American Media Are Getting People Ready For War With North Korea

Remember what it felt like a couple of months ago when you, as an American, didn't give much thought to North Korea? I'd like you to try and remember that feeling over the next couple of weeks, because the US government wants that to change. The past month has shown a tremendous shift in news coverage about North Korea. And that's no accident.

The nuclear submarine USS Michigan, armed with 154 tomahawk missiles, arrives in Busan, South Korea on April 24, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine Ralliford)

President Donald Trump continues to beat the drums of war, and the media are going along with him. Trump doesn't have any particular incentive to bomb North Korea or advocate for regime change in the country. It's not even clear that Trump knows the leader of North Korea's name. But Trump is above all a man who likes to be liked. And so far, the actions that have won him the most praise have been when he dropped a bunch of bombs on Syria.

Some talking heads on American TV will insist that we don't want war. But with a subtle shift in narrative, there comes a sense that "we," as the world's police, have no other choice. Once the media talking heads get far enough down that road, constructive criticism of potential war (both at the dinner table and the water cooler) become loaded with questions of "well, if you love North Korea so much, why don't you move there?"

And just as we saw in the lead up to the second Iraq War in 2003, American military action will begin to feel inevitable. Talks about diplomatic options will be brushed away with "we tried that" and there will be no other course but war.

Then come the slogans: These colours don't run. Love it or leave it. Liberate Iraq. Or, in this case, Liberate North Korea. And no matter how many times you insist that while you would love to see Kim Jong-un ousted yet don't want to see war, you will be called a naive traitor -- maybe even that greatest of insults, unAmerican -- who doesn't understand how the real world works.

Can North Korea Strike The US?

All you need to do is open up the New York Times to see the shift in how Americans now talk about the North Korean threat. In a story published last night, we're told that there's a growing sense of urgency, with the headline, "As North Korea Speeds Its Nuclear Program, U.S. Fears Time Will Run Out."

Behind the Trump administration's sudden urgency in dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis lies a stark calculus: a growing body of expert studies and classified intelligence reports that conclude the country is capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks.

By the third paragraph the story is already imagining a hypothetical strike against a US city, in a scenario that we've heard off and on since the late 1990s whenever it's politically expedient:

Now those step-by-step advances have resulted in North Korean warheads that in a few years could reach Seattle. "They have learned a lot," said Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, from 1986 to 1997, and whom the North Koreans have let into their facilities seven times.

And it wouldn't be the last time that the article cites this outrageous hypothetical that North Korea could strike US cities. The New York Times even drops in the possibility of North Korea hitting New York "one day."

Unless something changes, North Korea's arsenal may well hit 50 weapons by the end of Mr. Trump's term, about half the size of Pakistan's. American officials say the North already knows how to shrink those weapons so they can fit atop one of its short- to medium-range missiles -- putting South Korea and Japan, and the thousands of American troops deployed in those two nations, within range. The best estimates are that North Korea has roughly 1,000 ballistic missiles in eight or so varieties.

But fulfilling Mr. Kim's dream -- putting a nuclear weapon atop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach Seattle or Los Angeles, or one day New York -- remains a more complex problem.

Again, this might be a good time to pause and think about your feelings on North Korea a few months ago. Was the country an existential threat to you then? If you're feeling more inclined to support a preemptive war against North Korea, as Trump has said is now a very real possibility, what changed? Was it reading an article that said North Korea could one day, possibly, maybe hit the United States with a nuclear weapon?

An easy win against an inferior enemy?

Or, take this story from Fox News published yesterday. We're told that military victory in North Korea would be easy, according to "experts."

If tensions between the U.S. and North Korea reach the point where America uses its mighty air power against the rogue nation, it won't be much of a battle, experts told Fox News.

In recent weeks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned that all options "are on the table" should the communist dictatorship continue to threaten its neighbours and the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence echoed that sentiment, saying "North Korea would do well not to test [President Trump's] resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region."

If that strength includes U.S. airpower, North Korea's antiquated Korean People's Army Air Force (KPAAF) wouldn't be able to put up much of a fight.

If you're old enough to remember the invasion of Iraq in 2003, you'll recall that Americans were also sold on the idea that victory would be easy. Notably, the piece never mentions or considers what happens after you "defeat" an enemy like Iraq or North Korea.

Number of mentions of civilian casualties in the Fox News article? Zero. Number of mentions of the inevitable humanitarian crisis? Zero. Number of mentions of the likely counterinsurgency campaign that could last untold numbers of years? Zero.

