South Korea warns Trump only it can declare war on North Korea

    

A day after US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford promised him that the US would exhaust all diplomatic options, including another round of UN sanctions, before resorting to a “military solution” in its simmering conflict with North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in reminded Washington during a forceful Tuesday speech that the US would need to seek, and receive, South Korea’s consent before risking another armed conflict on the Korean peninsula, signaling his country will no longer stay quiet as tensions escalate with its northern neighbor.

As Bloomberg summarizes, “Moon asserted the right to veto any military action against Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying that decision should be made by “ourselves and not by anyone else.” He vowed to prevent war at any cost – a statement that drew a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S.”

Some highlights from his speech:

  • “Without South Korea’s consent no one can determine military actions on the Korean peninsula”
  • South Korea govt will prevent war at any cost; “There will be no war repeated on the Korean peninsula”
  • South Korea will work closely with U.S. to overcome security threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear missiles
  • South Korea govt will “strengthen diplomatic efforts in order not to shake principles for a peaceful resolution”
  • Sanctions and talks should go together; “Sanctions are not to heighten military tensions but to bring North Korea to talks”

Moon’s speech coincided with the Korean independence-day holiday on Tuesday, which is celebrated in both the North and the South. The holiday commemorates the defeat of the Japanese during World War II. According to Yonhap news agency, Moon marked the occasion by visiting the graves of independence fighters. Meanwhile, Moon’s counterpart, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, “celebrated” by backing off his threat to launch a nuclear strike against Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean that’s about 2,000 miles away from the Korean Peninsula – well within the range of the North’s missiles.

According to KCNA, the North Korean news agency, Kim has received a report from the army about its plans to strike the area around Guam and said, “he will watch the actions of the United States for a while longer before making a decision.”

Moon, a leftist politician who has advocated for closer ties with the North, “extended the olive branch” during his speech, offering a “fresh invitation” to diplomatic talks if its isolated neighbor would suspend its missile tests. Here’s more from WSJ:

“President Moon Jae-in extended the latest olive branch to North Korea in a speech Tuesday on the 72nd anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. He called on the regime to suspend nuclear and missile tests as a precondition for talks, and offered a fresh invitation for the North to attend next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. But in a message, that appeared to be aimed at Washington, he said that allied military action could only be taken on the Korean Peninsula with the consent of South Korea, an implicit signal that Mr. Moon wouldn’t tolerate any unilateral action by the U.S. to strike North Korea following weeks of escalating tensions.

‘War must never break out again on the Korean Peninsula. Only the Republic of Korea can make the decision for military action on the Korean Peninsula,’ he said, using the country’s formal name.”

A day after China banned key imports from North Korea in accordance with new UN sanctions passed two weeks ago, Moon called for “further sanctions” against the Kim regime if talks fail to produce a “peaceful solution.”

“Mr. Moon reiterated his support for further sanctions on North Korea, saying such an approach could help bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table. He argued that the last time North Korea agreed to a moratorium on nuclear and missile testing, its relations with South Korea, the U.S. and Japan improved.”

Historically speaking, relations with North Korea tend to improve when the international community levies sanctions while also focusing on dialogue, according to WSJ.

“The past history of the North Korean nuclear problem showed that a clue to resolving the problem was found when sanctions were combined with dialogue,” he said.”

“Mr. Moon, South Korea’s first left-leaning president in nearly a decade, has called for closer cooperation with North Korea. In his speech Tuesday, Mr. Moon appeared to push for more independence from the U.S. on military affairs, though he emphasized, on two separate occasions, that his position wasn’t different from Washington’s.

“We cannot rely only on our ally for our security,” Mr. Moon said. ‘When it comes to matters related to the Korean Peninsula, our country has to take the initiative in resolving them.'”

Luckily, the US and South Korea largely agree on how to handle North Korea, and both see nuclear annihilation as an unacceptable option, according to the Associated Press.

“Moon said his South Korean government “will put everything on the line to prevent another war in the Korean Peninsula.” He says the “North Korean nuclear program should absolutely be solved peacefully, and the (South Korean) government and the U.S. government don’t have a different position on this.”

Meanwhile, in the surest sign yet that the US and the North are engaging in back-channel talks, the North Korean state-owned television channel KCNA reported that further releases of Americans detained in NK were not being discussed, according to the AP.

“A short dispatch from state news agency KCNA said Tuesday that a foreign ministry spokesman made the statement in response to foreign media reports that talks are ongoing. It did not identify which media.

