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What the Media Isn’t Telling You About North Korea’s Missile Tests
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Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about North Korea’s recent missile tests.

Last Monday, the DPRK fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The missile landed in the waters beyond the island harming neither people nor property.

The media immediately condemned the test as a “bold and provocative act” that showed the North’s defiance of UN resolutions and “contempt for its neighbors.” President Trump sharply criticized the missile test saying:

“Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”

What the media failed to mention was that, for the last three weeks, Japan, South Korea and the US have been engaged in large-scale joint-military drills on Hokkaido Island and in South Korea. These needlessly provocative war games are designed to simulate an invasion of North Korea and a “decapitation” operation to remove (Re: Kill) the regime. North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un has asked the US repeatedly to end these military exercises, but the US has stubbornly refused. The US reserves the right to threaten anyone, anytime and anywhere even right on their doorstep. It’s part of what makes the US exceptional. Check out this excerpt from an article at Fox News:

“More than 3,500 American and Japanese troops kicked off a weeks-long joint military exercise Thursday against the backdrop of an increasingly belligerent North Korean regime. The exercise, known as Northern Viper 17, will take place on Hokkaido — Japan’s northern-most main island — and will last until Aug. 28….

“We are improving our readiness not only in the air, but as a logistical support team,” Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement. “We are in a prime location for contingency purposes and this exercise will only build upon our readiness in the case a real-world scenario occurs.” (US, Japanese troops begin joint military exercise amid North Korea threat”, Fox News)

Monday’s missile test (which flew over Hokkaido Island) was conducted just hours after the war games ended. The message was clear: The North is not going to be publicly humiliated and slapped around without responding. Rather than show weakness, the North demonstrated that it was prepared to defend itself against foreign aggression. In other words, the test was NOT a “bold and provocative act” (as the media stated) but a modest and well thought-out response by a country that has experienced 64 years of relentless hectoring, sanctions, demonization and saber rattling by Washington. The North responded because the Washington’s incitements required a response. End of story.

And the same is true of the three short-range ballistic missiles the North tested last week. (two of which apparently fizzled out shortly after launching.) These tests were a response to the 3 week-long joint-military drills in South Korea which involved 75,000 combat troops accompanied by hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, landing craft, heavy artillery, a full naval flotilla and flyovers by squadrons of state of the art fighters and strategic bombers. Was the North supposed to sit on its hands while this menacing display of brute military force took place right under its nose???

Of course not. Imagine if Russia engaged in a similar operation over the border in Mexico while the Russian fleet conducted “live fire” drills three miles outside of San Francisco Bay. What do you think Trump’s reaction would be?

He’d blow those boats out of the water faster than you could say “Jackie Robinson”, right?

So why the double standard when it comes to North Korea? Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

North Korea should be applauded for showing that it won’t be intimidated by the schoolyard bully. Kim knows that any confrontation with the US will end badly for the North, even so, he hasn’t caved in or allowed himself to be pushed around by the blustering, browbeating thugs in the White House. Booyah, Kim.

By the way, Trump’s response to Monday’s missile test was barely covered in the mainstream media, and for good reason. Here’s what happened two days later:

On Wednesday, a US-led flight-group of F-35B fighters, F-15 fighters and B-1B bombers conducted military operations over a training range east of Seoul. The B-1B’s, which are low-altitude nuclear bombers, dropped their dummy-bombs on the site and then returned to their home base. The show of force was intended to send a message to Pyongyang that Washington is unhappy with the North’s ballistic missile testing project and is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the North if it fails to heed Washington’s diktats.

So Washington is prepared to nuke the North if they don’t straighten up and do as they are told?

It sure looks that way, but who really knows? In any event, Kim has no choice but to stand firm. If he shows any sign of weakness, he knows he’s going to end up like Saddam and Gaddafi. And that, of course, is what’s driving the hyperbolic rhetoric; the North wants to avoid the Gaddafi scenario at all cost. (BTW, the reason Kim has threatened to fire missiles at the waters surrounding Guam is because Guam is the home of Anderson Airforce Base which is the point-of-origin for the B-1B nuclear-capable bombers that have been making threatening flyovers on the Korean Peninsula for some time now. The North feels like it has to respond to that existential threat.

Wouldn’t it help if the media mentioned that fact or does it better serve their agenda to make it look like Kim is barking mad by lashing out against the ‘totally innocent’ United States, a country that only seeks to preserve the peace wherever it goes?

Give me a break!

It is so hard to find anything in the media that doesn’t reflect Washington’s bias and hostility. Surprisingly, there was pretty decent article at CBS News last week written by a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia. It’s the only article I’ve found that accurately explains what’s really going on beyond the propaganda. Check it out:

“Prior to President Trump’s inauguration, North Korea made it clear it was prepared to give the new U.S. administration time to review the policy and come up with something better than President Obama’s. The only wrinkle was that if the U.S. went full-steam ahead with its annual joint exercises with South Korea (especially if that were accompanied by more talk of “decapitation” and more flights of strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula), the North would react strongly.

In short, the U.S. did, and the North reacted.

Behind-the-scenes contacts went up and down, but couldn’t get traction. In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paraded new missiles as a warning, to no effect. The regime launched the new systems, one after another. Still, Washington’s approach didn’t change.” (Analysis: Pyongyang’s view of the North Korea-U.S. crisis”, CBS News)

Okay, so now we know the truth: The North gave it their best shot and came up snakeeyes, mainly because Washington doesn’t want to negotiate, they’d rather twist arms (Russia and China), tighten the embargo and threaten war. That’s Trump’s solution. Here’s more from the same piece:

“On July 4, after North Korea’s first successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch, Kim sent a public signal that the North could put the nuclear and missile programs “on the table” if the U.S. changed its approach.

The U.S. did not, so the North launched another ICBM, very deliberately deeming it a warning to the U.S. that they were to be taken seriously. Still, more B-1 bombers flew over the Peninsula, and the U.N. Security Council passed new sanctions.” (CBS News)

So, the North was ready to do some serious horse-trading, but the US balked. Kim probably heard what a wheeler dealer Trump was and figured they could work something out. But it hasn’t happen. Trump has turned out to be a bigger bust than Obama, which is pretty bad. He not only refuses to negotiate but he also delivers bellicose threats almost every day. This isn’t what the North was expecting. They were expecting a “non interventionist” leader who might be receptive to a trade-off.

The current situation has left Kim with no good options. He can either cave in and terminate his missile program altogether or increase the frequency of the tests and hope that they pave the way for negotiations. Kim chose the latter.

Did he make a bad choice?

Maybe.

Is it a rational choice?

Yes.

The North is betting that its nuclear weapons programs will be valuable bargaining chits in future negotiations with the United States. The North has no plan to nuke the west coast of the United States. That’s ridiculous! That doesn’t accomplish anything. What they want is to preserve their regime, procure security guarantees from Washington, lift the embargo, normalize relations with the South, extricate the US from the political affairs of the peninsula, and (hopefully) end the irritating and endlessly provocative 64 year US occupation. Yankee go home. Please.

Bottom line: The North is ready to deal. They want negotiations. They want to end the war. They want to put this whole nightmare behind them and get on with their lives. But Washington won’t let them because Washington likes the status quo. Washington wants to be a permanent feature in South Korea so it can encircle Russia and China with lethal missile systems and expand its geopolitical grip bringing the world closer to nuclear Armageddon.

That’s what Washington wants, and that’s why the crisis on the peninsula will continue to boil.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. This whole NK extravaganza is aimed at Kim’s neighbors, China and Russia. They are forced to pay attention and neglect doing the Eurasia business which the US is shut out of totally. They pay us mostly with lip service to mollify our teeth gnashers so they can get back to business. If we overstep we will see RMP backed with gold papering the planet and petrodollars piled at the curb for the recycler to haul away. If that happens we will envy Houston.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

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  2. Kirt says:

    Very perceptive analysis, Mike. This is another example of Unz Review publishing articles to try to get Americans to appreciate how other people see them – or more exactly how they see the behavior of the US government. This is comparable to Fred Reed’s article on the view from Latin America, but more important since the North Koreans have nuclear weapons.

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  3. This article helped sharpen my thinking about why I am increasingly sympathetic to North Korea in this matter. This doesn’t mean I’m sympathetic to their regime or leadership, but if I faced a dangerous adversary with a record of removing regimes it doesn’t like, I’d opt for ICBMs and nuclear weapons too.

    For some reason Google is substituting some French and Spanish words in my comment and articles here. The original comment is entirely in English.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    This article helped sharpen my thinking about why I am increasingly sympathetic to North Korea in this matter.
     
    Same here. I seriously hate the EUSSR globalist empire for making me increasingly sympathetic to the horrendous repulsive regime in North Korea, but what can I do?
    , @Daniel Chieh
    It isn't made much better when you wonder how much of their insanity is driven by the sanctions and how this entire attitude basically justifies their worldview: if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.
  4. “It is so hard to find anything in the media that doesn’t reflect Washington’s bias and hostility.” — Mike Whitney

    That’s what is billed by Whitney as the theme of the article, it’s supposed to be all about USA’s MSM, but what it actually morphs into immediately and blatantly is a diatribe on “Washington’s bias and hostility” against Kim Jong-un. But we could have found that out from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) – the likely ultimate source for whatever Whitney thinks he knows about North Korea. According to its website, KCNA “speaks for the Workers’ Party of Korea and the DPRK government.”

    Yes, we could have learned all about “Washington’s bias and hostility” against Kim Jong-un by going straight to the source in North Korea, the KCNA. According to Wikipedia: “Under the principle and guideline on the work of ideological propaganda and agitation put by the country’s ruling party, the Workers’ Party of Korea, the agency [KCNA] generally reports only good news about the country that is intended to encourage its people and project a positive image abroad.”

    In the last years of the previous Kim family ruler, Kim Jong-il, the DPRK was pushing a very different and much more sane nuclear arms policy. The following is from the Wikipedia article on the KCNA:

    As a tradition since 1996, KCNA, along with the three main state run newspapers in North Korea, publishes a joint New Year editorial that outlines the country’s policies for the year. The editorials usually offer praise for the Songun [military first] policy, the government and leadership, and encourage the growth of the nation. … On January 1, 2006 the agency sent out a joint-editorial from North Korea’s state newspapers calling for the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. While annual January 1 editorials are a tradition among the papers, that year’s brought attention from Western media outlets, by calling for a “nationwide campaign for driving out the U.S. troops.” The editorial made several references to Korean reunification.

    The 2009 editorial received similar attention, as criticism of United States policy was absent, and the admission of severe economic problems in the country. The editorial also made reference to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, in what analysts claimed was a “hopeful” sign. This was echoed again in its 2010 editorial, which called for an end to hostilities with the United States and a nuclear free Korean Peninsula.

    [Kim Jong-Il died in 2011 and Kim Jong-un took over.]

    The 2012 joint editorial edition, the first under Kim Jong-un’s leadership, started with a great tribute to Kim Jong-il and … called on the whole nation to give priority to do Kim Jong-il’s 2012 mission of Strong and Prosperous Nation, continue his and his father Kim Il-sung’s legacies to the entire country and the socialist cause, and to build up and encourage the various sectors that compose the nation to become contributors to national progress in all areas at all costs.

    [Note similarity of this with the Japanese ideology under the Tojo regime before and during WW II and Japan's aggression against China: the people exist for the sake of the state and the state's leaders, not the state and its leaders for the sake of the people.]

    This practice ended in 2013 when Kim Jong-un delivered the first New Year speech on television in 19 years.

    NOTE: NOTHING FURTHER ABOUT A NUCLEAR FREE KOREAN PENINSULA

    Hey, Mr. Whitney, sir, why don’t you write more about the lost movement to keep the Korean Peninsula nuclear free? Maybe you and myself and some others could convince Trump to stand up on his own hind legs and oppose “our” neocons and their sycophantic North Korean counterparts to make discussion of a nuclear free Korean Peninsula the precondition for real negotiations … rather than the ridiculous demand that USA abandon the Korean people to whatever Kim Jong-un has in store for them!

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    • Troll: SolontoCroesus
    • Replies: @c matt
    I guess Lil' Kim saw what happens to leaders who decide to scrap their nuclear programs in exchange for US false promises. And he (rationally) decided he wanted none of that.
    , @Mit
    Hey Grandpa... When you start quoting wikipedia to defend the most despicable nation you know its time to up your meds. Some people just dont get it.
  5. Overthrowing Gaddafi was a gigantic foreign policy error. After he surrendered his weapons of mass destruction, he should have been welcomed with open arms back in the West, everything in the past forgiven.

    By allowing him to be assassinated, NATO created a strong incentive for everyone ruler antagonistic to the West to develop a nuclear weapons capacity. Kim Jong-un is a brutal dictator, but he is a rational one. Possessing nuclear weapons is the best way for him to assure he won’t die in a Chinese sponsored coup d’état or at the hands of a Delta force attack.

    What scares me is that this is all raising tensions in a part of the world where the US, China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan have vital interests. 4 of these countries have nuclear weapons, 5 are industrialized economies and all 6 have large armies. It doesn’t take much imagination to see scenarios where a war starts between China / North Korea and the US / South Korea with Russia and Japan sitting on the side lines observing very carefully. What happens if one of KJU’s unarmed missiles fails, crashes in Japan, and kills hundreds in Sapporo? Would the US and Japan standby and do nothing? And if the US / Japan acts against N. Korea, would China view it as a chance to jump in, show the world that the US is a paper tiger, and achieve its strategic goal of expelling the US from the Western Pacific?

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    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    Isn't it more likely that, rather than sponsoring coups against Kim, China is happy to sit by while Kim tests the US for him, while the US and Australia continue to export respectively their manufacturing and their raw materials?

    There will come a time not so far in the future when Chinese industrial capability will overtake that of the US. I bet there aren't many diversity appointments in the Chinese Navy, and average IQ is 105, while the US (IQ around 100 pre-1965) is importing low-IQ people as fast as it can.

    Japan still has the industrial capability the US is losing, but it's a lot closer to China than it is to the US.
    , @Grandpa Charlie
    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that "precondition" to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the "settlements" in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim's precondition before any negotiations can begin! It's absurd, it's irrational and - taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over - it's insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely - thus abandoning the Korean people - is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here's the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney's propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China ... would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That's how absurd Whitney and y'all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be "rational" for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South ... yeah, I guess that's "rational," just like it's "rational" for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won't all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South ... does that resemble anything rational to you ... or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?
  6. Fat Kim is a real dumbass. True, NK has some compelling arguments against the US. Kim can lay out his case against US aggression and imperialism since end of Cold War. Hugo Chavez did some of that though he became consumed with huff and puff hubris.
    But Kim is addicted to playing gangsta, and his Pyongyang Style rap act is getting tiresome. He finds moral arguments to ‘weak’ and wussy. He would rather shoot missiles, fart nuclear explosions, and burp threats. A moron.

    If he had sense, he could be firm and insist on nukes but still act statesmanly, like the leaders of Iran, Russia, Cuba, and etc. (Erdogan is a something of a nit.) He could act and talk sane, like Assad of Syria. But fat baby Kim acts like he’s a little kid who loves playing with toys. He acts like Bam Bam on FLINSTONES.

    That’s why he gets no sympathy from anyone. There are admirers of Putin, Assad, and the leaders of Iran around the world. Despite western media attacks on them, some people see where Russia, Syria, and Iran are coming from. But even those who want to empathize with NK find it difficult because of a succession of Korean version of the Kardashian Family. Gaddafi had this problem too eventually, with his clownishness. Still, as a young man, he was rather idealistic and even sensible.

    The optics don’t help either. While most world leaders have not been handsome, they looked human. But fat Kim looks turdier than his gorky father who died of too much food and drink. This is one dumb family, and because the main ideology of the nation is cultish worship of these morons, it’s hard to take NK seriously despite its legit concerns. I think fat Kim is not very smart, not very articulate, and hardly moral. So, he expresses himself with tantrums. Hussein was a bad guy, but he could give a sane interview with a western news reporter, like he did before the Gulf War. And Assad, even against the ropes, could make his case intelligently. But fat Kim has no such ability. Also, as a god-ruler of NK, it is beneath him to talk like a human being to the rest of the world.

    If Kim had the mindset of a half-sober and half-intelligent leader, he could have won over much of world opinion. Chavez wasn’t much of a thinker(and looked funny too), but he could still talk to the world and make his case. And Admandijad was one weird horror-movie goblin-looking guy, but he could communicate with journalists and talk to the world. But the Kims only communicate through their buffers, as if they are phobic of direct contact.

    Unlike Mao, Sukarno, Ho, Castro, and even insane Amin who came to power by their own talent and guile, the first Kim was a nobody who was installed in power by Stalin. So, he was a total zero. Like Ceausescu, he relied totally on the machine to support him. It could be that the reason why NK cult of personality became the most megalomaniacal is precisely because of this insecurity. Having no mind and personality, the ONLY key to power was via some bogus myth pushed by the state. So, if many third world leaders, good or bad, came to power with their own struggle and vision, first Kim was just a shoe-in by Stalin. And unlike in other communist nations, power in NK became all-in-the-family. So, we have hicks with too much power.

    Kim never makes a case. He just makes threats. And that is so retarded. It’s like Noriega declaring war on the US. Only difference is NK has nukes. But the attitude is so dumb. Why make threats? Why not make a moral case against the US? Castro did that and got lots of sympathy. But then, Kim isn’t up to it since he’s just a spoiled fat baby whose only idea of right or wrong is “All food is mine”.

    Be that as it may, all three nations are totally shi* in this equation. Here’s Clinton’s secret speech to Goldman Sachs:

    She says the US doesn’t want a unified Korea. It’s bad enough US divided an organic nation in half and set the grounds for a war that killed millions. Now, it says it wants the division to continue.
    So, the US sees Korea as just a pawn in the Pacific game.

    NK is trash, and US is shi*.

    But then, the biggest disappointment is SK(and maybe Korean-America). US naturally thinks of its national-imperial interest first, and uses Korea as pawn. NK leader naturally care only for their own megalomaniacal power.
    But SK is supposed to be a national democracy, about freedom and human rights and patriotism. So, why is there no outrage among SK’s that Hillary made a secret speech speaking about Korea that way? Why can’t the current ‘leftist’ leader say SK will no longer go along with US military drills? What use is democracy when whoever happens to be leader has to play dog to the US? But then, we might as well ask… what is the point of having Trump or Hillary if whoever becomes president is just gonna be the new puppet of the globalist empire? After all, Trump hasn’t been able to do anything with Russia as the Glob controls Pentagon, Congress, media, and etc.

    But then, Cold War politics surely brainwashed many Koreans into seeing their northern brethren as commie trash. And having grown up with US as Big Brother, it’s become their second nature to hide like whore-cowards behind Uncle Sam. So, the new ‘leftist’ president is afraid of being called a commie-lover if he doesn’t cuck out to the US.
    Okay, we can understand that from leaders. But what about intellectuals and activists in SK? Are there prominent intellectuals, activists, and culture critics who call for a revision of the US-centric Narrative that is almost wholly bogus? What good are intellectuals if they can’t voice such opposition? But then, is the US any better? Where are the intellectuals who condemn America’s neo-imperialism since the end of Cold War? They exist in the margins and alt-media, but most prominent voices are like servitors of empire like Fareed Zakaria and loathsome Fukuyama. As for Neocon and Zionist thinktankers, they are such lowlife dirtbags.

    What good is all this democracy if the megaphones all blare the same lies?

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
    "She [Clinton] says the US doesn’t want a unified Korea." -- Priss Factor

    I hate to make myself vulnerable here at UR to being seen as an apologist for Hillary, but

    NO, Priss, Clinton did NOT say that the US doesn't want a unified Korea. That entire sentence of hers that you read as though the "we" meant the USA should be in quotes, it's Hillary paraphrasing what the Chinese are thinking or saying to Kim. If you read the whole excerpt, portions of it should be in quotes after something about "[Beijing says]".

    So, here's what she said:

    "Well. I think their [China's] traditional policy has been close to what you [Podesta] describe. [Beijing says] "We [China] don't want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one, South Korea would be dominant for the obvious economic and political reasons."

    Like I say, I don't want to accused of being a Hillary supporter, but it is what it is. Read it again, this time with just a pinch of sophisticated understanding. It's a transcription, not a written document, so you need to try to understand the context.

    You're introducing a red herring into our conversation here. No Thankyou!
    , @Bach

    He could act and talk sane, like Assad of Syria. But fat baby Kim acts like he’s a little kid who loves playing with toys. He acts like Bam Bam on FLINSTONES.
     
    Good points, but I've never heard him speak.

    It's true that the optics are bad, he looks bad, and maybe he smells bad, too, but that doesn't change history and the facts.

    Oppositely, Israel sounds and look great, but it's still a rattlesnake.

    So, why is there no outrage among SK’s that Hillary made a secret speech speaking about Korea that way?
     
    I think we know why. SKorea is an American vassal. Even sad President Moon was forced to call for an oil embargo on NKorea.

    Okay, we can understand that from leaders. But what about intellectuals and activists in SK? Are there prominent intellectuals, activists, and culture critics who call for a revision of the US-centric Narrative that is almost wholly bogus? What good are intellectuals if they can’t voice such opposition?
     
    There are, but they have to tread carefully, or else they could probably find themselves in prison.

    And the SKoreans can thank the US for that.
  7. This and Robert Parry’s Consortium News article are the last words on this dangerous situation. If it goes off, it’s curtains.

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  8. LauraMR says:

    For sure, the North Korean government is being provoked and, for sure, the North Korean government is doing its own share of provocation. Tragically, the North Korean government does not shoot over its own people but directly at them. It has done so for decades.

    Indeed, when one considers what the North Korean government has done and continues to do to its own people, it is unequivocally demented to suggest they want any form of peace.

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  9. @Robert Magill
    This whole NK extravaganza is aimed at Kim's neighbors, China and Russia. They are forced to pay attention and neglect doing the Eurasia business which the US is shut out of totally. They pay us mostly with lip service to mollify our teeth gnashers so they can get back to business. If we overstep we will see RMP backed with gold papering the planet and petrodollars piled at the curb for the recycler to haul away. If that happens we will envy Houston.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    OOPS! That’s RMB< of course. Maybe Yuan is better?

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  10. If we have really stationed anti-missile defence systems in our friendly countries, Japan and South Korea, and if the Nork missile test was a true surprise that went threateningly over the territory of our Japanese friends, then why was that threat not shot down?

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  11. Maj. Kong says:

    Of course not. Imagine if Russia engaged in a similar operation over the border in Mexico while the Russian fleet conducted “live fire” drills three miles outside of San Francisco Bay.

    I for one, would like to see this happen. It would be quite amusing to see the Silicon Dons sticken with fear. I would be surprised to see the Russian ships make it that far, though. And I presume that you can’t conduct naval exercises in the 200 mile EEZ rather than the 3 mile limit of old, but I don’t know the mariatime laws so I could well be wrong here.,

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  12. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    The US anti-missile program is getting exposed as a fraud. The Pentagon has missile interceptors based in S. Korea, Japan, Alaska and in US Navy ships in that area, so why didn’t they track, then shoot down Kim’s missile?
    Could it be that all those tens and tens of billions (or maybe hundreds of billions) spent on anti-missile technology and weapons were a waste of money, ’cause the interceptor doesn’t work in real time?

    Sure, it’s not that difficult to shoot down a missile, if you know the speed, trajectory, flight path and have a homing beacon on the target missile, but the real thing is a lot trickier.

    So why didn’t the Pentagon shoot down Lil’ Kim’s missile? Or were they caught off-guard and didn’t have enough time to react, which means the whole anti-missile thing is another Pentagon boondoggle that is only good at making our wallets lighter.

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    • Agree: Delinquent Snail
    • Replies: @Avery
    {So why didn’t the Pentagon shoot down Lil’ Kim’s missile?}

    Great question.
    , @Carroll Price
    Since it's difficult to imagine more favorable conditions under which to prove it, the US obviously has no ability to shoot-down missiles.
    , @Carlton Meyer
    Local defense missiles work maybe half the time (where the missile is to land within 30 miles of the missile defense site). So THAAD and Patriot work, but cannot protect Seoul based far south, and can only engage a couple missiles at a time. Let's hope North Korea fires its hundreds of missiles ten minutes apart. They don't work against cruise missiles unless they fly directly overhead.

    The "mid-course" systems are a massive fraud. The SM-3 missiles on our ships and in Japan don't even have enough range to hit them arcing overhead! This is no secret, but the extent of this fraud is so great that our media fears to print the truth. They refuse to even ask such questions as news conferences. Here are the details:

    http://www.g2mil.com/NMD_Fraud.htm
    , @WBH
    S Korea needs its own anti-missile systems because of the very short distance between the N Korea launchers and Seoul, S Korea!
  13. Ram says:

    ” (two of which apparently fizzled out shortly after launching.) ”

    Later reported as being completely successful.

    Read More
  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    While the über-neocon Clemson marketing major, Amb. Haley, threatens NK and tries to justify a preemptive strike, China has said it will defend NK if NK is attacked first. But China also said it will not intervene if NK attacks another country first. Who knows what moves Russia will make. Any real move (build up) for a U.S. attack will have China moving its Army and military. No way would China (or Russia) allow the U.S. empire to decapitate and occupy NK, even with claims of temporary military operations. The promises of the U.S. are worthless at best. South Korea and Japan would allow it but they’re our bitches and we control them. But China would be prepared to go to war.

    Read More
    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    exactly. usa can huff and puff, but unless usa is willing to go to war with china, all of the bluster about NK in the news and by us govt is just retarded posturing catering to the retarded population at home.
  15. To the Kim dynasty, all military exercises in the south are provocative. In that regard, this article is mere idiocy as a state of war still exists with the Norks. If little Kim doesn’t like it, then he can settle down, free his people and act like a member of the family of nations. Until then, he’s just a loud mouth with little behind it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
    Are you a NEO-COHEN troll?

    What business does the U.S. have in the Korean Peninsula? Perhaps little Kim knows that there is no constitutional basis for the US to be playing the NEO-COHEN imperialist card in Korea. He also knows that we continue to bankrupt ourselves in playing the NEO-COHEN card.

    Little Kim also knows that he holds the fate of 25,000 + US military personnel (read: NEO-COHEN fodder) in his hands.
    , @Mit
    " free his people and act like a member of the family of nations." Another prime example of how deluded many have become. " ..... "the family of nations." You make that shit up yourself ?
  16. @Diversity Heretic
    This article helped sharpen my thinking about why I am increasingly sympathetic to North Korea in this matter. This doesn't mean I'm sympathetic to their regime or leadership, but if I faced a dangerous adversary with a record of removing regimes it doesn't like, I'd opt for ICBMs and nuclear weapons too.

    For some reason Google is substituting some French and Spanish words in my comment and articles here. The original comment is entirely in English.

    This article helped sharpen my thinking about why I am increasingly sympathetic to North Korea in this matter.

    Same here. I seriously hate the EUSSR globalist empire for making me increasingly sympathetic to the horrendous repulsive regime in North Korea, but what can I do?

    Read More
    • Replies: @fergus
    North Korea is actually a brilliant little country, better quality of life than the global bully by far.
    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.
    How many Americans have even read this?

    http://www.4thmedia.org/2017/06/the-social-and-economic-achievements-of-north-korea/
  17. Joe Hide says:

    My thought on this is that leaders, movers, and writers should spend more time around psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths, neurotics, and pyschotics…. and especially obsessive-compulsives. This will help them understand and accurately describe North Korean and other totalitarian regimes.

    Read More
  18. It is the Zionist neocons who want America in another Zionist created war which they never fight and die in and who the hell is the Zionist controlled U.S. gov to say who can and cannot have nuclear weapons, hell Zionist Israel has God only knows how many nukes and nobody says jack shit about Israels nukes.

    Those interested can look up Israels SAMPSON OPTION and Israels KING TORAH policy.

