FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

From Syria to North Korea: Trump’s Doctrine of Ineptness

Beijing.

Let’s call it the “inept’ doctrine. You see, the US can now bomb a state on the basis that that state’s main ally has been, in the words of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson describing Russia, complicit or simply incompetent. Speaking to the national security Adviser H.R. McMaster, he was referring to what he claimed was Russia’s inability to control Bashar al-Assad.

This is chilling and came as President Donald Trump was hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Will China now be classified as inept or complicit for failing to control North Korea’s missile testing?  Presumably the US would have failed to meet the Tillerson criteria when it failed to stop Saddam, then the US-backed Gulf policeman, from using chemical weapons that killed thousands of people in Halabja in 1988.

No one knows how Xi reacted to the attack on Syria.

But some Chinese officials must have noted the complicit comment. For in Washington, what applies to Russia’s actions in Syria holds sway for Chinese, wait for it, complicity, in North Korea.

It’s a no-win situation for Beijing. If North Korea continues to test missiles that land in the Sea of Japan, then China is not doing its job. If North Korea desists, then China is doing what is expected of them and shouldn’t gain any plaudits. Let us not forget that North Korea is considered, by defence planners, to be of strategic interest to the US. Syria was and is not.

And the Trump administration have declared that regarding North Korea, all options are on the table. Clearly, this is not the case. Candidate Trump suggested that he was open to dialogue with North Korea. This approach, judging by the rhetoric over the last week or so, seems to have been discarded. But dialogue does have some merit. Sanctions clearly are not working.  And Pyongyang will no doubt take the attack on Syria as justification for more missile testing, to bolster its defences. The Chinese consider the current state of affairs between the US and North Korea as a train crash about to happen unless someone slams on the brakes. Their warning will probably be dismissed as inept.

Steak and sole were on the menu, so too was chocolate cake and sorbet as Trump played host to Xi. The Chinese delegation had left less than two hours after dinner had started, around the same time that the 59 Tomohawk missiles, at $1 million a piece, were slamming into their targets.

“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” Trump said as he announced the strike. The children of the Middle East have been enduring horrors for decades. There are clearly children of a lesser god. If he is seeking retribution for the suffering of children then Tomahawk shares should surge. Especially if it was a trial run for a strike on the Korean peninsula.

More articles by:

Tom Clifford is a freelance journalist and can be reached at: cliffordtomsan@hotmail.com.

November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
Ron Jacobs
Impeach!
Lawrence Davidson
A Tale of Two Massacres
José Tirado
A World Off Balance
Jonah Raskin
Something Has Gone Very Wrong: An Interview With Ecuadoran Author Gabriela Alemán
J.P. Linstroth
Myths on Race and Invasion of the ‘Caravan Horde’
Dean Baker
Good News, the Stock Market is Plunging: Thoughts on Wealth
David Rosen
It’s Time to Decriminalize Sex Work
Dan Glazebrook
US Calls for a Yemen Ceasefire is a Cynical Piece of Political Theatre
Jérôme Duval
Forced Marriage Between Argentina and the IMF Turns into a Fiasco
Jill Richardson
Getting Past Gingrich
Dave Lindorff
Not a Blue Wave, But Perhaps a Foreshock
Martha Rosenberg
Dangerous, Expensive Drugs Aggressively Pushed? You Have These Medical Conflicts of Interest to Thank
Will Solomon
Not Much of a Wave
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Yemeni War Deaths are Five Times Higher Than You’ve Been Led to Believe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail