Author: abcfirst


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Post time 2017-9-17 13:44:30 |Display all floors

Too far-fetched? 'It won't happen..'? We have heard that before and see where we are today.

Why is the situation this moment so surreal?  In the ring, you have two guys with the same profile, a sense of self-importance craving for populism.  Below them, no one to massage, re-calibrate and moderate their ego's away from peremptorily making the wrong decision. There is no one to tell Kim what not to do, and impeachment of Trump will take too long a process in order to make a difference when the situation can rapidly escalate to defcon-IV, especially with the peninsula sea brimming with the latest nuke-ready US subs.

So you have one kid with an imperious power of despatch, and one guy with adolescent IQ and surrounded by yes-men which all have seen after his first cabinet meeting in the form of his departmental secretaries sucking up to him while live on tv so that the Matthis' and Tillerson's of today can only do so much in the face of superficial assessments depicted as rational, sacred, gospellian but sanctimonious duty.

The question thus swivels down to finding the tipping point when rational becomes irrational. When does being rational suddenly turn into irrational response, especially when the above game theory tabulated on the basis of objectives has already concluded war is overwhelmingly likely unless counterbalancing pressures are exerted on both parties?

But how does one pressurize a david who thinks he has the ultimate slingshot? AND doubly so, how does one pressurize a goliath who thinks his having the hammer of thor qualifies him to throw his weight around?

These questions have no tenderer solutions. If there is one for NK, it would have been found and applied sixty years ago. If there is one for the US, its international hegemony and way of life for that matter the american dream would all have been right-sized and adjusted to global acceptability by now.

It would be foolhardy to assume Kim hasn't profiled Trump as a Connolly who on record as a rightist USAnian had said 'our dollar, your problem'.  Besides knowing what had happened to Muamar and Sadam, Kim would also have known what had happened to Khrushchev for withdrawing USSR missiles from Cuba in exchange for Kennedy withdrawing US Jupiter missiles from turkish soil only to later find they were merely relocated to US subs patrolling near turkish waters while still aiming at the same targets.

The same Kim will also not be ignorant of what Bush had said in 2008, namely 'all options are on the table' which had next led to a preemptive strike on Iraq that contravenes all the charters of the UN, the same body now applying a rich menu of sanctions on NK.  I repeat, if Trump was Kim, would he have accepted such 'consistency' by a global superpower?

This situation has been escalating for months now. Yet no one in the west has come up and asked, for that matter suggest an answer, as to what is Kim's intention and objective.  So allow me.  

His intention and objective are two-fold; one, become as quickly as possible a full-fledged nuclear state in order to achieve parity with the US before negotiating for economic support not sanction to become a modern progressive and prosperous nation in its own right no different and perhaps superior to that across the border, and two, save money on military defense by singularly adopting nuclear deterrence which would be cheaper and more effective than upgrading to opponents-equivalent strength a large army, taking lessons from what had happened to the USSR which had tried to match the escalation of US militarism.

If the US cannot see these as patently obvious, then no one can blame Kim for thinking the US only wants to demolish his regime for that matter absorb NK into the orbit of J-SK-US (in that order) influence permanently which in turn will next present C and R with the perpetual problem of a militarily opposing and ideologically disruptive US presence in NAsia as part of an anglo-saxon containment strategy disguised as might-before-right engagement to add to the ongoing J-I hug and the island's rearmament.

And that is why it is mischievous of the US to think it can bluster about China not doing enough with NK on the one hand while increasing the problem of NK by US warmonger rhetoric on the other hand. After all, China has eaten more salt than the US has eaten stir-fried salmon, and eaten enough to furthermore know that the US using its Section 311 on Dandong Bank and others is hegemonic application of the dollar as interventionist international sanction in contravention of that section's remit which is merely to stop illicit funds going into the US.

Lastly, there should be at least one more series of cells in the above matrix to accommodate the US adopting Kennan's famous telegram posit on the USSR - namely contain, deter, wait it out to see the implosion. This presupposes that NK will inevitably crumble under continued economic sanctions and perhaps a naval blockade to whittle its nuclear card ahead of widespread economic meltdown and thus regime collapse.

But that would fail to reckon what will happen next should it happen. Millions will decant into China leaving a vacuum that SK will attempt to fill which will make it inevitable that China will stop since new US thaad's will be horse-drawn even closer to China's border (and Russia) if allowed to take place. If that becomes so, there will also be enough in China who will not take it lightly that the US has already arrogantly blamed China for the US putting its thaad on SK soil - because China has 'not done enough on NK'.