    Read More
    • Agree: Carroll Price
    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
    The day is nigh at hand when ye shall be delivered from Zionism.
  19. bob sykes says:

    At BRICS today, Putin mentioned Iraq and Libya as reasons Kim might want to have a nuclear deterrent. He might have added Serbia, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey, all victims of American aggression.

    Putin also repeated the joint Chinese/Russian position that any and all military options are off the table, and that a diplomatic solution is mandatory. China has promised to defend North Korea in the even tof an American attack.

    North Korea might be able to win a short war. Seoul is only 35 miles or so from the DMZ, and North Korean artillery could punch a hole in the South Korean defenses allowing the North to encircle and occupy the city. They would have captured almost half the South Korean population, much of its industry and financial firms, nearly the whole of the civilian and military bureaucracy, hundreds of thousands of foreigners and many elected officials, maybe even Moon if he is slow. With that prize, Kim could dictate a peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Seoul is only 35 miles or so from the DMZ, and North Korean artillery could punch a hole in the South Korean defenses allowing the North to encircle and occupy the city.
     
    No. Never.

    The only purpose of all that massed artillery is a THREAT to inflict high number of casualties within its range. And Seul is out of effective range of most of that artillery.
    The only threat NK can produce is ballistic missiles on Seul. Haven't done (maybe should've) basic calculations about threat/casualty rate in that case. Too much work.
    And, of course, smuggled nuclear bomb. THAT is the real threat.

    But, as things are going, maybe we'll find out.
    Starting to feel ...unbalanced......

    My feeling is that NK leadership is increasingly detached from reality.
    Add to that well known detachment from reality of Western leadership compounded with wishful thinking, well......
    It's almost as that "immovable object and irresistible force".

    Been, naturally, following this for some time.
    The most rational scenario is, IMHO (got that from a guy on ARRSE):
    China replaces current NK leadership with somebody more rational; nukes stay but without ICBM capability.

    We definitely live in interesting times.
  20. Mike is the best, and most logical. No doubt about it.
    Except!
    US cannot use nukes on North Korea.
    That would result in radioactive contamination of large parts of China, and possible even Russia.
    And that would be act of war of US against China and Russia.

    Read More
  21. yeah says:

    Power projection goes with the territory if you are the world leader, but this NK business has been badly handled. Kissinger would have handled NK very differently. He might have taken up NK’s offer to negotiate (look, the NK’s aren’t crazy, they have been begging for direct talks with the US since ages – research it, it is all documented even in the mainstream media) and then these negotiations would have resulted in a few dollars thrown at Kim and Co. and NK could have been dealt into the world economy and polite society. China was tamed not by military threats but by doing a smart deal with them. They are now stakeholders in the world order and have long abandoned silly talk and pointless rhetoric. Why wasn’t the same tried here? Even if the US and allies manage to kick its ass soundly, the price is very unlikely to be worth it and will end up further eroding American soft power and legitimacy. Bad choices have been created, very very bad choices indeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    No need for US to get involved at all.
    All US has to do is butt out.

    It is on record that US has prevented several attempts over the years by South Korean leaders from approaching the Kim regimes.

    US needs to keep the tensions high to have an excuse to keep US troops in the region.
    To be able to meddle in China's backyard, and also keep Japan under US thumb: nice and obedient.

    Like you said: very, very bad choices have been created - mainly by US warmongers and MIC. (....with a little help from the mercurial Kim dynasty).

  22. Avery says:
    @Greg Bacon
    The US anti-missile program is getting exposed as a fraud. The Pentagon has missile interceptors based in S. Korea, Japan, Alaska and in US Navy ships in that area, so why didn't they track, then shoot down Kim's missile?
    Could it be that all those tens and tens of billions (or maybe hundreds of billions) spent on anti-missile technology and weapons were a waste of money, 'cause the interceptor doesn't work in real time?

    Sure, it's not that difficult to shoot down a missile, if you know the speed, trajectory, flight path and have a homing beacon on the target missile, but the real thing is a lot trickier.

    So why didn't the Pentagon shoot down Lil' Kim's missile? Or were they caught off-guard and didn't have enough time to react, which means the whole anti-missile thing is another Pentagon boondoggle that is only good at making our wallets lighter.

    {So why didn’t the Pentagon shoot down Lil’ Kim’s missile?}

    Great question.

    Read More
  23. Avery says:
    @yeah
    Power projection goes with the territory if you are the world leader, but this NK business has been badly handled. Kissinger would have handled NK very differently. He might have taken up NK's offer to negotiate (look, the NK's aren't crazy, they have been begging for direct talks with the US since ages - research it, it is all documented even in the mainstream media) and then these negotiations would have resulted in a few dollars thrown at Kim and Co. and NK could have been dealt into the world economy and polite society. China was tamed not by military threats but by doing a smart deal with them. They are now stakeholders in the world order and have long abandoned silly talk and pointless rhetoric. Why wasn't the same tried here? Even if the US and allies manage to kick its ass soundly, the price is very unlikely to be worth it and will end up further eroding American soft power and legitimacy. Bad choices have been created, very very bad choices indeed.

    No need for US to get involved at all.
    All US has to do is butt out.

    It is on record that US has prevented several attempts over the years by South Korean leaders from approaching the Kim regimes.

    US needs to keep the tensions high to have an excuse to keep US troops in the region.
    To be able to meddle in China’s backyard, and also keep Japan under US thumb: nice and obedient.

    Like you said: very, very bad choices have been created – mainly by US warmongers and MIC. (….with a little help from the mercurial Kim dynasty).

    Read More
  24. @NJ Transit Commuter
    Overthrowing Gaddafi was a gigantic foreign policy error. After he surrendered his weapons of mass destruction, he should have been welcomed with open arms back in the West, everything in the past forgiven.

    By allowing him to be assassinated, NATO created a strong incentive for everyone ruler antagonistic to the West to develop a nuclear weapons capacity. Kim Jong-un is a brutal dictator, but he is a rational one. Possessing nuclear weapons is the best way for him to assure he won't die in a Chinese sponsored coup d'état or at the hands of a Delta force attack.

    What scares me is that this is all raising tensions in a part of the world where the US, China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan have vital interests. 4 of these countries have nuclear weapons, 5 are industrialized economies and all 6 have large armies. It doesn't take much imagination to see scenarios where a war starts between China / North Korea and the US / South Korea with Russia and Japan sitting on the side lines observing very carefully. What happens if one of KJU's unarmed missiles fails, crashes in Japan, and kills hundreds in Sapporo? Would the US and Japan standby and do nothing? And if the US / Japan acts against N. Korea, would China view it as a chance to jump in, show the world that the US is a paper tiger, and achieve its strategic goal of expelling the US from the Western Pacific?

    Isn’t it more likely that, rather than sponsoring coups against Kim, China is happy to sit by while Kim tests the US for him, while the US and Australia continue to export respectively their manufacturing and their raw materials?

    There will come a time not so far in the future when Chinese industrial capability will overtake that of the US. I bet there aren’t many diversity appointments in the Chinese Navy, and average IQ is 105, while the US (IQ around 100 pre-1965) is importing low-IQ people as fast as it can.

    Japan still has the industrial capability the US is losing, but it’s a lot closer to China than it is to the US.

    Read More
  25. @Greg Bacon
    The US anti-missile program is getting exposed as a fraud. The Pentagon has missile interceptors based in S. Korea, Japan, Alaska and in US Navy ships in that area, so why didn't they track, then shoot down Kim's missile?
    Could it be that all those tens and tens of billions (or maybe hundreds of billions) spent on anti-missile technology and weapons were a waste of money, 'cause the interceptor doesn't work in real time?

    Sure, it's not that difficult to shoot down a missile, if you know the speed, trajectory, flight path and have a homing beacon on the target missile, but the real thing is a lot trickier.

    So why didn't the Pentagon shoot down Lil' Kim's missile? Or were they caught off-guard and didn't have enough time to react, which means the whole anti-missile thing is another Pentagon boondoggle that is only good at making our wallets lighter.

    Since it’s difficult to imagine more favorable conditions under which to prove it, the US obviously has no ability to shoot-down missiles.

    Read More
  26. @Diversity Heretic
    This article helped sharpen my thinking about why I am increasingly sympathetic to North Korea in this matter. This doesn't mean I'm sympathetic to their regime or leadership, but if I faced a dangerous adversary with a record of removing regimes it doesn't like, I'd opt for ICBMs and nuclear weapons too.

    For some reason Google is substituting some French and Spanish words in my comment and articles here. The original comment is entirely in English.

    It isn’t made much better when you wonder how much of their insanity is driven by the sanctions and how this entire attitude basically justifies their worldview: if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor, Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @anonymous

    if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.
     
    -- and Ghadaffi didn't starve his people, he ensured a measure of equality and prosperity for Libyans.

    ain't it ironical -- Hitler is a monster because he ensured that the German people had food, after a decade of starvation. Because he's such a monster, sanction Germany, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    Kim is a monster because he starves his people. Because he's such a monster, sanction North Korea, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    All in the name of preserving Western Civilization.
  27. Mulegino1 says:

    Slowly, but surely, the sane elements among the American people are heading towards a complete schism with the hierarchy of the US Empire, which appears to be in the first (and most dangerous) phase of its demise, which is denial. It is now the staggering giant with the feet of clay who, despite all of its military might, could not successfully subdue pastoral tribesmen in Afghanistan despite a 16 year, multi-trillion dollar effort. Its criminal war against Iraq only resulted in disaster, and its followup intervention in Libya led to catastrophe. It was downright defeated in Syria. It has not engaged an enemy at rough conventional parity with itself since facing the Chinese in Korea.

    Trump was elected for two primary reasons: first, he was perceived not to be the corrupt and insatiable warmonger that Hillary was; and he promised to engage in nation building here in the US and not go abroad in search of regimes to overthrow and wars to start. His weaknesses – total deference to “the generals” towards whom he professes a fawning admiration – and his mistaken view that mere saber rattling backed by aircraft carrier strike forces (sitting ducks in the age of the current state of the art anti-ship missiles) is enough to intimidate any and all comers- have made him a prisoner of the White House and its permanent government lamias.

    To put it bluntly- North Korea should be left alone. I don’t care what its leader does or does not look like. It is not a threat to the American people, and has only (supposedly) developed a nuclear deterrent because its regime saw what happened to the President of Libya, who gave away his own “weapons of mass destruction.” Who can blame them? “It is a very vicious animal, because when it is attacked, it defends itself.”

    Read More
  28. nsa says:

    Hey, Priss: “Fat Kim is a dumbass”. Really? 50 years from now, he will be studied in all the great citadels of higher learning as an asian strategist on the order of Ho Chi Minh……a man who, against overwhelming odds, faced down the GLOB Zios and then rubbed their noses in their own dung. Our pal Kim will be a model as to fending off a bloodthirsty self-appointed global hegemon…..the key of course being the surreptitious acquisition of a credible nuclear deterrence……a feat requiring brains, guile, and balls the size of grapefruits…..and maybe a funny haircut.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    If only he had a personal trainer, too. He'll have a lot more admirers if he was 1)taller and 2)had an non-obese BMI.
    , @anonymous

    and maybe a funny haircut.
     
    d'ya suppose Richard Spencer will change his barber?
    , @jacques sheete

    ...and maybe a funny haircut.
     
    I almost thought you were talking about Trump! ;)
  29. Joe Webb says:

    Oriental Despotism. That is what the traitor-in-general Whitney thinks is just fine. Unz Review does get the goofy ones for sure.

    Diversity…all is permitted as long as…

    how many tats there Mike do you sport?

    Joe Webb

    Read More
  30. @nsa
    Hey, Priss: "Fat Kim is a dumbass". Really? 50 years from now, he will be studied in all the great citadels of higher learning as an asian strategist on the order of Ho Chi Minh......a man who, against overwhelming odds, faced down the GLOB Zios and then rubbed their noses in their own dung. Our pal Kim will be a model as to fending off a bloodthirsty self-appointed global hegemon.....the key of course being the surreptitious acquisition of a credible nuclear deterrence......a feat requiring brains, guile, and balls the size of grapefruits.....and maybe a funny haircut.

    If only he had a personal trainer, too. He’ll have a lot more admirers if he was 1)taller and 2)had an non-obese BMI.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I read somewhere (and I'm too lazy to search for it now) that he got fat using a special diet on the advice of his father, who told him that being that young, he could only muster enough respect in Korea with a corpulent body. I would respect him more if he were muscular, but then again it's me and not the Korean public or his subordinates.
  31. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Joe Webb
    Oriental Despotism. That is what the traitor-in-general Whitney thinks is just fine. Unz Review does get the goofy ones for sure.

    Diversity...all is permitted as long as...

    how many tats there Mike do you sport?

    Joe Webb

    The hasbara infiltration of “WN” continues.

    Read More
  32. c matt says:
    @Grandpa Charlie

    "It is so hard to find anything in the media that doesn’t reflect Washington’s bias and hostility." -- Mike Whitney
     
    That's what is billed by Whitney as the theme of the article, it's supposed to be all about USA's MSM, but what it actually morphs into immediately and blatantly is a diatribe on "Washington's bias and hostility" against Kim Jong-un. But we could have found that out from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - the likely ultimate source for whatever Whitney thinks he knows about North Korea. According to its website, KCNA "speaks for the Workers' Party of Korea and the DPRK government."

    Yes, we could have learned all about "Washington's bias and hostility" against Kim Jong-un by going straight to the source in North Korea, the KCNA. According to Wikipedia: "Under the principle and guideline on the work of ideological propaganda and agitation put by the country's ruling party, the Workers' Party of Korea, the agency [KCNA] generally reports only good news about the country that is intended to encourage its people and project a positive image abroad."

    In the last years of the previous Kim family ruler, Kim Jong-il, the DPRK was pushing a very different and much more sane nuclear arms policy. The following is from the Wikipedia article on the KCNA:

    As a tradition since 1996, KCNA, along with the three main state run newspapers in North Korea, publishes a joint New Year editorial that outlines the country's policies for the year. The editorials usually offer praise for the Songun [military first] policy, the government and leadership, and encourage the growth of the nation. ... On January 1, 2006 the agency sent out a joint-editorial from North Korea's state newspapers calling for the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. While annual January 1 editorials are a tradition among the papers, that year's brought attention from Western media outlets, by calling for a "nationwide campaign for driving out the U.S. troops." The editorial made several references to Korean reunification.

    The 2009 editorial received similar attention, as criticism of United States policy was absent, and the admission of severe economic problems in the country. The editorial also made reference to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, in what analysts claimed was a "hopeful" sign. This was echoed again in its 2010 editorial, which called for an end to hostilities with the United States and a nuclear free Korean Peninsula.

    [Kim Jong-Il died in 2011 and Kim Jong-un took over.]

    The 2012 joint editorial edition, the first under Kim Jong-un's leadership, started with a great tribute to Kim Jong-il and ... called on the whole nation to give priority to do Kim Jong-il's 2012 mission of Strong and Prosperous Nation, continue his and his father Kim Il-sung's legacies to the entire country and the socialist cause, and to build up and encourage the various sectors that compose the nation to become contributors to national progress in all areas at all costs.

    [Note similarity of this with the Japanese ideology under the Tojo regime before and during WW II and Japan's aggression against China: the people exist for the sake of the state and the state's leaders, not the state and its leaders for the sake of the people.]

    This practice ended in 2013 when Kim Jong-un delivered the first New Year speech on television in 19 years.
     
    NOTE: NOTHING FURTHER ABOUT A NUCLEAR FREE KOREAN PENINSULA

    Hey, Mr. Whitney, sir, why don't you write more about the lost movement to keep the Korean Peninsula nuclear free? Maybe you and myself and some others could convince Trump to stand up on his own hind legs and oppose "our" neocons and their sycophantic North Korean counterparts to make discussion of a nuclear free Korean Peninsula the precondition for real negotiations ... rather than the ridiculous demand that USA abandon the Korean people to whatever Kim Jong-un has in store for them!

    I guess Lil’ Kim saw what happens to leaders who decide to scrap their nuclear programs in exchange for US false promises. And he (rationally) decided he wanted none of that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yeah, why is that so difficult for so many people to understand?
  33. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Daniel Chieh
    It isn't made much better when you wonder how much of their insanity is driven by the sanctions and how this entire attitude basically justifies their worldview: if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.

    if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.

    – and Ghadaffi didn’t starve his people, he ensured a measure of equality and prosperity for Libyans.

    ain’t it ironical — Hitler is a monster because he ensured that the German people had food, after a decade of starvation. Because he’s such a monster, sanction Germany, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    Kim is a monster because he starves his people. Because he’s such a monster, sanction North Korea, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    All in the name of preserving Western Civilization.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    They also preserve Western civilization by importing non-Westerners en masse and ensuring the Westerners do not have children. Truly, with such friends, you don't need enemies.
    , @anonymous
    Kim isn't a monster, he's a symbol. The USA however, was monstrous in Korea in the 20th century. Some of the most effective disinformation, distraction and propaganda about the US Korean adventure was broadcast via tv sticoms. non-stop in the waning days of the Vietnam war. You can catch an episode today on your local oldies station - the lie of Korea, again, again and again.

    Everytime the US wipes out a fraction of a population in a lucrative theater, propaganda is constructed, security is intensified and reality is hidden. The most powerful ally of a Empire's genocidal military is the peace movements on the same side.


    The empire (the USA) still has the ability to financially blight entire countries. Unknowing and ill-informed - the typical American on the street will state that the 'Government' of said country is 'starving their own citizens', and they would be half-right, since they have a suspicion their own Government allows and profits from creation of ghettos while funding ABM systems and jet fighters. Korea will apparently be stocking up. (How's that for capitalism you stupid motherfuckers? Almost like stealing right?)


    Please do read up on Korea - you'll never get any detailed history or information from trolls like Whitney or websites like Counterpunch or Unz, owned by rich people to spy on you via their op-eds and propaganda.
  34. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @nsa
    Hey, Priss: "Fat Kim is a dumbass". Really? 50 years from now, he will be studied in all the great citadels of higher learning as an asian strategist on the order of Ho Chi Minh......a man who, against overwhelming odds, faced down the GLOB Zios and then rubbed their noses in their own dung. Our pal Kim will be a model as to fending off a bloodthirsty self-appointed global hegemon.....the key of course being the surreptitious acquisition of a credible nuclear deterrence......a feat requiring brains, guile, and balls the size of grapefruits.....and maybe a funny haircut.

    and maybe a funny haircut.

    d’ya suppose Richard Spencer will change his barber?

    Read More
  35. @Daniel Chieh
    If only he had a personal trainer, too. He'll have a lot more admirers if he was 1)taller and 2)had an non-obese BMI.

    I read somewhere (and I’m too lazy to search for it now) that he got fat using a special diet on the advice of his father, who told him that being that young, he could only muster enough respect in Korea with a corpulent body. I would respect him more if he were muscular, but then again it’s me and not the Korean public or his subordinates.

    Read More
  36. @c matt
    I guess Lil' Kim saw what happens to leaders who decide to scrap their nuclear programs in exchange for US false promises. And he (rationally) decided he wanted none of that.

    Yeah, why is that so difficult for so many people to understand?

    Read More
  37. Does anybody really think Lil Kim won’t launch an ICBM topped with an H-bomb onto a U.S. territory if we refuse to abandon S Korea at his insistence?

    Then what?

    Read More
  38. @anonymous

    if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.
     
    -- and Ghadaffi didn't starve his people, he ensured a measure of equality and prosperity for Libyans.

    ain't it ironical -- Hitler is a monster because he ensured that the German people had food, after a decade of starvation. Because he's such a monster, sanction Germany, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    Kim is a monster because he starves his people. Because he's such a monster, sanction North Korea, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    All in the name of preserving Western Civilization.

    They also preserve Western civilization by importing non-Westerners en masse and ensuring the Westerners do not have children. Truly, with such friends, you don’t need enemies.

    Read More
  39. @Quartermaster
    To the Kim dynasty, all military exercises in the south are provocative. In that regard, this article is mere idiocy as a state of war still exists with the Norks. If little Kim doesn't like it, then he can settle down, free his people and act like a member of the family of nations. Until then, he's just a loud mouth with little behind it.

    Are you a NEO-COHEN troll?

    What business does the U.S. have in the Korean Peninsula? Perhaps little Kim knows that there is no constitutional basis for the US to be playing the NEO-COHEN imperialist card in Korea. He also knows that we continue to bankrupt ourselves in playing the NEO-COHEN card.

    Little Kim also knows that he holds the fate of 25,000 + US military personnel (read: NEO-COHEN fodder) in his hands.

    Read More
  40. @DESERT FOX
    It is the Zionist neocons who want America in another Zionist created war which they never fight and die in and who the hell is the Zionist controlled U.S. gov to say who can and cannot have nuclear weapons, hell Zionist Israel has God only knows how many nukes and nobody says jack shit about Israels nukes.

    Those interested can look up Israels SAMPSON OPTION and Israels KING TORAH policy.

    The day is nigh at hand when ye shall be delivered from Zionism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desert Fox
    Zionists control our money aka the FED and the MSM and the government via AIPAC and the DEEP STATE ie CIA, NSA, FBI etc, etc, so tell me how we get rid of the Zionists with the present gutless Zionist controlled congress aka the lower house of the knesset.
  41. Don Bacon says:

    The media is also not telling us that an elective US military strike on North Korea is not rational.

    The US (actually SecDef Gates) some years ago decided that there was minimal danger in Korea and it could be an “accompanied tour.” That is, soldiers’ families could live in Korea. Then came a ten billion dollar construction program, largely ROK-funded, which will consolidate many small army bases into a large one at Camp Humphreys, about 100km south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ). There are currently about 18,000 Americans there, about 2/3 civilian including wives, husbands and children of active service personnel.

    At Camp Humphreys the Army and Air Force Exchange Service facility includes a 124-seat dining room with a Taco Bell, a Subway and a Starbucks. There’s also a dry cleaner, and an eight-chair barber shop within its nearly 24,000 square footprint. Humphreys is becoming one of the most- modern and well-equipped Army installations in the world.

    At Camp Humphreys the U.S. military conducts a semiannual evacuation drill known as Focused Passage. The noncombatant evacuation operations, or NEO, are aimed at making sure everybody knows their roles in the event of a noncombatant evacuation, which may be ordered in the event of war, political or civil unrest, or a natural or manmade disaster. From a recent news report: “. Brandy Madrigal, 32, was participating in her third NEO — so she knew exactly what to pack when she got the call to report to the Assembly Point at the main gym at Camp Humphreys on June 5. She ticked off the list — clothes, food for the kids, documents, phone, toiletries — before driving with her two children from their first-floor apartment to the base to be processed.”

    Imagine that — thousands of “noncombatants” assembled at one place awaiting air evacuation to Japan. . . .That scenario certainly bumps up against any idea for an elective strike on North Korea. Consider this news: (quote here)
    Defense Analyst Claims that Camp Humphreys Can Be Destroyed By North Korean Rockets
    Really nothing surprising here, North Korea has long been able to target Camp Humphreys with ballistic missiles, rockets just give them another way to attack the base
    What is new with the 300mm mobile rocket launcher is its accuracy, its mobility, and ability to rapidly fire multiple projectiles at the target (1 truck x 8 rockets x 6 launchers in a battery=48 rockets impacting…then 18 launchers in a BN =864 rounds on target), and the difficulty of shooting down a rocket vs shooting down a ballistic missile. Probability hitting the a rocket is a lot lower, and then try hitting 864 as they rain down. Warheads vary from HE, ICM to Chemical… Have a nice day.

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  42. @Liberty Mike
    The day is nigh at hand when ye shall be delivered from Zionism.

    Zionists control our money aka the FED and the MSM and the government via AIPAC and the DEEP STATE ie CIA, NSA, FBI etc, etc, so tell me how we get rid of the Zionists with the present gutless Zionist controlled congress aka the lower house of the knesset.

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  43. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @anonymous

    if you want to stay alive, starve your people and build nukes. If you go even quasi-nice, like Ghadaffi, you get anally raped and tortured to death.
     
    -- and Ghadaffi didn't starve his people, he ensured a measure of equality and prosperity for Libyans.

    ain't it ironical -- Hitler is a monster because he ensured that the German people had food, after a decade of starvation. Because he's such a monster, sanction Germany, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    Kim is a monster because he starves his people. Because he's such a monster, sanction North Korea, cripple its economy, bring it to its knees.

    All in the name of preserving Western Civilization.

    Kim isn’t a monster, he’s a symbol. The USA however, was monstrous in Korea in the 20th century. Some of the most effective disinformation, distraction and propaganda about the US Korean adventure was broadcast via tv sticoms. non-stop in the waning days of the Vietnam war. You can catch an episode today on your local oldies station – the lie of Korea, again, again and again.

    Everytime the US wipes out a fraction of a population in a lucrative theater, propaganda is constructed, security is intensified and reality is hidden. The most powerful ally of a Empire’s genocidal military is the peace movements on the same side.

    The empire (the USA) still has the ability to financially blight entire countries. Unknowing and ill-informed – the typical American on the street will state that the ‘Government’ of said country is ‘starving their own citizens’, and they would be half-right, since they have a suspicion their own Government allows and profits from creation of ghettos while funding ABM systems and jet fighters. Korea will apparently be stocking up. (How’s that for capitalism you stupid motherfuckers? Almost like stealing right?)

    Please do read up on Korea – you’ll never get any detailed history or information from trolls like Whitney or websites like Counterpunch or Unz, owned by rich people to spy on you via their op-eds and propaganda.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    But Koreans are a bunch of morons or whores, and they haven't the guts to set the record straight.

    North Koreans are too 'proud' to depict themselves as victims of history. Even though there are museums devoted to the US terror bombing in NK and even though it's a big part of the narrative, the megalomania of Kim-ism makes NK out to be the victor than victim. North Korea was on the verge of being crushed by US and was saved only by China in the Korean War. Indeed, the NK regime had been put in power by Stalin. So, it's a story of a weak nation. But Kim-ism created a crazy megalo-myth. It says Kim defeated the Japanese and came to power on his own with minimal Soviet input. It says Kim would have liberated all of Korea except US invaded the south. And the Nork narrative on Korean War hardly mentions the role of China that was HUGE. It says NK virtually singlehandedly fought the US to a stalemate.
    If Kim Klan had more modesty and humility(and the cleverness of Jews or Vietnamese), they might make a case for Norks as Holocaust Survivors. (Vietnamese fought hard but always made themselves out to be helpless victims in the eyes of the world. They fought hard but presented themselves as soft and weak. They combined Maoism with Gandhism. In contrast, Norks have this Japanese mentality of acting like he-men of the universe. Maybe Japanese colonization instilled a kind of megalomania and excess pride.) If indeed the war killed 25% of the population of the North, many by US bombing, then it could be argued that a kind of holocaust happened. And those who survived were lucky to have survived. They could claim to be holocaust survivors of the Korean War and charge US with genocide. Surely, if a nation bombs Israel like that and if the war wiped out 25% of Israelis, I'm sure Jews would call it the second Holocaust. But Norks are too proud and stupid to cleverly play the role of 'victim' in the eyes of the world. So, it gets no pity.

    As for Sous -- pronounced Sows -- , they prefer not to discuss US role in dividing Korea like a cake with USSR. Never mind US was mostly supportive of Japanese colonization of Korea and only became accidental 'liberators' due to war with Japan. Never mind US plan to have Soviets enter and take half. Never mind US green-lighting of Nork attack by declaring to the world it will not defend the South. Never mind the massive bombings that killed who-knows-how-many Nork, who were fellow Kors to Sous and became the 'enemy' only because US gave north to Stalin. South Korean politics developed under the umbrella of US. The narrative says US is big brother, big uncle, big father, big friend, big savior, etc. US is great master, South Korea must be loyal dog.

