September 27, 2017

"North Korea apparently is so confused by President Donald Trump that it's asking US experts for help understanding him."

"According to a Washington Post report on Tuesday, government officials have been soliciting, via various back channels, US experts with ties to the Republican Party for informal talks," Business Insider reports.

170 comments:

Original Mike said...

I hope the "experts" are telling them, "just stop building weapons".

Bad Lieutenant said...

Not only does WaPo have the paywall, but even in the incognito window I use, I get another block as my firm mandates ad blocking.

Meanwhile if anyone talks to the Norks, Mueller will, I suppose, eat them. Thanks Rod! Thanks whoever (Congress?) authorized this fishing expedition.

Unknown said...

Understanding Trump could become the next fastest growing industry. Job security would be a cinch as no-one will actually be able to answer the question - "what does he really think?" So blather and blah blah blah-blah for six figures would be the order of the day.

Bob Boyd said...

Scott Adams call your office.

pdug said...

"We put a nutcase in charge. You should do as he asks"

Ray - SoCal said...

Via Dan Surber...

Peter Maass of The Intercept thought he was cutting down Donald Trump in his piece today, "North Korea Is the Most Predictable Regime on Earth. The Real Threat Is the Erratic U.S. Government."
http://donsurber.blogspot.com/2017/09/liberal-misunderstands-trumps-strategy.html?m=1

traditionalguy said...

Little Rocket Man raised the stakes with ICBMs carrying Chinese H Bombs with which he promises to exterminate the USA very soon, and suddenly he is confused by a Jacksonian American President preparing fire power to kill him first. He wants an Obama who hates the USA back...or why not at least a Clinton who sells out the USA for cash.

Trump happens.

bagoh20 said...

The Iranians and the Russians had similar misunderstandings of Reagan. It works. Everyone understands that if you think someone powerful is crazy and looking at you, you can't just ignore them.

Ray - SoCal said...

Translation - the usual playbook is not working!

Trump is doing atomic level insults that are hurting dear leaders image mocking him, nobody is talking bribes, and our bff China is even talking tough...

bagoh20 said...

Trump is our bad cop. Everybody else is forced to be the good cop.

bagoh20 said...

Kim is forcing everyone around China to strengthen their forces. That is not what China wants.

Jives said...

this seems like a pretty good development to me. Kim displaying uncertainty.....

Sally327 said...

If Kim Jong-il says something crazy everyone in NK has to treat it as if he's speaking in a logical, sane manner and react (or not) accordingly. With our President we just laugh or use it to score political points or ignore it.

I wonder what that's like, to live in a place where every utterance by the guy in charge matters so much, where you have to care, it's a matter of life or death. You can never just tune out. It must be horrifying.

Anyway, I think the NKs don't need to try and understand Trump so much as they would benefit from understanding what he can and cannot do under our system of government. Regardless of what he says.

Nonapod said...

Trump is figure who people are naturally inclined to make a lot of big assumptions about. His appearance, his demeanor, his way of speaking, his tweets, all pretty much demand that he be put into a neat characterization or stereotype. The garish New York real estate developer who's completely superficial, loud, boorish, and irredeemable. A guy straight from central casting. People end up with expectations about what he'll say and do in a given scenario. When he defies those expectations, it throws people for a loop.

Fernandistein said...

All warfare is based on deception. When the enemy draws near to you, cry out, "Look out behind you!" When he turns to look behind him, attack.

Bob said...

Does this mean NK blinked?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I wonder what that's like, to live in a place where every utterance by the guy in charge matters so much, where you have to care, it's a matter of life or death. You can never just tune out. It must be horrifying.


Kinda like being a conservative trying to live and work in the Bay Area in California (or other deeply blue/liberal/progressive area).

If you haven't tried it, you won't understand.

Seeing Red said...

Mommmyyyy, the Vulgarian called me a bad name!

Anonymous said...

Didn't I say last week that the whole NFL thing was designed to make the Norks wonder what in hell they were trying to deal with? (At the time I said it was a bizarre thought - but here we are.) The surprise is that Trump's NFL ploy flushed out a lot of angry people who had not voiced an opinion on disrespect to the country and started a really beneficial discussion.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Sally327 said:

"I wonder what that's like, to live in a place where every utterance by the guy in charge matters so much, where you have to care, it's a matter of life or death. You can never just tune out. It must be horrifying."

Sally, if you'd like, I could check with my older sister who is a far left liberal Ivy League grad living just outside Wash DC. Heh.

Henry said...

Trump Fosters U.S. - DPRK Collaboration!

Bob Boyd said...

Rocket Man should take a knee.

Ray - SoCal said...

Trump was doing his usual string of conscious in a speech over 90 minutes long in support of Strange. And a tiny comment on the NFL, I doubt it was even planned, blew up into this snafu. Byron York wrote of this. Trump has really good instincts on hot button issues.

Trumps handling of NK has surprised me on how well it's going, not what I expected.

Wince said...

"North Korea apparently is so confused by President Donald Trump that it's asking US experts for help understanding him."

A well know scientific strategy, confusion.

Vet: Yes ... well I think I can definitely say that your cat badly needs to be confused.

Mrs B: What?

Vet: Confused. To shake it out of its state of complacency. I'm afraid I'm not personally qualified to confuse cats, but I can recommend an extremely good service.

Here is their card.

eric said...

My guess is they are contacting #nevertrump who has no clue about Trump.

Robert Cook said...

As the incompetent anthropologist says, there is no explaining Trump. He just is.

An asshole.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Rich White Leftist, Chris Matthews and Rich White Leftist, Ted Turner, are impressed with the nation that doesn't let it's inhabitants leave... and with the impressive infrastructure of the Potemkin Village.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Rich White Leftists admire the power of cruel corrupt dictators.

Curious George said...

Here let me help, fat boy. Trump's a crazy motherfucker. He will do it. One false move and he will turn your little psychotic Disneyland into a nuclear waste land. Comprende?

mccullough said...

The US has no experts on Trump. But if Rocket Man pays Hillary $10 million, she'll give her insightful analysis.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

American progressives hate Trump, and automatically admire and adore the opposite - Corrupt cruel North Korean dictator who houses hundreds of thousands in prisons and work camps while orphans starve in the streets. All very cool and sheik.

It takes a Potemkin Village.

TRISTRAM said...

Hah! I'm sure the GOPe and DEM would like to talk to them as well.

Kevin said...

Can the Democrats also use the channels?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I'd admire Trump a lot more if he could follow it up with action. Rid the world of a real corrupt family dynasty psychopath tyrant.

Sadly - it won't happen. The CIA and the FBI are useless Clinton dick jerkers.

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe it's Mattis they should be asking about.

Curious George said...

"Sally327 said...
Anyway, I think the NKs don't need to try and understand Trump so much as they would benefit from understanding what he can and cannot do under our system of government. Regardless of what he says."

NK understands that we have nukes, and Trump is as CIC in charge of those nukes. All he has to say is "go" and NK, and their fat fuck leader, is toast.

Do you understand that?

traditionalguy said...

Rocket Man should hire Manafort ASAP. He will work half priced until Mueller's Secret Policemen are sent on to destroy another target.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Lil Kim say: I shoot missiles and make threats - I test for nukes over any ocean I want, I do not understand why your crazy leader responds with crazy talk. He gonna start a war or something.

White American Leftist say: I know! We love you Lil' Kim. We will take a knee with you, oh brilliant cruel dictator. We stand in solidarity with you.

Balfegor said...

