November 8, 2017

President Trump addresses the National Assembly in South Korea.



I listened to the whole thing and imagined the South Koreans imagining what it would be like for Americans to hear our President tell the story of the greatness of the South Koreans. Presumably, he got some things wrong and oversimplified, but he was explaining them to us, and I have to believe they loved thinking about so many of us hearing their story told by our President. Trump seems to love to make statements about how great various other people are, and he leaned into this one — how great the South Koreans are (and how terribly the North Koreans suffer).

Here's the transcript. Excerpt:
Much of this great city of Seoul was reduced to rubble. Large portions of the country were scarred -- severely, severely hurt -- by this horrible war. The economy of this nation was demolished. But as the entire world knows, over the next two generations something miraculous happened on the southern half of this peninsula....

What you have built is truly an inspiration. Your economic transformation was linked to a political one. The proud, sovereign, and independent people of your nation demanded the right to govern themselves.... And when the Republic you won faced financial crisis, you lined up by the millions to give your most prized possessions -- your wedding rings, heirlooms, and gold “luck keys” -- to restore the promise of a better future for your children.

Your wealth is measured in more than money -- it is measured in achievements of the mind and achievements of spirit. Over the last several decades, your scientists of engineers -- have engineered so many magnificent things. You've pushed the boundaries of technology, pioneered miraculous medical treatments, and emerged as leaders in unlocking the mysteries of our universe.

Korean authors penned roughly 40,000 books this year. Korean musicians fill concert halls all around the world. Young Korean students graduate from college at the highest rates of any country. And Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth....

215 comments:

1 – 200 of 215   Newer›   Newest»
Susan said...

I dunno about the Koreans but I was proud of them to hear of all those accomplishments.

My dad was on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War. He always had good things to say about the Korean people.

Scott McGlasson said...

"*Korean* is the most perfect creature ever to sanctify the earth with the imprint of its foot."

Master Chiun

buwaya said...

He mentioned golfers, so he is being quite serious here.

Ann Althouse said...

Trump's nationalism includes telling people of other nations to feel great about themselves. He's like a self-esteem lecturer on a very grand scale.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Plus he didn't apologize for America!

rcocean said...

South Korea would be even greater if the NK dicator would simply take his
billions and go to Switzerland. Then the country could re-unite.

Ann Althouse said...

The thing about golfers proceeds to discuss a tournament at his own golf course:

"... and you know what I'm going to say -- the Women's U.S. Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and it just happened to be won by a great Korean golfer, Sung-hyun Park. An eighth of the top 10 players were from Korea. And the top four golfers -- one, two, three, four -- the top four were from Korea. Congratulations. (Applause.) Congratulations. And that's something. That is really something."

Sports really are a significant part of national pride. He also talked about arts and science (and political aptitude and military prowess).

Saint Croix said...

A lot of great films are coming out of Korea. Like The Host

giant fish attack!

And don't forget Psy!

Although the North Korean version is a lot funnier.





Fernananindiananaide said...

Q: How does every North Korean joke start?
A: By looking over your shoulder.

Trumpit said...

I personally like black-haired, blue-eyed, Swedes as far as looks go, but I love Korean food such as kimchi (pickled cabbage) & bulgogi (marinated beef). Call me prejudiced, I don't care. One should not denigrate people or groups of people that you find less attractive because it is intolerant, insulting and offensive, per se. Trump, a childish, spoiled cretin, never learned good manners or social skills. He is hopelessly undignified, unqualified and should not be president. Trump heaps effusive praise on people, or groups of people in an opportunist and pandering manner that he is famous for. He can be obsequious, and obnoxious, as well as obnoxious, and downright nasty, and obnoxious. Let's hope that he doesn't let the nukes fly, killing millions, and that the country weathers and outlasts him.

Curious George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

What happens next election when the economy is good and there has been no nuclear attack? No new wars? What are you going to run on? Next term he starts a war for sure!

Curious George said...

South Korea is great, but no one parties like those fuckin' Norks!

tim in vermont said...

Democrat Bullshit goes way back

Kevin said...

A lot of great films are coming out of Korea. Like The Host

Snowpiercer!

Wilbur said...

If you want to learn to play golf, no matter the gender, you could do no better than watching the swings of the LPGA Korean golfers. Pure poetry in motion, divine tempo. Whoever is teaching these women to play sure as hell knows what he or she is doing.

It is a refreshing change to see a President go overseas and not bow in subservience to their leaders like a slave, but instead treat them with respect and equality. No apologies either. I sense they prefer this as well.

A great, sincere speech by Trump. I extend a kudos to him.

Wilbur said...

As Trumpit shakes his fist at the sky.

Drago said...

Trumpit: "Trump, a childish, spoiled cretin, never learned good manners or social skills. He is hopelessly undignified, unqualified and should not be president."

Would shoving a cigar up an intern off the oval office get you to like him more?

YoungHegelian said...

Most Americans don't realize that at the end of the Korean War both North & South Korea were wrecked. The North worse than the South by the end of the war, because the Allies had bombed everything flat. The Koreas at the end of the Korean War were in worse shape than the Vietnams were when the Americans left SV.

The post-war economic recovery of South Korea was, as Trump rightly points out, an incredible rise from the ashes, & it is a testament to the will of the Korean people.

Jim at said...

Dear Trumpit,

I am happy knowing you are completely miserable, angry and filled with seething rage.
You deserve it.

Sincerely,

Me

J. Farmer said...

One of the most concise summations I ever read about South Korea was from P.J. O'Rourke's collection Holidays in Hell from when he covered the 1987 democracy protests:

They don't like anyone who isn't Korean, and they don't like each other all that much, either. They're hardheaded, hard-drinking, tough little bastards, "the Irish of Asia".

Having spent two years in Seoul, I wholeheartedly endorse that statement.

@rcocean:

Then the country could re-unite.

You'd be amazed at the amount of South Koreans (especially) the young who are either indifferent or downright hostile to the notion of unification. The Seoul government pays lip service to reunification but is also unsure about what having an additional 25,000,000 underfed, undereducated Korean residents to deal with.

Bay Area Guy said...

Great speech!

The Vietnam War was almost identical to the Korean War (Commie invasion by the North).

Once we signed the Paris-Peace Accords in 1973, we had reached a peaceful resolution in Vietnam.

Had we supported South Vietnam, exactly as we supported South Korea, we woulda had a similar, reasonably good result.

Oso Negro said...

I am glad to hear Trump hit a grace note. My father suffered quite a bit as a result of the Korean War. At his present age of 87, he still wakes in the night screaming "incoming!" He did a second tour of Korea with the Department of Defense back in the 1990s. And he reported that when the older Koreans learned that he had been an infantryman in the lines, he was always treated with great respect.

J. Farmer said...

Unfortunately, Trump's speech also signaled a continuation of his administration's dead end North Korea policy. He again repeated the demand of total dismantling of the nuclear program and an end to ballistic missile technology. The regime has prioritized these programs ahead of pretty much every other consideration and considers them essential for survival. Increased threats from the US will only serve to convince the North Koreans that such weapons are necessary to protect themselves. For all of Trump's flattery, there is little sign that President Moon Jae-in has backed down from his statements in August, where he in no uncertain terms rebuked the President over the prospect of war on the peninsula. Given that the South Koreans are likely to bare the brunt of any such war, it is no wonder they have a vested interest in deescalating Trump's rhetoric.

Drago said...

I can only imagine how much LLR Chuck misses the "magnificent Obama" (his description).

Drago said...

BAG: "The Vietnam War was almost identical to the Korean War (Commie invasion by the North)."

Shhhh.

"Peoples Liberation Movement" according to ARM, Inga and the rest of the Robert Cookie cabal.

buwaya said...

"Had we supported South Vietnam, exactly as we supported South Korea, we woulda had a similar, reasonably good result."

True. Watergate was the death of South Vietnam, stifling a "Tiger" at birth.
It took at least 25 years off South Viet development, and perhaps nearly as much from Nortn Vietnam, as a "Tiger" South Viet could have done wonders for their development.

mockturtle said...

It was an excellent speech. Ann makes a good point about Trump: "Trump's nationalism includes telling people of other nations to feel great about themselves. He's like a self-esteem lecturer on a very grand scale."

buwaya said...

"For all of Trump's flattery, there is little sign"

I think the ROK reversing itself on anti-missile systems, from objecting to them to demanding them ASAP is quite something.

mockturtle said...

J. Farmer: Every atom in your body is negatively charged. It's a wonder it holds together.

AReasonableMan said...

Trump loves to sell. Unfortunately for him the GOP in Congress has not provided him with much that anyone wanted to buy. The appalling health care bill and now the even worse tax bill.

Imagine if the GOP had sent him reasonable restrictions on immigration (e-Verify and a wall) and a cut in the corporate tax rate (paid for by reducing deductions and eliminating the carried interest loophole) that was untethered to changes/increases in income taxes. Trump would now be in a very different place politically. Even fucking Larry Kudlow thinks the tax bill is a loser and wants them to dump the income tax changes/increases.

madAsHell said...

When do we start comparing him to Reagan?

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

J. Farmer said...
You'd be amazed at the amount of South Koreans (especially) the young who are either indifferent or downright hostile to the notion of unification.


Before reunification this was the predominant attitude in West Germany, and East Germany was relatively functional compared to N. Korea. Sans the equivalent of a USSR style break-up the Chinese will never let this happen.

tim in vermont said...