    For a long time, the left in Korea was much like left in Japan. Stupidly blind to communist tyranny and thus discredited itself with association with radicalism, and this made it easy for the 'right' to label it as 'commie' or 'red'. But nowadays, esp with rise of democracy, even the 'left' has become worshipful of all things US. In the past, US was seen as supporter of military regime. Now, US is seen as inspiration for all things 'progressive', like 'diversity' and homo stuff.

    Of course, much of 'leftist' psychology is less about specific causes or needy people than about how certain issues can be hyped and sensationalized so that 'liberal' or 'leftist' elites can feel good about themselves. It's a kind of narcissism. Most of these 'leftists' don't have skin-in-the-game(as Nassim Taleb means it). They just like to point to some 'injustice', take selfies of themselves in association to the cause, and feel good about themselves. It's like Hanoi Jane was all about Jane. It was about 'me Jane save the world'. It's the self-righteous supremacist at the center of the photo with the 'cause' as fuzzy backdrop. After all, when it comes to Clooney and Sudan, no one really cares about Sudan. Celebrity-worshiping fans think "Clooney is so great because he cares about what's going on in Sudan."
  44. @NJ Transit Commuter
    Overthrowing Gaddafi was a gigantic foreign policy error. After he surrendered his weapons of mass destruction, he should have been welcomed with open arms back in the West, everything in the past forgiven.

    By allowing him to be assassinated, NATO created a strong incentive for everyone ruler antagonistic to the West to develop a nuclear weapons capacity. Kim Jong-un is a brutal dictator, but he is a rational one. Possessing nuclear weapons is the best way for him to assure he won't die in a Chinese sponsored coup d'état or at the hands of a Delta force attack.

    What scares me is that this is all raising tensions in a part of the world where the US, China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan have vital interests. 4 of these countries have nuclear weapons, 5 are industrialized economies and all 6 have large armies. It doesn't take much imagination to see scenarios where a war starts between China / North Korea and the US / South Korea with Russia and Japan sitting on the side lines observing very carefully. What happens if one of KJU's unarmed missiles fails, crashes in Japan, and kills hundreds in Sapporo? Would the US and Japan standby and do nothing? And if the US / Japan acts against N. Korea, would China view it as a chance to jump in, show the world that the US is a paper tiger, and achieve its strategic goal of expelling the US from the Western Pacific?

    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that “precondition” to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the “settlements” in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim’s precondition before any negotiations can begin! It’s absurd, it’s irrational and – taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over – it’s insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely – thus abandoning the Korean people – is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here’s the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney’s propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China … would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That’s how absurd Whitney and y’all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be “rational” for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South … yeah, I guess that’s “rational,” just like it’s “rational” for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won’t all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South … does that resemble anything rational to you … or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    I'm guessing it's way too much to expect you to coherently explain how it's the American government's responsibility (and by extension, American citizens' responsibility) to protect Koreans?
    , @Daniel Chieh
    The price of accepting the protection of another nation is the same as the price of accepting protection from the mob: you lose a great deal of independence. That South Korea has had to enact increasingly liberal policies is not surprising given its de facto colonial status. South Korea is incapable of resisting NGOs or ultimately being able to preserve its culture due to its status. Japan only does so through massive skullduggery and even so has limited success. The only countries that can completely resist "democratic" or "feminist" subversion are ones that have their own power base and can quash what are essentially foreign meddlers outright.

    The same goes for North Korea if they choose to rely on Chinese protection. I would firmly agree that Chinese governance is massively superior to Kim the Fat's governance yet it doesn't change the fact that it would largely end their sovereignty. China would almost certainly marginalize the current government(perhaps even exile them), destroy their efforts at Juche, and convert them roughly into another extension of China with all of its pros and cons.

    If I was NK's dictator, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to this plan. There's something to be said about the willingness to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.

    , @Don Bacon
    It is not rational that sixty-some years of war has not been ended, and that the US maintains a presence on the Korea peninsula. Chinese troops left long ago. ROK has many times the conventional combat power of DPRK. ROK forces, however, are commanded by the US. The US has ordered ROK not to build nuclear power installations (ROK does so for other countries) nor to build nuclear weapons. It's a full colonial relationship by the US, on the other side of the planet.
    DPRK needs to defend itself, remembering all too well that the US did a full-on war crime on North Korea at the beginning of this war, using aerial bombing to destroy all its cities and many of its people. Trump has recently offered to do it again.
    ROK should be set free to negotiate with DPRK as President Moon intended to do before his efforts were sabotaged by the US, which has happened before. And the US should leave Korea.
    , @fergus
    Hate to remove your illusions but nobody wants the US out of Korea more than the South Koreans. Yes - South Koreans.
    Peace will come when China kills the dollar and Americans military garrisoning of the planet dries up and blows away. .

    http://www.zoominkorea.org/us-south-korean-joint-petition-urges-end-to-u-s-war-games-and-calls-for-peace/
    , @Tom in AZ
    Nice bait and switch you pulled there, Gramps. The condition they want for talks is for us and S. Korea to stop with the yearly invasion practice we hold. Which is what our exercise actually is and not some DOD 'Pearly Precision' maneuvers or other quaint name they stick on that pig for lipstick.

    And, if we hadn't installed the murderous regime in SK after WW2, which was killing over 100k of its own people, maybe they would trust us a bit more. Of course we had to break our promise to those who helped against Japan, then kill 2-3 million of them when they decided not to take it lying down.

    Sort of like giving Vietnam back to the French, after promising ol' Ho they would have independence.

    But, what the heck. They were commies.
  45. @Grandpa Charlie
    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that "precondition" to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the "settlements" in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim's precondition before any negotiations can begin! It's absurd, it's irrational and - taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over - it's insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely - thus abandoning the Korean people - is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here's the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney's propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China ... would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That's how absurd Whitney and y'all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be "rational" for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South ... yeah, I guess that's "rational," just like it's "rational" for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won't all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South ... does that resemble anything rational to you ... or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?

    I’m guessing it’s way too much to expect you to coherently explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
    For my rejoinder to Beefcake's excellent request for me to "explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?"

    please see my comment, comment # 69 in this thread.
  46. @anonymous
    Kim isn't a monster, he's a symbol. The USA however, was monstrous in Korea in the 20th century. Some of the most effective disinformation, distraction and propaganda about the US Korean adventure was broadcast via tv sticoms. non-stop in the waning days of the Vietnam war. You can catch an episode today on your local oldies station - the lie of Korea, again, again and again.

    Everytime the US wipes out a fraction of a population in a lucrative theater, propaganda is constructed, security is intensified and reality is hidden. The most powerful ally of a Empire's genocidal military is the peace movements on the same side.


    The empire (the USA) still has the ability to financially blight entire countries. Unknowing and ill-informed - the typical American on the street will state that the 'Government' of said country is 'starving their own citizens', and they would be half-right, since they have a suspicion their own Government allows and profits from creation of ghettos while funding ABM systems and jet fighters. Korea will apparently be stocking up. (How's that for capitalism you stupid motherfuckers? Almost like stealing right?)


    Please do read up on Korea - you'll never get any detailed history or information from trolls like Whitney or websites like Counterpunch or Unz, owned by rich people to spy on you via their op-eds and propaganda.

    But Koreans are a bunch of morons or whores, and they haven’t the guts to set the record straight.

    North Koreans are too ‘proud’ to depict themselves as victims of history. Even though there are museums devoted to the US terror bombing in NK and even though it’s a big part of the narrative, the megalomania of Kim-ism makes NK out to be the victor than victim. North Korea was on the verge of being crushed by US and was saved only by China in the Korean War. Indeed, the NK regime had been put in power by Stalin. So, it’s a story of a weak nation. But Kim-ism created a crazy megalo-myth. It says Kim defeated the Japanese and came to power on his own with minimal Soviet input. It says Kim would have liberated all of Korea except US invaded the south. And the Nork narrative on Korean War hardly mentions the role of China that was HUGE. It says NK virtually singlehandedly fought the US to a stalemate.
    If Kim Klan had more modesty and humility(and the cleverness of Jews or Vietnamese), they might make a case for Norks as Holocaust Survivors. (Vietnamese fought hard but always made themselves out to be helpless victims in the eyes of the world. They fought hard but presented themselves as soft and weak. They combined Maoism with Gandhism. In contrast, Norks have this Japanese mentality of acting like he-men of the universe. Maybe Japanese colonization instilled a kind of megalomania and excess pride.) If indeed the war killed 25% of the population of the North, many by US bombing, then it could be argued that a kind of holocaust happened. And those who survived were lucky to have survived. They could claim to be holocaust survivors of the Korean War and charge US with genocide. Surely, if a nation bombs Israel like that and if the war wiped out 25% of Israelis, I’m sure Jews would call it the second Holocaust. But Norks are too proud and stupid to cleverly play the role of ‘victim’ in the eyes of the world. So, it gets no pity.

    As for Sous — pronounced Sows — , they prefer not to discuss US role in dividing Korea like a cake with USSR. Never mind US was mostly supportive of Japanese colonization of Korea and only became accidental ‘liberators’ due to war with Japan. Never mind US plan to have Soviets enter and take half. Never mind US green-lighting of Nork attack by declaring to the world it will not defend the South. Never mind the massive bombings that killed who-knows-how-many Nork, who were fellow Kors to Sous and became the ‘enemy’ only because US gave north to Stalin. South Korean politics developed under the umbrella of US. The narrative says US is big brother, big uncle, big father, big friend, big savior, etc. US is great master, South Korea must be loyal dog.

    For a long time, the left in Korea was much like left in Japan. Stupidly blind to communist tyranny and thus discredited itself with association with radicalism, and this made it easy for the ‘right’ to label it as ‘commie’ or ‘red’. But nowadays, esp with rise of democracy, even the ‘left’ has become worshipful of all things US. In the past, US was seen as supporter of military regime. Now, US is seen as inspiration for all things ‘progressive’, like ‘diversity’ and homo stuff.

    Of course, much of ‘leftist’ psychology is less about specific causes or needy people than about how certain issues can be hyped and sensationalized so that ‘liberal’ or ‘leftist’ elites can feel good about themselves. It’s a kind of narcissism. Most of these ‘leftists’ don’t have skin-in-the-game(as Nassim Taleb means it). They just like to point to some ‘injustice’, take selfies of themselves in association to the cause, and feel good about themselves. It’s like Hanoi Jane was all about Jane. It was about ‘me Jane save the world’. It’s the self-righteous supremacist at the center of the photo with the ’cause’ as fuzzy backdrop. After all, when it comes to Clooney and Sudan, no one really cares about Sudan. Celebrity-worshiping fans think “Clooney is so great because he cares about what’s going on in Sudan.”

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    • Replies: @anonymous

    If Kim Klan had more modesty and humility(and the cleverness of Jews
     
    "Jews" "modesty" and "humility" in the same sentence.

    a first.

    Jews get what they get because they've had control of money secured by state power via war since at least the 1600s.

    It's not about "cleverness" or even that canard du canards, 'Jewish genysu" -- anyone, even those dumb-fuck Korean morons -- even black people could achieve what those "humble Jews" have achieved if they had the money Jews stole-by-deception from British, Polish, German, Austrian, US governments.

    maybe that's what you call the "cleverness of Jews."

    other people call it stealing.

    and a good reason to hate Jews.
    , @Bach

    North Koreans are too ‘proud’ to depict themselves as victims of history.
     
    My guess is that they do, but who in the West would give much air time to that? NBC, Fox, CNN? Don't think so.
  47. @Grandpa Charlie
    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that "precondition" to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the "settlements" in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim's precondition before any negotiations can begin! It's absurd, it's irrational and - taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over - it's insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely - thus abandoning the Korean people - is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here's the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney's propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China ... would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That's how absurd Whitney and y'all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be "rational" for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South ... yeah, I guess that's "rational," just like it's "rational" for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won't all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South ... does that resemble anything rational to you ... or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?

    The price of accepting the protection of another nation is the same as the price of accepting protection from the mob: you lose a great deal of independence. That South Korea has had to enact increasingly liberal policies is not surprising given its de facto colonial status. South Korea is incapable of resisting NGOs or ultimately being able to preserve its culture due to its status. Japan only does so through massive skullduggery and even so has limited success. The only countries that can completely resist “democratic” or “feminist” subversion are ones that have their own power base and can quash what are essentially foreign meddlers outright.

    The same goes for North Korea if they choose to rely on Chinese protection. I would firmly agree that Chinese governance is massively superior to Kim the Fat’s governance yet it doesn’t change the fact that it would largely end their sovereignty. China would almost certainly marginalize the current government(perhaps even exile them), destroy their efforts at Juche, and convert them roughly into another extension of China with all of its pros and cons.

    If I was NK’s dictator, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to this plan. There’s something to be said about the willingness to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "If I was NK’s dictator, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to this plan [for USA to provide nuclear cover for the South while PRC provides nuclear cover for the North]. There’s something to be said about the willingness to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else." -- Daniel Chieh
     
    Daniel, your comments are always interesting and sometimes brilliant.

    All I can say is that as USA's president, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to Kim's precondition for negotiation that USA pull all its troops out of the South. Which means, of course, that there will be no negotiations and so maybe everyone in Korea or maybe everyone on earth will be able to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.

    Yes, as Shakespeare said, "There's the rub."

    Well, Daniel, I think I agree with you in spirit, but I would hate to have to defend your view "rationally."

    BTW: way back in the 1950s, a Korean friend lamented to me that traditional Korean music was going to disappear forever within a few years to be replaced by what? rock and roll? And he also challenged me, saying that America was no different, that our traditional music would soon be replaced by commercial rock-and-roll ... and yet, here we are, and a few people still play what Johnny Cash called "roots music", sitting around home, maybe even sitting around the fire.

    I suspect that my friend (haven't seen him for half a century) would say that not only is South Korea incapable of resisting NGOs or ultimately being able to preserve its culture, but so also is USA! And then, what about the unique culture of the Communist North? Do you suppose that would have to die, if Kim actually agreed to forsake Juche and lead Korea into the greater world, such as it is?

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
  48. @Priss Factor
    Fat Kim is a real dumbass. True, NK has some compelling arguments against the US. Kim can lay out his case against US aggression and imperialism since end of Cold War. Hugo Chavez did some of that though he became consumed with huff and puff hubris.
    But Kim is addicted to playing gangsta, and his Pyongyang Style rap act is getting tiresome. He finds moral arguments to 'weak' and wussy. He would rather shoot missiles, fart nuclear explosions, and burp threats. A moron.

    If he had sense, he could be firm and insist on nukes but still act statesmanly, like the leaders of Iran, Russia, Cuba, and etc. (Erdogan is a something of a nit.) He could act and talk sane, like Assad of Syria. But fat baby Kim acts like he's a little kid who loves playing with toys. He acts like Bam Bam on FLINSTONES.

    That's why he gets no sympathy from anyone. There are admirers of Putin, Assad, and the leaders of Iran around the world. Despite western media attacks on them, some people see where Russia, Syria, and Iran are coming from. But even those who want to empathize with NK find it difficult because of a succession of Korean version of the Kardashian Family. Gaddafi had this problem too eventually, with his clownishness. Still, as a young man, he was rather idealistic and even sensible.

    The optics don't help either. While most world leaders have not been handsome, they looked human. But fat Kim looks turdier than his gorky father who died of too much food and drink. This is one dumb family, and because the main ideology of the nation is cultish worship of these morons, it's hard to take NK seriously despite its legit concerns. I think fat Kim is not very smart, not very articulate, and hardly moral. So, he expresses himself with tantrums. Hussein was a bad guy, but he could give a sane interview with a western news reporter, like he did before the Gulf War. And Assad, even against the ropes, could make his case intelligently. But fat Kim has no such ability. Also, as a god-ruler of NK, it is beneath him to talk like a human being to the rest of the world.

    If Kim had the mindset of a half-sober and half-intelligent leader, he could have won over much of world opinion. Chavez wasn't much of a thinker(and looked funny too), but he could still talk to the world and make his case. And Admandijad was one weird horror-movie goblin-looking guy, but he could communicate with journalists and talk to the world. But the Kims only communicate through their buffers, as if they are phobic of direct contact.

    Unlike Mao, Sukarno, Ho, Castro, and even insane Amin who came to power by their own talent and guile, the first Kim was a nobody who was installed in power by Stalin. So, he was a total zero. Like Ceausescu, he relied totally on the machine to support him. It could be that the reason why NK cult of personality became the most megalomaniacal is precisely because of this insecurity. Having no mind and personality, the ONLY key to power was via some bogus myth pushed by the state. So, if many third world leaders, good or bad, came to power with their own struggle and vision, first Kim was just a shoe-in by Stalin. And unlike in other communist nations, power in NK became all-in-the-family. So, we have hicks with too much power.

    Kim never makes a case. He just makes threats. And that is so retarded. It's like Noriega declaring war on the US. Only difference is NK has nukes. But the attitude is so dumb. Why make threats? Why not make a moral case against the US? Castro did that and got lots of sympathy. But then, Kim isn't up to it since he's just a spoiled fat baby whose only idea of right or wrong is "All food is mine".

    Be that as it may, all three nations are totally shi* in this equation. Here's Clinton's secret speech to Goldman Sachs:

    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/852173290789580800?lang=en

    She says the US doesn't want a unified Korea. It's bad enough US divided an organic nation in half and set the grounds for a war that killed millions. Now, it says it wants the division to continue.
    So, the US sees Korea as just a pawn in the Pacific game.

    NK is trash, and US is shi*.

    But then, the biggest disappointment is SK(and maybe Korean-America). US naturally thinks of its national-imperial interest first, and uses Korea as pawn. NK leader naturally care only for their own megalomaniacal power.
    But SK is supposed to be a national democracy, about freedom and human rights and patriotism. So, why is there no outrage among SK's that Hillary made a secret speech speaking about Korea that way? Why can't the current 'leftist' leader say SK will no longer go along with US military drills? What use is democracy when whoever happens to be leader has to play dog to the US? But then, we might as well ask... what is the point of having Trump or Hillary if whoever becomes president is just gonna be the new puppet of the globalist empire? After all, Trump hasn't been able to do anything with Russia as the Glob controls Pentagon, Congress, media, and etc.

    But then, Cold War politics surely brainwashed many Koreans into seeing their northern brethren as commie trash. And having grown up with US as Big Brother, it's become their second nature to hide like whore-cowards behind Uncle Sam. So, the new 'leftist' president is afraid of being called a commie-lover if he doesn't cuck out to the US.
    Okay, we can understand that from leaders. But what about intellectuals and activists in SK? Are there prominent intellectuals, activists, and culture critics who call for a revision of the US-centric Narrative that is almost wholly bogus? What good are intellectuals if they can't voice such opposition? But then, is the US any better? Where are the intellectuals who condemn America's neo-imperialism since the end of Cold War? They exist in the margins and alt-media, but most prominent voices are like servitors of empire like Fareed Zakaria and loathsome Fukuyama. As for Neocon and Zionist thinktankers, they are such lowlife dirtbags.

    What good is all this democracy if the megaphones all blare the same lies?

    “She [Clinton] says the US doesn’t want a unified Korea.” — Priss Factor

    I hate to make myself vulnerable here at UR to being seen as an apologist for Hillary, but

    NO, Priss, Clinton did NOT say that the US doesn’t want a unified Korea. That entire sentence of hers that you read as though the “we” meant the USA should be in quotes, it’s Hillary paraphrasing what the Chinese are thinking or saying to Kim. If you read the whole excerpt, portions of it should be in quotes after something about “[Beijing says]“.

    So, here’s what she said:

    “Well. I think their [China's] traditional policy has been close to what you [Podesta] describe. [Beijing says] “We [China] don’t want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one, South Korea would be dominant for the obvious economic and political reasons.”

    Like I say, I don’t want to accused of being a Hillary supporter, but it is what it is. Read it again, this time with just a pinch of sophisticated understanding. It’s a transcription, not a written document, so you need to try to understand the context.

    You’re introducing a red herring into our conversation here. No Thankyou!

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Okay, fair enough.

    But it sounds like projection because Hillary and Globalists have made it ever more difficult to bridge the gap between North and South. First, she took out Gaddafi which alarmed the Norks. Also, under Obama, US continued to increase tensions by making a mess of Syria and Ukraine, continuing with military drills of mock invasion, and then pushed THAAD missile system on SK. Such policy made NK even more panicked and belligerent and it soured relations between SK and China.

    What the US does, it projects onto China.

    Personally, I don't think China would mind a united Korea If it meant US withdrawal. China has no love for NK. It props up that regime only as buffer. But if US gone from SK, there is no need for buffer.

    Also, addition of 20 million to SK under unification is hardly going to be an economic challenge to China.

  49. Don Bacon says:
    @Grandpa Charlie
    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that "precondition" to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the "settlements" in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim's precondition before any negotiations can begin! It's absurd, it's irrational and - taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over - it's insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely - thus abandoning the Korean people - is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here's the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney's propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China ... would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That's how absurd Whitney and y'all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be "rational" for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South ... yeah, I guess that's "rational," just like it's "rational" for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won't all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South ... does that resemble anything rational to you ... or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?

    It is not rational that sixty-some years of war has not been ended, and that the US maintains a presence on the Korea peninsula. Chinese troops left long ago. ROK has many times the conventional combat power of DPRK. ROK forces, however, are commanded by the US. The US has ordered ROK not to build nuclear power installations (ROK does so for other countries) nor to build nuclear weapons. It’s a full colonial relationship by the US, on the other side of the planet.
    DPRK needs to defend itself, remembering all too well that the US did a full-on war crime on North Korea at the beginning of this war, using aerial bombing to destroy all its cities and many of its people. Trump has recently offered to do it again.
    ROK should be set free to negotiate with DPRK as President Moon intended to do before his efforts were sabotaged by the US, which has happened before. And the US should leave Korea.

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  50. peterAUS says:
    @bob sykes
    At BRICS today, Putin mentioned Iraq and Libya as reasons Kim might want to have a nuclear deterrent. He might have added Serbia, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey, all victims of American aggression.

    Putin also repeated the joint Chinese/Russian position that any and all military options are off the table, and that a diplomatic solution is mandatory. China has promised to defend North Korea in the even tof an American attack.

    North Korea might be able to win a short war. Seoul is only 35 miles or so from the DMZ, and North Korean artillery could punch a hole in the South Korean defenses allowing the North to encircle and occupy the city. They would have captured almost half the South Korean population, much of its industry and financial firms, nearly the whole of the civilian and military bureaucracy, hundreds of thousands of foreigners and many elected officials, maybe even Moon if he is slow. With that prize, Kim could dictate a peace.

    Seoul is only 35 miles or so from the DMZ, and North Korean artillery could punch a hole in the South Korean defenses allowing the North to encircle and occupy the city.

    No. Never.

    The only purpose of all that massed artillery is a THREAT to inflict high number of casualties within its range. And Seul is out of effective range of most of that artillery.
    The only threat NK can produce is ballistic missiles on Seul. Haven’t done (maybe should’ve) basic calculations about threat/casualty rate in that case. Too much work.
    And, of course, smuggled nuclear bomb. THAT is the real threat.

    But, as things are going, maybe we’ll find out.
    Starting to feel …unbalanced……

    My feeling is that NK leadership is increasingly detached from reality.
    Add to that well known detachment from reality of Western leadership compounded with wishful thinking, well……
    It’s almost as that “immovable object and irresistible force”.

    Been, naturally, following this for some time.
    The most rational scenario is, IMHO (got that from a guy on ARRSE):
    China replaces current NK leadership with somebody more rational; nukes stay but without ICBM capability.

    We definitely live in interesting times.

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  51. Don Bacon notes that “The media is also not telling us that an elective US military strike on North Korea is not rational.” Then proceeds to give a real-life example of how unreal it is for Kim or for us to suppose that USA or USA/ROK is actually preparing for an elective military strike on North Korea. It’s all posing by Kim (and friends, e.g., Whitney) when they say that Kim is so terrified by ROK-USA joint exercises that we just have to surrender to him. (Yeah, I don’t get the logic of it either!)

    Whitney gets away with pretending that Kim actually thinks (fears) that such a strike is imminent … oh, and by the way, that’s why Kim demands (as a precondition to any negotiations) that USA pull all its troops out of Korea, thus abandoning the Korean people to whatever Kim has in store for them. (Oh yeah, maybe here I am beginning to understand the logic of Kim and friends!)

    The whole thing is insulting and Kim obviously intends to be insulting, as the punk personality that he is. No wonder Trump’s statements on Korea are off the wall. His blood pressure probably goes up whenever he has to think about Kim.

    My advice for Trump is to calm down and shift to this message for Kim and friends: “We dismiss the China-Russia statement out of hand. We suggest our own precondition for any negotiations: that all parties agree to the goal of a nuclear-free zone in northeast Asia.” Try that. It’s actually a pretty good idea – not that anyone would take it seriously but it would be a change-up and it would give the “USA=Cause-of-All-Evil-in-the-World” propagandists like Whitney something to think about.

    On the other hand, it would constitute a step away from what the Deep State and the Shadow Government (including Israel sycophants and pro-China neocons) want and promote … so, Donald, like all decent ideas for USA, this one won’t stop you from being impeached (or assassinated?) … so, I guess, just keep doing what you’re doing. Some of us (many of us) are still solid for you, Donald, even if we wish you had not gone astray under pressure and fired General Flynn and all that.

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  52. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Priss Factor
    But Koreans are a bunch of morons or whores, and they haven't the guts to set the record straight.

    North Koreans are too 'proud' to depict themselves as victims of history. Even though there are museums devoted to the US terror bombing in NK and even though it's a big part of the narrative, the megalomania of Kim-ism makes NK out to be the victor than victim. North Korea was on the verge of being crushed by US and was saved only by China in the Korean War. Indeed, the NK regime had been put in power by Stalin. So, it's a story of a weak nation. But Kim-ism created a crazy megalo-myth. It says Kim defeated the Japanese and came to power on his own with minimal Soviet input. It says Kim would have liberated all of Korea except US invaded the south. And the Nork narrative on Korean War hardly mentions the role of China that was HUGE. It says NK virtually singlehandedly fought the US to a stalemate.
    If Kim Klan had more modesty and humility(and the cleverness of Jews or Vietnamese), they might make a case for Norks as Holocaust Survivors. (Vietnamese fought hard but always made themselves out to be helpless victims in the eyes of the world. They fought hard but presented themselves as soft and weak. They combined Maoism with Gandhism. In contrast, Norks have this Japanese mentality of acting like he-men of the universe. Maybe Japanese colonization instilled a kind of megalomania and excess pride.) If indeed the war killed 25% of the population of the North, many by US bombing, then it could be argued that a kind of holocaust happened. And those who survived were lucky to have survived. They could claim to be holocaust survivors of the Korean War and charge US with genocide. Surely, if a nation bombs Israel like that and if the war wiped out 25% of Israelis, I'm sure Jews would call it the second Holocaust. But Norks are too proud and stupid to cleverly play the role of 'victim' in the eyes of the world. So, it gets no pity.

    As for Sous -- pronounced Sows -- , they prefer not to discuss US role in dividing Korea like a cake with USSR. Never mind US was mostly supportive of Japanese colonization of Korea and only became accidental 'liberators' due to war with Japan. Never mind US plan to have Soviets enter and take half. Never mind US green-lighting of Nork attack by declaring to the world it will not defend the South. Never mind the massive bombings that killed who-knows-how-many Nork, who were fellow Kors to Sous and became the 'enemy' only because US gave north to Stalin. South Korean politics developed under the umbrella of US. The narrative says US is big brother, big uncle, big father, big friend, big savior, etc. US is great master, South Korea must be loyal dog.

    For a long time, the left in Korea was much like left in Japan. Stupidly blind to communist tyranny and thus discredited itself with association with radicalism, and this made it easy for the 'right' to label it as 'commie' or 'red'. But nowadays, esp with rise of democracy, even the 'left' has become worshipful of all things US. In the past, US was seen as supporter of military regime. Now, US is seen as inspiration for all things 'progressive', like 'diversity' and homo stuff.

