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Sunday, February 4, 2018

TROUBLING

Josh Marshall on TPM posted this bit two days ago.  It is, in a way, the most disturbing thing I have read.  Note his extreme cation in reporting it:

“I’d say we need to know more about. Quickly.
From a South Korean paperflagged on Twitter by The Washington Post’s Tokyo Bureau Chief …
Indeed, White House National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs Matthew Pottinger was reported as saying in a recent closed-door meeting with US experts on Korean Peninsula issues that a limited strike on the North “might help in the midterm elections.”
The Post’s Anna Fifield identifies the paper Hankyoreh as “left-wing” and that it is the only paper currently reporting it. I don’t know more about the source. But this sounds like something we need to know more about very quickly. The report suggests Trump may see such a move not simply in the context of the standard efforts to help in a midterm election but to ward offer facing the prospect of impeachment or actual investigations under a Democratic congress.

Late Update: Some follow-on commentary on this report (noted here among other places) suggests that the translation may make it sound more concrete than it does in the original. More like, “we’ve heard” in a generic sense that it “was reported.” So this sounds more like scuttlebutt, what people are hearing that a confirmed report. Still, given the stakes and what else we are hearing, maximum scrutiny is warranted.”

3 comments:

Jerry Fresia said...

What is troubling as well is the silence of leading Dems and peace activists. Why aren't the Dems screaming that the president does not have the authority to unilaterally attack NK...or does he given the ceding of power by Congress since 9-11??? Where's the "resistance?"

LFC said...

Chances that Pottinger actually said something like this I would rate as close to zero (based on a perusal of his Wiki entry; not a typical profile for someone in his position, but doesn't seem like the sort who wd say this sort of thing).

I'm not saying we shdn't worry about Trump and NK, but this particular report doesn't sound v credible to me.

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Started to write something in connection w Jerry Fresia's comment above, but it got too long. Have to get offline anyway.

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