Will Fischer / Vote Vets & CREDO Action & Tom McKay / Gizmodo & Japan Times – 2017-11-15 20:14:01
ACTION ALERT: Tweeting the Apocalypse
Will Fischer / Vote Vets
(November 15, 2017) — Did you see Donald Trump’s tweet last weekend? The one where he called North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, short and fat?
Now, set aside for a second what an insufferable embarrassment our president is. I know that’s difficult to do, but here’s why it’s important:
It’s increasingly clear that Donald Trump is trying to bait North Korea into an action that would “force” him to respond militarily. So our job in the next few weeks is to do two things.
First, we’re going to work hard to push the Senate to pass legislation that would limit Trump’s ability to strike North Korea without Congressional approval. Second, we’re going to elevate the voices of veterans and military families speaking out against the Trump’s push for war against North Korea. But we can’t do it alone.
It’s hard to imagine a more important fight in the coming weeks and months. But we’re prepared. VoteVets was created for moments like this. And with your support, we’re going to answer the call.
Will Fischer is an Iraq War Veteran and Director of Government Relations for VoteVets.
Tell Congress: No Unauthorized War in North Korea
The petition to Congress reads:
Pass the ‘Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act of 2017.’
(November 14, 2017) — Donald Trump is currently on a “diplomatic” trip to Asia — and he wasted no time demonstrating his reckless disregard for diplomacy. His bellicose rhetoric toward North Korea on his Asia trip has increasingly been dangerous and unhinged.
To make things worse, Trump’s Pentagon told lawmakers last week that the only way the United States could locate and secure North Korea’s nuclear weapons is through an invasion of ground troops. We’re talking about a real, ground-combat war with North Korea. (1)
Last week, officials testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed what progressives have been afraid of:
If Donald Trump decides to initiate an attack on North Korea, even with a nuclear weapon, it’s likely that no one — not even Congress — would be able to stop him. (2)
To pushback against the Trump regime’s callous march toward war, a slew of progressive champions in the Senate — including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley and others — have joined forces to introduce the ”Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act of 2017.” (3) This crucial legislation would provide a vital check to Trump’s power by prohibiting him from initiating a war with North Korea without explicit authorization from Congress.
These stakes could not be higher. The tug-of-war for power between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is growing more tumultuous every day. Congress must do everything in its power to quell Trump’s ability to act on his belligerent and unstable foreign policy impulses.
Last week in Japan, Trump repeatedly demonstrated that he lacks the basic capacity, dignity and discernment necessary to be commander in chief. In a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump spewed racist stereotypes and absurd criticisms, saying “he could not understand why a country of Samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles.” (4)
Trump’s inability to be a functioning, respectful partner to even our international allies is a danger to our safety. It’s clear that with tensions on the Korean Peninsula rising, Trump will continue to move us closer to all-out war — or worse, a nuclear catastrophe — unless Congress takes action
ACTION: Tell Congress: Support the Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act of 2017. Click here to sign the petition.
Thank you for standing for peace,
Tessa Levine is the Campaign Manager for CREDO Action from Working Assets.
1. Dan Lamothe and Carol Morello, “Securing North Korean nuclear sites would require a ground invasion, Pentagon says,” The Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2017.
2. Josh Rogin, “Can anyone stop Trump from attacking North Korea?,” The Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2017.
3. Jennie Neufeld, “Fearing preemptive strike by Trump on North Korea, Democrats introduce new legislation,” Salon, Oct. 26, 2017.
4. Tom McKay, “Donald Trump Asked Why ‘Samurai’ Japan Isn’t Shooting Down North Korean Missiles,” Gizmodo, Nov. 5, 2017.
Donald Trump Asked Why ‘Samurai’ Japan
Isn’t Shooting Down North Korean Missiles
Tom McKay / Gizmodo & Japan Times
(November 5, 2017) — President Donald Trump has headed to Japan at the head of an 11-day Asian tour, with last-ditch efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis before it spirals out of control at the top of the agenda. And, true to form, the guy is not exactly being a confidence builder with respect to his understanding of missile defense systems.
According to the Japan Times, diplomatic sources confirm that with a Monday meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looming, our very lucid leader has set low expectations with complaints that “he could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles.”
Aside from the fact that this is essentially a racist stereotype and katanas, no matter how well made, cannot shoot down a missile, there are numerous technical reasons why Japan’s Self-Defense Forces stood down.
As the Times noted, the speed, altitude, and trajectory of North Korean ballistic missile tests on August 29th and September 15th would have made it “very difficult to destroy them in flight.” Per Ars Technica, the August launch of an intermediate-range missile reached an altitude of 550 kilometers (340 miles), stressing the possible limits of US and Japanese forces’ Aegis missile defense systems.
Aegis uses SM-3 missiles to shoot down short-range missiles in mid-course and SM-2 missiles to shoot down longer-range attacks in their “terminal phase.” However, the first option would require Aegis ships run extremely close to the North Korean coast, where they could potentially be counter-attacked, and the second is a risky bet relying on the “relatively primitive” state of North Korea’s re-entry vehicle technology.
As Defense One noted, at its apogee the September intermediate-range missile launch which flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido reached an altitude of approximately 770 kilometers (470 miles), which would defeat Aegis as well as US forces’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and Japanese Patriot missile defenses. With the missile at such a high altitude, the only possibility to shoot it down would be in its descent phase — as it was coming down in the ocean beyond Japan, when there would be little point.
A failure to shoot down a North Korean missile could be incredibly embarrassing, leaving the US and Japan with less leverage to deal with the threat than ever. As the Times noted, Japan’s Defense Ministry has basically confirmed this is why they didn’t try and that there were also “legal issues to clear.”
Per CNN, Abe has met Trump warmly, greeting him with custom Make America Great Again hats and taking him out for golfing and to a hibachi circular bar. But if Abe’s a little nervous about his counterpart’s capacity to handle this, he should be.
In a speech to troops, the president told troops, “We dominate the sky. We dominate the seas. We dominate the land and space.” He ominously added that, “Every once in a while, in the past, they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them, was it? It was not pleasant.”
Last month, news broke that the reason Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly called Trump a “moron” was because he wanted to expand the US nuclear arsenal from 4,000 to 32,000 nukes, even though the current stockpile is more powerful than ever. The guy is playing with fire, and he just doesn’t give a damn how hot it is. He’s pouring gasoline.
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