    Of course, much of 'leftist' psychology is less about specific causes or needy people than about how certain issues can be hyped and sensationalized so that 'liberal' or 'leftist' elites can feel good about themselves. It's a kind of narcissism. Most of these 'leftists' don't have skin-in-the-game(as Nassim Taleb means it). They just like to point to some 'injustice', take selfies of themselves in association to the cause, and feel good about themselves. It's like Hanoi Jane was all about Jane. It was about 'me Jane save the world'. It's the self-righteous supremacist at the center of the photo with the 'cause' as fuzzy backdrop. After all, when it comes to Clooney and Sudan, no one really cares about Sudan. Celebrity-worshiping fans think "Clooney is so great because he cares about what's going on in Sudan."

    If Kim Klan had more modesty and humility(and the cleverness of Jews

    “Jews” “modesty” and “humility” in the same sentence.

    a first.

    Jews get what they get because they’ve had control of money secured by state power via war since at least the 1600s.

    It’s not about “cleverness” or even that canard du canards, ‘Jewish genysu” — anyone, even those dumb-fuck Korean morons — even black people could achieve what those “humble Jews” have achieved if they had the money Jews stole-by-deception from British, Polish, German, Austrian, US governments.

    maybe that’s what you call the “cleverness of Jews.”

    other people call it stealing.

    and a good reason to hate Jews.

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  53. @Daniel Chieh
    The price of accepting the protection of another nation is the same as the price of accepting protection from the mob: you lose a great deal of independence. That South Korea has had to enact increasingly liberal policies is not surprising given its de facto colonial status. South Korea is incapable of resisting NGOs or ultimately being able to preserve its culture due to its status. Japan only does so through massive skullduggery and even so has limited success. The only countries that can completely resist "democratic" or "feminist" subversion are ones that have their own power base and can quash what are essentially foreign meddlers outright.

    The same goes for North Korea if they choose to rely on Chinese protection. I would firmly agree that Chinese governance is massively superior to Kim the Fat's governance yet it doesn't change the fact that it would largely end their sovereignty. China would almost certainly marginalize the current government(perhaps even exile them), destroy their efforts at Juche, and convert them roughly into another extension of China with all of its pros and cons.

    If I was NK's dictator, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to this plan. There's something to be said about the willingness to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.

    “If I was NK’s dictator, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to this plan [for USA to provide nuclear cover for the South while PRC provides nuclear cover for the North]. There’s something to be said about the willingness to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.” — Daniel Chieh

    Daniel, your comments are always interesting and sometimes brilliant.

    All I can say is that as USA’s president, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to Kim’s precondition for negotiation that USA pull all its troops out of the South. Which means, of course, that there will be no negotiations and so maybe everyone in Korea or maybe everyone on earth will be able to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.

    Yes, as Shakespeare said, “There’s the rub.”

    Well, Daniel, I think I agree with you in spirit, but I would hate to have to defend your view “rationally.”

    BTW: way back in the 1950s, a Korean friend lamented to me that traditional Korean music was going to disappear forever within a few years to be replaced by what? rock and roll? And he also challenged me, saying that America was no different, that our traditional music would soon be replaced by commercial rock-and-roll … and yet, here we are, and a few people still play what Johnny Cash called “roots music”, sitting around home, maybe even sitting around the fire.

    I suspect that my friend (haven’t seen him for half a century) would say that not only is South Korea incapable of resisting NGOs or ultimately being able to preserve its culture, but so also is USA! And then, what about the unique culture of the Communist North? Do you suppose that would have to die, if Kim actually agreed to forsake Juche and lead Korea into the greater world, such as it is?

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    "The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth" - H. L. Mencken
     
    I absolutely agree that in the long run, the US and the West in general were the first to be subverted by various liberal diseases. This disease then took control of the country and extended to apply it internationally, zombie-like, because the notion that anywhere on the planet might be free of its ideas of "liberty" and "human rights" was intolerable.

    But much as your example of pre-converged music, is an animal in a zoo without a habitat truly alive as a species anymore? Are the Amish truly much of a culture, or merely one that exists as a curious artifact that can be snuffed out at any time? We saw what happened to the Confederate memorials, relics of a time when brave men led by proud leaders fought for a different way of life.

    A conservationist, which I would call myself, prizes divergent cultures and thinking, and I believe that a large part of European strength came from the patchwork of countries and states that allowed for various thinkers to simply escape and find another country to continue to write and develop their thoughts. To converge the world to a single grey, and literally gay and queer understanding is intolerable, a terrifying prospect that's quite worse than death in the absolution of atomic flames.

    If such has to be the case, let the cockroaches inherit the Earth. Perhaps they'll make a better run for it than we did.
  54. @Grandpa Charlie
    "She [Clinton] says the US doesn’t want a unified Korea." -- Priss Factor

    I hate to make myself vulnerable here at UR to being seen as an apologist for Hillary, but

    NO, Priss, Clinton did NOT say that the US doesn't want a unified Korea. That entire sentence of hers that you read as though the "we" meant the USA should be in quotes, it's Hillary paraphrasing what the Chinese are thinking or saying to Kim. If you read the whole excerpt, portions of it should be in quotes after something about "[Beijing says]".

    So, here's what she said:

    "Well. I think their [China's] traditional policy has been close to what you [Podesta] describe. [Beijing says] "We [China] don't want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one, South Korea would be dominant for the obvious economic and political reasons."

    Like I say, I don't want to accused of being a Hillary supporter, but it is what it is. Read it again, this time with just a pinch of sophisticated understanding. It's a transcription, not a written document, so you need to try to understand the context.

    You're introducing a red herring into our conversation here. No Thankyou!

    Okay, fair enough.

    But it sounds like projection because Hillary and Globalists have made it ever more difficult to bridge the gap between North and South. First, she took out Gaddafi which alarmed the Norks. Also, under Obama, US continued to increase tensions by making a mess of Syria and Ukraine, continuing with military drills of mock invasion, and then pushed THAAD missile system on SK. Such policy made NK even more panicked and belligerent and it soured relations between SK and China.

    What the US does, it projects onto China.

    Personally, I don’t think China would mind a united Korea If it meant US withdrawal. China has no love for NK. It props up that regime only as buffer. But if US gone from SK, there is no need for buffer.

    Also, addition of 20 million to SK under unification is hardly going to be an economic challenge to China.

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "Personally, I don’t think China would mind a united Korea If it meant US withdrawal. China has no love for NK. It props up that regime only as buffer. But if US gone from SK, there is no need for buffer." -- Priss Factor
     
    PF,

    Even though I could not pass on your interpretation of Killary's Podesta interview, I was mostly in agreement with your take on the Kim dynasty and, in particular, Kim Jong-un.

    However, I'm not so sure that China would appreciate a unified Korea unless it would amount to annexation of Korea. On the other hand, I agree that Chinese leaders (Standing Committee of CCP) probably have lost patience with Kim today. Maybe they sometimes get a good chuckle out of him as he plays games with USA, but he's worn that out now, and they are probably annoyed with his infiltration of their own domain. Bottom line: Kim is one of them, a fellow billionaire, complete with Communist Party origins going back all the way to Chairman Mao - but that doesn't mean he could never be expendable.
  55. Mit says:
    @Grandpa Charlie

    "It is so hard to find anything in the media that doesn’t reflect Washington’s bias and hostility." -- Mike Whitney
     
    That's what is billed by Whitney as the theme of the article, it's supposed to be all about USA's MSM, but what it actually morphs into immediately and blatantly is a diatribe on "Washington's bias and hostility" against Kim Jong-un. But we could have found that out from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - the likely ultimate source for whatever Whitney thinks he knows about North Korea. According to its website, KCNA "speaks for the Workers' Party of Korea and the DPRK government."

    Yes, we could have learned all about "Washington's bias and hostility" against Kim Jong-un by going straight to the source in North Korea, the KCNA. According to Wikipedia: "Under the principle and guideline on the work of ideological propaganda and agitation put by the country's ruling party, the Workers' Party of Korea, the agency [KCNA] generally reports only good news about the country that is intended to encourage its people and project a positive image abroad."

    In the last years of the previous Kim family ruler, Kim Jong-il, the DPRK was pushing a very different and much more sane nuclear arms policy. The following is from the Wikipedia article on the KCNA:

    As a tradition since 1996, KCNA, along with the three main state run newspapers in North Korea, publishes a joint New Year editorial that outlines the country's policies for the year. The editorials usually offer praise for the Songun [military first] policy, the government and leadership, and encourage the growth of the nation. ... On January 1, 2006 the agency sent out a joint-editorial from North Korea's state newspapers calling for the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. While annual January 1 editorials are a tradition among the papers, that year's brought attention from Western media outlets, by calling for a "nationwide campaign for driving out the U.S. troops." The editorial made several references to Korean reunification.

    The 2009 editorial received similar attention, as criticism of United States policy was absent, and the admission of severe economic problems in the country. The editorial also made reference to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, in what analysts claimed was a "hopeful" sign. This was echoed again in its 2010 editorial, which called for an end to hostilities with the United States and a nuclear free Korean Peninsula.

    [Kim Jong-Il died in 2011 and Kim Jong-un took over.]

    The 2012 joint editorial edition, the first under Kim Jong-un's leadership, started with a great tribute to Kim Jong-il and ... called on the whole nation to give priority to do Kim Jong-il's 2012 mission of Strong and Prosperous Nation, continue his and his father Kim Il-sung's legacies to the entire country and the socialist cause, and to build up and encourage the various sectors that compose the nation to become contributors to national progress in all areas at all costs.

    [Note similarity of this with the Japanese ideology under the Tojo regime before and during WW II and Japan's aggression against China: the people exist for the sake of the state and the state's leaders, not the state and its leaders for the sake of the people.]

    This practice ended in 2013 when Kim Jong-un delivered the first New Year speech on television in 19 years.
     
    NOTE: NOTHING FURTHER ABOUT A NUCLEAR FREE KOREAN PENINSULA

    Hey, Mr. Whitney, sir, why don't you write more about the lost movement to keep the Korean Peninsula nuclear free? Maybe you and myself and some others could convince Trump to stand up on his own hind legs and oppose "our" neocons and their sycophantic North Korean counterparts to make discussion of a nuclear free Korean Peninsula the precondition for real negotiations ... rather than the ridiculous demand that USA abandon the Korean people to whatever Kim Jong-un has in store for them!

    Hey Grandpa… When you start quoting wikipedia to defend the most despicable nation you know its time to up your meds. Some people just dont get it.

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  56. @Desert Fox
    Zionists control our money aka the FED and the MSM and the government via AIPAC and the DEEP STATE ie CIA, NSA, FBI etc, etc, so tell me how we get rid of the Zionists with the present gutless Zionist controlled congress aka the lower house of the knesset.

    The good Lord shall show us the way.

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  57. Mit says:
    @Quartermaster
    To the Kim dynasty, all military exercises in the south are provocative. In that regard, this article is mere idiocy as a state of war still exists with the Norks. If little Kim doesn't like it, then he can settle down, free his people and act like a member of the family of nations. Until then, he's just a loud mouth with little behind it.

    ” free his people and act like a member of the family of nations.” Another prime example of how deluded many have become. ” ….. “the family of nations.” You make that shit up yourself ?

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  58. fergus says: • Website

    Hats off to UNZ for publishing this very perceptive article.

    As Mike Whitney says – it is hard to get accurate reporting about the North Korean situation.

    He also tellingly says the NK crisis is a smokescreen for US military build up against China/Russia.
    Is the US aggro the last fling of a dying empire or prelude to ww3?

    Does anyone really know?

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  59. fergus says:
    @reiner Tor

    This article helped sharpen my thinking about why I am increasingly sympathetic to North Korea in this matter.
     
    Same here. I seriously hate the EUSSR globalist empire for making me increasingly sympathetic to the horrendous repulsive regime in North Korea, but what can I do?

    North Korea is actually a brilliant little country, better quality of life than the global bully by far.
    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.
    How many Americans have even read this?

    http://www.4thmedia.org/2017/06/the-social-and-economic-achievements-of-north-korea/

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    • Replies: @Erebus

    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.
     
    Yeah, whenever I'm accosted by somebody ranting about how "nuts" the Pillsbury Dough Boy is, or how starving N. Koreans are being worked to death in slave labour camps or dying from exhaustion in their meagre fields and mines, I suggest they do a websearch for images of Pyongyang.

    Isolated? Pariah? Starving? Abused? Oppressed? Brutal? Insane? Hmmm, so where did the funds, and the hard architectural, engineering and physical skills and resources it takes to build a modern city come from? And why build huge modern residential complexes for people who should be starving in forced labour camps?
    To be sure, Western visitors' movement are restricted when they visit, but that was also true of China just 25 years ago. Only the thickest fail to see that something isn't adding up in the Western narrative.
  60. fergus says:
    @Grandpa Charlie
    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that "precondition" to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the "settlements" in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim's precondition before any negotiations can begin! It's absurd, it's irrational and - taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over - it's insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely - thus abandoning the Korean people - is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here's the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney's propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China ... would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That's how absurd Whitney and y'all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be "rational" for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South ... yeah, I guess that's "rational," just like it's "rational" for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won't all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South ... does that resemble anything rational to you ... or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?

    Hate to remove your illusions but nobody wants the US out of Korea more than the South Koreans. Yes – South Koreans.
    Peace will come when China kills the dollar and Americans military garrisoning of the planet dries up and blows away. .

    http://www.zoominkorea.org/us-south-korean-joint-petition-urges-end-to-u-s-war-games-and-calls-for-peace/

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  61. @Anonymous
    While the über-neocon Clemson marketing major, Amb. Haley, threatens NK and tries to justify a preemptive strike, China has said it will defend NK if NK is attacked first. But China also said it will not intervene if NK attacks another country first. Who knows what moves Russia will make. Any real move (build up) for a U.S. attack will have China moving its Army and military. No way would China (or Russia) allow the U.S. empire to decapitate and occupy NK, even with claims of temporary military operations. The promises of the U.S. are worthless at best. South Korea and Japan would allow it but they're our bitches and we control them. But China would be prepared to go to war.

    exactly. usa can huff and puff, but unless usa is willing to go to war with china, all of the bluster about NK in the news and by us govt is just retarded posturing catering to the retarded population at home.

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  62. Wow, I was not expecting to find such broad support of the NK regime in the comments. Truly disturbing. The US is clearly failing on the public relations stage, helped along by all of the useless wars and interventions of recent times. Now that a real threat has arrived, a weary public is understandably full of cynical skepticism. For all of our sakes, I hope you are correct.

    That said, I appreciate that this site and author are willing to provide an alternative perspective to the typical style of story on this issue.

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  63. @Greg Bacon
    The US anti-missile program is getting exposed as a fraud. The Pentagon has missile interceptors based in S. Korea, Japan, Alaska and in US Navy ships in that area, so why didn't they track, then shoot down Kim's missile?
    Could it be that all those tens and tens of billions (or maybe hundreds of billions) spent on anti-missile technology and weapons were a waste of money, 'cause the interceptor doesn't work in real time?

    Sure, it's not that difficult to shoot down a missile, if you know the speed, trajectory, flight path and have a homing beacon on the target missile, but the real thing is a lot trickier.

    So why didn't the Pentagon shoot down Lil' Kim's missile? Or were they caught off-guard and didn't have enough time to react, which means the whole anti-missile thing is another Pentagon boondoggle that is only good at making our wallets lighter.

    Local defense missiles work maybe half the time (where the missile is to land within 30 miles of the missile defense site). So THAAD and Patriot work, but cannot protect Seoul based far south, and can only engage a couple missiles at a time. Let’s hope North Korea fires its hundreds of missiles ten minutes apart. They don’t work against cruise missiles unless they fly directly overhead.

    The “mid-course” systems are a massive fraud. The SM-3 missiles on our ships and in Japan don’t even have enough range to hit them arcing overhead! This is no secret, but the extent of this fraud is so great that our media fears to print the truth. They refuse to even ask such questions as news conferences. Here are the details:

    http://www.g2mil.com/NMD_Fraud.htm

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  64. SumDood says:

    Mike Whitney is blinded by self-loathing for his American citizenship.

    Let’s play Name The Country, and what America did to “deserve it”…

    Who started the Korean War? And how is America to blame for it?

    Who refused to end the war, and insisted on an armistace instead?

    Who, despite the armistace, continued to shoot across the DMZ at the other side? (Be careful answering this one because I have an eyewitness from the 60′s to corroborate..)

    Who sent commandos to the other side’s presidential residence to assassinate their leader? And again how is America at fault?

    Who sank the Cheonan and what did America do to deserve it?

    Who launched the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong, and how is America to blame?

    It’s disappointing to see Unz Review veer back and forth from publishing well-researched insightful articles to this ignorant leftist garbage. If Mike Whitney feels such a connection to Not-so-lil Kim, he should go live in North Korea with his Dear Leader.

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  65. Cyrano says:

    I think it’s time to end all this silliness with NK and for US to start acting like the grown up in the room. This calls for the big guns. US should use the most formidable weapon in its diplomatic arsenal – Dennis Rodman. If Dennis can’t bring peace to the Korean peninsula – no one can.

    I think this diplomatic effort should be fashioned after prior example of American ingenuity – the ping pong diplomacy with China. Perhaps, this new diplomatic initiative should be called basket(case?)ball diplomacy.

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  66. Erebus says:
    @fergus
    North Korea is actually a brilliant little country, better quality of life than the global bully by far.
    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.
    How many Americans have even read this?

    http://www.4thmedia.org/2017/06/the-social-and-economic-achievements-of-north-korea/

    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.

    Yeah, whenever I’m accosted by somebody ranting about how “nuts” the Pillsbury Dough Boy is, or how starving N. Koreans are being worked to death in slave labour camps or dying from exhaustion in their meagre fields and mines, I suggest they do a websearch for images of Pyongyang.

    Isolated? Pariah? Starving? Abused? Oppressed? Brutal? Insane? Hmmm, so where did the funds, and the hard architectural, engineering and physical skills and resources it takes to build a modern city come from? And why build huge modern residential complexes for people who should be starving in forced labour camps?
    To be sure, Western visitors’ movement are restricted when they visit, but that was also true of China just 25 years ago. Only the thickest fail to see that something isn’t adding up in the Western narrative.

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    • Replies: @SumDood
    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?

    Or are you just regurgitating the pablum that the mass media spoonfed you?

    Have you seen the satellite photo of the Korean peninsula at night? The South is lit up like any other first world country, but the North is dark except for Pyongyang.

    It's a Potemkin village, Erebus. And here you are doing a credible Walter Duranty imitation, singing the praises of North Korea without bothering to seek out the truth.

    Why don't you read a first-person account of what Pyongyang is like (that means it was written by someone who has actually been there, Erebus)?

    https://www.amazon.com/Wilder-Shores-Marx-Journeys-Vanishing-ebook/dp/B00846MX0W
    , @Anonymous
    It's adding up for Lockheed, Bechtel, their corrupt cronies in the Korean Government and military. Not to mention the US Empire. Kaching! (Or in Korean: Kaching!)
  67. ‘Beefcake the Mighty’ asks me to “coherently explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?”

    That’s a good question and a legitimate one. First off, it’s a little like the old idea that if you rescue a drowning man, pull him out of the ocean, then he becomes your responsibility from then on. That might or might not make sense to you, but the answer to your question has to be somewhat – although far from entirely – along those lines.

    Going way back, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Untied States at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, in the largest sea-air offensive the world had ever seen, at a distance from the Japanese home ports to the objective in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) of more than anyone had ever thought possible. It was a tremendously successful surprise attack and one that Kim Jong-un would no doubt be very proud of, if he could pull it off. At that point, we could have surrendered to Japan or “sued for peace” to find out what Japan might demand of us … but we didn’t do that, the United States Army Air Forces responded with the Doolittle Raid, by way of letting the Japanese Empire know what to expect coming out of their surprise attack and declaration of war against the United States. From that point on, the responsibility that USA acquired flows out of the decision to retaliate against Japan, declaring it a war on them that could only end in unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire (or of the USA, if we lost).

    Google ‘Doolittle Raid’, you’ll find it interesting. Be sure to check out this URL -

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/

    Since early in the 20th Century, Korea as well as Manchuria and much of other parts of China were under the boot of the Japanese invaders, the Japanese colonial power. (One of the most horrible “holocausts” of all time was the genocidal Rape of Nanking (1937) when Japanese troops were encouraged or even ordered to go door to door, looking for Chinese girls, etc. You can look it up.) Also in 1937, Japan attacked “the American gunboat Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now spelled Nanjing), China on 12 December 1937. Japan and the United States were not at war at the time. The Japanese claimed that they did not see the American flags painted on the deck of the gunboat, apologized, and paid an indemnity. Nevertheless, the attack and [a subsequent incident involving Japanese insulting behavior toward US 'Consul-General John Allison, Consul-General in Nanking, plus the Rape of Nanking itself] caused U.S. opinion to turn against the Japanese.” (From Wikipedia article, ‘USS Panay Incident’.)

    Now, the question is: if we are attacked, so we are not the aggressor, do we bear responsibility for the consequences of a war, just because we retaliated when we were attacked and took the war on as a battle to the death? In general, when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events? Much depends on Beefcake’s (or others’) reply to that question, so I will stop here to allow Beefcake (or others, if any) to respond. Responsibility never can be easy, but that’s what Beefcake wants to know: “how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?” That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
    Beefcake at #46 asked me to explain "how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?" I took that as a serious question that has an answer (not a rhetorical question), so I responded at #69, beginning a heavy discussion about the topic that Beefcake has brought up. At the end of my # 69, I attempted to state a foundation for the conversation, asking for Beefcake or others to respond to the question, as follows:

    That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?
     
    No one responded, so I will respond to myself. Here's how I answer the question:

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression but do counterattack is like what in law is called an "affirmative defense." The effect, in a court of law, is to shift the burden of proof from plaintiff (myself when I challenge the admirers of Kim Jong-un) to the defendant (Whitney or others who want USA to abandon the Korean people). The defenders of Kim (Whitney et al.) attempt to make their burden of proof by throwing out all manner of outrageous claims to indicate that all the problems that Korea has are entirely the fault of the evil USA. I don't have to refute all these claims - I don't have to show that USA is great and good in all or any of our ME ventures and I don't have to try to show that USA has been virtuous in Korea since ever (USA has made many mistakes regarding Korea and Asia in general, and it is true that USA's puppet Syngman Rhee committed crimes against humanity) - because Whitney et al. still has the burden of proof about Korea and they haven't come close to satisfying that on any standard of proof that I know of. Further, I have found and noted absurdities in the claims made by Whitney et al.

    So that's where I start about responsibilities of USA in Korea -- yes, USA has made many mistakes in Korea but overall, USA has been trying to contain the aggressive Communist regime in the North while allowing democracy to develop in the South ... and guess what?

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation - again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South - not, to be sure, a perfect democracy because that would amount practically to a contradiction in terms, as we (US) know full well.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people? It's because they have fought (with US) and suffered (with some of US) to contain the cruel dictatorial regime of the North (Kim-dynasty-controlled DPRK) and they have fought and suffered to establish a workable republic along the lines of true democracy. And it's also because the free Korean people have been true and courageous allies of the USA. This isn't like Iraq or Afghanistan where they all really hate us or expect USA to be an unending free gravy train ... or where they are unable to comprehend what freedom and democracy constitute in practice .... or where they are all just waiting for us to turn our backs so that they can stab us or slit our throats.

    Call me a conservative, because I really do believe that history means something, maybe it means everything.
    , @jacques sheete
    Grandpa, by the sound of it you should know better than to parrot thread bare old WW2 propaganda. You have the standard story down pat, but you would be closer to the truth if you'd just can all that and grab some good reading material.

    The US was at war with Japan long before Pearl Harbor, and FDR refused to be reasonable with the Japanese leadership, just as the US is playing tough guy today with NK. At least since FDR, if not before, the US seems to think it can dictate behavior to the rest of the world. There seem to be a fair number of parallels between what went on back in the '30s between the US and Japan and what's going on now between the US and NK.

    It'd be interesting to hear what you think of a book such as "America's Second Crusade," [WW2] by William Henry Chamberlain.

    Here's a much shorter article in case you're not interested in the book. Both are excellent.


    “… this entire myth, so prevalent then and even now about Hitler, and about the Japanese, is a tissue of fallacies from beginning to end. Every plank in this nightmare evidence is either completely untrue or not entirely the truth.
    If people should learn this intellectual fraud about Hitler's Germany, then they will begin to ask questions, and searching questions…”

    - Murray Rothbard, Review of The Origins of the Second World War, 1966
    http://mises.org/daily/2592


     

    Our politicians could save us all a lot of trouble and cash if they'd learn some common decency and just mind our own business.. Or better yet, we'd all be much better off if they'd just mind their own.
    , @Jon Orton
    Kudos for 'Untied States', Grandpa.

    Very true and in it's own way like 'Intaxication' which is the sense of euphoria you feel after getting a tax refund - which lasts for just as long as it takes for you to realise that it was your money in the first place.
  68. Here is the bitterness of US.
    US and western Europe invested heavily in South Korea.They build huge shipyard and all kind of industries there. They greatly lifted the living standard in South Korea. They expected revolution in North Korea and eventually unification of Korea. And eventually united Korea joining the western alliance.
    What a shame.
    All that effort.

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    • Replies: @SumDood
    "They expected revolution in North Korea"

    Says who?
  69. @Beefcake the Mighty
    I'm guessing it's way too much to expect you to coherently explain how it's the American government's responsibility (and by extension, American citizens' responsibility) to protect Koreans?

    For my rejoinder to Beefcake’s excellent request for me to “explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?”

    please see my comment, comment # 69 in this thread.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Perhaps there are people who see the American government's primary responsibility to protect American citizens. There are a great many American cities with Americans sleeping in tents along the sidewalks which never used to be the case. Perhaps this is a result of the American government neglecting its own citizens while making a big show about protecting non-citizens halfway around the world. Is this true or not?

    For all of the hoohah about Kim, does anyone seriously think he would attack the USA? You're no doubt old enough to remember when Americans had it pretty good and life was sweet for those who wanted to work hard and lead a good life. Do you think things have slid in the wrong direction since? A lot of Americans do think that which is why they voted for Trump after he promised to end the meddling overseas, focus on rebuilding America and bring jobs and prosperity back to the USA. How does conducting massive war games on NK's coast fulfill that in any way?

    I'm sure that you mean well Gramps and that you love America as much as anyone but there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn't even on the list let alone near the top.
  70. @Grandpa Charlie
    For my rejoinder to Beefcake's excellent request for me to "explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?"

    please see my comment, comment # 69 in this thread.

    Perhaps there are people who see the American government’s primary responsibility to protect American citizens. There are a great many American cities with Americans sleeping in tents along the sidewalks which never used to be the case. Perhaps this is a result of the American government neglecting its own citizens while making a big show about protecting non-citizens halfway around the world. Is this true or not?

    For all of the hoohah about Kim, does anyone seriously think he would attack the USA? You’re no doubt old enough to remember when Americans had it pretty good and life was sweet for those who wanted to work hard and lead a good life. Do you think things have slid in the wrong direction since? A lot of Americans do think that which is why they voted for Trump after he promised to end the meddling overseas, focus on rebuilding America and bring jobs and prosperity back to the USA. How does conducting massive war games on NK’s coast fulfill that in any way?

    I’m sure that you mean well Gramps and that you love America as much as anyone but there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top.

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    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "Perhaps there are people who see the American government’s primary responsibility to protect American citizens. There are a great many American cities with Americans sleeping in tents along the sidewalks which never used to be the case. Perhaps this is a result of the American government neglecting its own citizens while making a big show about protecting non-citizens halfway around the world. Is this true or not?

