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Trump and North Korea


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Well, blah,blah,blah........

 

Anyway.....

 

I have never seen two heads of state that were SO similar in attitude and level of immaturity exist simultaneously on the world stage.  Both Parrumph and Dim sum Dung( or whatever) seem more wrapped up in PROVING to each other, themselves and their people at how "tough" they can be with total disregard of the possible devastating consequences.  It's too much like a presentation of "Lord Of The Flies" than two world "leaders"  working in their respective countries' best interests.

 

 

Sepiatone

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The prior 3 administrations did lie when they said 'all options are on the table',  if going to war was never one of the options.

 

Anyhow,  it appears a majority of folks at this forum are willing accept N.K. having nukes.  

 

What I wonder is:  Is this a change in your (as well as others) stance or did you always believe that the USA had no business trying to impose conditions on N.K.  E.g. you have been against sanctions for over 20 years?  

 

(Note:  Trying to get a nation to voluntarily agree to the non-proliferation-nuke pack is wise foreign policy,  but when a nation refuses,  what should the US do,  if anything,  is the policy stance question).

 

They didn't really lie... and it goes all the way back to 1945.

 

The nuclear option has remained part of the U.S. military strategy since it's inception.

The U.S. has always reserved the option of a "First Use" preemptive nuclear strike. We have never agreed to a No First Use policy with anyone.

Still, going to war should always be the option of absolute last resort, when all else has failed.

 

No First Use (NFU) refers to a pledge or a policy by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons.

Earlier, the concept had also been applied to chemical and biologic warfare.

 

So in spite of the lip service of being against a nuclear war, we are among a very few nations who reserve the right to start one.

 

Interestingly, even that "lunatic" in North Korea made a NFU pledge.

In 2016, Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea would "not use nuclear weapons first unless aggressive hostile forces use nuclear weapons to invade on our sovereignty."

Although before and since that "pledge" he has threatened a pre-emptive attack against the United States using nuclear weapons.

So he is just as confusing in his mechanisms as the dufus that we have over here.

 

I apologize in advance for  b u t ting  into you and Darg's conversation, but I would like to share something with you that is hopefully relevant.

 

When my daughter and I used to have those early sex talks, I consistently preached abstinence as the best policy, because my desire was to protect her. 

I did that for as long as it was practical.

When she finally shared with me that she was beginning to experiment with sex, I had to quickly back pedal, and my stance became prophylactic oriented.

Since I could no longer prevent her from having sex. The goal was to minimize the dangers associated with it.

I still just wanted to protect her.

 

Now that may not have been the best way for a father to handle this subject with their child, but I share it as an analogy of how our goal can remain constant, while our methodology may change.

 

Many of us whom are against nuclear proliferation believe that the best thing is abstinence. We wish that nukes had never been invented, and that no nation possessed them, not even ourselves.

We support almost any measure to prevent their spread (this side of a nuclear war).  However, once a nation already has them, it has been the ongoing policy since 1949, to find a way to co-exist with the situation, while minimizing the negative potential.

 

We have reactively tried many different methodologies that just seem to lead us further down a "slippery" slope to eventual doomsday.

i.e. a posture of one-up-man-ship lead to escalation and created a nuclear arms race between us and the Soviets with ever more devastating potential.

Though we have been able to slow proliferation down somewhat, through various means, it has proven impossible to prevent any nation from eventually acquiring nuclear capability if they had the ability and were bent upon doing so.

 

So yes, it is possible for persons to support all manor of sanctions, and then switch their methodology to one of tolerance, after the deed has been done. The ideology hasn't changed, just the methodology.

 

As has been already discussed, there are only a handful of options available to prevent the acquisition.

But after a nation possesses nukes, then the goal becomes one of preventing or detering their use, without initiating or provoking a nuclear war, which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place.

So Finding some way to Co-exist with the new potential threat appears to be the most sensible option, while not negating the use of any diplomatic means to show the other side that there is wisdom in disarming.

Unfortunately, our history has provided examples where that may not in fact be the wise thing to do.

So we have to be very, very careful of our own actions, as a nation, to not appear contradictory on such things which only encourages more nations to "obtain their own nuclear deterrent" against our perceived nuclear threat. 

 

Most of us, when we think about it, find the idea of a nuclear gun being in the house to be a pretty scary thing.

Even scarier when a neighbor has one. Scarier still when that neighbor appears to be erratic.

Rather than the potential of having a nuclear gun held to our head, most would agree to practically any method of disarming a potential threat. But if in the act of disarming you create the action that you are trying to avoid, then nothing good is accomplished.

 

So again, we are back to the methodology that we applied with the former Soviet Union, that if any nation attacks us or "ours" they will be met with overwhelming retaliation. This prophylactic is certainly not fool proof. And we may eventually suffer consequences for using it. But for now, it sadly appears to be the best method that we have for preventing the unthinkable.

 

There are many unpleasant things in life that we are exposed to. Some we can control, many that we cannot.

The rational person learns to deal with the first and accept the latter.

 

Perhaps you are familiar with the Serenity Prayer, it seems appropriate to mention it here.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

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I apologize in advance for  b u t ting  into you and Darg's conversation, 

 

Hell Stephan! You have absolutely NOTHING to apologize about here...at least to ME anyway.

 

And 'cause you have not only excellently stated my thoughts on this subject and how on my best day I would or might have replied to James, BUT you've done it a whole lot better than I probably EVER could have anyway, dude!

 

(...especially loved the analogy you used about your daughter's sex life, and which would now lead us to the thought that just as in the use of the term "a little pregnant" being a case of the classic oxymoron, so too would the term "a little nuclear war", huh!) ;)

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.

We have reactively tried many different methodologies that just seem to lead us further down a "slippery" slope to eventual doomsday.

i.e. a posture of one-up-man-ship lead to escalation and created a nuclear arms race between us and the Soviets with ever more devastating potential.

Though we have been able to slow proliferation down somewhat, through various means, it has proven impossible to prevent any nation from eventually acquiring nuclear capability if they had the ability and were bent upon doing so.

 

 

Thanks for your reply but I don't see where you address the actual question I asked;   It was NOT about if the US (or any country) should use Nukes first.

 

It was:  Should the US go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   YES or NO.

 

It has been the policy of the USA that YES,   we would go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   (again, conventional war to PREVENT a nation from developing Nukes).      We have the same policy toward Iran and even war opposed Obama said so many times.    

 

Now it appears that this policy was just a bluff and has been for decades (even towards Iran).    I.e. that while a majority of Americans said they supported this policy they didn't really believe in it;  that when other options FAIL,  they did NOT wish for a President to go to war (conventional).

 

Note that none of the above is a defense in how Trump himself is handing the N.K. situation.  Trump is a childish clown, and unqualified to be President.

 

But if a majority of American never really wanted a President to go to war to prevent development of nukes,  than Obama should have called off the sanctions and made peace with N.K. once it became clear that war would be the only way N.K. would ever have stop developing nukes.

