RAY McGOVERN: Hope for a Breakthrough in Korea

Donald Trump will ultimately have to remind his national security adviser and secretary of state who is president if there’s to be progress on North Korea, says Ray McGovern. 

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

There is hope for some real progress in U.S.-North Korean relations after Sunday morning’s unscheduled meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, largely because Russia and China seem more determined than ever to facilitate forward movement.

Sitting down before the talks began, Kim underlined the importance of the meeting.“I hope it can be the foundation for better things that people will not be expecting,” he said. “Our great relationship will provide the magical power with which to overcome hardships and obstacles in the tasks that need to be done from now on.”

Trump was equally positive speaking of Kim:

“We’ve developed a very good relationship and we understand each other very well. I do believe he understands me, and I think I maybe understand him, and sometimes that can lead to very good things.”

Trump said the two sides would designate teams, with the U.S. team headed by special envoy Stephen Biegun under the auspices of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to start work in the next two to three weeks. “They’ll start a process, and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

New Impetus

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met individually with President Trump at the G20 in Osaka, have been singing from the same sheet of Korea music — particularly in the wake of Xi’s visit to North Korea on June 20-21. Putin’s remarks are the most illuminating. 

In an interview with The Financial TimesPutin pointed to “the tragedies of Libya and Iraq” — meaning, of course, what happened to each of them as they lacked a nuclear deterrent. Applying that lesson to North Korea, Putin said,

“What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea, feel safe and protected by international law. …”

“We should think about guarantees, which we should use as the basis for talks with North Korea. We must take into account the dangers arising from … the presence of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that if a way can be found to satisfy North Korea’s understandable determination to protect its security, “the situation may take a turn nobody can imagine today.”

“Whether we recognize North Korea as a nuclear power or not, the number of nuclear charges it has will not decrease. We must proceed from modern realities …” And those realities include fundamental, immediate security concerns for both Russia and China. Putin put it this way:

”[W]e have a common border, even if a short one, with North Korea, therefore, this problem has a direct bearing on us. The United States is located across the ocean … while we are right here, in this region, and the North Korean nuclear range is not far away from our border. This why this concerns us directly, and we never stop thinking about it.”

Xi’s ‘Reasonable Expectations’

Last week in Pyongyang, Chinese President Xi Jinping saidChina is waiting for a desired response in stalled nuclear talks with the United States.

“North Korea would like to remain patient, but it hopes the relevant party will meet halfway with North Korea to explore resolution plans that accommodate each other’s reasonable concerns,” he said.

A commentary in China’s official Xinhua news agency said China could play a unique role in breaking the cycle of mistrust between North Korea and the U.S, but that both sides “need to have reasonable expectations and refrain from imposing unilateral and unrealistic demands.”

Putin at FT interview. (Kremlin photo)

There is little doubt that the Russians and Chinese have been comparing notes on what they see as a potentially explosive (literally) problem in their respective backyards, the more so inasmuch as the two countries have become allies in all but name.

On a three-day visit to Moscow in early June, President Xi spoke of his “deep personal friendship” with Putin, with whom he has “met nearly 30 times in the past six years.” For his part, Putin claimed “Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedented level. It is a global partnership and strategic cooperation.”

A Fundamental Strategic Change

Whether they are “best friends” or not, the claim of unprecedented strategic cooperation happens to be true — and is the most fundamental change in the world strategic equation in decades. Given the fear they share that things could get out of hand in Korea with the mercurial Trump and his hawkish advisers calling the shots, it is a safe bet that Putin and Xi have been coordinating closely on North Korea.

The next step could be stepped-up efforts to persuade Trump that China and Russia can somehow guarantee continued nuclear restraint on Pyongyang’s part, in return for U.S. agreement to move step by step — rather than full bore — toward at least partial North Korean denuclearization — and perhaps some relaxation in U.S. economic sanctions. Xi and Putin may have broached that kind of deal to Trump in Osaka.

There is also a salutary sign that President Trump has learned more about the effects of a military conflict with North Korea, and that he has come to realize that Pyongyang already has not only a nuclear, but also a formidable conventional deterrent: massed artillery.

“There are 35 million people in Seoul, 25 miles away,” Trump said on Sunday. “All accessible by what they already have in the mountains. There’s nothing like that anywhere in terms of danger.”

Obstacles Still Formidable

Trump and Kim meet Sunday before Trump became first US president to step on North Korean territory. (White House photo)

Trump will have to remind his national security adviser, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that he is the president and that he intends to take a firmer grip on reins regarding Korean policy. Given their maladroit performance on both Iran and Venezuela, it would, at first blush, seem easy to jettison the two super-hawks.

But this would mean running afoul of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academe-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex, in which the corporate-controlled media play thesine-qua-non role today.

In a harbinger of things to come, The Washington Post’s initial report on the outcome of the Trump-Kim talks contained two distortions: “Trump … misrepresented what had been achieved, claiming that North Korea had ceased ballistic missile tests and was continuing to send back remains of U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War.”

The Trump administration could reasonably call that “fake news.” True, North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles last spring, but Kim’s promise to Trump was to stop testing strategicnot tactical missiles, and North Korea has adhered to that promise. As for the return of the remains of U.S. servicemen: True, such remains that remain are no longer being sent back to the U.S., but it was the U.S. that put a stop to that after the summit in Hanoi failed. 

We can surely expect more disingenuous “reporting” of that kind.

Whether Trump can stand up to the MICIMATT on Korea remains to be seen. There is a huge amount of arms-maker-arms-dealer profiteering going on in the Far East, as long as tensions there can be stoked and kept at a sufficiently high level.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His first portfolio at CIA was referent-analyst for Soviet policy toward China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

104 comments for “RAY McGOVERN: Hope for a Breakthrough in Korea

  1. KiwiAntz
    July 6, 2019 at 21:15

    Ray, despite your positive hopes for Peace on the Korean Peninsula, it will never be allowed to happen? America is not a force for good in the World & Trumps, treacherous, double dealing behaviour with Iran shows that the US can’t be trusted to abide by any International brokered agreements, so what hope is there with a US/Nth Korean peace agreement? America’s word is worthless, not worth the paper it’s written on as Iran can attest for that with the US violation of the JCPOA Deal! America is a Warmongering, war crime waging, Terrorist Nation that has no ambitions to bring peace to the World? Its whole Economy would collapse if they couldn’t wage War as there would be no need to manufacture bombs or sell overpriced junk & shoddy aircraft such as the F35 & numerous other ridiculous Military spending? While it spends trillions of wasted dollars building these useless weapons & creating non-existent enemies to justify waging nonstop, endless Wars around the Globe, its people & Country rots from within with lousy healthcare, homelessness & infrastructure spending collapses! Its Citizens live from pay check to pay check, its Middle class eviscerated & destroyed while fat cat Politicians & Military cronies grow rich from War profiteering kickbacks at the expense of its people & causing the Collateral murder of innocent Civilians in the Nations they invade! While it was great for the optics of Trump meeting Kim, nothing was achieved or will be achieved as Nth Korea has seen what happened to Iraq, Libya & others who handed over their Weapons & where promptly destroyed by the US & it’s Allies? It will never de-nuke as that all but guarantees American destruction! Peace can never be allowed to breakout in the World? Peace means no more War Profits for America & that can’t be allowed to happen, EVER!

    • Alois Mueller
      July 7, 2019 at 01:25

      “Sanctions and tariffs are favored economic US weapons of war by other means, especially the former. They’re used to inflict economic pain and collective punishment.

      The Vienna-based International Progress Organization calls sanctions “an illegitimate form of collective punishment of the weakest and poorest members of society, the infants, the children, the chronically ill, and the elderly.”

      According to the Treasury Department, they’re imposed on Russia, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Sudan, Cuba, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Iran, and other countries — as well as against entities and individuals in targeted countries.

      Threats usually precede and accompany US actions — including unacceptable demands no responsible leadership would accept.”
      Stephen Lendman

  2. Evangelista
    July 3, 2019 at 20:55

    Ray,

    There is no hope for any breakthroughs anywhere: When the Constitutional United States was formed, with its “Presumption of Innocence” and that presumption extending to common citizen contracts (to provide protection to even the simplest of the innocent, by assuring that they had to be provably able to contract and to understand contract, and the contract offered them) which precludes implicit and implied contract, exception had to be made for commercial contract, between knowing and understanding persons engaged in commerce; or, rather, provision had to be made for those, to permit them to carry on their normal and common commercial activities. This was done through providing in the Constitution (Bill of Rights) that “Law of Contract” shall not be abrogated (by Constitutional protections). Without this provision, and it being honored, in all legitimate and legal contracting situations, no contract can contract and so be a contract. It was for honor of this, in Constitutional U.S. law, and in International Law, that contracts and treaties were possible, and through those agreements between persons and nations could be made, and presumed to bind the parties.

