• God help us.

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    Above, this You Tube video clip published yesterday was filmed during a meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey.

    Commenting on maintaining the US Army’s presence in Afghanistan back in 2014, President Obama declared; “I think Americans have learned that it’s harder to end wars than it is to begin them,” He then went on; “Yet this is how wars end in the 21st century — not through signing ceremonies, but through decisive blows against our adversaries, transitions to elected governments, security forces who take the lead and ultimately full responsibility….”

    The British Gazette has commented before on the North Korea crisis. GOTO: http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2017/07/04/living-in-dangerously-interesting-times/ This article contains a link to our earlier article of 28th April 2017 and also the earlier article of 15th April 2017.

    Today’s Guardian reports upon President Trump’s ratcheting up of the rhetoric. GOTO: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/09/north-korea-us-airbase-guam-trump-fire-fury?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=238572&subid=15907465&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2
    British Gazette comment:
    It is of course completely superfluous for this organ to state that the situation on the Korean peninsular is now very dangerous. As they say nowadays, “That’s a given…”

    One of the obvious factors is the change at the top – in the USA. President Obama and Hillary Clinton now the CEO of the group Onward Together (https://www.onwardtogether.org/) a group she co-founded with Hoard Dean, are both firmly part of the US political establishment. President Trump famously is not – which was why millions of US voters voted for him.

    Previous US administrations (both Democrat and Republican) carried out the business of governing the USA in a conventional way. They also carried out the conduct of US foreign policy in a conventional way. It is a truism now that “a week is a long time in politics”

    In the 201 days that have elapsed since Friday 20th January, 2017 when the 45th President of the United States assumed office, the world has become accustomed to the preferred method of communication the POTUS relies upon to get his messages across.
    GOTO: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
    President Trump’s “fire and fury” statement was met with a predictable response from the North Korean regime. It can be described as “tit for tat”. Unfortunately for the despot Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) any contest is ludicrously unbalanced! Were Mr Kim’s opponent in the verbosity states the head of government of a minor American state such as Bolivia, the situation would not be very serious. It would be one loud-mouth against another. However, President Trump is not the leader of Bolivia, he is the leader of the USA – the world’s leading superpower!

    Mr Kim’s minions have been commenting darkly about a ballistic missile attack on the US territory of Guam, the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands and the largest island in Micronesia!

    It is difficult to overstate the enormity of the stupidity of threatening to launch a ballistic missile attack – presumably nuclear tipped – on Guam. The stupidity is of such a level that it transcends all sane notions by which government statements are judged. It exceeds the outer limits of lunatic behaviour.

    Protecting Guam is the US Army’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence, or Thaad, which is used to shoot down ballistic missiles. Herewith Lockheed Martin footage of the US Army’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system:Herewith he US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) website: https://www.mda.mil/system/thaad.html
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) does not however have a monopoly on idiocy. Unfortunately, idiocy seems to be widespread across humanity.

    In the USA we have a splendid example. This is a certain Mr Robert James Jeffress, Jr. of Texas. Mr Jeffress is Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas and has divined that “God has given Donald Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-un….” What makes this additional piece of lunacy of concern to the world is that Pastor Jeffress is President Trump’s evangelical adviser!
    Words fail!
    The gravity of the situation is clear. By doing what no government leader has done before – matching North Korean rhetoric with rhetoric equally threatening – there is a danger that Kim Jong-un will find himself boxed in and forced to undertake some form of action. This is because the danger of ratcheting up the rhetoric is that a limit is reached whereby to preserve credibility the next riposte goes beyond rhetoric. For those who doubt this, go and ask any police officer who has patrolled the streets outside public houses late on a Friday night or early Saturday morning!

    You see, Kim Jong-un will forever be looking over his shoulder. He must not only be in control. He must be seen to be in control. If he looses control or is seen to loose control he is finished! And in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “finished” does not mean retiring on a pension! For Mr Kim it will likely mean being suspended by a piano wire from a meat hook!

