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Old 07-03-2006, 10:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
Illusionary
 
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To What Purpose?

Seriously....what purpose can be served by threatening Nuclear War against a power that would seemingly brush the perverbial mesquito away....and proceed to burn down the swamp and coat the ashes in DDT. The statement made by North Korean Media serves no purpose in my mind short of forcing people to notice the childs tantrum.

""The army and people of the DPRK are now in full preparedness to answer a pre-emptive attack with a relentless annihilating strike and a nuclear war with a mighty nuclear deterrent," its communist party newspaper said on Monday."

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsAr...archived=False

One can only hope this is taken as the empty threat it is...by United States diplomats. Now to my question:

Though it is likely North Korea now has a limited Nuclear ability (unconfirmed, but implied), would it not be in the best interest of all involved to pull an "Iraq"....and remove the threat before they can become a serious threat to ourselves, and our allies?
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the appropriate term for what NK is doing here is "sabre rattling". Look at it this way: Iran has large fields of oil, and they know the US wants it. Given that the US could very well just come in and level them all if desired, Iran has to appear large enough (and perhaps desperate enough) to make the US think that invading would be stragetically stupid. They could do this either by gathering political support from other countries (which they notably haven't been doing), or by weapons production. Also, a major reason Iran hasn't been producing large WMDs before now is because of prior tension with Iraq and the need for regional stability. Now that Iraq is no longer in the picture, and because of the aforementioned comments about possible invasion, is there any reason for Iran not to produce and claim nuclear preparedness?

As to your question specifically, I think war is stupid and thus invasions should be avoided. Sabre rattling goes away when people don't feel threatened.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
pull an "Iraq"

Most people learn from their mistakes...

Invading without reason isn't a good thing, terrible way to rally support.

Implied threat is quiet empty and should be taken as so.
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Old 07-03-2006, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Read this carefully. They're not "threatening" anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
""The army and people of the DPRK are now in full preparedness to answer a pre-emptive attack with a relentless annihilating strike and a nuclear war with a mighty nuclear deterrent," its communist party newspaper said on Monday."[/B]
This is what's called the Porcupine Strategy. They're not saying they are going to attack. What they're saying is that their response to our attack will be devestating. There's nothing inherantly threatening about this statement. But it may keep American hands off them. Saddam's inability to credibly deliver this message might have been his downfall.
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Old 07-03-2006, 12:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbastid
Read this carefully. They're not "threatening" anything.



This is what's called the Porcupine Strategy. They're not saying they are going to attack. What they're saying is that their response to our attack will be devestating. There's nothing inherantly threatening about this statement. But it may keep American hands off them. Saddam's inability to credibly deliver this message might have been his downfall.
Excellent point (Damn You...heh), so did we Make this happen by mere threat in the Media?....or is this todays Diplomacy?
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Old 07-03-2006, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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2 reasons why the USA won't bother too much over the DPRK short term. 1) They aren't a manufacturing and distribution center of terrorism to the rest the world. 2) They are located in a relatively benign geo-political location. I don't believe the spread of communism is much of a concern anymore.

What irritates about DPRK is how they do all their ranting at the United States instead of China. They won't talk to China...they always want to talk to the US and only the US. They're like China's mutated, inbred, criminally insane half-cousin who lives in the basement.

Coincidence you should mention the DPRK. Last night I was looking through some fairly recent pictures of Pyongyang and environs. Peculiar place.

Photos of DPRK 1

Photos of DPRK 2

Last edited by powerclown; 07-03-2006 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am stumped on what to do with these poor people. The leaders devote everything they have to nuclear weapons, and then threaten everyone with retailiation if they are attacked.

Well, of COURSE you'll retailate! How bout in the meantime you try talking rationally at the negotiation table? I'd be very interested indeed to see how the next US administration attempts to deal with N. Korea, because everything the West has tried seems to have eventually fallen to pieces once the North decided to attempt a better deal.
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Old 07-03-2006, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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"Porcupine strategy" seems like an accurate assessment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerclown
Coincidence you should mention the DPRK. Last night I was looking through some fairly recent pictures of Pyongyang and environs. Peculiar place.
Those were interesting pictures, thanks.
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Old 07-03-2006, 06:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
...... Now to my question:

Though it is likely North Korea now has a limited Nuclear ability (unconfirmed, but implied), would it not be in the best interest of all involved to pull an "Iraq"....and remove the threat before they can become a serious threat to ourselves, and our allies?
tecoyah, you're not thinking big enough. IMO, time is running out for the "home team"...the good ole USA.....