    About the first thing Donald Trump did upon entering the office of President of the United States was Unilaterally, and openly, abrogate an international contract made in the name for the United States.

    While President Trump deserves to be recognized, and commended, for his honesty, doing openly what has been a more or less regular United States behaviour (e.g., the ‘silent’ 1980’s abrogation of the agreement to not allow nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula), until Donald Trump openly refuted the Iran Nuclear Agreement there had been no flagrant unilateral refutations of contract by the United States.

    With the silent ratification of President Trump’s for the United States action by the signatory nations of Europe, international law of contract became dead, mooted, voided, nulled.

    Today, with law of contract dead, any nation recognized able to ignore any contract, wih precedent established for that refutation, and acceptance of it constituting contract abbrogation, there is no longer any international law of contract. International agreement is moot. International agreements are moot, or mootable, by any parties at any time. They mean nothing. None mean anything, or can mean anything, since, internationally, agreement to honor contract is the only element ‘gluing’ international cooperations together. The alternative to agreeing is coercing, which is what war is for. Thus, we have no law between nations anymore, and no means of maintaining agreements, except war.

    And so there is no hope. Donald Trump may agree to anything, and he may refute his agreement tomorrow, or next day, or next year, or the President elected after him may, as President Trump did, at, and for, his whim. Chairman Kim may, of course, do so, too. And all the nations of Europe, even if they do so only by flapping helplessly and acting helpless and ‘overwhelmed’.

    On the bright side, President Trump’s, and the Europeans’, precedent of unilateral refutation of contract applies to us all, so we all have the same ‘holiday’ from contract obligation.

    • Skip Scott
      July 4, 2019 at 06:23

      Alberto Gonzales said that strictures of the Geneva Conventions were “quaint” and “obsolete”. I would say that was pretty “open”, and pre-dated Trump.

  3. robert e williamson jr
    July 3, 2019 at 14:26

    Micheal if we had legitimate political parties we might get a candidate who actually had to be talked into running. That would be refreshing at the very least.

    Thanks for you comment DW You state what needs to be asked every American the morning of the fourth and it was stated very well.

    I always wondered why no one seemed to take Barrack Obama seriously when he asked us more than once who we are and is that who we really want to be.

    PEACE

  4. DW Bartoo
    July 3, 2019 at 06:50

    Ray, it was great to see you on CrossTalk this morning (July 03, 2019). I think the points which you, Patrick, and Peter all made are critically important, most especially regarding the role of the media instructing and orchestrating the U$ public perception (very negative and “demonic”) toward North Korea’s leader.

    Indeed, the Democrats, the MSM, and the Deep State want nothing to change with regard to hostility toward North Korea because, were it to change, then how would the multi-$billion U$ Military presence on the Peninsula be explained or justified unless it were admitted that is about China and, to a lesser degree, Russia.

    I hope that commenters here might watch this episode.

    As well, I appreciate the visual support of Assange, your beard, which Peter mentions at the very beginning of the program, along with my continuing appreciation for all that you do with such genuine class and knowledgeable capacity.

    DW

  5. Dunderhead
    July 2, 2019 at 20:28

    First off, ray you’re my freaking hero, that being said and as much as I welcome the de-escalation of tensions between North Korea and the Trump administration a too rapid withdrawal from South Korea if that were to occur would give bandwidth to the means of escalation in other areas, this is while characters such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo roam the White House, these are exceedingly dangerous times, ambiguity in the Koreas for the short term at least maybe to the interests of long-term peace.

  6. robert e williamson jr
    July 2, 2019 at 18:20

    DW Bartoo – Got to be careful here with the language, but Blasting the fourth of July. Not me. All those with the heads in the sand or up their rectum, sure. But me? Hell no!

    What this country needs something similar to a lower G.I. flush to wash out all the bad bugs. A political revolution to put a stop to the rigged game we now have.

    But which do we celebrate the nations birthday or the violent revolution that gave birth to it.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.

    No sir I’m blasting the mindless sheepeople. Dimos – repugs – and their followers who obviously are into Cool Aid drinking .

    Have a blast this weekend while fireworks are still legal and celebratory!

    • DW Bartoo
      July 2, 2019 at 20:29

      I consider your questions to be absolutely appropriate and very necessary, robert e williamson jr.

      What, precisely, is being celebrated?

      Is any thought given to what is actually going on? The harm done to a civil society being systematically overwhelmed by perpetual war, massive corporate, financial, and governmental corruption, by intentionally failed institutions of education, of health care, and of a media which ignores all these things, preferring the blatant canard of “Russia did it!”, stoking a new Cold War, preferring to pay constant and slavishl attention to Trumpian antics.

      Heads are certainly stuck where vision is limited, in an echo chamber of silly myth and comfortable assumption, even as the 2020 election circus prepares to reduce everything to sound bite pieties and glib inanitie about “staying engaged” in perpetual war and defeating “fake news”.

      So, indeed, what is being celebrated?

      Has the Fourth become an empty ritual of sound and fury signifying … nothing?

      Let us merely enjoy the fiery, colorful stars, pinwheels, and fantastical blossoms of energy and rhythm, the thunderous booms and sharp penetrating bangs, the woomphs and the whistles, and, always the roar of anticipatory silence between the salvos soon alight in a star spangled sky.

      Perhaps, it is a preparatory Grand Finale?

  7. KiwiAntz
    July 2, 2019 at 18:01

    What a great piece of theatre from the Donald? Having capitulated entirely on his Tariffs bluster with China, who called out Trumps bluff on Trade, forcing a humiliating reversal & backdown on the Huawei issue, Trump provides the ultimate distraction with this sideshow at the Korean border with a puzzled Kim Jong UN? A perfect diversion tactic as all the Media took the bait , hook , line & sinker & now everyone is talking about Trump the peacemaker rather than Trump the Tariff Capitulator? Maybe Trump is smarter than he looks! Now if can pull the same trick with Iran than really could be a masterful endeavour!

  8. Chumpsky
    July 2, 2019 at 14:40

    With the desire of some international players to see S. Korea out of the negotiation picture realpolitik is driving the bus here. Sadly, the peace, if reachable, most likely will not be in the best interests of ALL inhabitants of the Korean peninsula.

    The confluence of Kim’s need to join the Belt and Road Initiative necessary to have any regional legitimacy and to turn around his stagnant economy, and since Team Trump blew any sort of calming of the tensions in the Middle East, his need to spin perception to cement some international positive gains as a peacemaker – is necessary for the 2020 election. The Korean crisis fits the bill, and without Bolton and Pompeo doing the leg work, the possibility of mucking up is lessened.

    Normalization of relations between the major powers over N. Korea would bring N. Korea into the orbit of the BRI economic machine. Kim (nor his people) do not want N. Korea to be left behind. He’s going for big bucks. He wants economic relations with nations that have joined the BRI bandwagon – not just the usual Asian Tigers but with the big boys beyond.

    If such a breakthrough were to be made, such results would virtually guarantee Trump a re-election against a democratic nominee weak in international affairs (except Tulsi Gabbard), but such would not occur without further shenanigans of the deep staters and neocons to derail his attempt and prospects of a second term.

    The key here is to see how the MIC, neocons and Anglo-American deep staters are to be held in check. This will make or break Trump’s attempt at a second term. The game of appeasement to be watched here has not been seen since the days of JFK.

  9. Taras77
    July 2, 2019 at 10:40

    “Whether Trump can stand up to the MICIMATT on Korea remains to be seen. There is a huge amount of arms-maker-arms-dealer profiteering going on in the Far East, as long as tensions there can be stoked and kept at a sufficiently high level.”

    To state the obvious, this is the all important aspect of this effort for NK as well as all of the other efforts to tamp down this bellowing for moar war.

    I was greatly disappointed but not surprised to see bolton’s panic attack against NYT article which indicated that some compromise might be in the offing.. Should have left him in the gobi desert, Mongolia without his tweeter.

  10. RichardKanePA
    July 2, 2019 at 02:42

    Today there is an alliance between Trump. Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince bin Salmam, similar to Hitler Mussolini and Franco again threatening internal Democracy like the one before. Reverend Moon lavishly aided and influenced North Korea and sports diplomacy is straight from Rev. Moon’s Family Federation for World Peace and Unification script
    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/sun-myung-moons-groundbreaking-campaign-to-open-north-korea/262057/
    Moon’s Washington Times convinced conservatives not to hate North Korea. To Trump Kim Jong Un is a fellow friend.
    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/19/1827653/-North-Korea-s-slow-but-smashing-road-toward-victory

  11. Coleen Rowley
    July 1, 2019 at 23:21

    I read that Bolton was sent to Mongolia when Trump staged his walk to NK. It appeared Bolton didn’t even know what was going on. Maybe that was deliberate?!

