Are we going to war with NK?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion & War Issues' started by latbear4blk, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. bigjoey

    bigjoey Duke

    National Review “One principal lesson of the Gulf War is that, if a state intends to fight the United States, it should avoid doing so until and unless it possesses nuclear weapons.

    Interesting piece at the link. Frightening "worse case" possibility and the danger of President Trump who is immature and clearly not responsible enough for the job.
    WilliamM likes this.
  2. jjkrkwood

    jjkrkwood Regent

    If our troops go off to War, I recommend their uniforms make a statement ! Right Trump and VP Pence ?

  3. Oaktown

    Oaktown Count

    President Tiny Fingers will build a dome over Guam and North Korea will pay for it.
  4. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    Unfortunately, I can't.

    I'm a whore, but I have principles.

    The first part qualifies me for Congress. The second part disqualifies me.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
    Chuckball and honcho like this.
  5. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    Thanks for the compliment Chuckball.

    I think Ignatius nailed it in this article.

    Right now, we should be Americans first, partisans second.

    Even more so, Ignatius is saying that the burden to be good global citizens rests on the US and China. If the US and China can ally, this could serve the cause of peace. If not, all bets are off.

    Right now I hope Trump and Xi both act like wise adults.
  6. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    I noticed the same. Trump does best when he is perceived as being strong for America. This falls into that category.

    This is rocket science. This is one of the biggest and most complicated challenges the world faces.

    You have to at least give Trump credit for nuance. He is playing the bad cop to Nikki Haley's voice of reason. And the goal is to get China to act.

    I'm betting that the future that's most likely is a North Korea with nukes and more nuclear proliferation. That's not a victory. This is one where I hope to the core of my being that Trump wins.

    I have to say this again. In the best case scenario, we reach an agreement to slow down or stop nukes in North Korea. Can Trump really be for that and against exactly the same thing with Iran? Maybe, but that's a hard sell. The best outcome with North Korea is also the best outcome with Iran
    quoththeraven likes this.
  7. Smurof

    Smurof Lord

    I'm sure North Korea would never be that stupid to go to war against the United States. Nothing short of pathetic that the leader of that country is making threats regarding Guam. It's even more crazy to me that Trump's approval rating has skyrocketed as a result of this nonsense. We'll never know who is really pulling the World-wide political strings from day to day.
  8. jjkrkwood

    jjkrkwood Regent

    Get a Room fellas.......


    Lookin likes this.
  9. Lookin

    Lookin "Bestower of Forgiveness"

  10. Kenny

    Kenny Marquess

    Haven't heard a peep from that ol' bigot lately. :eek:
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  11. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    Interesting and depressing article about the twisted but arguably brilliant logic of North Korea's nuclear strategy. The guy makes a lot of good points about hoe well North Korea has played the world for a long time.

    He also makes an interesting point: that it could be in North Korea's interest to be close to having nukes, but also stop short - much like Iran has. Arguably, it gives them great leverage to negotiate, and prevents the possibility of being attacked.

    I think the guy is right that war is less likely to be the result of calculation and more likely to be the result of miscalculation. The idea that you can use incendiary rhetoric with things like nukes, and know exactly where "the red line" is, is a very risky idea. Kim could just push it too far.
    Charlie, quoththeraven and nynakedtop like this.
  12. nynakedtop

    nynakedtop Viscount

    It’s difficult for us to separate out the real Kim Jong-un from the omnipresent media caricatures tailor-made to reaffirm North Korea’s bogeyman status. This rich and racist tradition of foreign policy journalism drinks deeply of “nuclear orientalism” — essentially, the idea that our nuclear monarchs are calm and rational while those in the East are inscrutable, impulsive, and dangerous.

    Contrary to the prevailing narrative, Kim Jong-un is not a madman, and is certainly a more rational actor than his American foil. The increasingly popular idea that Honolulu or Seattle should be reviving duck-and-cover drills or digging public fallout shelters in anticipation of a North Korean first strike is frankly ridiculous. Launching a “bolt from the blue” against the United States, Japan, or anyone else for that matter would be suicidal for the DPRK leadership. Any nuclear attack would be met by a devastating flurry of counter-strikes from the US, whose military resources — nuclear and otherwise — are so superior to North Korea’s that it’s rather silly to even compare the two. The DPRK nuclear weapons program is worrisome, but it exists because the government is terrified of regime change — an outcome Kim Jong-un has legitimate reason to fear, given US actions in Iraq and Libya.

    The real danger — the one that definitely exists right now — is that the two countries could unintentionally reignite the Korean War. The situation has been extraordinarily tense for months, and Trump’s bellicose comments are exactly the sort of thing that could turn a heated environment into, well, “fire and fury” in a heartbeat. If the president issues something that sounds like a threat, it might be interpreted precisely as such, pushing the other side to take preemptive action in anticipation of an immediate attack.