I've covered the "big picture" strategy of pre-emption on this thread:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...97#post2073997

in these posts:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showpos...6&postcount=24
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showpos...4&postcount=26
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showpos...7&postcount=28

...and I don't recall any response to those posts from you.

Do you believe that it is better for the U.S. to "work it's way up" to what it really must do if it hopes to be the sole super power ten years from now, by dealing with the NK "threat" via a pre-emptive strike, now?

Why not seriously dicuss the pros and cons of sweeping the little shits like NK and Iran "up", in a one time, blanket ultimatum, while the U.S. still has the best odds of pulling off world domination via the submission or destruction of REAL adversaries....China and Russia?
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
Excellent point (Damn You...heh), so did we Make this happen by mere threat in the Media?....or is this todays Diplomacy?
the DPRKs stance can't truly be described as "porcupine" if they fuel the taepodong II missile currently sitting on a launch pad with kim jong-il's finger on the button. an ICBM capable of nuclear armament in the DPRK's hands is not necessarily a purely defensive measure.

saddam was ruthless, ahmadinejad is a zealot, but i'm far more wary of kim jong'il... he (in all seriousness) seems like he could be insane. at least the chances of mental-imbalance are probable enough to cause concern when coupled with the bomb.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by host
Do you believe that it is better for the U.S. to "work it's way up" to what it really must do if it hopes to be the sole super power ten years from now, by dealing with the NK "threat" via a pre-emptive strike, now?

Why not seriously dicuss the pros and cons of sweeping the little shits like NK and Iran "up", in a one time, blanket ultimatum, while the U.S. still has the best odds of pulling off world domination via the submission or destruction of REAL adversaries....China and Russia?

Did you and Ustwo switch accounts?

You can't be serious here. You're suggesting we wage MORE unprovoked wars against MORE countries? That we further abandon the principals we supposedly hold dear?

Surely this is a bit of satire?
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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irateplatypus, each of these "showdowns", vis a vis minor "actors", if the U.S. experience in Iraq holds any lesson, results in the U.S. emerging with a military and the treasury that finances it in a stronger.....or a weaker position?

Did pre-emptive invasion and occupation of Iraq discourage the leadership in Iran or in NK from emerging as belligerent adversaries who are now likely targets of the Bush doctrine of pre-emption?

Consider whether Russia or China are weaker or stronger economically and militartily than either country was just three years ago.

I am an anti-war protestor from the Vietnam era. I am also a student of history with a practical streak that can be confused with pessimism.

The dollar has weakened against the Chinese yuan and the euro since the FOMC interest rate hike that was supposed to end this series of rate increases.

Oil is $74/bbl tonight......and $70 oil was considered to be a post Katrina, fall 2005 "spike"...temporary. The U.S. military and intelligence budgets fuel a $500 billion annual deficit, with no end in sight....the "supplemental" budget resolutions do "count"....they add to a treasury debt figure that will be $3 trillion higher, six months from now...than it was six years ago.

Afghanistan looks like a "do over"....a new, expensive and uncertain fight to retake "control" of that country. The history student part of me just read the lesson here.... http://www.khyber.org/publications/0...onreport.shtml ....reinforcement of the lesson of the loss of Elphinstone's entire army after it was forced from "Cabool" in Jan., 1842. No foreign force has ever taken and then held control of Afghanistan.

Iraq is by no means decided....an 100 acre, $1 billion U.S. embassy compound, it's 23 buildings, built entirely by an imported, non-Iraqi workforce rising on the Baghdad skyline, not withstanding. The geniuses that chose to win hearts and minds by constructing this comedic contradiction to the notion that the U.S. "presence" is not an "occupation", and then to choose to build it at the exclusion of Iraqi laborers, is not a confidence builder for me that there is time or talent to stem the deficit, and rebuild conventional U.S. forces and their "worn out" equipment, and quickly stabalize challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and NK.....cheaply or even effectively.

While this juggling act goes on....thje treasury bleeds money, the U.S. consumer is tapped out buying expensive oil (i've documented that the bottom half.....$150 million Americans. controlled only 2-1/2 percent of the wealth when oil was half the price it is now.....), and the military is ground down fighting encounters of attrition that do nothing to solve the big threats to near term security. The U.S. grows weaker.....China and Russia grow stronger.

China and Russia are as feeble tonight...militarily and economically, than they're gonna be again....for a long time into the future.

