Kerry issues war threat over Korea

Alex Lantier

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the South Korean capital, Seoul, yesterday on the first leg of a three-nation East Asian tour dominated by escalating US threats against North Korea over its nuclear program. Kerry arrives for talks today in China and is traveling on to Japan tomorrow.

In Seoul, Kerry reiterated that the United States and its allies will not tolerate any nuclear program in North Korea, which is thought to currently have a few crude nuclear bombs. He said, “We are all united in the fact that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power. The rhetoric that we’re hearing from North Korea is simply unacceptable by any standard.”

Kerry did not spell out how Washington plans to halt North Korea’s nuclear program and force the North Korean regime in Pyongyang to give up the weapons it has developed.

Over the last several weeks, however, Washington has signaled its readiness for nuclear war. It has repeatedly flown nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers to the Korean peninsula for military exercises. At the same time, it has deployed additional missile batteries and warships to the region.

Kerry ominously implied that in case of conflict, the United States would respond with overwhelming force against North Korea, which is utterly outclassed militarily. He said, “Kim Jong-un needs to understand, as he probably does, what the outcome of the conflict would be.”

Kerry also warned against North Korea carrying out missile tests, as Pyongyang had said it might do on April 10. The deadline passed without Pyongyang launching a missile, however.

The marvelous world of Freedom of Speech

William Blum

So, the United States and its Western partners have banned Iranian TV from North America and in various European countries. Did you hear about that? Probably not if you’re not on the mailing list of PressTV, the 24-hour English-Language Iranian news channel. According to PressTV:

The Iranian film channel, iFilm, as well as Iranian radio stations, have also been banned from sensitive Western eyes and ears, all such media having been removed in February from the Galaxy 19 satellite platform serving the United States and Canada.

In December the Spanish satellite company, Hispasat, terminated the broadcast of the Iranian Spanish-language channel Hispan TV. Hispasat is partly owned by Eutelsat, whose French-Israeli CEO is blamed for the recent wave of attacks on Iranian media in Europe.

The American Jewish Committee has welcomed these developments. AJC Executive Director David Harris has acknowledged that the committee had for months been engaged in discussions with the Spaniards over taking Iranian channels off the air. [1]

A careful search of the Lexis-Nexis data base of international media reveals that not one English-language print newspaper, broadcast station, or news agency in the world has reported on the PressTV news story since it appeared February 8. One Internet newspaper, Digital Journal, ran the story on February 10.

The United States, Canada, Spain, and France are thus amongst those countries proudly celebrating their commitment to the time-honored concept of freedom of speech. Other nations of “The Free World” cannot be far behind as Washington continues to turn the screws of Iranian sanctions still tighter.

Obama's Neoliberal Budget

Stephen Lendman

Obama is neoliberal and hardline. He is unapologetic. He wants ordinary people abandoned. He wants them bearing burdens they didn't cause. He wants wealth, power and privilege alone served. He represents the worst of rogue governance.

Main Street America is in protracted Depression. Conditions go from bad to worse. More than ever, vital stimulus is needed. Lots of it. Obama's solution is force-fed austerity. In term one, he prioritized it. His FY 2014 budget offers more of the same.

He's waging financial war on ordinary people. He's targeting middle America, those most disadvantaged, seniors, and others approaching retirement. He's beholden solely to bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich. He's harming others so they benefit. His agenda reflects the worst of neoliberal harshness. It imposes misery. It makes conditions for growing millions intolerable. It's economically destructive. It shows what most people face.

Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith is right calling the "budget battle" a scheme to "squeez(e) the middle class dry, and those who pretend otherwise are simply insulting the intelligence of their audience."

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