Re: eric:

My guess is they are contacting #nevertrump who has no clue about Trump.

I think this is a persistent problem for foreign governments (and, um, domestic governments) trying to understand the Trump phenomenon. They're trying to understand Trump by talking to people who were basically completely blindsided by his election. Before the election, I talked with Japanese and Koreans about his chances for election, and while I think I was less dismissive of him than other Americans they were hearing from, I told them I expected that he would lose because he'd kept changing out his staff over and over, and he hadn't built the kind of professional election team (especially Get-Out-The-Vote operations) that Clinton was using. Even if they weren't too far apart in the polls, I opined, that would be decisive on election day.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Bob Boyd said...

The Republicans, The Democrats, Kim Jung Un.

#frustratedbytrump
#bringbackourgravytrain

Steve said...

LOL. By all means get a few "experts" to help you understand Donald Trump. The "experts" certainly are really knowledgeable about Donald Trump.

Gahrie said...

As the incompetent anthropologist says, there is no explaining Trump. He just is.

An asshole.


If it's true that you judge a man by the enemies he makes..Trump is a hell of a guy!

Sebastian said...

"The US has no experts on Trump." Hey, wait a minute, I am! Available at reasonable rates. Forget Manafort, Gergen, all those losers.

Anyway, Rocket Man, Boy, whatever, this Trump guy, he will do or say anything. Nuke attack leads to incineration of Seoul? Not his problem. War with NK interrupts trade with China? Good! Face it, Norks, you're up against a higher power.

Your only hope is to start hacking US elections for real, not like those incompetent Russians. You have a shot: the US left has assured everyone that voter fraud is impossible.

Seeing Red said...

Yeah, he's our asshole. Tingles run down all our legs at the thought.

Seeing Red said...

Ooohh, look. The election wasn't hacked by the rooskies.

Sally327 said...

"Curious George said...
"Sally327 said...
Anyway, I think the NKs don't need to try and understand Trump so much as they would benefit from understanding what he can and cannot do under our system of government. Regardless of what he says."

NK understands that we have nukes, and Trump is as CIC in charge of those nukes. All he has to say is "go" and NK, and their fat fuck leader, is toast.

Do you understand that?"

Of course I do, they make movies about this stuff, the sub is in the ocean, it's lost contact with the surface, there's a mutiny on board between those who want to launch and those who don't (Crimson Tide). Or the men are in the bunker and they got an order to launch and one doesn't want to do it and the other one pulls a gun on him (War Games).

I doubt the North Koreans are afraid that Trump is going to use nuclear weapons or that their confusion arises from that. Trump may be crazy but he's not insane and I think they know that. I think they want insight into his intentions outside of that.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The left's new found love for the Potemkin Village is mostly about jealousy.
If only they could enjoy such power and enslave the masses. They keep trying!

Darrell said...

Remember, North Korea, never hire an expert that said Hillary would win. They are less than useless. Make them show you their October/November 3016 communications.

Achilles said...

Trump has the left siding with NK and protesting the flag.

I think he needs to focus on the GOPe. They are the biggest obstacle left.

Big Mike said...

I doubt the North Koreans are afraid that Trump is going to use nuclear weapons or that their confusion arises from that.

Really? Then they're the ones who are crazy (and you, too, probably).

Trump may be crazy but he's not insane

Assumes facts not in evidence!

and I think they know that.

Interesting insight into the minds of the North Korean government from a person who doesn't realize that Kim Jung-I'll is dead, the little crazy Rocket Man is his son, Kim Jung-Un.

traditionalguy said...

The NORKS really need to hire an expert on James Mattis and USMC tactics. After that, they likely will start hiring experts on how to survive American POW camps

tdocer said...

Sally327 said...

Anyway, I think the NKs don't need to try and understand Trump so much as they would benefit from understanding what he can and cannot do under our system of government. Regardless of what he says.

Most US citizens don't know what the president can or cannot do under our system of government.


AJ Lynch said...

Sally, if you'd like, I could check with my older sister who is a far left liberal Ivy League grad living just outside Wash DC. Heh.

Truer words were never spoken. It's 24/7 Trump hysteria here in metro DC.

Sally327 said...


"Interesting insight into the minds of the North Korean government from a person who doesn't realize that Kim Jung-I'll is dead, the little crazy Rocket Man is his son, Kim Jung-Un.

9/27/17, 11:03 AM"

Well, I can confirm that no one from the North Korean government has employed me to offer insights so I haven't breached any professional standards here. And Althouse doesn't pay me either. Nor do you. Nobody pays me to post my thoughts and opinions. That's what is so liberating. I don't actually have to be right about anything. In this place I can dream of a world where nobody actually wants nuclear war. That would be a world free of your presence I think, yes?

Big Mike said...

And I agree with Gahrie! The people who hate Trump are people who despise the likes of me -- an ordinary guy who wants to enjoy his retirement in peace. I must be sexist and racist because I'm a white male. Well I'm glad to live in a country where the name of the President brings them daily anguish.

@Gahrie, autocorrect keeps trying to replace your identity with "Gabriel." Tell me again whom you work for?

Hagar said...

According to Victor Cha, the North Korean economy has three parts: What the DPRK itself produces, what they can extort in international "aid" - principally from China, South Korea, and the US, and international criminal activity - selling nuclear secrets and weapons, drugs, counterfeiting (some say the DPRK queer is actually better quality than the real thing from the US Mint), etc.
That provides subsistence - at least for the powers that be - but notice that in the pictures we see Kim Jong'un appears to be the only really well-fed person.
That is a very fragile position to be in. If Trump refuses to be extorted, that is bad, and it gets really bad if he can bring China and South Korea along with him, even if only half-heartedly.

Gahrie said...

@Gahrie, autocorrect keeps trying to replace your identity with "Gabriel." Tell me again whom you work for?

The county of San Bernardino issues my checks. I teach in the Fontana Unified School District.

Rusty said...

Bob said...
"Does this mean NK blinked?"

Yes, Bob it does.

"Trumps handling of NK has surprised me on how well it's going, not what I expected."

I don't know why. As a builder he's used to working with government lackys.

"Blogger Robert Cook said...
As the incompetent anthropologist says, there is no explaining Trump. He just is.

An asshole."

Robert. You say that like its a bad thing.

back before the second world war when all of DC and FDR were very anti-Semitic the Jewish lobby held a meeting in Madison Square Garden condemning Hitler and his anti Jewish policies. Nazi official could not fathom why FDR didn't stop the Jews from holding their meeting.


Big Mike said...

@Sally, you need to study history. Do you have any idea how many wars have been started because of the assumption that the other side "would never"? In the run up to Fort Sumter prominent Southerners insisted that the North "would never" fight back -- one writer thought that a single handkerchief would suffice to mop up all the blood spilled. World War I, World War II, and especially the Korean War started with mistaken assumptions about who would do what in response to which actions.

I've lived into my seventies, and developed an insight or two. I think the best way to avoid war is to have people uncertain about what one might or might not do in response to even a minor provocation. Consequently I think people like you are among the most dangerous on the planet.

Big Mike said...

@Gahrie, so you didn't cut a deal with the developers of autocorrect?

pacwest said...

I think one of the problems the press has (and a lot of individuals also) is that he won't lay all his plans and strategies out for all to see and mull over. "But the people have a right to know!" He was pretty clear he wouldn't be doing that. Seems like a logical thing to do to me. Sorry to the folks that want assurances and feel they should have a say in how to handle the NORKS. The press does not get a seat at the foreign policy table. "But, but, but....."