 

(Note I only site Obama because under GWB there was still a chance and enough time for non-war options to maybe work).

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I am herewith recreating two letters to my newspaper's "Op-Ed" page.  I will discreetly omit the letter writer's names but bear in mind each writer comes from two different cities that are both long held republican enclaves.

 

 

                                               Trump should learn to "speak softly"

 

"President Trump, in his escalating dialogue with Kim Jong Un appears to be fantasizing that he is Clint Eastwood, as Diry Harry, taunting the  North Korea  dictator without giving a second thought to the misery it will bring to thousands, even millions of innocent people.  All of this is polar opposite of republican president Teddy Roosevelt's. "Speak softly and carry a big stick."  Perhaps the important difference is that Roosevelt wore America's military uniform and witnessed war "up close and personal".

 

 

The second letter belongs more in the immigration thread, but I'm already here.....

 

                                Presidential reform too?

 

Regarding immigration reform, maybe we should develop a minimum skills based points system for presidential candidates.

 

 

 

Sepiatone

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I am herewith recreating two letters to my newspaper's "Op-Ed" page.  I will discreetly omit the letter writer's names but bear in mind each writer comes from two different cities that are both long held republican enclaves.

 

 

                                               Trump should learn to "speak softly"

 

"President Trump, in his escalating dialogue with Kim Jong Un appears to be fantasizing that he is Clint Eastwood, as Diry Harry, taunting the  North Korea  dictator without giving a second thought to the misery it will bring to thousands, even millions of innocent people.  All of this is polar opposite of republican president Teddy Roosevelt's. "Speak softly and carry a big stick."  Perhaps the important difference is that Roosevelt wore America's military uniform and witnessed war "up close and personal".

 

 

The second letter belongs more in the immigration thread, but I'm already here.....

 

                                Presidential reform too?

 

Regarding immigration reform, maybe we should develop a minimum skills based points system for presidential candidates.

 

 

 

Sepiatone

I ran into one of my elected state officials the other day.  He is Republican (there are no Democrats).  We touched very briefly on Trump.  He said that he had spoken to one of our US senators and they both agreed Trump needs to stop the comments and stop the tweets.

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I ran into one of my elected state officials the other day.  He is Republican (there are no Democrats).  We touched very briefly on Trump.  He said that he had spoken to one of our US senators and they both agreed Trump needs to stop the comments and stop the tweets.

I doan care if he stops or not. he's funny. :D

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I am herewith recreating two letters to my newspaper's "Op-Ed" page.  I will discreetly omit the letter writer's names but bear in mind each writer comes from two different cities that are both long held republican enclaves.

 

 

                                               Trump should learn to "speak softly"

 

"President Trump, in his escalating dialogue with Kim Jong Un appears to be fantasizing that he is Clint Eastwood, as Diry Harry, taunting the  North Korea  dictator without giving a second thought to the misery it will bring to thousands, even millions of innocent people.  All of this is polar opposite of republican president Teddy Roosevelt's. "Speak softly and carry a big stick."  Perhaps the important difference is that Roosevelt wore America's military uniform and witnessed war "up close and personal".

 

 

The second letter belongs more in the immigration thread, but I'm already here.....

 

                                Presidential reform too?

 

Regarding immigration reform, maybe we should develop a minimum skills based points system for presidential candidates.

 

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

As for the "big stick" argument...

 

nintchdbpict000339533803-e1500388626197.

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I doan care if he stops or not. he's funny. :D

Yeah, he's "funny" alright (as in Strange or Suspiciously Odd).

About as funny as a blinding flash of light!

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I take it that the point is that Obama is the guilty one. If so, I admire your restraint at least in not trumpeting the Obama Hate them in massively large fonts along with the usual unrelenting vitriol. If your point was the seeming sheer idiocy of the rejection with a lesser emphasis on the apparent Obama gaff, then I admire it even more. It would indicate that however bad the gaff, the overall situation is more immediately important than whose fault it was. That's very rare around here.

 

Just for accuracy, it would be interesting to see exactly how that negotiation transpired, although there is but only the slightest chance that Chomsky would misrepresent anything.

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Thanks for your reply but I don't see where you address the actual question I asked;   It was NOT about if the US (or any country) should use Nukes first.

 

It was:  Should the US go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   YES or NO.

 

It has been the policy of the USA that YES,   we would go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   (again, conventional war to PREVENT a nation from developing Nukes).      We have the same policy toward Iran and even war opposed Obama said so many times.    

 

Now it appears that this policy was just a bluff and has been for decades (even towards Iran).    I.e. that while a majority of Americans said they supported this policy they didn't really believe in it;  that when other options FAIL,  they did NOT wish for a President to go to war (conventional).

 

Note that none of the above is a defense in how Trump himself is handing the N.K. situation.  Trump is a childish clown, and unqualified to be President.

 

But if a majority of American never really wanted a President to go to war to prevent development of nukes,  than Obama should have called off the sanctions and made peace with N.K. once it became clear that war would be the only way N.K. would ever have stop developing nukes.

 

(Note I only site Obama because under GWB there was still a chance and enough time for non-war options to maybe work).

 

Oh James, James.... How quickly we do forget.

I was really hoping that someone else would pick up the baton on this one, so that I might just agree with a Like, and spare myself one of my long replies, but…. It hasn’t happened, so here I go, again…

 

Where to begin...

 

Thanks for your reply but I don't see where you address the actual question I asked;   It was NOT about if the US (or any country) should use Nukes first.

No?

 

It was:  Should the US go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   YES or NO.

If you are asking me my own personal opinion here, my answer is an open one. Depending on the actual evidence and particular set of circumstances involved.

But since my opinion and wishes, as an individual citizen, carries little to no persuasive weight in altering the powers that be from making a decision that may already be predetermined, my personal opinion is relevantly moot, wouldn’t you agree?

 

It has been the policy of the USA that YES,   we would go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   (again, conventional war to PREVENT a nation from developing Nukes).     

Not that we would imperatively go to war, but that we reserve the option to go to war (conventional or otherwise) on practically any issue that was deemed “important” enough by someone in authority to do so.

 

   We have the same policy toward Iran

True, and that war “option” still exists for us, as it does for virtually every nation on the planet.

 

….and even war opposed Obama said so many times.  

Obama only reiterated the obvious from a long standing U.S. policy that he chose not to refute. However, I do sense a little disparagement in your wording; would you prefer a warmongering president, to one that may be opposed to war?

In either event (regardless of what his personal feelings toward war may have been) I did not see Obama’s actions indicate that he opposed war any more or less than other presidents that have either kept us out, or gotten us into past wars.

 

Now it appears that this policy was just a bluff and has been for decades (even towards Iran).

Sadly, the policy is not “just a bluff” as we have gone to war (conventional) and fairly recently at that (since 2001, remember “Shock & Awe” hint, hint) under the auspices of preventing another nation from acquiring and using WMD (to include nukes).