    • Taras77
      July 2, 2019 at 10:42

      I would guess yes. Should have left him there without his tweeter.

    • Dunderhead
      July 2, 2019 at 20:48

      You’re just going to keep it running with that joke until someone says something so ha ha, no really that was pretty funny, I kind of hate Bolton too but I guess so goes the rest of the human race, anyway peace out man!

  12. mike k
    July 1, 2019 at 17:39

    Trump is playing a very dangerous game by hiring these two nutcases to scare people with. They could end up having him rubbed out like the Kennedys were, if he crosses them the wrong way. They have the dirty connections to make that happen if he handles them in the wrong way. It’s not easy to get rid of characters such as this pair, without incurring their wrath.

    • Tony
      July 2, 2019 at 10:05

      Yes. There is no doubt that LBJ and co killed President Kennedy and probably Robert Kennedy too.

      “Is he dead yet, is he dead yet?” According to White House aide Jo Califano, that is the question that LBJ frequently asked him after RFK was shot. If he had become president, then he would have been in a position to investigate JFK’s assassination.

    • Dunderhead
      July 2, 2019 at 20:56

      Yeah that looks pretty likely. The narrative regarding Sirhan Sirhan is just not holding up though, why the CIA just did not find some pretext to assassinate him on the other hand is a bit baffling.

  13. anon4d2
    July 1, 2019 at 16:07

    NK should produce nuclear weapons for Iran or Venezuela in exchange for oil or whatever it needs. It could set one off just outside and downwind of US territorial waters, and if that did not stop the bullying, at a former US nuclear test site inland, observing that others are installed and ready to drain the swamps of DC or NYC on behalf of any targets of US aggression. That would be a superb way to end US aggression for the benefit of all others on the planet, more effective than the UN.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 17:05

      It would be foolhardy for ANY nation to set of a nuclear weapon, anon4d2.

      Right now, the majority of the nations on this planet have already signed a UN agreement seeking the end of nuclear brinkmanship (as it is styled). Those refusing to do so are those who are either aggressors on the world stage, potential aggressors, or those who have been simply seeking to defend themselves from the aggressors who threaten others with annihilation.

      At this stage of U$ empire collapse, that nation is dangerously volitile, and essentially insane at its loss of “Full Spectrum Domination”, even as other nations seek to build “Full Spectrum Defense”, as evidenced with the procurement of S400 missile-defense systems, from Russia, by India and Turkey, making clear that alignments long considered forever permanent are shifting.

      When nations begin to request the removal of U$ Military bases from their soil, the itchy trigger-finger of a world power no longer a manufacturing nation, but a “financial services” oligarchy of rentier elites, will become even more paranoid and desirous of “action”, of punishing “turncoats” and “ingrates”.

      If U$ economic sanctions, notably against North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba, among others, may be broken, skirted, or otherwise made impotent, then things will become even more interesting, and a balancing act, a seesaw between not greatly aggravating nor unduly acquiescing to the U$ will move the world into the next phase of changing tensions and perils, still yet at the whim of Washington.

      At the end of that phase, when the U$ has very little financial hegemony, when the dollar is no longer world reserve currency, when the “Belt and Road” is functioning, when the U$, Israel and the Saudis are, one way or another, nolonger in the terror “business”, it may be that reason will prevail and nations may relinquish nuclear weapons.

      Until then, any single use, anywhere, by any nation, including, India, Pakistan, or Israel, may well, and all too easily, set off a shitstorm of First Strike insanity.

      Let us err on the side of caution and restraint.

      There are far too many now claiming that a nuclear war is “winnable”.

      It is not.

    • michael
      July 2, 2019 at 07:29

      Well stated.
      However, Robert Sheer noted that G.H.W. Bush claimed nuclear war was winnable (in off-the-record statements during an interview) and, while surely kept a secret from the vast amount of Americans who would die, our politicians and Rich will be safely in their holes somewhere. It is politically incorrect for the Establishment “adults in the room” to state that a first strike nuclear war is winnable, but that is their view. Insane psychopaths making “four-year old, narcissistic” Trump seem almost normal.

    • Tony
      July 2, 2019 at 10:09

      “Some people in the Pentagon actually think that nuclear war can be fought and won. I think they’re crazy.”

      President Reagan

    • anon4d2
      July 2, 2019 at 19:48

      Think more carefully about that brush-off. The idea is neither minor nor ill-considered.

      Pre-installed nuclear weapons are in fact significant, and can do more peacemaking than second-strike capability.
      1. They need not be used except to demonstrate their existence.
      2. No one need know their source, and so cannot retaliate except in speculation.
      3. Few are required, so a small nuclear power can make enough.
      4. Even a small nuclear power can sell them to those needing protection from rogue superpowers.
      5. Once a few small states have shown their presence, they can all claim to have them.

      So they are essentially self-protection pistols in a gang neighborhood.
      Therefore they can be great peacemakers and protection forces.

    • Dunderhead
      July 2, 2019 at 21:00

      DW Bartoo, I like the cut of your jib. You make a great deal of sense and I will be reading your posts, peace out.

  14. robert e williamson jr
    July 1, 2019 at 15:50

    Great! Kim talks of magic, VINY talks B.S. Putin tells is like it is and REPUGNIKLANS AND DIMOCRAPS still try to push the heads further in the sand or up their rectums. Take you pick it’s mix and match Monday.

    You missed a great chance KIM , KIM DIXON, not rocket man!.

    Sure Trump and all the rest, repugs and dimos, are out of touch with the middle class, they have been for years (circa 1963) SEE VIETNAM. A group that is becoming smaller by the day as a result of the cost of food energy and medicine increasing at an obscene rate.

    Yes Virginia those dropping off the bottom rung of the middle class ladder to success are the “new poor”.

    Seriously how long has it been since the dimos and the repugs where actually separate parties with separate agendas. We have been and we still are under the thumb of the combined “Private party of the Corporate Oligarchs”.

    Question. Is it proper to celebrate roundly, loudly and drunkenly the birthday of one so close to death.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 17:21

      Are you blasting the Fourth of July,
      robert e williamson jr?

      Perhaps the 4th is like Santa Claus,
      just for the kids?

      It would be a welcome change were that day to be one of reflection, consideration, and sober assessment.

      I wonder how many U$ians would agree with that?

      Consider a 2020 election that pits Donald Trump against Kamala Harris.

      That will really be a blast, during and, potentially, after.

      In a recent article, from 28 June 2019, Caitlin Johnstone refers to Harris as “An Oligarch’s Wet Dream”.

      Happy 4TH!

    • michael
      July 2, 2019 at 07:32

      Important baggage for Harris: Steven Mnuchin and Hamilton Brown. She should slither away.
      The people who desire power should never be given power.

    • July 3, 2019 at 20:23

      Tulsi Gabbard is the one against war.

    • Rob Roy
      July 3, 2019 at 20:25

      …..and Kamala Harris is NOT progressive.

  15. Realist
    July 1, 2019 at 14:16

    Yes, a breakthrough in Korea would surely be welcomed by the Koreans, thinking Americans and the world.

    We desperately need breakthroughs in several other venues too, because a lapse into war with Iran, Venezuela, Russia or China would mean the end of civilisation as we’ve known it. No more cell phones, Netflix, fast food or paperless banking. One’s personal two-minute hates on political websites would come to a screeching halt, replaced by an endless but futile search for edible food and potable drinking water. Mad Max would inhabit your neighborhood, not your television screen.

    In the cases of each of these countries, we’ve brazenly tromped half-way round the world to pound on their front door, calling them out to prove their manhood. None of them have encroached upon us or even on our prickly allies, like Israel, fascist Latin America or paranoid Eastern Europe. There has been nothing rational or compelling to justify this psychotic behavior on the part of our American leaders. Yet our media go into a froth over how savage those people are and the benefits of taking their leaders out, never mind what happens on the following day. That won’t be our fault either.

    Oliver Stone should make a movie comprising five vignettes of how the world can suddenly end with our macho American leaders and their hired muscle going around throwing lit cigarettes all over a landscape that is parched for the soothing waters of peaceful co-existence.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 16:12

      Not only have we thumped on their doors in grotesque ogre-like fashion, at the very same time, we try, also, to bring them to their knees by laying siege their economies, closing off their access to food, medicine, and other necessities, while making it impossible for them to sell their goods on the “free enterprise”-“free market” that we constantly blather on about.

