It is absolutely pants-on-head gibbering insanity that these direct negotiations are not already presently underway. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow was open to talks with the the US or with Turkey on ending the war in Ukraine, claiming that US officials are lying when they say Russia has been refusing peace talks.
Since 1945 the Korean people have been at war. Shortly after the establishment by anti-Japanese resistance fighters of the Korean People's Republic that was to become the government of North Korea, in Seoul, the US has been at war with North Korea both technically and in reality. The most bloody chapter in that war was the three year war between 1950 and 1953. In this war, approximately 20% of the population of North Korea perished in fighting under aerial bombardment, through biological warfare and flooding. Many hundreds of thousands of their allies in the South also perished at the hands of the American occupiers and their south Korean puppets. The Korean Peninsula was divided up between the United States and Russia after the defeat of the Japanese. Under President Roosevelt the arrangement might have been temporary, but President Truman's cold war politics furthered the desires of military-industrial-complex's ambition to enforce capitalism on the whole world and the Korean War was a part of this.
Back to the future
It's back to the 1960s. In 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis, children learned that they might be snuffed out at any time. The assassination in November 22, 1963, of President John F Kennedy, who prevented the threatened atomic war with Russia over Cuba, seemed to make this clearer.
Someone we knew who was 11 when Kennedy was assassinated, suicided in their late 20s because they had never recovered from despair at the prospect of the nuclear holocaust destroying all the forests and creatures in the world, along with the species that had unleashed this insanity.
But the first and the last nuclear attack on a country for war purposes was when America bombed Hiroshima in August 1945, although many 'tests' have since been conducted. (See Arms Control Org's nuclear test tally.)
So we had begun to relax. ...
Until August 7th, 2017, when President Trump lashed out at Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea, promising "fire and fury" if North Korea persisted with its nuclear program. North Korea has been conducting nuclear tests since 1990 (See again Arms Control Org's nuclear test tally.)
President Trump presented no reflection about North Korea's motivation to acquire these nuclear weapons. In that sense, if you knew the story, it was like hearing a drunk threaten to punch his wife if she tried to protect herself.
David and Goliath
Trump is sitting on top of a mountain of nuclear warheads and the US has armadas of warships constantly patrolling Korean waters in a threatening fashion. That is what Kim Jong-un is responding to; the current US military presence and the past record of occupation and war by the same presence. North Korea does not have ships patrolling US waters.
A few years ago the United States threatened to annihilate Libya if Gaddafi did not give up defending the state against rebel attacks. He insisted that he had complied, but the United States financed people to go in and assassinate him and tear his country to pieces anyway. (See "Book Review: Destroying Libya and World Order by Francis A. Boyle")
Basically, the United States invades any country it wants to, unless that country has nuclear weapons. It has done this on similar pretexts already to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and constantly threatens Iran. It would do it to Russia if Russia had no nuclear weapons. Indeed it has Russia quasi surrounded by US military bases, many situated in Europe in countries where the local populations may not want them. The United States has "800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad," yet it pretends that Russia, which has ten foreign military bases, close to its own borders, is the one bent on military expansion. China has one military base in Djibouti and several in process in the Pacific on artificially augmented islands.
History of US attempts to stop the nuclear arms race
When President John Kennedy stopped nuclear war on Russia via Cuba, President Kruschev and he talked on the phone and began a nuclear weapons disarmament program in 1963. See https://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty.aspx. In 1996, 71 nations, including those possessing nuclear weapons, signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited all nuclear test explosions including those conducted underground. Though it was signed by President Bill Clinton, the Senate rejected the treaty by a vote of 51 to 48. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 much of the impetus for a nuclear program seemed to disappear. Perhaps the United States really thought that Russia was going to become a subservient client state, like Australia, but Russia has its own history and traditions. It has not gone back to communism, but it does not seek the same kind of free-market regime as America and does not want NATO on its borders.
The United States does not appear to accept this political and economic independence in Russia or China or, indeed, in any state. Hence their ramping up of nuclear threat when people hoped it was reducing. Now, today's young people must live in that terrible shadow of nuclear holocaust again, and some will lose hope.