Unfortunately, Trump's speech also signaled a continuation of his administration's dead end North Korea policy.

All of the previous NORK policies so far have been smashing successes, however. At least we have seen movement.


The regime has prioritized these programs ahead of pretty much every other consideration and considers them essential for survival. Increased threats from the US will only serve to convince the North Koreans that such weapons are necessary to protect themselves.

I think it is generally agreed that Trump's rhetoric is aimed at the Chinese, who have only benefited from their barking dog up to now.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

I don't think we should angle for a re-unification of Korea either. None of our business. Let's dial back the risk, remember that this. was the guy who was going to launch a missile just a couple of months ago to land within thirty miles of Guam. We would have had to try to shoot it down.

The Chinese told the NorKs that if the US acted against them, that the Chinese had their backs, but if they threatened the US, they were on their own. That was huge, in my book. Who else has gotten anything but lies and broken treaties out of the NorKs?

China doesn't want the whole area to go nuclear, or protected by anti-missile systems, and even they can see that their little pet bogeyman is forcing that outcome.

Greg Hlatky said...


Let's hope that he doesn't let the nukes fly, killing millions, and that the country weathers and outlasts him.

Shouldn't you be outside yelling at the sky with the other children?

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

J. Farmer: Every atom in your body is negatively charged. It's a wonder it holds together.

As I have said before, I am neither a flatterer nor a praiser of politicians. I have opposed the administration's policy towards North Korea from the beginning, and I don't see any reason to demur from that position now. Especially considering the speech took the opportunity to continue advocating that policy.

readering said...

Presidential addresses to the Korean National Assembly used to be more common: Eisenhower, Johnson, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton (in '93).

Clinton also made a sports reference:

"But neither of our nations is a stranger to hard work. I think in particular of the image of your great long-distance runner, Hwang Yung Cho, who endured the final steep hill in Barcelona to capture the gold in the marathon in the 1992 Olympics. His energy and perseverance captured the spirit of the Korean people who have not only endured but prospered through a long, hard, and challenging history."

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

All of the previous NORK policies so far have been smashing successes, however. At least we have seen movement.

Actually, the much maligned Agreed Framework helped moved the needle, and diplomacy with the North has achieved some measurable successes. This chronology by the Arms Control Association is a useful primer.

I think it is generally agreed that Trump's rhetoric is aimed at the Chinese, who have only benefited from their barking dog up to now.

And as I have said before, the Chinese only have so much influence in the North, and there are many contentious issues that exist between China and the North that show how limited Beijing's influence is in the North. The Chinese are not likely to take actions that could risk regime collapse, and all evidence suggests that are much more likely to tolerate a nuclear North Korea than they are a collapses regime.

Sebastian said...

"Trump's nationalism includes telling people of other nations to feel great about themselves" This is what real nationalism was about, if you take Herder seriously, before the Nazis and a few other scoundrels just about ruined it.

J. Farmer said...

@readering:

Presidential addresses to the Korean National Assembly used to be more common: Eisenhower, Johnson, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton (in '93).

Unless I am mistaken, Reagan was the last president before Trump to address the National Assembly. The remarks you quoted from Clinton were made to reporters in South Korea following his meeting with the president.

YoungHegelian said...

@ARM,

Sans the equivalent of a USSR style break-up the Chinese will never let this happen.

And what, exactly, are the Chinese going to do about it[=reunification] should it come about? Are the Chinese going to take responsibility for the train wreck that is North Korea instead?

The problem with Chinese foreign policy towards NK is that it has no end game. What they want is a relatively sane, pro-Chinese, anti-American & SK regime on their border. The problem for the Chinese is that the tide of Korean history flows towards unification, but against subservience to China. The Koreans have good reason to support the far hegemonic power (the US) against the near hegemons of China & Japan.

NK cannot go on forever, & when it implodes there's a very good chance that there will be a large refugee or armed NK incursion into China. China will need world-wide help in dealing with such a humanitarian crisis. What the allies want (a re-united Korea under American & Japanese protection & support) is actually not all that bad for China compared to many of the other scenarios should NK fall apart.

readering said...

You are mistaken.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=46829

Sebastian said...

"that are much more likely to tolerate a nuclear North Korea than they are a collapses regime." And we are now much less likely to tolerate a nuclear North Korea than a collapsed regime, thus changing the calculations in Beijing. How far the change goes, we'll see. At least Trump is trying.

Sebastian said...

"What the allies want (a re-united Korea under American & Japanese protection & support) is actually not all that bad for China compared to many of the other scenarios should NK fall apart." True. I take Trump to be changing the probabilities of the other scenarios. I assume the ChiComs are rational, multiplying costs by probabilities, in light of their preferences. If we judge those preferences right, the conundrum could be solved. Could be.

DanTheMan said...

Trump should offer North Korea to the Chinese, with the understanding that they will create Hong Kong, version 2 there. One nation, two systems.

Everybody wins. Except Rocket Boy and his clan...


Jupiter said...

"Together, we dream of a Korea that is free, a peninsula that is safe, and families that are reunited once again. We dream of highways connecting North and South, of cousins embracing cousins, and this nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace.

Until that day comes, we stand strong and alert. Our eyes are fixed to the North, and our hearts praying for the day when all Koreans can live in freedom. (Applause.)"

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

J. Farmer said...

@readering:

You are mistaken.

You are correct. I was just reading up on it. Reagan was the last president who's trip was considered a "state visit."

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

And we are now much less likely to tolerate a nuclear North Korea than a collapsed regime, thus changing the calculations in Beijing.

Well, for one, North Korea is nuclear. And we are tolerating it. Unless Trump is prepared to go to war with North Korea, which would be a disastrous course of action, then at some point the Chinese will call his bluff, and he will have to show his hand.

tim in vermont said...

Moved the needle, yet they are testing nukes and launching highly provocative missile tests, so maybe not far enough.

YoungHegelian said...

J. Farmer,

Unless Trump is prepared to go to war with North Korea, which would be a disastrous course of action, then at some point the Chinese will call his bluff, and he will have to show his hand.

Except that a crazed NK with nukes is a danger to China, too. Who knows what'll set Kim Jong Un off on a tizzy against the Chinese in the future? He's already murdered China's favorites among the NK higher-ups, & I don't imagine too many of the NK Politiburo members are lining up to be Beijing's point men after that.

There may be questions as to whether a NK nuke can hit the United States. There's no doubt one can hit Beijing. There's no way China wants a nutjob with nukes on their border.

tim in vermont said...

I wish people would say 'call his hand,' instead of 'bluff,' but that's just me.

tim in vermont said...

"He's already murdered China's favorites among the NK higher-ups, "

I wonder if he called them "Fredos."

tim in vermont said...

CNN eating up NorK propaganda.

Tommy Duncan said...

I'm afraid that if North Korea nukes the USA Trump will get us into a war.

tcrosse said...

Two Jews are rounded up by the Nazis.
One says, "You filthy Nazi bastards !"
The other says, "Shh. Don't make trouble."

Joshua Barker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua Barker said...

But... but... but... I thought Donald Trump was a racist and white supremacist? /sarc

Joshua Barker said...

Blogger Scott McGlasson said...
"*Korean* is the most perfect creature ever to sanctify the earth with the imprint of its foot."

Master Chiun

11/8/17, 4:16 PM

---------------

Remo Williams... A bit cheesy and exploitive, but LOVED the movie...

Bad Lieutenant said...

Oso Negro said...
I am glad to hear Trump hit a grace note. My father suffered quite a bit as a result of the Korean War. At his present age of 87, he still wakes in the night screaming "incoming!" He did a second tour of Korea with the Department of Defense back in the 1990s. And he reported that when the older Koreans learned that he had been an infantryman in the lines, he was always treated with great respect.

God bless and keep your father, Oso.

JML said...

One should not denigrate people or groups of people that you find less attractive because it is intolerant, insulting and offensive, per se.

Jeeze. Obviously you do't really believe that.

I spent lots of time in Korea in the 80s. Interesting, fun, cold, exasperating. They have no concept of 'compromise.'

I got a black belt in taekwondo several years later from Korean Grand Master. He didn't compromise much either.

J. Farmer said...

@YoungHegelian:

Except that a crazed NK with nukes is a danger to China, too.

First, there is no evidence that the Kim regime is "crazed." Second, all evidence suggests North Korea wants nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Nuclear missiles make little sense as an offensive weapon, since their use would invite a counterattack that would completely obliterate the regime.

Unknown said...

Unmentioned is perhaps a prime reason for the economic and political changes, that South Korea became a Christian nation.

narciso said...

No they want to reunify the peninsula and strike out at the ones they consider the controllers of the south Korean regime, that would be Japan and north Korea.

narciso said...

North America, I don't agree with Bruce cummings but I understand the motivation.

mockturtle said...

First, there is no evidence that the Kim regime is "crazed." Second, all evidence suggests North Korea wants nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Nuclear missiles make little sense as an offensive weapon, since their use would invite a counterattack that would completely obliterate the regime.

If that were really true, Farmer, then North Korea has absolutely nothing to fear.

Trumpit said...

"Had we supported South Vietnam, exactly as we supported South Korea, we woulda had a similar, reasonably good result."

