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Trump Scores ‘D-Minus’ For Nuclear
Policy Failures In Korea, The US & UN

By Yoichi Shimatsu
Exclusive to Rense


Midway through Donald Trump's first year in office, the world has watched in queasy disbelief at the transformation of an anti-interventionist American president in ways similar to how Palpatine, the idealistic leader of a long-ago Republic and opponent of arms dealers, turned toward the dark side to morph into Darth Sidious. Today, Donald Trump is indistinguishable from the warmonger Hillary Clinton or the glib “lead from behind” Barack Obama, and has proven to be just as shifty, two-tongued, and self-righteous as his former political foes.
His fall from grace is a personal embarrassment for his electoral supporters, many of whom still await his hour of redemption, which could or more probably won't happen before next year’s mid-term elections. To restate that Trump was a better choice than Hillary means nothing at this late date, especially since even a door knob is arguably better than the mad Mrs. Clinton. Trump’s abysmal failure--refusal--to halt military interventions abroad, his orders for missile deployments and Tomahawk strikes, and now his open support for atomic energy and nuclear weapons represent something worse than a disappointment.
His broken promises remind me of Christmas long past. Every holiday season of my childhood I wished that Santa might bring me a bicycle and every Christmas morning turned out to be another letdown. I finally purchased a third-hand girl’s bike for a few dollars and spent dozens of days fixing the broken parts, but hard work did not make riding any more enjoyable but, to the contrary, made it into a chore or the reminder of a curse. At least I finally got a bicycle despite the dereliction of Saint Nick; but Trump has delivered on his promises with their very opposite, with Halloween trick instead of a Christmas treat: war, higher spending on weapons, and death for American soldiers and the local victims of bombing in distant lands like Syria and Yemen. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but not he’s not coming to our neighborhood.
Nuclear Bewitchment

As if bewitched, Trump has promoted a triple disaster on nuclear issues:

- First, with war threats and fumbling over off-and-on diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, which are needed to craft an eventual deal to limit its build-up of warheads in exchange for American assurances of non-intervention;

- Second, uncritical endorsement of the nuclear industry as being safe and cheap despite the blatant releases at Hanford Nuclear Site, the WIPP storage center in New Mexico, leakage into the Hudson River from the Indian Point N-plant, and worst of all radioactivity contamination of the West Coast from Fukushima; and

- Third, his administration’s boycott of the UN treaty talks toward a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons, which put Trump at the helm of a 35-nation rump minority versus 129 member-states that signed the historic anti-nuclear weapons treaty on July 7.
In less than a year in office, Trump has positioned the United States as a nuclear outlaw far more dangerous and untrustworthy than North Korea, Pakistan, Iran or Israel. The White House refusal to at least partially endorse the nuclear ban or comment on its moral worth puts America on a slippery slope of hypocrisy when it comes to criticizing Pyongyang or Tehran. As head of an pro-nuclear rogue alliance, consisting mainly of East European countries dependent of US financial aid, the USA has completely lost the high ground on counter-proliferation and denuclearization, and can no longer be taken seriously as a legal or ethical authority on the world stage.
Aircraft carriers and big rockets don’t make for a nation’s greatness, otherwise the Soviet Union would still be a superpower. When respect is gone, nobody’s going to believe in a single word spoken by any American diplomat or policy expert. In just a half year, Trump’s militarist buddies have added to the damage done by the Obama administration, reducing the once sole superpower into a sick joke. There’s a political price to be paid especially in the jockeying for the 2018 midterm elections to begin soon. The populist movement that supported Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, the third parties and former Tea Party leaders is well aware of the backtracking on industrial policy and the blatant reversals on foreign interventions, legislative domination by The Swamp, and post-911 accommodation to the Saudis. Already the clock is winding down on the Trump years or perhaps that ticking sound is coming from a time-bomb of populist discontent.

