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McMaster’s Irresponsible North Korea Rhetoric

Trump’s National Security Advisor made [1] what may be his most irresponsible and dangerous comments on North Korea yet:

H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser, said Saturday that the possibility of war with North Korea increases every day the problem over its nuclear program isn’t solved.

“I think it’s increasing every day,” McMaster told Fox News’ Bret Baier at the Reagan National Security Forum in California. “It means we’re in a race. We’re in a race to be able to solve this problem.”

Added McMaster: “There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because he’s getting closer and closer and there’s not much time left.”

If the U.S. was in a race to “solve” North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, we already lost years ago. The latest North Korean ICBM test confirmed that the race is over. North Korea isn’t giving up on these technologies after having made so much progress, and there is nothing that the U.S. and its allies can do to force them into giving them up. As frustrating as it may be to admit that, U.S. officials need to start admitting it and facing the unpleasant reality in front of them. Clinging to the illusion that there is still “time left” to denuclearize North Korea puts the U.S. on a path to an unnecessary and extremely costly war in pursuit of a goal that cannot now be achieved.

McMaster’s comments are worrisome because they show that there has been absolutely no change to the administration’s bankrupt approach to this issue. His comments are alarming in that he seems to treat going to war with North Korea as an inevitability. Once a government has decided that war is inevitable, it tends to behave in ways that make the “inevitable” war happen. Combined with his previous [2] statements [3] that Kim and his regime cannot be deterred, he is setting the stage for an attack that would be as unjustified as it would be disastrous for the region. An impending attack on North Korea is the most likely way to provoke Kim into launching a first strike. If the potential for war is increasingly daily, it is because U.S. officials keep publicly signaling our willingness to attack North Korea.

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9 Comments To "McMaster’s Irresponsible North Korea Rhetoric"

#1 Comment By SteveM On December 3, 2017 @ 11:05 am

Re: “McMaster’s comments are worrisome…”

What is even worse than worrisome but absolutely dangerous is the feckless Congress’s complete abrogation of its constitutional authority and responsibility to declare war. Where is Rand Paul? He should be screaming bloody murder over Trump’s and his henchmen’s ham-fisted unconstrained pronouncements and threats.

An American attack on North Korea (or Iran) ordered solely by Trump is a unilateral declaration of war by the President.

And here’s the thing Daniel, Trump has surrounded himself with his “Generals” who are oblivious to the Constitution. Note that war-monger McMaster mentions nothing about Trump gaining congressional authority to take military action.

This is the Imperial Presidency run amok with decision making authority essentially handed over to the Security State Nomenklatura with their warped “power projection” fetish. It can only get worse. And OBTW, nothing from the sycophantic, military worshiping MSM about the Constitution being tossed into the dumpster and more BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars being flushed down the toilet.

P.S. Given Trump’s and Congress’s massive tax cut give away to the plutocrat class, how do they intend on paying for this?

#2 Comment By GregR On December 3, 2017 @ 11:15 am

Steve,

War with N Korea and Iran will be paid or like all Republican ideas. By cutting taxes on businesses.

#3 Comment By good soldiers / bad public servants On December 3, 2017 @ 11:53 am

… just think. As recently as a few months ago DC insiders spoke confidently of McMasters and Trump’s other generals as “the adults in the room”.

They are no such thing. What they really are is living proof of why the Founders instituted civilian control of the military. They may or may not have been capable soldiers – I don’t know. But they’re helping Trump send our foreign policy down the toilet.

Other parts of our government need to quit cringing before the military. Yes, the military is home to some good people, some of the best we have, but it has a specific and heavily circumscribed role and focus. Soldiers like McMaster, Mattis, and Kelly have risen to Peter Principle level, taking on foreign policy and diplomacy issues for which they are obviously ignorant, incompetent, and unfit.

#4 Comment By sglover On December 3, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

P.S. Given Trump’s and Congress’s massive tax cut give away to the plutocrat class, how do they intend on paying for this?

By gutting public services, of course. It’s not like the more reactionary oligarchs are trying especially hard to hide their intentions.

#5 Comment By Cynthia McLean On December 3, 2017 @ 8:54 pm

Trump is not the only one out of touch with reality and in need of a psychiatric evaluation.

#6 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 3, 2017 @ 9:17 pm

Military and war expansion is a bipartisan cause, the financial benefits for those who own the duopoly political class too tempting to resist. If you think nuclear war with the latest advanced weapons will be paid for by cutting public services, you are correct. There won’t be any public services, and it won’t matter how Congress votes on tax policy, or who’s a Republican or Democrat, or … anything.

#7 Comment By Dr. Bill Wedin On December 4, 2017 @ 1:49 am

The First Phase of the Korean War ended in a truce in 1953. NK has since offered many times to sign a peace treaty. The US has always refused. We want to “win” first. Trump and his generals now think we can. It may cost millions of lives, Lindsey Graham admits. But they will be Asian lives, not Americans. “The homeland will be safe,” Graham claims. He’s wrong. Kim’s missiles may not reach New York. But black clouds can. And they will. RADIOACTIVE SMOKE FROM BURNING ASIAN CITIES WILL BLOT OUT THE SUN. Nuclear winter will come. Climate modelling shows that even a small number of nukes will do it. But in case there still are doubters, let’s add a nuclear exchange with China to the mix. Sadly, it’s a well-kept secret that China has promised to retaliate if the US attacks NK–just as China countered our invasion of NK in 1950. Then they only had troops. Now their nukes can incinerate every US city. But no one is talking about an exchange with China either. It seems that people would rather believe that Trump can indeed wage a war where only “surplus” only Asians will die.

#8 Comment By b. On December 4, 2017 @ 3:40 pm

“If the potential for war is increasingly daily, it is because U.S. officials keep publicly signaling our willingness to attack North Korea.”

If McMasters, Kelly, Flynn are any indication of the ability of the US military to produce competent general staff officers, we have reason to fear not only the incident of another illegal war of choice, but also the incomptence of its prosecution. Matthis, already tainted by his upward association with Trump, and sideways by his associations with such peers within the administration, will at best be seen as another Powell. This is certainly not the material from which administrators or Chiefs are made, let alone – pace Eisenhower – Presidents.

The callous negligence with which which the US establishment is pushing for another undeclared war of choice – against one or both remaining members of the “axis of evil” – in complete disregard of the likely casualties and fallout on the Korean peninsula or in the Gulf – is nothing short of stunning. It is increasingly difficult to discern the origin of “evil” in the phrase. Once again, we are hearing the sounds of rubbgerstomping jackboots in Congress, media, and the upper ranks of the US military, with the same unsavory eagerness for a short, victorious war boosting careers and profits – the farce of Iraq 2003 to be repeated as a tragedy that not even the “population of willing” can deny.

We are almost at the brink of having to consider an ICBM-armed North Korea or a nuclear Iran a stabilizing factor in international politics, because if nothing short of a nuke – and perhaps not even that – can put an end to the relentness campaign for US impunitive “action”, what will?

#9 Comment By Bartolomé de las Casas On December 4, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

If Trump sees the Russia Collusion Investigations as leading to Impeachment, a Preventative War against North Korea will be Trump’s solution–and I think it will succeed in putting those investigations on the back burner for several years. Millions of people will die, including thousands of U.S. troops, to prevent the ruination of the Trump presidency.