It is such a turn around from when I was young - now it is the leader of Russia who speaks common sense while America goes in for calculated hysteria. What has the world come to?

CNN report on speech by Vladimir Putin:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the escalating crisis over North Korea's weapons program risks developing into a "global catastrophe" with mass casualties.

But Putin, speaking in China on Tuesday, cautioned against "military hysteria" and said that the only way to resolve the crisis was through diplomacy.
He warned that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has calculated that the survival of his regime depends on its development of nuclear weapons. Kim had seen how western intervention in Iraq had ended in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein after which the country was ravaged by war, Putin warned, and was determined not to suffer the same fate.
"Saddam Hussein rejected the production of weapons of mass destruction, but even under that pretense, he was destroyed and members of his family were killed," Putin said.
"The country was demolished and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Everyone knows that and everyone in North Korea knows that... They will eat grass but they will not turn away from the path that will provide for their security,"
This is all quite obviously true. If one were in the position of the leadership of N Korea what else would one do? The destruction of Iraq taught the world a lesson, namely that if small countries do not defend themselves against America they will become its dependencies or its victims. There are only two ways to effectively defend oneself and they are either to ally oneself with one of the two nuclear powers that are not US allies - China or Russia - or arm oneself with sufficient weapons of mass destruction to put oneself into a different position from Iraq. N Korea is relying on both, but understandably sees having its own weapons as more reliable of the two options.

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Grateful for this measured counterpoint to the high excitement the BBC have been indulging in since yesterday - repeating US government talk of 'running out of patience' with - I had to stop, to check I wasn't imagining it - ominous background music. Its not just Trump, most of the media seems only too happy to feed, and feed on the obvious danger of this situation. The connection to Iraq is compelling.


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