    "For all of the hoohah about Kim, does anyone seriously think he would attack the USA? You’re no doubt old enough to remember when Americans had it pretty good and life was sweet for those who wanted to work hard and lead a good life. Do you think things have slid in the wrong direction since? A lot of Americans do think that which is why they voted for Trump after he promised to end the meddling overseas, focus on rebuilding America and bring jobs and prosperity back to the USA. How does conducting massive war games on NK’s coast fulfill that in any way?

    "I’m sure that you mean well Gramps and that you love America as much as anyone but there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top."

    -- NoseytheDuke
     
    Nosey,

    I intend to answer your questions as best I can.

    1. The primary responsibility of citizens who serve in the government or military of USA is, or should be, to protect and defend the Constitution - from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    2. You suggest that the US govt. has been neglecting its own citizens, yet there are many American citizens who would be happy to see the govt. "neglecting" them more. What people (neocons) in the govt. have been neglecting is the Constitution.

    3. Does anyone think that North Korea would attack the USA? They have already done it many times. They attacked the US Army in 1950 and have been attacking us, on and off, ever since, despite the fact that they agreed to a cease-fire in 1953. For example, in 1968, there was the Pueblo incident:


    "USS Pueblo (AGER-2) is a Banner-class environmental research ship, attached to Navy intelligence as a spy ship, which was attacked and captured by North Korean forces on 23 January 1968, in what is known today as the "Pueblo incident" or alternatively, as the "Pueblo crisis".

    "The seizure of the U.S. Navy ship and its 83 crew members, one of whom was killed in the attack, came less than a week after President Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the Union address to the United States Congress, just a week before the start of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and only three days after 31 men of North Korea's KPA Unit 12 had crossed the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and killed 26 South Koreans in an attempt to attack the South Korean Blue House (executive mansion) in the capital Seoul. The taking of Pueblo and the abuse and torture of its crew during the subsequent 11-month prisoner drama became a major Cold War incident, raising tensions between the western democracies and the Soviet Union and China."

    Wikipedia article USS Pueblo (AGER-2)
     
    4. Do I think things have slid in the wrong direction since Americans had a good life? Yes, of course, but I especially think that things have slid (subtly at first) in the wrong direction since the assassination of JFK in 1963. (Not that JFK did not make any mistakes either!)

    5. You ask how "massive war games on NK's coast" fulfill Trump's promise of rebuilding America and bringing jobs and prosperity back to the USA? There have been no "massive war games on NK coast. There was a recent exchange of artillery shells into the West Sea of Korea, initiated by Kim in the midst of ROK/USA war games, which take place every year and lasted this year only 10 days, apparently in an effort to disrupt the war games, which take place entirely in the South and are entirely defensive in nature. Because of the way you choose to falsely frame this issue in particular, I suggest that you, like Whitney, get your "information" from Kim's state-controlled KCNA. To my mind, you are in effect a troll, pretending to be a Trump supporter. One thing's for sure: if Trump had called off the drill this year, that would have made USA less, not great.

    6. As for Nopey's closing, "there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top," North Korea may not be the top priority among our enemies but South Korea is on the list of our friends and allies, so I'll ask you, Nopey, are our friends anywhere on our list of priorities? Do friends matter?
  71. Sean says:

    The North is betting that its nuclear weapons programs will be valuable bargaining chits in future negotiations with the United States.

    No China is betting that helping the US with North Korea will make it possible for them to keep on economically raping the US. Trump has scared the Chinese, that is why they are giving Kim all this assistance You don’t seriously think North Korea is suddenly an ICBM and nuke capabilities power for any other reason do you? Kim is a Chinese cat’s paw.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    A few years ago the Kim family replaced a number of engineers/scientists leading the nuclear and ICBM projects, while they probably bought ICBM technology from a Ukrainian company (which used to produce Russian ICBMs before 2014). The idea that a small country must always be a bigger country's puppet is wrong.
  72. @Sean

    The North is betting that its nuclear weapons programs will be valuable bargaining chits in future negotiations with the United States.
     
    No China is betting that helping the US with North Korea will make it possible for them to keep on economically raping the US. Trump has scared the Chinese, that is why they are giving Kim all this assistance You don't seriously think North Korea is suddenly an ICBM and nuke capabilities power for any other reason do you? Kim is a Chinese cat's paw.

    A few years ago the Kim family replaced a number of engineers/scientists leading the nuclear and ICBM projects, while they probably bought ICBM technology from a Ukrainian company (which used to produce Russian ICBMs before 2014). The idea that a small country must always be a bigger country’s puppet is wrong.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Yes, obviously Britain is not a puppet of the US, which did not give them Trident. How naive of me.

    http://www.unz.com/efingleton/north-korea-why-trump-should-kims-feet-to-the-fire/?highlight=kim
    EAMONN FINGLETON • APRIL 16, 2017

    ...North Korean nuclear distraction has long had unwelcome ramifications way beyond military policy. Repeatedly since the Clinton era, it has cramped Washington’s style on international trade, for instance. And trade, of course, is absolutely central to the new administration’s program.

    It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

     

    Just a coincidence that the one problem that the US need China to help with has suddenly became critical, because North Korean suddenly lept forward in two separate spheres (ICBM and H bombs).
  73. SumDood says:
    @Erebus

    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.
     
    Yeah, whenever I'm accosted by somebody ranting about how "nuts" the Pillsbury Dough Boy is, or how starving N. Koreans are being worked to death in slave labour camps or dying from exhaustion in their meagre fields and mines, I suggest they do a websearch for images of Pyongyang.

    Isolated? Pariah? Starving? Abused? Oppressed? Brutal? Insane? Hmmm, so where did the funds, and the hard architectural, engineering and physical skills and resources it takes to build a modern city come from? And why build huge modern residential complexes for people who should be starving in forced labour camps?
    To be sure, Western visitors' movement are restricted when they visit, but that was also true of China just 25 years ago. Only the thickest fail to see that something isn't adding up in the Western narrative.

    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?

    Or are you just regurgitating the pablum that the mass media spoonfed you?

    Have you seen the satellite photo of the Korean peninsula at night? The South is lit up like any other first world country, but the North is dark except for Pyongyang.

    It’s a Potemkin village, Erebus. And here you are doing a credible Walter Duranty imitation, singing the praises of North Korea without bothering to seek out the truth.

    Why don’t you read a first-person account of what Pyongyang is like (that means it was written by someone who has actually been there, Erebus)?

    https://www.amazon.com/Wilder-Shores-Marx-Journeys-Vanishing-ebook/dp/B00846MX0W

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    It doesn't change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery.
    , @Erebus

    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?
     
    No. However, I've been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x, crossing at Dandong. Most recent was 2 yrs ago, though I've had significant contact with N. Koreans before and since.
    Yes, the countryside is similar to what I saw in China in the late '80s to late '90s, with the exception of much less squalor and much more disciplined (for lack of a better word) work habits in N. Korea. Also, quite a bit more mechanization. Having spent quite a bit of time in places where electricity is almost unknown, including in China, I didn't think it unusual that there wasn't much there, but maybe that's just me.

    It’s a Potemkin village, Erebus.
     
    If you mean that it's some sort of a stage set, you're wildly off the mark. Pyongyang has long been a real city, with very real infrastructure. I know several (China based) architects today working on Pyongyang, and other N. Korean development projects. Not one of them has let slip "Potemkin village" when talking about their work, so one wonders where you got the idea that it was? Spoonfed by (American) mass media, perhaps? In fact I had dinner with a good friend 2 weeks ago that works for an architectural/engineering firm out of Shanghai. N. Korean geopolitics was only peripherally on the menu, but he certainly thinks he's been working on real projects. Should I pass on your warning that it's all a fake? I guess as long as he's paid, it doesn't matter, so I'll wait to see if he complains.

    BTW, I pay exactly zero attention to "refugee accounts", having long ago learned that they say whatever they think the listener wants them to say to get maximum benefit from their new hosts.
  74. SumDood says:
    @Ilyana Rozumova
    Here is the bitterness of US.
    US and western Europe invested heavily in South Korea.They build huge shipyard and all kind of industries there. They greatly lifted the living standard in South Korea. They expected revolution in North Korea and eventually unification of Korea. And eventually united Korea joining the western alliance.
    What a shame.
    All that effort.

    “They expected revolution in North Korea”

    Says who?

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  75. @Grandpa Charlie

    "If I was NK’s dictator, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to this plan [for USA to provide nuclear cover for the South while PRC provides nuclear cover for the North]. There’s something to be said about the willingness to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else." -- Daniel Chieh
     
    Daniel, your comments are always interesting and sometimes brilliant.

    All I can say is that as USA's president, I would have absolutely no reason to agree to Kim's precondition for negotiation that USA pull all its troops out of the South. Which means, of course, that there will be no negotiations and so maybe everyone in Korea or maybe everyone on earth will be able to die as themselves rather than to live as part of someone else.

    Yes, as Shakespeare said, "There's the rub."

    Well, Daniel, I think I agree with you in spirit, but I would hate to have to defend your view "rationally."

    BTW: way back in the 1950s, a Korean friend lamented to me that traditional Korean music was going to disappear forever within a few years to be replaced by what? rock and roll? And he also challenged me, saying that America was no different, that our traditional music would soon be replaced by commercial rock-and-roll ... and yet, here we are, and a few people still play what Johnny Cash called "roots music", sitting around home, maybe even sitting around the fire.

    I suspect that my friend (haven't seen him for half a century) would say that not only is South Korea incapable of resisting NGOs or ultimately being able to preserve its culture, but so also is USA! And then, what about the unique culture of the Communist North? Do you suppose that would have to die, if Kim actually agreed to forsake Juche and lead Korea into the greater world, such as it is?

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

    “The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth” – H. L. Mencken

    I absolutely agree that in the long run, the US and the West in general were the first to be subverted by various liberal diseases. This disease then took control of the country and extended to apply it internationally, zombie-like, because the notion that anywhere on the planet might be free of its ideas of “liberty” and “human rights” was intolerable.

    But much as your example of pre-converged music, is an animal in a zoo without a habitat truly alive as a species anymore? Are the Amish truly much of a culture, or merely one that exists as a curious artifact that can be snuffed out at any time? We saw what happened to the Confederate memorials, relics of a time when brave men led by proud leaders fought for a different way of life.

    A conservationist, which I would call myself, prizes divergent cultures and thinking, and I believe that a large part of European strength came from the patchwork of countries and states that allowed for various thinkers to simply escape and find another country to continue to write and develop their thoughts. To converge the world to a single grey, and literally gay and queer understanding is intolerable, a terrifying prospect that’s quite worse than death in the absolution of atomic flames.

    If such has to be the case, let the cockroaches inherit the Earth. Perhaps they’ll make a better run for it than we did.

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  76. @SumDood
    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?

    Or are you just regurgitating the pablum that the mass media spoonfed you?

    Have you seen the satellite photo of the Korean peninsula at night? The South is lit up like any other first world country, but the North is dark except for Pyongyang.

    It's a Potemkin village, Erebus. And here you are doing a credible Walter Duranty imitation, singing the praises of North Korea without bothering to seek out the truth.

    Why don't you read a first-person account of what Pyongyang is like (that means it was written by someone who has actually been there, Erebus)?

    https://www.amazon.com/Wilder-Shores-Marx-Journeys-Vanishing-ebook/dp/B00846MX0W

    It doesn’t change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery.

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    • Replies: @SumDood
    "It doesn’t change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery."

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.

    Zimbabwe turned itself into a basket case before there were any sanctions on it.

    Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and still has its citizens fighting in the streets over scraps of food and toilet paper. But they don't fight too hard; most of them have lost 20 pounds over the last 2 years.
  77. Rdm says:
    @El Krapitan
    Wow, I was not expecting to find such broad support of the NK regime in the comments. Truly disturbing. The US is clearly failing on the public relations stage, helped along by all of the useless wars and interventions of recent times. Now that a real threat has arrived, a weary public is understandably full of cynical skepticism. For all of our sakes, I hope you are correct.

    That said, I appreciate that this site and author are willing to provide an alternative perspective to the typical style of story on this issue.

    Or did you just take red pill?

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  78. @Daniel Chieh

    "The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth" - H. L. Mencken
     
    I absolutely agree that in the long run, the US and the West in general were the first to be subverted by various liberal diseases. This disease then took control of the country and extended to apply it internationally, zombie-like, because the notion that anywhere on the planet might be free of its ideas of "liberty" and "human rights" was intolerable.

    But much as your example of pre-converged music, is an animal in a zoo without a habitat truly alive as a species anymore? Are the Amish truly much of a culture, or merely one that exists as a curious artifact that can be snuffed out at any time? We saw what happened to the Confederate memorials, relics of a time when brave men led by proud leaders fought for a different way of life.

    A conservationist, which I would call myself, prizes divergent cultures and thinking, and I believe that a large part of European strength came from the patchwork of countries and states that allowed for various thinkers to simply escape and find another country to continue to write and develop their thoughts. To converge the world to a single grey, and literally gay and queer understanding is intolerable, a terrifying prospect that's quite worse than death in the absolution of atomic flames.

    If such has to be the case, let the cockroaches inherit the Earth. Perhaps they'll make a better run for it than we did.

    I couldn’t have written it better myself.

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  79. WBH says:
    @Greg Bacon
    The US anti-missile program is getting exposed as a fraud. The Pentagon has missile interceptors based in S. Korea, Japan, Alaska and in US Navy ships in that area, so why didn't they track, then shoot down Kim's missile?
    Could it be that all those tens and tens of billions (or maybe hundreds of billions) spent on anti-missile technology and weapons were a waste of money, 'cause the interceptor doesn't work in real time?

    Sure, it's not that difficult to shoot down a missile, if you know the speed, trajectory, flight path and have a homing beacon on the target missile, but the real thing is a lot trickier.

    So why didn't the Pentagon shoot down Lil' Kim's missile? Or were they caught off-guard and didn't have enough time to react, which means the whole anti-missile thing is another Pentagon boondoggle that is only good at making our wallets lighter.

    S Korea needs its own anti-missile systems because of the very short distance between the N Korea launchers and Seoul, S Korea!

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  80. @Priss Factor
    Okay, fair enough.

    But it sounds like projection because Hillary and Globalists have made it ever more difficult to bridge the gap between North and South. First, she took out Gaddafi which alarmed the Norks. Also, under Obama, US continued to increase tensions by making a mess of Syria and Ukraine, continuing with military drills of mock invasion, and then pushed THAAD missile system on SK. Such policy made NK even more panicked and belligerent and it soured relations between SK and China.

    What the US does, it projects onto China.

    Personally, I don't think China would mind a united Korea If it meant US withdrawal. China has no love for NK. It props up that regime only as buffer. But if US gone from SK, there is no need for buffer.

    Also, addition of 20 million to SK under unification is hardly going to be an economic challenge to China.

    “Personally, I don’t think China would mind a united Korea If it meant US withdrawal. China has no love for NK. It props up that regime only as buffer. But if US gone from SK, there is no need for buffer.” — Priss Factor

    PF,

    Even though I could not pass on your interpretation of Killary’s Podesta interview, I was mostly in agreement with your take on the Kim dynasty and, in particular, Kim Jong-un.

    However, I’m not so sure that China would appreciate a unified Korea unless it would amount to annexation of Korea. On the other hand, I agree that Chinese leaders (Standing Committee of CCP) probably have lost patience with Kim today. Maybe they sometimes get a good chuckle out of him as he plays games with USA, but he’s worn that out now, and they are probably annoyed with his infiltration of their own domain. Bottom line: Kim is one of them, a fellow billionaire, complete with Communist Party origins going back all the way to Chairman Mao – but that doesn’t mean he could never be expendable.

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  81. @Grandpa Charlie
    'Beefcake the Mighty' asks me to "coherently explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?"

    That's a good question and a legitimate one. First off, it's a little like the old idea that if you rescue a drowning man, pull him out of the ocean, then he becomes your responsibility from then on. That might or might not make sense to you, but the answer to your question has to be somewhat - although far from entirely - along those lines.

    Going way back, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Untied States at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, in the largest sea-air offensive the world had ever seen, at a distance from the Japanese home ports to the objective in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) of more than anyone had ever thought possible. It was a tremendously successful surprise attack and one that Kim Jong-un would no doubt be very proud of, if he could pull it off. At that point, we could have surrendered to Japan or "sued for peace" to find out what Japan might demand of us ... but we didn't do that, the United States Army Air Forces responded with the Doolittle Raid, by way of letting the Japanese Empire know what to expect coming out of their surprise attack and declaration of war against the United States. From that point on, the responsibility that USA acquired flows out of the decision to retaliate against Japan, declaring it a war on them that could only end in unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire (or of the USA, if we lost).

    Google 'Doolittle Raid', you'll find it interesting. Be sure to check out this URL -

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/

    Since early in the 20th Century, Korea as well as Manchuria and much of other parts of China were under the boot of the Japanese invaders, the Japanese colonial power. (One of the most horrible "holocausts" of all time was the genocidal Rape of Nanking (1937) when Japanese troops were encouraged or even ordered to go door to door, looking for Chinese girls, etc. You can look it up.) Also in 1937, Japan attacked "the American gunboat Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now spelled Nanjing), China on 12 December 1937. Japan and the United States were not at war at the time. The Japanese claimed that they did not see the American flags painted on the deck of the gunboat, apologized, and paid an indemnity. Nevertheless, the attack and [a subsequent incident involving Japanese insulting behavior toward US 'Consul-General John Allison, Consul-General in Nanking, plus the Rape of Nanking itself] caused U.S. opinion to turn against the Japanese." (From Wikipedia article, 'USS Panay Incident'.)

    Now, the question is: if we are attacked, so we are not the aggressor, do we bear responsibility for the consequences of a war, just because we retaliated when we were attacked and took the war on as a battle to the death? In general, when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events? Much depends on Beefcake's (or others') reply to that question, so I will stop here to allow Beefcake (or others, if any) to respond. Responsibility never can be easy, but that's what Beefcake wants to know: "how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?" That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?

    Beefcake at #46 asked me to explain “how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?” I took that as a serious question that has an answer (not a rhetorical question), so I responded at #69, beginning a heavy discussion about the topic that Beefcake has brought up. At the end of my # 69, I attempted to state a foundation for the conversation, asking for Beefcake or others to respond to the question, as follows:

    That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?

    No one responded, so I will respond to myself. Here’s how I answer the question:

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression but do counterattack is like what in law is called an “affirmative defense.” The effect, in a court of law, is to shift the burden of proof from plaintiff (myself when I challenge the admirers of Kim Jong-un) to the defendant (Whitney or others who want USA to abandon the Korean people). The defenders of Kim (Whitney et al.) attempt to make their burden of proof by throwing out all manner of outrageous claims to indicate that all the problems that Korea has are entirely the fault of the evil USA. I don’t have to refute all these claims – I don’t have to show that USA is great and good in all or any of our ME ventures and I don’t have to try to show that USA has been virtuous in Korea since ever (USA has made many mistakes regarding Korea and Asia in general, and it is true that USA’s puppet Syngman Rhee committed crimes against humanity) – because Whitney et al. still has the burden of proof about Korea and they haven’t come close to satisfying that on any standard of proof that I know of. Further, I have found and noted absurdities in the claims made by Whitney et al.

    So that’s where I start about responsibilities of USA in Korea — yes, USA has made many mistakes in Korea but overall, USA has been trying to contain the aggressive Communist regime in the North while allowing democracy to develop in the South … and guess what?

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation – again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South – not, to be sure, a perfect democracy because that would amount practically to a contradiction in terms, as we (US) know full well.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people? It’s because they have fought (with US) and suffered (with some of US) to contain the cruel dictatorial regime of the North (Kim-dynasty-controlled DPRK) and they have fought and suffered to establish a workable republic along the lines of true democracy. And it’s also because the free Korean people have been true and courageous allies of the USA. This isn’t like Iraq or Afghanistan where they all really hate us or expect USA to be an unending free gravy train … or where they are unable to comprehend what freedom and democracy constitute in practice …. or where they are all just waiting for us to turn our backs so that they can stab us or slit our throats.

    Call me a conservative, because I really do believe that history means something, maybe it means everything.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well.......

    O.K.
    US (actually it was United Nations resolution at the time etc...) defended South Korea against Communist invasion. Good.
    Then, US (West) helped (re)build South Korea, help with establising democracy etc...Good.
    Then, South Korea became a decently developed country, strong economy, and....strong military.
    Good.
    Then, US still kept lots of troops there and, in essence, retained the same chain of command as far as South Korean armed forces are concerned. NOT good, IMHO.
    So, question for you then: Why US didn't pull out of South Korea? Why US didn't allow South Korea to become, say, as Taiwan, Thailand and, horror..Australia for example?
    Because of possibility of an invasion from the North? I do not believe that.
    So, that's the line where some people see jump from benevolent friend to imperial design.
    Like, regime change in the North.
    And we know how regime change works since the fall of Communism. What happens to the country, and more importantly, for practical matters, to leadership.
    In days of old (before we became so .....moral.....and....nice....) defeated leader and his family would be taken care of. Not murdered as, say, Gaddafi.
    What Kim and his clan can expect should they lose?
    To finish as Gaddafi/Milosevic/Hussein?
    One and only thing helps there...nuclear weapons. Preferably capable of reaching US targets. Nothing else.
    Simple.

    The problem here is that both sides have been making lots of mistakes.
    Now we are facing them.Now.

    So....how would YOU resolve this mess?
    , @Bach

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression
     
    That's a good one.

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).
     
    So, you divide a country and accuse one side of aggression?

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation – again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South
     
    Right, as a result of their sacrifice, but no thanks to the US, which bequeathed them a military dictatorship.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people
     
    What defense? America helped destroy Korea and continues to prevent natural reconciliation between the two sides because it won't stop interfering and sabre rattling.
  82. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor
    A few years ago the Kim family replaced a number of engineers/scientists leading the nuclear and ICBM projects, while they probably bought ICBM technology from a Ukrainian company (which used to produce Russian ICBMs before 2014). The idea that a small country must always be a bigger country's puppet is wrong.

    Yes, obviously Britain is not a puppet of the US, which did not give them Trident. How naive of me.

    http://www.unz.com/efingleton/north-korea-why-trump-should-kims-feet-to-the-fire/?highlight=kim
    EAMONN FINGLETON • APRIL 16, 2017

    …North Korean nuclear distraction has long had unwelcome ramifications way beyond military policy. Repeatedly since the Clinton era, it has cramped Washington’s style on international trade, for instance. And trade, of course, is absolutely central to the new administration’s program.

    It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

    Just a coincidence that the one problem that the US need China to help with has suddenly became critical, because North Korean suddenly lept forward in two separate spheres (ICBM and H bombs).

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    • Agree: Grandpa Charlie
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Oh please. China has no great desire to be nuked either. The Chinese plan for North Korea was torpedoed some time ago.

    Fingleton is not a sane source of information. He thinks that all of Asia is conspiring together, including Japan and China, an hilariously ridiculous idea.

  83. @Sean
    Yes, obviously Britain is not a puppet of the US, which did not give them Trident. How naive of me.

    http://www.unz.com/efingleton/north-korea-why-trump-should-kims-feet-to-the-fire/?highlight=kim
    EAMONN FINGLETON • APRIL 16, 2017

    ...North Korean nuclear distraction has long had unwelcome ramifications way beyond military policy. Repeatedly since the Clinton era, it has cramped Washington’s style on international trade, for instance. And trade, of course, is absolutely central to the new administration’s program.

    It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

     

    Just a coincidence that the one problem that the US need China to help with has suddenly became critical, because North Korean suddenly lept forward in two separate spheres (ICBM and H bombs).

    Oh please. China has no great desire to be nuked either. The Chinese plan for North Korea was torpedoed some time ago.

    Fingleton is not a sane source of information. He thinks that all of Asia is conspiring together, including Japan and China, an hilariously ridiculous idea.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    You are in excellent company, because US military and diplomatic establishment apparently agree it is a hilariously ridiculous idea that China is manipulating them by boosting the North Korean nuke missile threat . Fingleton's piece simply mentioned (it is a fact) that Japan uses the threat from north Korea to continue getting into the US's pants.

    That North Korean threat has suddenly went from a one against Japan with a mongo low yield little bomb that would even be deliverable with on unrated 70's Soviet battlefield missiles that was all N. Korea, to one threatening the MAINLAND US with a tight fitting H bomb going almost into orbit as it crosses the Pacific ocean on a ICBM.

    Yes, the Chinese are not capable of such subtlety as to help along a situation they benefit from, and if the Korean war showed anything it was that US diplomatic and intelligence analysis of China is so trenchant that China would not dare try any funny business because the US would soon work out what was going on.

    I mean how would China manage to get the requisite materiel and personnel into North Korea considering the vast distances , language problem and lack of any shared basis for an alliance between a democracy like China and a communist dictatorship like N. Korea. Anyway, and as the Korean war also showed, the US can see what crosses from China.

  84. Erebus says:
    @SumDood
    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?

    Or are you just regurgitating the pablum that the mass media spoonfed you?

    Have you seen the satellite photo of the Korean peninsula at night? The South is lit up like any other first world country, but the North is dark except for Pyongyang.

    It's a Potemkin village, Erebus. And here you are doing a credible Walter Duranty imitation, singing the praises of North Korea without bothering to seek out the truth.

    Why don't you read a first-person account of what Pyongyang is like (that means it was written by someone who has actually been there, Erebus)?

    https://www.amazon.com/Wilder-Shores-Marx-Journeys-Vanishing-ebook/dp/B00846MX0W

    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?

    No. However, I’ve been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x, crossing at Dandong. Most recent was 2 yrs ago, though I’ve had significant contact with N. Koreans before and since.
    Yes, the countryside is similar to what I saw in China in the late ’80s to late ’90s, with the exception of much less squalor and much more disciplined (for lack of a better word) work habits in N. Korea. Also, quite a bit more mechanization. Having spent quite a bit of time in places where electricity is almost unknown, including in China, I didn’t think it unusual that there wasn’t much there, but maybe that’s just me.

    It’s a Potemkin village, Erebus.

    If you mean that it’s some sort of a stage set, you’re wildly off the mark. Pyongyang has long been a real city, with very real infrastructure. I know several (China based) architects today working on Pyongyang, and other N. Korean development projects. Not one of them has let slip “Potemkin village” when talking about their work, so one wonders where you got the idea that it was? Spoonfed by (American) mass media, perhaps? In fact I had dinner with a good friend 2 weeks ago that works for an architectural/engineering firm out of Shanghai. N. Korean geopolitics was only peripherally on the menu, but he certainly thinks he’s been working on real projects. Should I pass on your warning that it’s all a fake? I guess as long as he’s paid, it doesn’t matter, so I’ll wait to see if he complains.

    BTW, I pay exactly zero attention to “refugee accounts”, having long ago learned that they say whatever they think the listener wants them to say to get maximum benefit from their new hosts.

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    • Replies: @SumDood
    I’ve been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x,

    So...you're a puppet or ally of the Kim regime? That makes you completely unreliable as a witness. You have to lie about how great NK is or they won't let you in (or let you leave alive). I totally get it, you're just saying what you have to say to maintain your access.

    And if you are seriously trying to confuse the term "Potemkin Village" with a movie set, you are an imbecile. But you aren't serious about the comparison, because you know full well that NK like every other socialist country puts on elaborate kabuki theater to conceal the truth of their economy and living conditions. Fake "customers" milling about in their stores to pretend like they are busy...

    I have no doubt that Pyongyang is a "real" place and that it has "infrastructure". But what is the quality of that infrastructure, and who is permitted to use it, and for what purpose?

    Hell, just look at Wikipedia:

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

    "Pyongyang aims to achieve self-sufficiency in meat production."

    "The city still experiences a shortage of electricity."

    NK would be as advanced as SK if they had ended the war in 1954 and focused on improving themselves instead of attacking their neighbors and rivals (while supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Kims).
  85. peterAUS says:
    @Grandpa Charlie
    Beefcake at #46 asked me to explain "how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?" I took that as a serious question that has an answer (not a rhetorical question), so I responded at #69, beginning a heavy discussion about the topic that Beefcake has brought up. At the end of my # 69, I attempted to state a foundation for the conversation, asking for Beefcake or others to respond to the question, as follows:

    That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?
     