      While we threaten “real” war, with bombs, bullets, and mayhem, we are already engaged in brutal economic warfare which is quite as deadly, even if it ballyhooed as “a price worth paying”, by those who pay no price and, in fact, are rewarded.

      The biggest necessary “breakthroughs” might well be in conscience, empathy, and humanity, Realist.

      Might be in citizens rethinking hegemony and embracing peace and prosperity for the many, rather than war and profit for the few.

      Of necesssity, that is a bottom-up endeavor which well may not be possible, assuming reason and diplomacy fail, UNTIL the many, personally, have a wee bitter taste of the grim future you paint in terms which U$ians, nurtured on Hollywood mythology, need not imagine but only rerun … to have a sense of, a “feel” for what we readily thrust upon others.

    • Realist
      July 2, 2019 at 01:37

      Thanks for finishing the thought.

    • Dunderhead
      July 2, 2019 at 21:07

      I’ve been following the conversation you both nailed it, this fourth I’m starting a new tradition, end of empire day, I hope it catches on.

    • Skip Scott
      July 3, 2019 at 06:37

      I believe the same tactics for population control are also used here at home. The proliferation of hand guns resulting in endless inner city shootings, the heroin epidemic, the previous crack cocaine epidemic, the opioid crisis, the lack of universal health care, and the foundering public school system are all by design to make sure the “lesser” folk don’t become too numerous at home or abroad. It is pure, institutionalized evil.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 1, 2019 at 22:40

      A few months since I read Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. Still haunts my imagination.

    • Skip Scott
      July 3, 2019 at 06:24

      He is a fantastic writer. I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything by him. He is quite dark, but extremely gifted.

    • RnM
      July 2, 2019 at 09:01

      And nobody will know how to get from a to b, because GPS will be the first to go , and those who can read a road map are getting more scarce every day.

  16. John Drake
    July 1, 2019 at 13:58

    Encouraging development until I came to the part where the US envoy will be working under Sec. of State Pompous. Sounds like a no where prescription. A sincere Trump( is that a oxymoron?) would send Pompous and Bolton to clean out their desks under armed guard pronto.

  17. July 1, 2019 at 13:35

    Because Trump is a Narcissistic fool and Bolton and Bannon and somewhat Pompeo (not very smart)
    are academic warriors of conquer all.
    https://www.reckontalk.com/top-10-greatest-conquerors-of-all-time-history/
    I suspect Trump will try to avoid military conflicts. At re election time he will shout the point he was better than Obama and
    most presidents in that he brought the boys back home to make a America great again.

    • July 1, 2019 at 14:26

      “Trump is a Narcissistic fool”

      Is he really? He wants to avoid world war three. The world has breathed a sigh of relief that he is there, where over the past 7 or so Presidensies we had to check the news every morning to see if the US had blown up the world. Trump seems to be the only President in living memory ( I am now 78) that has been willing to step back from the brink. The only President in living memory that has not started a new war in his first two years in office. The only truly curious thing about the man is why he keeps trolls like Bolton, Bloody Gina and Pompeo around.

    • Deniz
      July 1, 2019 at 15:19

      The only way to survive the MIC which currently rules DC is to be pro-war.

      It seems the choice Presidents have is either to be pro-war, but pretend they are antiwar. Or pretend to be pro-war, but actually be antiwar. Trump maybe the latter, while Obama was undoubtedly the former.

      If Trump is trying to send the message that he is prowar, to give himself cover to pull back from war, what better persons to cover your tracks with than the crazzed Bolton & Pompeo circus act.

    • DH Fabian
      July 1, 2019 at 16:10

      The military-industrial complex has ruled DC for nearly a century now. It’s what the US is. We’ve just phased out much of the “industrial” part.

    • elmerfudzie
      July 2, 2019 at 15:06

      DH Fabian, this comment is off topic for Ray’s article however you did mention the MIC. My argument is that current diplomacy with N Korea can only be a reflection of both, diplomatic skills coupled with how formidable the military is.

      The second and a few third world countries have stepped up to the plate and now mirror the Wests’ older technological prowess(es), such as manufacturing cars, air conditioning systems, washing machines, smart phones, hydroelectric power, et cetera. This new and competitive edge is greatly strengthened by a better educated class, ample numbers drawn from ever increasing pools of underpaid non-unionized labor. These truisms maneuvered the U.S. No! forced us to go nowhere else but up the technological ladder. Ask yourself the question; Where are the highest tech jobs concentrated? Answer, business ventures associated with military, medicine and outer space..so there you have it. Thirty plus years of painstaking, tax draining research from the 1960’s onward just to marginally improve the basic functional abilities of the F-100 fighter aircraft. Like the suicidal son of a wealthy mogul the US of A, strains to super succeed. Where do you go from up?. Mass produce Cad/Cam 3-D printers driven by quantum computing? traverse Jupiter’s moons looking for tritium to harvest?

      The other absurdity I’m trying to portray here is enshrined in the simple concept of “ripoff”, techno rip offs to be precise. What took us several decades to fashion, came to a ugly end. To finally realize that our scientific efforts were plundered by industrial espionage no doubt sponsored by and at the behest of the Chinese CCP. To such an extent that Chinese manufactured parts are now in our latest fighter aircraft the F-35! Depending on a potential adversary for critical military hardware!?

      Again, these absurdities oblige us all to trace those steps back to the ORIGINAL problem. The warmongering class (always bankers), their relentless pursuit of profit over national interest. Their endless manipulations that plunged the world economies into a, more meaning then just one, “weaponized” debt crisis. A global reset (button) must be pressed. Perhaps I’m suggesting a jubilee year here? The old ways of the Rothschild, Carnegie, Stamp, Mellon and Rockefeller families, their association with Western military-industrial-congressional complexes.Their systematic control of sovereign countries by limiting development monies, issued almost exclusively through The World Bank and or International Monetary Fund must now be given a unanimous, firm, farewell. Then and only then will the forgotten art of true diplomacy return and bargaining resume without the old- half nelson, the big stick, or worse….

    • DW Bartoo
      July 2, 2019 at 21:04

      Now that, is a superb, devastatingly accurate,
      very powerful comment,
      elmerfudzie.

      Much appreciated.

      DW

    • John
      July 2, 2019 at 15:34

      Hard to believe Dump is that sophisticated but he’s proven to be smarter or least more “talented” than he appears. Your point about how presidents survive the MIC seems right though.

    • Jeff Harrison
      July 1, 2019 at 17:39

      Where the hell have you been because it hasn’t been on planet earth. I’ll agree that Thump hasn’t invaded anybody extra but he has turned the Middle East into a powder keg by trying to give the Golan Heights to Israel, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and cranking the pressure up on Iran. All the economic pressure he’s put on Russia and China puts me in mind of the dictum that economic warfare (which Thump is waging) frequently leads to real war.

      Narcissistic fool indeed.

    • geeyp
      July 1, 2019 at 23:15

      Exactly, Dan Kuhn. You have placed it all in context.

    • RnM
      July 2, 2019 at 09:11

      Thanks, Dan.
      I suppose the reason Pompous and D’Stasche are still around has to do with the old saw about keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer. But, with these guys I’m not so sure the idea is still valid.

    • July 2, 2019 at 13:32

      Dan. Your right. Since 1950 the warmongers have had us involved in conquering the world. But i still think he is narcissistic fool. Right or wrong that is his reason for not wanting a war on his back. He wants to get re elected and go for President for life.

    • Dunderhead
      July 2, 2019 at 21:15

      I am really sorry that you older folks have to see what has become of this country and our constitution. It has been one endless intervention after another since the end of the second world war. To come this far and find out we are the villains, the bloodsoaked Empire, it is heartbreaking.

  18. Vonu
    July 1, 2019 at 12:57

    It would probably do a lot if Trump were to build a golf course in North Korea and play it regularly.
    Kim would probably kill to belong to the country club.

  19. July 1, 2019 at 12:53

    Would readers of Consortium News from around the Earth find it a “coincidence” that on Sunday morning Donald Trump meets with Kim Jong Un on a brief North Korea visit and extremely short walk, while later the same day Israel carries out an illegal act of war by shooting missiles into Damascus, Syria? Is it possible that, were Syrians to have launched a proportional counter-attack and hit similar targets inside Tel Aviv, Donald Trump would have delivered another foreign policy “address” to the the American people, – via Twitter of course, unfortunately – announcing war on Syria and possibly Iran, and that as “peacemaker” Commander in Chief, he had “No choice!!”?

    Perhaps the time has arrived for humanity to demand, once and forever, an end to such dangerous high-stakes games. The human race needs more criminal wars of aggression like it needs more unnecessary, regretful, immensely harming criminal wars of aggression.

