot of people thought !! He is hiring large numbers of federal lawyers and judges, why???? Im almost delirious with anticipation that he might indeed ” drain the swamp ” !!! He has some ugly leanings, but I think he is learning fast. Go Donald!

    • backwardsevolution
      June 23, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      evan jones – consider what the Swamp did to MLK, JFK, RFK and other foreign leaders. When you’re walking among snakes, you must tread lightly. Trump is exposing the Swamp to the people. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing, but he must be careful.

    • Jessejean
      June 23, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Remember, even a broken clock is right twice a day. T-rump may be right on this and I for one will defend him on it, he didn’t do it. Moon did it and the hundreds of thousands of South Koreans who voted him in with an express mandate to seek peace with Kim. And Kim ( and I think his sister) did it by pursuing peace with us after years of us refusing the most innocuous proposals ( by Obama, the Nobel Peace winner. Yuk!). It’s fine with me if t-rump gets credit–even a Nobel prize. After all, Kissinger the war criminal got one.

  6. Mrs. Debra L. Carr de Legorreta
    June 22, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    The Senate passed a historically high military budget, and increase of over 10% from last year. Like prior military budget, the 2019 budget will not be audited. Given the insights of this article, it’s clear who’s getting kickbacks for this malfeasance.

    • Jessejean
      June 23, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      Agreed. My suspicious little mind wants to know where Hillary is invested in all this saber rattling. I know she’s made millions investing in disgusting war corporations but I don’t know which ones.

  7. rosemerry
    June 22, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Peace is a dirty word for so many Americans. What DPRK needs is assurance that it will no be attacked by the USA, which is hardly unreasonable when the USA has threatened it for 65 years and never signed a treaty to end the “Korean War”. The “exercises” are obviously more than provocative, and also occur at the times of planting and harvesting crops in the DPRK, taking workers from farms to waste scarce resources on military readiness. The dismay of many Americans at the idea of any loss of power, or allowance of nations to solve their own problems (North and South Korea have reached an amicable agreement not to attack each other), is flagrant.
    What need is there for aggressive displays by the USA for an “ally” which it has dominated against the will of many for decades? How can anyone expect quick full results to an up to now intractable problem in one brief meeting????

  8. MA
    June 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    If he gives up his nukes, It won’t be long before you see him dying a miserable death, tied to a Jeep dragging him in the streets or blown up with an antitank weapon

  9. Dave Sandborne
    June 22, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    The people who wrote The Project for a New American Century are still kicking. They may already be scriptwriting their next “New Pearl Harbor”.

  10. June 22, 2018 at 11:21 am

    The Military-Industrial-Complex cannot survive without an enemy. Their training is legally adversarial, militarily conflict oriented with the prime goal of “winning.” From an industrial complex point of view the monetary stakes are too high to entertain a real peace in northeast Asia. Keeping the “enemy” in your sights and in perpetual brinksmanship is the formula for success as espoused by an elite MIC. That there is now an elite coalition of anti-U.S. troop withdrawal from northeast Asia is a tragedy in the making. This anti-everything-Trump elite is playing nuclear roulette with human survival, just as we have accused every U.S. government since the advent of the nuclear age. If Trump is successful in negotiating a real peace between North and South Korea, I say give the man full credit

    • Jessejean
      June 23, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      David, I agree with you 100%, but I also don’t think we should be fooled by T-rump: he us primarily a wheeler dealer who makes money out of failure. I too think he doesn’t want war but only because he can’t make a buck on war, he can’t put up his hotels in war, he can’t leverage his losses in war. He wants peace so he can run his scams, just like the Mafia bosses always put an end to the gang wars because “it was bad for business.” His attempts to stir up trade wars are in this vein, but he’ll lose those: the Chinese already own us, and will continue to do so in the next century.

  11. rgl
    June 22, 2018 at 11:21 am

    ” [a] bill proposed by Senators Chris Murphy and Tammy Duckworth to forbid troops withdrawal without Pentagon approval.”

    Funny. I always believed that the military was subservient to the Commander-in-Chief. Apparently not. Trump cannot even order his own armies about …

    I think it is safe to assume, that regardless of the optics, amerikkka is ruled by a military junta who remain in the shadows to maintain the illusion of democracy.