In fact, if you peruse an example of the west's discourse here (, you can search in vain for one molecule of real understanding of the human dimension, an understanding one can presume would have been carried by well-fed, educated, enlightened, high-powered and intelligent peoples of certain ranking, culture and upbringing as they discourse the fate to be meted on poor peasants with dirty finger nails from eking subsistence living while bravely holding on to their only beliefs and views they were brought up in. Use your magnifying glass and tell me where it is shown. Just one will suffice.

Who be this long (my apologies) post for?

Since we are talking about the Blue Sea, why not US Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift who when asked in July this year at an ANU seminar in Canberra whether he would launch a nuclear strike on China if Trump had ordered him to do so, he answered:


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Post time 2017-9-18 17:59:08 |Display all floors

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Post time 2017-9-20 13:09:36 |Display all floors

In pushing open or shut a door, the amount of force exerted is calibrated to match the inertia and friction of the door, such that the acceleration imparted to the door is sufficient not only to overcome its inertia, but also the friction of its joints, such that the door moves with a constant velocity that spontaneously decreases to zero, due to the ever present friction, until the door is swung open without causing an explosion, or closed without causing a bang.  

Trump has a very carefully crafted speech that overcomes the inertia of its past policies on North Korea, and cancels out the friction of fear and hostility among some in the audience, and thus achieved its purpose of opening a door to a different pathway for all the players in this game.

However, the calibration toward the end, the letting go of the force pushing the door open was not as well timed.  The result was that the door not only opened up as intended, it kept swinging around its joints for quite some distance, possibly ending up hitting the other side of the wall outside the door.  This triggers Newton's Second Law instead of merely applying the First Law to change the process of peace from its resting inertia to its active inertia.  That second law is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  And that reaction, in the chemistry of a diverse forum as the UN General Assembly, may take some time to come back in a coherent manner.  But, we will have to watch for it, and hope it does not begin another vicious cycle of escalation.

Trump said, "The United States has great strength and patience.  But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."

The first two sentences overcomes the inertia of the the present standoff, and pushes the whole table of options into motion and into public view.  

The last sentence, however, was a missed opportunity for victory, if victory is defined as the permanent and comprehensive denuclearization of North Korea, in exchange for a guarantee by the Allies of a permanent and comprehensive peace for North Korea.

The temptation to belittle Kim is hard to resist, especially when a smart appellation seems so easy and harmless to apply - "Rocket man" - funny, trivial, and not necessarily pejorative.

What is missed is the correct rejoinder to the first two statements that lets go of the push, and allows friction to do its job of setting both countries on a new course of peace and denuclearization - a win-win scenario.  

How much better it would have been if Trump's speech writer had understood the fundamental strategy of the Allies to achieving its goals, and let him say, "However, if the leadership of North Korea is willing to agree on a permanent and comprehensive denuclearization of North Korea in return for a permanent and comprehensive peace for North Korea, guaranteed by the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, or even by the UN Security Council, then I see nothing but a bright, prosperous, and peaceful future for North Korea and for its neighbors, as well as for us, and the world.  We hope that North Korea does the right thing for itself, and for everybody."

Just a slight twist in the speech, turns gloom into glory, and truly keeps the door open, without worrying about the so-called "equal and opposite reaction" that underlies North Korea's declaration of its intent to achieve "equilibrium" with a country as large and as powerful as the USA, not that it can achieve this goal, but that its attempt to do so would come at a huge cost of lives and property for all.

Words matter, especially in a Babel such as the U.N., where even just one word can have 120 shades of meaning.  It is not too late for the diplomats to repair the breach.  Best yet, for Trump to do it himself.

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Post time 2017-9-20 16:47:11 |Display all floors
So in the game of 21st century blabbermouth, Rocket Man has finally met his match. None other than Dr Strangelove himself.

In his tirade against Kim, Trump said unless NK stands down on its nuclearization and ceases its hostile behavior, the US will totally destroy the hermit state. He added that NK's reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.

One wonders when he said that, did the J ambassador to the UN wriggle, wince, cringe even?  Or, perhaps, celebrate J's good fortune to have such an ally who has spoken so stirringly in the very hall of what should be humanity's common ground?

It is rich of Trump as head of the US to talk about unthinkable loss of human life from reckless pursuit of nuke missiles when the US is the only country which has nuked another country twice over, and has an arsenal of 6,800 nuclear warheads to an estimated 20 by NK.  