Hagar said...

Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were pretty good at gauging just how far they could push other people. The Fat Kid maybe not so much.

rehajm said...

Crash Davis would make an excellent choice. He gets Trump.

Sally327 said...

"I've lived into my seventies, and developed an insight or two. I think the best way to avoid war is to have people uncertain about what one might or might not do in response to even a minor provocation. Consequently I think people like you are among the most dangerous on the planet."

And see, I think not wanting war but wanting other people to think you want war as a way to prevent war is how wars can start. The enemy has a vote (to quote General Mattis who was talking about ending wars but also applicable to starting one I think) and he might decide to try and get there first if he thinks he's going to get hit anyway.

But I don't think you're dangerous. A little scary maybe, but not dangerous.

stevew said...

@pacwest, exactly right. I would add that the plans and strategies are a work in process, adjusted as the facts change, and so sharing anything would be counter-productive and self-defeating.

As for Kim not understanding Trump, I'd put that in the win column. Many of my liberal friends (don't hate me, I live in MA) have expressed displeasure with Trump's tone toward Kim and NK, so I ask them what should he say? Should he behave more like all the Presidents before him that failed at this? Yeah, they don't have an answer, they just would like him to be nicer.

-sw

Gahrie said...

@Gahrie, so you didn't cut a deal with the developers of autocorrect?

Nope..they like to switch my handle to Guthrie also...

Char Char Binks said...

Good. Keep 'em guessing.

tcrosse said...

Note to Kim: If you can't figure Trump out, maybe you shouldn't fuck with him.

Sam L. said...

Talking to GOPers won't help--they don't understand Trump, either.

Big Mike said...

@Sally, si vis pacem, para bellum. The idea is not new, nor is it original to me.

JHapp said...

The NPT should have include clauses which required signing countries to adopt laws which imposed the death penalty for violators and any accomplices. Similar laws should have been put in place regarding nuclear technology transfers to countries that did not sign the NPT.

JPS said...

Sally327:

"Of course I do, they make movies about this stuff, the sub is in the ocean, it's lost contact with the surface, there's a mutiny on board between those who want to launch and those who don't (Crimson Tide). Or the men are in the bunker and they got an order to launch and one doesn't want to do it and the other one pulls a gun on him (War Games)."

I think you're being dryly humorous here - are you?

Nuclear launch protocol is one of those things we're not really supposed know a lot about, but the more you piece together from open sources, the more you start to suspect that, just maybe, the screenwriters came up with kind of a contrived scenario as a plot motivator.

The really bizarre part of Crimson Tide is that the President gave a nuclear launch order when he didn't actually have to, then apparently decided, Oh Shit! No! and sent off a recall message before the first order could be carried out. Fortunately for the planet, on the one sub (if there were more than one) whose recall order got cut off in transmission, the XO was a sensitive intellectual willing to stand up to his overbearing captain and insist they violate protocol because maybe the President was that incompetent (*unspoken but necessary implication).

I love WarGames. The general was inspired by General James Hartinger who impressed the hell out of the writers, and played by one-time Marine Barry Corbin, who specifically wanted to play him as not an idiot and not just itching to start WWIII. He and everyone else on watch are overjoyed when they don't have to. So I'll cut the movie some slack on the launch capsule scene.

Roughcoat said...

It would have been fun to fool the NKs into consulting with Prof. Irwin Corey, the World's Foremost Authority.

pacwest said...

To Sally327,
I'd guess 99% of everyone here would like to avoid war. Especially a nuclear one. I'd also guess 100% would not like to have a NK pointed at major population areas. It's a conundrum for sure. How would you go about solving both of these interrelated issues? (Theoretically of course, because we are not the ones actually making these tough decisions.) Please take into account Iran and nuclear proliferation. And that kumbaya doesn't seem to work.

bgates said...

North Korea Is the Most Predictable Regime on Earth. The Real Threat Is the Erratic U.S. Government.

Didn't see that #hottake coming.

Ray - SoCal said...

>The Fat Kid maybe not so much.

Disagree - Trump is using a different playbook than Clinton, Bush, and Obama used.

I am very negative on what's possible, I see no way NK gives up nukes, but Trump is doing better than I thought possible. I hope I'm wrong.

Roughcoat said...

Oderint dum metuant.

bleh said...

They mean Dennis Rodman, right? Who else "understands" Trump and also has a relationship with the Norks?

Nonapod said...

To truly understand anyone to even a small degree you have to have some empathy and general self awareness. I suspect that most of the main policy decision makers of the NK cult-state (including the Rocket-Manlet himself) are probably empathetically handicapped, deeply socially repressed, and irretrievable paranoid. They can only react to Trump, they can't predict anything he may say or do. I don't doubt that this situation terrifies them.

Roughcoat said...

The Norks will give up their nukes when China decides they should give up their nukes.

China will decide the Norks should give up the nukes when Chinese leaders become convinced that U.S. concerns are to be taken seriously.

Chinese leaders will be convinced of the seriousness of our concerns primarily via the application of economic leverage against China; but also via military force posturing.

China fears, more than anything else, disruptions to its economy which may lead to massive, escalating, and uncontrollable internal unrest.

In other words: China is the strategic center of gravity for taking down North Korea. And China's strategic center of gravity is her economy.

We should be focusing on China not North Korea. I suspect that we are. Our military posturing is a kind of geopolitical slight of hand, intended to draw attention away from our dealings with China, which are ongoing.

That's my theory.



Achilles said...

""North Korea apparently is so confused by President Donald Trump that it's asking US experts for help understanding him.""

The source went on to say, "Normally when we start shooting missiles off and acting belligerent the President gives us boatloads of money and oil and we sign some stupid agreement nobody expects us to follow."

He shook his head wistfully and continued, "This Trump guy is telling us to stop building missiles and Nukes..."

After shaking his head he said, "It makes no sense. But at least the democrats are willing to say ice things about our country now."

Roughcoat said...

When China finally is "persuaded" that Rocket Man should go -- which is the only way this matter will be satisfactorily resolved -- the end will come swiftly, by an internal palace coup facilitated by the Chinese and probably backed by Chinese forces entering North Korea on the pretext of restoring order, preventing loss of life, blah blah blah. It will all be relatively bloodless (by Asian standards). North Korean army leaders will mostly support Kim's overthrow. Kim will be killed and a civilian leader supported by the army (and pre-approved by the Chinese) will be installed in his place.

I am optimistic that this scenario will come to pass, and sooner rather than later.

Hagar said...

North Korea, or rather the Kims, are not going to give up their nukes, and that goes with respect to China as much as the US. And in fact, their traditional enemy, China, is much closer to them than the United States is.

Some years ago the DPRK fired off a salvo of missiles toward Japan, but they went off course and landed near Russian territorial waters, which made the Russians even less enthusiastic about the North Koreans than they had been before.

JPS said...

Roughcoat, I hope you're right. I am curious what will persuade the Chinese.

I've been speculating that our expressing our thanks for their sincere efforts to rein in North Korea, and our regrets that we haven't been able to stop South Korea and Japan from violating the NPT and acquiring their own nuclear arsenals, might just do it. Maybe it doesn't need to come to that.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The Chinese probably sell Crazy Kim all his stuff. The communists worship the all mighty money god, first.

buwaya said...

Roughcoat,

That's been the best-case scenario since the 1990's.
People back then, at various times, were expecting it any day, but no.
And over and over through the last 20+ years.

Roughcoat said...