Not sure why you repetitively single out Iran here, unless you hold some disparagement toward a diplomatic agreement that perhaps offered an alternative to repeating a recent action by the prior administration which, as we all know, worked out so very well for everyone (sarcasm).

 

... I.e. that while a majority of Americans said they supported this policy they didn't really believe in it;

I’m not sure which majority of Americans you are referring to here, and during which particular time frame.

I’ll take a chance and make an assumption that you are generally referring to Americans post 1945.

Even then using the term “Majority” is questionable. Post WW2 America was tired of war, but jubilantly not worn out from it, as practically every other industrialized nation on the planet was. We emerged as the only “untouched” major industrial power, and we had the “bomb.”

Though we certainly did not win the war alone, the war likely would not have been “won” (by the allies) without our participation. However in our nationalistic post war prideful way we saw ourselves as practically the sole heroes of the war.

Our sole possession of the “bomb” (for a time) gave us unequaled power that we jealously (albeit inadequately) guarded.

The full ramifications of the “bomb” were poorly understood, even more so by the general population. Much of our chief military viewed it as no more than a very powerful “conventional” weapon. While most of the population were told it was a device that spared hundreds of thousands of Allied lives from an extremely costly invasion of Japan (few of which questioned the rationale of whether or not an invasion of the Japanese home islands was even necessary).

 

Up until the time that other nations actually acquired the bomb for themselves, and in between those instances, there have been various polls conducted to ascertain the general populations agreement with government policies of the day.

Depending on the “poll” construct (and bias of those conducting it), then as now, results can often be skewed and questionable.

And as we all (should) know people in general, and Americans in particular can be quite fickle and transient with their support.

 

that when other options FAIL,  they did NOT wish for a President to go to war (conventional).

I think that you give the American people too much credit in determining whether a President goes to war or not.

Presidents and potential presidents (as with Congress, and practically all of our federal and state political “representatives”) give much lip service to voters when campaigning for election to, or retention of, their office. And seldom have war hawkish appearing candidates been elected to the executive office. However, after gaining that office, “Doves” have often revealed their talons, and the war was always “justified” as being unpreventable.

Even when an ambiguous “majority” either supported it or demonstrated against it, Presidents have taken us into war regardless.

 

Note: To date, the United States has had 158 Foreign "wars," since the end of the Revolution in 1783. Of these only 5 were Congressionally "Declared" wars,  153 were "Undeclared" wars. Of those, 21 were authorized by Congress (though "undeclared"), 7 were UN sanctioned wars (supported by Congress but "undeclared"), and 125 were by Presidential order alone).

 

And I am sorry to say that the only certain way know that other options have failed, is when All have been tried and the status quo remains unaltered, or after we have been attacked.

 

Note that none of the above is a defense in how Trump himself is handing the N.K. situation.

It is reassuring to know that you do not endorse his behavior, at least regarding the N.K. situation.

 

Trump is a childish clown, and unqualified to be President.

You won’t get any arguments from me opposing that statement.

 

But if a majority of American(s) (America) never really wanted a President to go to war to prevent development of nukes,

I am glad that you qualified that with an “if” however, again I think you are giving the American “people” too much persuasive credit in determining a president’s actions one way or another, after he (or she) is in the office.

 

than (then) Obama should have called off the sanctions and made peace with N.K. once it became clear that war would be the only way N.K. would ever have stop developing nukes.

Again, you appear to be fixated upon Obama as the Be-all and end-all of our current situation.

 

While I did support him in the beginning, I eventually became very disappointed with some of his actions and lack thereof, and did not vote for him a second time. I am not attempting to defend him, but I do want to place things in a proper historical context, if I can. 

 

Since 1953, there have been ten different presidents before Obama that could have made a case for and/or taken executive actions toward a more "normalized" relationship with North Korea. They all chose not to do so.

 

I do think that it would have been a step in a better direction for Obama (or any of the previous 10 presidents) to have made an effort towards more normalized relations with N.K., at the very least toward advancing from a "Cease Fire" agreement to a formal Peace Treaty. And I am one of those that think a democratically united Korea, is preferable to a hostile divided Korea.

 

However you appear to be mired in the logic that if diplomacy in general and sanctions in particular don’t appear to be working (in your perception) then the answer is either war (conventional or otherwise) or total compliance (i.e. call off all sanctions, and make some sort of "unilateral" peace).

 

One combatant can unilaterally stop fighting the other, both can agree to a “cease fire” or truce that may hopefully lead toward a formal treaty, but “peace” (especially In this day and age) must be a bilateral agreement, often reached through  t i t  for tat diplomacy.

Sanctions are only one part of the "carrot" & "stick" diplomatic arsenal.

War is (or should be) an option reserved for total diplomatic failure and as a military option of last resort. And since we have yet to actually go to war with N.K. (since 1953, that is), some would argue that it isn’t yet “clear” that all diplomacy has been exhausted, nor is it “clear” (to many of us) that war is the only way.

 

(Note I only site Obama because under GWB there was still a chance and enough time for non-war options to maybe work).

Ah hmm....

North Korea tested their first nuclear bomb on Oct 9, 2006. It was underground test and we have since estimated that it was a small “tactical” device of 0.7-2.0 kilotons.

Their second test was on May 25, 2009, with an estimated yield of 5.4-13 kilotons.

 

Note: that both of these tests occurred while Kim Jong-il was still leader of N.K. (1994-2011) and during GW’s second term, after our WMD invasion of Iraq “lesson.”

 

After his father’s death Kim Jong-un assumed control of N.K. on December 28, 2011.

He resumed his father’s nuclear development program and a third bomb was tested on February 12, 2013, with a revised estimated explosive yield of from 12.2-16 kilotons.

 

Additional Note: I think that it may be significant to note that this resumption followed “our” second “lesson” supporting the over throw of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya regime, resulting in his assassination October 20, 2011.

In both of these “lessons” our “enemies” had been forced to give-up their existing nuclear programs prior to the military overthrow of their regimes.

 

Both Kim’s were keen observers as those actions transpired.

 

Further Note: In addition to our actions, Putin reiterated the “lesson” in 2014, with his “intervention” in Eastern Ukraine and recapture of the strategic Crimea Peninsula.

Since gaining independence in 1991, the Ukraine had been persuaded to abandon her significant nuclear arsenal per the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances agreement in which all signatories issued an assurance against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. Russia signed the agreement in 1999. But 15 years later, after Ukraine had disassembled her indigenous nuclear program, Russia violated the agreement.

 

After this third lesson, young Kim was no doubt convinced that no super power could be trusted, least of all the United States.

 

N.K.’s fourth bomb test was January 6, 2016, with a revised estimated yield of between 10-15.5 kilotons.