    In a less inflammatory environment, such remarks might be dismissed by the North as merely intemperate and ill-considered. But air strikes and regime change are bandied about in the US media, and some public figures with the president’s ear have taken a stridently hawkish pose against North Korea.

    In the past two weeks, Lindsey Graham and former Bush administration official John Bolton both publicly endorsed military action against the DPRK. Their statements shared a disturbing premise: that American lives are inherently more valuable than Korean lives, whether in the South or the North. Bolton spoke of an inherent American right to overrule even the wishes of the South Korean government, arguing that “no foreign government, even a close ally, can veto an action to protect Americans from Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons.”Graham’s comments were similarly nationalistic, arguing that it was better to have thousands “die over there” than have Americans face the remote risk of a North Korean strike. He also implied the president was on board with his plan.

    With rhetoric like that making the rounds, US bombers regularly flying over the peninsula, military exercises on the horizon, and Trump blustering about turning the North into a sea of fire, could you really blame Pyongyang for being a little paranoid?

    Americans terrified of the Trumpocalypse are, at least abstractly, invested in preserving peace. But for this feeling to become politically potent, it must be transformed into a deep sense of solidarity — with South Koreans, with North Koreans, and with all common people fighting for peace on the peninsula. This would mean refusing the jingoism of Graham and Bolton, yes, but also rejecting the idea that diplomacy can only occur between ruling elites. Wresting diplomacy from elite control is an admittedly lofty goal, as is moving those frightened by nuclear terror to international solidarity. But Americans who fear Trump’s finger on the button are halfway to a transformative recognition — that those who desire peace, wherever they are located, are united in a single struggle.
  13. Just to add an article about what we know about Kim Jong Un (precious little), which leaves us deducing something from results. With similar elite upbringings and a sense of power, which of the two of them has actually accomplished more? Other than sowing chaos and hatred endangering an important alliance and leaving an opening for other countries to materially benefit from a leadership vacuum, and using the presidency to line his and his family's pockets, confirming a Supreme Court nominee and keeping his base fired up is about the extent of it.

    If Kim were as irrational and changeable as Trump, North Korea would likely not have progressed as far as it has in its quest to develop and arm warheads to deter a US invasion or preemptive strike.
    Charlie and pitman like this.
  14. jjkrkwood

    jjkrkwood Regent

    The difference between the 2 men is that Kim Jung is SMART, and Trump is only LUCKY.....
  15. pitman

    pitman Viscount

    Sounds like Cheney's One Percent Doctrine, which was used to justify the 2nd Iraq war. That hasn't worked out too well, but Graham has apparently learned nothing from that fiasco.
    nynakedtop likes this.
  16. Charlie

    Charlie Peer

    North Korea has long been a political gold mine for China, because it has deflected American attention from China's own nuclear capabilities. China plays the serious, adult older brother, whom the US assumes can control the reckless younger brother. American officials see China as a mature peer, who can be counted on to prevent the crazy Kim from doing something that will screw up everything for everyone. The question is: does China really have the influence on Kim that the Americans and Chinese believe it has?
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  17. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    Actually, I'd argue this is more like the 100 % Doctrine.

    I was vehemently against the Iraq War, and the crazy "illogic" of Cheney's One Percent Doctrine. So I'm trying hard to avoid knee jerk "if Trump is for it I'm against it" reactions. Saddam denied he had WMD. Kim is doing the opposite: he is proudly exclaiming he is gonna get WMD and fry us all to death.

    Usually I don't read the WSJ because they have a paywall, but I was flying a few days ago and got a copy in the lounge, and they had two really good op/Ed pieces on this. One was by Kissinger. I thought it was very much like the David Ignatius article from the Post, that made very good sense. Like Charlie just said, it boils down to China. Kissinger argued that we need to align with China and more or less act as one, if we can. Whether we can agree on that is of course the question. But Kissinger argued, I think correctly, that if there is anything that can move Kim, it is having the two most powerful countries in the world acting as one and putting pressure on him to stop.

    I don't even know who the other article was written by, but he played out to the extreme Lindsey Graham's argument, and argued that if we are not careful, we will completely alienate Asia. The jist of the argument is that if we provoke a war that kills millions of Asians because we are worried about being a potential target, it clearly puts our fear above the reality of millions of Koreans dying, and that may go down very badly all across Asia. The guy argued that in a situation like that China could literally force Kim to ally with South Korea, unify, and form an anti-US alliance with China as the Asian anchor, because we'd be perceived as the bad actors who were were to fry Asians "over there." It took this argument to the extreme, I thought, but it was interesting in that it is a sort of anti-war argument that I would not expect to see in the WSJ, issuing a warning against doing geopolitically dumb shit. And this article definitely assumed that China has the ability to essentially order Kim around, right or wrong.