  12. Don Bacon
    June 22, 2018 at 10:53 am

    The fifteen-member UN Security Council has passed nine rounds of sanctions, all unanimously, against North Korea since its first nuclear test. They all end with: “. . .shall keep the DPRK’s actions under continuous review and is prepared to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the measures as may be needed in light of the DPRK’s compliance. . .”
    The Russian Federation heads the UNSC this month. It’s important that the DPRK’s progress is noted and that UN sanctions relief is considered.

  13. Don Bacon
    June 22, 2018 at 10:46 am

    The ” provocative war games” violate the 1953 Armistice Agreement.

    PREAMBLE
    . . .with the objective of establishing an armistice which will insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved.</blockquote

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      I think it save to say the Sioux and Cherokee ran into this defect in white American culture. Good comment Don Bacon. Joe

  14. Don Bacon
    June 22, 2018 at 10:41 am

    “the United States is probably going to be a much more marginal player at the end of the day in this region.”

    That’s a good thing, in fact it is in the Trump-Kim Joint Statement:
    “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”

    And from the Moon-Kim Panmunjom Declaration:
    “South and North Korea affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord and agreed to bring forth the watershed moment for the improvement of inter-Korean relations by fully implementing all existing agreements and declarations adopted between the two sides thus far.”

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 23, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Did anyone notify Trump of how we are leading from behind in regard to peace on the Korean Peninsula? Ah, don’t tell him, let him figure it out for himself….. maybe a lifeline to Barry will be enough to make him understand. Joe

      • Rob Roy
        June 23, 2018 at 1:05 pm

        Joe, “Barry” Are you kidding? Barry moved forward in every way from G.W. Bush, signing the Patriot Act, the AUMF, hadn’t you noticed, upticking all war and starting others. (Sy Hersh says we are in 76 (!) wars in the world, many in Africa. See that in the news? The MIC rules TPTB.)
        I say, as someone above pointed out, the Commander in Chief can stop the war games, sign a peace treaty and stop the sanctions. After all, Barry let Hillary take out Libya, Honduras and Ukraine, don’t forget. No Congress signed off on those because Barry signed that AUMF.
        Trump, at last, did a good thing here, so let’s get behind him on this one thing. Maybe it will encourage him to do more. Personally, I don’t think he likes the idea of war, when the idea of spreading his brand every place on earth. His goal is business enterprise, as always.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 23, 2018 at 5:21 pm

          Rob my comment was made more out of satire, more so than the facts would bare, as you mention are the reality. I know Obama did all those things you said he did, but if I recall rightly Trump was one of those being critical of Obama’s ‘leading from behind’. We are living in the’tit for tat’ age of politics. The what goes around comes around critique is without a doubt in play. It’s for this reason I have joined the party of the Observers, as no side is worth supporting.

          Thanks for pointing out the many faults of Obama. Joe

        • Jessejean
          June 23, 2018 at 5:53 pm

          Thank you Rob, what Obusha did to this country under the cover provided by DR. King’s sacrifice just makes me furious. Now Barry is sending out his minions to undermine the Progressives running in primaries around the country. If I met him, I’d spit on him, and I don’t spit on people.

  15. Rong Cao
    June 22, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Iran’s denuclearization agreement was also not ratified by Congress to become the law. That is why the white House and Congress can play duets in tearing apart conveniently any international treaty as the political policies will be changed in the different administration. The executive branch might well just go ahead and sign this agreement with Kim Jong Un regime. The Pentagon and intelligent communities were right about not withdrawing US military deployment in South Korea, because then China, Japan and South Korea will form a free trade economic zone — these three countries are all heavy weights in the world economy. If there were no any End of War treaty with America, even if President Moon could continue to implement his friendly policy with its north neighbor, at least he is under the tight leash of American military might. Maybe Trump want to transfer all American troops garrisoned in Korean Peninsula to the Middle East military bases, to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict or at least we will see the looming outcomes of the showdown between America-Israel-Saudi Arabia-Britain alliance and the rest of the world. Obviously this scenario would not happen anytime soon

  16. Tim
    June 22, 2018 at 3:51 am

    We have a defacto military junta with a twist; if we could somehow unmask the corporate masters that control our destines….