    Peace.

    • Vonu
      July 1, 2019 at 12:59

      It would probably be better for peace if as much attention was paid to Israel’s unadmitted nuclear arsenal as there is paid to Iran’s non-existent one.

    • DH Fabian
      July 1, 2019 at 16:17

      No, what I’ve noticed is that the surge of anti-Israel propaganda in the media marketed to the middle class Democrats has “coincided” with a surge of anti-Jewish violence across the country. No question, when Israel is attacked, they hit back. But when tiny Israel (roughly 1% of the Mideast region) is portrayed as a military aggressor attacking foreign countries (the way the US does), the discussion has no legitimacy.

    • Stygg
      July 1, 2019 at 16:46

      “LOL”, as the kids say.

    • Tom
      July 1, 2019 at 17:16

      All of these wars were planned and pushed by Israel.

      Israel is pushing us into even more wars with Iran and Russia.

      Think people don’t notice.

    • anon
      July 1, 2019 at 17:24

      Troll alert on DHF: never any evidence or argument.

    • Abe
      July 1, 2019 at 18:02

      Everyone noticed that Hasbara propaganda troll “DH Fabian” got busy defending “tiny Israel” when the Trump regime started demonstrating its “1000 percent” pro-Israel stance.

      Check out the Hasbara antics of comrade “DH Fabian” in the CN comments back in 2017
      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/15/how-netanyahu-pulls-trumps-strings/

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 20:59

      DH, you imply that any considered criticism of Israeli state behavior is “propaganda”.

      Next, you coyly suggest causation; that any such criticism begets attacks upon Jewish human beings living in the U$.

      Do you wish to say that those who question what Israel does with its weapons and U$ funded war chest, are anti-Semitic?

      Clearly you’ve no problem with engaging in considered criticism of U$ Military aggression.

      Yet you, apparently, cannot even consider, as a possibility, that a substantial portion of that U$ aggression, in the “Middle East”, aligns seamlessly with Israeli “interests”.

      As to Israeli “smallness”, geographically (which appears to be expanding) and in population is, as you must know, offset by a huge military arsenal, even including nuclear weapons (which I hope you will not claim to be nonexistent) which outstrip the military might of other nations, whether perceived as friend or foe, in the region.

      You claim that any “discussion” not agreeing to parameters YOU dictate is not “legitimate”.

      Any conversation, discussion, or debate, limited to the view or views of one person, one “side”, or one nation, is not likely to arrive at consensus or mutual mutual understanding of any kind.

      Other agreements, “deals”, or treaties premised to such conspicuous advantage will also be viewed by objective observers as problematic and dishonest, promoting enforcementof advantage, not a declaration of equal interests between mutually respected parties, but simply as ultimatum.

      As it happens, there are yet other things which “influence” what happens IN the U$, clearly attributable to intentions and interests of the state of Israel.

      I speak of involvements, such as campaign monies and lobbying in the political system which has resulted in legislative enactments which punish U$ citizens THROUGH the legal system OF the U$.

      Doubtless, you shall deny that any of this is so.

      That is your right.

      Yet this is where fact and opinion separate.

      Facts can be denied.

      That does not make them any less true.

      Nor does excusing bad laws under the pretense that they battle “anti-Semitism”, which is precisely what anti BDS laws claim to do, even as they abridge both individual human and national sovereign rights.

      Israel is just as subject to criticisms of apartheid as was South Africa.

      Israel is therefore not immune to peaceful boycott any more than was South Africa.

      Now, just so you understand, I am not attacking you or anyone else.

      I am not declaring you as any less a human being than anyone else.

      However, until and unless the state of Israel can manage the same respect and recognition for those it now persecutes, denigrates, and harms, it will continue to be regarded as a failed state wedded to terrorism and disproportionate violence.

      That is my opinion, but there are numerous facts that inform and confirm that opinion.

      Were I the only one here who held this opinion, yet, assuredly, I am not, I should still maintain it, whatever censure or consequence I might face.

      You, DH, I am quite certain, think the same about your opinion.

      When you feel willing to resort to facts and historically accurate statistics, to bolster and support that opinion, I am most certain you will discover many here more than willing to engage with fact and verifiable, statistics, be the history recent or distant.

      Again, I fully respect you as a person of conscience and integrity,
      I do not suggest your claims are “propaganda”, although facts, which I have never seen you provide, do matter.

      I question your implication of causation, even though you ladle “coincidence” on so heavily that wiggle room stretches to the far horizons.

      I do not find your glib assertions objectionable so much as flimsy, evasive, and more than vaguely accusatory.

      I think you could do better, or at least ought try to do so.

      This is a case where more IS more, and less is nothing at all.

    • michael
      July 2, 2019 at 07:54

      England ran the British Empire (and arguably the world) from part of an island, only 7 times bigger than Israel.
      My concern is not with the blood-thirsty apartheid state of Israel. It is with the dominance by over-represented Jews in our government and oligarchy. The vast majority of Jews are suffering along side the rest of us, but three Justices (more than 30% of SCOTUS, representing less than 2% of Americans?) and over 30 of the Democrats (of 280) in Congress? We could really use some diversity in Government! With AIPAC and non-Jewish politicians pandering to Israel (for example, sticking anti-BDS clauses in unrelated legislation), and many neocons and neolibs seeing Israel as somehow related to the Armageddon and the Rapture, it is amazing any of us are still alive.

    • Skip Scott
      July 2, 2019 at 08:49

      “But when tiny Israel (roughly 1% of the Mideast region) is portrayed as a military aggressor attacking foreign countries (the way the US does), the discussion has no legitimacy.”

      Wow. Just wow. How blind do you have to be to say such a thing? And BTW, many US attacks on foreign countries are on behalf of Israel. In fact, it is illusory to think of them as separate entities. They are part of a single Empire, and the US MIC is always ready to be of service to Israel. Just watch our congress persons jerk up like puppets on strings for Uncle Bibi.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF3lvAfHJM8

    • Stygg
      July 2, 2019 at 13:21

      He’s not blind; he knows perfectly well it’s horseshit.

    • ML
      July 2, 2019 at 15:32

      Many of us who see things as they are, are anti-Israel. You know, the nation of Israel run by a psychopathic, criminal fraudster? – that Israel and their powerful should-be-illegal lobby here in the USA. And there’s quite a huge difference between being against criminal acts of the state of Israel and being anti-Jewish. Just setting the record straight, DH. And recall that most of those abhorrent acts against Jews here have been committed by RIGHT-wing nutjobs.

    • Rob Roy
      July 3, 2019 at 20:51

      DHF, “no legitimacy?” What do you mean? Israel attacks everyone it has a whim to attack, always. It’s the most aggressive country on earth along the the US. Mossad/Shin Bet runs around the world murdering people it dislikes. It assassinations outdo even the CIA. It has bombed every country in its neighborhood. Even the ’67 war was began with Israel attacking Egypt, Jordan and Syria, not the other war round as you’ve been taught. Israel has bombed Iraq and Iran as well. It’s a rotten little place with people living on stolen land.
      That aside, Ray McGovern nails it again.

    • Dunderhead
      July 2, 2019 at 21:18

      Jerry excellent insulate.

  20. Abe
    July 1, 2019 at 12:52

    Veteran intelligence professionals are obviously very fond of euphemisms and acronyms in their “reporting”. For example:

    “Trump will have to remind his national security adviser, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that he is the president and that he intends to take a firmer grip on reins regarding […] policy. Given their maladroit performance on both Iran and Venezuela, it would, at first blush, seem easy to jettison the two super-hawks.

    “But this would mean running afoul of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academe-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex, in which the corporate-controlled media play the sine-qua-non role today.”

    What McGovern and his veteran intelligence professional colleagues often have difficulty acknowledging the fact that “the mercurial Trump and his hawkish advisers” are “singing from the same sheet of [pro-Israel Lobby] music”.

    Which leads to the question of who is really “calling the shots”?

    David Spero Rn offers some insight in his article “A Match Made in Hell: Israel and the Military Industrial Complex”
    https://medium.com/@davidsperorn/a-match-made-in-hell-israel-and-the-military-industrial-complex-34c9d76b789c

    Addressing the connection between the MIC (or MICIMATT, if you prefer) and Israel, Rn observes:

    “Why exactly does the US government go to war with so many of Israel’s enemies? Why has the US destroyed Iraq and half of Syria? The costs were enormous, the results horrible, the rewards imperceptible. The Iraq war not an outlier; it was the second in a long series of US invasions, bombings and destructions of majority-Muslim states. It’s still going on now, with Israel the only obvious beneficiary. How does this happen? Is the Israel lobby that powerful, and even if it is, why has the rest of the US establishment gone along?