    No one responded, so I will respond to myself. Here's how I answer the question:

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression but do counterattack is like what in law is called an "affirmative defense." The effect, in a court of law, is to shift the burden of proof from plaintiff (myself when I challenge the admirers of Kim Jong-un) to the defendant (Whitney or others who want USA to abandon the Korean people). The defenders of Kim (Whitney et al.) attempt to make their burden of proof by throwing out all manner of outrageous claims to indicate that all the problems that Korea has are entirely the fault of the evil USA. I don't have to refute all these claims - I don't have to show that USA is great and good in all or any of our ME ventures and I don't have to try to show that USA has been virtuous in Korea since ever (USA has made many mistakes regarding Korea and Asia in general, and it is true that USA's puppet Syngman Rhee committed crimes against humanity) - because Whitney et al. still has the burden of proof about Korea and they haven't come close to satisfying that on any standard of proof that I know of. Further, I have found and noted absurdities in the claims made by Whitney et al.

    So that's where I start about responsibilities of USA in Korea -- yes, USA has made many mistakes in Korea but overall, USA has been trying to contain the aggressive Communist regime in the North while allowing democracy to develop in the South ... and guess what?

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation - again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South - not, to be sure, a perfect democracy because that would amount practically to a contradiction in terms, as we (US) know full well.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people? It's because they have fought (with US) and suffered (with some of US) to contain the cruel dictatorial regime of the North (Kim-dynasty-controlled DPRK) and they have fought and suffered to establish a workable republic along the lines of true democracy. And it's also because the free Korean people have been true and courageous allies of the USA. This isn't like Iraq or Afghanistan where they all really hate us or expect USA to be an unending free gravy train ... or where they are unable to comprehend what freedom and democracy constitute in practice .... or where they are all just waiting for us to turn our backs so that they can stab us or slit our throats.

    Call me a conservative, because I really do believe that history means something, maybe it means everything.

    Well…….

    O.K.
    US (actually it was United Nations resolution at the time etc…) defended South Korea against Communist invasion. Good.
    Then, US (West) helped (re)build South Korea, help with establising democracy etc…Good.
    Then, South Korea became a decently developed country, strong economy, and….strong military.
    Good.
    Then, US still kept lots of troops there and, in essence, retained the same chain of command as far as South Korean armed forces are concerned. NOT good, IMHO.
    So, question for you then: Why US didn’t pull out of South Korea? Why US didn’t allow South Korea to become, say, as Taiwan, Thailand and, horror..Australia for example?
    Because of possibility of an invasion from the North? I do not believe that.
    So, that’s the line where some people see jump from benevolent friend to imperial design.
    Like, regime change in the North.
    And we know how regime change works since the fall of Communism. What happens to the country, and more importantly, for practical matters, to leadership.
    In days of old (before we became so …..moral…..and….nice….) defeated leader and his family would be taken care of. Not murdered as, say, Gaddafi.
    What Kim and his clan can expect should they lose?
    To finish as Gaddafi/Milosevic/Hussein?
    One and only thing helps there…nuclear weapons. Preferably capable of reaching US targets. Nothing else.
    Simple.

    The problem here is that both sides have been making lots of mistakes.
    Now we are facing them.Now.

    So….how would YOU resolve this mess?

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  86. @NoseytheDuke
    Perhaps there are people who see the American government's primary responsibility to protect American citizens. There are a great many American cities with Americans sleeping in tents along the sidewalks which never used to be the case. Perhaps this is a result of the American government neglecting its own citizens while making a big show about protecting non-citizens halfway around the world. Is this true or not?

    For all of the hoohah about Kim, does anyone seriously think he would attack the USA? You're no doubt old enough to remember when Americans had it pretty good and life was sweet for those who wanted to work hard and lead a good life. Do you think things have slid in the wrong direction since? A lot of Americans do think that which is why they voted for Trump after he promised to end the meddling overseas, focus on rebuilding America and bring jobs and prosperity back to the USA. How does conducting massive war games on NK's coast fulfill that in any way?

    I'm sure that you mean well Gramps and that you love America as much as anyone but there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn't even on the list let alone near the top.

    “Perhaps there are people who see the American government’s primary responsibility to protect American citizens. There are a great many American cities with Americans sleeping in tents along the sidewalks which never used to be the case. Perhaps this is a result of the American government neglecting its own citizens while making a big show about protecting non-citizens halfway around the world. Is this true or not?

    “For all of the hoohah about Kim, does anyone seriously think he would attack the USA? You’re no doubt old enough to remember when Americans had it pretty good and life was sweet for those who wanted to work hard and lead a good life. Do you think things have slid in the wrong direction since? A lot of Americans do think that which is why they voted for Trump after he promised to end the meddling overseas, focus on rebuilding America and bring jobs and prosperity back to the USA. How does conducting massive war games on NK’s coast fulfill that in any way?

    “I’m sure that you mean well Gramps and that you love America as much as anyone but there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top.”

    – NoseytheDuke

    Nosey,

    I intend to answer your questions as best I can.

    1. The primary responsibility of citizens who serve in the government or military of USA is, or should be, to protect and defend the Constitution – from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    2. You suggest that the US govt. has been neglecting its own citizens, yet there are many American citizens who would be happy to see the govt. “neglecting” them more. What people (neocons) in the govt. have been neglecting is the Constitution.

    3. Does anyone think that North Korea would attack the USA? They have already done it many times. They attacked the US Army in 1950 and have been attacking us, on and off, ever since, despite the fact that they agreed to a cease-fire in 1953. For example, in 1968, there was the Pueblo incident:

    “USS Pueblo (AGER-2) is a Banner-class environmental research ship, attached to Navy intelligence as a spy ship, which was attacked and captured by North Korean forces on 23 January 1968, in what is known today as the “Pueblo incident” or alternatively, as the “Pueblo crisis”.

    “The seizure of the U.S. Navy ship and its 83 crew members, one of whom was killed in the attack, came less than a week after President Lyndon B. Johnson’s State of the Union address to the United States Congress, just a week before the start of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and only three days after 31 men of North Korea’s KPA Unit 12 had crossed the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and killed 26 South Koreans in an attempt to attack the South Korean Blue House (executive mansion) in the capital Seoul. The taking of Pueblo and the abuse and torture of its crew during the subsequent 11-month prisoner drama became a major Cold War incident, raising tensions between the western democracies and the Soviet Union and China.”

    Wikipedia article USS Pueblo (AGER-2)

    4. Do I think things have slid in the wrong direction since Americans had a good life? Yes, of course, but I especially think that things have slid (subtly at first) in the wrong direction since the assassination of JFK in 1963. (Not that JFK did not make any mistakes either!)

    5. You ask how “massive war games on NK’s coast” fulfill Trump’s promise of rebuilding America and bringing jobs and prosperity back to the USA? There have been no “massive war games on NK coast. There was a recent exchange of artillery shells into the West Sea of Korea, initiated by Kim in the midst of ROK/USA war games, which take place every year and lasted this year only 10 days, apparently in an effort to disrupt the war games, which take place entirely in the South and are entirely defensive in nature. Because of the way you choose to falsely frame this issue in particular, I suggest that you, like Whitney, get your “information” from Kim’s state-controlled KCNA. To my mind, you are in effect a troll, pretending to be a Trump supporter. One thing’s for sure: if Trump had called off the drill this year, that would have made USA less, not great.

    6. As for Nopey’s closing, “there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top,” North Korea may not be the top priority among our enemies but South Korea is on the list of our friends and allies, so I’ll ask you, Nopey, are our friends anywhere on our list of priorities? Do friends matter?

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Well at least we can agree that 22/11/1963 was a turning point, and according to Strauss and Howe in The Forth Turning, it was the marker of the end of the first and beginning of the second 'season' of this saeculum. The Reagan/Thatcher "Revolution' marking the beginning of the third and 9/11 the forth.
  87. Sean says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Oh please. China has no great desire to be nuked either. The Chinese plan for North Korea was torpedoed some time ago.

    Fingleton is not a sane source of information. He thinks that all of Asia is conspiring together, including Japan and China, an hilariously ridiculous idea.

    You are in excellent company, because US military and diplomatic establishment apparently agree it is a hilariously ridiculous idea that China is manipulating them by boosting the North Korean nuke missile threat . Fingleton’s piece simply mentioned (it is a fact) that Japan uses the threat from north Korea to continue getting into the US’s pants.

    That North Korean threat has suddenly went from a one against Japan with a mongo low yield little bomb that would even be deliverable with on unrated 70′s Soviet battlefield missiles that was all N. Korea, to one threatening the MAINLAND US with a tight fitting H bomb going almost into orbit as it crosses the Pacific ocean on a ICBM.

    Yes, the Chinese are not capable of such subtlety as to help along a situation they benefit from, and if the Korean war showed anything it was that US diplomatic and intelligence analysis of China is so trenchant that China would not dare try any funny business because the US would soon work out what was going on.

    I mean how would China manage to get the requisite materiel and personnel into North Korea considering the vast distances , language problem and lack of any shared basis for an alliance between a democracy like China and a communist dictatorship like N. Korea. Anyway, and as the Korean war also showed, the US can see what crosses from China.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    Did Kim Jong-un kill his uncle and brother over 'coup plot involving China'?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/24/did-kim-jong-un-kill-uncle-brother-coup-plot-involving-china/
     
    Maybe there was an attempted coup , or maybe not. We cannot verify it. One thing we know for sure is that Zhou Yongkang, the Chinese official who allegedly alerted Kim about the coup, is sitting in a Chinese jail now. And Kim Jong-un has not visited China and no high-ranking Chinese official has visited N. Korea.

    And this

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-china/bridge-to-nowhere-shows-chinas-failed-efforts-to-engage-north-korea-idUSKCN11H05F

    Costing 2.2 billion yuan ($330 million) and partially completed last year, the dual-carriageway bridge today sits abandoned, the impressive border post on the Chinese side deserted and locked, not a soul to be seen.

    “North Korea hasn’t opened their end of the bridge and we can’t really do anything about it. It’s been bad for the local economy here. Who knows when they’ll open it?” Sun said.
     
    Needless to day, China and N.Korea have not been in a cozy relationship at least for the last few years.

    A nuclear-armed N. Korea posts a greater threat to China, Japan or S.Korea than the US. Radiation leak from the nuclear test site will inevitably contaminate the northeastern part of China.

    "Radiation leak at North Korean nuclear test site 'inevitable', says Chinese expert"
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/05/radiation-leak-north-korean-nuclear-test-site-inevitable-says/

    But there isn't much the Chinese can do about it. They would if they could stop N. Korea's nuclear program. They bribed Kim's father with a tons of money to get N. Korea to sit at the Six-party-talks table. (Some said China was blackmailed, depending on how you look at it) No matter how angry China is at N.Korea, it can't totally abandon N.Korea. A collapsed N.Korea means a million refugees crossing the border and US troops station right at the Chinese border.

    Kim Jong-il was determined to develop nuclear weapons, and the US actions and rhetoric have not been helpful in removing Kim's fear of American invasion.

    Historically China and Korea have had a very complicated relationship. They have been neighbors for thousands of years. N.Korea is not China's puppet. It has no reason to be one and it doesn't need to be one. China has very little leverage over N.Korea.
  88. SumDood says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    It doesn't change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery.

    “It doesn’t change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery.”

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.

    Zimbabwe turned itself into a basket case before there were any sanctions on it.

    Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and still has its citizens fighting in the streets over scraps of food and toilet paper. But they don’t fight too hard; most of them have lost 20 pounds over the last 2 years.

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    • Replies: @Erebus

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.
     
    Not having any idea what you mean by "socialist" or "left wing", there were 2 I'd have so labelled recently murdered, and a 3rd was viciously attacked, coming close to death before being rescued. Looks like the 3rd will live.

    Can you name them?
    , @Daniel Chieh
    It really isn't about having the greatest economy in the world, though I could obviously name something like Bhutan that doesn't follow the capitalistic model. But a lot of governance types can usually avoid actually having to starve people - that extra push from external forces is often is what gets you there.

    And I guess I'm just not really sure that starving people to death because they don't agree that free market is best is all that moral. Let others fail of their own accord. Its not our business to force everyone to become a democracy with supply side economics, is it?

  89. SumDood says:
    @Erebus

    Have you ever been to Pyongyang, Erebus?
     
    No. However, I've been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x, crossing at Dandong. Most recent was 2 yrs ago, though I've had significant contact with N. Koreans before and since.
    Yes, the countryside is similar to what I saw in China in the late '80s to late '90s, with the exception of much less squalor and much more disciplined (for lack of a better word) work habits in N. Korea. Also, quite a bit more mechanization. Having spent quite a bit of time in places where electricity is almost unknown, including in China, I didn't think it unusual that there wasn't much there, but maybe that's just me.

    It’s a Potemkin village, Erebus.
     
    If you mean that it's some sort of a stage set, you're wildly off the mark. Pyongyang has long been a real city, with very real infrastructure. I know several (China based) architects today working on Pyongyang, and other N. Korean development projects. Not one of them has let slip "Potemkin village" when talking about their work, so one wonders where you got the idea that it was? Spoonfed by (American) mass media, perhaps? In fact I had dinner with a good friend 2 weeks ago that works for an architectural/engineering firm out of Shanghai. N. Korean geopolitics was only peripherally on the menu, but he certainly thinks he's been working on real projects. Should I pass on your warning that it's all a fake? I guess as long as he's paid, it doesn't matter, so I'll wait to see if he complains.

    BTW, I pay exactly zero attention to "refugee accounts", having long ago learned that they say whatever they think the listener wants them to say to get maximum benefit from their new hosts.

    I’ve been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x,

    So…you’re a puppet or ally of the Kim regime? That makes you completely unreliable as a witness. You have to lie about how great NK is or they won’t let you in (or let you leave alive). I totally get it, you’re just saying what you have to say to maintain your access.

    And if you are seriously trying to confuse the term “Potemkin Village” with a movie set, you are an imbecile. But you aren’t serious about the comparison, because you know full well that NK like every other socialist country puts on elaborate kabuki theater to conceal the truth of their economy and living conditions. Fake “customers” milling about in their stores to pretend like they are busy…

    I have no doubt that Pyongyang is a “real” place and that it has “infrastructure”. But what is the quality of that infrastructure, and who is permitted to use it, and for what purpose?

    Hell, just look at Wikipedia:

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

    “Pyongyang aims to achieve self-sufficiency in meat production.”

    “The city still experiences a shortage of electricity.”

    NK would be as advanced as SK if they had ended the war in 1954 and focused on improving themselves instead of attacking their neighbors and rivals (while supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Kims).

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    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I love predetermined conclusions! If you think that EvilNation is actually decent, you are either 1)ignorant or 2)a conspirator. This is also how you can determine that everyone who denies his white privilege is either ignorant of it, or an active participant of its evil supremacy.

    You will do great in the coming Cultural Revolution!

    And seriously, Wikipedia? Using converged data sources is truly the path forward! Did you also know that James Damore is an incurable sexist? And Gamersgate was purely a movement to harass women? How fortunate that history is a forward motion for ever greater equity and justice, liberty under the kind auspices of Emperor Zuckenberg!

    , @Erebus

    So…you’re a puppet or ally of the Kim regime?
     
    I was, but ever since the attempted coup, I've been labelled persona non grata. LOL!

    NK would be as advanced as SK if they had ended the war in 1954 and focused on improving themselves instead of attacking their neighbors and rivals (while supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Kims).
     
    For the first decade or so, N. Korea advanced more rapidly than S. Korea, but 60 years of sanctions didn't help N. Korea develop normally any more than it helped Cuba. So far as I know, N. Korea hasn't attacked either China or Russia, 2 of their 3 neighbours. They have attacked S. Korea, at a time when S. Korea was a similar dictatorship with whom they were legally at war. Both dictatorships claimed sovereignty over the entire peninsula, as the 2 sides do until today.
    Had the US agreed to sign a Peace Treaty, rather than stopping the process at an Armistice, things would have no doubt been different. As it is, we have what we have.

    I have no doubt that Pyongyang is a “real” place and that it has “infrastructure”. But what is the quality of that infrastructure, and who is permitted to use it, and for what purpose?
     
    As I said, I've never been there, but as in China and most of developed Asia, I'd expect the infrastructure is light-years ahead of what one sees in most American cities, or on its way to being so. I do know a lot of planning and money are being invested in it.
    As for who's allowed to use it and for what purpose, best to ask the ~4M who live there. I'm guessing they just live there pretty much like other people live in cities, lacking only the traffic jams.
  90. @nsa
    Hey, Priss: "Fat Kim is a dumbass". Really? 50 years from now, he will be studied in all the great citadels of higher learning as an asian strategist on the order of Ho Chi Minh......a man who, against overwhelming odds, faced down the GLOB Zios and then rubbed their noses in their own dung. Our pal Kim will be a model as to fending off a bloodthirsty self-appointed global hegemon.....the key of course being the surreptitious acquisition of a credible nuclear deterrence......a feat requiring brains, guile, and balls the size of grapefruits.....and maybe a funny haircut.

    …and maybe a funny haircut.

    I almost thought you were talking about Trump! ;)

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  91. @Grandpa Charlie
    'Beefcake the Mighty' asks me to "coherently explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?"

    That's a good question and a legitimate one. First off, it's a little like the old idea that if you rescue a drowning man, pull him out of the ocean, then he becomes your responsibility from then on. That might or might not make sense to you, but the answer to your question has to be somewhat - although far from entirely - along those lines.

    Going way back, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Untied States at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, in the largest sea-air offensive the world had ever seen, at a distance from the Japanese home ports to the objective in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) of more than anyone had ever thought possible. It was a tremendously successful surprise attack and one that Kim Jong-un would no doubt be very proud of, if he could pull it off. At that point, we could have surrendered to Japan or "sued for peace" to find out what Japan might demand of us ... but we didn't do that, the United States Army Air Forces responded with the Doolittle Raid, by way of letting the Japanese Empire know what to expect coming out of their surprise attack and declaration of war against the United States. From that point on, the responsibility that USA acquired flows out of the decision to retaliate against Japan, declaring it a war on them that could only end in unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire (or of the USA, if we lost).

    Google 'Doolittle Raid', you'll find it interesting. Be sure to check out this URL -

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/

    Since early in the 20th Century, Korea as well as Manchuria and much of other parts of China were under the boot of the Japanese invaders, the Japanese colonial power. (One of the most horrible "holocausts" of all time was the genocidal Rape of Nanking (1937) when Japanese troops were encouraged or even ordered to go door to door, looking for Chinese girls, etc. You can look it up.) Also in 1937, Japan attacked "the American gunboat Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now spelled Nanjing), China on 12 December 1937. Japan and the United States were not at war at the time. The Japanese claimed that they did not see the American flags painted on the deck of the gunboat, apologized, and paid an indemnity. Nevertheless, the attack and [a subsequent incident involving Japanese insulting behavior toward US 'Consul-General John Allison, Consul-General in Nanking, plus the Rape of Nanking itself] caused U.S. opinion to turn against the Japanese." (From Wikipedia article, 'USS Panay Incident'.)

    Now, the question is: if we are attacked, so we are not the aggressor, do we bear responsibility for the consequences of a war, just because we retaliated when we were attacked and took the war on as a battle to the death? In general, when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events? Much depends on Beefcake's (or others') reply to that question, so I will stop here to allow Beefcake (or others, if any) to respond. Responsibility never can be easy, but that's what Beefcake wants to know: "how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?" That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?

    Grandpa, by the sound of it you should know better than to parrot thread bare old WW2 propaganda. You have the standard story down pat, but you would be closer to the truth if you’d just can all that and grab some good reading material.

    The US was at war with Japan long before Pearl Harbor, and FDR refused to be reasonable with the Japanese leadership, just as the US is playing tough guy today with NK. At least since FDR, if not before, the US seems to think it can dictate behavior to the rest of the world. There seem to be a fair number of parallels between what went on back in the ’30s between the US and Japan and what’s going on now between the US and NK.

    It’d be interesting to hear what you think of a book such as “America’s Second Crusade,” [WW2] by William Henry Chamberlain.

    Here’s a much shorter article in case you’re not interested in the book. Both are excellent.

    “… this entire myth, so prevalent then and even now about Hitler, and about the Japanese, is a tissue of fallacies from beginning to end. Every plank in this nightmare evidence is either completely untrue or not entirely the truth.
    If people should learn this intellectual fraud about Hitler’s Germany, then they will begin to ask questions, and searching questions…”

    - Murray Rothbard, Review of The Origins of the Second World War, 1966

    http://mises.org/daily/2592

    Our politicians could save us all a lot of trouble and cash if they’d learn some common decency and just mind our own business.. Or better yet, we’d all be much better off if they’d just mind their own.

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  92. @Grandpa Charlie

    "Perhaps there are people who see the American government’s primary responsibility to protect American citizens. There are a great many American cities with Americans sleeping in tents along the sidewalks which never used to be the case. Perhaps this is a result of the American government neglecting its own citizens while making a big show about protecting non-citizens halfway around the world. Is this true or not?

    "For all of the hoohah about Kim, does anyone seriously think he would attack the USA? You’re no doubt old enough to remember when Americans had it pretty good and life was sweet for those who wanted to work hard and lead a good life. Do you think things have slid in the wrong direction since? A lot of Americans do think that which is why they voted for Trump after he promised to end the meddling overseas, focus on rebuilding America and bring jobs and prosperity back to the USA. How does conducting massive war games on NK’s coast fulfill that in any way?

    "I’m sure that you mean well Gramps and that you love America as much as anyone but there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top."

    -- NoseytheDuke
     
    Nosey,

    I intend to answer your questions as best I can.

    1. The primary responsibility of citizens who serve in the government or military of USA is, or should be, to protect and defend the Constitution - from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    2. You suggest that the US govt. has been neglecting its own citizens, yet there are many American citizens who would be happy to see the govt. "neglecting" them more. What people (neocons) in the govt. have been neglecting is the Constitution.

    3. Does anyone think that North Korea would attack the USA? They have already done it many times. They attacked the US Army in 1950 and have been attacking us, on and off, ever since, despite the fact that they agreed to a cease-fire in 1953. For example, in 1968, there was the Pueblo incident:


    "USS Pueblo (AGER-2) is a Banner-class environmental research ship, attached to Navy intelligence as a spy ship, which was attacked and captured by North Korean forces on 23 January 1968, in what is known today as the "Pueblo incident" or alternatively, as the "Pueblo crisis".

    "The seizure of the U.S. Navy ship and its 83 crew members, one of whom was killed in the attack, came less than a week after President Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the Union address to the United States Congress, just a week before the start of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and only three days after 31 men of North Korea's KPA Unit 12 had crossed the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and killed 26 South Koreans in an attempt to attack the South Korean Blue House (executive mansion) in the capital Seoul. The taking of Pueblo and the abuse and torture of its crew during the subsequent 11-month prisoner drama became a major Cold War incident, raising tensions between the western democracies and the Soviet Union and China."

    Wikipedia article USS Pueblo (AGER-2)
     
    4. Do I think things have slid in the wrong direction since Americans had a good life? Yes, of course, but I especially think that things have slid (subtly at first) in the wrong direction since the assassination of JFK in 1963. (Not that JFK did not make any mistakes either!)

    5. You ask how "massive war games on NK's coast" fulfill Trump's promise of rebuilding America and bringing jobs and prosperity back to the USA? There have been no "massive war games on NK coast. There was a recent exchange of artillery shells into the West Sea of Korea, initiated by Kim in the midst of ROK/USA war games, which take place every year and lasted this year only 10 days, apparently in an effort to disrupt the war games, which take place entirely in the South and are entirely defensive in nature. Because of the way you choose to falsely frame this issue in particular, I suggest that you, like Whitney, get your "information" from Kim's state-controlled KCNA. To my mind, you are in effect a troll, pretending to be a Trump supporter. One thing's for sure: if Trump had called off the drill this year, that would have made USA less, not great.

    6. As for Nopey's closing, "there needs to be some priorities and North Korea just isn’t even on the list let alone near the top," North Korea may not be the top priority among our enemies but South Korea is on the list of our friends and allies, so I'll ask you, Nopey, are our friends anywhere on our list of priorities? Do friends matter?

    Well at least we can agree that 22/11/1963 was a turning point, and according to Strauss and Howe in The Forth Turning, it was the marker of the end of the first and beginning of the second ‘season’ of this saeculum. The Reagan/Thatcher “Revolution’ marking the beginning of the third and 9/11 the forth.

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  93. Erebus says:
    @SumDood
    "It doesn’t change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery."

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.

    Zimbabwe turned itself into a basket case before there were any sanctions on it.

    Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and still has its citizens fighting in the streets over scraps of food and toilet paper. But they don't fight too hard; most of them have lost 20 pounds over the last 2 years.

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.

    Not having any idea what you mean by “socialist” or “left wing”, there were 2 I’d have so labelled recently murdered, and a 3rd was viciously attacked, coming close to death before being rescued. Looks like the 3rd will live.

    Can you name them?

    Read More
    • Replies: @SumDood
    "Not having any idea what you mean by “socialist” or “left wing”,"

    ...And thus you reveal yourself to be a doubletalking troll, unserious about the issues you prattle on about.
  94. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Sean
    You are in excellent company, because US military and diplomatic establishment apparently agree it is a hilariously ridiculous idea that China is manipulating them by boosting the North Korean nuke missile threat . Fingleton's piece simply mentioned (it is a fact) that Japan uses the threat from north Korea to continue getting into the US's pants.

    That North Korean threat has suddenly went from a one against Japan with a mongo low yield little bomb that would even be deliverable with on unrated 70's Soviet battlefield missiles that was all N. Korea, to one threatening the MAINLAND US with a tight fitting H bomb going almost into orbit as it crosses the Pacific ocean on a ICBM.

    Yes, the Chinese are not capable of such subtlety as to help along a situation they benefit from, and if the Korean war showed anything it was that US diplomatic and intelligence analysis of China is so trenchant that China would not dare try any funny business because the US would soon work out what was going on.

    I mean how would China manage to get the requisite materiel and personnel into North Korea considering the vast distances , language problem and lack of any shared basis for an alliance between a democracy like China and a communist dictatorship like N. Korea. Anyway, and as the Korean war also showed, the US can see what crosses from China.

    Did Kim Jong-un kill his uncle and brother over ‘coup plot involving China’?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/24/did-kim-jong-un-kill-uncle-brother-coup-plot-involving-china/

    Maybe there was an attempted coup , or maybe not. We cannot verify it. One thing we know for sure is that Zhou Yongkang, the Chinese official who allegedly alerted Kim about the coup, is sitting in a Chinese jail now. And Kim Jong-un has not visited China and no high-ranking Chinese official has visited N. Korea.

    And this

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-china/bridge-to-nowhere-shows-chinas-failed-efforts-to-engage-north-korea-idUSKCN11H05F

    Costing 2.2 billion yuan ($330 million) and partially completed last year, the dual-carriageway bridge today sits abandoned, the impressive border post on the Chinese side deserted and locked, not a soul to be seen.

    “North Korea hasn’t opened their end of the bridge and we can’t really do anything about it. It’s been bad for the local economy here. Who knows when they’ll open it?” Sun said.

    Needless to day, China and N.Korea have not been in a cozy relationship at least for the last few years.

    A nuclear-armed N. Korea posts a greater threat to China, Japan or S.Korea than the US. Radiation leak from the nuclear test site will inevitably contaminate the northeastern part of China.

    “Radiation leak at North Korean nuclear test site ‘inevitable’, says Chinese expert”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/05/radiation-leak-north-korean-nuclear-test-site-inevitable-says/

    But there isn’t much the Chinese can do about it. They would if they could stop N. Korea’s nuclear program. They bribed Kim’s father with a tons of money to get N. Korea to sit at the Six-party-talks table. (Some said China was blackmailed, depending on how you look at it) No matter how angry China is at N.Korea, it can’t totally abandon N.Korea. A collapsed N.Korea means a million refugees crossing the border and US troops station right at the Chinese border.