The scenario mooted above is contingent not only on enabling the Chinese to save face but also to gain face from their actions. Now doubt they have been weighing their options and considering possible courses of actions quite intensively over the past year. The decision-making processes in Asian cultures can take a long time, for reasons too complex to explain in this forum. They need to examine the issues from every conceivable angle and they need to do this over and over and over again before a consensus can be reached. There will be no nuclear attack by Kim if the Chinese have anything to say about it. The Chinese know that "going nuclear" will be catastrophic for China. But can they keep Kim in line without ousting him power? I'll bet good money that the lights in the China's hall of power are burning late into the night, every night, as they discuss what to do about Kim.

buwaya said...

"The Chinese probably sell Crazy Kim all his stuff. The communists worship the all mighty money god, first."

Mostly, yes. But this is not about money really, as the whole of NK trade is extremely small potatoes to China compared to its overall global trade, and even to its regional, East Asian trade. Or even to its trade with just South Korea.

Roughcoat said...

I am curious what will persuade the Chinese.

A real threat to their economy. As I said: that's their center of gravity.

Sally327 said...

JPS said...
Sally327:

"I think you're being dryly humorous here - are you?

Nuclear launch protocol is one of those things we're not really supposed know a lot about, but the more you piece together from open sources, the more you start to suspect that, just maybe, the screenwriters came up with kind of a contrived scenario as a plot motivator.

The really bizarre part of Crimson Tide is that the President gave a nuclear launch order when he didn't actually have to, then apparently decided, Oh Shit! No! and sent off a recall message before the first order could be carried out. Fortunately for the planet, on the one sub (if there were more than one) whose recall order got cut off in transmission, the XO was a sensitive intellectual willing to stand up to his overbearing captain and insist they violate protocol because maybe the President was that incompetent (*unspoken but necessary implication).

I love WarGames. The general was inspired by General James Hartinger who impressed the hell out of the writers, and played by one-time Marine Barry Corbin, who specifically wanted to play him as not an idiot and not just itching to start WWIII. He and everyone else on watch are overjoyed when they don't have to. So I'll cut the movie some slack on the launch capsule scene.

9/27/17, 12:26 PM"

I, too, love WarGames. Which I think is a movie about the danger of technology, too much reliance on it as a way to remove the flawed human element and the movie's message is definitely people are better than machines. Which would be laughable now I think, that message, because we want machines to do our thinking for us. Technology has definitely triumphed. Maybe not in the nuclear bunkers I don't know, but pretty much everywhere else. We trust the machines. People not so much.

Yes, I was being humorous. I know nothing about nuclear launch protocols except what I've seen in the movies. Like The Dead Zone, with Martin Sheen's character, a cautionary tale about electing a lunatic President and giving him access to the nuclear button...have to make sure THAT doesn't happen...Oops..too late.

Roughcoat said...

That's been the best-case scenario since the 1990's.

Kim's nuclear weapon capabilities were negligible until about twelve months ago, give or take. North Korea only became credible threat in terms of using missile-launched nukes in the past year. The calculus has changed. In the 1990s and through, say, 2016, there was no real urgency on anyone's part concerning Kim's regime. No there is. No people are really worried. And rightly so.

Achilles said...

buwaya said...
"The Chinese probably sell Crazy Kim all his stuff. The communists worship the all mighty money god, first."

Mostly, yes. But this is not about money really, as the whole of NK trade is extremely small potatoes to China compared to its overall global trade, and even to its regional, East Asian trade. Or even to its trade with just South Korea.

China has several client states now. They are tools to use against the US. Just as Muslims and Muslim leaders/countries use terrorist groups they fund but can deny.

The action comes when Kim starts demanding things from China and threatening China if he gets out of line.

The only way to stop this kind of activity is to hold the true sponsors responsible.

Kevin said...

We should be focusing on China not North Korea. I suspect that we are. Our military posturing is a kind of geopolitical slight of hand, intended to draw attention away from our dealings with China, which are ongoing.

It's also intended to show Rocket Man's true threat in having nuclear weapons, so the Chinese can't fool themselves into thinking he might have them but he'll never use them.

You need both sides for them to act - an imminent threat as well as a severe downside for inaction.

Hagar said...

The Chinese indeed now are quite wealthy communists with a lot to lose - not just the leadership, but the whole nation.

In North Korea only the Kim family and the top leadership will lose if the regime falls - but that also includes their lives, so the fear is that if they see disaster looming, they will fire off their nukes in all directions to take as many as possible down with them.

Roughcoat said...

The Chinese cannot long withstand any disruptions whatsoever to their economy. In particular the flow of oil from the Middle East through the Malacca Strait must be maintained or catastrophic consequences will ensue. China is very vulnerable in this regard. Another point of vulnerability is the U.S. economy. If the U.S. economy tanks, China is done for. If the U.S. is stricken by massive out-of-control inflation, China is done for. Internal unrest in China is a constant though mostly unreported aspect of Chinese politics. Chinese leaders greatly fear the sort of economic developments that would exacerbate this unrest. A war in East Asia sparked by Korea would have severely deleterious effects on the global economy in general and China in particular.

Quaestor said...

I'd admire Trump a lot more if he could follow it up with action. Rid the world of a real corrupt family dynasty psychopath tyrant.

Kim Kardashian?

rhhardin said...

The can has been kicked down the road to the end. Now it's blow the place up.

Roughcoat said...
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Mr. Groovington said...

www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/ must mess with their heads bigly. Top kek!

Roughcoat said...

The Chinese indeed now are quite wealthy communists with a lot to lose - not just the leadership, but the whole nation.

In China today about 300 million people are accounted as being in the middle classes: roughly the population of the entire United States.

Impressive, no?

No. Not in a country of 1.3 billion people.

The truth is, several hundred million Chinese live in what may objectively be termed as poverty.

These several hundred million impoverished Chinese live mostly in the countryside. But the numbers of impoverished Chinese in the cities and immense urban areas are growing steadily.

Just as ominously, the wealth gap is growing steadily as well. Income inequality is increasing steadily and at a steadily growing rate.

Add to this potentially volatile mix the presence in China of a few hundred million ethnic minorities (i.e. "non-Han" peoples), and you have the makings or massive civil unrest if the Chinese economy goes south. And by massive civil unrest, I am talking Tai-Ping Rebellion levels.*

*The Tai-Ping rebellion was the second most destructive war, in terms of lives lost due to war, in human history -- after the Mongol conquest of China.

Gahrie said...

I'd admire Trump a lot more if he could follow it up with action. Rid the world of a real corrupt family dynasty psychopath tyrant.

Kim Kardashian?


Nope...Bruce Jenner.

CJ said...

Biggest loser in this is China. China thought they had a convenient little pit bull vassal State they could always threaten to let off the chain and then have plausible deniability when they did so.

They’ve only now realized that Rocket Man’s threats and tests have given the US a pretext to move bombers, THAAD Systems, and no doubt more sinister weaponry within easy striking distance of Beijing, ostensibly to protect South Korea and Japan. LOL.

Meanwhile, China has been wasting resources and political capital with South Asian countries building islands in the South China Sea that can easily be torpedoed and destroyed!

There may be more to this Trump fellow than the Democrats have told me.

Hagar said...

Poverty is relative. The Chinese are not starving anywhere. The North Koreans are.

Roughcoat said...

CJ:

Totally agree.

China's island-building shenanigans in the South China Sea may prove very costly to her. I get that the islands may enable China to claim sovereignty over the oil reserves presumably to be found beneath the ocean bed, but still. A very risky undertaking. And the islands are militarily undefendable.

gerry said...