Their fifth and last test (to date) occurred September 9, 2016, and was likely a plutonium implosion device with an explosive yield of approximately 20-30 kilotons (from 1 to 1.5x greater than the 1945 Nagasaki blast).

This test, their most powerful to date, occurred late in Obama’s last year of office, and (accompanied with much rhetoric) was no doubt a further warning to both the outgoing and incoming president to not consider “messing” with Korea. Since that test, Kim has warned us that he is working hard to develop a thermonuclear device.

 

The time line makes it quite clear that if there ever was a possible conventional military “solution” to prevent the advent of nukes in N.K. that it would have to have been initiated sometime before October 9, 2006.

Any intervention after that would more than likely have involved nuclear weapons (at least tactically) being exchanged on both sides.

 

Yes, GW could have toned down the rhetoric and sought to show the world and Korea that we really are a peace seeking nation.

Or, since he professed that he was all fired up for a preemptive strike against any perceived threat of WMD’s, he could have ramped things up and directed his ire toward North Korea (a real potential threat) instead of the imaginary one in Iraq.

But after March 20, 2003, our existing forces were spread a little thin. He already had us in two wars, not including his world-wide "war on terror", and to seriously engage Korea after that would require more forces than what we had available on the peninsula.

 

And just as any military action against the Soviet Union post WW2 would have meant the obliteration of Berlin, and much of West and East Germany, at the very least. So it is that any military action on the Korean peninsula (conventional or otherwise) would have meant the total destruction of both Seoul and Pyongyang, along with mass destruction of the rest of each country.

 

By the time Obama took office (January 20, 2009), any "military" action against North Korea to disarm and prevent the further development of their nuclear program, would have them using their existing arsenal (including their nukes, however few or many at the time) along with our no doubt overwhelming reciprocal action.

At minimum the cost would be in millions of lives, and the devastation of the peninsula.

 

North Korea is a closed society, and has been for generations. So unlike past wars (i.e. with Germany, and even Japan) where we had some prior interaction before hostilities, we have very little inside intelligence on the leadership there.

When Kim Jong-un ascended the "throne" in 2011, he was quite Inscrutable.

As with any unknown quantity, there is the potential for things to become better, as well as worse, than the previous better known quantity. We had no history yet, with him. Which sometimes means an opportunity to start fresh diplomatically speaking.

But Kim no doubt learned from his father, and grandfather’s experience, that the United States was not trustworthy.

Recent world events only reinforced that logic.

So, to preserve his regime he quickly resorted to rhetorical bluster as a way to conceal his inadequacies, militarily and otherwise.

This is not a new strategy. If your enemy is unsure of your actual strength or weakness it generally makes them more restrained in their actions toward you.

 

GW in his last term and Obama throughout his, had to ask themselves the same questions regarding N.K.,

Should I start a “little” nuclear war now, or wait and maybe have a bigger, far devastating nuclear war later.”

A “for sure” war now with tens of millions of lives lost, or diplomacy and a “maybe” war later, that may cost hundreds of millions of lives.

What kind of a trade-off is that? Any person making a decision to start any such war would be known and hated for all time as responsible for the death and suffering of millions upon millions of innocents.

Our “experts” said that we had a few years before N.K. could develop a longer range delivery capability.

“We” thought that we had more time to negotiate, or not to negotiate.

In the meantime N.K. leadership has become ever more bellicose, requiring ever more restraint, and an ever more tactful diplomatic stance. Because he who strikes the first blow is the ultimate loser here.

Time is both our enemy and our friend. Each day without a war is a good day, a day with promise that things may yet cool down, that a viable diplomatic solution may yet be reached.

However each passing day also increases the risk of a farther reaching, far more devastating war tomorrow.

That is the conundrum. The same one that we have lived under since 1949.

 

Yes, when it comes to nuclear capability, Kim Jong-un is heavily “out-gunned” and (barring Russia or China giving them some of theirs) he will remain so for quite a while yet.

And he may be brighter than he appears to be, with his bluster a dangerous "act".

But just as with Castro in October of 1962, we need not make the mistake that if he perceives that an attack is imminent that he will not preemptively strike. We have been down this road before.

 

Enter, our equally, if not more so, erratic and bellicose current president.

He is likewise inscrutable, but unlike Kim Jong-un, we have a long past history with Trump to analyze.

Trump may be full of bluster as well, but Kim Jong-un doesn’t know him as well as we should.

Kim, at best, hopes that others will take him seriously.

At best, Trump may not really think that people take what comes out of his mouth that seriously.

But with Kim, fighting fire with fire may end up being like throwing a pail of gasoline into the flames.

 

Trump is NOT a Kennedy, and Kim is NOT a Khrushchev, and these two today, are pulling that nuclear "rope" into a very tight knot.

 

Trump may not actually wish devastation upon the world, as that would be bad business.

But as others have said, so many times, he is way out of his league, has no sense of diplomacy, is not a student of history, and plain and simple acts as if he really doesn’t know what he is doing. And that is being quite generous.

 

He may wake up from his delusion one day and be filled with surprise and wonder at how the world came to such an end.

Never comprehending that if one pushes hard enough when on the edge of a precipice, that eventually someone is likely to fall into the abyss.

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Oh James, James.... How quickly we do forget.

I was really hoping that someone else would pick up the baton on this one, so that I might just agree with a Like, and spare myself one of my long replies, but…. It hasn’t happened, so here I go, again…

 

Where to begin...

 

Thanks for your reply but I don't see where you address the actual question I asked;   It was NOT about if the US (or any country) should use Nukes first.

No?

 

It was:  Should the US go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   YES or NO.

If you are asking me my own personal opinion here, my answer is an open one. Depending on the actual evidence and particular set of circumstances involved.

But since my opinion and wishes, as an individual citizen, carries little to no persuasive weight in altering the powers that be from making a decision that may already be predetermined, my personal opinion is relevantly moot, wouldn’t you agree?

 

It has been the policy of the USA that YES,   we would go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   (again, conventional war to PREVENT a nation from developing Nukes).     

Not that we would imperatively go to war, but that we reserve the option to go to war (conventional or otherwise) on practically any issue that was deemed “important” enough by someone in authority to do so.

 

   We have the same policy toward Iran

True, and that war “option” still exists for us, as it does for virtually every nation on the planet.

 

….and even war opposed Obama said so many times.  

Obama only reiterated the obvious from a long standing U.S. policy that he chose not to refute. However, I do sense a little disparagement in your wording; would you prefer a warmongering president, to one that may be opposed to war?

In either event (regardless of what his personal feelings toward war may have been) I did not see Obama’s actions indicate that he opposed war any more or less than other presidents that have either kept us out, or gotten us into past wars.

 

Now it appears that this policy was just a bluff and has been for decades (even towards Iran).

Sadly, the policy is not “just a bluff” as we have gone to war (conventional) and fairly recently at that (since 2001, remember “Shock & Awe” hint, hint) under the auspices of preventing another nation from acquiring and using WMD (to include nukes).