    Kim Jong-il was determined to develop nuclear weapons, and the US actions and rhetoric have not been helpful in removing Kim’s fear of American invasion.

    Historically China and Korea have had a very complicated relationship. They have been neighbors for thousands of years. N.Korea is not China’s puppet. It has no reason to be one and it doesn’t need to be one. China has very little leverage over N.Korea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Murdering the Chinese advisor alone is reason for China to want to "teach him a lesson." The only reason that it can't be done is he has successfully managed to defy all world powers thanks to the glorious power of the atom.
    , @Sean
    To desire the overthrow of Kim, the the Chinese leadership would have to want to destroy the only wedge China has against American economic protectionism. Lets say a few years from now that North Korea launched an all out strike on 20 American cities. Does anyone really think America would only hit North Korea with nuclear retaliation? Kim does not need a good reason to have people killed, he had his girlfriend and her manager shot for making porn videos.

    No the US would take vengeance on and hit China as well as north Korea with nukes in retaliation. The Chinese are taking a risk with Kim, and would close down Kim in a trice if they did not find his nuclear threat to the US a useful tool for keeping America lying back and thinking of military rather than economic strategy as it gets industrially Sacculinised.

    Historically Korean diplomacy is very subtle and they have successfully played off larger y powers against on another. As Meaisheimer said in The Tragedy of Great Power Politicsof the Japanese and Russia competition " Korean policymakers skillfully played the two great powers off against each other so as to avoid being devoured by either side". This led to the Russio Japanese war and WW1andf 2 in my opinion)

    I may have exaggerated by implying North Korea is a puppet of China, although the Chinese do regard them as a vassal state. But while the historical over-lordship is not a compelling reason fort thinking Korea is acting as a Chinese proxy, the recent warp speed progress of N.Korean progress on separate lines of advanced technology almost instantly after Trump got elected is. It is so rapid that there is little likelihood China was trying to reign them in. The probability is their recent results are the fruits of some actual help from China.

  95. @Anon

    Did Kim Jong-un kill his uncle and brother over 'coup plot involving China'?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/24/did-kim-jong-un-kill-uncle-brother-coup-plot-involving-china/
     
    Maybe there was an attempted coup , or maybe not. We cannot verify it. One thing we know for sure is that Zhou Yongkang, the Chinese official who allegedly alerted Kim about the coup, is sitting in a Chinese jail now. And Kim Jong-un has not visited China and no high-ranking Chinese official has visited N. Korea.

    And this

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-china/bridge-to-nowhere-shows-chinas-failed-efforts-to-engage-north-korea-idUSKCN11H05F

    Costing 2.2 billion yuan ($330 million) and partially completed last year, the dual-carriageway bridge today sits abandoned, the impressive border post on the Chinese side deserted and locked, not a soul to be seen.

    “North Korea hasn’t opened their end of the bridge and we can’t really do anything about it. It’s been bad for the local economy here. Who knows when they’ll open it?” Sun said.
     
    Needless to day, China and N.Korea have not been in a cozy relationship at least for the last few years.

    A nuclear-armed N. Korea posts a greater threat to China, Japan or S.Korea than the US. Radiation leak from the nuclear test site will inevitably contaminate the northeastern part of China.

    "Radiation leak at North Korean nuclear test site 'inevitable', says Chinese expert"
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/05/radiation-leak-north-korean-nuclear-test-site-inevitable-says/

    But there isn't much the Chinese can do about it. They would if they could stop N. Korea's nuclear program. They bribed Kim's father with a tons of money to get N. Korea to sit at the Six-party-talks table. (Some said China was blackmailed, depending on how you look at it) No matter how angry China is at N.Korea, it can't totally abandon N.Korea. A collapsed N.Korea means a million refugees crossing the border and US troops station right at the Chinese border.

    Kim Jong-il was determined to develop nuclear weapons, and the US actions and rhetoric have not been helpful in removing Kim's fear of American invasion.

    Historically China and Korea have had a very complicated relationship. They have been neighbors for thousands of years. N.Korea is not China's puppet. It has no reason to be one and it doesn't need to be one. China has very little leverage over N.Korea.

    Murdering the Chinese advisor alone is reason for China to want to “teach him a lesson.” The only reason that it can’t be done is he has successfully managed to defy all world powers thanks to the glorious power of the atom.

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  96. @SumDood
    "It doesn’t change the fact that our sanctions are quite possibly a large cause of the misery."

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.

    Zimbabwe turned itself into a basket case before there were any sanctions on it.

    Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and still has its citizens fighting in the streets over scraps of food and toilet paper. But they don't fight too hard; most of them have lost 20 pounds over the last 2 years.

    It really isn’t about having the greatest economy in the world, though I could obviously name something like Bhutan that doesn’t follow the capitalistic model. But a lot of governance types can usually avoid actually having to starve people – that extra push from external forces is often is what gets you there.

    And I guess I’m just not really sure that starving people to death because they don’t agree that free market is best is all that moral. Let others fail of their own accord. Its not our business to force everyone to become a democracy with supply side economics, is it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @SumDood
    "And I guess I’m just not really sure that starving people to death because they don’t agree that free market is best is all that moral. Let others fail of their own accord. "

    But Daniel Chieh, isn't that EXACTLY what sanctions are? Letting them fend for themselves without our interference?

    When Imperial Japan was raping China in the late 1930s, we imposed sanctions on them. The argument in favor of that was: "why should we supply the tools that Japan used to rape Nanjing? Doesn't supplying those materials make us morally culpable?"

    The United States has not initiated any offensive military action against North Korea since the armistace. South Korea does not have nuclear weapons, nor does Japan or Vietnam or Singapore or anyone in the region except China and India and Pakistan.

    Kim's nukes are a blackmail tool. And we have no obligation to feed his people while he spends his GDP on nukes.
  97. @SumDood
    I’ve been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x,

    So...you're a puppet or ally of the Kim regime? That makes you completely unreliable as a witness. You have to lie about how great NK is or they won't let you in (or let you leave alive). I totally get it, you're just saying what you have to say to maintain your access.

    And if you are seriously trying to confuse the term "Potemkin Village" with a movie set, you are an imbecile. But you aren't serious about the comparison, because you know full well that NK like every other socialist country puts on elaborate kabuki theater to conceal the truth of their economy and living conditions. Fake "customers" milling about in their stores to pretend like they are busy...

    I have no doubt that Pyongyang is a "real" place and that it has "infrastructure". But what is the quality of that infrastructure, and who is permitted to use it, and for what purpose?

    Hell, just look at Wikipedia:

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

    "Pyongyang aims to achieve self-sufficiency in meat production."

    "The city still experiences a shortage of electricity."

    NK would be as advanced as SK if they had ended the war in 1954 and focused on improving themselves instead of attacking their neighbors and rivals (while supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Kims).

    I love predetermined conclusions! If you think that EvilNation is actually decent, you are either 1)ignorant or 2)a conspirator. This is also how you can determine that everyone who denies his white privilege is either ignorant of it, or an active participant of its evil supremacy.

    You will do great in the coming Cultural Revolution!

    And seriously, Wikipedia? Using converged data sources is truly the path forward! Did you also know that James Damore is an incurable sexist? And Gamersgate was purely a movement to harass women? How fortunate that history is a forward motion for ever greater equity and justice, liberty under the kind auspices of Emperor Zuckenberg!

    Read More
    • Replies: @SumDood
    "And seriously, Wikipedia?"

    It's a left-leaning source that left-leaning people like Erebus won't reject out of hand. Only reason I used it.

    And, North Korea tried to kill my dad in the mid-1960s. they are demonstrably evil.
  98. Erebus says:
    @SumDood
    I’ve been to northern N. Korea a total of 4x,

    So...you're a puppet or ally of the Kim regime? That makes you completely unreliable as a witness. You have to lie about how great NK is or they won't let you in (or let you leave alive). I totally get it, you're just saying what you have to say to maintain your access.

    And if you are seriously trying to confuse the term "Potemkin Village" with a movie set, you are an imbecile. But you aren't serious about the comparison, because you know full well that NK like every other socialist country puts on elaborate kabuki theater to conceal the truth of their economy and living conditions. Fake "customers" milling about in their stores to pretend like they are busy...

    I have no doubt that Pyongyang is a "real" place and that it has "infrastructure". But what is the quality of that infrastructure, and who is permitted to use it, and for what purpose?

    Hell, just look at Wikipedia:

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

    "Pyongyang aims to achieve self-sufficiency in meat production."

    "The city still experiences a shortage of electricity."

    NK would be as advanced as SK if they had ended the war in 1954 and focused on improving themselves instead of attacking their neighbors and rivals (while supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Kims).

    So…you’re a puppet or ally of the Kim regime?

    I was, but ever since the attempted coup, I’ve been labelled persona non grata. LOL!

    NK would be as advanced as SK if they had ended the war in 1954 and focused on improving themselves instead of attacking their neighbors and rivals (while supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Kims).

    For the first decade or so, N. Korea advanced more rapidly than S. Korea, but 60 years of sanctions didn’t help N. Korea develop normally any more than it helped Cuba. So far as I know, N. Korea hasn’t attacked either China or Russia, 2 of their 3 neighbours. They have attacked S. Korea, at a time when S. Korea was a similar dictatorship with whom they were legally at war. Both dictatorships claimed sovereignty over the entire peninsula, as the 2 sides do until today.
    Had the US agreed to sign a Peace Treaty, rather than stopping the process at an Armistice, things would have no doubt been different. As it is, we have what we have.

    I have no doubt that Pyongyang is a “real” place and that it has “infrastructure”. But what is the quality of that infrastructure, and who is permitted to use it, and for what purpose?

    As I said, I’ve never been there, but as in China and most of developed Asia, I’d expect the infrastructure is light-years ahead of what one sees in most American cities, or on its way to being so. I do know a lot of planning and money are being invested in it.
    As for who’s allowed to use it and for what purpose, best to ask the ~4M who live there. I’m guessing they just live there pretty much like other people live in cities, lacking only the traffic jams.

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  99. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Erebus

    Too many American commenters just get their info from the corporate fake news machine hence know nothing.
     
    Yeah, whenever I'm accosted by somebody ranting about how "nuts" the Pillsbury Dough Boy is, or how starving N. Koreans are being worked to death in slave labour camps or dying from exhaustion in their meagre fields and mines, I suggest they do a websearch for images of Pyongyang.

    Isolated? Pariah? Starving? Abused? Oppressed? Brutal? Insane? Hmmm, so where did the funds, and the hard architectural, engineering and physical skills and resources it takes to build a modern city come from? And why build huge modern residential complexes for people who should be starving in forced labour camps?
    To be sure, Western visitors' movement are restricted when they visit, but that was also true of China just 25 years ago. Only the thickest fail to see that something isn't adding up in the Western narrative.

    It’s adding up for Lockheed, Bechtel, their corrupt cronies in the Korean Government and military. Not to mention the US Empire. Kaching! (Or in Korean: Kaching!)

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  100. Sean says:
    @Anon

    Did Kim Jong-un kill his uncle and brother over 'coup plot involving China'?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/24/did-kim-jong-un-kill-uncle-brother-coup-plot-involving-china/
     
    Maybe there was an attempted coup , or maybe not. We cannot verify it. One thing we know for sure is that Zhou Yongkang, the Chinese official who allegedly alerted Kim about the coup, is sitting in a Chinese jail now. And Kim Jong-un has not visited China and no high-ranking Chinese official has visited N. Korea.

    And this

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-china/bridge-to-nowhere-shows-chinas-failed-efforts-to-engage-north-korea-idUSKCN11H05F

    Costing 2.2 billion yuan ($330 million) and partially completed last year, the dual-carriageway bridge today sits abandoned, the impressive border post on the Chinese side deserted and locked, not a soul to be seen.

    “North Korea hasn’t opened their end of the bridge and we can’t really do anything about it. It’s been bad for the local economy here. Who knows when they’ll open it?” Sun said.
     
    Needless to day, China and N.Korea have not been in a cozy relationship at least for the last few years.

    A nuclear-armed N. Korea posts a greater threat to China, Japan or S.Korea than the US. Radiation leak from the nuclear test site will inevitably contaminate the northeastern part of China.

    "Radiation leak at North Korean nuclear test site 'inevitable', says Chinese expert"
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/05/radiation-leak-north-korean-nuclear-test-site-inevitable-says/

    But there isn't much the Chinese can do about it. They would if they could stop N. Korea's nuclear program. They bribed Kim's father with a tons of money to get N. Korea to sit at the Six-party-talks table. (Some said China was blackmailed, depending on how you look at it) No matter how angry China is at N.Korea, it can't totally abandon N.Korea. A collapsed N.Korea means a million refugees crossing the border and US troops station right at the Chinese border.

    Kim Jong-il was determined to develop nuclear weapons, and the US actions and rhetoric have not been helpful in removing Kim's fear of American invasion.

    Historically China and Korea have had a very complicated relationship. They have been neighbors for thousands of years. N.Korea is not China's puppet. It has no reason to be one and it doesn't need to be one. China has very little leverage over N.Korea.

    To desire the overthrow of Kim, the the Chinese leadership would have to want to destroy the only wedge China has against American economic protectionism. Lets say a few years from now that North Korea launched an all out strike on 20 American cities. Does anyone really think America would only hit North Korea with nuclear retaliation? Kim does not need a good reason to have people killed, he had his girlfriend and her manager shot for making porn videos.

    No the US would take vengeance on and hit China as well as north Korea with nukes in retaliation. The Chinese are taking a risk with Kim, and would close down Kim in a trice if they did not find his nuclear threat to the US a useful tool for keeping America lying back and thinking of military rather than economic strategy as it gets industrially Sacculinised.

    Historically Korean diplomacy is very subtle and they have successfully played off larger y powers against on another. As Meaisheimer said in The Tragedy of Great Power Politicsof the Japanese and Russia competition ” Korean policymakers skillfully played the two great powers off against each other so as to avoid being devoured by either side”. This led to the Russio Japanese war and WW1andf 2 in my opinion)

    I may have exaggerated by implying North Korea is a puppet of China, although the Chinese do regard them as a vassal state. But while the historical over-lordship is not a compelling reason fort thinking Korea is acting as a Chinese proxy, the recent warp speed progress of N.Korean progress on separate lines of advanced technology almost instantly after Trump got elected is. It is so rapid that there is little likelihood China was trying to reign them in. The probability is their recent results are the fruits of some actual help from China.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    To desire the overthrow of Kim, the the Chinese leadership would have to want to destroy the only wedge China has against American economic protectionism.
     
    Actually, we have no idea what the other faction, if any, was all about. If China was actively or passively supporting them, you can be sure they had a program that the Chinese liked more than what the current one was offering.

    ... the recent warp speed progress of N.Korean progress on separate lines of advanced technology almost instantly after Trump... is so rapid that there is little likelihood China was trying to reign them in. The probability is their recent results are the fruits of some actual help from China.
     
    Absolutely agree. Furthermore, if the finding that the rocket engine that powered the N. Korean "ICBM" over Japan came from Dnipro is true, it is not unlikely that the Russians are also involved, perhaps even taking the leading (but plausibly deniable) technical role. One thing we can be sure of, Russia and China are coordinating closely on this, and it seems likely that the N. Koreans are in on it.

    Using N. Korea to both rile up the Americans, who can't seem to restrain themselves from making bizarre gangsta threats that shock the diplomatic world (EG: Mad Dog's "We have many options to annihilate N. Korea..."), and to make it plain to the Japanese, S. Koreans and Taiwanese (as well as all S.E. Asia) that the US is actually unable to make good on the security guarantees it's made. Their much ballyhooed anti-missile defence had several golden opportunities to demonstrate its effectiveness to the world, but stayed in its launchers. I suspect Greg Bacon & Carleton Meyer (above) are right, and they're likely not alone. The combination serves to make the rest of the world take another step back from the US, and to put another brick in the wall being built between the S.E. Asians and their dependency on the US' security guarantees. "See, there's no there there" is the message being sent and doubtless received.

    The other, overarching message is OBOR and the SCO. They're the carrots at the end of the SCS bases / N. Korean provocation stick. Together they say "There's a safe and prosperous harbour waiting for you when you cut yourselves adrift from dependency on the US", to the same audience.
    Those two messages have slowly been gaining traction together across the region. In Crimea, then in Syria, the Russians gave the world a textbook demonstration of how a real superpower combines measured and effective military action with energetic, carefully coordinated diplomacy to solve problems, while the USM showed itself unable to do much in either theatre but make bizarre threats and militarily useless gestures. Ergo, the messages' traction is bound to increase.

    All things happen in 3s and the 3rd message was introduced Sept 1 with the introduction of the gold convertible (N.B.: not "backed") Yuan. This was originally planned for next year, but the Chinese have fast-tracked it in response to rapidly evolving geo-political developments. Today's message "Sell your oil to China in Yuan, and you can convert the proceeds to physical Gold at will" will soon morph into "Sell your goods and services in Yuan...", and with that, US imposed sanctions become meaningless. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Venezuela, Angola, (who made the Yuan legal tender in 2015), Nigeria and others will have no need to go through the U$D to sell oil. No U$D, no effective sanctions. The Saudis will have to come aboard, or find themselves restricted to the spot market. Eventually, Russia will be able to buy German machine tools and pay in excess Yuan, which the Germans can then use to buy Chinese toasters, or convert into gold as they see fit. When physical gold becomes the reference point for trade, the last spike will have been placed, and the hammer will begin its fall on US Hegemony.
  101. SumDood says:
    @Erebus

    Name a socialist country with a robust economy. Or a left-wing dictatorship with a robust economy.
     
    Not having any idea what you mean by "socialist" or "left wing", there were 2 I'd have so labelled recently murdered, and a 3rd was viciously attacked, coming close to death before being rescued. Looks like the 3rd will live.

    Can you name them?

    “Not having any idea what you mean by “socialist” or “left wing”,”

    …And thus you reveal yourself to be a doubletalking troll, unserious about the issues you prattle on about.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Dood, I'm unsure too. Every time some sort of socialism is tried it gets nobbled by the US before it has a chance. Even Australia, a supposed ally, had it's Prime Minister (Gough Whitlam) deposed for daring to put the interests of the greater society before the interests of capital and foreign corporations.

    I think that's what socialism means actually, putting the interests of the general populace, society, first. I'm sure it would have it's faults too but it was tried somewhat in Libya and they had the highest standard of living in all of Africa.

    There's little doubt about what capitalism is though, putting the interests of capital before all else. We can see it alive and "well" in Wall St. A few owning almost everything. Multi-million dollar bonuses to a tiny minority that produce nothing and serve only themselves while a significant number of the people couch surf, sleep in cars or in tents in parks and the sidewalks. Yes there are benefits but the cost to the society is becoming unbearable for a great many.

    Why not have the best of both?
    , @Erebus
    So, can you name the 3 countries, or not?
    If not, can you at least define what you mean by "socialist" and "left-wing"?
    If you can't, perhaps you'd be able to define "right-wing"?

    Or do you prefer to spew, seriously as you will, bizarre discontinuous "thoughts" (for lack of a better word) at random in support of your equally bizarre "arguments" (cf).

  102. SumDood says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    It really isn't about having the greatest economy in the world, though I could obviously name something like Bhutan that doesn't follow the capitalistic model. But a lot of governance types can usually avoid actually having to starve people - that extra push from external forces is often is what gets you there.

    And I guess I'm just not really sure that starving people to death because they don't agree that free market is best is all that moral. Let others fail of their own accord. Its not our business to force everyone to become a democracy with supply side economics, is it?

    “And I guess I’m just not really sure that starving people to death because they don’t agree that free market is best is all that moral. Let others fail of their own accord. “

    But Daniel Chieh, isn’t that EXACTLY what sanctions are? Letting them fend for themselves without our interference?

    When Imperial Japan was raping China in the late 1930s, we imposed sanctions on them. The argument in favor of that was: “why should we supply the tools that Japan used to rape Nanjing? Doesn’t supplying those materials make us morally culpable?”

    The United States has not initiated any offensive military action against North Korea since the armistace. South Korea does not have nuclear weapons, nor does Japan or Vietnam or Singapore or anyone in the region except China and India and Pakistan.

    Kim’s nukes are a blackmail tool. And we have no obligation to feed his people while he spends his GDP on nukes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bach

    isn’t that EXACTLY what sanctions are? Letting them fend for themselves without our interference?
     
    No. Sanctions are a form of aggression by economic means, esp. when it isn't just you that is sanctioning, but forcing other economies to comply as well.
  103. SumDood says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    I love predetermined conclusions! If you think that EvilNation is actually decent, you are either 1)ignorant or 2)a conspirator. This is also how you can determine that everyone who denies his white privilege is either ignorant of it, or an active participant of its evil supremacy.

    You will do great in the coming Cultural Revolution!

    And seriously, Wikipedia? Using converged data sources is truly the path forward! Did you also know that James Damore is an incurable sexist? And Gamersgate was purely a movement to harass women? How fortunate that history is a forward motion for ever greater equity and justice, liberty under the kind auspices of Emperor Zuckenberg!

    “And seriously, Wikipedia?”

    It’s a left-leaning source that left-leaning people like Erebus won’t reject out of hand. Only reason I used it.

    And, North Korea tried to kill my dad in the mid-1960s. they are demonstrably evil.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bach

    And, North Korea tried to kill my dad in the mid-1960s. they are demonstrably evil.
     
    Was your father a former Japanese collaborator?

    The SKorean government was pretty evil, too, back in the day.
  104. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Pure Baloney by the author.

    North Korea has needlessly brought this crisis about.

    No one was going to attack North Korea. Not the US, Not South Korea. Not Japan.

    To have attacked North Korea was to bring in China, which no country wanted to happen.

    North Korea has provoked the entire thing, and South Korea and the region are simply reacting.

    China is to blame because it could have stopped the North Korean loonies years ago.

    The US is at fault for a lot but the US is not to blame for this.

    Should the US be in South Korea? Maybe not.

    But please don’t defend these nutcase North Koreans.

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    • Replies: @Bach

    No one was going to attack North Korea.
     
    I think that's what Saddam said. He said he didn't believe the US would actually invade.

    You speak too much from your own perspective. Put your feet in their shoes for a minute. Consider the arc of history from the early 20th century to the present and what they have gone through.

    For them, the war has NEVER ENDED.
  105. Bach says:
    @SumDood
    "And I guess I’m just not really sure that starving people to death because they don’t agree that free market is best is all that moral. Let others fail of their own accord. "

    But Daniel Chieh, isn't that EXACTLY what sanctions are? Letting them fend for themselves without our interference?

    When Imperial Japan was raping China in the late 1930s, we imposed sanctions on them. The argument in favor of that was: "why should we supply the tools that Japan used to rape Nanjing? Doesn't supplying those materials make us morally culpable?"

    The United States has not initiated any offensive military action against North Korea since the armistace. South Korea does not have nuclear weapons, nor does Japan or Vietnam or Singapore or anyone in the region except China and India and Pakistan.

    Kim's nukes are a blackmail tool. And we have no obligation to feed his people while he spends his GDP on nukes.

    isn’t that EXACTLY what sanctions are? Letting them fend for themselves without our interference?

    No. Sanctions are a form of aggression by economic means, esp. when it isn’t just you that is sanctioning, but forcing other economies to comply as well.

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  106. Bach says:
    @SumDood
    "And seriously, Wikipedia?"

    It's a left-leaning source that left-leaning people like Erebus won't reject out of hand. Only reason I used it.

    And, North Korea tried to kill my dad in the mid-1960s. they are demonstrably evil.

    And, North Korea tried to kill my dad in the mid-1960s. they are demonstrably evil.

    Was your father a former Japanese collaborator?

    The SKorean government was pretty evil, too, back in the day.

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  107. Erebus says:
    @Sean
    To desire the overthrow of Kim, the the Chinese leadership would have to want to destroy the only wedge China has against American economic protectionism. Lets say a few years from now that North Korea launched an all out strike on 20 American cities. Does anyone really think America would only hit North Korea with nuclear retaliation? Kim does not need a good reason to have people killed, he had his girlfriend and her manager shot for making porn videos.

    No the US would take vengeance on and hit China as well as north Korea with nukes in retaliation. The Chinese are taking a risk with Kim, and would close down Kim in a trice if they did not find his nuclear threat to the US a useful tool for keeping America lying back and thinking of military rather than economic strategy as it gets industrially Sacculinised.

    Historically Korean diplomacy is very subtle and they have successfully played off larger y powers against on another. As Meaisheimer said in The Tragedy of Great Power Politicsof the Japanese and Russia competition " Korean policymakers skillfully played the two great powers off against each other so as to avoid being devoured by either side". This led to the Russio Japanese war and WW1andf 2 in my opinion)

    I may have exaggerated by implying North Korea is a puppet of China, although the Chinese do regard them as a vassal state. But while the historical over-lordship is not a compelling reason fort thinking Korea is acting as a Chinese proxy, the recent warp speed progress of N.Korean progress on separate lines of advanced technology almost instantly after Trump got elected is. It is so rapid that there is little likelihood China was trying to reign them in. The probability is their recent results are the fruits of some actual help from China.

    To desire the overthrow of Kim, the the Chinese leadership would have to want to destroy the only wedge China has against American economic protectionism.

    Actually, we have no idea what the other faction, if any, was all about. If China was actively or passively supporting them, you can be sure they had a program that the Chinese liked more than what the current one was offering.

    … the recent warp speed progress of N.Korean progress on separate lines of advanced technology almost instantly after Trump… is so rapid that there is little likelihood China was trying to reign them in. The probability is their recent results are the fruits of some actual help from China.

    Absolutely agree. Furthermore, if the finding that the rocket engine that powered the N. Korean “ICBM” over Japan came from Dnipro is true, it is not unlikely that the Russians are also involved, perhaps even taking the leading (but plausibly deniable) technical role. One thing we can be sure of, Russia and China are coordinating closely on this, and it seems likely that the N. Koreans are in on it.

    Using N. Korea to both rile up the Americans, who can’t seem to restrain themselves from making bizarre gangsta threats that shock the diplomatic world (EG: Mad Dog’s “We have many options to annihilate N. Korea…”), and to make it plain to the Japanese, S. Koreans and Taiwanese (as well as all S.E. Asia) that the US is actually unable to make good on the security guarantees it’s made. Their much ballyhooed anti-missile defence had several golden opportunities to demonstrate its effectiveness to the world, but stayed in its launchers. I suspect Greg Bacon & Carleton Meyer (above) are right, and they’re likely not alone. The combination serves to make the rest of the world take another step back from the US, and to put another brick in the wall being built between the S.E. Asians and their dependency on the US’ security guarantees. “See, there’s no there there” is the message being sent and doubtless received.

    The other, overarching message is OBOR and the SCO. They’re the carrots at the end of the SCS bases / N. Korean provocation stick. Together they say “There’s a safe and prosperous harbour waiting for you when you cut yourselves adrift from dependency on the US”, to the same audience.
    Those two messages have slowly been gaining traction together across the region. In Crimea, then in Syria, the Russians gave the world a textbook demonstration of how a real superpower combines measured and effective military action with energetic, carefully coordinated diplomacy to solve problems, while the USM showed itself unable to do much in either theatre but make bizarre threats and militarily useless gestures. Ergo, the messages’ traction is bound to increase.