    “The explanation lies in the MIC and a deeply sinister marriage that has grown between them and Israel. Israel’s wars have become major parts of the MIC’s business plan. Every bomb Israel drops; every missile the US fires, every Muslim country the US invades makes money for the MIC. Israel receives over $3 billion in military aid from Washington every year. Most of this money immediately returns to US military corporations to buy weapons. They’re partners. […]

    “The alliance is now lying the US into attacking Syria and Iran, along with Venezuela, using the same strategy used in Iraq, demonizing a country’s rulers and grossly underestimating the difficulties. After Iran, perhaps Russia? The corporate media present whatever pro-war forces say as facts. No matter how many times their predictions turn out absurdly wrong or their facts are exposed as lies, they keep being hired as commentators, experts, or pundits on corporate media platforms including NPR and PBS. This is true for retired Generals as well as Zionist intellectuals.

    “Their linked goals of American world dominance, Israeli regional dominance, and MIC profits are moving ahead. The US military and the IDF hold joint military maneuvers. Each new American administration deepens US connection with and support for Israel and its wars”.

    Rn notes that the same “playbook for regime change is being applied in Latin America as well”.

    The Trump-Bolton-Pompeo troika’s eminently “maladroit performance” on Venezuela is entirely comprehensible when pro-Israel Lobby influence is factored in the policy equation.

    However, one may have difficulty comprehending how the “special relationship” with Israel influences Trump’s “grip on reins” in terms of the imbroglio with North Korea, that notorious third wheel of American perennial “Axis of Evil” propaganda.

    At the end of his article, McGovern notes that there is “a huge amount of arms-maker-arms-dealer profiteering going on in the Far East, as long as tensions there can be stoked and kept at a sufficiently high level”.

    What he fails to note is that Israel is a key profiteer.

    Compared to arms exports by mega vendors the United States and Russia, Israel’s share is less significant.

    However, the Asia-Pacific region has remained the largest purchaser of Israeli weapons systems for the last six consecutive years.

    Israel’s military exports exceeded $7.5 billion in 2018, with the bulk going to Asia and the Pacific region. The total was down from $9.2 billion in 2017, an exceptionally strong year for Israeli arms exports.

    The Israeli government requires an uninterrupted flow of foreign earnings coming in to the country. For Israel, arms exports remain preeminent.

    As observed by scholars like Aharon Klieman in his widely read book Israel’s Global Reach: Arms Sales as Diplomacy (1985), “The military rationale for transferring Israeli weapons in effect served as the intermediate link between political and foreign policy incentives on the one hand, and economic motives, on the other.”

    In March 2019, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report on the volume of international arms transfers put Israel in eighth place in its 2018 top 10 of global arms exporters.

    The SIPRI report indicates that Israel’s largest clients that year were India (which shares a 2,100 mi land border with China), Azerbaijan (which shares land borders with Russia and Iran), and Vietnam (which has a 796 mi border with China).

    Veteran intelligence professionals seem reluctant to ask whether Trump can “stand up” to the pro-Israel Lobby, perhaps because that would require much more explicit and detailed “reporting” about the “special relationship” between the MICIMATT and Israel.

    Let’s all hope for a real breakthrough.

    • AnneR
      July 1, 2019 at 14:26

      Abe – your comment was interesting, thank you.

      I would however think that you know the answer to your own question: “whether Trump can ‘stand up’ to the pro-Israel lobby”? The answer is, pellucidly, *no.* Whether he would be on board with the Zionists as wholeheartedly as he is were he not prezzie and beholden to Adelson et al, is unclear if for no other reason than that his (favorite?) offspring, Ivanka, is married to an out and out Zionista (who also belongs to and is/was a NYC real estate macher) and is herself a convert to Judaism and apparently deeply pro-Zionist.

      He “owes” Adelson et al. He has appointed (whether under pressure from the MIC or not) such as Pompeo to his admin. His VP is Pence. He wants to give Ivanka what she and her hubby desire. He does everything that Israel wants for all of these reasons – *and* because the MIC wants that, too.

      But – just how different would a smoother, more highly polished Dem or Rep prezzie be vis a vis Israel? Or Iran, for that matter?

    • July 1, 2019 at 14:30

      ” It`s all about the Benjamins Baby”.

    • July 1, 2019 at 14:49

      Thanks, Abe.

      I think you’re right on point. Please consider doing an article on Israeli role in all this for Consortiumnews.com.

      Ray

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 16:20

      I agree with you, Ray, that Abe is, “on point”, and hope that he will write such an article.

      I also thank you for making that suggestion.

      DW

    • Abe
      July 1, 2019 at 19:08

      Thank you, Ray, for this article, and for all your contributions here on Consortium News and elsewhere.

      With all due respect to you and your VIPS colleagues, I have been encouraging (sometimes not so gently) you folks to do a series of articles on the role of “Israeli intelligence” in “all this”.

      Specifically, I have encouraged you and other CN contributors to address Israel-gate: the reality of Israeli government and pro-Israel Lobby interference that stands beneath the endless lies and fictions of “Russia-gate”.

      On New Year’s Day 2018, when CN published Dennis Bernstein’s interview with Bill Binney regarding “The Still-Missing Evidence of Russia-gate”, I posted the following comment:

      “As Russia-gate is ever increasingly revealed as Israel-gate, it would be great to hear Binney and VIPS discuss concerns about Israeli intelligence activities in the US.”

      Unfortunately, Ray, there has been no discussion published at CN from Bill or you or any other VIPS regarding Israeli intelligence activities in the United States.

      Such a discussion is urgently needed, particularly with the US entering the 2020 presidential election season and constant threats of war issuing from the Trump administration, frequently based on “Israeli intelligence”, not to mention Israeli military attacks in Syria and “elsewhere”.

      A series of articles by veteran intelligence professionals discussing Israeli intelligence activities in the US would be a real breakthrough for sanity, Ray.

      So here’s the rest of my comment from January 2018. No doubt you’ll agree the matter remains relevant today:

      In a 2012 interview for Wired, Binney discussed surveillance technology that was passed to the Israelis:

      “according to Binney, the advanced analytical and data mining software the NSA had developed for both its worldwide and international eavesdropping operations was secretly passed to Israel by a mid-level employee, apparently with close connections to the country. The employee, a technical director in the Operations Directorate, ‘who was a very strong supporter of Israel,’ said Binney, ‘gave, unbeknownst to us, he gave the software that we had, doing these fast rates, to the Israelis.’

      “Because of his position, it was something Binney should have been alerted to, but wasn’t.

      “’In addition to being the technical director,’ he said, ‘I was the chair of the TAP, it’s the Technical Advisory Panel, the foreign relations council. We’re supposed to know what all these foreign countries, technically what they’re doing…. They didn’t do this that way, it was under the table.’ After discovering the secret transfer of the technology, Binney argued that the agency simply pass it to them officially, and in that way get something in return, such as access to communications terminals. ‘So we gave it to them for switches,’ he said. ‘For access.’

      “But Binney now suspects that Israeli intelligence in turn passed the technology on to Israeli companies who operate in countries around the world, including the U.S. In return, the companies could act as extensions of Israeli intelligence and pass critical military, economic and diplomatic information back to them. ‘And then five years later, four or five years later, you see a Narus device,’ he said. ‘I think there’s a connection there, we don’t know for sure.”

      “Narus was formed in Israel in November 1997 by six Israelis with much of its money coming from Walden Israel, an Israeli venture capital company. Its founder and former chairman, Ori Cohen, once told Israel’s Fortune Magazine that his partners have done technology work for Israeli intelligence. And among the five founders was Stanislav Khirman, a husky, bearded Russian who had previously worked for Elta Systems, Inc. A division of Israel Aerospace Industries, Ltd., Elta specializes in developing advanced eavesdropping systems for Israeli defense and intelligence organizations. At Narus, Khirman became the chief technology officer.

      “A few years ago, Narus boasted that it is ‘known for its ability to capture and collect data from the largest networks around the world.’ The company says its equipment is capable of ‘providing unparalleled monitoring and intercept capabilities to service providers and government organizations around the world’ and that ‘Anything that comes through [an Internet protocol network], we can record. We can reconstruct all of their e-mails, along with attachments, see what Web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their [Voice over Internet Protocol] calls.’

      “Like Narus, Verint was founded by in Israel by Israelis, including Jacob ‘Kobi’ Alexander, a former Israeli intelligence officer. Some 800 employees work for Verint, including 350 who are based in Israel, primarily working in research and development and operations, according to the Jerusalem Post. Among its products is STAR-GATE, which according to the company’s sales literature, lets ‘service providers … access communications on virtually any type of network, retain communication data for as long as required, and query and deliver content and data …’ and was ‘[d]esigned to manage vast numbers of targets, concurrent sessions, call data records, and communications.’”

      Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA
      By James Bamford
      https://www.wired.com/2012/04/shady-companies-nsa/

    • Abe
      July 2, 2019 at 11:31

      I am not a professional journalist or researcher, Ray, just an American who appreciates the quality of independent investigative journalism that has long been the standard at Consortium News.

      As a regular CN reader, I was very fortunate to have a measure of personal correspondence with the late Robert Parry, and was pleased to meet Joe Lauria at one of the memorial events.

      So lest I be too gentle in my encouragement, please allow me to respectfully say to you and all the VIPS:

      Get on point.

      Say clearly what must be said about the Israeli role in all this.

      Blow the damn whistle. Loud.

      Do it. Now.

      Best regards, Abe.

    • The Blue Fairy
      July 9, 2019 at 02:09

      If “Abe” could meet his alter-ego, Dr. so-and-so, he would say the same thing that he said to his old troll, “Winning Charlie”: Your students didn’t see the “big picture” because you never talked about the pro-Israel lobby or the US/Saudi/Israel axis. You might as well have tried to sell us solar ovens and doomsday mosquito repellent from the right-wing conspiracy theorists’ general store because you let time run out without mentioning the most important issue. What must the ghost of Robert Parry think of you now? Your trolls get the benefit of your most valuable knowledge and research but what about your students? You stand by as they go on living in ignorance (unless something has changed in recent years). I understand why you couldn’t say anything. There are only a few brave people in the world (Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, etc.) who are willing to take that kind of risk. It would be unreasonable to ask you to become one of those people, but… at the same time I won’t stay silent while you try to persuade others to put their lives on the line exposing Israel when you’re unwilling to do so yourself. Let them lose their jobs and reputations and become outcasts in society or go to prison so you don’t have to, right? Wait for “professional journalists” to call you on the suicide prevention hotline so you can give them the “encouragement” they need to step out there and take action!

      Lest I be too gentle, allow me to respectfully say: Don’t let Mr. Hyde deny the existence of Dr. Jekyll. You can admit to being a professional of some kind without giving away your identity. Are we supposed to believe that you, with your level of education, landed here when you fell off a turnip truck? Or, if you choose to stay in the shadows completely, it’s better to say nothing about your background than to lie about who and what you are. Hold yourself to the same standard of truth telling that you expect from this publication and other posters.

      https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JekyllAndHyde

    • The Blue Fairy
      July 9, 2019 at 02:11

      The Blue Fairy said to Pinocchio: “Prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish, and someday you will be a real investigative journalist.”

    • The Blue Fairy
      July 10, 2019 at 14:48

      If you were a military general and not a pacifist, would you devise the winning strategy, then run and hide in the bushes? It’s too bad that you have the qualities required to be a true leader, but change your mind at the critical moment. You don’t just let yourself down (rejecting the chance to be a contributor here) but all of the people who stand behind you.

      He Just Wants to be Normal…

      Frodo Baggins: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

      Gandalf the Grey: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.

      — The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

      https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IJustWantToBeNormal?from=Main.ReluctantHero

    • Abe
      July 11, 2019 at 21:07

      “The Blue Fairy” is the latest Hasbara propaganda troll alias.

      Back in the fall of 2017, “WC” popped up out of the hole to tell us all how Israel is “winning” – see the Hasbara antics of “WC” in the CN comments at
      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/13/trumps-illegal-syrian-mission-creep/

      “WC” popped back up out of the hole on March 23, 2018, the very day after “1000 percent” Israel Firster Trump announced his appointment of rabid pro-Israel warmonger John Bolton as as National Security Advisor.

      Now we have “The Blue Fairy” ‘splainin’ that those who expose Israeli shenanigans “put their lives on the line”, “lose their jobs and reputations”, “become outcasts in society”, “go to prison” or “suicide”.

      Hasbara propaganda hilarity ensues.

    • Sharon Crawford
      July 2, 2019 at 12:06

      This is a welcome development! Been wondering why Abe hasn’t written an article for Consortium News for some time now. Hope this works out.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 16:26

      Always appreciate and learn much from your comments, Abe.

      I hope you will write the article which Ray McGovern has asked that you do, as your insights and vast knowledge of this subject well deserve that opportunity.

      DW

    • michael
      July 2, 2019 at 08:02

      While Israel is the chief beneficiary of our MidEast wars, Saudi Arabia also benefits (killing Shiites is always a big plus for Sunni dominance. The Saudis also supply the religious zealots, the “terrorists” critical for the CIA and American foreign policy). And of course our European partners benefit monetarily in some small ways or they would be large voices for reason.

  21. RichardKanePA
    July 1, 2019 at 12:37

    The North Korean media is in the state of euphoria I am worried about the hangover

    https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/04/27/can-the-euphoria-of-the-korean-summit-last

  22. July 1, 2019 at 12:21

    We can all keep our fingers crossed that something comes out of the efforts of the two leaders and those of China and Russia. Fair to say that the powers in the US are not enthusiastic about giving Trump a victory and are willing to put Koreans and Americans at risk to deny him keeping a campaign promise and using to get elected. There has always been that but it seems to have risen to a higher level with President Trump.

    Looking back before the inauguration, the cries of impeachment could be heard. Among the things that happened, Flynn was wiretapped and accused of lying to the FBI. No one, not even Trump, could miss that he was in danger and in fact, had already had his wings clipped. Cries of collusion with Russia were everywhere. Détente with Russia became a casualty and the continuing demonization had to have an effect on Trump’s effort to achieve some sanity in our foreign policy. It is worth considering that this full bore attack on Trump forced a retrenchment and may even have been a significant determinant of his disastrous Middle East moves since it assured protection by the lobby that would be best able to protect him. And how else to explain Haley, Pompeo and Bolton.

    Not a defense of Trump for everything he espouse, but a defense of the President of the United States which he happens to be.

    Ray McGovern and his group performs an invaluable service to America and I believe it will pay dividends as public awareness is growing of the wasteful, dangerous and often criminal path our foreign policy has taken. Can anyone not be surprised at the public reaction to the remarks of a courageous Congressman and Presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard?

    But has anyone else noticed how Tulsi Gabbard is being treated even after her foreign policy statements during the debate. Apparently some pundits took notice of the audience interest in her remarks but it seems she has quickly been shelved or openly dismissed by the big media outlets, assuming her treatment by them will make her simply disappear.

    I guess she is a threat to all those powerful folks who live off of demonization of other countries and our aggressive and illegal use of sanctions, bribery, blackmail and military force.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 1, 2019 at 12:39

      Exactly, Herman and Thank You!

    • Rob Roy
      July 3, 2019 at 21:34

      Herman,
      I’ve noticed it, too, in fact, predicted it. Notice Tulsi Gabbard was the first Dem candidate to go on Fox News, realizing how big the audience was. The others, Pete and Kamala, jumped on that bandwagon and guess who got spots on Democracy Now!….right, Pete and Kamala for their moxie. Notice Gabbard won the first debate…more hits for her on the internet after than any other candidate, but was that covered by the MSM? She is called, “marginal,” not allowed in some pollings, left off lists. Why? She’s against war….can’t allow an anti-war candidate any news time. Israel will insist that she be shelved.
      The Dems are making the same mistake they made when they insisted Hillary run against Trump; they are pushing Joe Biden and I don’t think he stands a chance against Trump. Bernie could have beat him. Tulsi and others could beat him, but not Joe. Democrats have deciders who must live underground.

    • Skip Scott
      July 4, 2019 at 06:32

      Google actually claimed that Tulsi’s hits were the result of Russian “bots”. I kid you not. The DNC will make sure there is a second ballot so their “superdelegates” get to choose corporate sponsored warmonger from column B. They are setting us up for 4 more years of Trump. The Gatekeepers, including the DNC, prefer Trump to a genuine anti-war progressive.

  23. Jill
    July 1, 2019 at 12:03

    If Trump wants protection from the MIC and MSM then he need only ask for it from the people of the US. He can state clearly that he has been threatened by Deep State Thugs, name their names, and tell people to rally around him for security. This will work.

    There are a lot of people who really don’t like he Deep State, MIC and MSM. In this way he could fire all his neocon hires.

    Now I personally think Trump is part of the Deep State, but if he isn’t, here’s his way out of it.

    Also, every holder of nukes needs to disarm, now, no exceptions-verifiable inspections for all!