Not sure why you repetitively single out Iran here, unless you hold some disparagement toward a diplomatic agreement that perhaps offered an alternative to repeating a recent action by the prior administration which, as we all know, worked out so very well for everyone (sarcasm).

 

... I.e. that while a majority of Americans said they supported this policy they didn't really believe in it;

I’m not sure which majority of Americans you are referring to here, and during which particular time frame.

I’ll take a chance and make an assumption that you are generally referring to Americans post 1945.

Even then using the term “Majority” is questionable. Post WW2 America was tired of war, but jubilantly not worn out from it, as practically every other industrialized nation on the planet was. We emerged as the only “untouched” major industrial power, and we had the “bomb.”

Though we certainly did not win the war alone, the war likely would not have been “won” (by the allies) without our participation. However in our nationalistic post war prideful way we saw ourselves as practically the sole heroes of the war.

Our sole possession of the “bomb” (for a time) gave us unequaled power that we jealously (albeit inadequately) guarded.

The full ramifications of the “bomb” were poorly understood, even more so by the general population. Much of our chief military viewed it as no more than a very powerful “conventional” weapon. While most of the population were told it was a device that spared hundreds of thousands of Allied lives from an extremely costly invasion of Japan (few of which questioned the rationale of whether or not an invasion of the Japanese home islands was even necessary).

 

Up until the time that other nations actually acquired the bomb for themselves, and in between those instances, there have been various polls conducted to ascertain the general populations agreement with government policies of the day.

Depending on the “poll” construct (and bias of those conducting it), then as now, results can often be skewed and questionable.

And as we all (should) know people in general, and Americans in particular can be quite fickle and transient with their support.

 

that when other options FAIL,  they did NOT wish for a President to go to war (conventional).

I think that you give the American people too much credit in determining whether a President goes to war or not.

Presidents and potential presidents (as with Congress, and practically all of our federal and state political “representatives”) give much lip service to voters when campaigning for election to, or retention of, their office. And seldom have war hawkish appearing candidates been elected to the executive office. However, after gaining that office, “Doves” have often revealed their talons, and the war was always “justified” as being unpreventable.

Even when an ambiguous “majority” either supported it or demonstrated against it, Presidents have taken us into war regardless.

 

Note: To date, the United States has had 158 Foreign "wars," since the end of the Revolution in 1783. Of these only 5 were Congressionally "Declared" wars,  153 were "Undeclared" wars. Of those, 21 were authorized by Congress (though "undeclared"), 7 were UN sanctioned wars (supported by Congress but "undeclared"), and 125 were by Presidential order alone).

 

And I am sorry to say that the only certain way know that other options have failed, is when All have been tried and the status quo remains unaltered, or after we have been attacked.

 

Note that none of the above is a defense in how Trump himself is handing the N.K. situation.

It is reassuring to know that you do not endorse his behavior, at least regarding the N.K. situation.

 

Trump is a childish clown, and unqualified to be President.

You won’t get any arguments from me opposing that statement.

 

But if a majority of American(s) (America) never really wanted a President to go to war to prevent development of nukes,

I am glad that you qualified that with an “if” however, again I think you are giving the American “people” too much persuasive credit in determining a president’s actions one way or another, after he (or she) is in the office.

 

than (then) Obama should have called off the sanctions and made peace with N.K. once it became clear that war would be the only way N.K. would ever have stop developing nukes.

Again, you appear to be fixated upon Obama as the Be-all and end-all of our current situation.

 

While I did support him in the beginning, I eventually became very disappointed with some of his actions and lack thereof, and did not vote for him a second time. I am not attempting to defend him, but I do want to place things in a proper historical context, if I can. 

 

Since 1953, there have been ten different presidents before Obama that could have made a case for and/or taken executive actions toward a more "normalized" relationship with North Korea. They all chose not to do so.

 

I do think that it would have been a step in a better direction for Obama (or any of the previous 10 presidents) to have made an effort towards more normalized relations with N.K., at the very least toward advancing from a "Cease Fire" agreement to a formal Peace Treaty. And I am one of those that think a democratically united Korea, is preferable to a hostile divided Korea.

 

However you appear to be mired in the logic that if diplomacy in general and sanctions in particular don’t appear to be working (in your perception) then the answer is either war (conventional or otherwise) or total compliance (i.e. call off all sanctions, and make some sort of "unilateral" peace).

 

One combatant can unilaterally stop fighting the other, both can agree to a “cease fire” or truce that may hopefully lead toward a formal treaty, but “peace” (especially In this day and age) must be a bilateral agreement, often reached through  t i t  for tat diplomacy.

Sanctions are only one part of the "carrot" & "stick" diplomatic arsenal.

War is (or should be) an option reserved for total diplomatic failure and as a military option of last resort. And since we have yet to actually go to war with N.K. (since 1953, that is), some would argue that it isn’t yet “clear” that all diplomacy has been exhausted, nor is it “clear” (to many of us) that war is the only way.

 

(Note I only site Obama because under GWB there was still a chance and enough time for non-war options to maybe work).

Ah hmm....

North Korea tested their first nuclear bomb on Oct 9, 2006. It was underground test and we have since estimated that it was a small “tactical” device of 0.7-2.0 kilotons.

Their second test was on May 25, 2009, with an estimated yield of 5.4-13 kilotons.

 

Note: that both of these tests occurred while Kim Jong-il was still leader of N.K. (1994-2011) and during GW’s second term, after our WMD invasion of Iraq “lesson.”

 

After his father’s death Kim Jong-un assumed control of N.K. on December 28, 2011.

He resumed his father’s nuclear development program and a third bomb was tested on February 12, 2013, with a revised estimated explosive yield of from 12.2-16 kilotons.

 

Additional Note: I think that it may be significant to note that this resumption followed “our” second “lesson” supporting the over throw of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya regime, resulting in his assassination October 20, 2011.

In both of these “lessons” our “enemies” had been forced to give-up their existing nuclear programs prior to the military overthrow of their regimes.

 

Both Kim’s were keen observers as those actions transpired.

 

Further Note: In addition to our actions, Putin reiterated the “lesson” in 2014, with his “intervention” in Eastern Ukraine and recapture of the strategic Crimea Peninsula.

Since gaining independence in 1991, the Ukraine had been persuaded to abandon her significant nuclear arsenal per the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances agreement in which all signatories issued an assurance against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. Russia signed the agreement in 1999. But 15 years later, after Ukraine had disassembled her indigenous nuclear program, Russia violated the agreement.

 

After this third lesson, young Kim was no doubt convinced that no super power could be trusted, least of all the United States.

 

N.K.’s fourth bomb test was January 6, 2016, with a revised estimated yield of between 10-15.5 kilotons.

Their fifth and last test (to date) occurred September 9, 2016, and was likely a plutonium implosion device with an explosive yield of approximately 20-30 kilotons (from 1 to 1.5x greater than the 1945 Nagasaki blast).