The U.S. is as strong militarily and econmically, most especially in non-conventional force and in dollar purchasing power, as it will ever be, judging by where trends are taking it today. Common sense and practicality seem to indicate that this would be the time to discuss how the U.S. can remain a superpower, and prevent the decline of the dollar and discourage the rising hegemony of China and Russia, and deal with the wasting effects of sideshows like Iran and NK, and the continued expensive quagmires in Baghdad and "Cabool".

The reluctance or avoidance of discussion of realistic "big picture" challenges and the few options (one that I see...) to deal with them, IMO, are symptoms of hubris and of denial.

The King of Spain failed to use his 600 ship Navy to destroy Britain, and Britain failed to survive the debt it built fighting WWI. Both lost their "sole superpower" titles. Is the U.S. somehow exempt from the fate of the dominant powers throughout history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Did you and Ustwo switch accounts?

You can't be serious here. You're suggesting we wage MORE unprovoked wars against MORE countries? That we further abandon the principals we supposedly hold dear?

Surely this is a bit of satire?
At first, I was reluctant to even think, let alone write these opinions.
That changed because, I know what I see. I see that the U.S. is failing economically now. The recent military expeditions have worn out a signifigant portion of the ground force equipment, and it is hard to imagine that 3 and 4 "rotations" through Iraq experienced by ground troops have not negatively affected their overall readiness.

In the past 15 years, I've witnessed the sudden collapse of the Soviet Navy and much of the ground and air forces, followed by the economic collapse of Russia. Now comes the recent experience of the economic emergence of China, seemingly overnight, and now the raw material revenue driven ressurgence of the Russian economy. Will the military investment and ambition of these two re-emerging nations, not follow?

I've witnessed the U.S. spending $260 billion annually on it's military just 7 fiscal years ago, with a balanced federal budget at that time. Consumers paid less than $20/bbl for oil, and the trade deficit was half the $800 billion annual deficit level that it is now.

I see where the trends are taking the U.S. ability to finance and maintain it's armed force......$3 trillion in deficits added to the $5.5 trillion prior deficit in just six years. I have no way of knowing how much of the more than docubling of the gold price, and the tripling of copper and oil prices, has to do with demand...or just the weakening of dollar purchasing power.

The current U.S. leadership's track record in Iraq and now with Iran, and the refusal of the U.S. population to conserve petroleum consumption that it now borrows hugely to pay for, along with the direction and trend of federal borrowing, aggravated by my projection of the consequences to the economy of the just now beginning real estate collapse, are icing on the cake of my new thinking.

shakran, I headed this way because the U.S. leadership and the mindset of the electorate has convinced me that it is inevitable that the U.S. will "take
on" China and Russia, militarily, but not until the odds are much more in favor of failing in that endeavor.

Since I am convinced that it will happen, from a practical standpoint, now is the time that comes with the best odds of succeeding either via a demand and deadline for disarmament, resulting in success and domination without firing a shot.....or in the event that U.S. demands are met with refusal or ruse, a devastating first strike which annihilates Russia or China, but leaves much of the U.S. intact, would, to me, be a better outcome than what I foresee happening, anyway.

It is that bad, shakran. There is no solution to the competition for oil and other resources, or for the crippling twin U.S. deficits, or for where Bush/Cheney foreign and military policy is leading the U.S.

I think that Cheney and Rumsfeld could pull off a "big bet" all or nothing showdown like the one that I'm describing, if they are good for anything at all. The only justification for that opinion, is that I think that Russian and Chinese politcal and military leadership would take an disarmament ultimatum from Cheney, seriously.

Isn't that at least half the challenge in deadly showdown....convincing the other guy that you are serious about what you're demanding, and that you won't blink?

Last edited by host; 07-03-2006 at 09:45 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 07-04-2006, 05:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Interesting views, but I think you're 1) overly pessimistic and 2) wrong.

there IS a solution to the oil consumption problem - but people won't like it. First, you make the CAFE vehicle fleet MPG average much higher (say, 40mpg) and you don't exempt trucks/SUV's/minivans/vans from that average.

Then you start thinking longterm and begin serious development work on REAL alternative energy sources for cars - not fake feelgood crap like ethanol and hydrogen. I'm talkin' solar-cell roofs and batteries here, with a small gas engine as backup if you get 2 weeks of clouds.

Then you start thinking real conservation and increase the public transportation infrastructure. Highspeed trains, light rail, subways, etc. It's pathetic that only a few cities have rail-based public transportation, especially since at least some of those cities (Washington D.C. for instance) prove that subways really work. No one who knows any better drives in DC. They're all on the Metro.

