Merry Christmas to one and all from North Korea. Glorious Leader Kim Jong-un unwrapped a wonderful new intercontinental missile, the Hwasong-15, which experts believe might be capable of reaching Los Angeles, New York and Washington, depending on the weight of its nuclear warhead.
This was the big, earth-shaking story until Gen. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in Washington seemed an even bigger bombshell than North Korea’s nukes. As of now, the Flynn scandal looks like a tempest in a teapot – unless FBI Inquisitors can produce real evidence that the wicked Russians were doing anything more in cahoots with Trump & Co. than all major powers, including the US, routinely do.
As a former French prime minister so well put it, ‘all government is permanent conspiracy.’
The best thing to come out of ‘l’affaire Flynn’ is that this loopy, wildly anti-Muslim general is out of government. But many more cranks and crazies still infest the Trump administration.
After last week’s nasty exchange of tweets between British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump, and his posting of spurious anti-Muslim hate films made by Brit neo-Nazis, the depths of this administration’s hatred of Muslims was on view to the world. Previously, it had been kept somewhat below the surface.
Trump, a non-stop viewer of Fox TV `news’, has clearly become a zombie-like follower of Fox’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, who is a notorious hater of Islam and ardent supporter of Israel’s rightwing government. In the Fox view, any bad news about Muslims is good news for Israel – a very foolish way of thinking since the anti-Islamic prejudice now being spread throughout the US, Russia, and Europe is just one step away from 1930’s anti-Semitism.
Back to Glorious Leader Kim. It is astounding that his Hwasong-series missiles work so well. One recalls all those embarrassing US tests of the 1960’s, with missiles toppling over and blowing up or being destroyed right after launch.
Somehow, North Korea’s missiles have become so reliable that their launch is shown on TV, with you know who watching – from a safe distance of course.
A sure-fire way of gauging a missile’s efficiency is studying its tail’s exhaust pattern. The Hwasong-14 and now 15 appear strong, steady and totally effective. How did a threadbare nation of only 25 million people develop such a powerful weapon?
Of course, there were launch failures in the past, and even launch-pad explosions. But the new Hwasong series looks potent and reliable, and has caught Washington’s attention when it is not fussing about Donald Trump. South Korea’s 50 million citizens must have growing admiration for the North while their own government dances to Washington’s tune.
As a long-time military analyst, I suspect that North Korea has had a big helping hand from abroad in engine technology, electronics and systems integration. Who could have provided it? China, Russia, India or Israel.
The first two nations are the logical suspects. Either could have supplied the necessary technology as a very clever way of diverting Washington from its own imperial plans, which are now in disarray.
The Trump administration now has the choice of a total naval blockade of North Korea, mining its ports, and destroying the Yalu River bridges, over which flows oil, food and strategic materials. It sounds simple on paper but North Korea is quite capable of vigorous responses, like bombarding parts of Seoul or mining South Korean and Japanese ports.
It’s not the kind of spitting match in which any thoughtful American leaders ought to become engaged. Over 90% of Americans cannot name or locate the capital of North Korea or explain the reasons for a major war against this strategic but remote nation. But, of course, the US Imperium has been warring in remote Afghanistan for sixteen years for reasons few understand.
Afghanistan can’t shoot back. North Korea now can. Trump has put the US on a path to war in the Korean Peninsula that few want, neoconservatives and crazies aside, and that could poison the entire planet.