North Korean men and women walk along a residential area in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 25, 2017 (AP Photo/Eric Talmadge)

At least we haven't gotten to the part yet where Americans are being told that North Koreans will welcome us as liberators. They said that about Iraq, and it turned out to not be the case -- in a very major way.

In North Korea, every person is taught from childhood that the United States and Japan are the most evil countries on the planet. Something tells me that North Korea's standing army of 1.3 million troops won't greet American or Japanese forces as liberators. Even if North Korea's elite dictatorship were wiped away with a magic wand tomorrow, it's difficult to predict how the populace would react.

Selling The War

In order for the United States to strike North Korea, the Trump regime hypothetically needs buy-in from three places: the international community, Congress, and the American people.

When it comes to the international community, Trump has more or less gotten permission to do whatever he wants from allies like Australia and Japan. In fact, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to meet face-to-face with Donald Trump for the first time as early as next week. The temporary caretaker government in South Korea doesn't want war, but it's easier than ever for Trump to push them around, at least until elections are held on May 9th. And State Department Secretary Tillerson is reportedly charing a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday.

"The meeting will give Security Council members an opportunity to discuss ways to maximise the impact of existing Security Council measures and show their resolve to respond to further provocations with appropriate new measures," a State Department spokesperson said yesterday.

As for Congress, they're going to get the hard-nosed sales pitch from the Trump regime this week. All one hundred US Senators are meeting at the White House on Wednesday morning for a classified briefing by Defence Secretary Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford, State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson, and the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats. A similar briefing is being planned for members of the House.

And lastly, there's the American public, who need to be persuaded that North Korea is a threat to the American way of life through the media. Again, we're seeing that happening in real time as news stories that are eerily reminiscent of past wars rear their ugly head.

I don't know the future. I have no idea if the United States is going to invade North Korea or drop bombs on Kim Jong-un's brutal regime. But the stars are aligning this week for a slick sales job, just as we saw in 2003 before the invasion of Iraq. And that should scare the hell out of anyone who believes that the US and its allies have very little to gain and a lot to lose by starting a war (nuclear or otherwise) on the Korean peninsula.

The next time you read a story about North Korea or see something about the country on TV, simply ask yourself what changed? Did North Korea become a tangible threat to the safety and security of the United States in just a few short months? Or are you being sold on the idea of a war?

If it's the latter, and you were duped into believing that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a good idea, maybe take a moment to reflect on what we're being sold today. The lives of a lot of people in South Korea, Japan, North Korea and maybe even the US and China depend on what we decide to do next.

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Comments

    If the Yanks strike first, Seoul would take a God awful pummeling from NK Artillery, so too high a price. If Kim Jong-un struck first, again Seoul cops it and the possibility of Nuclear exchange, so again, too high a price. If the Yanks keep circling their waggons around the country, Kim Jong-un gets more and more paranoid, so, not a good outlook. If the Yank piss off, let the UN strangle him through sanctions, eventually, maybe, he'll have to give it up. Either way, if Trump keeps this shit up it will end badly for all of us. Please, for the love of mercy, do not let us get carried into this shit fight because there are twelve-year-olds with their fingers on a big red button, running both countries.

      Or alternatively, he gets the shits with the UN sanctions, and Seoul cops it.

      Absolutely nothing will happen and NK won't do anything even if US assets sit off the coast, because they know it'll be the end of their nation, and Kim Jong-un likes playing dictator too much. There'll be more posturing, more rhetoric, and then everyone will go back to what they were doing.

      NK always acts up around this time of year.

        Hope springs eternal, so we can always put our faith in humanity, except we're forgetting one thing.. Trump! He has his finger on the button and Donald wants to play!

    Luckily for North Korea that they have no natural resources for US corporate entities to take.

    On the other hand maybe the US wants to get back at them for the "defeat" the US suffered in the 1950s?

      sorry not sure if you are being serious about natural resources (sarcasm is hard to gauge on the old inter webs), but they do have a lot of good quality coal and rare earth minerals.

    a naval blockade of heir ports would strangle them real quick with the chinese assisting on the land routes. Target Chinese firms that deal with the NK's.

    Bottom line is: the U.S profits from war.

    They will always create a way to justify it - whether that's staging Pearl Harbour/9-11/weapons of mass destruction/ISIS. The pattern is clear - the justification this time is non-existent nuclear missiles.

    Australia needs to move away from the U.S. We've been fighting their wars for too long - and what for?

      No doubt the US profits from war but Pearl Harbor and 9/11 staged? You may want to remove the Faraday cage from your head and venture out of the basement to do some actual research.

        Why is it so hard to believe they were staged?

        I don't think it's very paranoid or 'out there' as far as conspiracy theories go.

