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Sunday, August 06, 2017

McMaster: U.S. Preparing For "Preventive War" With North Korea

McMaster had best be preparing for a mutiny in the military

ZERO HEDGE
By Tyler Durden
08/05/2017

The United States is preparing for all options to counter the growing threat from North Korea, including launching a “preventive war,” national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview that aired Saturday on MSNBC. 


McMaster
The comments come after North Korea carried out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the past month and after the president said he has been clear he will not tolerate North Korea's threats to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons.

The key excerpts (full transcript):

HH: Let me switch if I can to North Korea, which is really pressing. 




And– and remind our audience, at the Aspen Institute ten days ago, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Joe Dunford, said, “There’s always a military– option. It would be horrific.” Lindsey Graham on Today Show earlier this week said– “We need to destroy the regime and their deterrent.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday, I believe, to North Korea, “You are leaving us no choice but to protect ourselves.” And then the Chairman of the Chief of Staff of the Army said, “Just because every choice is a bad choice doesn’t mean you don’t have to choose.” Are we looking at a preemptive strike? Are you trying to prepare us, you being collectively, the administration and people like Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton for a first strike North Korea?

HRM: Well, we really, what you’re asking is– is are we preparing plans for a preventive war, right? A war that would prevent North Korea from threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon. And the president’s been very clear about it. He said, “He’s not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States” if they have nuclear weapons that can threaten the United States; It’s intolerable from the president’s perspective. So of course, we have to provide all options to do that. And that includes a military option.




Now, would we like to resolve it short of what would be a very costly war, in terms of– in terms of the suffering of mainly the South Korean people? The– the ability of– of that North– North Korean regime to hold the South hostage to conventional fire’s capabilities, artillery and so forth, Seoul being so close. We’re cognizant of all of that. And so what we have to do is– is everything we can to– to pressure this regime, to pressure Kim Jong-un and those around him such that they conclude, it is in their interest to denuclearize. And there are really I think three critical things, came out of the president’s very successful summit with– President Xi of China that were different– that were different from past efforts to work with China, which has always been, you know, the– the desire, right, to work with China– on the– on the North Korean problem. 

HH: In 1994, when the first North Korean deal with signed, the people who executed it, Gallucci, Dan Poneman, Joe Wit wrote a book. And they quoted a general saying, “If there is a conflict,” called Going Critical, “there will be a million casualties.” A million casualties. Is that still a good estimate of what happens if– preemptive strike unfolds in North Korea, General? 

HRM: You know, one thing about war. It’s impossible oftentimes to predict. It’s always impossible to predict the future course of events. Because war is a continuous interaction of opposites, a continuous interaction between your forces and those of the enemy. It involves not just the capability to use force, but also intentions and things that are just unknowable at the outset. And so I think it’s important to– to look at– range of estimates of what could happen, because it’s clear that at war, it’s unpredictable. And so you always have to ask the question, “What happens next? What are the risks? How do you mitigate those risks?” And– and obviously, you know, war is– is– is the most serious decision any leader has to make. And so what can we do to make sure we exhaust our possibilities and exhaust our other opportunities to accomplish this very clear objective of denuclearization of the peninsula short of war?

Should Americans be concerned:


CNN fake news warmongering filth screech for WWIII
in ASEAN, will be held responsible for all deaths
HH: How concerned should the American people be that we are actually on the brink of a war with North Korea?

HRM: Well, I think it’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with this. Right, the, so I think it’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime, I mean, who murdered his own brother with nerve agent in an airport. "I mean, think about what he’s done in terms of his own brutal repression of not only members of his regime but his own family," McMaster added.


On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that the president told him there would be a war with North Korea if the regime continues to try to hit America with an ICBM. Appearing on the Today Show, the South Carolina Republican Senator said that President Trump has indicated to him that the administration is prepared to strike North Korea to prevent an attack against the U.S. Pushed on by Matt Lauer on whether a viable military option exists in the region, Graham responded: "They're wrong. There is a military option to destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself."

As reported last Friday, North Korea claimed that its latest missiles can now strike anywhere in the United States, delivering nuclear warheads. Experts have said that the country’s missile program has greatly accelerated in recent months putting it far ahead of previous predictions about when it could launch reliable long-range missiles. Speaking to Newsweek in recent days, several experts said that an attack would be the deadliest the U.S. has ever received and potentially kill more than 100,000 people if it struck in large population centers like New York City or Los Angeles.