It's Kim Jong Il, but it's still funny...

Jim at said...

"Trump has the left siding with NK and protesting the flag."

It's not Trump's doing. The left has always been this way. He's simply provided them the opportunity to display it publicly. And gleefully.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Let's not forget that the rocket engines recovered from the recent test were of, I believe, Ukrainian origin (which I suppose suggests Russia rather than Ukraine, most likely) and not Chinese. Correct me if I'm wrong. But is it possible that in China we are knocking at the door of an empty house?

It's very easy to suspect the Chinese of using DPRK as a catspaw.

Too easy?

Or too much James Bond? (I don't suspect SPECTRE, nor even AQ or ISIS. IMHO this sort of play is at the nation-state level.)

Meanwhile China is surely (?) the most likely source of a direct measures solution, just because if they haven't got people in place, nobody has (except maybe ROK), plus armies ready to march over an unfortified border. So it could come to China solving a problem created by Russia, which would be amusing.

n.n said...

US experts? US experts have their hands full tending to the post-coup chaos in Ukraine, and Libya. To the post-CAIR collateral damage in Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, America, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Roughcoat said...

But is it possible that in China we are knocking at the door of an empty house?

It is very possible, Mr. Bond. Very possible indeed. Wheels within wheels, I should think.

MOOHOOHAHAHAHAHA!

Ray - SoCal said...

>Ukrainian origin
Money makes unofficial things happen, especially when there is no other work after the Russia invasion of Ukraine.

NK got nuke plans from Iran that got them from Pakistan that got them from China.

China entrepreneurs have sold NK a lot. Amorality comes to mind.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ray, it could just be black market hijinks, but that only works for a one-off (guess they coulda sold Lil Kim a big batch, but rly?).

And plans is different from hardware. These were identified as UKR hardware. If the US needs to buy rocket engines from Russia because we can't make them ourselves, how is DPRK ripping off UKR engine designs from plans, so well that we can't tell the difference?

Amadeus 48 said...

One of my English friends describes relations between England and Scotland as follows:

"The English send money north across the border to Scotland, and, in exchange, the Scots send spite back."

That pretty much describes the US policy towards N Korea under Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Now, Trump has decided to send spite instead of money to N Korea. No wonder the Norks are confused.

I don't think any GOP "experts" are going to be able to help them. They don't understand Trump, either.

buwaya said...

"I get that the islands may enable China to claim sovereignty over the oil reserves presumably to be found beneath the ocean bed, but still. "

I don't think its about the oil so much as it is for the sake of the shipping lanes.
They are claiming every bit of water over which East Asia's trade flows. Including all the oil coming from eastwards.

They are putting their foot on the necks of most of their neighbors, every one a US ally of some sort.

And these islands aren't that vulnerable. They are unsinkable after all; they can be neutralized with airstrikes, but to do that an enemy would have to expose themselves to missile fire from the Chinese coast - its only 600 miles from there to the coast of Luzon - and strikes from their masses of aircraft armed with antiship missiles. And these islands will be armed with antiship missiles also.

buwaya said...

And the Chinese are busy building ocean going naval vessels at an enormous rate, much faster than the US. They are also busy looking for foreign bases.

The Chinese ambition is, I think, long term, to rule the waves, and thus replace the Pax Americana with the Pax Sinica.

Comanche Voter said...

Keep the little creep guessing.

Jupiter said...

I would bet that Whoa Fat drinks himself to sleep every night, and wakes up at 3:00 AM screaming from a nightmare in which the door was just kicked in by US special forces who are about to shoot him to pieces. I'm guessing the boy is jittery. He has essentially evacuated Pyongyang, which is the logistical equivalent, for NK, of evacuating DC. I wonder what cave he is huddling in.

How's that for empathy?

Jupiter said...

Balfegor says ...

"... he hadn't built the kind of professional election team (especially Get-Out-The-Vote operations) that Clinton was using."

Heh. Hillary Clinton *was* Trump's Get-Out-The-Vote operation.

Jupiter said...

There's a trick they do in movies, that I first caught onto watching Terminator. They show Sarah Connor with the laser on her forehead, and you're thinking, "Well, she's dead. All he has to do is pull the trigger, the bullet travels faster than sound, and Terminator's reaction time is measured in picoseconds. She is clinically dead right now". But then she ducks, and some God-awful explosive shell blows up everything where she was standing. Same thing in the final chase, she's crawling along with the Terminator so close behind her that he could not possibly fail to catch her. Hand on her leg, practically. "Looks like it's all over for her", you think. "No way she's getting away now". But then in the next cut, she has somehow escaped. Kind of a cheesy trick, to amp your apprehension level up to 11.

But that's exactly how I felt when I woke up last Nov 9.

The Vault Dweller said...

This is probably a good sign for Trump's negotiations. Sounds like we can infer two things from this, assuming it is accurate and not some ploy, 1. The North Koreans believe there is uncertainty in how the US will act; and 2. The North Koreans are worried. Both of these things are good to hear, because these are two things that the North Koreans would like to have, which gives us something to trade them in negotiations if they scrap their nukes with China given the ability to inspect to verify.

iowan2 said...

It is so tiresome listening to the "experts" deride President Trumps handling of Korea as unskilled. The last 25 years the "experts" have been doing the diplomatic dance, and failing miserably. President Trump cant get worse results, that's impossible.

Hagar said...

@buwaya,
I don't know how Filipinos feel about it, but the Vietnamese apparently feel that anything the Chinese can do, they can do better, so bring it on!

buwaya said...

"I don't know how Filipinos feel about it"

The Filipinos not in official positions, all those I discussed this with, were eager to defy China. And that is the public consensus. China's name is mud there.

The leadership however is not so feisty. And there are good reasons for this. The Philippines is a ridiculously vulnerable place.

Vietnam feeds itself and has a hinterland. It can sit there shouting defiance to China for a decade for sure, besieged, without foreign trade. Its a very dangerous and costly place to invade. It has potential overland trade routes and if required it can force these open. It will suffer but it will survive.

The Philippines however can have its internal economy chopped to bits by a power that controls the air and sea. It can easily be starved to surrender.

Roughcoat said...

They are unsinkable after all; they can be neutralized with airstrikes, but to do that an enemy would have to expose themselves to missile fire from the Chinese coast - its only 600 miles from there to the coast of Luzon - and strikes from their masses of aircraft armed with antiship missiles.

You are aware that we have long-range missiles that could obliterate a single island within seconds? There would be no exposure either by aircraft or fleet/surface assets. They would have no defense and no opportunity for retaliation against Submarine Launched Cruise Missiles (SLCM) which could deliver stand-off volleys well beyond the range of Chinese missiles. The Chinese would not be able to locate and target the submarines; Chinese antisubmarine capabilities are woefully inadequate. They could not get close to the submarines much less find them, any ASW ships would be blown out of the water. As for Chinese hunter/killer submarines: forget about it.

Long-range guided missiles could be launched from our ships well beyond the range of Chinese missile installations and ships, and from aircraft, and even from distant land-based installations.

Plus, U.S. air and naval forces (especially submarines) would destroy any attempt by the Chinese to reinforce the islands by either ship or air.

The islands are thus highly vulnerable. In keeping and preparing for their defense the Chinese now face the same dilemma the Japanese faced after overrunning the island chains in the Western Pacific in 1941-1942.

Seeing Red said...