    All things happen in 3s and the 3rd message was introduced Sept 1 with the introduction of the gold convertible (N.B.: not “backed”) Yuan. This was originally planned for next year, but the Chinese have fast-tracked it in response to rapidly evolving geo-political developments. Today’s message “Sell your oil to China in Yuan, and you can convert the proceeds to physical Gold at will” will soon morph into “Sell your goods and services in Yuan…”, and with that, US imposed sanctions become meaningless. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Venezuela, Angola, (who made the Yuan legal tender in 2015), Nigeria and others will have no need to go through the U$D to sell oil. No U$D, no effective sanctions. The Saudis will have to come aboard, or find themselves restricted to the spot market. Eventually, Russia will be able to buy German machine tools and pay in excess Yuan, which the Germans can then use to buy Chinese toasters, or convert into gold as they see fit. When physical gold becomes the reference point for trade, the last spike will have been placed, and the hammer will begin its fall on US Hegemony.

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  108. Bach says:
    @Priss Factor
    Fat Kim is a real dumbass. True, NK has some compelling arguments against the US. Kim can lay out his case against US aggression and imperialism since end of Cold War. Hugo Chavez did some of that though he became consumed with huff and puff hubris.
    But Kim is addicted to playing gangsta, and his Pyongyang Style rap act is getting tiresome. He finds moral arguments to 'weak' and wussy. He would rather shoot missiles, fart nuclear explosions, and burp threats. A moron.

    If he had sense, he could be firm and insist on nukes but still act statesmanly, like the leaders of Iran, Russia, Cuba, and etc. (Erdogan is a something of a nit.) He could act and talk sane, like Assad of Syria. But fat baby Kim acts like he's a little kid who loves playing with toys. He acts like Bam Bam on FLINSTONES.

    That's why he gets no sympathy from anyone. There are admirers of Putin, Assad, and the leaders of Iran around the world. Despite western media attacks on them, some people see where Russia, Syria, and Iran are coming from. But even those who want to empathize with NK find it difficult because of a succession of Korean version of the Kardashian Family. Gaddafi had this problem too eventually, with his clownishness. Still, as a young man, he was rather idealistic and even sensible.

    The optics don't help either. While most world leaders have not been handsome, they looked human. But fat Kim looks turdier than his gorky father who died of too much food and drink. This is one dumb family, and because the main ideology of the nation is cultish worship of these morons, it's hard to take NK seriously despite its legit concerns. I think fat Kim is not very smart, not very articulate, and hardly moral. So, he expresses himself with tantrums. Hussein was a bad guy, but he could give a sane interview with a western news reporter, like he did before the Gulf War. And Assad, even against the ropes, could make his case intelligently. But fat Kim has no such ability. Also, as a god-ruler of NK, it is beneath him to talk like a human being to the rest of the world.

    If Kim had the mindset of a half-sober and half-intelligent leader, he could have won over much of world opinion. Chavez wasn't much of a thinker(and looked funny too), but he could still talk to the world and make his case. And Admandijad was one weird horror-movie goblin-looking guy, but he could communicate with journalists and talk to the world. But the Kims only communicate through their buffers, as if they are phobic of direct contact.

    Unlike Mao, Sukarno, Ho, Castro, and even insane Amin who came to power by their own talent and guile, the first Kim was a nobody who was installed in power by Stalin. So, he was a total zero. Like Ceausescu, he relied totally on the machine to support him. It could be that the reason why NK cult of personality became the most megalomaniacal is precisely because of this insecurity. Having no mind and personality, the ONLY key to power was via some bogus myth pushed by the state. So, if many third world leaders, good or bad, came to power with their own struggle and vision, first Kim was just a shoe-in by Stalin. And unlike in other communist nations, power in NK became all-in-the-family. So, we have hicks with too much power.

    Kim never makes a case. He just makes threats. And that is so retarded. It's like Noriega declaring war on the US. Only difference is NK has nukes. But the attitude is so dumb. Why make threats? Why not make a moral case against the US? Castro did that and got lots of sympathy. But then, Kim isn't up to it since he's just a spoiled fat baby whose only idea of right or wrong is "All food is mine".

    Be that as it may, all three nations are totally shi* in this equation. Here's Clinton's secret speech to Goldman Sachs:

    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/852173290789580800?lang=en

    She says the US doesn't want a unified Korea. It's bad enough US divided an organic nation in half and set the grounds for a war that killed millions. Now, it says it wants the division to continue.
    So, the US sees Korea as just a pawn in the Pacific game.

    NK is trash, and US is shi*.

    But then, the biggest disappointment is SK(and maybe Korean-America). US naturally thinks of its national-imperial interest first, and uses Korea as pawn. NK leader naturally care only for their own megalomaniacal power.
    But SK is supposed to be a national democracy, about freedom and human rights and patriotism. So, why is there no outrage among SK's that Hillary made a secret speech speaking about Korea that way? Why can't the current 'leftist' leader say SK will no longer go along with US military drills? What use is democracy when whoever happens to be leader has to play dog to the US? But then, we might as well ask... what is the point of having Trump or Hillary if whoever becomes president is just gonna be the new puppet of the globalist empire? After all, Trump hasn't been able to do anything with Russia as the Glob controls Pentagon, Congress, media, and etc.

    But then, Cold War politics surely brainwashed many Koreans into seeing their northern brethren as commie trash. And having grown up with US as Big Brother, it's become their second nature to hide like whore-cowards behind Uncle Sam. So, the new 'leftist' president is afraid of being called a commie-lover if he doesn't cuck out to the US.
    Okay, we can understand that from leaders. But what about intellectuals and activists in SK? Are there prominent intellectuals, activists, and culture critics who call for a revision of the US-centric Narrative that is almost wholly bogus? What good are intellectuals if they can't voice such opposition? But then, is the US any better? Where are the intellectuals who condemn America's neo-imperialism since the end of Cold War? They exist in the margins and alt-media, but most prominent voices are like servitors of empire like Fareed Zakaria and loathsome Fukuyama. As for Neocon and Zionist thinktankers, they are such lowlife dirtbags.

    What good is all this democracy if the megaphones all blare the same lies?

    He could act and talk sane, like Assad of Syria. But fat baby Kim acts like he’s a little kid who loves playing with toys. He acts like Bam Bam on FLINSTONES.

    Good points, but I’ve never heard him speak.

    It’s true that the optics are bad, he looks bad, and maybe he smells bad, too, but that doesn’t change history and the facts.

    Oppositely, Israel sounds and look great, but it’s still a rattlesnake.

    So, why is there no outrage among SK’s that Hillary made a secret speech speaking about Korea that way?

    I think we know why. SKorea is an American vassal. Even sad President Moon was forced to call for an oil embargo on NKorea.

    Okay, we can understand that from leaders. But what about intellectuals and activists in SK? Are there prominent intellectuals, activists, and culture critics who call for a revision of the US-centric Narrative that is almost wholly bogus? What good are intellectuals if they can’t voice such opposition?

    There are, but they have to tread carefully, or else they could probably find themselves in prison.

    And the SKoreans can thank the US for that.

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  109. Bach says:
    @Priss Factor
    But Koreans are a bunch of morons or whores, and they haven't the guts to set the record straight.

    North Koreans are too 'proud' to depict themselves as victims of history. Even though there are museums devoted to the US terror bombing in NK and even though it's a big part of the narrative, the megalomania of Kim-ism makes NK out to be the victor than victim. North Korea was on the verge of being crushed by US and was saved only by China in the Korean War. Indeed, the NK regime had been put in power by Stalin. So, it's a story of a weak nation. But Kim-ism created a crazy megalo-myth. It says Kim defeated the Japanese and came to power on his own with minimal Soviet input. It says Kim would have liberated all of Korea except US invaded the south. And the Nork narrative on Korean War hardly mentions the role of China that was HUGE. It says NK virtually singlehandedly fought the US to a stalemate.
    If Kim Klan had more modesty and humility(and the cleverness of Jews or Vietnamese), they might make a case for Norks as Holocaust Survivors. (Vietnamese fought hard but always made themselves out to be helpless victims in the eyes of the world. They fought hard but presented themselves as soft and weak. They combined Maoism with Gandhism. In contrast, Norks have this Japanese mentality of acting like he-men of the universe. Maybe Japanese colonization instilled a kind of megalomania and excess pride.) If indeed the war killed 25% of the population of the North, many by US bombing, then it could be argued that a kind of holocaust happened. And those who survived were lucky to have survived. They could claim to be holocaust survivors of the Korean War and charge US with genocide. Surely, if a nation bombs Israel like that and if the war wiped out 25% of Israelis, I'm sure Jews would call it the second Holocaust. But Norks are too proud and stupid to cleverly play the role of 'victim' in the eyes of the world. So, it gets no pity.

    As for Sous -- pronounced Sows -- , they prefer not to discuss US role in dividing Korea like a cake with USSR. Never mind US was mostly supportive of Japanese colonization of Korea and only became accidental 'liberators' due to war with Japan. Never mind US plan to have Soviets enter and take half. Never mind US green-lighting of Nork attack by declaring to the world it will not defend the South. Never mind the massive bombings that killed who-knows-how-many Nork, who were fellow Kors to Sous and became the 'enemy' only because US gave north to Stalin. South Korean politics developed under the umbrella of US. The narrative says US is big brother, big uncle, big father, big friend, big savior, etc. US is great master, South Korea must be loyal dog.

    For a long time, the left in Korea was much like left in Japan. Stupidly blind to communist tyranny and thus discredited itself with association with radicalism, and this made it easy for the 'right' to label it as 'commie' or 'red'. But nowadays, esp with rise of democracy, even the 'left' has become worshipful of all things US. In the past, US was seen as supporter of military regime. Now, US is seen as inspiration for all things 'progressive', like 'diversity' and homo stuff.

    Of course, much of 'leftist' psychology is less about specific causes or needy people than about how certain issues can be hyped and sensationalized so that 'liberal' or 'leftist' elites can feel good about themselves. It's a kind of narcissism. Most of these 'leftists' don't have skin-in-the-game(as Nassim Taleb means it). They just like to point to some 'injustice', take selfies of themselves in association to the cause, and feel good about themselves. It's like Hanoi Jane was all about Jane. It was about 'me Jane save the world'. It's the self-righteous supremacist at the center of the photo with the 'cause' as fuzzy backdrop. After all, when it comes to Clooney and Sudan, no one really cares about Sudan. Celebrity-worshiping fans think "Clooney is so great because he cares about what's going on in Sudan."

    North Koreans are too ‘proud’ to depict themselves as victims of history.

    My guess is that they do, but who in the West would give much air time to that? NBC, Fox, CNN? Don’t think so.

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  110. Bach says:
    @Anonymous
    Pure Baloney by the author.

    North Korea has needlessly brought this crisis about.

    No one was going to attack North Korea. Not the US, Not South Korea. Not Japan.

    To have attacked North Korea was to bring in China, which no country wanted to happen.

    North Korea has provoked the entire thing, and South Korea and the region are simply reacting.

    China is to blame because it could have stopped the North Korean loonies years ago.

    The US is at fault for a lot but the US is not to blame for this.

    Should the US be in South Korea? Maybe not.

    But please don't defend these nutcase North Koreans.

    No one was going to attack North Korea.

    I think that’s what Saddam said. He said he didn’t believe the US would actually invade.

    You speak too much from your own perspective. Put your feet in their shoes for a minute. Consider the arc of history from the early 20th century to the present and what they have gone through.

    For them, the war has NEVER ENDED.

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  111. @SumDood
    "Not having any idea what you mean by “socialist” or “left wing”,"

    ...And thus you reveal yourself to be a doubletalking troll, unserious about the issues you prattle on about.

    Dood, I’m unsure too. Every time some sort of socialism is tried it gets nobbled by the US before it has a chance. Even Australia, a supposed ally, had it’s Prime Minister (Gough Whitlam) deposed for daring to put the interests of the greater society before the interests of capital and foreign corporations.

    I think that’s what socialism means actually, putting the interests of the general populace, society, first. I’m sure it would have it’s faults too but it was tried somewhat in Libya and they had the highest standard of living in all of Africa.

    There’s little doubt about what capitalism is though, putting the interests of capital before all else. We can see it alive and “well” in Wall St. A few owning almost everything. Multi-million dollar bonuses to a tiny minority that produce nothing and serve only themselves while a significant number of the people couch surf, sleep in cars or in tents in parks and the sidewalks. Yes there are benefits but the cost to the society is becoming unbearable for a great many.

    Why not have the best of both?

    Read More
    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
    Nosey,

    The America-Israel Empire does put capital profit first.

    Please look closely at the beneficiary of the warmongering talk indulged by Donald Trump and Kim Il Jong. Who benefits?

    I intuit that neither are "crazy" nor "incompetent." Such tags are for fans of the Corporate Media.

    Beneficiaries are the military arm of the sleeping T.P.P. and inevitable eastward "pivot."
    Such Empire military moves are observable including "boots-on-the-Asian-ground."

    Unspeakable for the "Media" is that Donald Trump needs the mad man dictator (Kim) just like George W. Bush needed the evil "Sad-dam" back during the Spring of 2003.

    We must avoid being misled by the "crooked Media's" theater displays. Uh, did not Trump say so on campaign trail, heavily covered by the Corporate Media? Pinch me, Nosey?

    Danke schon.
  112. Bach says:
    @Grandpa Charlie
    Beefcake at #46 asked me to explain "how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?" I took that as a serious question that has an answer (not a rhetorical question), so I responded at #69, beginning a heavy discussion about the topic that Beefcake has brought up. At the end of my # 69, I attempted to state a foundation for the conversation, asking for Beefcake or others to respond to the question, as follows:

    That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?
     
    No one responded, so I will respond to myself. Here's how I answer the question:

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression but do counterattack is like what in law is called an "affirmative defense." The effect, in a court of law, is to shift the burden of proof from plaintiff (myself when I challenge the admirers of Kim Jong-un) to the defendant (Whitney or others who want USA to abandon the Korean people). The defenders of Kim (Whitney et al.) attempt to make their burden of proof by throwing out all manner of outrageous claims to indicate that all the problems that Korea has are entirely the fault of the evil USA. I don't have to refute all these claims - I don't have to show that USA is great and good in all or any of our ME ventures and I don't have to try to show that USA has been virtuous in Korea since ever (USA has made many mistakes regarding Korea and Asia in general, and it is true that USA's puppet Syngman Rhee committed crimes against humanity) - because Whitney et al. still has the burden of proof about Korea and they haven't come close to satisfying that on any standard of proof that I know of. Further, I have found and noted absurdities in the claims made by Whitney et al.

    So that's where I start about responsibilities of USA in Korea -- yes, USA has made many mistakes in Korea but overall, USA has been trying to contain the aggressive Communist regime in the North while allowing democracy to develop in the South ... and guess what?

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation - again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South - not, to be sure, a perfect democracy because that would amount practically to a contradiction in terms, as we (US) know full well.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people? It's because they have fought (with US) and suffered (with some of US) to contain the cruel dictatorial regime of the North (Kim-dynasty-controlled DPRK) and they have fought and suffered to establish a workable republic along the lines of true democracy. And it's also because the free Korean people have been true and courageous allies of the USA. This isn't like Iraq or Afghanistan where they all really hate us or expect USA to be an unending free gravy train ... or where they are unable to comprehend what freedom and democracy constitute in practice .... or where they are all just waiting for us to turn our backs so that they can stab us or slit our throats.

    Call me a conservative, because I really do believe that history means something, maybe it means everything.

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression

    That’s a good one.

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).

    So, you divide a country and accuse one side of aggression?

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation – again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South

    Right, as a result of their sacrifice, but no thanks to the US, which bequeathed them a military dictatorship.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people

    What defense? America helped destroy Korea and continues to prevent natural reconciliation between the two sides because it won’t stop interfering and sabre rattling.

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    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
    Hey Bach,

    As you might know, President Trump "made a deal" where S. Korea bought billion$ of U.S. weapons.

    Please consider that "Crazy" Kim is helping feed the ZUSA Military-Industrial-Security Complex
    and also, the Goldman Sachs investment "pivot" East.

    Thank you!
  113. Erebus says:
    @SumDood
    "Not having any idea what you mean by “socialist” or “left wing”,"

    ...And thus you reveal yourself to be a doubletalking troll, unserious about the issues you prattle on about.

    So, can you name the 3 countries, or not?
    If not, can you at least define what you mean by “socialist” and “left-wing”?
    If you can’t, perhaps you’d be able to define “right-wing”?

    Or do you prefer to spew, seriously as you will, bizarre discontinuous “thoughts” (for lack of a better word) at random in support of your equally bizarre “arguments” (cf).

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  114. @NoseytheDuke
    Dood, I'm unsure too. Every time some sort of socialism is tried it gets nobbled by the US before it has a chance. Even Australia, a supposed ally, had it's Prime Minister (Gough Whitlam) deposed for daring to put the interests of the greater society before the interests of capital and foreign corporations.

    I think that's what socialism means actually, putting the interests of the general populace, society, first. I'm sure it would have it's faults too but it was tried somewhat in Libya and they had the highest standard of living in all of Africa.

    There's little doubt about what capitalism is though, putting the interests of capital before all else. We can see it alive and "well" in Wall St. A few owning almost everything. Multi-million dollar bonuses to a tiny minority that produce nothing and serve only themselves while a significant number of the people couch surf, sleep in cars or in tents in parks and the sidewalks. Yes there are benefits but the cost to the society is becoming unbearable for a great many.

    Why not have the best of both?

    Nosey,

    The America-Israel Empire does put capital profit first.

    Please look closely at the beneficiary of the warmongering talk indulged by Donald Trump and Kim Il Jong. Who benefits?

    I intuit that neither are “crazy” nor “incompetent.” Such tags are for fans of the Corporate Media.

    Beneficiaries are the military arm of the sleeping T.P.P. and inevitable eastward “pivot.”
    Such Empire military moves are observable including “boots-on-the-Asian-ground.”

    Unspeakable for the “Media” is that Donald Trump needs the mad man dictator (Kim) just like George W. Bush needed the evil “Sad-dam” back during the Spring of 2003.

    We must avoid being misled by the “crooked Media’s” theater displays. Uh, did not Trump say so on campaign trail, heavily covered by the Corporate Media? Pinch me, Nosey?

    Danke schon.

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  115. @Bach

    What happens when we are the victims of aggression
     
    That's a good one.

    (1) We, with enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South, have been successful in containment of the aggressive Communist regime (Kim dynasty, installed by Stalin years ago but continuing today as a cruel 1984-style dictatorship).
     
    So, you divide a country and accuse one side of aggression?

    (2) Our allies in the South (Republic of Korea, or ROK) have been successful in establishing a democratic nation – again thanks to enormous sacrifice and dedication on the part of the Korean people in the South
     
    Right, as a result of their sacrifice, but no thanks to the US, which bequeathed them a military dictatorship.

    So, there is a big part of an answer to the question, why or how is USA responsible for the defense of the free Korean people
     
    What defense? America helped destroy Korea and continues to prevent natural reconciliation between the two sides because it won't stop interfering and sabre rattling.

    Hey Bach,

    As you might know, President Trump “made a deal” where S. Korea bought billion$ of U.S. weapons.

    Please consider that “Crazy” Kim is helping feed the ZUSA Military-Industrial-Security Complex
    and also, the Goldman Sachs investment “pivot” East.

    Thank you!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bach

    Please consider that “Crazy” Kim is helping feed the ZUSA Military-Industrial-Security Complex
     
    Well, that's for sure.

    Trump said he was going to "make America great again". His voters probably didn't realize he meant making the MIC great again: richer, bigger and stronger than ever before.
  116. Bach says:
    @ChuckOrloski
    Hey Bach,

    As you might know, President Trump "made a deal" where S. Korea bought billion$ of U.S. weapons.

    Please consider that "Crazy" Kim is helping feed the ZUSA Military-Industrial-Security Complex
    and also, the Goldman Sachs investment "pivot" East.

    Thank you!

    Please consider that “Crazy” Kim is helping feed the ZUSA Military-Industrial-Security Complex

    Well, that’s for sure.

    Trump said he was going to “make America great again”. His voters probably didn’t realize he meant making the MIC great again: richer, bigger and stronger than ever before.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
    Hey Bach,

    Good thinking.

    If you can, please google-search Salena Zito' s latest article, "Remembering history with Herbert Hoover." A fascinating work.

    He was a poor little Quaker lad, orphaned at 9, failed college entrance exam, was not a General, he became a geologist / engineer, and no Roy Cohn was around to give POTUS candidate Hoover a crack at having a Resorts International franchise.

    Although brought to us by ideologue Norman Lear, I can understand why Edith and Archie Bunker swooned (out of key) about the Herbert Hoover story as the best of America.

    Thanks!
  117. Interesting article in the WSJ. Apparently the young fat Kim is more competent than his father and is more successful in developing the technology.

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  118. @Bach

    Please consider that “Crazy” Kim is helping feed the ZUSA Military-Industrial-Security Complex
     
    Well, that's for sure.

    Trump said he was going to "make America great again". His voters probably didn't realize he meant making the MIC great again: richer, bigger and stronger than ever before.

    Hey Bach,

    Good thinking.

    If you can, please google-search Salena Zito’ s latest article, “Remembering history with Herbert Hoover.” A fascinating work.

    He was a poor little Quaker lad, orphaned at 9, failed college entrance exam, was not a General, he became a geologist / engineer, and no Roy Cohn was around to give POTUS candidate Hoover a crack at having a Resorts International franchise.

    Although brought to us by ideologue Norman Lear, I can understand why Edith and Archie Bunker swooned (out of key) about the Herbert Hoover story as the best of America.

    Thanks!

    Read More
  119. Tom in AZ says:
    @Grandpa Charlie
    People, including Whitney, ignore how completely unreasonable are the preconditions for any negotiations, as stated in the China-Russia joint statement on the Korean situation: USA/ROK must not merely allow Kim the power to dictate to them where and when their armed forces are allowed to be, but the precondition actually is that USA must abandon the ROK completely. pull all USA forces out, and leave the Korean people at the mercy of whatever Kim has in store for them! Whitney and those he has influenced find that "precondition" to be reasonable, but I do not. That position reminds of when Israel sets preconditions for Palestine for any negotiation, say, over the "settlements" in heretofore Arab areas, you know, like, first before we talk about expansion of settlements you must agree to allow construction of new settlements to continue. Same kind of thing with Kim's precondition before any negotiations can begin! It's absurd, it's irrational and - taken in the context of all that has happened since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took over - it's insulting.

    Yet Whitney wants us to believe that the precondition that USA forces leave totally and completely - thus abandoning the Korean people - is oh so reasonable that he can only conclude that USA is, as usual, exposed once again as the heart of evil in this world. Myself, I think that it is evil or misguided for USA to have gotten involved in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, etc., but I also think it would be evil or misguided to surrender to Kim (who is evil) and abandon the Korean people (who had no part in 9-11) and pretend that we (US) bears no responsibility for the Korean situation today.

    Here's the Big Lie that underpins all of Whitney's propaganda: Kim Jong-un rationally needs nukes because otherwise he would be taken out somehow. He needs nukes because USA has nukes and look what has happened to countries that did not have nukes. But what Whitney neglects to mention is that just as the ROK needs no nukes because it has USA to take care of that, so DPRK needs no nukes because it has PRC to take care of that for them. Would anyone be demanding that the Syrian government be allowed to develop nukes because it needs to defend against USA, if Syria were as tight with China and next door to China, integrated militarily with China ... would anyone ever suggest that Syria must be allowed to deploy nukes?

    That's how absurd Whitney and y'all are when you judge Kim Jong-un to be "rational" for developing nukes to be able to threaten and ultimately control the Korean people, steal the wealth of the South ... yeah, I guess that's "rational," just like it's "rational" for an inner city gang to pull off a home invasion of your next door neighbor and steal everything because, you know, the neighborhood needs to avoid antagonizing this gang so that we won't all be terrorized by them.

    And by the way, for USA to pull out of the South as a precondition of talking to Kim about USA pulling out of the South ... does that resemble anything rational to you ... or does it resemble cowardice and dishonor and just plain stupidity?

    Nice bait and switch you pulled there, Gramps. The condition they want for talks is for us and S. Korea to stop with the yearly invasion practice we hold. Which is what our exercise actually is and not some DOD ‘Pearly Precision’ maneuvers or other quaint name they stick on that pig for lipstick.

    And, if we hadn’t installed the murderous regime in SK after WW2, which was killing over 100k of its own people, maybe they would trust us a bit more. Of course we had to break our promise to those who helped against Japan, then kill 2-3 million of them when they decided not to take it lying down.

    Sort of like giving Vietnam back to the French, after promising ol’ Ho they would have independence.

    But, what the heck. They were commies.

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  120. Anan says:

    Russia and China are pushing for talks with North Korea, but their proposal for a freeze on Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests in exchange for suspending US-South Korean military drills has been rejected by the United States.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-softens-n-korea-resolution-ahead-un-vote-081421298.html

    South Korea has no say on this?

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  121. Jon Orton says:
    @Grandpa Charlie
    'Beefcake the Mighty' asks me to "coherently explain how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?"

    That's a good question and a legitimate one. First off, it's a little like the old idea that if you rescue a drowning man, pull him out of the ocean, then he becomes your responsibility from then on. That might or might not make sense to you, but the answer to your question has to be somewhat - although far from entirely - along those lines.

    Going way back, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Untied States at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, in the largest sea-air offensive the world had ever seen, at a distance from the Japanese home ports to the objective in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) of more than anyone had ever thought possible. It was a tremendously successful surprise attack and one that Kim Jong-un would no doubt be very proud of, if he could pull it off. At that point, we could have surrendered to Japan or "sued for peace" to find out what Japan might demand of us ... but we didn't do that, the United States Army Air Forces responded with the Doolittle Raid, by way of letting the Japanese Empire know what to expect coming out of their surprise attack and declaration of war against the United States. From that point on, the responsibility that USA acquired flows out of the decision to retaliate against Japan, declaring it a war on them that could only end in unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire (or of the USA, if we lost).

    Google 'Doolittle Raid', you'll find it interesting. Be sure to check out this URL -

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/

    Since early in the 20th Century, Korea as well as Manchuria and much of other parts of China were under the boot of the Japanese invaders, the Japanese colonial power. (One of the most horrible "holocausts" of all time was the genocidal Rape of Nanking (1937) when Japanese troops were encouraged or even ordered to go door to door, looking for Chinese girls, etc. You can look it up.) Also in 1937, Japan attacked "the American gunboat Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now spelled Nanjing), China on 12 December 1937. Japan and the United States were not at war at the time. The Japanese claimed that they did not see the American flags painted on the deck of the gunboat, apologized, and paid an indemnity. Nevertheless, the attack and [a subsequent incident involving Japanese insulting behavior toward US 'Consul-General John Allison, Consul-General in Nanking, plus the Rape of Nanking itself] caused U.S. opinion to turn against the Japanese." (From Wikipedia article, 'USS Panay Incident'.)

    Now, the question is: if we are attacked, so we are not the aggressor, do we bear responsibility for the consequences of a war, just because we retaliated when we were attacked and took the war on as a battle to the death? In general, when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events? Much depends on Beefcake's (or others') reply to that question, so I will stop here to allow Beefcake (or others, if any) to respond. Responsibility never can be easy, but that's what Beefcake wants to know: "how it’s the American government’s responsibility (and by extension, American citizens’ responsibility) to protect Koreans?" That is the underlying premise of my remarks about the current Korean situation, just as Beefcake has noted: USA and we the people of the USA have a responsibility to the Korean people. True or False? Or, how much responsibility do we have for Korea, and why?

    But I want to start by considering the general moral question: when we are attacked such that we feel that we have no choice but to retaliate, how much responsibility do we bear and for what events?

    Kudos for ‘Untied States’, Grandpa.

    Very true and in it’s own way like ‘Intaxication’ which is the sense of euphoria you feel after getting a tax refund – which lasts for just as long as it takes for you to realise that it was your money in the first place.

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  122. Erebus says:

    For anyone still reading this thread, here’s an aerial look at that “Potemkin Village” the N. Koreans erected to bamboozle naive Westerners. Hell of a village, that Pyongyang: https://sputniknews.com/videoclub/201709091057240465-flight-over-pyongyang-video/

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