This test, their most powerful to date, occurred late in Obama’s last year of office, and (accompanied with much rhetoric) was no doubt a further warning to both the outgoing and incoming president to not consider “messing” with Korea. Since that test, Kim has warned us that he is working hard to develop a thermonuclear device.

 

The time line makes it quite clear that if there ever was a possible conventional military “solution” to prevent the advent of nukes in N.K. that it would have to have been initiated sometime before October 9, 2006.

Any intervention after that would more than likely have involved nuclear weapons (at least tactically) being exchanged on both sides.

 

Yes, GW could have toned down the rhetoric and sought to show the world and Korea that we really are a peace seeking nation.

Or, since he professed that he was all fired up for a preemptive strike against any perceived threat of WMD’s, he could have ramped things up and directed his ire toward North Korea (a real potential threat) instead of the imaginary one in Iraq.

But after March 20, 2003, our existing forces were spread a little thin. He already had us in two wars, not including his world-wide "war on terror", and to seriously engage Korea after that would require more forces than what we had available on the peninsula.

 

And just as any military action against the Soviet Union post WW2 would have meant the obliteration of Berlin, and much of West and East Germany, at the very least. So it is that any military action on the Korean peninsula (conventional or otherwise) would have meant the total destruction of both Seoul and Pyongyang, along with mass destruction of the rest of each country.

 

By the time Obama took office (January 20, 2009), any "military" action against North Korea to disarm and prevent the further development of their nuclear program, would have them using their existing arsenal (including their nukes, however few or many at the time) along with our no doubt overwhelming reciprocal action.

At minimum the cost would be in millions of lives, and the devastation of the peninsula.

 

North Korea is a closed society, and has been for generations. So unlike past wars (i.e. with Germany, and even Japan) where we had some prior interaction before hostilities, we have very little inside intelligence on the leadership there.

When Kim Jong-un ascended the "throne" in 2011, he was quite Inscrutable.

As with any unknown quantity, there is the potential for things to become better, as well as worse, than the previous better known quantity. We had no history yet, with him. Which sometimes means an opportunity to start fresh diplomatically speaking.

But Kim no doubt learned from his father, and grandfather’s experience, that the United States was not trustworthy.

Recent world events only reinforced that logic.

So, to preserve his regime he quickly resorted to rhetorical bluster as a way to conceal his inadequacies, militarily and otherwise.

This is not a new strategy. If your enemy is unsure of your actual strength or weakness it generally makes them more restrained in their actions toward you.

 

GW in his last term and Obama throughout his, had to ask themselves the same questions regarding N.K.,

Should I start a “little” nuclear war now, or wait and maybe have a bigger, far devastating nuclear war later.”

A “for sure” war now with tens of millions of lives lost, or diplomacy and a “maybe” war later, that may cost hundreds of millions of lives.

What kind of a trade-off is that? Any person making a decision to start any such war would be known and hated for all time as responsible for the death and suffering of millions upon millions of innocents.

Our “experts” said that we had a few years before N.K. could develop a longer range delivery capability.

“We” thought that we had more time to negotiate, or not to negotiate.

In the meantime N.K. leadership has become ever more bellicose, requiring ever more restraint, and an ever more tactful diplomatic stance. Because he who strikes the first blow is the ultimate loser here.

Time is both our enemy and our friend. Each day without a war is a good day, a day with promise that things may yet cool down, that a viable diplomatic solution may yet be reached.

However each passing day also increases the risk of a farther reaching, far more devastating war tomorrow.

That is the conundrum. The same one that we have lived under since 1949.

 

Yes, when it comes to nuclear capability, Kim Jong-un is heavily “out-gunned” and (barring Russia or China giving them some of theirs) he will remain so for quite a while yet.

And he may be brighter than he appears to be, with his bluster a dangerous "act".

But just as with Castro in October of 1962, we need not make the mistake that if he perceives that an attack is imminent that he will not preemptively strike. We have been down this road before.

 

Enter, our equally, if not more so, erratic and bellicose current president.

He is likewise inscrutable, but unlike Kim Jong-un, we have a long past history with Trump to analyze.

Trump may be full of bluster as well, but Kim Jong-un doesn’t know him as well as we should.

Kim, at best, hopes that others will take him seriously.

At best, Trump may not really think that people take what comes out of his mouth that seriously.

But with Kim, fighting fire with fire may end up being like throwing a pail of gasoline into the flames.

 

Trump is NOT a Kennedy, and Kim is NOT a Khrushchev, and these two today, are pulling that nuclear "rope" into a very tight knot.

 

Trump may not actually wish devastation upon the world, as that would be bad business.

But as others have said, so many times, he is way out of his league, has no sense of diplomacy, is not a student of history, and plain and simple acts as if he really doesn’t know what he is doing. And that is being quite generous.

 

He may wake up from his delusion one day and be filled with surprise and wonder at how the world came to such an end.

Never comprehending that if one pushes hard enough when on the edge of a precipice, that eventually someone is likely to fall into the abyss.

"sounds dangerous...count me in." -sam shepard, the right stuff

:P  :D

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Oh James, James.... How quickly we do forget.

I was really hoping that someone else would pick up the baton on this one, so that I might just agree with a Like, and spare myself one of my long replies, but…. It hasn’t happened, so here I go, again…

 

Where to begin...

 

Thanks for your reply but I don't see where you address the actual question I asked;   It was NOT about if the US (or any country) should use Nukes first.

No?

 

It was:  Should the US go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   YES or NO.

If you are asking me my own personal opinion here, my answer is an open one. Depending on the actual evidence and particular set of circumstances involved.

But since my opinion and wishes, as an individual citizen, carries little to no persuasive weight in altering the powers that be from making a decision that may already be predetermined, my personal opinion is relevantly moot, wouldn’t you agree?

 

It has been the policy of the USA that YES,   we would go to war (conventional),  to prevent a nation from developing Nukes.   (again, conventional war to PREVENT a nation from developing Nukes).     

Not that we would imperatively go to war, but that we reserve the option to go to war (conventional or otherwise) on practically any issue that was deemed “important” enough by someone in authority to do so.

 

   We have the same policy toward Iran

True, and that war “option” still exists for us, as it does for virtually every nation on the planet.

 

….and even war opposed Obama said so many times.  

Obama only reiterated the obvious from a long standing U.S. policy that he chose not to refute. However, I do sense a little disparagement in your wording; would you prefer a warmongering president, to one that may be opposed to war?

In either event (regardless of what his personal feelings toward war may have been) I did not see Obama’s actions indicate that he opposed war any more or less than other presidents that have either kept us out, or gotten us into past wars.

 

Now it appears that this policy was just a bluff and has been for decades (even towards Iran).

Sadly, the policy is not “just a bluff” as we have gone to war (conventional) and fairly recently at that (since 2001, remember “Shock & Awe” hint, hint) under the auspices of preventing another nation from acquiring and using WMD (to include nukes).

Not sure why you repetitively single out Iran here, unless you hold some disparagement toward a diplomatic agreement that perhaps offered an alternative to repeating a recent action by the prior administration which, as we all know, worked out so very well for everyone (sarcasm).

 

... I.e. that while a majority of Americans said they supported this policy they didn't really believe in it;

I’m not sure which majority of Americans you are referring to here, and during which particular time frame.

I’ll take a chance and make an assumption that you are generally referring to Americans post 1945.

Even then using the term “Majority” is questionable. Post WW2 America was tired of war, but jubilantly not worn out from it, as practically every other industrialized nation on the planet was. We emerged as the only “untouched” major industrial power, and we had the “bomb.”

Though we certainly did not win the war alone, the war likely would not have been “won” (by the allies) without our participation. However in our nationalistic post war prideful way we saw ourselves as practically the sole heroes of the war.

Our sole possession of the “bomb” (for a time) gave us unequaled power that we jealously (albeit inadequately) guarded.

The full ramifications of the “bomb” were poorly understood, even more so by the general population. Much of our chief military viewed it as no more than a very powerful “conventional” weapon. While most of the population were told it was a device that spared hundreds of thousands of Allied lives from an extremely costly invasion of Japan (few of which questioned the rationale of whether or not an invasion of the Japanese home islands was even necessary).

 

Up until the time that other nations actually acquired the bomb for themselves, and in between those instances, there have been various polls conducted to ascertain the general populations agreement with government policies of the day.

Depending on the “poll” construct (and bias of those conducting it), then as now, results can often be skewed and questionable.

And as we all (should) know people in general, and Americans in particular can be quite fickle and transient with their support.

 

that when other options FAIL,  they did NOT wish for a President to go to war (conventional).

I think that you give the American people too much credit in determining whether a President goes to war or not.

Presidents and potential presidents (as with Congress, and practically all of our federal and state political “representatives”) give much lip service to voters when campaigning for election to, or retention of, their office. And seldom have war hawkish appearing candidates been elected to the executive office. However, after gaining that office, “Doves” have often revealed their talons, and the war was always “justified” as being unpreventable.

Even when an ambiguous “majority” either supported it or demonstrated against it, Presidents have taken us into war regardless.

 

Note: To date, the United States has had 158 Foreign "wars," since the end of the Revolution in 1783. Of these only 5 were Congressionally "Declared" wars,  153 were "Undeclared" wars. Of those, 21 were authorized by Congress (though "undeclared"), 7 were UN sanctioned wars (supported by Congress but "undeclared"), and 125 were by Presidential order alone).

 

And I am sorry to say that the only certain way know that other options have failed, is when All have been tried and the status quo remains unaltered, or after we have been attacked.

 

Note that none of the above is a defense in how Trump himself is handing the N.K. situation.

It is reassuring to know that you do not endorse his behavior, at least regarding the N.K. situation.

 

Trump is a childish clown, and unqualified to be President.

You won’t get any arguments from me opposing that statement.

 

But if a majority of American(s) (America) never really wanted a President to go to war to prevent development of nukes,

I am glad that you qualified that with an “if” however, again I think you are giving the American “people” too much persuasive credit in determining a president’s actions one way or another, after he (or she) is in the office.

 

than (then) Obama should have called off the sanctions and made peace with N.K. once it became clear that war would be the only way N.K. would ever have stop developing nukes.

Again, you appear to be fixated upon Obama as the Be-all and end-all of our current situation.

 

While I did support him in the beginning, I eventually became very disappointed with some of his actions and lack thereof, and did not vote for him a second time. I am not attempting to defend him, but I do want to place things in a proper historical context, if I can. 

 

Since 1953, there have been ten different presidents before Obama that could have made a case for and/or taken executive actions toward a more "normalized" relationship with North Korea. They all chose not to do so.

 

I do think that it would have been a step in a better direction for Obama (or any of the previous 10 presidents) to have made an effort towards more normalized relations with N.K., at the very least toward advancing from a "Cease Fire" agreement to a formal Peace Treaty. And I am one of those that think a democratically united Korea, is preferable to a hostile divided Korea.

 

However you appear to be mired in the logic that if diplomacy in general and sanctions in particular don’t appear to be working (in your perception) then the answer is either war (conventional or otherwise) or total compliance (i.e. call off all sanctions, and make some sort of "unilateral" peace).

 

One combatant can unilaterally stop fighting the other, both can agree to a “cease fire” or truce that may hopefully lead toward a formal treaty, but “peace” (especially In this day and age) must be a bilateral agreement, often reached through  t i t  for tat diplomacy.

Sanctions are only one part of the "carrot" & "stick" diplomatic arsenal.

War is (or should be) an option reserved for total diplomatic failure and as a military option of last resort. And since we have yet to actually go to war with N.K. (since 1953, that is), some would argue that it isn’t yet “clear” that all diplomacy has been exhausted, nor is it “clear” (to many of us) that war is the only way.

 

(Note I only site Obama because under GWB there was still a chance and enough time for non-war options to maybe work).

Ah hmm....

North Korea tested their first nuclear bomb on Oct 9, 2006. It was underground test and we have since estimated that it was a small “tactical” device of 0.7-2.0 kilotons.

Their second test was on May 25, 2009, with an estimated yield of 5.4-13 kilotons.

 

Note: that both of these tests occurred while Kim Jong-il was still leader of N.K. (1994-2011) and during GW’s second term, after our WMD invasion of Iraq “lesson.”

 

After his father’s death Kim Jong-un assumed control of N.K. on December 28, 2011.

He resumed his father’s nuclear development program and a third bomb was tested on February 12, 2013, with a revised estimated explosive yield of from 12.2-16 kilotons.

 

Additional Note: I think that it may be significant to note that this resumption followed “our” second “lesson” supporting the over throw of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya regime, resulting in his assassination October 20, 2011.

In both of these “lessons” our “enemies” had been forced to give-up their existing nuclear programs prior to the military overthrow of their regimes.

 

Both Kim’s were keen observers as those actions transpired.

 

Further Note: In addition to our actions, Putin reiterated the “lesson” in 2014, with his “intervention” in Eastern Ukraine and recapture of the strategic Crimea Peninsula.

Since gaining independence in 1991, the Ukraine had been persuaded to abandon her significant nuclear arsenal per the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances agreement in which all signatories issued an assurance against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. Russia signed the agreement in 1999. But 15 years later, after Ukraine had disassembled her indigenous nuclear program, Russia violated the agreement.

 

After this third lesson, young Kim was no doubt convinced that no super power could be trusted, least of all the United States.

 

N.K.’s fourth bomb test was January 6, 2016, with a revised estimated yield of between 10-15.5 kilotons.

