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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 3-Aug-2017
3-Aug-17 World View -- Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States

Web Log - August, 2017

3-Aug-17 World View -- Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States

Rex Tillerson promises a US 'response' to North Korea's 'unacceptable threat'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Rex Tillerson promises a US 'response' to North Korea's 'unacceptable threat'

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Speaking to the State Dept. press corps on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that the United States would not be appeasing either North Korea or China. Tillerson began by explaining the policy toward North Korea:

"We have reaffirmed our position towards North Korea, that what we are doing, we do not seek a regime change; we do not seek the collapse of the regime; we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula; we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel. And we’re trying to convey to the North Koreans we are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond."

Tillerson's statement was consistent with a remark made the previous day by President Donald Trump:

"We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them. It will be handled."

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the "time for talk is over," referring to the endless series of UN Security Council resolutions, each one expressing outrage that North Korea has ignored previous resolutions, and threatening North Korea with a new resolution in the future if the current one is violated.

Some people in the mainstream media are having reading comprehension difficulties with these statements, considering them contradictory to one another. One journalist, for example, said that Trump and Tillerson "offered distinctly mixed messages on North Korea," and that Trump "preached a different message."

And yet, the messages are perfectly clear and consistent. We do not seek regime change, but North Korea is presenting a major unacceptable threat to the US, and we have to "respond" or to "handle it."

The reason that so many journalists, politicians, pundits and analysts are having difficulty is because they don't have the vaguest clue what's going on in the world, or how the world works, or they think that the world works the same way it did when they were children in the 1980s-90s. In those days, the world was still being run by the Silent generation, survivors of World War II, who were well aware of what can go wrong. But the world today is being run by younger generations who have no clue what can go wrong.

The exception is Donald Trump's close adviser, Steve Bannon, who knows very well what is going on in the world. As I've described in the past, I've worked with Steve Bannon off and on for several years in the past, both on his movie "Generation Zero" and when I was cross-posting articles on the Breitbart National Security site. So I know that Steve Bannon is an expert on military history and world history, and he also has an expert understanding of Generational Dynamics and generational theory.

So Bannon knows very well, and presumably has communicated to Trump, that a nuclear military confrontation with North Korea is coming with absolute certainty. Following the path of previous administrations would have meant showing weakness and appeasing North Korea, and then being overwhelmed by North Korea's unexpected surprise nuclear attack on South Korea and American bases, just as the US was overwhelmed by Imperial Japan's unexpected surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Instead of appeasing North Korea, the Trump administration is threatening to "respond." Presumably, there is hope that some response could somehow cripple North Korea's nuclear missile development program. To my knowledge, nobody believes that any such response is possible, and most analysts believe that any such attempt would trigger a North Korean attack on Seoul and South Korea. US State Dept. and Washington Examiner and Global Times (Beijing)

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Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States

In his speech to the State Dept. press corps, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the US has asked China to pressure North Korea to end their nuclear missile program:

"The Chinese have been very clear with us that we share the same objective, a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. They do not see it in their interest for North Korea to have nuclear weapons, just as we do not see it in anyone’s interest. ...

We’ve been very clear with the Chinese we certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea. Only the North Koreans are to blame for this situation. But we do believe China has a special and unique relationship because of this significant economic activity to influence the North Korean regime in ways that no one else can.

And that’s why we continue to call upon them to use that influence with North Korea to create the conditions where we can have a productive dialogue. We don’t think having a dialogue where the North Koreans come to the table assuming they’re going to maintain their nuclear weapons is productive. So that’s really what the objective that we are about is."

The logic of this statement is a little convoluted. He wants China to influence North Korea so that they can all have a constructive dialog. But a productive dialog is not possible if North Korea assumes that they're going to maintain their nuclear weapons. Therefore, he's implying that he wants China to influence North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons development.

After North Korea's ballistic missile statement last weekend, President Trump lashed out at China on Twitter:

"I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"

Trump's tweet contained an implicit threat towards China. Tillerson went farther in his speech to the press corps and warned China that China is risking open conflict with the United States, because of disagreements over trade and over China's actions in the South China Sea:

"The question now is that we – we believe we’re at a bit of a pivot point in that relationship because of how China has progressed now to become the second largest economy in the world, and they will continue to grow in their importance to the global economy. What should define this relationship for the next 50 years? And those are the discussions that we have with the Chinese in the broadest contours: How should we define this relationship and how do we ensure that economic prosperity to the benefit of both countries and the world can continue, and that where we have differences – because we will have differences, we do have differences – that we will deal with those differences in a way that does not lead to open conflict. And that has been the success of the past policy. It’s one that we must continue, but we recognize conditions have changed and to simply rely upon the past may not serve either one of us well.

So these are very in-depth conversations and discussions we have with the Chinese, and we test this relationship through things like the situation in North Korea. Can we work together to address this global threat where we have a common objective? And where we have differences – in the South China Sea, and we have some trading differences that need to be addressed – can we work through those differences in a way without it leading to open conflict and find the solutions that are necessary to serve us both?"

Tillerson's statement contains a direct warning to China by twice using the phrase "lead[ing] to open conflict."

Previous administrations have avoided any sorts of direct threats to China, for fear of angering them. But avoiding threats has the effect of showing weakness and appeasing China, and then later being overwhelmed by an unexpected surprise attack.

But, once again, this administration is different because Trump advisor Steve Bannon is an expert on Generational Dynamics, and is well aware of the Generational Dynamics prediction that the US and China are headed for all-out war with 100% certainty.

Instead of appeasing North Korea and China, the Trump administration is making unspecified threats, in the hope of finding either a way to stop the war or a way to make sure that the United States survives a war.

The Trump statement quoted above suggests that Trump plans trade sanctions against China, and the statements by Tillerson suggest that the administration plans some sort of action to neutralize North Korea's nuclear missile threat.

I wish I could say that there's hope that these measures will have the desired effect of stopping North Korea and China, but as I've been saying for years, major decisions and trends like those developing now do not come from the countries' leaders. They come from the countries' populations, entire generations of people, and attempting to halt these trends is like trying to stop a tsunami with a teacup.

On Tuesday morning, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, who has a close relationship with Trump, made a statement about the inevitability of war in Korea that is believed to have come from Trump himself. Graham said that unless North Korea's president Kim Jong-un changes, war is coming:

I’m saying it’s inevitable unless North Korea changes because you’re making our president pick between regional stability and homeland security.

If there’s going to be a war to stop him [Kim], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And he [Trump] has told me that to my face."

These statements by Tillerson, Trump and Graham, taken together, define a policy that is completely consistent with the Generational Dynamics analysis of the situation in China and North Korea. Mainstream journalists and analysts are completely baffled by it, because they have no idea what's going on in the world, and they know nothing about Generational Dynamics or generational theory. That's why mainstream journalists talk about chaos, or a White House with no foreign policy or an incoherent foreign policy. They simply have no clue.

But the fact is that this is the most coherent and sophisticated White House foreign policy that I've seen in the 15 years that I've been writing about Generational Dynamics. Unfortunately, it won't prevent the catastrophic Clash of Civilizations war that's approaching, any more than a policy of appeasement would do, but we can hope that it may help guarantee that the United States will survive. Guardian (London) and Daily Star (London) and South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and Global Times (Beijing) and Daily Beast

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 3-Aug-17 World View -- Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (3-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
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