This is historical nonsense. The Korean War was a conventional conflict while the Vietnam War was a guerrilla war fought in the jungles. The Vietnam war was unwinnable short of using nuclear weapons. The hippies, and the anti-war movement were right about that obscene war. The Watergate scandal had no bearing on the failure of that war. The Paris Peace Accords were a face-saving way for Nixon to end the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

tim in vermont said...

Tuesday's missile was fired just before 6 a.m. Japan time (Monday 5 p.m. ET). The launch set off emergency sirens in northern Japan, triggering text messages that warned residents to seek cover.

"The launch occurred in the vicinity of Sunan Air Base, North Korea and flew east ... The ballistic missile overflew the territory of northern Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean approximately 500 nautical miles east of Japan," a statement from the Pentagon said.


I am sure glad that Kim is not "crazed," but it doesn't take a very large miscalculation for a test like this to escalate into a war. What happens if the missile flames out and falls on Japan?

tim in vermont said...

"Nonsense" means, I disagree and I am going to shout at you my unsupported opinions and you better shut up about it.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

If that were really true, Farmer, then North Korea has absolutely nothing to fear.

Libya gave its WMD program in the early oughts. How'd that work out for Gaddafi? And for Libya. North Korea was labeled part of an "axis of evil," and the first member in that list was overthrown.


@tim in vermont:

I am sure glad that Kim is not "crazed," but it doesn't take a very large miscalculation for a test like this to escalate into a war.

If you believe that the Kim regime is "crazed" and suicidal, then make the case. I will consider it and give a response. As the philosopher David Lewis said, "I don't know how to refute an incredulous stare."

buwaya said...

"The Korean War was a conventional conflict while the Vietnam War was a guerrilla war fought in the jungles."

By 1973-75 the Vietnam war was a conventional conflict. Once US financial support, logistics and air support were withdrawn the SV army was overwhelmed by superior conventional forces better supplied with ammunition, fuel, armor, artillery.

Kevin said...

Unfortunately, Trump's speech also signaled a continuation of his administration's dead end North Korea policy.

You think Trump is talking to Kim?

You think Kim gets to decide if he keeps his nuclear weapons?

That’s so cute.

David Begley said...

South Korea produces champion women golfers while North Koreans starve.

There is a book written by a guy who escaped from North Korea. It was exerpted in The Weekly Standard. Horrific.

buwaya said...

Trumpit,

This is why -
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-cuts-military-aid-to-south-vietnam

Congress places a $1 billion ceiling on military aid to South Vietnam for fiscal year 1974. This figure was trimmed further to $700 million by August 11. Military aid to South Vietnam in fiscal year 1973 was $2.8 billion; in 1975 it would be cut to $300 million.

tim in vermont said...

f you believe that the Kim regime is "crazed" and suicidal, then make the case.

I just pointed out that he launched a missile over Japan, and had it failed in the right way, it could have triggered a chain of events leading to war. I don't believe that is the kind of risk that a sane leader takes.

Or do you take the position that it was impossible for the missile to have any sort of malfunction and miss it's target, or the risk was so low as to be negligible when weighed against the risk of regional war?

tim in vermont said...

Why are you guys arguing with that blowhard Trumpet?

buwaya said...

If the US had been willing to support South Vietnam to the degree it had in 1972 -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Offensive

With no US ground troops, note.

Then SV likely would not even had to face the final offensive in 1975. The NV's knew exactly what state of degradation SV forces were in by then.

Big Mike said...

Trump, Hillary Clinton, and, indeed, nearly every Democrat on Capitol Hill, are making me prouder of my vote this time last year on an almost daily basis.

buwaya said...

Because Trumpit has the normal misunderstanding of the end of the Vietnam war.

Part of the ancient left-wing propaganda campaign leftover from Soviet disinformation campaigns of the day, zombie information weapons still wandering about long after their creators died.

He or it is not unique, but typical.

Lem said...

I think the speech was also aimed at the north enablers.

David Begley said...

The book is “Escape from Camp 14.”

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

I just pointed out that he launched a missile over Japan, and had it failed in the right way, it could have triggered a chain of events leading to war.

How?

I don't believe that is the kind of risk that a sane leader takes.

It's actually a fairly calculated strategy and is what's been called a "madman theory" strategy. That is, convince your enemies that you are unstable and prone to rash decisions and thus deter them from taking actions. It was a cornerstone of Nixon's foreign policy. See, for example, Operation Giant Lance. For three days, unbeknownst to the American public, more than a dozen B-52's armed with thermonuclear weapons flew near the Soviet border for three days in an effort to convince the Soviets that Nixon was a madman willing to resort to nuclear war. The Nixon administration's activities in Cambodia were similarly intentionally portrayed as evidence of Nixon's instability.

tim in vermont said...

Ok, so your position is that no flame out or any other kind of failure could have happened to cause the test to look loke a strike on Japan.

Whatever.

YoungHegelian said...

@JFarmer,

First, there is no evidence that the Kim regime is "crazed.

I have noticed in your foreign policy recommendations that you have a rather touching faith in the "rationality" of regimes to look out for their own self-survival. This faith is the foreign policy equivalent of the libertarian faith that the invisible hand of the market always produces "rational" outcomes. How, in the light of what we know about the origins of WWI, you can have that sort of faith I don't understand, but there it is.

The distinction that you fail to make is the distinction between "rational" self-interest & "perceived" self-interest on the part of regimes. The two are not only not the same, they are often catastrophically at odds with each other. For a regime to pursue its "rational" self-interest, it must be capable of processing information about its enemies in an objective fashion. It must be able to understand the motivations & aims of the regimes that oppose it. For such understanding to occur, there must be informed & frank discussion among the regime's leadership of the nature of the enemy.

There is absolutely no evidence that such understanding is or has ever been present in the NK regime. Their public propaganda pronouncements sound as if they have been beamed in from the dark side of the Moon they are so loony. You, Mr. Farmer, believe as an article of faith because there is no public proof otherwise, that behind this facade of loonyness there is a core of realistic analysis among the leadership. I don't.

I don't believe it because in my readings on the histories of Marxist-Leninist regimes I discovered that they believed every word of the claptrap they spewed. No one eats their own dog food like revolutionary regimes. When you live in a regime where the slightest deviation from the Party catechism du jour results in a vacation in the gulag, you learn to take tiny ideological distinctions very seriously. When objective analysis gets you killed, you quickly learn to forego objective analysis. In NK, objective analysis gets you (& your family) killed.

pious agnostic said...

"Madman theory" works both ways.

Drago said...

Trumpit: "This is historical nonsense. The Korean War was a conventional conflict while the Vietnam War was a guerrilla war fought in the jungles."

It's hard to believe that even after this much time an individual could, on purpose, remain that ignorant and obtuse.

In the end, after the US Congressional democrats once again aided our communist opponents by refusing monetary and material aid to the South Vietnamese, the South Vietnamese pulled back from the Northern half of South Vietnam and then, after the North realized the dems would once again throw an ally to the wolves, decided to send all their Soviet made armor (try to calm you excited breathing Robert Cook) rolling right down Highway 1 into Saigon.

Thousands of Soviet-made tanks and armored vehicles.

Right down the highway.

You know, like all guerrilla forces.

Thanks for playing Trumpit. You can join Field Marshall Freder over in the corner.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

Ok, so your position is that no flame out or any other kind of failure could have happened to cause the test to look loke a strike on Japan.

First, nobody can say anything 100%. We are talking about a world of probability, not possibility. And if you have evidence to the contrary, present it. As I said before, incredulity is not an argument. That South Koreans leaving 30 miles from the DMZ are less concerned about North Korea than a country thousands of miles away should give some pause.

J. Farmer said...

@YoungHegelian:

I have noticed in your foreign policy recommendations that you have a rather touching faith in the "rationality" of regimes to look out for their own self-survival.

For starters, nuclear war is quite unlike conventional war. The North Koreans would have zero chance of surviving a nuclear exchange with the United States. So then perhaps you would argue that North Korea believes it could attack the United States and face no backlash. There is no reason to assume they believe that. The United States has been at war in several countries for more than a decade and a half, and none of them had launched a conventional attack on the United States. So then perhaps you believe that North Korea would launch an attack because it did not care about being destroyed. But there is no evidence of that, either. The Kim regime has been in power for over half a century and has pursued nuclear weapons at great cost to itself. The notion that it would do this so it could then immediately be destroyed is also not born out by any evidence.

If you want to argue that the North Korean regime is suicidal, then make the case. So far I have heard nothing to convince me otherwise. If anything, it is the notion that North Korea in undeterrably mad that is being taken as an "article of faith."

tim in vermont said...

"First, nobody can say anything 100%. We are talking about a world of probability, not possibility. "

What the fuck does that mean? I think it means he yook a suicidal risk, even if only out of stupidity.

tim in vermont said...

"So far I have heard nothing to convince me otherwise."

And you never will, I am sure.

Drago said...

When I want to know what the South Koreans really think, I turn to J. Farmer.

Obviously.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

What the fuck does that mean? I think it means he yook a suicidal risk, even if only out of stupidity.

It means what it says, that we live in a world of probability not possibility. It's possible that the next time you get in your car, a drunk driver could plow into you and kill you. Is that a reason not to drive? No, you take a calculated risk when you get behind the wheel of a car. Every time you get on a plane, it's possible that the captain could be suicidal and nose dive the plane into a mountain. Is that a reason not to fly? Every time you go under general anesthesia, it's possible you could have an adverse reaction and die. Is that a reason not to have surgery?