    • john wilson
      June 22, 2018 at 4:04 am

      The military junta and the deep state are one and the same thing,Tim. Perhaps the real twist in this farce is that anyone really believed that there could possibly be a peace accord between the US and NK. Trumps photo op in North Korea was just that and has no relevance whatsoever. I suspect the NK attack which will come is being put on hold until the US has dealt with Iran. No way will the war machine let peace break out, they have far too much at stake for that.

  17. michael crockett
    June 22, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Good article Gareth Porter. Many thanks. Speaking truth to power, recognizing that knowledge is power can be a starting point for resistance. That resistance will have to start with us Americans. If the Deep State can be exposed it can be subdued. Somewhere in our past the Founding Fathers produced a document that begins with: We The People not We The Sheeple.

    • Tim
      June 22, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      There are those people in high places carefully working for peace so they won’t be removed from their position. One casualty was the former IG of the CIA (?) who was removed and himself a whistle blower.

    • Gareth Porter
      June 23, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Thanks very much Tim! You are so right: we need to organize to curb the power of the permanent war state.

    • Gareth Porter
      June 23, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Thanks very much Michael! You are so right: we need to organize a movement to curb the power of the permanent war state — aka “deep state”. I have a lot more to say about that problem and how to address it which i will be writing about in the near future.

      • JMMorgan
        June 24, 2018 at 1:12 pm

        Great work Gareth! I have posted a link to this over at The Real News Network and suggested they get you on! Their standby, Col. Wilkerson, is sounding like a spokesman for the empire on this subject!

  18. mike k
    June 21, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    The enemies of peace are the evil among us.

  19. Dorsey Gardner
    June 21, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    North Korea has never recognized Israel much to NK’s credit. One wishes that the US had the wisdom/foresight to do likewise. Obviously if Israel has nuclear weapons, North Korea is entitled to have nukes, especially given Creighton Abrams efforts “to bomb North Korea into the Stone Age.”
    Hats off to little rocket man!

    • mike k
      June 21, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Empires are inherently evil, it is a pleasure to see them self destruct. Even if this Empire kills everyone on the planet, it’s worth it to see it destroyed. There are things worse than death – even for an entire species. I’m with Samson on this one. Some things are so evil that they must be destroyed at all costs, even human extinction. If we can’t bring ourselves to exterminate these evil monsters, then we richly deserve to die. The dystopia we are heading into is not worth preserving.

      • June 21, 2018 at 10:22 pm

        Ah, to which evil empire do you refer? Sure Kim and his predecessors have been evil to their own people but, as has frequently been pointed out on this site, generations of American politicians and warmongers have the blood of millions around the world on their hands. Oh, and thanks but no thanks, destruction of humankind is not worth it, whichever evil empire we are talking about. Oh, sorry, it was satirical?

      • KiwiAntz
        June 22, 2018 at 7:56 am

        Sorry Mike, we all, don’t deserve to die because of the actions of a few scumbags who are ruining the World or corrupt Empires! If History has taught us anything, karma always catches up with these murderers & they will get “what’s coming to them” evidently! As for corrupt Empires, the US Empire being the most recent, it’s going to suffer the same fate & that process has already begun!

  20. backwardsevolution
    June 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Gareth Porter – that was a very good article. Thank you.

  21. Hide Behind
    June 21, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    The economics, it is economics, and a constant hype within S. Korea that control economy in partnership with US financials, and recieve benefits from basing US troops there have always been major obstacles to reuniting North and South.
    Then our major ally Japan has been economicly competing against S. Korea’s economy and is losing that battle on many fronts.
    What would be the consequences to Asian , Japan and Phillipines mainly and US markets, if the South with all its industrial and hi tech and banking expertise would suddenly combine with a vast inexpensive manpower and surprisingly large mineral resources.
    The geopolitical situation of direct access to China and Russia’s markets, and vice versa for them to an invigorated Korea would threaten US hegemonic aspirations.
    Throw in China and partners new Silk Road Project with more direct access to Euro markets and less expensive Russia’s carbon energy and far North minerals and timber, now there would be an economic bloc that would realy threaten US dollar dominance.
    The psychotic Militarism of US politics and ability to borrow from foreign that allows poorly run US firms afloat is only thing that keeps
    both top tier and lowest tier welfare capitalism in existence.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 21, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Hide Behind – “It is economics.” Yes, that’s all it is. And the elite intentionally set up supranational organizations (IMF, BIS, World Trade Organization, United Nations, etc.) filled with hand-picked, unelected stooges to carry out their agendas.

