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Will USA provoke a nuclear war ?

Washington pushes world to brink of nuclear war, WSWS, 18 April 2017  The repeated statements by US Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump administration officials Monday that the “era of strategic patience” with North Korea is over and “all options are on the table” have laid bare the mounting threat that Washington will provoke a war on the Korean peninsula involving the use of nuclear weapons and the deaths of millions.

“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Pence declared during a provocative visit to South Korea that brought him to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the North Korean border. “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region,” Pence said.

This boasting about the reckless acts of military aggression—first, the cruise missile attack on Syria on April 7 and then, a week later, the use in Afghanistan of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, the most destructive weapon unleashed anywhere since the US incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—cannot be read by the government of North Korea as anything other than an ultimatum to accept US demands or expect to be on the receiving end of far greater violence.

With the naval strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson set to take up a position off the Korean peninsula, the means of inflicting such violence are being put into place. The global implications of this buildup were underscored Monday with the report that both Russia and China have dispatched spy ships to trail the Vinson battle group. For these two nuclear-armed countries, Washington’s launching of a war against North Korea poses an existential threat.

The drive toward a military confrontation in Asia that could lead to a nuclear third world war has unfolded largely behind the backs of the people of the United States and the entire world. Neither the politicians of the two big business parties in the US nor the corporate-controlled media have so much as hinted to the public the horrific consequences of even a “limited” nuclear exchange on the Korean peninsula, nor the likelihood that such a catastrophe would draw all of the major nuclear powers into a global conflagration.

The recklessness of the path being pursued by Washington is staggering. Why the “era of strategic patience” has ended is not explained, nor are the conclusions drawn from this declaration even challenged. There are a whole number of states that now have nuclear weapons. North Korea’s pursuit of such arms does not represent a credible threat to the US.

“All options are on the table” can only mean that Washington is prepared to launch an unprovoked first strike against North Korea. Yet, within the media, there is barely a mention that such a course involves the threat of nuclear war. Nor is there the slightest suggestion that the US Congress should convene to vote on whether to authorize an attack that could produce casualties in the millions. The accepted wisdom is that Donald Trump doesn’t have to tell anyone what military action he will take until after the attack is executed. The only hint Trump gave of his intentions was at a Monday Easter egg-rolling event on the White House lawn, where he declared that North Korea has “gotta behave.”

The real character of the policy being pursued by Washington was indicated by John Bolton, the Bush administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, who told Fox News that the “way to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is to end North Korea,” i.e., topple the government and militarily smash the country.

The real and growing danger posed by Washington’s reckless policy is beginning to be registered, if only in the mildest form.

The New York Times, which had previously celebrated the Trump administration’s turn toward stepped-up militarism against Syria and Russia, proclaiming its feeling of “emotional satisfaction and justice done” over the cruise missile strike of April 7, has become somewhat nervous that things are spinning out of control………..

The assumption that China can be pressured into imposing Washington’s diktat in relation to North Korea is without foundation….. If Beijing were to accede to these demands, it would have immense strategic implications for China as well as major internal political consequences.

There are already indications that tensions between Beijing and Washington are escalating on the Korean peninsula after Seoul’s announcement that it intends to move ahead rapidly with the installation of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, which the US claims is designed to defend against North Korean missiles, but which China recognizes as a means of assuring the US a nuclear first-strike capability……

Everything that is being done by the US government involves astonishing levels of risk, including that of a nuclear war. Whether it happens in the immediate confrontation with North Korea cannot be predicted, but that this is the course Washington is prepared to pursue all over the world is undeniable……..https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/18/pers-a18.html

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April 19, 2017 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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