And you never will, I am sure.

Well, start by making an argument. Don't just assert something as fact and then act incredulous when someone makes a different argument. When Nixon order Operation Giant Lance, it's possible that the Soviet Union could have miscalculated and launched an attack on the United States. Does that mean that Nixon was a suicidal madman? I don't think so.

tim in vermont said...

Type "north korea theatens" into Google for a laugh.

J. Farmer said...

Consider this for a moment. If North Korea was an irrational regime that could not be deterred, why wouldn't it just launch a conventional military assault on South Korea. It could unleash artillery fire against Seoul immediately. Why doesn't it? If the North is already deterred from launching an invasion of South Korea, how would nuclear weapons change that calculus?

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

Type "South Korean/US military drills" into Google. The North Koreans perennially threaten action over these drills and they always go on. North Korea's threats are mainly for domestic consumption and part of the North's massive propaganda campaign intended to maintain it's totalitarian leadership in power.

dreams said...

Trump continues to rise to the occasion while the politicians continue their political games.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

When I want to know what the South Koreans really think, I turn to J. Farmer.

So tell me what I got wrong, Drago. Once more, incredulity is not an argument. Perhaps you could tell me what your source of information is on South Korean attitudes. I have an opinion on the matter and am prepared to defend it. So what have I said that you think is incorrect?

tim in vermont said...

Trying to prove out my "and you never will" comment.

If you think that one of the NorKs missiles could never pull a Christie McCullough, I can only answer that an incredulous stare is no argument.

We had a lot of experience with rocket technology when that happened. How many shuttle launches happened? What kind of risk of nuclear annihilation is acceptable to a nin crazed leader?

Tank said...

It is nice to have a President who does not hate and disrespect the US at home and abroad.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

If you think that one of the NorKs missiles could never pull a Christie McCullough, I can only answer that an incredulous stare is no argument.

And now we are back to the possible vs. probable distinction. Yes, what you described is in the realm of the possible, but I do not think it is probable. You're not just conjecturing that a missile could fail but that it would lead to miscalculations that would lead to war, up to and including nuclear exchange. And no, I do not think that is probable. India and Pakistan have a very tense relationship over Kashmir, but that has not led to nuclear exchange in the subcontinent. China during the cultural revolution was a very unpredictable country, and that did not lead to nuclear war. Decades of tension and proxy war between the Soviet Union and the US did not lead to nuclear exchange. The US and North Korea are able to communicate with each other through the so called New York channel because of the North's UN mission there.

Plus, none of what you said demonstrates that the North Korean regime is "crazy" and suicidal. I'll repeat my question, if this is true, why has deterrence worked against North Korea's conventional military power?

David said...

He can learn.

How will he use the learning?

Known Unknown said...

"Libya gave its WMD program in the early oughts. How'd that work out for Gaddafi? "

Ask Hillary "Strong Diplomacy" Clinton.

tim in vermont said...

but I do not think it is probable. You're not just conjecturing that a missile could fail but that it would lead to miscalculations that would lead to war, up to and including nuclear exchange. And no, I do not think that is probable.

Well, if you don't think it's probable, I guess we can all sleep soundly at night while North Korea buzzes our allies with missiles that may or may not fail, and that may or may not be armed with a warhead.

There were 135 space shuttle missions, one of them flamed out and fell far short of it's targeted trajectory. These missiles were launched by the most advanced space-faring nation on the planet, and still there was a failure in that small number of launches. Compare that to the many thousands of flights every day on commercial air-liners, military aircraft, etc. Is North Korea at that level of competency with their missiles.

You have just decided what you think, which is fine, you take a position and defend it, but don't be so proud that you haven't changed your mind.

From October of last year:
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military says it detected a “failed” North Korean missile launch on Wednesday.

The U.S. Strategic Command issued a statement late Wednesday saying it presumed the missile was a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile.

tim in vermont said...

I guess you assume that everybody has "complete faith" in Kim's rationality, and, BTW, in the stability of his regime, so there is no way that a missile launched from North Korea, hurtling into American air-space, for example, at Guam, could trigger a war, because we would all know that's just Kim being Kim!

tim in vermont said...

I personally feel that if Kim launches a missile, and it looks like it is going to hit Guam, even by mistake, the shit is going to hit the fan.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

From CIA says North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is not crazy, but ‘very rational’:

“The last person who wants conflict on the [Korean peninsula] is Kim Jong-un,” Yong Suk Lee, the deputy assistant director of the CIA’s newly created Korea Mission Center, told a Washington audience Wednesday.

“We have a tendency in this country and everywhere else to kind of underestimate the conservatism that runs in these authoritarian regimes, and it’s probably the greatest circuit-breaker in any kind of conflict,” he said, adding that, all “bluster and rhetoric aside,” Mr. Kim has “no interest in going toe to toe” with the U.S. military and its allies.

CIA Deputy Assistant Director for East Asia Michael Collins and Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, the former U.S. special envoy to talks on North Korea, agree with Mr. Lee that Pyongyang’s goal is not to launch such a missile at the U.S., but to achieve legitimacy and broader freedom of action on the Korean peninsula, where U.S. troops have been positioned in South Korea since the early 1950s.

The North Koreans “see the U.S. objective in the region as regime change [in Pyongyang], and they’re talking about survival,” said Mr. DeTrani. “They want to survive, and they feel with these nuclear weapons no one’s going to mess with them.”
“Are they going to use [the weapons]?” he said. “No, they’re not suicidal.”


From Kim Jong Un is cruel and dangerous but not crazy, North Korean experts say:

Kim Jong Un's pursuit of nuclear weapons, incendiary rhetoric and odd appearance often cast the North Korean leader as an erratic, even deranged dictator.

Yet analysts and South Korean government officials who track North Korea closely describe Kim as a clever and rational, if brutal, figure who has solidified control over his country since assuming power in 2011.

Developing nuclear weapons that threaten the United States is his insurance policy against being overthrown by a U.S.-led coalition, said Joo Seong-ha, a defector who was imprisoned in North Korea before escaping to South Korea.

A nuclear weapons program is “the most powerful bargaining chip that North Korea has,” said Joo.


From North Korea is reckless, but not suicidal

“William J. Perry: The danger is not, as some believe, that North Korea will make good on its bluster and actually launch a surprise nuclear attack. The North Korean leadership, while it is evil and sometimes reckless, is not crazy or suicidal. Their primary goal is to sustain the Kim dynasty and, against all odds, they have shrewdly succeeded in that for many decades. They know that if they launch a nuclear attack, the American response would bring death to them and devastation to their country. The primary danger instead is that North Korea might overplay its hand and provoke a military response from South Korea. This could quickly expand into a larger conventional war, inevitably involving the United States, which has almost 30,000 troops in South Korea.”

tim in vermont said...

The statement said the country would fire four missiles that would fly over Japan before crashing down in the waters 18 to 25 miles from Guam, a more specific threat than what the Hermit Kingdom had said Tuesday.

The statement said it would complete plans for the launch by mid-August, at which point they would be submitted to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

An attack like North Korea described in the statement would be incredibly risky, as the Hwasong-12 missile has been tested only once and has unpredictable performance and unreliable accuracy.
- Business Insider

J. Farmer said...


"David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California"

For the U.S., the current administration might be speaking perhaps a little more flamboyantly than previous administrations, for sure. But essentially what they are saying is no different than any previous administration has said: 'If the United States is attacked first, we will fight back, as well.' The message is one of deterrence, not first strike. Both sides are reiterating that they will fight back if attacked. Deterrence works, because both sides believe the other. It is widely accepted that North Korea will strike at American targets somewhere in the Pacific if we attack them first, almost nobody doubts that. For their part, the North Koreans fully expect a massive American attack at some point, they believe us. So deterrence holds, because of the costs involved. It’s not pretty, but it works.”

"Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu "

I think the probability of conflict actually breaking out remains low. Kim Jong Un is not suicidal. While the Post’s headline today was “Trump escalates rhetoric,” in truth he went from threatening responses if they said bad things (which they immediately did, re Guam) to if they did bad things against the U.S. or allies (or “anybody that we love”). That brings him more in line with Mattis and with long-standing U.S. policy, not to initiate hostilities but to respond with great force if attacked.”

"Park Hyeong-jung, senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government-funded think-tank focusing on reunification."

“In 1994, when the U.S. government reviewed a plan to bomb North Korea’s nuclear site at Yongbyon, the situation was much more serious than now. The fact that the American government considered an evacuation of its civilians in South Korea tells a lot. Both the United States and North Korea seem to be at the stage of making threats but not real actions have been taken because taking any actions at this stage will mean a huge catastrophe.

Though it is impossible to rule out a possibility of a conflict by misunderstandings, I think both nations know what their limits are because they have been dealing with each other since 1953, when the Korean War ended with an armistice. The United States and North Korea have managed to keep peace for several decades in this region, and it would have been impossible without very good calculations.”

Dr Weevil said...

I believe it was Guenter Lewy in America in Vietnam who pointed out that the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam in 1975 included more tanks than Hitler's invasion of Russia. I can't lay my hands on my copy at the moment, but page 203 in Amazon's preview has some stuff from the North Vietnamese leaders themselves bragging about the great quantities of tanks, armoured vehicles, long-range artillery they sent in, and the construction of an 8-meter-wide highway for trucks and pipeline they built for the invasion. The Viet Cong were pretty much wiped out in the Tet Offensive.

tim in vermont said...

I guess if you repeat yourself enough times, that means that there is no possibility that you are wrong.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

Let me try asking this question a third time. If Kim Jung-un wanted to, he could begin attacking American military personnel at the DMZ tomorrow. Why do you think he does not do this?

tim in vermont said...

Nobody ever quoted an academic with and agenda before either. That's new.

tim in vermont said...

Why do you think he does not do this?

Let me explain it to you as if you were a small child. I am saying that he is taking stupid (calculated) risks and could blunder into it, intentionality has nothing to do with it, beyond intentionally taking risks. Why doesn't a drunk driver run over a family while he is sober? It's a stupid question.

traditionalguy said...

The video left out his introduction as "The Leader of the World, Donald J. Trump".

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

I guess if you repeat yourself enough times, that means that there is no possibility that you are wrong.

And you haven't been repeating yourself? As far as I can tell, you've made exactly one point. I've told you why I disagreed with it and given you several arguments for why it's not likely. You've responded to exactly none of those points. I also quoted the opinion of the deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center, the CIA Deputy Assistant Director for East Asia, the Special Envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea, a North Korean defector who had been imprisoned by the regime before escaping to the North, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and foreign Secretary of Defense, the director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California, the president of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, and a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification.

So what is it that you know about North Korea that they don't, and what is your source for this information?

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

I am saying that he is taking stupid (calculated) risks and could blunder into it, intentionality has nothing to do with it, beyond intentionally taking risks.

And your reason for believing this is what, exactly? What is the historical precedent? India and Pakistan engaged in limited armed conflict in which thousands were killed in 1999, the so called Kargil War, while both were nuclear powers. North Korea has been a nuclear power since 2006.

tim in vermont said...

My reason for believing this is that he launched a missile of dubious reliability over Japan. You asserted a negative, that NK won't do anything stupid, it only takes one counter example to disprove a negative.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

that NK won't do anything stupid,

Where, exactly, did I say that? What I said was that there was no evidence that the regime was either "crazy" or suicidal. Nothing you have said challenges that assertion.

From The Calculated Logic Behind North Korea’s Missile Tests:

While North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile tests may appear to be brazen provocations from an unstable and irascible leader, nothing could be further from the truth. Kim Jong-un’s actions, while provocative, are both rational and win him and his scientists important technical insights and improve the credibility of North Korea’s strategic deterrent.

On a technical level, these kinds of long-range ballistic missile tests allow North Korea to prove the performance of its long-range missiles on trajectories more similar to what they’d encounter during operational use.

The September 15 launch, in particular, saw the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile tested to what is likely its full-range – the maximum theoretical range of this system with a reasonably robust payload. The distance of 3,700 km was no accident. It proved that North Korea would be able to strike Guam.

That brings us to the strategic utility of these ballistic missile tests – North Korea intends to drive a wedge between the United States and its allies.

On the one hand, its long-range missiles, capable of reaching even the mainland United States, bring to the fore the old cold war problem of “decoupling” in East Asia. By placing Los Angeles and Chicago at risk, North Korea considerably increases the difficulty of the United States’ task in reassuring nations in East Asia of their safety.

tim in vermont said...

What is the practical difference between crazy and stupid?

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

What is the practical difference between crazy and stupid?

For one thing, "stupid" is a very loose term. Are you "stupid" for driving a car, having surgery, or flying in a plane, since any of those could end in your death? To requite from an article I just quoted, "On a technical level, these kinds of long-range ballistic missile tests allow North Korea to prove the performance of its long-range missiles on trajectories more similar to what they’d encounter during operational use." So, from the North Korean perspective, these missile tests tend to benefit them a great deal and carry relatively little risk.

Daniel Jackson said...

He's validating.

Pure and simple. He gets where they are coming from. Politely.

The Art of the Deal.

mockturtle said...

Let me try asking this question a third time. If Kim Jung-un wanted to, he could begin attacking American military personnel at the DMZ tomorrow. Why do you think he does not do this?

Obviously, Farmer, he's waiting for you to give him the go-ahead.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Obviously, Farmer, he's waiting for you to give him the go-ahead.

Can always count on snark when people are bereft of actual arguments.

mockturtle said...

You have zero sense of humor. Zip.

Achilles said...

Trumpit said...
"Had we supported South Vietnam, exactly as we supported South Korea, we woulda had a similar, reasonably good result."

This is historical nonsense. The Korean War was a conventional conflict while the Vietnam War was a guerrilla war fought in the jungles. The Vietnam war was unwinnable short of using nuclear weapons. The hippies, and the anti-war movement were right about that obscene war. The Watergate scandal had no bearing on the failure of that war. The Paris Peace Accords were a face-saving way for Nixon to end the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Historically illiterate. US personal were not directly fighting in 1972-73 and the North was largely defeated. The Tet offensive was a complete military failure but the North had allies on the left her in our country that made it effective here. By that time we were supporting the South with replacement supplies.

It was only after democrats voted to withhold those supplies that the South collapsed and fell to the north. With less than we had invested in South Korea we could have saved the South Vietnamese and prevented the killing fields and the resulting genocides.

But leftists are generally in favor of state sponsored mass killings.

Birkel said...

Smug is incapable of error or miscalculation or capitulation or rwconsideration.

Smug is incapable.

Titus said...

Thanks for sharing trumpist althouse. Obviously one of the best and most important speeches ever by a president. Now please give me more liberals and democrats evil and republicans and trump amazing posts I need to be pissd about something today.

How do you feel about the fact that a majority of your commenters hate homos?

Do you think about it?

And why are they attracted to your blog?

Do u think about what it says about u and what u post?

Gahrie said...

The Vietnam war was unwinnable short of using nuclear weapons.

Bull fucking shit. In fact we did win the Vietnam War. The problem is..the Democrats in Congress lost the peace.

When we left Vietnam, the Viet Cong was wiped out, the North Vietnamese military decimated and ineffective. South Vietnam was still free and independent, with a functioning military, economy, and government. However when North Vietnam attacked again a couple of years later after being rearmed by the Soviet Union, the Democrats in Congress reneged on our promise to help South Vietnam defeat North Vietnam again and the North Vietnamese won.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@tim in vermont:

Let me try asking this question a third time. If Kim Jung-un wanted to, he could begin attacking American military personnel at the DMZ tomorrow. Why do you think he does not do this?

Because we would crush him. I agree that the Norks are not irrational.

Before they threatened to go nuclear they ran their mouths and caused trouble and Clinton gave them stuff. Then they went nuclear and ran their mouths and Bush gave them stuff. Then they started doing missile tests and Obama gave them stuff.

Then Obama gave Iran stuff in exactly the same way and ensured Iran would go nuclear just like North Korea.

It totally used to pay to threaten neighbors and the US. Thank god Trump isn't as stupid as Obama, Bush and Clinton.

Gahrie said...

How do you feel about the fact that a majority of your commenters hate homos?

Utter Bullshit. The vast majority of us do not "hate homos". Just because you oppose the gay mafia and gay marriage doesn't mean you hate anybody.

Gahrie said...

Let me try asking this question a third time. If Kim Jung-un wanted to, he could begin attacking American military personnel at the DMZ tomorrow. Why do you think he does not do this?

Perhaps because when North Korea did so in the past it did not provoke the response they were looking for?

Titus said...

Btw if u were my mom and any of my friends moms we would disown u. I bet u tell your gay son u really don't believe the shit u write u just want to gets and hope some flyover will buy a mower in your portal.

U suck and I am done reading your blog.
Also thank democrats for your pension. Republicans would love to take that away from u

Goodbye

Achilles said...

Titus said...
Thanks for sharing trumpist althouse. Obviously one of the best and most important speeches ever by a president. Now please give me more liberals and democrats evil and republicans and trump amazing posts I need to be pissd about something today.

If the democrats would stop being evil violent jerks trying to force everyone to do what they want you might have something to talk about.

How do you feel about the fact that a majority of your commenters hate homos?

You are making this up. I was pro-gay marriage likely before you were born just like Trump. Trump was for gay marriage before any major democrat politician.

Do you think about it?

You clearly don't think about it. You just repeat what your masters feed you like a good little serf.

And why are they attracted to your blog?

Because we are able to rationally discuss issues here with other people who come in good faith. It is that last part that drives leftists away. Most of them do not act in good faith.

Do u think about what it says about u and what u post?

Your post says more about you than it does about her or anyone else. Are you drunk right now? Your typing is not looking particularly accurate and this post is out of character for you.

Achilles said...

Titus said...
Btw if u were my mom and any of my friends moms we would disown u. I bet u tell your gay son u really don't believe the shit u write u just want to gets and hope some flyover will buy a mower in your portal.

U suck and I am done reading your blog.
Also thank democrats for your pension. Republicans would love to take that away from u

Goodbye


Pathetic.

Drago said...

Titus: "Btw if u were my mom and any of my friends moms we would disown u."

So, let me get this straight (all puns intended), I would have to be BOTH your mom AND any of your friends' moms to get disowned? I would have to be at least 2 moms to get disowned?

I'm going to go out on another limb here and say you may live in Boston but something tells me you didn't attend any ivy league school....

LOL

Drago said...

It's funny watching Titus try, ever so momentarily, to actually engage someone.