Their fifth and last test (to date) occurred September 9, 2016, and was likely a plutonium implosion device with an explosive yield of approximately 20-30 kilotons (from 1 to 1.5x greater than the 1945 Nagasaki blast).

This test, their most powerful to date, occurred late in Obama’s last year of office, and (accompanied with much rhetoric) was no doubt a further warning to both the outgoing and incoming president to not consider “messing” with Korea. Since that test, Kim has warned us that he is working hard to develop a thermonuclear device.

 

The time line makes it quite clear that if there ever was a possible conventional military “solution” to prevent the advent of nukes in N.K. that it would have to have been initiated sometime before October 9, 2006.

Any intervention after that would more than likely have involved nuclear weapons (at least tactically) being exchanged on both sides.

 

Yes, GW could have toned down the rhetoric and sought to show the world and Korea that we really are a peace seeking nation.

Or, since he professed that he was all fired up for a preemptive strike against any perceived threat of WMD’s, he could have ramped things up and directed his ire toward North Korea (a real potential threat) instead of the imaginary one in Iraq.

But after March 20, 2003, our existing forces were spread a little thin. He already had us in two wars, not including his world-wide "war on terror", and to seriously engage Korea after that would require more forces than what we had available on the peninsula.

 

And just as any military action against the Soviet Union post WW2 would have meant the obliteration of Berlin, and much of West and East Germany, at the very least. So it is that any military action on the Korean peninsula (conventional or otherwise) would have meant the total destruction of both Seoul and Pyongyang, along with mass destruction of the rest of each country.

 

By the time Obama took office (January 20, 2009), any "military" action against North Korea to disarm and prevent the further development of their nuclear program, would have them using their existing arsenal (including their nukes, however few or many at the time) along with our no doubt overwhelming reciprocal action.

At minimum the cost would be in millions of lives, and the devastation of the peninsula.

 

North Korea is a closed society, and has been for generations. So unlike past wars (i.e. with Germany, and even Japan) where we had some prior interaction before hostilities, we have very little inside intelligence on the leadership there.

When Kim Jong-un ascended the "throne" in 2011, he was quite Inscrutable.

As with any unknown quantity, there is the potential for things to become better, as well as worse, than the previous better known quantity. We had no history yet, with him. Which sometimes means an opportunity to start fresh diplomatically speaking.

But Kim no doubt learned from his father, and grandfather’s experience, that the United States was not trustworthy.

Recent world events only reinforced that logic.

So, to preserve his regime he quickly resorted to rhetorical bluster as a way to conceal his inadequacies, militarily and otherwise.

This is not a new strategy. If your enemy is unsure of your actual strength or weakness it generally makes them more restrained in their actions toward you.

 

GW in his last term and Obama throughout his, had to ask themselves the same questions regarding N.K.,

Should I start a “little” nuclear war now, or wait and maybe have a bigger, far devastating nuclear war later.”

A “for sure” war now with tens of millions of lives lost, or diplomacy and a “maybe” war later, that may cost hundreds of millions of lives.

What kind of a trade-off is that? Any person making a decision to start any such war would be known and hated for all time as responsible for the death and suffering of millions upon millions of innocents.

Our “experts” said that we had a few years before N.K. could develop a longer range delivery capability.

“We” thought that we had more time to negotiate, or not to negotiate.

In the meantime N.K. leadership has become ever more bellicose, requiring ever more restraint, and an ever more tactful diplomatic stance. Because he who strikes the first blow is the ultimate loser here.

Time is both our enemy and our friend. Each day without a war is a good day, a day with promise that things may yet cool down, that a viable diplomatic solution may yet be reached.

However each passing day also increases the risk of a farther reaching, far more devastating war tomorrow.

That is the conundrum. The same one that we have lived under since 1949.

 

Yes, when it comes to nuclear capability, Kim Jong-un is heavily “out-gunned” and (barring Russia or China giving them some of theirs) he will remain so for quite a while yet.

And he may be brighter than he appears to be, with his bluster a dangerous "act".

But just as with Castro in October of 1962, we need not make the mistake that if he perceives that an attack is imminent that he will not preemptively strike. We have been down this road before.

 

Enter, our equally, if not more so, erratic and bellicose current president.

He is likewise inscrutable, but unlike Kim Jong-un, we have a long past history with Trump to analyze.

Trump may be full of bluster as well, but Kim Jong-un doesn’t know him as well as we should.

Kim, at best, hopes that others will take him seriously.

At best, Trump may not really think that people take what comes out of his mouth that seriously.

But with Kim, fighting fire with fire may end up being like throwing a pail of gasoline into the flames.

 

Trump is NOT a Kennedy, and Kim is NOT a Khrushchev, and these two today, are pulling that nuclear "rope" into a very tight knot.

 

Trump may not actually wish devastation upon the world, as that would be bad business.

But as others have said, so many times, he is way out of his league, has no sense of diplomacy, is not a student of history, and plain and simple acts as if he really doesn’t know what he is doing. And that is being quite generous.

 

He may wake up from his delusion one day and be filled with surprise and wonder at how the world came to such an end.

Never comprehending that if one pushes hard enough when on the edge of a precipice, that eventually someone is likely to fall into the abyss.

"sounds dangerous...count me in." -sam shepard, the right stuff

:P  :D

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courage...

 

is being afraid but saddling up anyway.

 

 

                                                   -JOHN WAYNE

 

:)

"that's how you do it, lieutenant, by remembering who and what you are! a bit of flesh and blood afloat in the sea of eternity...

 

and the only thing which is truly yours...is the rest of humanity!' -shatner, 2nd year ep who mourns for adonais?

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"that's how you do it, lieutenant, by remembering who and what you are! a bit of flesh and blood afloat in the sea of eternity...

 

and the only thing which is truly yours...is the rest of humanity!' -shatner, 2nd year ep who mourns for adonais?

on course and straight ahead!

 

with bold donny trump...hang on!

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BUMP

 

It's a shame that a majority of human beings cannot agree on the truth and urgency of what is said here.

 

Some will reject it as out of hand because the speaker uses a few big words.

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on course and staight ahead!

 

with bold donny trump...hang on!

 

Bold and Stupid.

 

Hang on is right. In the case of nuclear war, which hand to use to hang on with ... decisions, decisions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Associated PressVerified account @AP 2h2 hours ago

 
 

BREAKING: UN Security Council unanimously approves new sanctions on North Korea in watered-down resolution without oil import ban.

 
The Associated PressVerified account @AP 2h2 hours ago
 
 

The Latest: U.N. Security Council OKs new sanctions on North Korea without international asset freeze sought by US.

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

 

"The initial U.S. resolution had included a ban on oil exports to North Korea, which would have severely crippled the isolated nation’s economy, and a freeze on the personal assets of its leader, Kim Jong Un.

But as China and Russia made their opposition known, U.S. diplomats backed down, agreeing to gradually reduce, instead of ban, oil exports to Pyongyang....

 

see: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-north-korea-un-20170911-story.html

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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