Rump Minority of Pro-Nuke States
The North Korean nuclear issue has been used by the Trump team to deflect public scrutiny away from Washington’s blatant insincerity on the proposed nuclear arms ban. While castigating and threatening North Korea for its puny nuke program and missile tests, the Trump team at the UN led by deranged ambassador Nikki Haley has since early March boycotted the first-ever conference for a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons. In line with her predecessor Susan Rice’s support for nuclear blackmail, Haley arm-twisted and intimidated 34 other UN member-nations, mostly in Eastern Europe, to join her ill-conceived walkout from the opening of the treaty discussions in March.
The Trump-Haley boycott has proven to be a fool’s errand now that an overwhelming majority of 129 member-nations signed the world’s first-ever nuclear-ban treaty on Friday, July 7. Instead of their fanatic posturing and Dr. Stangelove walkout of the talks, the American delegation could have abstained from the final vote while voicing support for anti-proliferation and at least in principle moral opposition to nuclear war. The US delegation came off as if they actually support nuclear war, an idiotic stance that couold also be used to justify a terrorist dirty bomb exploded in Manhattan or on the steps of the Capitol building. Morality isn’t useless idealism, it is a necessary guide for conduct.
At this greatest international treaty signing during his term of office, Trump was a no-show and instead hid in a closet of denial. The United States of America is disgraced by such gutless stage fright. The majority turnout for treaty approval shows that the world does not want, need or cling to any offer of a nuclear umbrella from nuclear superpowers United States or Russia. This planet would be a safer place without such “protection” rackets. In any case, nuclear powers like the US and Russia are killing their own societies and environments with radioactive contamination. Save your pity for the deserving.
His Profitable Korea Connection
Trump’s flaws, as his critics content and his advisers understand, arise from sins of venality. “Trump is a businessman”, they say, and we are supposed to be assured that he’s just an innocent in quest of a (financial) killing and not a pathological killer. If so, his hysterics over North Korea are just a business ploy. There’s a basis of fact there.
His business motive on the Korean Peninsula came as an unexpected surprise to me on a recent visit to South Korea for a first-hand report on the THAAD rocket deployment. On the outskirts of an otherwise beautiful capital stood the brute towers of Trump World I, II and III Seoul. These grim developments were built by Daewoo, the corporate giant and military contractor. Daewoo assembles Dolphin-class submarines for the South Korean Navy, and its contractor for on-board electronics is Raytheon, which also produces the THAAD and Patriot missile interceptors stationed in South Korea. Trump’s real-estate interests are partnered with the war industry and thereby connected with Raytheon and its THAAD partner Lockheed Martin. No wonder Donald Trump is so worried about the “Korean crisis”: He needs to protect his real estate investments by helping his hidden partners in the war industry.
Daewoo Engineering also built the Trump Towers in Manhattan, which accounts for the dark militarist style of the Trump Group’s real estate. On a trip to Korea in the 1990s, Trump once joked that he planned to order a Korean-built destroyer for his luxury yacht. (Daewoo Corporation was scuttled by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, but its conglomerate members Daewoo Englneering and Construction survives on a major international builder in partnership with Asiana Airlines, and also Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering went on to become South Korea's biggest producer of submarines, but is being investigated for fraud and bribery on a massive scale.) I can envision his yacht entering New York Harbor: The SS Death Star captained by Imperial Cmdr. Don Sidious. Clearly, the populist Trump is bipolar, with a mean-tempered opposite alter-ego who likes nothing better than to shout: “You’re fired!” At the personal level, this is a black comedy, but for a nation as proud as the United States, it’s a grand tragedy.
 A Measure of Failure
In the footsteps of his foundering predecessors Jimmy Carter (nuclear artillery on the Peninsula) and Gerald Ford (capture of the spy ship USS Pueblo), Trump has grabbed onto the so-called crisis on the Korean Peninsula and is predictably tolling the alarm, if for no other reason than to ensure profits for his pals in the war industry at Raytheon and Daewoo. Despite repeated predictions of imminent doom from North Korean belligerence from successive U.S. presidents, there has not been a single serious battle on the peninsula on the scale of events in Iraq or Afghanistan in more than six decades since the signing of the Korean Armistice on July 27, 1953. Both Koreas, more than less, have maintained the peace; and whatever skirmishes have erupted in the interval, none have required American military intervention.
As for the “threat” of a North Korean nuclear strike against the Lower 48 plus 2, a quick look at the strategic match-up, with data from the Arms Control Association, is enlightening: North Korea now possesses 10 small devices versus the 6,800 much more powerful nuclear warheads deployed by the USA. North Korea would not now have that small arsenal if any previous American president had  the moral courage to seriously negotiate a peace treaty with Pyongyang instead of dragging on economic sanctions indefinitely, the political coward’s way out of historic decision.
By now, this recurrent failure of U.S. foreign policy means that North Korea will maintain a tiny nuclear deterrence capability against overwhelming American genocidal power. At this moment, a cap on nuclear development by Pyongyang is the best deal that can be achieved, given the failures of past U.S. administrations, which flubbed the many opportunities to ensure a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula. The nuclear problem in North Korea is not Trump’s fault; he inherited it and therefore should have the sense not to inflame the situation but deal with it quietly through diplomatic channels and incentives for Pyongyang, for example, inviting the Kim family to Disneyland, a bedazzling experience and gesture of friendship that should thwart any desire to nuke Anaheim or Orlando.
The Thud of THAAD
Trump’s fall from grace is becoming a major burden for American taxpayers with his new-found toy of rocket firings, now about to happen on an even larger scale with the expensive but ineffectual THAAD ballistic-missile interceptor system (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), which is slated to be re-tested in Alaska and eventually South Korea and possibly Japan. The system’s midair “kinetic” strike method, or head-on collision with the incoming ballistic missile, is as futile as swinging a baseball bat to stop a bullet (except for the fact that an incoming ballistic missile moves at least 6 times faster than any bullet).
The Raytheon-Lockheed alphabet soup for this phony interceptor system is AN/TPY-2 (A for aircraft, N for reflective radar, TP terminal phase meaning “during descent”, and Y standing for prototype). So the THAAD batteries in Japan, South Korea and Alaska are second-round prototypes with zero proven defense value. The first models of Y-1 were tested in Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific region’s Marshall Islands. Those test firings from Vandenberg AFB were rigged with the unarmed warheads carrying a transponder guided by a radar beam from the atoll. Both the incoming rocket and the THAAD were guided along the same narrow radar pulse. This is not rocket science, it’s cheating.
The fraudulent interception results were sufficient to convince Congress to approve more THAAD missile purchases, especially when Raytheon spends more than $2 million a year in campaign contributions to 94 senators and congressmen including John McCain and Mac Thornberry, the chairmen respectively of the Senate and House armed services committees. In the 2016 presidential campaign, the missile company made hefty donations to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. As for the hopelessly naive American left, a vote for Sanders also would have meant a ballot for Raytheon.
The cost of a THAAD rocket is more than $1 million apiece, with the entire unit, including X-band phased-array radar, costing upwards of $1 billion, plus annual payment for support services from Chenega, a Native Alaskan minority business that serves as the front for Academi, formerly known as Blackwater.
On a visit to Seongju, the golf course in the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula where THAAD has been deployed over the past year, I learned that its firing tubes do not contain any rockets. The truck-mounted launcher is put there on a private golf coure that’s been illegally converted into a military base to provide cover for the actual mission, which is powerful radar spying on China’s airspace over a thousand-mile distance inland. This whole exercise is a deceit, involving massive corruption at the highest levels of the US government, which also entangles Donald Trump whose campaign received a hefty donation from Raytheon. His family reportedly owns a swath of shares in that incompetent rocket company.
The only road into the golf course is now sealed off by the police due to a road block of boulders set up by villagers angered by the strange hum of microwaves from the X-band radar, which is also killing the bees needed to pollinate local orchards. On top of the THAAD deception, the US Army secretly helicoptered in a Patriot launcher to protect US aircraft carriers operating along the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.
Plunge into the Dark Side