The Associated Press reported last week that a U.S. envoy and his North Korean counterpart have discussed three other Americans being held in North Korea.”

In other news, Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio – who just yesterday taunted the North by saying bully” Kim Jong Un deserved a “punch in the nose” – expressed relief that North Korea appears to be holding off on an imminent launch of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory in the Pacific, the AP reported. China has also urged the two sides to iron out their difficulties during talks. We now await the next update from President Donald Trump to confirm whether détente is truly on the table.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/359273-South-Korea-warns-Trump-only-it-can-declare-war-on-North-Korea

The Chinese Media Warns Trump That They Will Militarily Stop an American First-Strike

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If anyone has any doubt that N. Korea is not a puppet state of China, all doubt should not be removed. The Chinese media told they will militarily stop an American first-strike upon the Chinese puppet state.  N. Korea is only doing what Beijing is telling them to.

If anyone has any doubt that N. Korea is not a puppet state of China, all doubt should not be removed. The Chinese media told they will militarily stop an American first-strike upon the Chinese puppet state. N. Korea is only doing what Beijing is telling them to. The real war will be with China. Oh, we may kill N. Korean troops, however, they are fighting for Beijing. 

 

 

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Lavrov Warns US Against Interfering in Russian Regional Elections

Lavrov Warns US Against Interfering in Russian Regional Elections



by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)



Unlike Russia’s noninterference in the elections of any country, America does it all the time, wanting pro-Western officials elected, not independent ones it doesn’t control.



William Blum’s research revealed Washington’s deplorable history, horrendous enough to make garden variety despots blush. Since WW II ended, its rap sheet:



“Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.”



Terror-bombed “more than 30 countries.”



“Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.”



“Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.”



“Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.”



Uses “torture (more) than any other country in the world…for over a century…not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.”



“It’s not a pretty picture,” said Blum. “It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.”



America is the unchallenged world champion rogue state, super-bully, intimidator and serial aggressor, raping and destroying countries to feed its military/industrial complex, enriching it at the expense of millions of lives lost and vast destruction – more coming for sure, an endless cycle of inflicting misery on people worldwide.



Washington spurns rule of law principles, mocks democratic values, wanting the world run according to its rules, no matter the human cost – governments maintaining their sovereign independence targeted for regime change.



On September 10, regional parliamentary and gubernatorial elections will be held in six of the Russian Federation’s 85 federal subjects.



Sergey Lavrov warned Washington (through its Moscow embassy) against interfering in them, saying:



“I do not know what plans the US embassy has, ??but there were many episodes when American diplomats were seen in illegal activities. The relevant services should take appropriate measures.”



According to the Vienna Convention, personnel in foreign embassies are forbidden from politicking abroad.



It’s common US practice for its “embassy staff to travel to different regions on the spot, conduct public inquiries: how they relate to the governor, in general to the federal center,” Lavrov explained. 



“In such situations, we politely (tell Washington) to terminate these people’s contracts…”(I)t’s (an) American tradition” to interfere in the affairs of other countries.



The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations “prescribes very specifically what diplomats can” and cannot do. “We will follow it and our laws.”



America operates by its own rules, systematically violating international law.



VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.



My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html



Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/223355-2017-08-12-lavrov-warns-us-against-interfering-in-russian-regional-elections.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

China Warns Trump They Will Intervene Militarily On Behalf Of North Korea As President Putin Warned Trump About Syria

Russian, Chinese Firms to Ink Deals Worth $10 Bln During Xi’s Visit

In a troubling repudiation of President Donald Trump’s demands that Beijing do more to rein in its bellicose neighbor, Beijing, through the state-owned media, cautioned the US president on Friday that it would intervene (militarily) on North Korea’s behalf if the US and South Korea launch a preemptive strike to “overthrow the North Korean regime,” according to a statement in the influential state-run newspaper Global Times.

“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it said.

  1. International Sanctions Isolate U.S. Itself: Russia Gives Solemn Warning To Deep State

At the same time, the Chinese regime  made it clear that its preferred outcome would be a continuation of the status quo, warning Kim Jong Un that it would “remain neutral if North Korea were to strike first.” The article, cited by Rueters,  reiterated calls for a diplomatic solution. However, the possibility of talks between the two sides was looking increasingly remote as both Trump and Kim continued to exchange threats of nuclear annihilation, with Trump clarifying Thursday that his earlier promise to respond with “fire and fury” should the North continue to threaten the US may not have gone far enough.

