Trump’s Korean nuclear war threat and corporate media


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Speaks To UN, Threatens To Destroy North Korea

19 September 2017

Trump keeps saber-rattling on North Korea. Does he intend to commit genocide with a nuclear first strike? Ana Kasparian, Michael Shure, and Brett Erlich, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“ON TUESDAY MORNING, Donald Trump gave a bombastic speech to the assembled delegates of the United Nations. Pay special attention to how he addressed North Korea and its looming nuclear threat. Unlike most of what Trump said otherwise, its implications are as wide-ranging as they are grim.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” said Trump. “‘Rocket Man’ is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

“Rocket Man,” you rightly guessed, refers to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. … And while Trump has made similar provocations before, either in impromptu remarks or ill-advised tweets, his UN taunting worsens an already alarmingly combustible situation—while also making it harder to defuse.”

Read more here.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

Obscuring the truth with lies and demonisation

Saturday 14th October 2017

IAN SINCLAIR on the media’s drumbeat for war

“Defence news is highly sensitive and tends to be conservative especially at times of crisis,” the Glasgow University Media Group noted in its influential 1985 book War and Peace News.

The nuclear standoff between the US and North Korea is the perfect illustration of this truism, with the mainstream media — bar a few exceptions — acting as a well-oiled propaganda system, echoing the official line of Western governments and minimising the public’s understanding of the ongoing confrontation.

This mass production of ignorance occurs in several ways.

First, the media tends to focus on immediate events and ignore the wider historical context. When some history is discussed, it tends to be a simplistic, limited and Western-biased narrative which is presented.

“As the war memorials in South Korea tell you: freedom isn’t free. In the Korean war four million died on both sides — soldier and civilian — in just three years, after the communist Korean People’s Army invaded the pro-Western South.” This was Asia correspondent Jonathan Miller’s take on the crisis for Channel 4 News in August 2017.

Compare Miller’s suggestion the war was fought for freedom with a 2008 report in the Sydney Morning Herald which noted that, by the start of the war in 1950, South Korean leader Syngman Rhee “had about 30,000 alleged communists in his jails, and had about 300,000 suspected sympathisers enrolled in an official ‘re-education’ movement.”

In his book The Death of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars, John Tirman notes the CIA knew Rhee was “bent on autocratic rule,” with repression of trade unions, liberal newspapers and political parties proceeding with US support.

Miller’s quote highlights the conflict’s gigantic human death toll but doesn’t give any indication of the central role played by the US in the slaughter. Journalist Blaine Harden summarised the largely unknown history in the Washington Post in 2015: in 1984, General Curtis LeMay, head of the US Strategic Air Command during the Korean war, told the Office of Air Force History: “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 per cent of the population.”

Picasso's Massacre in Korea

This is Pablo Picasso‘s painting Massacre in Korea.

Dean Rusk, who served as US secretary of state in the 1960s, said the US bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, US aircraft destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams, flooding farmland and destroying crops, notes Harden.

While the Korean war has largely been forgotten in the West, “the American air war left a deep and lasting impression” on North Koreans, notes Professor Charles Armstrong from Columbia University in his 2013 book Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992. The aerial bombardment, “more than any other single factor, gave North Koreans a collective sense of anxiety and fear of outside threats, that would continue long after the war’s end.”

Another key propaganda technique, wilfully amplified by the media, is the demonisation of the enemy’s leader — in this case Kim Jung Un, who has ruled North Korea since 2011.

In addition to focusing the public’s attention on a single, supposedly evil person rather than the millions of ordinary people who would be killed in any war, the demonisation campaign has painted Kim as unstable, perhaps insane. However, after weeks of interviews with “experts and insiders,” Benjamin Haas and Justin McCurry noted in the Guardian that while Kim “may be ruthless and bellicose, few believe he is a madman with his finger on the button.”

The portrayal of the North Korean leader as mad chimes with another argument pushed by the Western media: that it is impossible — and therefore pointless to try — to negotiate with North Korea. In contrast, in a 2008 report for Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Co-operation, John Lewis and Robert Carlin, a senior adviser on North Korea from 1989 to 2002 in the US State Department, wrote: “Forgotten is the reality that from 1993 to 2000, the US government [had] 20 or more issues under discussion with [North Korea] in a wide variety of settings.”

“A large percentage of those talks ended in agreements or made substantial progress,” they note.

