Brian Becker at PSL: ‘China sounds the alarm: Trump prepares for war against Korea’

By Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition National Coordinator at the PSL’s Liberation News:

It is not possible to overstate the impact on U.S. and global politics of Trump’s unilateral, surprise cruise missile strikes on Syria at the very moment that he was having dinner with China’s President Xi Jinping.

China got Trump’s message. China must either break from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – North Korea – or minimally it must apply immense pressure on it to suspend its nuclear and ballistic missile tests or Trump is prepared carry out a another round of unilateral military action on China’s border.

With each passing day it becomes clear that the Trump Administration has borrowed a page from the Ronald Reagan playbook. Like Trump, Ronald Reagan was written off at first as nothing more than a right-wing, lunatic, grade B-actor/entertainer. But he became a vessel for the Pentagon and eventually was made into an establishment icon because U.S. imperialism recovered from its declining role under his strategy of hyper-militarism and escalating threats.

Trump’s military action against Syria muted his ruling class critics and he won the praise of the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream media. Trump is on a roll and the next target is North Korea. The Democratic Party “resistance” to Trump has been replaced by obsequiousness. Congress barely whimpered that Trump didn’t even bother to ask for authorization for new war.

The Chinese leadership is obviously stunned. In fact, China is now convinced that a new US military strike in Asia may be imminent unless the DPRK backs down from further expected weapons tests perhaps as early as this coming Saturday – the birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the founding leader of the DPRK.

It must be remembered that the DPRK has consistently offered to suspend nuclear weapons tests in return for the United States cancelling its massive, annual military exercises that simulate the destruction of the North. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration immediately rejected this offer. The DPRK has also made it clear that what it actually seeks is a peace treaty with the United States to formally end the Korean War that began nearly 70 years ago.

Should Trump take military action and the DPRK responds, which is likely, a new major war could be unleashed.

China lost more than 180,000 soldiers helping North Korea’s military units push U.S. troops out of North Korea in 1950. On the Korean side, more than 5 million Koreans perished according to the Encyclopedia Britannica and the destruction caused by U.S. aerial bombardment was so complete that not one structure higher than one story high was still standing in the capitol of the North, Pyongyang. China understands that Trump’s actions could lead to another and possibly greater catastrophe.

Trump is using the most extreme hawkish rhetoric against the DPRK – far beyond the usual presidential warnings and threats. “We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you.” Trump is correct on that point: the Ohio-class Trident submarine can launch a salvo of 192 nuclear warheads able to simultaneously and almost instantly destroy 24 cities.

Trump ready for war in Korea? China thinks so

“The US is making up its mind to stop the North from conducting further nuclear tests, it doesn’t plan to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang,” reports the lead April 12 editorial in the Global Times, a media site that unofficially reflects the actual thinking of the Chinese leadership.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday April 11: “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!”

Following his tweet Trump placed a direct phone call to Xi Jinping to warn and threaten China.

Immediately after the phone call with Trump the Chinese media sounded the alarm and insisted that the DPRK not proceed with its expected missile tests. The Chinese media sharply demanded that the DPRK cancel any weapons test for April 15, the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. The Global Times editorial is truly unprecedented and announces that China is ready to cut off oil exports to North Korea whose economy has stabilized in recent years.

It is essential to read the words of the remarkable lead editorial by the Global Times:

“The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is headed toward the Korean Peninsula after abruptly turning back from sailing to Australia, and Trump sent a warning via his tweet. These are probably related to reports that satellite surveillance shows North Korea is likely to conduct new nuclear tests.

“Washington’s latest threat to Pyongyang is more credible given its just launched missile attack at an air base in Syria. The Korean Peninsula has never been so close to a military clash since the North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. (our emphasis)

“If Pyongyang conducts its sixth nuclear test in the near future, the possibility of US military action against it will be higher than ever. Not only is Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises.

“Now the Trump team seems to have decided to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis. As the discussion runs deeper, a situation of no-solution will not be accepted…

“The US is making up its mind to stop the North from conducting further nuclear tests, it doesn’t plan to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.

“China supports solution of the North Korean nuclear issue under the framework of UNSC and Six-Party Talks. If the US takes unilateral action, it will win little international support. Pyongyang can continue its tough stance, however, for its own security, it should at least halt provocative nuclear and missile activities.