Remember how Trump once criticized Lockheed and Boeing for cost overruns? Those days seem like an eon past, but it was less a year ago. Breaking with his campaign pledges against foreign intervention, Trump dumped 59 Raytheon-built Tomahawk missiles into the environs of an Syrian air base as a warning against President Bashir al-Assad’s supposed airstrikes against a jihadist hospital. Most of those sea-borne missiles, however, landed off-target, destroying only a couple of warplanes among the dozens more deployed there. That pathetic exercise in overkill failed utterly, politically and militarily, and we’ve yet to hear Trump apologize for the botched performance, which however did earn Raytheon substantial revenues for replacement rockets at taxpayer expense. Yes, Trump is a businessman.
The spike in Raytheon’s share value spurred the talented Mr. Trump forward in his apprenticeship as a Merchant of Death. On his recent to Warsaw, Trump sold Patriot missile-interceptor systems to the Polish military. Weapons sales to Poland, a vociferous geopolitical foe of Russia, puts Trump on the same page as the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, along with the spymaster’s daughter Mika. Never mind the sideshow of tweets about MSNBC Morning Joe, Mika and Don will be seated next to each other at the Raytheon shareholders meeting waving little NATO flags and cheering on eastward expansion onto Moscow.
A plunge into the dark abyss of warmongering is irredeemable, meaning it’s high time to seek (once again) a presidential candidate with integrity of character, but this time around one who’s not secretly on the payroll of Raytheon, Lockheed, General Dynamics or other war profiteers. Belief in the machines of war is based on emotional insecurity. As in the case of bombastic men who doubt their own virility, Trump suffers a deficit of the quiet courage required to convince sworn foes to trust the truce and to act honorably out of respect. It is so much easier to equate mass murder with masculinity than it is to suffer the frustrations of a healer and a peacemaker trying to save humanity from self-destruction. Then again, what’s it profit a man . . . .?
His supporters should not feel shocked if Trump soon tumbles headlong into the gaping jaws of that special depth of Dante’s hell reserved for politicians like the Clintons, Obama, McCain and the rest of the warmongering fools. Americans must continue their quest for an honest champion of peace and architect of genuine prosperity, even though a person of such moral caliber may be as rare as a noble reindeer in a rat-infested swamp.
Yoichi Shimatsu is a science journalist who recently produced a video report on the THAAD rocket scandal in South Korea.