US role in Korean war and massive loss of Korean life
North Korea has been under siege for about 72 years since the Japanese colony of the Korean Peninsula was divided in two between Soviet and American occupation forces after Japan surrendered in 1945. In August 1948 the Republic of Korea was established in the south with Syngman Rhee as President. In September 1948 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established with Kim Il-sung as Premier. In 1949 Kim Gu, a Korean independence activist who wanted a unified Korea was shot in his home by a South Korean Army lieutenant.
The United States say that North Korea invaded South Korea and so the United States went to war against North Korea. North Korea says the war started when the South launched an attack against the North and so the North counter-attacked. But that in itself is not the critical issue. The critical issue is that sovereignty in the south was violated by the US occupation and thousands, maybe tens of thousands of supporters of the 'North' Korean government were murdered and jailed by the South Korean government with the help of the Americans.
Something like 20% of North Koreans died in the subsequent war. They were victims of America's massively disproportionate firepower. America only agreed to a truce because China and North Korea were able to resist with their own firepower until US loss of lives (much fewer than those of North Korean soldiers) became unpopular in America. Australians also participated in this war and at one stage Australian warfies blackbanned supplies to the Australian armed forces.
Understandably North Korea sees the continuing presence of US military armadas for the threat that they are, along with annual US military 'exercises' on South Korean soil.
North Korea forms a buffer for China
As John Pilger explains in his Coming war on China the US threats against North Korea may also be interpreted as threats against China. The United States is demanding that China take military action against North Korea if North Korea fails to disarm its nuclear program. But North Korea is useful for China by providing a bullwark against US aggression. And Russia and China share a defensive attitude to US expansionism.
Meanwhile just about every US ally (or are we US hostages?) mass media and much of the supposed alternative newsmedia, including Infowars, Hannity and Tucker Carlson, is reporting all this as Trump portrays it, vis, that North Korea is insane and threatening America with no reason at all.
No, Kim Jong-un does have a reason.
If America does not lead nuclear disarmament and stop its expansionism, which is what Trump led people to believe he would do, then who can lead it?
The Washington Post has published a story claiming that the North Korean regime of Kim Jong Un has succeeded in miniaturizing a nuclear warhead small enough to fit onto an intercontinental ballistic missile. It’s another “leak” coming from an intelligence community that seemingly does little these days but leak like a sieve. Which raises the question: Should we believe them? [This article by Justin Raimondo was first published at original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/08/10/what-are-we-to-believe/ on August 11, 2017.]
What we are dealing with is a national security bureaucracy that is not only highly politicized – that’s not really anything new – but is also engaged in an extended campaign to accomplish specific political objectives. The leaks coming out of Washington have had a clear political purpose – to a) discredit President Donald Trump, and b) push us closer to some sort of conflict on the
international stage. And of course the two are not mutually exclusive: indeed, they are congruent. For a war on the Korean peninsula, for example, would define – and, I would submit, discredit – Trump’s presidency, as many thousands would die in a conflagration of unimaginable horror.
The Post quotes a single sentence of a Defense Intelligence Agency assessment dated July 28:
“The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles.”
That’s it: that’s the whole thing. The Post hasn’t actually seen the document: it was read to reporters by the leaker. Oh, and “Two U.S. officials familiar with the assessment verified its broad conclusions.”
What “broad conclusions”? The conclusions drawn by this article aren’t in the least bit broad, but are instead quite specific. Are they true? We just don’t know, and, what’s more, we cannot know. Indeed, we know almost nothing about this alleged “assessment.” We don’t know the identity of the leakers. We don’t know their motives. Based on the sparse information we have, we cannot evaluate the veracity of this latest “revelation,” and this is doubly true not only due to the laconic nature of the reporting, but also because of the journalistic context in which it appears.
To begin with, this story is nothing new. Back
in 2013, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) blurted out the DIA’s assessment on Capitol Hill:
“Three hours into a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Lamborn said the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is under the Pentagon, determined with ‘moderate confidence’ that North Korea has the capability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be launched with a ballistic missile.
“The Colorado Springs Republican gleaned the information from the conclusion of a classified report, though that sentence was unclassified, said his spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen.
“Pentagon officials told The New York Times that the information had previously not been released publicly.
“Pentagon spokesman George Little issued a statement after the hearing, saying ‘it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in the passage.’”