“Pyongyang should avoid making mistakes at this time.” (our emphasis)

“Military First”: Trump Employs the Ronald Reagan Playbook

Donald Trump is clearly adopting the strategy of Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s. Reagan’s surprise 1980 presidential victory led to a profound realignment of global politics. It was an earlier iteration of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” brand. Reagan and the Pentagon were arguing that America was in decline but that a vast show of military spending and military power could turn the tide.

Reagan employed vast increases in military spending coupled with reckless threats and preparation for wars abroad as a way of gaining leverage over major world powers. In the 1980’s, China joined Reagan in an anti-Soviet alliance and in return was rewarded with the U.S. government’ decision to allow American corporations to engage in foreign direct investment in China while maintaining severe sanctions and technology embargoes on the Soviet Union at a time when the USSR’s economic growth had already slowed.

Reagan’s “military first” strategy ultimately allowed U.S. imperialism to regain its global role following the humiliating defeat it suffered in Vietnam which in turn created space for anti-imperialist forces everywhere. US troops were forced out of Vietnam in 1973. In the face of weakened U.S. power, revolutionary movements swept Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iran, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
It looked like the empire was in dramatic decline.

But Reagan and the Pentagon brass employed a new strategy of military build-up, brute force, military threats and a carrots and sticks approach of economic and diplomatic rewards and punishments allowing the United States to either destabilize or reorient the positions of both China and the Soviet leadership.

This was how American imperialism became “great again” following its setbacks in Southeast Asia. This now is the Trump/Pentagon prescription to “Make America Great Again” following its debacle in the Middle East wars of the past two decades.

Today, the danger of igniting regional and global confrontation is real. China and Russia are backpedaling, hoping that their prudence, or possible appeasement, will deter or deflect the danger. Their position is understandable given the level of risk. But appeasement, as we know from history, poses its own risks in the face of bullying and aggression. Appeasing the bully, the aggressor, invites more not less aggression.

24 thoughts on “Brian Becker at PSL: ‘China sounds the alarm: Trump prepares for war against Korea’

  1. paulie Post author

    What IPR does is cover what different US alt parties say, including radical communists. I already linked to the original article in the article itself. Republication at IPR has nothing to do with whether we agree with the source or not, much less with whether we agree with other items from the same source or not.

  2. dL

    Couldn’t fine a better source, than radical communist?

    Prefer Fox News? The again, the republican party is communism’s only success story…

  3. Floyd Whitley

    “the republican party is communism’s only success story”.

    Now that’s just plain stupid.

    I did not think self professed Libertarians could become more insufferable…bickering over what the definition of “is” is, with a raft of litmus tests on paper of dubious worth.

    But I must admit, I was wrong.

  4. paulie Post author

    Oh, I don’t know. My grandfather Lev Izraelovich Frenkel made a very seamless transformation from a CPUSSR member and high school principal in communist Russia to a Reagan Republican community leader at Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in the Boston area. I did find the commonalities between Soviet Communism in actual practice and American reactionary right conservatism in actual practice to be striking.

  5. Kevin S Bjornson

    I see. Reagan as president of the US, was equivalent to a leader of the Soviet Union. So, we should publicize a communist party in the US because….
    —Reagan was good?
    –communist party members can’t be expected to do their own posts?
    –all political parties should be publicized, including Nazi parties?

    To claim that Reagan Republicans are equivalent to Soviet-era communists, that the systems they believe in are essentially equivalent, … that’s a shocking statement. Did you say it because you enjoy the reaction this will likely get from ordinary Americans, or do you seriously believe that? This is deeply insulting to former residents of Soviet Gulags and the many thousands of Soviet zone Berliners who died while trying to cross the Berlin Wall.

    Often, Soviet citizens had to join the communist party in order to get a good job, like high school principle. Without really believing in communism or participating in it’s atrocities.

    I suppose this explains the very odd postings on the LP FB page lately–from asteroids to Satanism.

  6. Kevin S Bjornson

    Not that I am a particular fan of Monica Crowley, if she truly said that she must have been joking.

    Not all walls are equivalent. The Great Wall of China, and Hadrian’s Wall, were designed to prevent invasions or incursions of aggressors. Not to keep their citizens imprisoned, like the Berlin Wall.

    “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”.

  7. George Phillies

    The amount of crazy nonsense being posted on what once a fine site is amazing.

  8. paulie Post author

    Kevin
    IPR covers all US alt parties regardless of ideology. If you don’t understand that there is nothing to talk about. Should have continued to ignore you as I already generally do. That is the rule from now on.