    The concern is that President Trump has embarked upon a new and dangerous strategy. This appears to be to ratchet up the rhetoric to the point where the DPRK makes some form of military response. You see, IF the DPRK can be labelled as the aggressor, the Trump administration can respond with overwhelming force.

    What is so worrying is that 103 years ago to the very month the same logic pervaded the minds of those who governed Imperial Germany! And we all know what happened!

    In the run up to 1914, Germany was principally concerned with finding herself with a war on two fronts. France to the west and Russia to the east. In the decade before the outbreak of the war, Russia was growing economically and militarily. The Germany military staff looked upon this with grave concern. In 1914 Germany was a democracy. The German general staff wanted to launch a pre-emptive war. They wished to neutralise the Russian threat as they saw in Russia a power that could ultimately defeat Germany. They wanted to attack Russia before she became too strong. Yet at the same time the Germans did not want to be seen as making a pre-emptive strike. Thus they sought to create a situation whereby Germany could be seen to be responding to an attack. Added to this was the clock. The German general staff had concluded that Russia’s expansion was of such a size and speed that by 1916 Germany would have problems containing it. Thus when the Austrian archduke Franz-Ferdinand met his end in Sarajevo from the bullets of Gavrilo Princip Germany seized the opportunity to pressure Austrian into a position that would force Russia into declaring on her, thus causing France to declare also and thus bring Germany into conflict as an ally of Austria. Thus the whole ghastly parade of death commenced at the beginning of that month.

    Likewise, President Trump cannot launch a pre-emptive strike against the DPRK. However, were the DPRK to launch any kind of military action at this point, the USA would feel obliged – in defence of it’s own territorial integrity (in the case of an attack on Guam) or it’s allies in the case of an attack on them.

    The danger is clear. Once started the conflict could escalate quickly, both in terms of nations involved and the level of weaponry used. A strategic exchange could occur very quickly. For those readers who are not euphemistically challenged, a “strategic exchange” is a phrase which means nuclear war.

    At the moment, the focus of political attention in the UK is fixed on Brexit.

    Understand this: IF nuclear war breaks out on the Korean peninsular, “Brexit” will be the least of Madame Mayhem’s problems!

    Initiating a nuclear war and expecting to be able to contain it is like starting a forest fire in sun scorched earth of the Spanish plain and expecting to control that!

    Whilst it MIGHT be possible to limit the military response of neighbouring powers (China and Russia) the response to a nuclear war will set a political forest fire across the western democracies. The Greens, the trots, the socialists, the CNDers, and masses of young snowflakes will be out on the streets. Comrade Corbyn will be beside himself!

    An early casualty will be NATO. Germany will find it impossible to continue her membership of it. Or have any US forces stationed on her soil. The EU will react to any such war by a determination to replace NATO with a EU based collective defence strategy.

    Then we have the economic dimension to consider. A nuclear war on the Korean peninsular would likely result in a economic setback for China. It could plunge Asia and the rest of the world into a new economic slump.

    • Speaking as one who was well acquainted with scraping the messy aftermaths of many fracas outside London’s pubs off Westminster City Council’s pavements during my time in the Met. Police, I can identify with the analogy in this article.

      Now very happily retired in good old West Cornwall, and being a bit of an insomniac, I listen to The World Service in the middle of the night frequently. A couple of nights ago, after Mr. Trump’s ” Fire &Fury ” comment, there was an interesting debate about Kin Jon Un which concluded that whilst he is a brutal dictator, he is not irrational.

      The prospect of him being ” boxed in ” is very real.. Yet the experiences of the horrors of Hiroshima 70 years ago, then Chenobyl and, more recently, the Japanese power station fire which no-one is allowed near, tells everyone that nuclear explosions only result in millions of deaths and vast areas of land being uninhabitable for at least a century, if not 2 or more.

      My hunch is that the two presidents will trade verbal blows and dire threats for the next two or three weeks before the whole sad pathetic debacle ends in tears for K J U as he has no option but to cave in. much along the lines of this article.

      Have we learnt anything from the last two Great Wars ?

      Stupidity is, indeed, not confined to The White House or North Korea.

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