The Post is telling us the DIA assessment is fresh off the presses, finished as late as “last month” – not so! Whether the Post is being deluded by its sources, or is trying to delude us in collaboration with its sources, is up for debate.
Which brings us to another problem, not only with this story but with all the “news” we’re getting from the mainstream media these days: reporters have become as politicized as their sources in the intelligence community. The Obama holdovers in the national security Establishment are not alone in their campaign to discredit the President. The media have been complicit
all along: indeed, the legacy media’s journalists have been eagerly cheerleading the Russia-gate witch-hunt, and openly proclaiming their hostility to this administration. This is in addition to their traditional role as the War Party’s journalistic camarilla.
While this particular story is not directly linked to Russia-gate, or the President’s political fortunes, what it comes down to is that neither the sources of this story nor those who are reporting
it can be trusted. It could be true that the North Koreans have developed the capability of miniaturizing nuclear warheads, but we just don’t know. The observant reader is left in a fog – the fog of an information war in which journalism is not a means of discovering knowledge, but a weapon to be deployed in a political-ideological conflict.
If the media is on a war footing, wielding the battle-cry “democracy dies in darkness,” then today the truth is tangential – because a few untruths may be necessary in the fight to push back against the “darkness.”
People complain that there’s too much news, that the sheer volume is overwhelming, and disorienting, but in reality we’re living in a news vacuum because we don’t know what’s true anymore. All standards have been thrown out: sure, the mainstream media was never really objective, but now even that pretext has been abandoned.
If we liken the function of the media in a free society to the function of our eyes and ears, then we have, in effect, been struck blind and rendered deaf. Although actually it’s far worse than that: rather than conveying information about the real world, the mainstream media is giving us a highly distorted version of events –in many cases, a Bizarro World inversion of what is actually occurring.
All this is bad enough, but we must take it one step further. If the media is the eyes and ears of the public then the intelligence agencies and the national security bureaucracy of which they are a part are Uncle Sam’s sensory organs. The price to be paid for the politicization and corruption of the intelligence community is that US policymakers are operating in the dark – where not only democracy dies, but also any sort of rational decision-making. In which case Uncle Sam is a blinded Titan, deaf to the entreaties of those he unknowingly tramples underfoot, stumbling this way and that – with the very strong possibility of ending up at the bottom of a cliff.
This epistemological disability brings to mind two citations, one from the run-up to the Iraq war and one more recent. The former is the famous “reality-based community” quote reported by Ron Suskind in the course of an interview with a top aide in George W. Bush’s White House:
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ … ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’"
Suskind wasn’t reporting anything all that unusual: this is how our political class thinks. After all, they create the political reality in which the rest of us are forced to live. Yet there is a point beyond which this kind of hubris becomes dangerous – and suicidal. Encased in a bubble, the Beltway elites never saw the victory of Trumpism coming – and that failure may be just the beginning of their undoing (and our own). For as Vladimir Putin put it to Oliver Stone:
“I think that when the United States felt they were at the forefront of the so-called civilized world and when the Soviet Union collapsed, they were under the illusion that the United States was capable of everything and they could act with impunity. And that’s always a trap, because in this situation, a person and a country begins to commit mistakes. There is no need to analyze the situation. No need to think about the consequences. No need to economize. And the country becomes inefficient and one mistake follows another. And I think that’s the trap the United States has found itself in.”
A person who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality is clinically insane, or perhaps senile. What do we call an entire society so afflicted?
A report provided by the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs contains lists of weapons provided by the United States to Iraq, many of which - including aircraft - would later be seized by ISIS and probably later deployed in Iraq and Syria. These included an horrendous US-manufactured arsenal of chemical and biological weapons: including anthrax, botulinium, and E.Coli as well as human and bacterial DNA. Grotesquely, the United States, which had provided these weapons, has later accused the Syrian Government of using chemical weapons, and Trump has used this as an excuse to invade Syria.