The ChiComs don't just want to rule the waves. They just want to rule.

Roughcoat said...
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buwaya said...

"The rest is history. One wonders if the Chinese have drawn the proper lessons from it."

The Pacific is also vast for the US.
Who owns it is a matter of who has the most and best, of ships, planes, missiles.

The lesson from the Japanese experience is not to bother to challenge the US without superior forces. The Japanese attempted to do this with a temporary local superiority, before the US could mobilize, but then could not keep up the industrial contest.

The Chinese seem to understand this lesson.

Roughcoat said...

The Pacific islands the Japanese occupied in 1941-42 were unsinkable. But so what. In the event of war the goal would not be to sink the island, but to kill the soldiers occupying it.

I would not want to be a Chinese soldier stationed on an island that was about to be struck by a swarm of incoming cruise missiles or precision-guided missiles of any kind. And if one of those missiles, just one, carried a small nuclear warhead -- good night Irene, the party's over. Maybe then the island WOULD sink!

The conundrum the Chinese have created for themselves reminds one of the conversation that Hirohito had with his senior military commanders shortly before the decision was made to strike east into the Pacific. There were then two schools of thought dividing Japanese military thinking, one that advocated for the conquest of China and an eventual all-out war with the Soviet Union vs. that which advocated for a Pacific strategy entailing war with Britain, the U.S., and the Netherlands. The Kaigun (IJN, Imperial Japanese Navy) naturally pressed for the Pacific strategy on the grounds that the Netherlands East Indies possessed the oil the navy needed to wage war for the purpose of ... getting the fuel they needed to wage war.

Tautological thinking, anyone?

Hirohito, not the brightest bulb in the imperial firmament, was rightly skeptical of a Pacific strategy. The admirals told him that it was the best course, inasmuch as China was so "vast."

"But is not the Pacific also vast?" Hirohito said.

Bingo.

Notwithstanding the emperor's qualms, the Japanese military settled on the Pacific strategy.

The rest is history. One wonders if the Chinese have drawn the proper lessons from it.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"North Korea apparently is so confused by President Donald Trump that it's asking US experts for help understanding him."

A job for Althouse!

Mark said...

Who would dare talk to them and then be accused of collusion?

Roughcoat said...

Who owns it is a matter of who has the most and best, of ships, planes, missiles.

Which begs the question: who has the most and best ships, planes, missiles -- and most experienced personnel?

The lesson from the Japanese experience is not to bother to challenge the US without superior forces. . . . The Chinese seem to understand this lesson.

I submit that what I wrote in my previous posts cast considerable doubt on your assertion. I've made my argument and will say no more on the subject.

John Nowak said...

>The really bizarre part of Crimson Tide is that the President gave a nuclear launch order when he didn't actually have to, then apparently decided, Oh Shit! No! and sent off a recall message before the first order could be carried out.

IIRC, the problem was that the Russians had lost control of an land-based ICBM base. The launch order was given to our subs. Then the Russians announced their commandos took the base and everything was good. Then the abort launch order was given, but the USS Alabama did not receive enough of the message to decode it.

At this point, the XO believes they must abort. What else could the message possibly say?

Interesting film. I'm pretty sure it's implausible, but it's worth watching.

J. Farmer said...

The challenges from China have managed to be overhyped and overestimated at the same time. There is no doubt that China is growing in power and global offense. Nonetheless, it has tremendous internal problems that will present challenges ahead. In terms of GDP per capita, China is far behind the US. China's military budget is about a third of the United States'. The US spends about 3.3% of GDP on it military, while China spends less than 2%.

The best strategic option for the US in dealing with China is accommodation. Chinese nationalism is a potent force (as it should be). There are acutely aware of their period of domination by Western powers and the sense of national humiliation it entails. Nonetheless, the CCP is a highly pragmatic, conservative organization. The US attempt at maintaining a hegemonic position in the region is a foolish, counterproductive waste of resources. We have mutual defense treaties with Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and (for all intents and purposes) Taiwan. These countries, as well as Thailand, have been designated major non-NATO allies. Most of these commitments are liabilities for the US and get us little of strategic value. Imagine if the Chinese formed a military alliance with Mexico, stationed troops there, and integrated their militaries with the Mexican military. The US would perceive that as a highly hostile act and would react strongly against it. Military alliances with Japan and Australia make sense. We should withdraw from the others.

Bad Lieutenant said...

It hurts your little tushy when I tell you that your schemes will lead to global conflict, even if the United States should somehow manage to stay out of it. You have not to my recollection given a good answer to the contrary. Though I admit I have not been specific in my concerns, I trust that you are well-read and imaginative enough to anticipate some of them.

Do you mind telling me how this works out, your scheme of withdrawal? Just start with what happens in the Pacific Rim, let's keep it simple.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

It hurts your little tushy when I tell you that your schemes will lead to global conflict, even if the United States should somehow manage to stay out of it....

Do you mind telling me how this works out, your scheme of withdrawal? Just start with what happens in the Pacific Rim, let's keep it simple.


What is this "global conflict" of which you speak? Without a mutual defense treaty with Philippines or South Korea, China will launch an armed invasion? It's completely ahistorical. China has not fought a war since its limited Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979. As I said in my comment, I favor a military alliance with Japan in order to leverage China. Good Sino-US relations are important, and conceding that China has concerns in its traditional sphere of influence, we should end our military alliance with South Korea, Taiwan, and Philippines. Those countries, of course, would be free to pursue their own mutual defense pacts.

buwaya said...

The opinion of those US allies is uniformly anti-China.
They exist too you know, and are not irrelevant.
They are not OK, to say the least, with the prospect of a Chinese hegemony. China is not going to behave as the US has. They know China will squeeze them without mercy.

The weaker of them will, if given no other options, submit and make the best of it, but I see a high likelihood of nuclear proliferation among the others, plus nuclear-tinged conflict over those weak countries and the ins and outs of their strategic positions. It is likely to be extremely complicated and extremely risky, with a high potential for megadeaths.

Karen of Texas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bad Lieutenant said...

No, J-Farm, you've already told me what you want to do. I asked you what happens next. Buwaya seems to understand what I'm getting at. Will you play dumb because you don't want to admit it or will you refute him?

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

The opinion of those US allies is uniformly anti-China.
They exist too you know, and are not irrelevant.


Don't disagree with that. It is perfectly rational from their perspective to pursue a military alliance with the US. Just because they want it does not mean we should give it to them. Vietnamese probably have the most widespread dislike of China with the exception of the Japanese. And yet we have no such arrangement with Vietnam nor should we pursue one.

They are not OK, to say the least, with the prospect of a Chinese hegemony. China is not going to behave as the US has. They know China will squeeze them without mercy.

"Squeeze them without mercy" in what way? What is the mechanism through which China will assert this kind of power and influence in the internal affairs of these other countries?

The weaker of them will, if given no other options, submit and make the best of it, but I see a high likelihood of nuclear proliferation among the others, plus nuclear-tinged conflict over those weak countries and the ins and outs of their strategic positions. It is likely to be extremely complicated and extremely risky, with a high potential for megadeaths.

First, I have said we should maintain a military alliance with Japan. The only other potential candidate for nuclear weapons in the region is South Korea. I think that can be avoided, but it is in fact an important leverage point over China and could be used in part of say, a removal of troops from the peninsula, if China can work with the US to stop or inhibit NoKo's nuclear program. But barring the peninsula problem, who is next on your list in the region for nuclear weapons?

JPS said...