  24. Vera Gottlieb
    July 1, 2019 at 11:43

    As a PS: South Korea’s president (his name escapes me right now) should be seriously considered for Nobel Peace prize.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 17:58

      His name is Moon Jae-in.

      Quite agree with you, Vera Gotylieb.

      Moon Jae-in deserves that prize.

      When/if North and South Korea can join together as a common people, with free and open passage, that families my reunite and economic prosperity may be experienced – when the U$ Military decamp and all hostile weapons aimed at China and Russia are gone, peace itself will be the prize.

      Trump ought be assured that, if he facilitates this process, lays, along with the leaders of Notth and South, the foundation for this peace that he will, then, be recognized and appreciated for so doing.

      Such is vanity, that a “legacy” of this sort, might just appeal.

      If vanity may be kindled in right fashion, then such glory as may blaze forth, might yet be harnessed to warm good ends.

    • Rob Roy
      July 3, 2019 at 21:44

      Historically, every time N and S Korea wanted to get close to reunification, the US stepped in and prevented it. Not one president would allow that to happen. It’s almost ironic that such as Trump might do the right thing, maybe move to “warm good ends.”

  25. Vera Gottlieb
    July 1, 2019 at 11:40

    Perhaps Trump should give serious consideration to ridding his team of all the war mongers. There is enormous damage being done that will be very hard to undo. Very strong consideration must be given to the well-being of Earth’s living creatures.

    • Lily
      July 1, 2019 at 13:02

      Instead of the warmongers Trump could employ Good Amaricans like Bill Binney.

  26. robert e williamson jr
    July 1, 2019 at 11:28

    Dammit! I just missed getting a last comment in on Your Crowd Strike that the FBI never saw.

    Mine was to be a response to Val Taire but I missed the dead lie I guess.

    Val Taire, thansk for the help!

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Pakistan, Imran Awan, Robert Drexler, FBI- CIA sound like a Safari Club operation to me!

    Id rhe Dimos don’t come clean they will lost to the village idiot from New York again!

  27. AnneR
    July 1, 2019 at 09:51

    Thank you, Mr McGovern, for this overview.

    And V. Putin has it right: Libya and Iraq are stellar exemplars (Libya particularly given that it did have nuclear weapons or the capability to make *and* gave them/it up) of what the US (and its vassal sidekicks) will do to a country that is militarily weaker, that has no serious deterrent against an attack. Destruction, death and resulting chaos. North Korea would be insane to give up what defensive security it has for the inherently untrustworthy promises, treaties, word of the USA (and UK).

    It is more than past time that the US sign a peace treaty with NK and end the bloody war – which it (the US) has continued via draconian economic sanctions. And of course the US should remove its military from S Korea (and Japan while it’s at it). Until they do these remain occupied countries.

  28. Kim Dixon
    July 1, 2019 at 08:08

    The xenophobic, Bircher-level comments on a NYT article on Trump’s meeting with Kim tells the tale: NYT readers, some of the most-educated East Coast “progressives”, have been handily moved to the extreme Right.

    Whichever right-wing warmonger emerges victorious from the DNC’s Primary Theater will promise to be *tough* on Russia (and NK, and Syria, and Iran, and…) We shall never recover from this. A small sampling of the most-favored comments in the NYT…

    David J commented June 30:

    If it was any other president making peaceful overtures toward Kim, I’d say it was a sign of progress and negotiations might proceed along more traditional lines. But trump carries so much troubling baggage of untrustworthiness that I don’t know where he’s coming from, or where he is going. His lack of transparency is scary.
    He’s a failed president playing with nuclear fire.
    994 Recommend

    Bruce Rozenblit commented June 30:

    Trump is about ratings. Ratings are how he values his place in the world. This walkover just got him some big ratings.

    But you know, love makes people do strange things. He said that they fell in love. Perhaps he actually meant it. Once again, Trump professes his affection for Chairman Kim, one of the cruelest and brutal dictators in the world. He stated that he liked the guy and he wanted to visit him while he was in the area.

    By expressing his adoration of Kim, Trump is legitimizing his reign of terror. Trump is placing the rogue dictator on an equal plane to any other world leader.

    Trump is acting like Kim’s marketing agent and in doing so will allow Kim to play him like a fiddle. He has been playing that fiddle for two years now.
    816 Recommend

    RB commented 6 hours ago:

    Be about actions not distractions. It is a troubling time when our president meets with a brutal dictator who starves and executes his own people – with NO concessions – for a photo opp and to change the narrative about his failed foreign policy approach in N. Korea and Iran. It’s sadder that this precedent may normalize such “smoke and mirrors.” He has moved the goal post on with North Korea from “total denuclearization” to “let’s just talk and smile at the camera. We still see what’s happening at our southern border and in Iran and our strained relations with our Allies and are not duped! The president does not get credit for deescalating the hostilities he created with “fire and fury” diplomacy with an equally unwise charm offensive that validated a murderous dictator.
    425 Recommend

    Carmela Sanford commented 6 hours ago:

    Much ado about nothing. Trump is only about symbolism and not about substance. He still endorses criminally racist and twisted neo-Nazi sentiments. He still has antipathy towards women. He’s still infantile on Twitter. He’s still lazy and doesn’t work a full day at being President. He and his family and other Republican officeholders continue to personally monetize the Oval Office.

    Trump still has no cohesive, workable immigration plan. He hasn’t solved the crisis surrounding America’s failed health and hospital industry. Wages continue to be too low.

    Trump’s fabled, albeit one-sided, tax cut is about to undermine the U.S. economy. And, he continues to attack vital American institutions like the free press, the FBI, and a multi-party system.

    Trump is out-of-touch with the middle-class. He’s clueless as to the rising cost of things for average American families, especially food.

    The American economy is absolutely not going to zoom into the stratosphere if we send cars or corn to North Korea.

    And, he remains a tool of Russia’s murderous Vladimir Putin, who is a danger to our country and to Europe.

    360 Recommend

    • July 1, 2019 at 14:49

      Those comments demonstrate the extent of the brainwashing effectivness of the propaganda spewed into the homes of Americans by the likes of the New York Times.

      We don`t know how many people Kim Jong Un has killed but we do have a pretty good idea of how many US Presidents have killed since the Second World War.( forget about the original inhabitants of the USA, slaves etc. ) some 30 million people have perished at the hands of men who`s murderous actions would make the Chairman of North Korea blush. Talk about brutish knuckle dragging murderers, US Presidents stand out amoung the worst in history.

  29. Joe Tedesky
    July 1, 2019 at 07:58

    No matter how simply symbolic it is to shake the hands of a said adversary as to bargain for another day of peace this practice is far better than a destructive war. To be critical of this gesture due to any political affiliation is to ignore that death from war is a truly bipartisan happenstance. Furthermore to settle our international differences through peaceful negotiations is a good thing which hopefully would lead us all to concern ourselves with the collapse of the environment and the world’s ecosystems for this is where real danger lurks with no turning back.

  30. Skip Scott
    July 1, 2019 at 07:31

    Ray-

    I can’t help but flash to Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football yet one more time. As long as Trump has people like Bolton and Pompeo representing him, there is no chance for peace or denuclearization to break out anywhere. I wish I could dig down deep and find some cause for optimism, but it just ain’t there. In the end it is just more “Theater of the Absurd” from the Trump Administration. Whether Trump is complicit, or just an idiot, really makes no difference.

    Remember Obama’s attempt at cooperation with Russia in Syria being sabotaged by the DoD at Deir Ez-zor? Even if Trump were intelligent and sincere, and had some good representatives, he would be battling up hill all the way against the MIC to make progress in North Korea. Without structural, fundamental change in the halls of government, and a rebalancing of corporate versus state power, no president has a chance of making any real progress.

    • Realist
      July 1, 2019 at 14:52

      It is near impossible to avoid or counterattack the malign influences of the Deep State and all its unholy manifestations such as the Pentagon, the intel agencies, the MIC, the entitled oligarchy, the Wall Street–Hollywood–Silicon Valley Axis of Greed, the propagandist MSM and the pseudo-democratic facade which serves only them and never the people. This IS the golden age for America. It will NEVER be better for you unless you are one of the aforementioned. All future progress for you will be retrograde, unless you were born on third base like one of the Bush’s or Trump’s, or are the scion to a “made man” like Clinton or Obama.

    • Tom
      July 1, 2019 at 17:19

      Kim would be a fool to disarm or believe anything that the USA says.

      Gaddafi believed us and what happened to him?

  31. Seby
    July 1, 2019 at 04:58

    tv show criticism as political analysis ? Please!!!!

    • anon4d2
      July 1, 2019 at 15:47

      Do offer your alternative in the present structure of mass media control by money power.

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