10 August 2017 | Ken Klippenstein | AlterNet
Breaking news from the center of the known universe.
Picture this: The US has bombed North Korea. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of innocent people are dead.
The world teeters on the brink of absolute calamity, perhaps even facing a new war to end all wars.
Meanwhile, back in America, the so-called Leaders of the Freeworld have called for an emergency meeting to discuss, not peace, or saving mankind, or to take responsibility for what they have done, but rather to push forward a vote to impeach the President of the United States.
“This time he has gone too far,” they will cry out. “First Russia-gate and now this.”
And yes, they will agree that the deaths of so many innocent people ‘over there’ was a great shame. But that is their problem now. They had it coming.
Now is the time to look forward, not behind.
So yes, the time has come. The United States of America must finally deal with The Real Problem facing mankind:
THIS PRESIDENT MUST BE STOPPED before he does anything else.
The Fate of the Freeworld depends on it.
The whole world is watching, waiting for us to finally Do the Right Thing.
Leading Progressive Dem. Congressman: War With North Korea Is Grounds for Impeachment. There are no good military options.
“Ted Lieu is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing California’s 33rd congressional district since 2015. Rep. Lieu served in the JAG corps from 1995-1999 and as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 2000-2016.
Lieu has been an outspoken critic of the war on Yemen, and more recently, of President Trump’s authority to unilaterally authorize a nuclear first strike. AlterNet contacted Lieu to discuss the legislation he’s introduced that would require congressional authorization for such nuclear strikes as well as his thoughts on President Trump’s treatment of North Korea.
Ken Klippenstein: What was your personal reaction when you first heard Trump’s threat to bring ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ to North Korea?
Ted Lieu: My first reaction was, that’s an idiotic statement. It’s unnecessarily provocative. We know so little about the North Korean regime, we don’t know how they’re going to take that kind of incendiary language. It increases their chances for miscalculation.
KK: When Trump uses that kind of rhetoric, is it just bluster?
TL: I’ve learned to stop predicting this president. I have no idea what he’s thinking. What he’s thinking can change depending on the day of the week. The one thing that he has done in his first six months is massive inconsistency, as well as a series of false and misleading statements.
KK: You’ve said, ‘There are zero good military options against North Korea.’ What would military intervention look like?
TL: There are three reasons why there are no good military options. One is, we don’t know where all their nuclear weapons are; we don’t even know how many they have. So we have very little intelligence and data about this closed regime. So that makes any military conflict difficult because a lot of it is flying blind. If the actual goal is to get a de-nuclearized Korean peninsula, the only real way to do it is a ground invasion where you go find every possible nuclear weapon and you destroy it. That is not a good military option: a lot of people would die in that kind of invasion.
The second reason there’s no good military option is because North Korea has in addition to nuclear weapons, chemical weapons as well. They could lob chemical weapons into South Korea where 150,000 Americans live as well as multiple U.S. bases and over 2 million South Koreans in Seoul alone.
Third reason there’s no good military option is, in additional to nuclear and chemical weapons, North Korea also has a massive conventional military with all sorts of missiles and artillery that can hit South Korea, Japan (where over 50,000 Americans live as well as multiple military bases) and Guam as well. So if we, for example, launch cruise missiles on North Korea, they can decide to rain fire down on South Korea and kill hundreds of thousands of people. That would not be a good military option for us.
KK: You’ve introduced legislation that would require Congress to authorize nuclear weapons use. How would that function? And what would you say to people tentative about it because they think it would diminish our deterrence capability?
TL: When the framers designed the Constitution, they put in all sorts of checks and balances on the president. They put in an entire judiciary to stop the president. They put in an entire legislative branch to stop the president. And then they gave the greatest power they knew at that time, the power to declare war, to Congress. [Massachusetts] Senator [Ed] Markey and I believe there is no way that the framers would have allowed one person, the president, to launch thousands of nuclear missiles and kill hundreds of millions of people in less than hour, without congressional approval. That actually would be war. If you don’t call it war, you basically red out the constitution.
Our bill is very simple: it says basically only Congress can declare war; you, Mr. President, cannot launch a first strike of nuclear weapons without congressional authorization. It does not affect their current status quo of mutually assured destruction in any way. Mutually assured destruction does not rely on a first strike; it relies on the ability of the United States to annihilate anyone who strikes us. This bill does not address the ability of the president to respond in self-defense or with a second strike; it just says we should not be the aggressor and use nuclear weapons first.
Hawkins Bay: The Freedom Bunker. This civil war will not be televised