Discussing the recent history of US-North Korean relations, Professor Noam Chomsky told Democracy Now! earlier this year: “maybe you can say it’s the worst regime in history … but they have been following a pretty rational tit-for-tat policy.”

Chomsky pointed to the establishment of the Framework Agreement between the Clinton Administration and North Korea in 1994, which agreed a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions in exchange for the US providing North Korea with fuel oil, assistance with building two nuclear reactors and the normalisation of relations between the two nations. Though neither side fully lived up to their commitments, Chomsky noted that “it more or less worked,” meaning that up until 2000 “North Korea had not proceeded with its nuclear weapons programmes.”

James Pierce, who was part of the US State Department team which negotiated the agreement, tells a similar story. “The bottom line is, there was a lot in the 1994 agreement that worked and continued for some years,” he told The Nation magazine. “The assertion, now gospel, that the North Koreans broke it right away is simply not true.”

Finally, the way in which the media chooses to present important information or arguments plays a crucial role in the public’s level of knowledge and understanding. “The best way to erase-a-story-while-reporting-it is to give no hint of it in the title or in most of the article, and to drop it in at the end of the piece without any context, like a throwaway remark which deserves no attention,” activist and author Milan Rai recently argued in Peace News.

One could add an additional test: is the information or argument voiced by a particular actor? If so, are they a credible source to readers?

For example, in a August 30 2017 Guardian 34-paragraph report on the crisis — titled “Donald Trump on North Korea: all options are on the table” — US-South Korean military exercises are only mentioned in paragraphs 20 and 26 by Chinese and North Korean government officials, respectively. These war games have previously included training for striking North Korea and assassinating Kim and top North Korean military figures.

This is hugely significant because China and North Korea have repeatedly suggested a deal in which North Korea freezes its nuclear weapons programme in return for an end to the joint US-South Korean military exercises — the lastest of which took place in August 2017, likely escalating the face-off.

The offer has been rejected by Washington. Chomsky, however, believes the proposed deal “to end the highly provocative actions on North Korea’s border could be the basis for more far-reaching negotiations, which could radically reduce the nuclear threat and perhaps even bring the North Korea crisis to an end.”

Surveying the US media’s reluctance to report on the willingness of North Korea to negotiate, The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz argues: “there are huge roadblocks” to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis “and one of the biggest is the Western media’s failure to simply inform their audience of the basics of what’s happening.”

The peace movement and general public in the West therefore have an important role to play in this suicidal game of nuclear chicken: to apply pressure on their governments to sincerely explore the Chinese-North Korean offer, and work to de-escalate and resolve the crisis as quickly as possible.

Comments Tuesday by Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), underscore the advanced state of US preparations for war with North Korea. Delivering a speech in Singapore, Harris dismissed warnings by various strategic analysts and military commentators that a conflict on the Korean Peninsula would cost millions of lives and was therefore unthinkable: here.

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Trump’s nuclear war in Korea?


This 8 August 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump threatens North Korea with “Fire and Fury”

In his new song, United States rapper Eminem states about Trump:

What we’ve got in office now‘s a kamikaze that’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust.

US army chief urges greater “combat readiness” for war with North Korea. By Peter Symonds, 11 October 2017. The US is planning an illegal war of aggression against North Korea on a scale that would dwarf its military interventions into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria: here.

Australia deploys for war with North Korea and confrontation with China. By James Cogan, 11 October 2017. A flotilla of six Australian warships is making its way toward the Korean Peninsula and an Australian attack submarine is already in the area exercising with US and Japanese subs: here.

As Trump faces a mounting political crisis at home, the US president may see a war with North Korea as a means of shoring up his administration and crushing domestic political opposition: here.

Trump to light fuse under Iran nuclear deal, as part of more aggressive anti-Iran strategy: here.

Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize


This video from the USA says about itself:

19 June 2012

Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s) – on behalf of TrueMajority.org – uses BBs to show how many nuclear weapons the USA has today.

From the Nobel Prize site in Sweden:

The Nobel Peace Prize 2017

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time. Some states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea. Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on earth. Through binding international agreements, the international community has previously adopted prohibitions against land mines, cluster munitions and biological and chemical weapons. Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition.

Through its work, ICAN has helped to fill this legal gap. An important argument in the rationale for prohibiting nuclear weapons is the unacceptable human suffering that a nuclear war will cause. ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries around the globe. The coalition has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. To date, 108 states have made such a commitment, known as the Humanitarian Pledge.

Furthermore, ICAN has been the leading civil society actor in the endeavour to achieve a prohibition of nuclear weapons under international law. On 7 July 2017, 122 of the UN member states acceded to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As soon as the treaty has been ratified by 50 states, the ban on nuclear weapons will enter into force and will be binding under international law for all the countries that are party to the treaty.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is aware that an international legal prohibition will not in itself eliminate a single nuclear weapon, and that so far neither the states that already have nuclear weapons nor their closest allies support the nuclear weapon ban treaty. The Committee wishes to emphasize that the next steps towards attaining a world free of nuclear weapons must involve the nuclear-armed states. This year’s Peace Prize is therefore also a call upon these states to initiate serious negotiations with a view to the gradual, balanced and carefully monitored elimination of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Five of the states that currently have nuclear weapons – the USA, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China – have already committed to this objective through their accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1970. The Non-Proliferation Treaty will remain the primary international legal instrument for promoting nuclear disarmament and preventing the further spread of such weapons.

It is now 71 years since the UN General Assembly, in its very first resolution, advocated the importance of nuclear disarmament and a nuclear weapon-free world. With this year’s award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to pay tribute to ICAN for giving new momentum to the efforts to achieve this goal.

The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has a solid grounding in Alfred Nobel’s will. The will specifies three different criteria for awarding the Peace Prize: the promotion of fraternity between nations, the advancement of disarmament and arms control and the holding and promotion of peace congresses. ICAN works vigorously to achieve nuclear disarmament. ICAN and a majority of UN member states have contributed to fraternity between nations by supporting the Humanitarian Pledge. And through its inspiring and innovative support for the UN negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, ICAN has played a major part in bringing about what in our day and age is equivalent to an international peace congress.

It is the firm conviction of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that ICAN, more than anyone else, has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigour.

Oslo, 6 October 2017

In his will, the pacifist Alfred Nobel left decisions about the Nobel Peace Prize to Norway. Norway was then a neutral country. However, for decades now Norway has been a member of the NATO military alliance.

That has led to awarding the prize to some clearly undeserving recipients. Like the European Union. And Finnish politician Ahtisaari (who, though undeserving at the time of the award, later made somewhat more deserving comments).

It is good that this time a deserving organisation has been awarded the prize. At a time when the ‘leader of the NATO free world’, United States President Donald Trump, threatens the world with nuclear annihilation.

Even though Norway is a NATO country, it is good that in this particular case they have not gone along with NATO nuclear warmongers. Within the United Nations, 122 countries have voted for ICAN’s goal of nuclear disarmament. The main resistance to that is by NATO countries like Donald Trump‘s USA, Theresa May‘s Britain and Macron‘s France.

JEREMY CORBYN hailed yesterday’s Nobel Peace Prize win for nuclear disarmament campaigners — and called for “an urgent response” from governments that do too little to achieve a nuclear-free world: here.

Trump’s nuclear war threat


This 20 September 2017 video is about United States President Donald Trump‘s threat of nuclear war about Korea.

It features part of speeches by Trump and by Adolf Hitler‘s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

In the wake of President Trump’s bellicose and menacing speech at the United Nations this week, the war of words between the US and North Korea has intensified, heightening the danger of catastrophic military conflict: here.

An opinion poll revealed the majority of Americans oppose a US attack on North Korea, fear it will lead to a wider war and do not trust Trump as commander-in-chief: here.

Trump Tells Tillerson: Don’t Waste Time Talking To North Korea: here.

Donald Trump’s recklessness ‘could start third World War’, senior Republican senator warns. Former Trump backer Bob Corker says every day at White House is ‘a situation of trying to contain him’: here.

Trump threatens nuclear war, reactions


This video from the USA says about itself:

Economist Jeff Sachs: Americans Who Don’t Want War with Iran Must Speak Out Now

21 September 2017

President Trump’s comments at the United Nations General Assembly urging the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal sounded familiar to our guest, Jeffrey Sachs. “The last time we had this kind of rhetoric was George W. Bush with the axis of evil,” Sachs said. “It was immediately followed by the Iraq War, which was the most disastrous single step of American military action and ‘diplomacy,’ or anti-diplomacy, in modern times. So this is a setup, again, for war, for conflict. And it is extraordinarily ignorant and dangerous. Iran is in compliance with the agreement that was reached.”