It never turns out well for him. I recall some time back when I warned him repeatedly never to exceed the 3 word limit, for that ensures blog posting failure for him!

LOL

MaxedOutMama said...

I thought it was a very good speech. Very moving. He was trying to reinforce their confidence in themselves. And trying to help the current regime which is in an uncomfortable position, and that is a great understatement.

But it wasn't just a self-esteem lecture:
"And so, on this peninsula, we have watched the results of a tragic experiment in a laboratory of history. It is a tale of one people, but two Koreas. One Korea in which the people took control of their lives and their country, and chose a future of freedom and justice, of civilization, and incredible achievement. And another Korea in which leaders imprison their people under the banner of tyranny, fascism, and oppression. The result of this experiment are in, and they are totally conclusive."

That was a very American thing to say. The sainted JFK's phrasing might have been a bit different, but the import would have been the same. Trump continued (later in the speech):
"We did not choose to draw here, on this peninsula -- (applause) -- this magnificent peninsula -- the thin line of civilization that runs around the world and down through time. But here it was drawn, and here it remains to this day. It is the line between peace and war, between decency and depravity, between law and tyranny, between hope and total despair. It is a line that has been drawn many times, in many places, throughout history. To hold that line is a choice free nations have always had to make. We have learned together the high cost of weakness and the high stakes of its defense."

He's calling on history. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump isn't deliberately trying to pull a JFK. Most of all, Trump is trying to ratchet up the pressure on China, because while the South Koreans do not want a war and probably are very dubious about reunification, China really does not want to lose the buffer state of North Korea. We will have to see how this plays out, but whatever the behind-the-scenes negotiations in Saudi Arabia, they have changed a great deal. In ten months Trump has succeeded in changing some fundamentals in the ME.

Drago said...

Achilles: "The Tet offensive was a complete military failure but the North had allies on the left her in our country that made it effective here. By that time we were supporting the South with replacement supplies."

Actually, Tet was a complete and utter success....for the North Vietnamese who needed to rid themselves of their only real post-victory rivals for power in the south, the Viet Cong.

After Tet, the Viet Cong were decimated.

Think of it as a clever ruse by the North to rid themselves of their very own Mensheviks and/or Ernst Rohm-led SA.

Clever, clever, clever.

Plus, all the benefits of what Achilles pointed out: the lefties in the US went full speed ahead with NV propaganda.

As always.

Unexpectedly!

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

You have zero sense of humor. Zip.

I have a fantastic sense of humor; you just didn't say anything that was funny.

@Achilles:

It totally used to pay to threaten neighbors and the US. Thank god Trump isn't as stupid as Obama, Bush and Clinton.

And so far the North Korean response to Trump seems to be an expanded, doubled down effort at improving ballistic missile technology, expansion of their nuclear weapons program, and the reaffirmation that their missile and nuclear programs are non-negotiable. But hey, he's talking tough, not like those other wusses. Fist pump!

The notion that the presidents before Trump just "gave them stuff" is completely ahistorical. What exactly did Obama "give" North Korea that was of any significant value? The closest thing could be a pledge to provide thousands of tons of food aid, but that was cancelled when North Korea launched a satellite, and no food was ever given. Also during the Obama administration, five UN Security Council resolutions (1874, 2087, 2094, 2270, and 2321) were passed to sanction and put pressure on North Korea. These sanctions banned the import and export of weapons, allowed member states to inspect North Korean cargo, prohibited bunkering services for North Korean ships, placed individual subjects on a travel ban and froze assets, and placed significant restrictions and the ability to interdict imports and exports. In addition to UN sanctions, there were at least four executive orders (13551, 13570, 13687, and 13722) that placed additional sanctions on North Korea and individual Korean nationals. This is the exact opposite of "giving them stuff."

MaxedOutMama said...

Titus - I very, very much doubt that most of the commentariat here hate gay people.

In any case, the entire Korean peninsula situation is important - high stakes. We have tons of servicemen sitting there. It's not like we can afford NOT to pay attention. Unless, of course, you just hate military personnel, or think their lives are not important. Before you take that stance, remember that quite a few of those will be gay.

Dealing with the inevitable is not an endorsement of it. There's not much discussion of this in the media. I'm glad someone recognizes that this is important. I'm glad of the discussion here about it.

FWIW, I would have to say that Trump is more gay-friendly than Clinton. She'd stab anyone in the back.

J. Farmer said...

@MaxedOutMama:

We will have to see how this plays out, but whatever the behind-the-scenes negotiations in Saudi Arabia, they have changed a great deal. In ten months Trump has succeeded in changing some fundamentals in the ME.

How has Saudi Arabia "changed a great deal?" They have escalated their foolish quagmire in Yemen and are pursuing a foolish attempt to diplomatically isolate Qatar, which houses more than 10,000 US service members, and has pursued a naked power grab in the form of a transparently phony "anti-corruption" campaign. What "fundamental in the ME" have been changed?

veni vidi vici said...

Trump may be many things, and among them he is magnanimous as a speaker, in a mildly awkward and therefore disarming way. If it's all an act, it's a very good act for good purpose, so good on him for that. He speaks with the air of someone whose pomposity is halfway taking the piss. Like Rush Limbaugh, he doesn't seem to take himself entirely seriously, which is a great quality in a leader.

Achilles said...


The notion that the presidents before Trump just "gave them stuff" is completely ahistorical.

Sorry. Obama only gave stuff to Iran. I was unclear. Obama was on to the next hotness by helping Iran achieve NK's status as a belligerent nuclear power. That would be much smarter.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

How has Saudi Arabia "changed a great deal?" They have escalated their foolish quagmire in Yemen and are pursuing a foolish attempt to diplomatically isolate Qatar, which houses more than 10,000 US service members, and has pursued a naked power grab in the form of a transparently phony "anti-corruption" campaign. What "fundamental in the ME" have been changed?

Nothing yet.

The interesting things that are filtering out are who is doing the purging and who is being purged. The pro-israel/reformation group is purging the hardliners.

If they manage to seize power middle east peace between sunni/jew could be eventually possible. The plans Salman has require for the international cities require Israeli participation. Without Saudi support the Islamist movement will whither. That is what Qatar is about.

There will only be one source of belligerence left and it will be marginalized if we can keep them from getting nukes.

Rabel said...

"Together, we dream of a Korea that is free, a peninsula that is safe, and families that are reunited once again."

That right there is what you call a policy statement of some importance. A formal national reunification is excluded.

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

"What I said was that there was no evidence that the regime was either "crazy" or suicidal"

I don't know about suicidal, but executing your in-laws with anti-aircraft guns is at least a walk on the wild side.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Sorry. Obama only gave stuff to Iran. I was unclear. Obama was on to the next hotness by helping Iran achieve NK's status as a belligerent nuclear power. That would be much smarter.

The Iranians received very little of value in the P5+1 talks, mostly because it was negotiation from a position of weakness. The most significant concession that Iran received was sanctions relief. And those funds, as has been explained numerous times, have not significantly altered the balance of power in the region. In response, Iran accepted significant restrictions on their nuclear program, above and beyond even what they are permitted under the NPT, including dissentingly significant components of the nuclear program, routine inspection by the IAEA, and 24/7 monitoring of the entire fuel cycle. Iran has been in compliance with the JCPOA, and even the Trump administration, hostile to the deal from the beginning, has had to resort to lame claims that Iran is violating the "spirit" of the deal.

The interesting things that are filtering out are who is doing the purging and who is being purged. The pro-israel/reformation group is purging the hardliners.

And you know this how? As I have pointed out before, the most high profile member of the purge was Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, who could not in any conceivable way be considered a "hardliner."

Without Saudi support the Islamist movement will whither. That is what Qatar is about.

Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, has supported radical salafi jihadists fighting in Syria, and Saudi Arabia is helping to fuel the growth of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which now controls large territory in the east of Yemen, who are adamantly opposed by the Houthi rebels. Also, Saudi Arabia's blundering attempts to isolate Qatar have little to do with "the Islamist movement" and are mainly about punishing Qatar's relatively modest diplomatic engagement with Iran.

Trumpit said...

The comments section of Althouse has been hijacked by some of the most loony and angry right-wing ignoramuses around. The tide has turned against Trump and his ilk at the ballot box, and they can't stand it. If this were my blog, I'd charge 25 cents per comment. They would all flee back into the rat hole from whence they came, and take their bubonic plague-infested fleas with them. A major fumigation is in order around here.

Balfegor said...

Re: Trump:

And when the Republic you won faced financial crisis, you lined up by the millions to give your most prized possessions -- your wedding rings, heirlooms, and gold “luck keys” -- to restore the promise of a better future for your children.

This anecdote is one that, honestly, still brings tears to my eyes sometimes -- people going out and melting down their family jewels to help pay off the IMF loan early. Koreans in that day were fanatically nationalistic in a way that Americans, accustomed to thinking of themselves as the most patriotic/nationalistic people on earth, have difficulty imagining. Even today, when I visit Seoul, I'm struck by all the nationalistic propaganda plastered up around Seoul. There's dioramas and propaganda videos about Dokdo at Gimpo, for example. But there's a bitter tone to it.