Book: Indefensible: Seven myths that sustain the global arms trade
The quotes below are taken from
Paul Holden, Ed.'s Indefensible: Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade was first published in 2016 by Zed Books,UK, a well-written and well-resourced book that brings us up to date with the trade and also explores its many motives. I don't know if it was overtly stated anywhere in the book, but I formed the impression that excessive arms are collected, bought, and sold by national leaders as a power display and that their buying and selling is a kind of social interplay between globally hypertrophied alpha apes, currying favour or swaggering at each other from the top of their weapons piles and taunting smaller apes. In this anthropological light perhaps we can understand North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un's resort to nuclear weapons as North America teases him with ostentatious displays of military strength while the world press taunts him as mad. Similarly Gaddafi's purchase of over $30b worth of weapons from world powers was perhaps an unsuccessful attempt to palliate the ferocity of the mad apes in the west.
I was particularly interested to read the history of who sold weapons to the Middle East and was not surprised to find out that it is the same powers that are intervening there to 'stop wars'.
US helped Iraq build factories for chemical weapons
"In the early 1990s, the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs released a report confirming that The United States provided the Government of Iraq with ‘dual use’ licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological and missile-system programs, including: chemical warfare agent precursors, chemical warfare agent production facility plans and technical drawings (provided as pesticide production facility plans); chemical warhead filling equipment; biological warfare related materials; missile fabrication equipment; and, missile-system guidance equipment." 
Chemical and biological weapons made by US sold to the Middle East
"The list of biological material the US provided [to Iraq and which were later stolen by ISIS] was shocking, including anthrax, botulinium, E.Coli as well as human and bacterial DNA. There is credible evidence that when the US invaded Iraq in 1991, US troops were exposed to the very agents that the US had supplied, over and above fighting against the weapons whose acquisition the US had helped to fund and arrange. In the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein, the world was witness to another type of blowback: namely, when an ally is provided arms but fails to stop those arms being stolen by enemies."
"[...]a 2014 UN Security Council Report noted that in June 2014 alone ISIS seized sufficient Iraqi government stocks from the provinces of Anbar and Salah al-Din to arm and equip more than three Iraqi conventional army divisions. Reviewing the evidence, the same report provided a chilling summary of the range of weapons ISIS has at its disposal:
From social media and other reporting, it is clear that ISIL assets include light weapons, assault rifles, machine guns, heavy weapons, including possible man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) (SA-7), field and anti-aircraft guns, missiles, rockets, rocket launchers, artillery, aircraft, tanks (including T-55s and T-72s) and vehicles, including high-mobility mobility multipurpose military vehicles." 
ISIS took many weapons, almost undoubtedly including chemical weapons, which it probably later deployed in Iraq and Syria, but the United States, which had provided these weapons, later accused the Syrian Government of using chemical weapons, and Trump used this as an excuse to attack Syria militarily.
 Source: Holden, Paul. Indefensible (Kindle Locations 978-982). Zed Books. Kindle Edition.
 US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Second Staff Report on US Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and the Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the War, 1995. 9Ibid, Chapter 1. 10Ibid, Chapters 2 and 3.
 Source: Holden, Paul. Indefensible (Kindle Locations 987-992). Zed Books. Kindle Edition.
 The Islamic State and the Levant and the Al-Nusrah Front for the People of Levant: Report and Recommendations Submitted Pursuant to Resolution 2170 (2014), S/2014/815, paragraph 39.
 Source: Holden, Paul. Indefensible (Kindle Location 1009-1015). Zed Books. Kindle Edition.
The DEFCON Warning System is a private organisation that evaluate world events and whether they pose a nuclear threat against America. This threat was reduced to its lowest level of 5 by the election of Donald Trump to the Whitehouse. As others have said, Trump was the 'Peace Candidate'. We republish the DEFCON statement dated the day of Trump's election.
This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 8 P.M., Thursday, November 10th, 2016. Condition code is Green. DEFCON 5.
There are currently no imminent nuclear threats against the United States at this time.
The United States took a tentative step toward a more isolationist policy with its recent presidential election. While it will take several months to see how the U.S. reforms its foreign policy, already some world leaders have expressed hope that relations could improve, including Russia and Syria. China and North Korea, however, continue to either cast a wary eye or are outright belligerent.
If the new U.S. President keeps to his previous statements, look for the United States to withdraw somewhat from military confrontations in the Middle East and possibly European theater, though it is highly unlikely it will abandon NATO commitments, and the Ukraine will likely pop up again in the near future. Russia, however, will probably wait to see what the new President does, as well as now being hampered by the coming winter. Israel, on the other hand, will become more of a focal point again.