      Look at globalization:

      “U.S. gained or has 1 million export jobs tied to China
      U.S. lost 5 million manufacturing jobs and 20 million secondary jobs
      The net loss for the U.S. is 24 million jobs
      The income loss for American families is $1,200,000,000”

      Thank goodness Trump stopped the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). That would have been another supranational organization, with its very own court system that could override country laws, and would have been many more jobs gone overseas.

      Trump campaigned on wrapping up the wars, ending or severely cutting back NATO and cooperating with other countries, and what happens? The elite quickly conjure up Russiagate to stop him. Imagine cutting back on the war machine! Why, that could seriously put a dent in elite pocketbooks.

      Take a look at the new United Nations program, the Global Compact on Migration. Yes, a program set in place by the elite, to be carried out by unelected officials, for the express purpose of promoting and facilitating migration from poor countries to the West. Again, citizens have no say on who is allowed into their country. It’s all about economics. More cheap labor, and the newcomers send money back to the home countries, thereby stimulating the Third World, who then buy consumer goods from the multinational corporations.

      It’s all economics, and you don’t get a say. All done for our own good, they tell us.

      I don’t envy Trump. If he is for real and actually does love the country (as I think he does), they are going to fight him every step of the way. These are the globalists he’s up against, the globalists who sold the country out in order to enrich themselves. They intend to keep it up until the U.S. is either poor, bankrupt or headed for World War III.

      So next time you think of calling Trump stupid, think about what he’s up against and try and have some empathy for the man.

      • mike k
        June 21, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        I just thought of how stupid Trump is. Then I thought, well he has to be stupid to be the leader of all the stupid people in America. It kind of makes sense in a stupid sort of way. You have to have your stupid on cap to think along with Trump. But you have to realize that Donald T. is a master at stupidity, and will always come up with something you could never think of, even if you are trying to be as stupid as you can.

        • June 21, 2018 at 9:57 pm

          Mike, beautiful job of describing the psyche of the American self-proclaimed elite. Everyone else is stupid, even deplorable.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 22, 2018 at 12:04 am

            Herman – perfect!

        • KiwiAntz
          June 22, 2018 at 7:46 am

          Mike with all your “stupid” references it made me think of the movie Forest Gump when Forest says “My mama says stupid is, what stupid does? Sums up your comments perfectly referring to all the stupid people being misled all the time!

  22. Gregory Kruse
    June 21, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Everything that is said about world events has to be preceded by reference to the Project for the New American Century. Obfuscation and distraction from that is useful to those who are trying to realize it. China and Russia must be dominated militarily, and the crux of the matter is Iran, not North Korea. There has been no possibility of conventional or nuclear war on the Korean peninsula for 70 years, and there is no possibility of it now. The Middle East is another matter. Only China can save Iran, and only Russia can save Syria. War is coming, but any deal with Kim Jong-Un is just a distraction.

    • Johnmichael2
      June 22, 2018 at 12:22 am

      Yes, several years ago, I believe it was one of the weapons inspectors checking for the non-existent Iraqi WMDs, stated that Iran’s goal in the region is to be a sphere of influence that Israel and hence, the US, is dead set against, perhaps at all costs. The refugee flood that Europe and the US are experiences is simply blowback from the insane meddling over the years by the neocons.

      Trump is not particularly stupid; diabolically clever as a dictatorial wannabe; he doesn’t particularly care what happens anywhere as long as he can maintain power and a stupidly loyal base that can keep him in power.

  23. Jeff Harrison
    June 21, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    At this point, the US is a one trick pony and that trick is War, War, War. The bad news for the US is that most people don’t want more war. They’ve watched Xi and Putin negotiate their way into any number of agreements without threats and intimidation and they’re watching the US ratchet up the level of warfare, both real and economic. I personally thought it was hilarious when Nikki Haley said that we could go to other forums where Russia and China didn’t have a veto power and then a proposal similar to what the Russians had been offering was presented to the General Assembly and it passed resoundingly. The US didn’t seem to realize that it didn’t have a veto in the GA either. But soon, the US will be sanctioning most of the world who will be sanctioning us back and when they stop using the dollar, we will be screwed. That is, if we aren’t all one glass parking lot by then.