  9. Kevin S Bjornson

    Paulie–if you want to “cover” a communist party (by posting one of their articles), by itself that’s no big deal to me. Similar if you were to post Nazi party articles (you haven’t done that, right?).

    But when coupled with your other comment, that Reagan Republicans are equivalent to Soviet-era communists, that does seem rather odd. By your own logic, shouldn’t you also be posting articles by Reagan Republicans–if they were equivalent?

    Post whatever you want, with whatever selection criteria you want. But your communist party post was not about that party per se, such as difficulties with ballot access or internal struggles; but about substance pertaining to a particular issue.

    It is such issues of substance I think more important. Like your astonishing claim that Reagan Republicans are equivalent to Soviet-era communists. You don’t want to discuss that with me. Now why is that? Did I commit some kind of social faux pas? Or am I just too stupid to be worthy? Like, I just don’t understand that IPR covers many political parties, when obviously I do.

    I do think a non-communist posting a communist party article a little odd. Are they just too lazy to do their own posts? Why don’t you post Nazi articles also? But I did not intend to make these little oddities the main focus of discussion. Primarily, I’d like you to explain your view that the Soviet Union (not “Russia” as you now say) was equivalent to Reagan-era USA. That goes beyond odd. But then, who am I to question Paulie, great expert on the Soviet Union.

    “The amount of crazy nonsense being posted on what once a fine site is amazing.”

  10. dL

    Not that I am a particular fan of Monica Crowley, if she truly said that she must have been joking.

    It’s from her verified twitter account. And no, she was not joking.

  11. paulie Post author

    Seems like Kevin is having a hard time grasping what journalism actually is.

    I’m not reading his comments anymore. If he has anything to say that anyone else besides him wants me to address let me know in your own words what that would be.

  12. dL

    the amount of crazy nonsense being posted on what once a fine site is amazing.

    Interestingly, if i had written: “the democratic party is communism’s only success story,” I doubt I would have got much reaction. Indeed, I’m counting how many head nodders there would be….

    This is deeply insulting to former residents of Soviet Gulags and the many thousands of Soviet zone Berliners who died while trying to cross the Berlin Wall.

    No more insulting than ronnie sucking is deeply insulting to all those in the US who went to jail under Reagan’s War on Drugs. I have written that blurb many times before. There was an obvious element of facetiousness to it and a play on the original Manchurian Candidate(where the right wingers were actually the commies). However, with Trump, not so much anymore.

    RE: Berlin Wall. The East German govt gave the same rationale for the Berlin Wall that Bjornson gives for own wall and border restrictions. Just to point that out.

    RE: The USSR and the US. Both were/are different forms of state capitalism. China today demonstrates the legitimacy of the analysis. Obviously, the USSR was a more authoritarian form. However, Reaganism set a course for the US version to move more and more toward the Soviet model in many ways. Prison population per capita, surveillance, militarism, glorification of authority, border control…certainly if the social con rethugs had their way, an official state social conservatism that would rival Ceausescu’s Romania.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Kevin,

    Independent Political Report covers the public acts and statements of “third” parties.

    The Party for Socialism and Liberation is a “third” party.

    QED, PSL’s public acts and statements are material likely to be covered by IPR.

    And yes, IPR has covered the public acts and statements of American fascist parties as well.

  14. Kevin S Bjornson

    Conditions in US prisoners are far more humane, than in the former Soviet Gulag.

    The Berlin Wall had the effect of preventing escape. Germans living in the western-occupied portions of Germany, were able to emigrate to Soviet-occupied Germany (though I acknowledge there were restrictions based on their fear that western spies would infiltrate, very few westerners wanted to live in the former east Germany). The primary function was clearly different.

    Monica Crowley started her career by sucking up to former president Nixon. I’m not a defender of her and her attempt at defending what I might favor is something I have not asked her to do nor do I have to defend what she said. Though I find it very hard to believe, Monica favors shooting Americans who want to flee into Mexico, though the Mexican border guards might. Probably dl does not realize that Mexico has very strict restrictions on Americans wishing to live and work in Mexico, they require visas.

    I’ve been following IPR for years and have never seen any publicity given to the American Nazi party. Perhaps IPR does publicize fascists parties, I’m not sure how Tom defines that term. What I don’t understand is, why don’t those minor totalitarian parties do their own posts.

    Paulie’s other comments led me to suspect he agrees with the substance of the communist party article. His comparison of Reagan with a (presumably pre-Gorbachev) Soviet leader, saying the two are equivalent, was bizarre in my opinion.

