Links – April 14, 2017

Conflicting reports on whether a US carrier group steaming toward North Korea plans to intervene militarily if North Korea tests a nuclear weapon or a missile this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. Seems like a bad idea. More about North Korea’s strategy. China is calling for restraint

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked why the American voter should care about Ukraine. Here’s an answer.

Behind #SyriaHoax and the Russian propaganda onslaught. A clearly Russian operation.

Backgrounder on the Assad family, who seem to just keep going in their destructive way. Iran’s role in SyriaRussia is reported to be furious at Assad for the latest chemical attack. Nonetheless, here’s why Russia’s not going to dump Iran and Syria anytime soon.

Bellingcat is a good resource on the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun. Why it’s hard to make sarin bombs. The evidence so far. They will have more. US intelligence says that they intercepted communications within the Syrian military planning for the attack. A couple of broader looks at how the attack fits into Syrian strategy: Aaron Stein and Max Fisher. Claims by Theodore Postol, who got the August 2013 Ghouta attack wrong but remains a mainstay of those who believe the evidence does not indicate the Syrian government as perpetrator. If you can’t show me where another actor got the sarin, I have no time for your argument.

Looks like a lot of what Donald Trump was spouting off about in the campaign was his own ignorance. How much he can learn is a good question. Or maybe it’s just more words to say to get publicity and support.

News about the news: When Donald Trump talks about “fake news”, he probably means Russia coverage.  The alternative media ecosystem.


Added April 16, 2017

The American Government’s Secret Plan for Surviving the End of the World

Teen Vogue has some good articles lately: What You Should Know About North Korea and Their Nuclear Weapons Threats

More about nuclear policy in south Asia

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