Seoul mass burial pit in the last Korean War

“I’m not going to confirm [whether the latest ICBM could reach anywhere in the U.S.] but whether it could reach San Francisco or Pittsburgh or Washington, I mean how much does that matter? It’s a grave threat,” McMaster said.

He added: “It’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime."

McMaster cautioned that he was aware of the fact that any strike against North Korea could bring about a “very costly war” that would cause immense “suffering of mainly the South Korean people.”

Last month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo floated another option for dealing with the North Korea threat, saying that he was “hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system.” North Korea responded by threatening swift and brutal consequences for any attempt to topple Kim.

“Should the U.S. dare to show even the slightest sign of an attempt to remove our supreme leadership, we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the U.S. with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.




Still, McMaster did not rule out such an attempt when asked whether it could be a legitimate tool. “I think it depends on the legal justifications for that. And this goes back to just war theory. And what is the nature of the risk? And does that risk justify acting in defense of your people and your vital interests?”

Last week, the local press reported that South Korea's military is preparing a "surgical strike" scenario that could wipe out NOrth Korean command and missile and nuclear facilities following an order by S.Korea's president Moon Jae-In.




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WAYNE MADSEN: Republican Push For Multi-Front War = 20 Million Initial American Deaths

Marine Generals Kelly and Mattis have the means to halt this madness - and had better carefully weigh the consequences of any ground war   

WAYNE MADSEN REPORT
By Wayne Madsen
08/05/2017

The continuing infestation of America’s body politic by neo-conservatives is resulting in some noted war hawks taking full advantage of President Donald Trump’s lack of a clear-cut US foreign policy to push for something the neo-cons and their Israeli puppet masters have long desired: a two-front war against North Korea and Iran. 


Graham:  Warmongering psycho, traitor
Although it is well-known among world intelligence agencies that Israel has maintained a quiet role in providing surveillance technology to North Korea, that has not stopped Israel and its propaganda machinery from arguing that if North Korea continues to supply nuclear and missile technology to Iran, both countries qualify as "rogue regimes" worthy of a double-barreled US military attack. Israeli and pro-Israeli contrivances like the US-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) are pushing for a rather unthinkable US pre-emptive strike against North Korea and Iran. 


In a January 2016 FDD paper titled "The Iran-North Korea Nuclear Nexus: Unanswered Questions," the authors strenuously argue for a military response to Iranian-North Korean nuclear and missile cooperation. With pro-Israeli influence peddlers like Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner exercising an inordinate degree of influence in the Oval Office of the White House, even outrageous proposals by right-wing groups like the FDD must be taken seriously. In two July 3, 2017 tweets, Trump wrote: "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy [Kim Jong Un] have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea... and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" But China has no desire to destabilize North Korea lest millions of refugees flood over their border into Manchuria, creating a massive humanitarian and economic headache for Beijing.

Kushner and his colleagues in the "Friends of the IDF" [Israel Defense Force], on whose board he sits and for which he has donated large sums of money, are anxious for a two-pronged US attack on Iran and North Korea. Micha Gefen, a writer for the right-wing Israeli website Israel Rising, attempted to goad the Trump administration into such an attack in an April 201y article. Gefen wrote: "It has been known for some time that Iranian missile technology was developed in North Korea. Both regimes see the USA as their number one enemy and have worked together to build a situation where they would pose a serious threat to the USA. To most observers North Korea and Iran are in constant coordination as can be seen from last week’s ballistic missile test in Ira, which followed North Korea’s launch of four missiles near Japan."




US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has pushed back against the false viewpoint that the United States faces existential enemies in Tehran and Pyongyang. Tillerson has publicly pushed back against Trump’s criticism of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Tillerson believes the agreement advances the cause of diplomacy with Iran, saying, "There are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran." The US Congress’s triple action of new economic sanctions against Iran, North Korea, in addition to Russia, is an indication that the neo-cons are taking full advantage of Trump’s falling opinion poll numbers and his administration’s increasing dysfunctionality to advance a multi-front war agenda, one that may even include China. 

If China becomes a military target of the United States, as is suggested by the rhetoric coming from a few of Trump’s officials, tens of thousands of US deaths abroad resulting in wars with North Korea and Iran will increase to some 20 million with the addition of nuclear-targeted cities like Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Denver, and San Diego. While a US nuclear attack on 1.4 billion-strong China would be devastating, it would not be as crushing a blow as compared to what would be experienced by the United States. As China’s Chairman Mao once said, "China might suffer 300 million casualties in an atomic war but would still emerge the victor."