U.S. intelligence claims to have penetrated Russian computer systems including the electrical grid and command structures. Meanwhile, more troops are to be sent to Europe in 2017 to bolster defenses against Russian movements and NATO continues building up forces in Poland and surrounding areas to protect against a potential Russian assault. Additionally, it is said to be preparing a force of three hundred thousand ready to be deployed in the event of escalating tensions. Russia has recently revealed new RS-28 Sarmat nuclear weapons which are claimed to be able to avoid radar defenses as well as testing new hyper-sonic missiles. A new hyper-sonic weapon is expected to be fitted on to the Sarmat missile.
The Pentagon has issued a warning against the use of Chinese computers by the U.S. military which may be infected with spyware, while China continues to develop its capabilities among its growing carrier fleet. The latest appears to be a catapult launch bar on its nose wheel, allowing heavier aircraft to be serviced. China has also debuted its J-20 stealth fighter as it continues to close the tech gap with the United States.
The DEFCON Warning System is a private enterprise which monitors world events and assesses nuclear threats against the United States by national entities. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.
If this had been an actual attack, the DEFCON Warning System will give radiation readings for areas that are reported to it. Your readings will vary. Official news sources will have radiation readings for your area.
For immediate updates, go to http://www.defconwarningsystem.com. Breaking news and important information can be found on the DEFCON Warning System message board and on the DEFCON Twitter feed DEFCONWSALERTS. You may also subscribe to the YouTube channel DefconWarningSystem and the DEFCON Warning System mailing list. Note that Twitter and YouTube updates may be subject to delays. The next scheduled update is 8 P.M. Pacific Time, December 1st, 2016. Additional updates will be made as the situation warrants, with more frequent updates at higher alert levels.
This concludes this broadcast of the DEFCON Warning System.
Video and translation: This comment by Putin, about United States aggression and its abandonment of protocol to limit the risk of nuclear destruction, was made to representatives of various media outlets during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, in June 2016. It was filmed and has been translated by Inessa S and we have imbedded the video in the article with her translation. It seems particularly timely to publish this in the wake of the release of Hillary Clinton's lost emails. "Nobody has anything to gain from a nuclear stand-off against Russia. The power hungry decision-makers are few in number, but powerful enough to have subverted mainstream media to misrepresent Russia as the main threat to international security." (Vladimir Putin).
Nobody has anything to gain from a nuclear stand-off against Russia. The power hungry decision-makers are few in number, but powerful enough to have subverted mainstream media to misrepresent Russia as the main threat to international security.
If you are a journalist or a blogger, please do your part and share this message. Time is of the essence , especially in light of the recent NATO summit in Warsaw (July 2016) where the alliance stipulated that Russia is the main threat to international security (did you think that might be ISIS?) YouTube would not let me upload the video I did on the Summit, but it can be found on my Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/174777588
Back in 2007, Putin informed the Western world that Russia will develop its weaponry to counter US advances. This was said in response to the US missile defense system that was starting to be developed at the time (previously prohibited in international law.)
With the NATO missile defense system on Russia’s doorstep – the threat to international security is very real; not that you would know it via mainstream Murdoch media.
In 2002, the United States unilaterally and without consultation, withdrew from the landmark Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. President George W. Bush noted that the treaty is “now behind us,” describing the ABM Treaty as a Cold War relic.
Signed in 1972, the ABM Treaty barred both the US and the USSR from deploying national defenses against long-range ballistic missiles. The treaty was based on the premise that if either superpower constructed a strategic defense, the other would build up its offensive nuclear forces to offset the defense.
The superpowers would therefore quickly be put on a path toward a never-ending offensive-defensive arms race, as each tried to balance its counterpart’s actions. Until Bush took office, the Treaty was referred to as a “cornerstone of strategic stability” because it facilitated later agreements, reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals.
The US, assuming that a weakened Russia will never again be in a position to counter US hegemonic power, proceeded to encroach on Russia’s borders through its manipulation of NATO objectives.
Today, there is no instrument in international law that prevents the possibility of mutually assured destruction. Putin has been sending out warnings for over 10 years – all of which fell on deaf ears. Who will push the button first?