          You be you but I lost friends and family in both so I'm not going to debate something so ludicrous. Also, how do you 'stage' ISIS?

            Also, how do you 'stage' ISIS?Well, first you create it to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, then you let it loose. I feel for your family, but the US isn't being run by the Government, and for that matter nor is Australia.

              I don't disagree how/why they started but they are in fact a real organization. To claim that they don't exist (and that actual events never happened) is a bridge too far and it up there with the Flat Earth Society.

                I should have been more specific - I'm not claiming these events never happened - I do believe people actually died - I just think it was the U.S government doing the killing and not the Japanese/Iraqis/Afghans/Syrians.

                All inside jobs to get the population on board with war.

                Same thing that's happening with N.Korea now. There is no actual threat. Americans never gave a thought to N.Korea until the media suddenly started telling us they have nuclear weapons that could reach the U.S.

                  Got it. The Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor - the Americans did. Again, your Faraday cage needs a tune-up.

          Because there's zero credible evidence that they were staged and plenty to the contrary. There is not one shred of evidence that stands up to scrutiny that either were false-flag operations or anything other than acts of war or terror. Absolutely nothing you can produce to support said claims will ever stand up to scrutiny.

          Honestly, if you believe those conspiracy theories, you're wilfully ignoring facts like an anti-vaccer.

            Actually there's lots of evidence - most obvious example being the twin towers were demolished using explosives. Detonation experts have numerously agreed that it looks exactly like a building being demolished from the inside, and not as a result from a plane hitting it.

              No, they haven't, absolutely none of that has ever been verified or proven. None of these "controlled demolition" theories were ever properly peer reviewed or verified. Even then most 'scientific' theory that thermite was used to bring the towers down is absurdly implausible and has plenty of other, simplier explanations for its supposed evidence.

              But whatever, believe in it if you want - but don't present it as fact or scientific, because it isn't.

              There's no evidence of a controlled demolition, only opinions and poor ones at that.

              Controlled demolitions run thousands of meters of detcord for reasonable sized jobs, hundreds of precisely positioned holes, and lots of man time setting it all up. Do you think no one who worked in the building would have noticed that happening? Not to mention that a large part of the supporting structure was the outside beams which would have been very visible if they blew out.

    Is there actually a real threat of war or is it just a pissing contest? My rational side thinks the latter but with Trump anything is possible (luckily it will not be his decision to make).

    I can't think of anything substantial that the US could gain from going to war with NK (although it wouldn't surprise me they might do it just to show the world how muscly they are).

    At this point I think it's just posturing which is a good way to get the rest of the world to show their cards.

      its mostly because Trump is extremely unpredictiable. the only other example is Nixon and how he worked with the Vietnam War where he played a game of nuclear chicken in order to get the north and south to sit down for peace talks

    No way is war going to occur. USA hasn't even finished Iraq and Afghanistan, so it will not start a whole new war with a more powerful foe. Basically, if it strikes NK it will forfeit its war against Islamic terrorism, and i don't think any US general sees NK as a bigger threat than Islamic extremism. More likely, the US government and media are insincerely focusing on NK to distract from the failing war in Afghanistan, the slow progress in Mosul and the heightened anti-Russian rhetoric following the US attack on the Syrian airbase and Russian political meddling in the US.

    Diplomacy and then NK threatens. Diplomacy and then NK threatens. **Kim Jong Un has said REPEATEDLY that will he will NEVER cease or dismantle his nuclear ambitions for ANY reason**. What part of that do you pro-diplomacy people NOT get!!??? It's been tried for decades and his belligerence and arrogance prevailed!! And now he threatens Australia for no other reason than they are "guilty by association".
    NO-ONE WANTS WW3, but unfortunately with people like Kim Jong Un you are more than likely going to get it whether you want it or not, whether you do anything to contribute to it or not. IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME. And ANYBODY threatening ANYBODY with nukes in a nuclear world is something you just-don't-do! What are you going to do???? HOPE he doesn't make good on his threats?? And if he does, HOPE you can intercept before TOO MANY of your citizens are killed?? Or act decisively, preemptively and protect the lives of your own citizens? IF ANYTHING COMES OF THIS, and Kim Jong Un starts something and USA reacts, all those condemning USA right now will be SECRETLY thanking them for keeping them alive. But they won't admit to it, because that takes guts! Those of you with those traits - you're pathetic!!!!!!

      Maybe you should cut back on the coffee just a little bit...

    "Hilary is a warmonger"
    "Hilary wants to start wars"

    Screamed the trumpettes in the election.