It's even more pathetic that Amtrak is an underfunded beast who's trains, not counting Accela, go a max of 80mph for only short stretches. More people would choose to take the train if they could get to their vacation destination without wasting their whole vacation on the travel portion.

Even if we accept the premise that invading China, Russia, etc, is morally ok (bullshit), it still would, at best, delay the inevitable. We would still face an energy crisis, just much farther down the road.


And then we get to the morality part. The fact that the American people did not rise up and revolt against a government who would commit the CRIME of invading a country that wasn't attacking us, and was giving us NO real reason to invade, is disgusting. Now you're suggesting that we condone doing it again and again.

This is the United States, not Napoleonic France. Quite frankly, if this country were to become an imperialistic, land grabbing bully, I would find a new place to live.
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Interesting views, but I think you're 1) overly pessimistic and 2) wrong.....

.....This is the United States, not Napoleonic France. Quite frankly, if this country were to become an imperialistic, land grabbing bully, I would find a new place to live.
shakran, before the ramp up of federal expeditures...a doubling of outlays for military and intelligence purposes since 2000, $3 trillion in new federal debt with much more to come.....a doubling in annual trade debt, and now, $74 oil...I might have been less pessimistic.

I see no time for the solutions that you propose, to come about, and achieve the benefits that you hope for. The dollar will not stay strong enough, long enough...to even support current military spending priorities, let alone adequately maintain military infrastructure and readiness for the ramp up in competition for resources and a new "cold war" with China and Russia.

If our children survive, won't they question why, with overwhelming non-conventional and conventional force superiority, in 2006, and weakening dollar fundamentals, the U.S. did not fully exert it's military capabilities against China, with it's fewer than 25 ICBMs, and Russia, in it's pre-revamp of it's strategic nuclear arsenal phase. There will not be a better opportunity than now to demand that both these countries surrender their nuclear arsenals to the U.S.

....and, just as importantly, I don't believe that the "America" that you described, ever existed. Americans are human....no better than any other civilization that has come before it:
Quote:
I Was a "Racketeer"
-Major General Smedley D. Butler

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country's most agile military force -- the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical of everyone in the military service.

Thus I, helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 191G. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents........

....Our Ideal Never Defensive

Lest this seem to be the bellicose pipedream of some dyspeptic desk soldier, let us remember that the military deal of our country has never been defensive warfare. Since the Revolution, only the United Kingdom has beaten our record for square miles of territory acquired by military conquest. Our exploits against the American Indian, against the Filipinos, the Mexicans, and against Spain are on a par with the campaigns of Genghis Khan, the Japanese in Manchuria and the African attack of Mussolini. No country has ever declared war on us before we first obliged them with that gesture. <b>Our whole history shows we have never fought a defensive war.</b> And at the rate our armed forces are being implemented at present, the odds are against our fighting one in the near future.......
Quote:
http://www.progressive.org/mag_zj2205
Put away the flags

On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed......

........Our citizenry has been brought up to see our nation as different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral, expanding into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy.

<b>That self-deception started early.</b>

When the first English settlers moved into Indian land in Massachusetts Bay and were resisted, the violence escalated into war with the Pequot Indians. The killing of Indians was seen as approved by God, the taking of land as commanded by the Bible. The Puritans cited one of the Psalms, which says: "Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy possession."

When the English set fire to a Pequot village and massacred men, women and children, the Puritan theologian Cotton Mather said: "It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day."

On the eve of the Mexican War, an American journalist declared it our "Manifest Destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence." After the invasion of Mexico began, The New York Herald announced: "We believe it is a part of our destiny to civilize that beautiful country."

It was always supposedly for benign purposes that our country went to war.

We invaded Cuba in 1898 to liberate the Cubans, and went to war in the Philippines shortly after, as President McKinley put it, "to civilize and Christianize" the Filipino people.

As our armies were committing massacres in the Philippines (at least 600,000 Filipinos died in a few years of conflict), Elihu Root, <b>our secretary of war, was saying: "The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the war began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order, and of peace and happiness."</b>

We see in Iraq that our soldiers are not different. They have, perhaps against their better nature, killed thousands of Iraq civilians. And some soldiers have shown themselves capable of brutality, of torture.

Yet they are victims, too, of our government's lies.

How many times have we heard President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tell the troops that if they die, if they return without arms or legs, or blinded, it is for "liberty," for "democracy"?

One of the effects of nationalist thinking is a loss of a sense of proportion. The killing of 2,300 people at Pearl Harbor becomes the justification for killing 240,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The killing of 3,000 people on Sept. 11 becomes the justification for killing tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation. -Howard Zinn
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