  24. Andrew Nichols
    June 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Easy. If the silly Democrats and their neocon partners in war want to play silly b..gars then it’s time for Moon and the SKs to bypass the US and sign the peace treaty. Concurrently, Seoul should refuse to join the future US exercises and then ask the yanks to leave….SK is a sovereign nation…isnt it?

    • jo6pac
      June 21, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Agree.

    • Jeff Harrison
      June 21, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      I’ve asked the question of why the US is essential to this whole mess. The only thing I can conclude is the sanctions imposed by both the US and the UN. But sanctions can be ignored, esp if the US dollar is not involved….

    • LarcoMarco
      June 21, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      “Isn’t it.” Or not? I recall reading that the USA was granted sovereignty (via UN, at time of Korean hot war) over South Korea’s foreign policy…

  25. F. G. Sanford
    June 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Here’s the thing. North Korea’s conventional capabilities are a formidable deterrent. I have read no convincing accounts which confirm that they can successfully mate a nuclear warhead to a ballistic missile, or that they have achieved guidance system technology sufficient to strike intercontinental targets. Perhaps they could strike Japan, but only with a dubious level of accuracy.

    Without a peace deal, that leaves two options. Maintain the status quo, which exposes the US as a toothless tiger, or start a war with devastating consequences. The US would not “lose”, but it cannot “win” either. Russia and China would not take kindly to a nuclear slag heap on their borders, so the “nuclear option” is a remote probability. Even a conventional attack would disrupt the world economy to a significant extent. Commerce with South Korea represents 15% of the US economy.

    If the think-tankers and the talking heads succeed in derailing the deal, it will accelerate the already dwindling US relevance in the Asian Pacific. Between ASEAN, SCO and OBOR, and the Russian and Chinese capability to supplant the SWIFT system with their own creation, the economic fate of ‘The Empire’ does not look rosy. The new Indo-Pacific designator looks like a desperation move. Americans forget that China has women in its military too. It has more women in its army than the US has soldiers of any gender. To “win” a war, you gotta put boots on the ground. Some will no doubt argue that the quality of US forces far exceeds that of any potential enemy. Germany thought the same thing when it invaded Russia. It may have been Stalin who said, “Quantity has a quality all its own”. In the long game, the choice appears to be “peace with Korea” or “war with China”. The smart money is on peace. But hey, who am I to argue with a great mind like Rachel Maddow?

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 21, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      When you made mention of the decline of U.S. relevance a little light bulb went off over my head F.G., as I thought of how with any MIC/Pentagon disruption would give the U.S. it’s Pacific international turn off, as did the pulling out of the Iran JPCOA agreement leave a horrible taste in everyone’s mouth. Throw this if it happens in the basket with Trump’s painfully honest display of his opinion of the G7, opting out of the Paris Climate Accord, and Haley’s bouts of annoyance with the UN and 90% of it’s membership and you have an isolated U.S., or at best the beginnings of one.

      I seem to recall Mao said China’s secret weapon was its hordes of troops it could overwhelm a foe with….like what China did during the Korean War.

      If Trump wants to decrease the trade deficit between China and the U.S. then he should sanction Apple, Nike, Levi, among a host of others…. or as Paul Craig Roberts so says;

      https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/06/21/entire-western-world-lives-cognitive-dissonance/

      I’m seriously under the impression that this time the U.S. is playing follow the leader behind Russian and China, and possibly behind a clever Moon Jae in, when it comes to finalizing a peace on the Korean Peninsula.

      Okay for now F.G. Joe

      • michael crockett
        June 22, 2018 at 2:28 am

        Thank you Joe for the link to the Paul Craig Roberts article. I have always appreciated his honest and straight forward analysis. He does not pull any punches. I am a fan.