Assrat, 6:59:

You recall correctly. I was being a wiseass.

And you're right that, granting the movie's premise, there would have been no need for a second message telling them to go ahead with the already-ordered launch, therefore the XO was right to suspect that something very strange was up and they should maybe gamble the time to check what it was.

What I was pointing out was the unexamined premise of the film, which didn't dawn on me til later: The president gave the order to nuke a Russian ICBM base while there was still a chance their own security forces could regain control of it. And my semi-serious point was/is, No president who gives such an order can or should expect a mid-grade officer well down the chain of command to throw sand in the gears and buy him the time to reverse himself. He must assume that if he gives that order, it *will* be carried out, and if he was wrong, he and the rest of us will have to live with it, or not.

I quite enjoy the movie anyway.

Ray - SoCal said...

China seems to be aiming at a 500 ship navy, and they are learning from their mistakes. It's amazing how far they have progressed. They are thinking longer term.

Chinese military budget is smaller, but a lot of stuff is hidden and keep in mind purchasing power.

China has huge challenges, especially demographics.

pacwest said...

Re the islands in the South China Sea:
Approximately 10% of non farmed fish comes from this area. The islands conflict with a lot of other nation's territorial fishing waters. 5 or 6 countries if I'm correct.

China is a major player in the NK situation, but Russia's role isn't given enough weight imo.

buwaya said...

Squeeze - as they are already doing, opposing migration of manufacturing to the Philippines, and working against non-Chinese investment there. This is happening. Phils is target #1.

In general, they are assumed to be likely to impose taxation, or tribute, on their dependencies, likely through indirect means like foreign exchange manipulation and highly favorable terms of trade, but who knows. Many such ideas have circulated.

Japan/Korea/Taiwan likewise cannot permit South China Sea routes, plus Chinese bases in the Phils, as that will give China a point to strangle most of their trade, in a crisis.

What happens to the Phils in a Sino-Japanese crisis? Nothing good.

Japan and SK are two very likely to get nukes. The Indonesians are likely next, they can easily afford them. In a world without a Pax Americana, not bothering to restrain a rampaging China, the nuke embargo is likely to be a dead letter. And likewise Vietnam. They arent rich, but a few nukes is handy insurance and as you note their hate and fear is strongest, possibly.

And, note, the hate and fear are not just in Vietnam. I got enough of it in Singapore of all places. Its all over, Australia and Indonesia too.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Bu can do this much better than I can, at least at this time of night, and frankly, anytime probably. I will add this mite, to note that you want to withdraw from existing treaties. Why shouldn't Japan or even Australia consider that the United States won't withdraw from their trees too if president former gets elected?

Also I would think Taiwan has the capacity to arm up at will. The threat to them is more existential.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Trees equals treaties. Stupid Android voice to text.

Bad Lieutenant said...

China is a major player in the NK situation, but Russia's role isn't given enough weight imo.

Winner winner chicken dinner! China at least has reason to try and reach a modus vivendi with us. Putin has no such thing. Nor will any Russian leadership ever I suppose. Unless of course they go to war with China or Islam and want our help.

Bad Lieutenant said...

mccullough said...
The US has no experts on Trump. But if Rocket Man pays Hillary $10 million, she'll give her insightful analysis.
9/27/17, 10:19 AM


Hey, maybe we can get Hillary to tell Fatboy Kim that the Russians did it! McCullough you're a genius!

PLUS which, I bet she could soak him for all he has. Billions maybe. Might that be enough to finally satiate the naked Greed for wealth that the Clintons have always shown?

Or is there any such number? Robert Cook wouldn't like to admit it, but even among the powerful whom he identifies as necessarily venal , any fantasy he has about bloated blood-sucking plutocrats and oligarchs pales in comparison to the rapacity of the Arkancide Dynasty. This country would heal faster if more of moderates, let alone the Left, would just admit that they were and are even worse than the common run. Let me tell you something if you Democrats out there for people who will undoubtedly vote for the Democrat in 2020, care to run against President Donald J Trump, I don't suggest you bring a bigger SOB. Find a somebody could. That's not Bernie Sanders and it's not Elizabeth Warren and it's not Kamala Harris and it's not Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg might be a little closer but he is a victim of the machine just a Stockholm Syndrome brainwashed one like RH wants us to think soldiers as.

Incidentally RH you did not see fit to defend the draft. I'd be interested in your views on that. Conscription or Universal military service or whatever you might think of him preference or combination with the current system of all-volunteer forces. I bet it's you care to share it would be interested to hear the merest details of your military service you flew Commando solo there for his it safe to say you were Air Force in 83 ? But people have such varied histories and get sheep-dipped in all that, so by all means don't let me put words in your mouth, tell us a story.

Were you aware, RH, that Google says the Commando Solo aircraft is even now in use down in the disaster relief operations in Puerto Rico?

This is a cordial friendly invitation, no trap intended.

walter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter said...

KJ: "He won't wespect the Dong!. He act like football more impowtant than Dong! Dotard! Funny hair too. Need hair wike mine! What? Heewawee on phone? Again?! No!! No Heewawee! She dumb. And she no wespect ANY Dong!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Dear Walter, I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

walter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter said...

DR: "Aw shit!. Fuckin' KJ again. What kind of nut leaves voicemails 3 days in a row?! What the fuck does he want? I gave him that Trump dealio book. Shit's tight. Must be something in their for whatever shit he's in. I mean..come on, man. He fucked me over with all that talk about pleasure squads..but when I go there? Basketball. FUCK.ING.BASKETBALL!! And he keeps goin' on about dongs. Maybe that's some psych shit to keep me from gettin' close on defence.

Stephen_Robbins said...

My dear Kim Jong-un,

Your cautious curiosity about President Trump is very well placed. Please understand that he is completely crazy.

He means all of that he said! I'm serious!

My sincerest recommendation is that you surrender immediately -- with the dignity you are certainly due, of course! I have it on very good authority that if you do so within the next week or so, Trump's government will (however reluctantly) allow you free passage to Venezuela ... well, ONLY if they will agree to have you, of course.

But no guns, and absolutely no large hold-baggage!

If that doesn't work out, I'm thinking Yemen.

But wherever, you should ask for Cazzie David to accompany you to the border. And, I shouldn't have to tell you this, but you should politely laugh at her jokes, too.

Sincerely,

Ferdinand Marcos
Former President, Philippines

walter said...

Lieutenant. I appreciate that. But the only "newsletter" I curate is on home remedies using the Rutabega. If that's up your alley, happy to roll you in.

Jon Ericson said...

walter:
http://ace.mu.nu/
will get you up to date on all of this "hep talk".

John Nowak said...

>What I was pointing out was the unexamined premise of the film, which didn't dawn on me til later: The president gave the order to nuke a Russian ICBM base while there was still a chance their own security forces could regain control of it.

Yeah, I agree. The situation is a bit contrived, but I could imagine someone jumping the gun due to weak intelligence. Suppose, for example, we think the renegades could launch at 11:00, but they really can't until 11:15. Or the renegades never actually intended to launch.

Still, you need a situation where a strike is ordered, and then aborted, or the story doesn't work at all. I agree it's not a gold star for the President, but how could it be?

Rusty said...

Roughcoat
I agree with everything you say except I think that China lost control of N Korea sometime in the early eighties when the central committee decided to pursue capitalism. I don't think they ever intended for a nuclear N Korea.
As I said before N Korea wants to be able to influence its neighbors with threat of nuclear retaliation. They want a place at the Asian table of nuclear powers.

setnaffa said...