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial.

Meanwhile, as the North may be planning its next ICBM launch, the US is stepping up military exercises with Japan and South Korea.

“On Thursday, U.S. and Japanese troops began an 18-day live fire exercise on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which was to include rocket artillery drills and involve 3,500 troops. The Northern Viper drills are one of the scheduled exercises that Japan’s Self Defense Forces conducts regularly with their U.S. counterparts and are not a response to the latest tensions. South Korean and U.S. troops are also gearing up for an annual joint drill from Aug. 21, called the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, in which up to 30,000 U.S. troops will take part.”

US officials were also discussing coordinated contingency plans on Friday to formulate exactly how the allies would respond to an attack.

“South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong and his U.S. counterpart H.R. McMaster spoke on the phone for 40 minutes early on Friday, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul said. The two discussed responses to North Korean provocations and the security situation on the Korean peninsula, he said.”

Not surprisingly, analysts have compared the standoff between the two nuclear powers (the North is a recent, if untested, member of this club) to a modern day Cuban Missile crisis.

“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation’s Cuban Missile crisis moment,” ING’s chief Asia economist Robert Carnell said in a research note. “While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution.”

Judging by the markets’ reaction in the past 48 hours, this troubling reality has finally filtering through to risk assets.

ZeroHedge

China

  1. U.S. Dollar Just Died In China & Russia: Russia’s Sberbank Begins Physical Gold Trading On Shanghai Exchange

Related News:

  1. South Korea & Japan Shuts Down U.S. Monsanto Toxic Wheat Imports!
  2. Russia Checkmates The West: Expect More CIA Mossad Proxy Terrorism, Not Nuclear War
  3. Turkey Warns U.S. Of Creating ISIS Terrorist Army: Turkey Increases Military Intervention In Syria
  4. Russia’s Su-35 Fighter Jet Demoralizes US Pilots Flying McCain’s F-35 Dumbed Down Flying Bathtub
  5. China Escalates Crackdown On Deep State Corrupt Banking: 370 People Arrested In Illegal Foreign-Exchanges Totaling $64 Billion.

Source Article from https://politicalvelcraft.org/2017/08/12/china-warns-trump-they-will-intervene-militarily-on-behalf-of-north-korea-as-president-putin-warned-trump-about-syria/

Nearly 100 percent of the food coming from China is fraudulent or counterfeit, warns "food spies" expert

Image: Nearly 100 percent of the food coming from China is fraudulent or counterfeit, warns “food spies” expertImage: Nearly 100 percent of the food coming from China is fraudulent or counterfeit, warns “food spies” expert

(Natural News)
Many of us have heard horror stories about fake food incidents out of China, but the problem is far more widespread than the occasional sensational headline might imply. Just ask Mitchell Weinberg, the founder of global food spy network Inscatech.

Weinberg’s firm is hired by multinational food producers and retailers to uncover fraud and malpractice in the food industry. He says that China is a hotbed of food fraud.

“Statistically we’re uncovering fraud about 70 percent of the time, but in China it’s very close to 100 percent. It’s pervasive, it’s across food groups, and it’s anything you can possibly imagine,” Weinberg told Bloomberg.

Melamine-laced baby formula was one of the bigger scandals in China in recent years. In 2008, more than 6,000 babies in China were sickened after drinking contaminated milk formula, and an investigation found that one fifth of the country’s formula producers made powder that was tainted. Many of those babies suffered from acute kidney failure and developed kidney stones, and several of them died. To add insult to injury, it was later discovered that local officials were aware of the problem for at least a month before alerting central authorities.  Melamine, which is banned in food, makes the formula appear to have a higher protein content when tested.

The melamine problem even made it to American shores; around 1,500 cats and dogs died in the U.S. after consuming a pet food ingredient that was tainted with melamine that had been manufactured in China.

Fake meat, sauces and spices putting countless lives at risk

There’s far more to it than that, however. In 2013 raids, authorities arrested more than 900 people and seized 20,000 tons of illegal meat products after meat from rats and foxes was found masquerading as lamb. In that incident, counterfeiters treated the meat from rodents and foxes with gelatin, food coloring and nitrate and then passed it off as mutton. In addition, a fake beef and lamb jerky that was made out of duck meat and sold in markets across the country was found to have E. coli levels that dramatically exceeded standards.

The meat drama didn’t end there; in 2015, 800 tons of smuggled frozen meat bound for supermarkets and restaurants were seized by Chinese authorities, and one of the batches in question dated back to the 1970s. Experts told China Daily that customers would not be able to tell the difference between the decades-old meat and fresher batches if it didn’t show any signs of thawing. These meat products were not inspected and could contain serious viruses. Moreover, smugglers often use regular trucks instead of refrigerated ones to cut costs, which means the meat was likely kept at unsafe temperatures.

Earlier this year, authorities busted around 50 underground factories in northern China that were creating counterfeit versions of popular products like spice mix and soy sauce and selling the products under popular brand names like Nestle and Knorr. These fake foods were produced with dirty tap water, recycled spices that they bought at a discount from other factories, and industrial salt that is considered unfit for human consumption. They often stored their materials out in the open next to dumpsters. Authorities discovered the operations after being tipped off by a whistleblower.

It is becoming increasingly clear that when you consume food from China, you are risking your health. CNN reported that during the first three quarters of 2016 alone, Chinese Food and Drug Administration officials had uncovered more than 500,000 incidents of illegal behavior. Some of the outrageous food fraud cases that have been reported out of China include cadmium-laced rice, fake eggs, plastic pellets passed off as rice, carcinogenic recycled cooking oil, and glow-in-the-dark pork.

Sources include:

Bloomberg.com

TheGuardian.com

TheGuardian.com

Edition.CNN.com

Money.CNN.com

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-12-nearly-100-percent-of-the-food-coming-from-china-is-fraudulent-or-counterfeit-warns-food-spies-expert.html

Trump warns N. Korea it would 'regret' threatening U.S.

Hours after saying U.S. military options regarding North Korea were “locked and loaded,” President Trump on Friday warned that country’s leader would “regret it fast” if he made any threats against the United States.

“If he utters one threat, in the form of an overt threat — which, by the way he has been uttering for years, and his family has been uttering for years — or if he does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that’s an American territory, or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast,” Trump said at his New Jersey golf resort.

And Trump distanced himself from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comment earlier in the day that she did not “see a military solution to this conflict.”

“Let her speak for Germany,” Trump said. “Perhaps she is referring to Germany. She’s certainly not referring to the United States, that I can tell you.”

Trump’s reference to possible U.S. action in the event of a threat from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un marked a shift from his remarks just a few hours earlier, when he said American would respond should Pyongyang “act unwisely.” All week long, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have said U.S. actions would come in response to North Korean actions — not the incendiary threats that the repressive regime has made on a routine basis for decades.

The president also dismissed criticisms that his fiery rhetoric has escalated the first serious international confrontation of his barely 200-day-old administration.

“My critics are only saying that because it’s me,” he said. “If somebody else uttered the exact same words that I uttered, they’d say, ‘What a great statement, what a wonderful statement.’”

President Donald Trump President Donald Trump

Earlier in the day, Trump warned on Twitter that “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”

It was not clear exactly what sort of “military solutions” Trump was referring to or what precisely would constitute unwise action by the North Korean leader.

Asked at his afternoon event to elaborate on the tweet, Trump declined to offer specifics. “I think it’s pretty obvious. We are looking at that very carefully and I hope they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean,” he said.

North Korea had said on Thursday it was putting together a plan to fire four missiles in the direction of the U.S. territory of Guam, a Pacific island that is home to large American military installations.

Trump’s warning came a day after Mattis told reporters in Silicon Valley that the U.S. effort to “get this under control” was “diplomatically led,” “gaining traction,” and “gaining diplomatic results.”

Mattis emphasized that he wanted to “stay right there right now” and warned that the cost of conflict could be “catastrophic,” but also that when it comes to the U.S. military, “We are ready.”

Tensions have steadily escalated since July, when North Korea fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles — tests that showed its rockets could reach U.S. soil, according to U.S. intelligence officials. The United States responded by rallying an unusual 15-0 United Nations Security Council vote in favor of a package of tough new economic sanctions on the regime. This week, news outlets have reported that American intelligence confirmed a finding by Japan’s defense ministry that North Korea has likely developed warheads small enough to fit on its missiles.

Trump, speaking to reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, bluntly declared: “This man will not get away with what he’s doing, believe me.”