  15. Just Some Random Guy

    I’ve been following IPR for years and have never seen any publicity given to the American Nazi party.

    Does that party even still exist? Looking up some information, as far as I can tell it split off into several factions (some of which are defunct), none of which refer to themselves as the Nazi Party anymore.

    You can’t really give publicity to something that’s not around anymore. Might as well try to ask where the publicity for the Whig Party is.

  16. dL

    Conditions in US prisoners are far more humane, than in the former Soviet Gulag.

    lol… a stirring, inspirational defense of Reaganite Republicanism…

    The Berlin Wall had the effect of preventing escape.

    That’s your line. That wasn’t the East German government’s line. They used the same line you use to defend US border control.

    Paulie’s other comments led me to suspect he agrees with the substance of the communist party article. His comparison of Reagan with a (presumably pre-Gorbachev) Soviet leader, saying the two are equivalent, was bizarre in my opinion.

    Well, sometimes the CP does get it right, particularly in it’s criticisms of American State Capitalism(of course, agreeing w/ a diagnosis doesn’t mean agreement w/ the cure). Regarding Soviet leaders v Reagan: Categorically, I would contend Gorbachev was more of a liberal than Reagan. Certainly more of a liberal than Reagan’s heirs. Now, to deflect the charge that I am pulling this out my ass, I will reference Ivan Eland’s “Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty.” Jimmy Carter ranks as the most libertarian modern president(#8th overall). Reagan ranks near the bottom.

    Probably dl does not realize that Mexico has very strict restrictions on Americans wishing to live and work in Mexico, they require visas.

    Well, he probably does…of course, he also probably recognizes the logical fallacy of “two wrongs make a right.”

  17. Rebel Alliance

    GP: “The amount of crazy nonsense being posted on what once a fine site is amazing.”

    No kidding.

    Seriously. Augustus Invictus, Oregon, and Communist propaganda are the only things happening in the third party movement? These days IPR reminds me of this commercial from the movie UHF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH46Gc8fiPA

  18. Observation

    It’s all in what you choose to focus on. If you look on the front page, or the two or three or however many you want pages before that, you will find plenty of articles that have nothing to do with any of that if you look for them. For example, on the current front page as of this moment there is one article about the Constitution Party perspective on Syria, one about a conference call with Larry Sharpe on communicating libertarianism, one about the passing of libertarian writer Will Grigg, one about the latest arrest of Adam Kokesh, a liveblog and discussion of this past weekend’s LNC meeting, an article about both good and bad bills relating to ballot access in the NC legislature, and an article by Zoltan Istvan on leasing out federal land to pay for a universal basic income. That’s out of 12 articles, including an open thread.

    True, there are are also three articles regarding Florida, but that’s a pretty big mess right now. There’s also one statement from a marxist party on an issue where many libertarians would agree with them on general terms. None of the articles on the current front page are about Oregon.

    As for Phillies, his statement is highly non-specific. Does he mean that posting news and views from Marxist parties, which IPR has always done, is crazy nonsense? Or that Kevin Bjornsen’s inane criticism is crazy nonsense? Who knows? Who cares? Professor Emeritus Phillies is a smart guy, and knows how to write understandably when the mood strikes him. He also knows how to write meaningless statements like the ones above when he is in a mood for that. Both should be treated accordingly.

  19. paulie Post author

    Does that party even still exist? Looking up some information, as far as I can tell it split off into several factions (some of which are defunct), none of which refer to themselves as the Nazi Party anymore.

    You can’t really give publicity to something that’s not around anymore. Might as well try to ask where the publicity for the Whig Party is.

    We’ve posted about the several splinter American Nazi parties, and the American “Freedom” (formerly American Third Position) party which is not officially nazi but is crawling with nazis. I have posted some of those articles. Those parties do exist, but very rarely get on the ballot anywhere, so we cover them less than the marxist parties, which do still get on some ballots. Look under right wing minor parties category. We also cover centrist parties, under non left right parties, including something called the Modern Whig party which also just pretty much cross-endorses other parties’ candidates with very few exceptions. Our coverage of these has gone down because 1) Warren Redlich ruled that most of the very small parties be taken off our party listing, which makes it less likely that I will remember to look for anything from them and 2) the writers who used to cover them more often such as Jed and Chris have either not posted much lately or moved on altogether. Also, it appears that Politics1 has removed the explicitly nazi parties from its more comprehensive party listing recently, after many years of listing them.

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