    Where it all comes back to for me is China, China, China, and the more I read the more I feel we need to view them as an ally and work as one to secure a more stable and non-nuclear future that is in the common interests of both countries.

    The final thing Kissinger mentioned, somewhat obtusely, is that Kim has credibility in his own country to lose by giving up nukes. It wasn't exactly clear to me what he meant, but I think his point is that in a country run by generals and a military machine, you don't get ahead by looking weak.

    I don't know we know for sure why Saddam didn't simply let the UN in and "prove" he had no WMD, but one theory I've read is that he had to worry about being overthrown if he appeared weak in a confrontation with the US. And he gambled that Russia or France would stop W. from invading at the UN. So there is a parallel there, I think. North Korea may be gambling that ultimately the US is checkmated, because we can't launch a first strike, and China and the US won't really ally against Kim. And if I read Kissinger right, Kim's worst fear may be the end of his little family dynasty if he appears weak and the generals turn on him.

    So it makes it all the more complicated if not impossible to solve, but it also all adds up to the idea that China and the US are the hinge in this.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  18. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    The other kind of war that no one is talking about is "trade war." Trump being Trump, meaning crass and blunt, he is throwing around the word "trade" a lot.

    It seems like another area where it is just very complicated, if not impossible. If there is anyplace we have non-military leverage, it is that neither China nor the US will benefit if we get into a trade war with China and it slows down the global economy or throws it into a recession. But we are in a position to actually do that, and Trump seems to be threatening it. In other words, if China doesn't play ball with us to set up a peaceful economy that is not threatened by crazy little nuclear tyrants like Kim, we'll just turn the engine of the economy off and have a nice little trade war. It is an idea that actually makes more sense to me, in that involves pain, but not the military kind, and it means both the US and China suffer based on our inability to cooperate and make the world a more stable place. Of course, neither China nor the US want a global recession, so there is no reason to think Trump would start a trade war to really call the question with China.

    Kim also has the trump card on this, because one thing he does seem to be immune from is a fucked up economy. His economy is already a mess, and to the extent it works it works because of inordinate military spending. So the dynamics of this are all twisted, because North Korea is on a weird track where military spending and solutions actually are the better outcome for them, and they don't have to worry as much about things like democracy and jobs.
  19. Lookin

    Lookin "Bestower of Forgiveness"

    Found this two-year-old Vanity Fair article in which the author admits how hard it is to know anything for sure about Kim Jong Un, and then proceeds to give it his best shot. I found it interesting and learned, among other things, why Kim III (as the author calls him) is so fat, how he and Dennis Rodman became besties, and what keeps him in such firm control of his people.


    The few attempts to characterize the Korean people were the most interesting for me. I didn't know, for example, that they have never known anything except absolute rule. Nor that they are firm believers in Korean racial superiority. Nor that they have a world-class, though underutilized, ski resort.


    And even a roller coaster.


    After reading the article, I had trouble imagining a North Korea without Kim Jong Un, even though there must be lots of folks inside the country who find him as big a pain in the ass as do those of us outside the country.

    I'm sure, though, that people are people and that we'll find a way to interact should the country ever become more open. But I think it will take those with a great gift for diplomacy to guide the process. And that, unfortunately, leaves our current administration out.

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  20. stevenkesslar

    stevenkesslar Marquess

    That's a really good article, and we should be thoughtful and diplomatic.

    But the path of diplomacy hasn't worked under Clinton, Bush or Obama. It may be the least bad solution, but it has led to a stronger military and nuclearization in North Korea. So "strategic patience" has limits, and I get impatient with the notion that poor Krazy Kim is just a misunderstood autocrat.

    He's hardly being a diplomat or a democrat, either. He's a tyrant and if he wants nothing but peace and prosperity, he's sure hiding it well. If you are a threat, you'll be killed. If you are a peacemaker or diplomat, he'll take advantage of your weakness. That's how the regime seems to work. The article itself confirms he seems to be an effective and lethal dictator.

    I think the real need for deep and effective diplomacy is with China. Because if China and the US really try to get Kim to pursue a less aggressive course, he is going to throw a tantrum at first. The scariest point in Kissinger's article is that in Kim's world diplomacy and peacemaking can be taken as a sign of weakness. So arguably Kim cutting a deal with China and the US is actually more of an existential threat to him than having nuclear weapons.

    That's the problem with having an economy that relies so heavily on the military and weapons. Eventually it just makes it more likely you are going to want to actually use them.

    The good news in that article is that his goal does seem to be more prosperity for North Korea, and he is relatively effective in making life better for many North Koreans. China and the US are in a position to contain North Korea for a long time in a way that creates growth if they cooperate and blocks growth through boycotts and other measures if they pursue military paths that everyone else feels threatened by.