Read more from Yahoo News:

 

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-warns-n-korea-regret-threatening-u-s-203850212.html

North Korea Warns of Nuclear War, Trump Says U.S. Is ‘Locked and Loaded’






North Korea Warns of Nuclear War, Trump Says U.S. Is ‘Locked and Loaded’


August 11th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying what he called U.S. military solutions were “locked and loaded” as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

Russia, China and Germany expressed alarm at the escalating rhetoric from Pyongyang and Washington, while the Pentagon said the United States and South Korea would move ahead as planned with a joint military exercise in 10 days, an action sure to further antagonize North Korea.

Trump, vacationing at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, kept up the war of words on Twitter and again referenced North Korea’s leader. “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” he wrote. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”















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2 Responses to “North Korea Warns of Nuclear War, Trump Says U.S. Is ‘Locked and Loaded’”



  1. cryingfreeman Says:


    Let’s hope it all de-escalates quickly. I am the world’s number one lapsed prepper. I would be royally caught out if things kick off this summer!





  2. Kevin Says:


    I doubt that North Korea is capable of delivering a nuclear weapon with an ICBM, but I do wonder what this thing is for:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwangmy%C5%8Fngs%C5%8Fng-4

    High altitude EMP would be… Very bad.

    After decades of refusing to acknowledge the risks, we’re seeing stuff like this:

    Government agencies prepare for possibility of widespread power outages across the US in so-called ‘Black Sky’ catastrophes

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..es-US.html




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Henry Kissinger warns destroying Isis could lead to ‘Iranian radical empire’

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/henry-kissinger-warns-destroying-isis-could-lead-to-iranian-radical-empire/

Investor Warns Stock Market Is Like Yellowstone: “It’s Beautiful, But It Has A Volcano Underneath It”

[8/9/17/ MAC SLAVO]  Anyone putting money in the stock market at this point should have their head examined. The fact that the stock market has reached a record high for the ninth day in a row should be enough for any rational person to see that we’re in a bubble of massive proportions. But there’s also the fact that all of the big players in the investment community are backing out of stocks like there’s no tomorrow.

Sovereign wealth funds are pulling their money out of stock markets in developed countries, corporate insiders are selling stocks in their own companies, and infamous investment companies like Goldman Sachs are admitting that there’s a 99% chance that the stock market won’t keep rising like this in the near future. Berkshire Hathaway, the 7th largest company in the S&P 500, is sitting on a $100 billion dollar pile of cash that grows year after year, because as the stock market climbs to new heights, there aren’t many attractive investments left. You can’t buy low and sell high when there are no lows, and that should say a lot about current state of the economy.

The latest damning report on the stock market comes from Barry James, the president of James Advantage Fund. In a recent interview with CNBC he compared the global market to Yellowstone National Park. “It’s beautiful, but it has a volcano underneath it.”

“Even though [the market] looks beautiful—setting new highs, good momentum, and earnings have been coming in strong, [there are] things to worry about,” explained the portfolio manager recently on CNBC’s “Futures Now.”

Aside from the rise of passive investing, which James says is creating a “herd mentality” among investors, he also believed that the earnings picture isn’t telling the whole story.

“In the 18 months ending in June, we saw companies that had no earnings, they were losing money, outperform those that were making money,” said James. He highlighted many stocks’ performances this year may not be reflective of their revenues.

And when you look at the data behind these stocks, you’ll find that we’ve been down this road before, and it’s not pretty. Much like Goldman Sachs’ prediction that the market simply cannot sustain itself at this rate, James sees evidence that we’re in for a crash sometime in the next year.

But the biggest threat to the market rally, according to James, is the current valuation levels of stocks.

“We went back to 1994 and researched team data that said [that if we look at cyclically adjusted P/E, one out of two times] the market was down in the next 12 months, and about one out of three times it was down more than 10 percent,” he said.

The stock market has defied all expectations for years. We’re in the one of the longest bull markets in history, which has also coincided with some of the worst economic growth numbers ever recorded, and that obviously isn’t sustainable. Every day that passes, the odds of our economy crashing go up a little more, and the investors who know this are getting out while they still can.

Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/investor-warns-stock-market-like-yellowstone-beautiful-volcano-underneath/

Glenn Greenwald warns “Trump opponents should be careful of what they wish for, as it might come true”

During his successful 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump, for better and for worse, advocated a slew of policies that attacked the most sacred prongs of long-standing bipartisan Washington consensus. As a result, he was (and continues to be) viewed as uniquely repellent by the neoliberal and neoconservative guardians of that consensus, along with their sprawling network of agencies, think tanks, financial policy organs, and media outlets used to implement their agenda (CIA, NSA, the Brookings/AEI think tank axis, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, etc.).

