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CONFIRMED: US ‘preparing to attack’ North Korea

Daily Telegraph claims US engaging in advanced planning for military strike against North Korea

Alexander Mercouris

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An article in the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph is reporting that the US is now very close to deciding on a list of options for military strikes against North Korea.

The Daily Telegraph claims that its article is based on inside information provided to it by officials of the US and British governments

………this newspaper talked to around a dozen current and former officials in America and Britain about policy towards North Korea.   The conversations show that the Trump administration is more willing to consider military options to end the conflict than widely assumed.

The Daily Telegraph outlines some of the options which are being discussed

The White House has “dramatically” stepped up preparation for a military solution in recent months amid fears diplomacy is not working, well-placed sources said.

One option is destroying a launch site before it is used by the regime for a new missile test. Stockpiles of weapons could also be targeted.

The hope is that military force would show Kim Jong-un that America is “serious” about stopping further nuclear development and trigger negotiations.

Three sources – two former US officials familiar with current thinking and a third figure in the administration – confirmed military options were being worked up.

“The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious”, said one former US security official briefed on policy.

The article also makes it fairly clear who the principal hardliner pressing for military action against North Korea is, as well as growing British alarm at the war talk in Washington

Mr Kim’s refusal to negotiate has left senior White House figures disillusioned with diplomacy and increasingly considering military avenues.

One British source who recently attended a briefing with H.R. McMaster, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, and other officials left feeling alarmed.

“The Americans said deterrence doesn’t work against North Korea and negotiation doesn’t work,” the source said.

“Those who heard them left with the impression that military action is very much an option they were considering seriously.”…..

British officials are continuing to urge their US counterparts to focus on diplomatic solutions and are looking to increase pressure on North Korea.

(bold italics added)

That General H.R. McMaster appears to be at the centre of the attack planning in Washington and seems to be the leading advocate of a military strike on North Korea will come as no surprise to anyone.

In parenthesis, I would add that when General McMaster replaced General Flynn as President Trump’s National Security Adviser back in February the US’s European allies breathed a collective sigh of relief.  One wonders whether anyone in Europe is now having second thoughts?

Putting this aside, how much credence is to be given to the Daily Telegraph’s story?

Firstly, there are too many reports coming out of Washington discussing possible military action against North Korea to leave any doubt that serious preparations for a military strike on North Korea are indeed underway.

There is also no doubt about the growing frustration in Washington at the US’s inability to bring North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme to a stop and at China’s refusal to impose an oil embargo on North Korea.

The Daily Telegraph article admits that North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme has advanced much faster than anyone in Washington expected, and that this has left the US struggling to come up with a response

Pressure to act comes from the drop in estimated time it will take for North Korea to develop a missile that could hit America with nuclear weapons.  Just a few years ago it was believed the regime was a decade away from that point, but now the figure has dropped to as little as 18 months – though estimates vary.  Senior figures in the Trump administration have made clear in public that it would be unacceptable for North Korea to reach that position.

The Daily Telegraph also says that there is a split within the Trump administration between the advocates and opponents of military action

Experts also say there is a split in the US administration with Mr Trump and Mr McMaster more willing to consider military action than Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, and Jim Mattis, the defence secretary.

In such a situation it is no surprise that there is active planning in Washington for a strike on North Korea, and that Washington has split into ‘hawks’ and ‘doves’ ie. between advocates and opponents of military action.  Indeed this is the classic situation in Washington whenever the US finds itself in confrontation with another country, and it is one which has repeated itself on numerous occasions since the start of the Cold War.

It is however likely that behind all this war talk there is a strong element of bluff.

With the US apparently incapable of making any concessions that might open the way for talks with North Korea – eg. by accepting the Chinese proposal for a ‘double freeze’ (a cessation of US military exercises in the Korean Peninsula in return for a suspension by North Korea of its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme) – the strong possibility must exist that articles like the one in the Daily Telegraph are being deliberately leaked to the media in order to scare China into ramping up pressure on North Korea by imposing an oil embargo on the country.

I say this because I still find it very difficult to believe that the US seriously intends a military strike against North Korea which every serious analyst I know of considers both extremely risky and likely to be completely ineffective, and which is opposed by both the Secretaries of State and Defense.

It is not after all as if there has ever been an occasion in the past when the US has attacked a country which possess nuclear weapons.  Would it really take on itself the enormous risk of doing so against a country as unpredictable as North Korea?

Having said this the danger in all this war talk and in all this planning is that beyond a certain point it starts to acquire its own dynamic.

It is very easy to see how as the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme gathers pace pressure in Washington for a US strike on North Korea might increase.  If it appears that there is an option for a strike on the table, then that pressure would increase still more.

Needless to say the risks involved in such a strike are colossal and I cannot imagine anything that might alarm and anger China more.  However when people of war instead of peace war is what tends to happen.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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