According to a report in The Atlantic, President Trump and major league war hawk Lindsey Graham played a round of golf this past Sunday during which time they discussed North Korea. And according to the writer of the article, one Uri Friedman, the senator from South Carolina is now laying odds on what he sees as the chances that his golf buddy will order up an attack upon North Korea.
Graham says he feels the chances of that happening currently reside at 30%, but that this will jump dramatically to 70% if the DPRK conducts another nuclear test. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“I would say there’s a three in 10 chance we use the military option,” Graham predicted in an interview. If the North Koreans conduct an additional test of a nuclear bomb—their seventh—“I would say 70 percent.”
Graham said that the issue of North Korea came up during a round of golf he played with the president on Sunday. “It comes up all the time,” he said.
“War with North Korea is an all-out war against the regime,” he said. “There is no surgical strike option. Their [nuclear-weapons] program is too redundant, it’s too hardened, and you gotta assume the worst, not the best. So if you ever use the military option, it’s not to just neutralize their nuclear facilities—you gotta be willing to take the regime completely down.”
“We’re not to the tipping point yet,” he noted, but “if they test another [nuclear] weapon, then all bets are off.”
According to Graham, Trump “has 100 percent made up his mind that he’s not gonna let Kim Jong Un break out.” Apparently he and Trump define “break out” as the capacity to “marry up a missile and a nuclear warhead that can hit America effectively.”
And apparently neither of the two men has a clue as to why the North Koreans might feel the need for a nuclear deterrent to US aggression. Or else they simply regard it as irrelevant in light of what they believe to be US invincibility.
Here is a bit more from the article:
“I don’t know how to say it any more direct: If nothing changes, Trump’s gonna have to use the military option, because time is running out,” Graham said. “I don’t care if North Korea becomes a Chinese protectorate. … I don’t care who [the Chinese] put in charge of North Korea, as long as that person doesn’t want to create a massive nuclear arsenal to threaten America. There are a couple ways for this to end: The Chinese could kill the guy if they wanted to, or they could just stop oil shipments [to North Korea], which would bring [Kim Jong Un’s] economy to [its] knees.”
So here we have a prominent US official openly talking of assassinating a foreign leader. In a different day and time, this would have been the whole focus of the story, as well as the headline above it. But apparently Uri Friedman gives it hardly a second thought.
The writer also makes no mention of the fact that the US has rejected a settlement to the conflict that was proposed by China and Russia–a proposal under which the North would suspend missile testing in return for a suspension of war game exercises by the US. But why bother to talk about peace proposals, I guess, when you’re working for The Atlantic?
“I am literally willing to put hundreds of thousands of people at risk, knowing that millions and millions of people will be at risk if we don’t,” Graham also said. “And that’s why this whole exercise sucks so much. I get, like, zero joy out of having this choice for President Trump.”
The Senator would seem to want us to believe he gets “zero joy” out of war mongering–incredibly he then went on to draw an analogy between North Korea and Nazi Germany:
“It always seems in the times in which you live that avoiding conflict is a good thing,” Graham said. “I’m sure they really believed that [Britain’s appeasement-era agreement with Nazi Germany in] Munich was ‘peace in our time.’ When you look through history and you see where democracies blink in the eyes of naked aggression, you think, ‘[British Prime Minister Neville] Chamberlain was a fool.’ … World War II was preventable about 10 different times.”
“Fifty years from now, long after I’m dead and gone, what will they say about this time?” Graham asked. “I don’t want people 50 years from now having to live with the consequences of us getting this wrong.”
Graham was a member of the House of Representatives in 2002 when he voted in favor of the use of military force in Iraq–and of course the world is now “having to live with the consequences” of that war. As a member of the Senate he supported the NATO assault upon Libya in 2011, consequences for which we are also living with, and he has also called for a preemptive military strike upon Iran as well.
Maybe we could use a Neville Chamberlain in the US Congress.
Both Press TV and RT reported Thursday on a statement issued by North Korea threatening “merciless self-defense” measures should the US attempt to impose a naval blockade upon the country. According to a statement released by the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency, a blockade would be viewed by Pyongyang as “an act of war” as well as a “wanton violation” of the country’s sovereignty and dignity. I guess we can well imagine Trump and Graham will have a conversation about this over their next golf game–assuming the planet earth hasn’t been destroyed in the meantime.
John Lennon once expressed his philosophy on how to write good political songs as: “Put your political message across with a little honey.” The Christmas song he recorded with his wife Yoko Ono has become a classic. The couple were living in New York at the time, and the voices of a children’s choir from Harlem can also be heard on the recording.
As you watch the video above, consider Lindsey Graham’s words that he is “literally willing to put hundreds of thousands of people at risk.”
Here is an additional video I though I would throw in with this post. Vladimir Putin…a voice of sanity. Too bad there aren’t more of them in the world.