So many ignorant people talking like Trump needs to use our nukes to take out Nork nukes.

You have not been very attentive lately. And it really is a bad look.

If the USA used 30 of our 159 strategic bombers, we could probably destroy the Nork military's ability to hurt the US, talk with each other, and maybe even retaliate against Seoul.

All before they had a chance to react.

If we used 76 bombers, it could be done overnight and permanent.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Setnaffa, I'd like to check your work.

Inkling said...

There's no mystery about Trump. If you want to understand him, read his books starting with The Art of the Deal.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

Squeeze - as they are already doing, opposing migration of manufacturing to the Philippines, and working against non-Chinese investment there. This is happening. Phils is target #1.

If that is being squeezed "without mercy," it sounds like pretty weak sauce to me. Plus, if "this is happening" now, then what good is a military alliance with the US?

In general, they are assumed to be likely to impose taxation, or tribute, on their dependencies, likely through indirect means like foreign exchange manipulation and highly favorable terms of trade, but who knows. Many such ideas have circulated.

In what sense could Philippines became a dependency of China? The Philippines is not even in the Top 15 of China's trading partners.

Japan/Korea/Taiwan likewise cannot permit South China Sea routes, plus Chinese bases in the Phils, as that will give China a point to strangle most of their trade, in a crisis.

Why would there be Chinese bases in the Philippines?

The Indonesians are likely next, they can easily afford them. In a world without a Pax Americana, not bothering to restrain a rampaging China, the nuke embargo is likely to be a dead letter.

I have not seen any signs of Indonesia even hinting out a nuclear weapon. And what would they need one for anyway? Plus, I am still waiting to see signs of a "rampaging China." The most ferocious examples you've seen to come up with are trade agreements(!) and currency manipulation(!).

And, note, the hate and fear are not just in Vietnam. I got enough of it in Singapore of all places. Its all over, Australia and Indonesia too.

I did not say it was "just in Vietnam." I said that Vietnamese have among the least favorable views of China, and a military alliance with Vietnam is not a good idea regardless of this. As fort Indonesia, the average Indonesia views China quite favorable. Nearly 2/3 of the population of a positive view of China according to Pew data. That's comparable, if slightly more, than the positive view of the US.

@Bad Lieutenant:

I will add this mite, to note that you want to withdraw from existing treaties. Why shouldn't Japan or even Australia consider that the United States won't withdraw from their trees too if president former gets elected?

Also I would think Taiwan has the capacity to arm up at will. The threat to them is more existential.


Well, that possibility always exists. Treaties can't bind countries in perpetuity. But the effect of pulling out of treaties is not as damaging as you suspect. When the Bush administration withdrew from the AMB treaty in late 2001, it did not cause Japan or Australia to doubt our treaty commitments to them. The Southeast Asian Treaty Organization was dissolved without much effect on existing military alliances.

Rusty said...

In what sense could Philippines became a dependency of China? The Philippines is not even in the Top 15 of China's trading partners.

Where are they in relation to the S China sea. China is interested in the Philippines in as much as they occupy a strategic position.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

Where are they in relation to the S China sea. China is interested in the Philippines in as much as they occupy a strategic position.

"Interested in the Philippines?" What can China actually do to the Philippines?

Bad Lieutenant said...

When the Bush administration withdrew from the AMB treaty in late 2001, it did not cause Japan or Australia to doubt our treaty commitments to them.

I honestly don't know if you are a sperg like RH, but I don't think you understand how this sophistry angers people. Withdrawing from the ABM Treaty does not connote a lack of willingness to fight. There would have to be something wrong with someone who believe that. As for SEATO, that was a long time ago number one, and number two, it didn't?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Anyway the ABM Treaty was with Russia, no? I bet it didn't improve our standing with them.

Rusty said...


"Interested in the Philippines?" What can China actually do to the Philippines?

What ever they want if no one confronts them.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

Withdrawing from the ABM Treaty does not connote a lack of willingness to fight. There would have to be something wrong with someone who believe that.

In fact, many people were making the same exact argument about our withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, that it would signal to other countries we weren't reliable partners. I am guessing you do not accept that argument, since I imagine you are fine with withdrawing from it. By your rationale, we could never withdraw from any military alliance because it might send the wrong message.

As for SEATO, that was a long time ago number one, and number two, it didn't?

And we had mutual defense treaties with Japan and with Australia when SEATO was dissolved. Can you describe the impact the dissolution of SEATO had on our relations with Japan and Australia? If there was any effect at all, it was negligible.

Anyway the ABM Treaty was with Russia, no? I bet it didn't improve our standing with them.

Technically, no, it was with the Soviet Union, which had ceased to exist in the early 90s, with countries like Russian, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan seen as successor states. The US and Russia signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty a few months later, though it wasn't much a treaty.

@Rusty:

What ever they want if no one confronts them.

That is preposterous and a gross overstatement of China's actual power. You're talking about a country that has not fought a significant war in over half a century. And as I said before, the countries of the Pacific (e.g. Japan, South Korea, Philippines) are more than welcome to form their own mutual defense pact. Collectively, they are wealthier (in total terms and per capita) than China. I am still waiting to hear concrete examples of what China would actually do. Buwaya used phrases like "squeezed without mercy" and "rampaging China," but pressed to provide concrete examples, the best he could come up with are "likely to impose taxation, or tribute, on their dependencies, likely through indirect means like foreign exchange manipulation and highly favorable terms of trade." Doesn't exactly sound like WWIII to me.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Technically, no, it was with the Soviet Union

I yield farmer you have defeated me with your pedanticism. I just haven't got the heart and if I spoke with the tongues of men and angels I would not convince you because you're not here to be convinced. My only consolation is that no one is listening to you.

Rusty said...

"That is preposterous and a gross overstatement of China's actual power."

Your gratuitous assertion not withstanding. No it isn't.
How many islands is the Philippines building in China's territorial waters?

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

I yield farmer you have defeated me with your pedanticism.

I wrote more than that in response to you, but you ignored it and focused on the one line you could use to accuse me of being a pedant.

I just haven't got the heart and if I spoke with the tongues of men and angels I would not convince you because you're not here to be convinced.

I am more than open to being convinced; I just haven't heard a convincing argument. Feel free to make one instead of just talking about me. Notice how I never say anything about you personally?

@Rusty:

How many islands is the Philippines building in China's territorial waters?

Territorial claims in the South China Sea are a difficult issue, and there are various countries claiming various territorial claims. That is not the same thing as being able to do "what ever they want."

Rusty said...

"Territorial claims in the South China Sea are a difficult issue, and there are various countries claiming various territorial claims. That is not the same thing as being able to do "what ever they want.""

And yet islands appear

Bad Lieutenant said...

I wrote more than that in response to you, but you ignored it and focused on the one line you could use to accuse me of being a pedant.


The problem is that autodidacts know lots sometimes, but tend to have these great huge gaps in their knowledge that makes them unsatisfactory interlocutors. That, or (and?) you like to play dumb when it serves you. It's not engaging. You're generally not performing the service of telling me, I daresay most of us, anything we don't know.

"Duh, what do you mean, squeeze?" Read a damned book, Farmer. Or borrow an imagination.
For a fun yet insightful read, I recommend James Clavell's Tai-Pan, and the others in his Asian Saga. Buwaya or Balfegor or others will be happy to recommend more serious tomes.
None of these issues will be decided here. You "winning" will not alter events one iota, jot or tittle. Your best objective here is your own personal growth