Re: J. Farmer --

I think it's correct that Koreans are less concerned about North Korea than they are about the United States, but that's because there's basically been no change in North Korea's rhetoric, and they've got used to it. North Korea has been threatening to turn Seoul into sea of flame for over 20 years now (the original declaration was in 1994, I think), so there's really no way for North Korea to escalate rhetorically. Meanwhile, North Korea has attacked South Korea in recent years -- sinking the a warship and shelling South Korean territory killing a number of civilians -- but in response to Trump, North Korea has conspicuously not escalated its actual hostile activities. Missile launches and nuclear tests are both well within the range of past North Korean activity -- they've been testing nuclear weapons since 2006, missiles (post-moratorium) since 2005, and starting in 2016, have pretty consistently been able to launch over Japan into the Pacific (they have placed satellites into stable orbit successfully). Other concrete escalation steps they have pursued in the past, e.g. closing Kaesong in 2013, have also not been taken although in the case of Kaesong that's because it's closed. They've even backed down on threats they've made, e.g. against Guam.

Meanwhile, when Trump threatens retaliation against North Korea, he is credible in a way that Obama, Bush II, and Clinton simply were not. People actually wonder whether he might pull the trigger if pushed. So the rules of the old game -- where North Korea threatens or attacks or does something outrageous and the US threatens the regime, but everyone knows it's nothing but empty bluster -- don't apply. And that creates a real risk of miscommunication, where North Korea assumes they can act with impunity just as they have done in the past, and they're wrong, with catastrophic consequences for Korea.

This is probably why Moon Jae-in has flipped over and started sucking up to Trump so desperately, in a way I have never in all my life seen a South Korean leader suck up to the Americans.


Bruce Hayden said...

“William J. Perry: The danger is not, as some believe, that North Korea will make good on its bluster and actually launch a surprise nuclear attack. The North Korean leadership, while it is evil and sometimes reckless, is not crazy or suicidal. Their primary goal is to sustain the Kim dynasty and, against all odds, they have shrewdly succeeded in that for many decades. They know that if they launch a nuclear attack, the American response would bring death to them and devastation to their country. The primary danger instead is that North Korea might overplay its hand and provoke a military response from South Korea. This could quickly expand into a larger conventional war, inevitably involving the United States, which has almost 30,000 troops in South Korea.”

This makes a good point. I see a small number of insiders, led by the Kim family, using increasingly brutal methods to retain power there. If the regime falls, they are likely to be hung from the nearest lampposts, if any can still be found there. Esp after seeing how well they live, compared to the rest of the country that is, literally, starving. I see the currently reigning Kim as almost a teenager, pushing the boundaries. Obama talked a good talk, but could obviously be pushed around, and was, by the NORKs, Iranians, etc. trump has made clear that he cannot be. I see the major danger in the NORKs underestimating our response, esp as the internal pressure on the regime there continues to build. I think that less likely now, with Trump showing that he is perfectly willing to use US military power with none of the hesitation that Obama showed.

Bruce Hayden said...

“How has Saudi Arabia "changed a great deal?" They have escalated their foolish quagmire in Yemen and are pursuing a foolish attempt to diplomatically isolate Qatar, which houses more than 10,000 US service members, and has pursued a naked power grab in the form of a transparently phony "anti-corruption" campaign. What "fundamental in the ME" have been changed?”

I think that the real promise here is religious reform. Some of the elite there have been funding and supporting a very strict Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam. This was at least part of the support that OBL had, and it also is evidenced by the billions spent on radicalising mosques around the world. Except, of course, much of that is just show, with those elites spending much of their time out of the country in a level of non-Islamic decadence hard to reconcile with their putative Wahhabism. This has effectively locked the religion better than a millennium behind much of the rest of the world in pretty much anything besides blowing infidels up, or otherwise murdering them. The rest of the world is waking up to the reality that they cannot live with militant Islam. Islam needs to move into the 21st Century, and SA is the best place for that, as it is the geographical, historical, and arguably moral, center of that religion. Making things worse, maybe, is the realization that their power is built on oil, and that power is weakening, thanks, in particular to fracking.

Darrell said...

A major fumigation is in order around here.

Let's start with Trumpit. Pffffffft!

Curious George said...

"Titus said...
U suck and I am done reading your blog."

No more pithy comments on hogs, black dudes, and cum all over your chest? Let me slit my fucking wrists...

tim in vermont said...

How do you feel about the fact that a majority of your commenters hate homos?

Did your husband get hold of your password again?

tim in vermont said...

I am sure there are one or two commenters here who don't like homosexuals, but the majority? We should have a poll because I strongly doubt it.

I posted the other day from Little Donkey, no rare clumber sightings, but I was wondering, if I did, if we could have a beer and a civil conversation. If you really are gone, I will miss your comments.

tim in vermont said...

I have a fantastic sense of humor; you just didn't say anything that was funny.

OK, that was funny! Not sure whether you intended it or not.

tim in vermont said...

Can always count on snark when people are bereft of actual arguments

There you go again, asserting a negative, then using your own dense understanding to 'prove' if.

tim in vermont said...

I am glad that J. Farmer is the arbiter of acceptable risk of a missile exchange in East Asian and that he is cool with Kim's calculations, because everything has gone great thus far.

Oso Negro said...

Wow. We start with discussion of Trump and Korea and end with Titus' self-immolation. So long Titus! You were often good for comic relief, but avoided being a real advocate for homo-sexual excess.

Bad Lieutenant said...

And you know this how? As I have pointed out before, the most high profile member of the purge was Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, who could not in any conceivable way be considered a "hardliner."

The bushwah flows and flows and it's hard to keep up, but no, sir, you are wrong. Anyone who was in NYC after 9/11 remembers this prince among men, and Giuliani telling him what he could do with his $10m check and his geopolitical advice. I don't care how many boys he rents from your outfit, he's no reformer of Islam.

Bad Lieutenant said...

How do you feel about the fact that a majority of your commenters hate homos?


Just you.

Bad Lieutenant said...

T in V: If you really are gone, I will miss your comments.

I guess that's sweet of you, but why?

tim in vermont said...

It's Titus that's gone.

tim in vermont said...

Hopefully not.

tim in vermont said...

"A major fumigation is in order around here."

I suppose a Trumpit is like Hitler comment would be out of line.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

I am glad that J. Farmer is the arbiter of acceptable risk of a missile exchange in East Asian and that he is cool with Kim's calculations, because everything has gone great thus far.

No, I have an opinion on the matter and am stating it, pretty much what everybody else on this blog does. It has nothing to do with me being "the arbiter of acceptable risk" anymore than you're an "arbiter of acceptable risk" for having a different opinion. Again, snark is not an argument. It is usually what people rely on when they don't have an argument.

And to repeat what I said before, I have "quoted the opinion of the deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center, the CIA Deputy Assistant Director for East Asia, the Special Envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea, a North Korean defector who had been imprisoned by the regime before escaping to the North, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and former Secretary of Defense, the director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California, the president of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, and a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification."

J. Farmer said...

@bad lieutenant:

Anyone who was in NYC after 9/11 remembers this prince among men, and Giuliani telling him what he could do with his $10m check and his geopolitical advice.

That does not make him a hardliner. And, in fact, the notion that US middle east policy contributed to the 9/11 attacks is not only a banal truth, it's a point of view shared by Paul Wolfowitz. But please tell us about which purged members of the family were "hardliners" who were removed because of their radical views. I'll wait...

I don't care how many boys he rents from your outfit, he's no reformer of Islam.

How pathetically insulting. Your mother must be so proud of you.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I'm not sure if you're a boy lover or a boy-lover, but a gentleman cannot be insulted by the truth.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

I'm not sure if you're a boy lover or a boy-lover, but a gentleman cannot be insulted by the truth.

Keep blathering, my good friend. You're simply demonstrating what a lousy job your parents did at child rearing.

J. Farmer said...

p.s. I live in Tampa, Florida. My email address is jfarmer@me.com. If you're ever in the area, contact me and we'll make arrangements to meet. Say that to my face and see if you aren't picking your fucking teeth up off the floor.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Sorry, J, I have to save myself in case Chuck ever grows a spine, he's got dibs on my next serving of traumatic brain injury. ARM has next although I vacillate between making it quick and clean in his case, as a counterpoint to his sadism, or trying to educate him. I can't think of anyone else on the blog who rates more than a smack (but maybe caffeine will help), so you can be third on my dance card for now.

But it's nice to see that you are capable of emotion. I am of course far more offended by your espousal of foreign policies which I am convinced will, notwithstanding the subset of supporting factoids you have curated, lead to the deaths and immiserations of many millions, and the weakening rather than the sustaining of America, than by your personal policies on child rearing (or is that child-rearing), but we see which one stirs your coffee.

Gahrie said...

If the US would just retreat back into isolationism the world would be hunky-dory.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

But it's nice to see that you are capable of emotion.

The fact that your led by your emotions is probably why you are so perennially incorrect on any given subject of foreign policy.

notwithstanding the subset of supporting factoids you have curated

Yeah, facts, they certainly make believing the nonsense you spew difficult.

lead to the deaths and immiserations of many millions, and the weakening rather than the sustaining of America

But apparently the death and immiseration of the many millions who live in countries the United States has decided to regime change (for their own good, of course) does not appear to bother your conscious.

so you can be third on my dance card for now.

Unsurprising. Between your aping of Harvey Keitel's lieutenant and your propensity for anonymously slinging insults from behind a computer screen, I can only surmise that you are, in all probability, a complete coward.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

If the US would just retreat back into isolationism the world would be hunky-dory.

