Tag Archives: US foreign policy

South Korea: Protests as US deploys THAAD system

Source: CBS News

“In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system had been installed. This, a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power. The South’s trumpeting of progress on setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing. … About 8,000 police officers were mobilized, and the main road leading up to the site in the country’s southeast was blocked earlier Wednesday, Yonhap reported. About 200 residents and protesters rallied against THAAD in front of a local community center, with some hurling plastic water bottles. More than 10 demonstrators were injured during clashes with police, Kim Jong-kyung, a leader of a group of residents protesting the deployment, told the Reuters news agency.” (04/26/17)


Entire US Senate to visit White House for North Korea “briefing”

Source: United Press International

“The entire U.S. Senate will visit the White House on Wednesday to receive a classified briefing on North Korea — a rare move that signals the Trump administration’s growing focus on the potential threat from socialist nation. All 100 lawmakers in the upper chamber are set to attend the meeting, along with select other officials involved in the government’s decision-making process, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis.” [editor’s note: Well, that sounds rather ominous … – TLK] (04/24/17)


Why Trump’s words matter

Source: Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall & Erik Goepner

“President Trump owes the nation — and the world — more careful language. Trump’s empty words may thrill his supporters, but they will not defeat the Islamic State or bring peace to a troubled region. If the American public is to trust him and intelligently support his foreign policies, especially with lives on the line, he must communicate coherently.” (04/20/17)


America’s misadventures in the Middle East

Source: The American Conservative
by Chas Freeman

“‘From now on,’ President Donald Trump declared in his inaugural address, ‘it’s going to be only America first, America first!’ If so, no region stands to be more affected than West Asia and North Africa — what Americans call ‘the Middle East.’ America’s interests there are now entirely derivative rather than direct. They are a function of the self-appointed roles of the United States as the warden of world order, the guarantor of other nations’ security, the shepherd of the world economy, and the custodian of the global commons. If America is now to look out only for itself, it has little obvious reason to be much involved in the Middle East.” (04/20/17)


The US pushed North Korea to build nukes: Yes or no?

Source: CounterPunch
by Mike Whitney

“Let’s say you know someone who wears funny blue suits and doesn’t share your views on politics. So you decide to stick this person in a cage and put him on a diet of bread and water until he agrees to change his wardrobe and adjust his thinking. And when he sits quietly on the cage-floor with his hands folded, you ignore him altogether and deal with other matters. But when he stomps his feet in anger or violently shakes the cage, you throw cold water on him or poke him in the back with a sharp stick. How long do you think it’ll take before your prisoner changes his clothes and comes around to ‘exceptional’ way of seeing things? It’s never going to happen, is it, because your whole approach is wrong. People don’t respond positively to hectoring, intimidation and cruelty, in fact, they deeply resent it and fight back. And, yet, this is exactly the way Washington has treated North Korea for the last 64 years.” (04/19/17)


The cost of free-riding

Source: The American Conservative
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“South Korea has long been a notorious free-rider on U.S. security efforts. Although the country has an economy by most estimates 40 times larger than North Korea’s, Seoul persists in underinvesting in its own security. … Beyond the obvious financial benefits in having another country subsidize Korea’s defense, it is diplomatically and psychologically reassuring to have a superpower as a protector. But there is also a major downside to such dependence. The principal drawback is that crucial decisions about national security are not in the hands of the protectorate’s political leadership. In the case of the U.S.-South Korean alliance, Washington has always dominated the decision-making process. That should be especially worrisome to Korean leaders and the public when, as in the current environment, a military crisis surfaces.” (04/18/17)


Why the Donald should cool it on North Korea

David Stockman

Source: Antiwar.com
by David Stockman

“The realized truth of modern history is crystal clear. Washington had no business intervening in a quarrel between two no-count wanna be dictators (Syngman Rhee and Kim il Sung) on the Korean peninsula in June 1950, and surely has no business still stationing 29,000 American soldiers there 67 years latter. Yet owing to the institutionalized albatross of that mis-vectored history, the world is now much closer to the brink of nuclear war than at any time since the dark days of the early cold war. And the Donald has become just the latest political tourist in the Oval Office to succumb to the Deep State’s false, self-serving narrative about why the American imperium remains decamped on the 38th parallel.” (04/18/17)


Venezuela and our stupid obsession with US “leadership”

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Another unwelcome side-effect of believing that the U.S. has the responsibility to ‘police’ the world is a tendency to think that other countries’ problems stem from a lack of ‘American leadership.’ Jackson Diehl offers the latest example of this error: ‘Still, Venezuela also tells a story of the eclipse of American leadership. For at least the past 100 years, the United States’ conception of its international mission included a determination not to allow another state in the Western hemisphere to fail.’ Considering that the U.S. has toppled governments in invasions, supported coups, or fueled civil wars in many of these countries, that is a questionable interpretation of what U.S. policy in our hemisphere has been for the past century. Regardless, Venezuela’s awful descent into ruin under Chavez and Maduro is not something that could have realistically been averted with more U.S. ‘leadership.'” (04/17/17)


China’s Korea policy “in tatters” as both North and South defy sanctions

Source: Washington Post

“More than half a century ago, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers died in the Korean War, fighting on the side of their Communist allies against the American-backed South. Yet today, China finds itself in the uncomfortable position of falling out with both the Communist North and capitalist South of this troublesome peninsula, imposing sanctions on both countries but getting no satisfaction from either. On Monday, South Korea announced it would press ahead with the ‘swift deployment’ of an American missile defense system despite relentless and vociferous Chinese opposition. … On Sunday, North Korea ignored China’s pleadings not to raise regional tensions by conducting another missile test, albeit one that failed.” (04/17/17)


Issuing a challenge to the United States

Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“I was relieved today to wake up and learn that we hadn’t started World War 3 in response to North Korea’s testing of a nuclear weapon, primarily because North Korea didn’t test a nuclear weapon. What does it really matter, though? It has merely postponed it. For months, indications have been that North Korea was about to test another nuclear weapon. This is why tensions have been so high–the evidence is pretty clear that we are going to attack if they do so. Satellite images routinely show the ‘right’ activity to indicate there is about to be a nuclear test, and it’s pretty likely that Kim Jong Un backed out at the last minute precisely because of pressure from the United States and China. But this hasn’t changed anything. It’s worth taking a moment to ask ourselves why we care whether North Korea tests nuclear weapons.” (04/15/17)