    The benefit of war to Trump here is the same as it has been to every conservative president who has capitalised on it - it's an artificial means of unifying the country and distracting them from domestic issues.

    Trump has been getting absolutely battered domestically. None of his reforms are being allowed through the courts, his approval rating was at its lowest point this month, even his conservative support base is steadily eroding.

    He needs a foreign distraction, and he's been probing for one for a while now. He antagonised China (both directly and by hinting at relations with Taiwan) and Russia directly but thankfully neither took the bait and Trump realised they'd both pose extreme risks in actual conflict. He tested the waters with the Syrian missile strike but Russia's continued involvement would likely mean a proxy war. But North Korea is a weak opponent with no friends. China hasn't really supported them since the Korean War, they've just refused to sanction them and kept the trade routes open. Trump met with Xi Jinping and discovered that if push came to shove, China wouldn't get involved, and that was when the machine began to move.

    For Trump, a war with North Korea is relatively safe. He doesn't care about other countries in the region and when likely retaliatory strikes from North Korea hit South Korea he'll be quick to spin it solely as the actions of a madman and bury the notion that it was a predictable response to US military action that could have and should have been avoided.

    And all the while this is happening, people will be too busy being bombarded with news of American soldiers fighting for liberty in far-off lands to be concerned about pesky domestic things like escalating police conflict, Black Lives Matter, immigration policies and anything else domestic Trump wants to push through. It's exactly what he needs.

      it's an artificial means of unifying the country and distracting them from domestic issues
      Exactly Zombie ;)

    I think south Korea will be quite happy to double in size . The USA will have a strong comrade in arms on China and Russia door step.
    With Japans help that's one hell of a flanking maneuver

      Look at how much difficulty Europe has had dealing with 4 million refugees during the Syrian crisis, then multiply that by 6 and you've got the 25 million North Koreans who would need to be provided for, by a host population of only 50 million.

      Support for unification in South Korea has been falling for years, it would be a disaster for it to happen through a regime change or invasion. You'd be looking at a minimum $150 billion a year. The US can't afford it, South Korea certainly can't because it'd be over 10% of their GDP, Europe can't because they're already struggling with the Syrian crisis. That leaves China, which will only help align the resulting united Korea with east Asia and away from the United States.

        The people of North Korea are already at the poverty line, where every effort that they put into their daily lives is to feed that regime.
        No free trade, No freedom
        What is freedom worth ?
        We are thankful to our ancestor's for ours.

          "What is freedom worth" is a nice platitude but it doesn't magically erase the costs involved. Some things are just beyond our ability to handle with the resources we have available.

            What happens if he actually fires a nuclear bomb ?
            He is threatening a lot of countries with a lot of hot air, but maybe not.
            The problem is the "he" Kim jong un is in complete control of the resources of a country and he will do as he likes!
            Does that remind you of anyone ?

              MAD doctrine indicates that if they're going to launch a nuclear attack, the most likely time is when North Korea comes under attack themselves. US or allied military action against North Korea would almost certainly result in a retaliatory strike on Seoul, the centre of which is only 40km from the border and has a population of 10 million.

              THAAD coverage in South Korea has only just recently come online and is poor (only just covering Seoul), it's very likely some North Korean ballistic missiles would reach their targets both in Seoul and elsewhere in the country.

              There's a reason nuclear powers don't go to war with each other. Successful nuclear strikes are inevitable.

                Sad but true
                Their just waiting for one of his missiles to work!
                Classic, we should of done something earlier but at that time it was unforeseen
                Bollocks!
                Here we go again but this time with really big toys.

    i want to study in abroad...

    9/11 was an inside job.
    I 100% agree with what Frankly Franky had said.
    Alquida, ISIS, their all made up for people to believe there are terrorist groups who plotted the 9/11 terror attacks when in fact the US government had set the whole thing up.
    They then used Alquida and ISIS to blame on them, covering up what they plotted then used that excuse to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.
    They made the excuse to invade Iraq because they were accusing them of having weapons of mass destruction, did they find any? No
    The same thing will happen with NK, media making up stories that NK have nuclear missiles and they want to attack America.
    The only ones that are doing the threatening are the media, they want to make the rest of the world believe that NK are evil and planning to go on the attack when in fact it's the media building up all the hype.
    CNN and many other media related reporters are in with the UN and the CIA together with the previous US government, who have manipulated everyone to their sick nasty deception and lies, killing thousands of innocent people all for their own wealth.
    I've done many months of research on lots of conspiracys, and I can tell everyone now as hard as it is to believe, we are living in one great big lie and all due to the corruption and deception of the US government.

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