Yawn. You'd think that laughable cliche would run its course, but people have a funny way of clinging to their cliches. Of course, the United States has no real history of "isolationism" to "retreat back into." You'd think after 16 years of totally failed interventionism, people would start reexamining their assumptions. But like some mad leninist, whenever the pro-interventionist policies fail, their response is always...more interventionism(!).

Gahrie said...

No really...I think the US should bring our troops home from Europe and Asia, scrap it's Navy reduce it's bomber fleet, deactivate most of our ICBMs and allow other actors like Russia, China and Iran their time in the sun.

I'm sure nothing would go wrong.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Right, because pushing NATO eastward to include really important countries like Estonia and Lithuania and pursuing the hub-and-spoke strategy in East Asia have really reigned Russia and China in. And destroying Iran's two biggest rivals on their borders surely as clipped their wings. And 20 years of nation-building in southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East sure has worked out wonderfully for us. I suppose 20 years of failed, counterproductive military action is better than being called a...gasp...isolationist.

Jupiter said...

"Their primary goal is to sustain the Kim dynasty and, against all odds, they have shrewdly succeeded in that for many decades."

There is the crux of the matter. To NK, perpetual escalation is business as usual. And US policy has been to kick the can down the road. And J. Farmer says the road has no end, so kick it again. But every road has an end.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Oh eek, the fearsome J. Farmer, run away.

Look, I'm fine with giving you what you want, I mean it's a pity (in some ways you're reasonably sound) but fine, but I'm not going to take the time off from work. Come to NYC and I'll pencil you in, OK? I'm not even sure what set you off, but never say I denied you a beating.

Hey, look, at least I'm not saying you're beneath me to fight. I don't even really want to hurt you, I'll just go on until you've had enough. You can even have the first swing, I can't say fairer than that.

BTW, it's "conscience."

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

I gave you my email. Send me your contact info. I'll be in NYC in December and will be staying in Murray Hill.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

To NK, perpetual escalation is business as usual. And US policy has been to kick the can down the road. And J. Farmer says the road has no end, so kick it again. But every road has an end.

I am not sure in what sense we have been "kick[ing] the can down the road." We have been trying to induce and coerce the North Koreans out of a nuclear weapons program for decades now. These efforts have failed, though as the link to the Arms Control Association argues, the Agreed Framework had some measureable successes.

My point is that a nuclear North Korea, while not desirable, is nonetheless tolerable. Conventional military deterrence has worked, and there is no reason to assume that nuclear deterrence will not work as well. Proliferation would be the most serious issue, but steps can be taken to mitigate that risk. Again, the primary motive for the North to obtain such weapons is insurance against invasion and regime change. My preferred strategy would be to dissolve the US-ROK mutual defense treaty, remove US personnel from the peninsula, and allow the South Koreans to be responsible for their own defense. I would couple that with doubling down on our commitments to Japan and Australia and float the idea that Japan (and perhaps South Korea) might develop their own nuclear weapons to balance the North. That would certainly concentrate the Chinese mind, though again I think the amount of control China has over North Korea is overstated.

Bad Lieutenant said...

" Conventional military deterrence has worked...My preferred strategy would be to dissolve the US-ROK mutual defense treaty, remove US personnel from the peninsula,"

Sorry, it's off. I refuse to fight the insane.

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer said...
"p.s. I live in Tampa, Florida."

Oh, really. So your assessment of the risk from North Korean nukes might differ somewhat from that of a person in, say, Oregon?

Jupiter said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
"Say that to my face and see if you aren't picking your fucking teeth up off the floor."

Who are you taking offense at, and what about? And doesn't it strike you as a little rash to set up a confrontation with someone whose size and capabilities you are completely unfamiliar with? Or maybe you just conduct your personal affairs with a bit more dash than you think appropriate for international relations.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

Oh, really. So your assessment of the risk from North Korean nukes might differ somewhat from that of a person in, say, Oregon?

Uhh...no. But I've also lived in Seoul, 30 miles from the DMZ, and was not worried then, either. Again, if you want to assert that deterrence won't work, you need to actually make a case.

@Bad Lieutenant:

Sorry, it's off. I refuse to fight the insane.

Devastating riposte, as always, Lieutenant. No wonder you have to hide behind swagger and anonymity.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

Who are you taking offense at, and what about?

I thought it was pretty clear from the thread. But if not, it's "Bad Lieutenant" and it's for these remarks:

"I don't care how many boys he rents from your outfit, he's no reformer of Islam."

"I'm not sure if you're a boy lover or a boy-lover, but a gentleman cannot be insulted by the truth."

That he has to resort to such base insults only demonstrates how bereft of intellect he is, but if he'd like to say that to my face, I am more than willing to extend the invitation. And as far as it being "a little rash to set up a confrontation with someone whose size and capabilities you are completely unfamiliar with," it's a risk I am willing to take. Bad Lieutenant strike me as the kind of guy that loves to sling insults from behind a keyboard because he is, in all probability in real life, a gutless coward.

Or maybe you just conduct your personal affairs with a bit more dash than you think appropriate for international relations.

Well, how one conducts one's personal affairs is a very poor proxy for international relations. For one, a conflict between the keyboard cowboy and I isn't likely to lead to millions of deaths.

Unknown said...

Yes, I’ve also wondered why so many homophobes comment here.

Jupiter said...

"That he has to resort to such base insults only demonstrates how bereft of intellect he is,"

I guess I haven't been keeping up. Do you have an "outfit"? Does it rent boys?

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

I guess I haven't been keeping up. Do you have an "outfit"? Does it rent boys?

No, it's his third rate attempt at being insulting, and it's not the first time he has made such crass insinuations. It's his stock and trade. In previous threads regarding the Kevin Spacey topic, I attempted to interject a little nuance into the debate by pointing out that pursuing people under the legal age of consent is not pedophilia. Unfortunately, attempts at nuance are a waste of time on a terminal doofus such as Bad Lieutenant.

For what it's worth, I do own a mental health agency that provides services throughout central Florida for the Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Children and Families. We are a large provider of social and psychiatric services to victims of childhood sexual abuse, and I have worked with anti-human trafficking NGOs in Southeast Asia for many years, including refugee services near the Thai-Burma border. In retrospect, I should let his schoolyard rhetoric roll off my back (which I normally do anyway), but was particularly annoyed by it and not in a particularly forgiving mood this morning.

And my offer still stands. He says he lives in NYC, and it just so happens I'll be in Manhattan in December. He has my contact information, and I'd be more than happy to meet up with him and settle this with fisticuffs. But I'm not holding my breath.

tim in vermont said...

So we have three grandees of the ultimate Truth on this blog, rharden, Chuck, and J. Farmer. We are blessed.

tim in vermont said...

Funny that none of them have a sense of humor. Maybe rharden has sort of built one from study and first principles derived therefrom.

Daniel Jackson said...

I see that the Spirit of Don Rickles has Descended on y'all!

Careful with The Tongue--y'all could bite them off.

Now, play nice(ly)

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

So we have three grandees of the ultimate Truth on this blog, rharden, Chuck, and J. Farmer. We are blessed.

You keep repeating this refrain, and it continues to make no sense. This has nothing to do with "ultimate truth." I have an opinion, and I am defending. That's exactly what everyone else on this blog does. I don't know, with absolute certainty, that the world is not going to end tomorrow. But I don't live my life like it will. If anyone here is demanding "absolute truth," it is you. You are essentially saying that because we don't know absolutely what is going to happen, we can't make any conjecture about what's going to happen. But that's absurd.

And one more time, tim, notice how my argument has absolutely nothing to do with your character or personality traits. Why you want to keep criticizing me on those grounds is completely irrelevant to the debate we are having. Or at least that I am trying to have.

Bad Lieutenant said...

And one more time, tim, notice how my argument has absolutely nothing to do with your character or personality traits. Why you want to keep criticizing me on those grounds is completely irrelevant to the debate we are having. Or at least that I am trying to have.



Yes, but if nobody likes you then you may have a problem aside from your views.

Meanwhile, having had a family emergency, or something of the kind I have to find out about later, you are just a little further down on my list. I'm going to have to brush up on the code duello but as the challenged, I think I have the choice of weapons.

tim in vermont said...

I don't know who you are arguing with, J. I told you up front, and with supporting facts, that I believe Kim is playing a dangerous game, and whether he is crazed is irrelevant. Your argument is that this is nonsense. Forgive me if I say that we will just have to agree to disagree.

Posting excerpts from experts paid rationalize for their paymasters, when their writing is full of phrases like "I think.." or "in my judgment" doesn't strengthen your argument.

tim in vermont said...

You keep saying that I offered no arguments, so forgive me for thinking that you prefer the sound of your own voice to listening.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

Yes, but if nobody likes you then you may have a problem aside from your views.

Fortunately, being liked by anonymous Internet commenters is not high on my priority list. That's what I have family, friends, and a partner for. Plus being liked is unnecessary to being correct, which is what I am concerned with in this context.

Meanwhile, having had a family emergency, or something of the kind I have to find out about later, you are just a little further down on my list. I'm going to have to brush up on the code duello but as the challenged, I think I have the choice of weapons.

Blah blah blah. You have my contact information, big boy. You tell me when and where. I'll be staying in Murray Hill for 10 days in December. Pencil me in.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 215   Newer› Newest»