As tensions with North Korea continue to be stoked by belligerent members of the Trump administration (as well as by Trump himself on occasion), one man has stood strong as the voice of reason: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He is still advocating diplomacy, even after US Ambassador Nikki Haley declared “the time for talk is over” with regards to North Korea.
“The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Tillerson said, according to a Reuters report.
Tillerson went on to add that “other means of communications” were open to Pyongyang. He added that diplomatic talks would address how North Korea could “feel secure and prosper economically” if they decide to stop their missile tests. This is the opposite signal being sent to North Korea by other prominent members of the administration.
In addition to Haley’s declaration that diplomacy was no longer acceptable when dealing with North Korea, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has been banging the war drums as well. He recently endorsed the possibility of aggressive war against North Korea, with rhetoric reminiscent of the propaganda used in the build up to the Iraq war.
“What you’re asking is are we preparing plans for a preventive war, right?” McMaster said during a recent MSNBC interview. “A war that would prevent North Korea from threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon… It’s intolerable from the president’s perspective. So of course, we have to provide all options to do that. And that includes a military option.”
Although McMaster claims to speak for the president, reports have shown that he is on the outs with Trump as a grassroots fervor builds throughout the conservative movement demanding his prompt removal from the administration.
“He is purging anybody who does not want to have, basically, a war with Russia,” InfoWars founder Alex Jones said on his radio show last week about McMaster’s influence on the Trump administration.
“McMaster’s ‘butler’ Joel Rayburn is running off the books intelligence operation against Trump loyalists,” blogger Mike Cernovich wrote on Twitter last week. Cernovich started the website McMasterFacts.com to help stoke the grassroots campaign working toward ousting this staunch interventionist from the Trump administration.
The different ideologies within the Trump administration are clearly clashing, and the final decision will ultimately rest in the hands of the commander-in-chief. Trump will ultimately have to decide whether he wants to serve the American people or serve the military-industrial complex.