Furthermore, the US' Pentagon is reviewing the nuclear posture of its nuclear subs, silo ICBMs and long-range strategic nuclear bombers.  Since the potus has spoken, all three would be primed as a trident against Pyongyang by now.  Is it all because the US now wants to finish the job it didn't the last time it had carpet-bombed almost fifty percent of the state and also killed over a million?  So fast, man forgets.

Since he has spoken the unspeakable, next will be to think the unthinkable. What if Kim doesn't stop but continue NK's nuclearization program which he had once described as the state's juche-based rocket industry?  Will Trump then order a preemptive nuclear first strike to wipe out NK in one stroke, the same Trump who had famously tweeted:

“My first order as president was to renovate and modernise our nuclear arsenal.  It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.”

The fact the US is adamant in not allowing another sovereign state to be self-reliant by its only mode of self-defence bespeaks the disequilibrium that is maintained which will inevitably seed tragic results for all.  With power must come responsibility. But in a nuclear standoff, responsibility must go beyond just one's allies.  It must also include one's antagonist and opponent since any resultant asymmetric response can cascade very quickly that no systems preparation can arrest.  As a simple example, what if it is not NK but Iran? Will the US or its ally then preemptively nuke the muslim state which will inevitably spawn a billion salafi jihadists elsewhere throughout the world?

So it remains to ask why did he make that incendiary speech knowing Kim will ignore it when time is now critical to fashion a solution instead out of the loggerheads dilemma by clear dialogue towards mutual and proportionate stand-down with matching tempo?

The only reason dawning on all is that he intends to get the UN members behind him before he makes the next and only lashing move.  Kill.

Let's all hope it won't be September 23rd when the planets align mischievously to make men more mad than they already are. Let's all hope his November visit to Beijing will usher a new era of peace and prosperity for all mankind whatever their ideology or upbringing or state of development.

And then maybe NK will produce less soppish tv dramas than its cousin, the SK.  Somewhere in that population of 25 million must be another Han Hyo-joo.

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Post time 2017-9-21 12:25:05 |Display all floors
TRUMP is playing nuclear poker with KIM on the world stage, by threatening North Korea with "total destruction", knowing that North Korea and China have a Joint Defense Treaty similar to what Japan and America have, Trump has raised the stakes to the level of a world war, because no matter what, unless North Korea started the actual conflict, China is bound by treaty and by face to come to its aid.  Once China is in, Russia is in, and then too will NATO, which is why Merkel insists there should be a diplomatic solution (implying that Trump must be willing to give North Korea a peace guarantee in exchange for total denuclearization).  North Korea does not need to have the military power of America to match the stakes, as long as it is willing to accept "total destruction" as the price to trigger a world war, matching Trump's ante, which it readily accepted within 2 days.  The drawback of this gambit is that it compromised Trump's position to seeking regime change or war, instead of denuclearization and peace.  Now that Trump has to think about doing regime change by sanctions, he would have to sanction China to the point that he is basically at war with China, which then transforms smoothly into a real war with China on any other provocation, not just on the Korean Peninsula, but also in South China Sea, in the East China Sea (Diaoyudao), or in Taiwan.  And thus, Trump's hidden peace negotiation through upping the ante is aborted by his speech team before it can even be born, and is transformed into an overt military escalation that makes war, more, not less, likely.

And so, we now stand at the precipice.  One faulty step and down the world goes.  Words do matter, but it is too late if the right words are never said because pride stands in the way.

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Post time 2017-9-21 12:37:47 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abcfirst at 2017-9-21 12:47

Trump exemplifies the problem in Washington that no branch of government seemingly has the authority to accept Peace.  When peace fails, as it eventually must, due to endless internal debate, the President will have to solve major international problems by exercising his authority to initiate war (even if the constitution says only Congress can do so), which means that there is only one solution when counter-parties refuse to compromise, even after sanctions, which is, war.  

This may make for a "strong" diplomatic position in all negotiations, as the counter-parties all know they cannot expect any compromise, but have to choose between greater or lesser degrees of pain.  This pattern of "negotiation" is the equivalent of the technique of doubling down.  If you have infinite capital, doubling-down is the surest way to win any contest, because you can just keep doubling-down until the other party can no longer afford to match your bet.  This time, the stakes are so high that nobody, really, can afford to double-down without coming to certain ruin (which is the opposite of expectation, as was what happened to Baring Brothers).  

This is one time when the Titanic meets an iceberg that does not understand any negotiating tactic.  It has only one message engraved on its sheer slopes - Noli Me Tangere.

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Post time 2017-9-22 11:07:34 |Display all floors

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