Whatever else there is to say about Trump, it is simply a fact that the 2016 election saw elite circles in the U.S., with very few exceptions, lining up with remarkable fervor behind his Democratic opponent. Top CIA officials openly declared war on Trump in the nation’s op-ed pages and one of their operatives (now an MSNBC favorite) was tasked with stopping him in Utah, while Time Magazine reported, just a week before the election, that “the banking industry has supported Clinton with buckets of cash . . . . what bankers most like about Clinton is that she is not Donald Trump.”

Hank Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO and George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary, went to the pages of the Washington Post in mid-2016 to shower Clinton with praise and Trump with unbridled scorn, saying what he hated most about Trump was his refusal to consider cuts in entitlement spending (in contrast, presumably, to the Democrat he was endorsing). “It doesn’t surprise me when a socialist such as Bernie Sanders sees no need to fix our entitlement programs,” the former Goldman CEO wrote. “But I find it particularly appalling that Trump, a businessman, tells us he won’t touch Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”Some of Trump’s advocated assaults on D.C. orthodoxy aligned with long-standing views of at least some left-wing factions (e.g., his professed opposition to regime change war in Syria, Iraq/Libya-style interventions, global free trade deals, entitlement cuts, greater conflict with Russia, and self-destructive pro-Israel fanaticism), while other Trump positions were horrifying to anyone with a plausible claim to leftism, or basic decency (reaffirming torture, expanding GITMO, killing terrorists’ families, launching Islamophobic crusades, fixation on increasing hostility with Tehran, further unleashing federal and local police forces). Ironically, Trump’s principal policy deviation around which elites have now coalesced in opposition – a desire for better relations with Moscow – was the same one that Obama, to their great bipartisan dismay, also adopted (as evidenced by Obama’s refusal to more aggressively confront the Kremlin-backed Syrian government or arm anti-Russian factions in Ukraine).

It is true that Trump, being Trump, was wildly inconsistent in virtually all of these pronouncements, often contradicting or abandoning them weeks after he made them. And, as many of us pointed out at the time, it was foolish to assume that the campaign vows of any politician, let alone an adept con man like Trump, would be a reliable barometer for what he would do once in office. And, as expected, he has betrayed many of these promises within months of being inaugurated, while the very Wall Street interests he railed against have found a very welcoming embrace in the Oval Office.

Nonetheless, Trump, as a matter of rhetoric, repeatedly affirmed policy positions that were directly contrary to long-standing bipartisan orthodoxy, and his policy and personal instability only compounded elites’ fears that he could not be relied upon to safeguard their lucrative, power-vesting agenda. In so many ways – due to his campaign positions, his outsider status, his unstable personality, his witting and unwitting unmasking of the truth of U.S. hegemony, the embarrassment he causes in western capitals, his reckless unpredictability – Trump posed a threat to their power centers.

It is often claimed that this trans-partisan, elite coalition assembled against Trump because they are simply American patriots horrified by the threat he poses to America’s noble traditions and institutions. I guess if you want to believe that the CIA, the GOP consulting class, and assorted D.C. imperialists, along with Bush-era neocons like Bill Kristol and David Frum, woke up one day and developed some sort of earnest, patriotic conscience about democracy, ethics, constitutional limits, and basic decency, you’re free to believe that. It makes for a nice, moving story: a film from the Mr.-Smith-Goes-to-Washington genre. But at the very least, Trump’s campaign assaults on their most sacred pieties was, and remains, a major factor in their seething contempt for him.

 

From the start of Trump’s presidency, it was clear that the permanent national security power structure in Washington was deeply hostile to his presidency and would do what it could to undermine it. Shortly before Trump was inaugurated, I wrote an article noting that many of the most damaging anti-Trump leaks were emanating from anonymous CIA and other Deep State operatives who despised Trump because the policies he vowed to enact –  the ones American voters ratified – were so contrary to their agenda and belief system. Indeed, they were even anonymously boasting that they were withholding secrets from Trump’s briefings because they decided the elected President should not have access to them.

After Trump openly questioned the reliability of the CIA in light of their Iraq War failures, Chuck Schumer went on Rachel Maddow’s show to warn Trump – explicitly – that he would be destroyed if he continued to oppose the intelligence community:

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