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Tensions Rise Between Tillerson And Trump As The Threat Of War In N. Korea Looms

"GROSS: He's seen a lot of war, right. So do you have any idea what kind of war he's envisioning if we do go to war with North Korea? And I hate to even utter those words."

"FILKINS: Yeah, God forbid. I think there's a lot of different options. And, I mean, I've had some discussions about what those options are. I think they're all terrible. I think that the easy scenario to imagine - I mean, it's a terrible scenario - is the moment the United States strikes North Korea, say. And we're speaking only theoretically here. The North Koreans have at their disposal thousands of artillery rounds that are within striking range of Seoul. And I think, you know, metropolitan Seoul has how many people - 20 million people. And so you can imagine."

Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military

"President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve."

Public education alert: Americans still support nuclear weapons use

"In what may be the most depressing article I’ve read since the epithets “Rocket Man” and “Dotard” entered the global lexicon, The Harvard Crimson reports that public approval of nuclear weapons use remains strong in the United States. In an appearance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Stanford University nuclear expert Scott Sagan cited an August study that shows 60 percent of Americans supporting a decision to use atomic bombs that killed 100,000 Iranian civilians, if it meant that 20,000 American soldiers weren’t sacrificed in a ground attack on Iran, the Crimson reported. And almost 60 percent of those surveyed supported a nuclear air strike that killed two million Iranian civilians, if it meant 20,000 American soldiers didn’t have to lose their lives in an invasion."

How to Take Down Kim Jong Un

"But there is an opportunity in Kim’s obsession with survival. While he assumes the United States would not start a catastrophic war to stop his nuclear program, he also knows that were he to start that war, the U.S. would have no reason to hold back. We could, and likely would, destroy his regime. This means that even if we can’t prevent North Korea from gaining the ability to hit us or our allies, we can deter it from actually doing so, and thus have time to pursue, by means more effective than sanctions and less dangerous than war, our ultimate goal of a reunified Korea that threatens no one."

Pentagon study declares American empire is ‘collapsing’

"An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the U.S.-backed international order established after World War 2 is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing”, leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs."

"The solution proposed to protect U.S. power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism."

"The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling."

The burning monk, 1963

"June 11, 1963, Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burned himself to death at a busy intersection in Saigon. He was attempting to show that to fight all forms of oppression on equal terms, Buddhism too, needed to have its martyrs. John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Duc on fire: “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one”. Photographer Malcolm Browne captured the scene in Saigon for the Associated Press, and the stark black and white image quickly became an iconic visual of the turbulent 1960s."

"The self-immolation was done in protest to the South Vietnamese Diem regime’s pro-catholic policies and discriminatory Buddhist laws. In particular this was a response to the banning of the Buddhist flag, just 2 days after Diem had held a very public ceremony displaying crosses; earlier in his rule he had dedicated Vietnam to Jesus and the Catholic Church. The growing resentment of Buddhists under Diem was one of the underlying issues of South Vietnam, and eventually led to a coup to put in place a leader who would not alienate Buddhists, who made up 70-90% of Vietnam’s population."

The Doomsday Clock Is Reset: Closest To Midnight Since The 1950s

"The minute hand on the Doomsday Clock ticked closer to midnight Thursday, as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said it's seeing an increase in dangers to humanity, from climate change to nuclear warfare. The group took the "unprecedented" step of moving the clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, to leave it at 2 1/2 minutes away."

"The setting is the closest the clock has come to midnight since 1953, when scientists moved it to two minutes from midnight after seeing both the U.S. and the Soviet Union test hydrogen bombs. It remained at that mark until 1960."