Previously mocked, derided and slandered, Graham and McCain are now the darlings of the CNN fake news Deep State warmongers

The leading Republican Party war hawk in South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Perhaps it is the fact that his close "friend" Senator John McCain is absent undergoing treatment for brain cancer, that the Graham now finds it necessary to beat the drums for war with North Korea and Iran. 

Usually, the inseparable Graham and McCain jointly issued their threats against other nations, including Iran, Russia, and Syria.


Graham loses fellow traitor McCain to brain cancer
Graham also apparently has a new comrade in Washington when it comes to waging war: Donald Trump. 

Graham recently told NBC News that Trump told him that "there is a military option to destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself." 

Graham was responding to North Korea's test firing of the Hwasong (Mars)-14, a nascent intercontinental ballistic missile that traveled 2300 miles, entering low-earth orbit, before crashing into the sea.


Relishing in Trump's war chants, Graham added, "If there's going to be a war to stop him [Kim Jong Un], it will be over there. If thousands die, they're going to die over there, they're not going to die here and he's [Trump] told me that to my face." US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley echoed Graham's and Trump's belligerency by stating that "The time for talk is over."

For the record, Graham is a retired Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate General (JAG) colonel and, while manning a desk, never experienced more bloodshed than perhaps suffering a few paper cuts.

Graham and Trump are wrong about the number of deaths on the Korean peninsula arising from a preemptive US military strike to "destroy North Korea" or a South Korean military plan to "decapitate" the North Korean leadership by assassinating Kim Jong Un and his closest entourage. Before the first US mushroom clouds appear over Pyongyang, hair-trigger strike orders from the North Korean leadership will result in a massive artillery barrage on the South Korean capital of Seoul.


Graham told NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday: “There is a military option: To destroy North Korea’s program and North Korea itself”

US military strategists have estimated that one million South Korean residents in metropolitan Seoul will die in what the North calls a "sea of fire" brought about by a massive 10,000 rounds per minute barrage of North Korean artillery rounds and ground rockets. There are an estimated 50,000 American citizens living in South Korea, including 30,000 military personnel, who mostly live in the Seoul region. 

More than half will likely perish in a North Korean military response on South Korea. If Pentagon and Seoul war planners believe that "decapitating" the North Korean leadership by detonating nuclear weapons over Pyongyang or killing Kim Jong Un will prevent a North Korean retaliatory strike on the south, they are wrong, dead wrong. Local North Korean artillery and rocket force commanders along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) have independent authority to launch strikes on South Korea, without the need to receive authorization from the government in Pyongyang. North Korean artillery and multiple rocket launchers are well-emplaced in mountainous terrain north of the DMZ and much of these forces would survive a US first strike, one even involving tactical nuclear weapons.

Graham also believes Iran's nuclear program is the "biggest threat to the world." Graham has also called for a preemptive US military strike on Iran, a war he believes the US "will win."


Without McCain, Graham will now have to float his own boat in his insane drive to destroy America while killing tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel and Korean civilians in the process

A US war with Iran would result in the activation of Iranian sleeper cells among the Shi'a population in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Iraq, the latter three countries all hosting US bases and the Eastern Province the home of thousands of US oil industry personnel. An Iranian military strike, coupled with a Shi'a cell offensive in the Gulf states, could result in several thousand more US deaths, In the event the neo-con desire for dual American action against the "rogue regimes" of Iran and North Korea becomes a reality. 

There is but one solution for North Korea. Like Pakistan and India, North Korea should be welcomed into the nuclear club. All three nations have shown a desire to play the nuclear weapons first use card in the past and some of Pakistan's Islamist radicals in the Islamabad government are no more of a threat than Kim in Pyongyang. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has broken with Trump and Graham in stating that the US is not the enemy of North Korea and does not seek regime change in the North. Tillerson also supports the continuing US commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal, no matter how much Israel, Trump, or Kushner and his Friends of the IDF despise it. Tillerson and Trump should recognize that North Korea will never give up its deterrent to only be subjected to the regime-change whims of bellicose Westerners like Graham and others of his ilk.



Wayne Madsen

Wayne Madsen
Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. 

As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and MSNBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club, Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C.

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