Fears of nuclear war grow after Trump’s threat to annihilate North Korea: here.

Just two days after using the UN General Assembly as platform for a fascistic tirade, threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea, US President Donald Trump yesterday unveiled new sanctions threatening punitive penalties on countries and companies accused of having trade-related financial relations with Pyongyang: here.

The US corporate media has responded with what amounts to a collective yawn to the fascistic tirade by President Donald Trump at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Trump’s speech, delivered to an international body with institutional roots in the Nuremberg trials of the leaders of Germany’s Third Reich and ostensibly dedicated to eliminating the scourge of war, was that of an unabashed war criminal: here.

The bulk of the Australian political and media establishment has endorsed—either explicitly or implicitly by their silence—the fascistic rant delivered by US President Donald Trump to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday: here.

US initiates plan to blow-up Iran nuclear deal: here.

Bernie Sanders launches passionate defence of Iran Deal and attacks Trump’s threat to scrap it. ‘We must protect this agreement,’ Mr Sanders said: here.

British poetry against nuclear weapons


This video from Britain is about Antony Owen reading his poetry.

By Andy Croft in Britain:

21st Century Poetry with Andy Croft

Wednesday 6th September 2017

Peace activist sheds light on ‘the ink of human darkness’

AFTER the election of Donald Trump earlier this year, the hands of the Doomsday Clock — calculated by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — were reset at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight.

This is the clock’s second-closest approach to midnight since its introduction in 1947.

Yet, 72 years after the US dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing over 200,000 men, women and children, only 122 countries could be found to endorse the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

These, of course, do not include any of the nuclear powers. Russia and the US are currently modernising their strategic nuclear forces, North Korea claims that its nuclear missiles are now capable of attacking the US “any place, any time” and Trump threatens North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

These kind of foolish boasts are what Antony Owen calls the “speeches of men playing Gods,” written in “the ink of human darkness.”

Owen is a CND Peace Foundation patron who teaches peace education in Britain’s schools. The Nagasaki Elder (V Press, £9.99) is his fifth collection of poems and his best yet.

He started writing the book after a visit to Japan to hear the testimonies of the hibakusha (“explosion-affected people”) who survived the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Hiroshima Day last month, Owen read from the book at Coventry Cathedral, accompanied by a violinist from Coventry’s twin city Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad).

His book has the inspired ferocity and prophetic fury of those British poets like Edith Sitwell, Randall Swingler, EP Thompson, James Kirkup and Adrian Mitchell who have protested so eloquently against nuclear weapons.

Owen describes a hellish world of “unforgettable fire,” “black rain” and the “ruined corn.”

Here is a shadow “that once cast a boy,” there is a playground where “children vanished into black magic,” human remains are like “Pompeii ornaments,” the world’s empires are “realms of pot-bellied maggots.”

There are some fine individual poems, notably How to Survive a Nuclear Winter, To Feed a Nagasaki Starling and The Stars That Wandered Hiroshima. One of the most memorable is The Art of War:

“The old Hiroshima trees in autumn scratch the ill wind till it bleeds in time for spring when the dead each blow a petal and their fragrant inferno engulfs a man coughing blossoms of blood from weak boughs of bone… when spring leaves Hiroshima, all that remains of trees are fingers of the dead, holding birds that swept across sky like ashes, throwing their urn of shrieks to a scarlet sun… Every year the cherry blossoms get redder and a zephyr sighs as they fall…”

In the second half of the book, Owen writes about Basra, the bombing of Dresden, the Coventry Blitz and British tabloid hostility to refugees: “Those who fight refugees from coming into the country forget that not so long ago… we were called evacuees; it means the same thing”

And he reminds us that: “The new talk was exodus,/children sent from Coventry,/clasping umbilical gas masks tighter than their mothers… there is no love rationed when a child is cleaved from their kin.”

The book ends with two pages filled with lines of black dots, each representing one of the 2,058 nuclear tests conducted since 1945.

Owen points out that it would need another seven pages of black dots to represent the number of nuclear weapons in the world today.

Antony Owen is launching The Nagasaki Elder at the Inspire Cafe Bar in Coventry on Thursday September 7, details: antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com.