    • June 22, 2018 at 12:10 am

      You certainly made me chuckle aloud with that one. Sad but true. Even if the North Koreans produce dozens of ballistic missiles capable of striking the Continental U.S., aren’t we supposed to have T.H.A.A.D. and Patriots etc. Do these so called missile defense systems really work ? And if s, why are we worried about any missiles either North Korea or Iran has. If our defense systems work than it shouldn’t matter who has what. Someone please ‘splain that to me.

      • KiwiAntz
        June 22, 2018 at 8:12 am

        Here’s a question? When little rocket man, Kim Jong Un was firing off & conducting all those missile tests over Japan, with those weapons landing harmlessly in the Sea of Japan, how many missiles & ICBM’s where shot down by the highly touted THADD OR PATRIOTmissile systems?? The Total was ZERO! Why was that? Probably because these overpriced systems were incapable of shooting those missiles down! No wonder Turkey wants to buy Russian S400 missile defence systems, at least they know how to shoot down enemies missiles!

  26. mike k
    June 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    America has been sold the fatal notion of ruling the world as some final supreme Empire. The same idea Hitler pushed, claiming the Germans were destined to rule over all of us. Will we wake up and bail out of this crazy suicide mission before it is too late? Do everything you can to wake up others to this crisis.

  27. T
    June 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Mr. Porter’s point is supported by the extensive voice given to that point of view in the last couple of issues of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — of all journals!

  28. LarcoMarco
    June 21, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Then there is Rachel Maddog who claims that Putin told Trump to make unilateral concessions to North Korea.

  29. Bob Van Noy
    June 21, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Give Peace A Chance

    This is the very moment of the total collapse of the supposedly liberal democratic establishment, let’s hope that this attack is unsuccessful and that Peace wins for a change…

  30. mike k
    June 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    The article underlines the fact that the democrat party is unequivocally the War Party at this time. With all the powers that rule America screaming for WAR! what chance does peace have? Very little. The public is either asleep, or eager to second the war mongers. And so we will have war abroad and poverty at home, except for the rich – who are making out like bandits, which of course they are. This will not end well.

  31. Joe Tedesky
    June 21, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you Mr Porter for confirming what many here on this comment board have predicted, and that the U.S. in any treaty or agreement can’t be trusted. I also will repeat to how I will support any U.S. President who advocates for peace, as Trump is included.

    When it comes to the long over stayed occupation of Korea, Americans like myself should question to why have we been in Korea for as long as we have been. How would us Americans feel if Canada housed Russian or Chinese troops, not to forget had nuclear missile silos parked right next door to us. Why, we would be livid to say the least.

    It’s time we Americans pull our military in, in fact it is long overdue. America should build a huge defense system that would protect our shores, and our borders, and then be done with it. Take the profit out of war, and this may become attainable.

    Peace

    • KiwiAntz
      June 22, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Joe, the US didn’t like it, one little bit, when Russia was going to put nukes 90 miles away in Cuba in the 1960’s? This led to the Cuban missile crisis & that threat to America’s national interest bought the World to the brink of Nuclear War! Kennedy & Kruschev were almost convinced by their suicidal military leaders to start a Nuclear confrontation but better sense prevailed? Kennedy was particularly disgusted at the conduct of his MIC Generals & vowed never to trust their advice again! That action probably resulted in his death & the US coup d’état that followed his murder! Today, America expects Russia & China to tolerate the same situation on their borders that they themselves, found so intolerable in their own backyard. It’s hypocritical to say the least! I agree that the MIC needs to be reined in, but how do you do this? Eisenhower’s farewell address & warning of the unchecked rise of the MIC was extremely prophetic & has been proven to have come true! To stop this MIC completely will either be through economic means making the huge costs unsustainable or god forbid, a corresponding force that destroys it? I hope the first option comes before the latter!

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 22, 2018 at 9:21 am

        Our U.S. Government makes every American look either like we are all warmongers, or helpless people locked in behind the fence. It’s so pitiful with these long ongoing wars, like Afghanistan, that no one even talks about these battles anymore. TSA seems here to stay, yet no body knows were to go to complain about it. Every world leader is a dictator, as every nation is served with an ultimatum or else. To top it off we applaud when the F16 jets go zooming by overhead, as we honor the American myth of civility and peace bestowed upon the world. Have you ever heard the saying KiwiAntz ‘what goes around comes around’, well if not just wait. Joe

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