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This article appears in the April 12, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Closer to War in Korea and Iran:
Who Will Stop Obama?

by Jeffrey Steinberg

[PDF version of this article]

April 7—Cuba's Fidel Castro delivered a pointed warning this week, that the crisis on the Korean peninsula represents the greatest danger of thermonuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of the early 1960s. In an April 4 signed article in the daily Granma, Castro wrote that the Korean situation is now "one of the most serious dangers of nuclear war since the October Crisis in Cuba in 1962, 50 years ago." Castro noted that the North Pacific region is home to 5 billion of the planet's 7 billion inhabitants.

"If war breaks out there, the peoples of both parts of the Peninsula will be terribly sacrificed, without benefit to all or either of them."

After reminding the leadership in Pyongyang that Cuba has remained a loyal friend, but that provocations that could lead to a nuclear war that could wipe out 70% of the population of the planet, Castro warned President Barack Obama:

"If a conflict of that nature should break out there, the government of Barack Obama in his second mandate would be buried in a deluge of images which would present him as the most sinister character in the history of the United States. The duty of avoiding war is also his and that of the people of the United States."

Castro is not alone in his warnings about the tripwire for thermonuclear extermination. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have moved in the past several days to carefully walk back from the brink, after sending clear signals that the United States was fully prepared to defend its Asian-Pacific allies, particularly South Korea and Japan. In a number of public statements and interviews, JCS Chairman Martin Dempsey asserted that, while the North Korean rhetoric has been heated, there are no signs of any menacing military deployments. Dempsey noted that every year in which the U.S. and South Korea engage in month-long joint military manuevers, as are now underway, the North Koreans make bellicose statements, and then pull back.

The reality is that the U.S. has been operating from a "playbook" developed in December 2012, after North Korea's successful long-range rocket launch and nuclear bomb test. The playbook, enthusiastically endorsed by Obama, and embraced by his new Secretaries of State and Defense, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, called for a series of escalating military deployments, accompanied by tightly controlled media reports, to force the North Koreans to back down. Among the measures undertaken by Obama in the past month, all in line with the playbook, have been the deployment of B-2 long-range bombers, B-52 bombers, nuclear-armed Ohio-class submarines, Aegis missile defense destroyers, and other military hardware, to the Korean peninsula and its coastal waters.

Last week, in a move aimed at walking back from the provocations, an unnamed "senior Pentagon spokesman" briefed select military correspondents on the fact that the playbook may have gone too far in provoking the North Koreans, and that there would be a series of pull-backs and other measures undertaken to cool out the crisis. A long-scheduled testing of the U.S. strategic missile defense system was postponed indefinitely, and the Obama Administration dropped some of its provocative language.

Senior U.S. intelligence sources confirmed that the Pentagon and State Department have been conferring regularly with their Chinese counterparts. The Chinese, in effect, are functioning as honest brokers between Washington and Pyongyang. According to the sources, Chinese officials warned the Obama Administration that the North Koreans were viewing the military deployments and statements as provocations, and that Washington's behavior was driving the situation closer to the brink of military confrontation. It was this Chinese intervention, the sources confirmed, that led to the Pentagon background briefing.

In the coming days, Kerry, National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, and Dempsey will all be traveling to Beijing to confer with their Chinese counterparts.

The British-Obama Factor

The danger is that Obama will refuse to de-escalate the threats against North Korea. In an April 7 article, Leslie Gelb, former State Department official, and ex-president of the Council on Foreign Relations, chastized Obama for remaining committed to military confrontation with Iran, the other prime target of the U.S. efforts to ostensibly prevent nuclear proliferation. Obama has repeatedly threatened to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. The tensions rose on the Iranian front as well this weekend, when the latest round of UN P5+1 talks apparently failed to make progress. Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign minister and the chief representative of the P5+1, issued a statement after two days of talks in Kazakstan, indicating that they had not achieved a breakthrough. This puts the Iran situation back into play as a second front where thermonuclear weapons could be used.

Kerry is now in Israel for three days of talks, and the Iran situation is at the top of the agenda. Israeli officials, including Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinetz, have issued bellicose statements warning that Washington must decide "within weeks" to take military action before Iran crosses Israel's "red line" of 225 kilos of 20% enriched uranium. During his recent visit to Israel, Obama reiterated his promise to Prime Minister Netanyahu that Washington was prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. Now, Netanyahu is tightening the noose around Obama's neck to force an escalation in the crisis.

The lack of confidence in the Anglo-American willingness to solve both the North Korean and Iranian situations through persistent, patient diplomacy has provoked other warnings from informed quarters. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a lengthy interview to Germany's ARD TV and radio on April 5, assailing the U.S.-Europe policy of regime-change in Syria. Graham Allison, a former top State Department official in the Reagan Administration, in an op-ed, compared Obama negatively with President Reagan. Allison wrote that, if Reagan were President today, he would immediately revive talks with Russia to build a global shield against nuclear weapons, just as he had proposed in 1983.

Now, more than ever, the world is on the edge of a thermonuclear conflict 20 years after the end of the Cold War. Today's advanced arsenals of thermonuclear weapons could be unleashed on a moment's notice.

The problem, which few understand, is that Obama is a captive of the British imperial faction typified by former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Its policy is genocide, through war, disease, and famine. The empire is more desperate than ever, due to the total bankruptcy of the trans-Atlantic financial and monetary system, and the breakdown of the physical economies of the region as well. War, under these circumstances, is the ultimate tool for Malthusian genocide and provides the perfect context for a financial reorganization, while keeping the present power structure intact.

In a dialogue with colleagues on April 2, Lyndon LaRouche emphasized that the British ability to press ahead with their genocide plans is totally dependent upon their control over the United States, and that control depends on Obama remaining in the White House, in a position of unchallenged authority. Weaken or remove Obama from office and the British game is up, LaRouche concluded.

Despite the best efforts of the JCS, and a network of active duty and retired diplomats, and military and intelligence officers, to push back from the brink of war by reaching out to Moscow and Beijing, and pressing for an end to the escalating pattern of provocative actions and words, the fact remains that nothing short of the bringing down the Obama Presidency through constitutionally defined measures will be sufficient to prevent thermonuclear extinction.

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