Sunday, December 31, 2017

US very near tipping point on North Korea, as sanctions are violated and Iran seems like a willing covert partner of DPRK


A couple of alarming articles appear this New Year’s Eve.


CNBC, in an article by Clay Dillow, writes that Trump’s biggest threat may be the “axis of evil” (a term used before by Bush) where North Korea and Iran cooperate covertly, approaching a “tipping point”. 
  
And on ABC News, Mile Mullen (a former chairman of JCS) says we are closer to nuclear war on the Korean peninsula than ever before (he did not include the US homeland). Trump has behaved in a way to make diplomatic solutions impossible, and boxed himself into a position where prevailing in conflict is the only option.   Trump claims he has "washed the cobwebs" off North Korea policy. 

Update: Jan 1, 5 PM EST

Here's CNN's take on the protests in Iran, and on Trump's tweets.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Russian ships break the sanctions on North Korea on high seas


There are reliable stories that Russian ships have loaded oil onto North Korean tankers at sea, as in this Yahoo story, breaking the sanctions.

The stories also claim that there is no proof of direct involvement from Putin.

There are various stories that some channels to discussions may open since the Winter Olympics will take place in South Korea in late February. There are also reports that the DPRK will not back down on being a nuclear power and regards the sanctions as "war". And as I've reported elsewhere, there are indications that the Trump administration is aware of a possible DPRM EMP E1 threat, just as the US could do a non-nuclear E1 attack on North Korea now with cruise missiles.

On Saturday, Vox reported that Trump-UN sanctions are breaking down quickly, which could force Trump to act sooner to remain credible. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Jakarta is sinking fast


Michael Kinnelman has a booklet-length story in the New York Times about the sinking of Jakarta, Indonesia, partly because of illegal building practices and corruption. 

Jakarta is likely to be the first big world capital massively affected by climate change.
  

Jakarta is said to be the second largest urban area in the world.  
  
Indonesia has recently had a controversy over an attempt to pass an anti-gay law. 
  
By Sanko - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Russia threatens undersea cables between US and Europe


Michael Birnbaum of the Washington Post reports on an apparent Russian threat to undersea Internet cables across the Atlantic. 
  
Submarines are reported hovering in the areas near the cables and could sever them, cutting of Internet connections between North America and western Europe, most of the major western democracies that Putin increasingly sees as enemies, Trump notwithstanding. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Venezuela exterminates its own poor in Nazi-like fashion


The Wall Street Journal reports in  booklet-length article that the new regime is executing the poor people in barrios indiscriminately to get rid of them extrajudicially, in a way that makes the Philippines look tame. 

The story by Juan Feroro and Malois Castro is here

This is the regime that replaced Hugo Chavez.  But this country, after North Korea, seems to be among the worst examples of how extreme socialism and communism fail.
  
Today Quora had a question on what the worst ideology ever is, and someone answered the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, where Pol Pot tried to force everyone into peasantry for ideological pleasure only. Communism and fascism can turn out to be the same things. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sleepwalking toward nuclear war with North Korea, alarming Vox article Monday


Monday, Zack Beauchamp of Vox published a challenging piece, “We are sleepwalking toward war with North Korea; the risk of nuclear war is growing, and it’s real”, link. 
  
I could say “slouching toward war” like Judge Robert Bork’s book “Slouching toward Gomorrah”.
  
Beauchamp outlines the brinkmanship that could lead to war.  This includes the idea that if you think you will be attacked, better to strike first.  There are also aspects of the Domino Theory from the 1960s and Vietnam.  Furthermore, Kim Jong Un could wind up to have a nilhistic streak after all. 


So far, the piece hasn’t gotten a lot of traction today in the media.  Vox is generally known for liberal to moderate positions more or less in line with Hillary Clinton’s.  But this article could fit on Fox.

The article poses horrific ideas, like suddenly learning in the news that NYC has had a nuclear explosion with hundreds of thousands dead.  But this idea has been possible since 2001 with radical Islamic terrorism and Graham Allison’s book “Nuclear Terror”.

It’s important to remember that the Nov. 28 test device apparently disintegrated upon re-entry.  And Trump may have a non-nuclear microwave weapon (mounted on cruise missiles) to take out the missile sites, but we don’t know how well Faraday-shielded these sites are.

The Vox story does not mention North Korea’s EMP threat (mainly E1).

There is another story that there is more evidence that North Korea was behind the wanna cry ransomware last spring
  
Tillerson is reported to have been rattled by a reporter (AOL).

David Ignatius in the Washington Post reports on how a North Korean envoy reacted to all this speculation, here.  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lindsey Graham warns that time is running out on North Korea: 70% chance of war if one more test


Various media sources, such as Ed Kilgore of New York Magazine, are reporting Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as estimating the chances that Trump will go to war with North Korea at 70% if Fat Little Rocket Man carries out one more nuclear test (which seems to have caused considerable earthquake damage or a missile test (at least one that detonates something over the ocean). It’s 30% overall. 

An Atlantic article by Uri Friedman notes that once Un has reliable nuclear weapons he can sell them to terrorists on the black market even without any more provocative acts on his own.

But the articles don't consider whether Un has an EMP he could use now as retaliation.  Trump seems to be undercutting Tillerson's efforts at "diplomacy".  
   
Please, no fats or fems.  Not even for God-Kings.  Real angels are thin and wiry, or maybe even autistic (like The Good Doctor).

Monday, December 4, 2017

US begins war games on Korean area with stealth jets; questions on US missile defense capabilities; Graham tells Trump to remove American dependents from S Korea now!


McMaster said that the US is in a race to contain the North Korean threat, according to BBC, which implies that Trump could want to provoke a war before he believes North Korea can really hit the US with a nuke (EMP is more ambiguous). The BBC forks to other alarming stories, such as this
  
  
Here is McMaster’s interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday 
  
The US and South Korea are conducting joint maneuvers this week, including stealth fighters which North Korea would have a hard time detecting.
  
Will Ripley of CNN has warned that these exercises could provoke other North Korean belligerence this week. Ripley has also said that Trump has been provocative in calling Kim Jong Un a “puppy”, a profound insult in Korean culture.

Bonnier Berkowitz and Aaron Steckelberg have a “scrollable” report in the Washington Post on the progress of the GMD missile defense system for the US at home.    The problem is that Reagan-style Star Wars defense systems were put on hold for fear that they undermined the MAD theory among the superpowers.  But reliable defense could be critical to handle rogue states. 

Update: later Monday, December 4

Senator Lindsey Graham of S.C. wants families of servicemembers and contractors removed from South Korea now (Time story). Bob Baer (formerly CIA) told CNN he estimates the probability of war on the Korean peninsula soon at 50%.  My take is that the most dangerous time is July 2018.

Later:

Here is an alarming story on Vox by Alex Ward, usually temperate in its reporting. I've tweeted Ward about EMP.

But NBC reports (Cynthia McFadden et al) that the USAF has a non-nuclear microwave flux E1-level EMP weapon that could fry North Korean missile command and control in the first few minutes of war.  That is, unless the DPRK is good at building Faraday cages. If Trump could "win" that easily (like winning a piece in the opening in a chess game) he could make himself popular again.

Here's a Chicago Tribune article on "how this will end" without mention of EMP.

Here's my latest "warning" to mainstream media that it needs to start connecting the dots and finishing fact finding