Author: abcfirst

COUNTDOWN KOREA [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-10-29 14:41:20 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abcfirst at 2017-10-29 14:43

TRUMP has to be a strong leader at home, in order to be a strong leader abroad.  If he is always one step behind his persecutors, always reactive and defensive, then his words will not carry enough weight abroad for them to provide his enemies with an alternative, of peace, under his guarantees.  With a peace treaty out of his power to offer and implement, how can he persuade his enemy to avoid war?

What Trump does or fails to do on Sunday will affect not just his entire presidency, but the entire course of US history.

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Post time 2017-10-31 14:49:32 |Display all floors
If Trump cannot win his political battles at home, how can he expect to win his diplomatic battles abroad?  If Watergate happened before Nixon's trip to China, someone else may be the winner of the Cold War, or a hot WWIII might have ensued.  Trump has two weeks to show that his leadership is unimpeachable, if he is to convince other countries that his promises are irrevocable.

Strength at home translates into strength abroad.  Being surrounded by three super carriers may project strength against forces from outside, but it only accentuates his obvious Achillles' Heel at home.  In which case, the gains from the former are completely negated by the losses in the latter.

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Post time 2017-11-2 15:33:54 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abcfirst at 2017-11-2 15:38


Moon said on Aug. 14, 2017, that he will veto any military action against North Korea, at all costs, except when North Korea is proven to possess nuclear-tipped ICBM's that can reach America.  This is one way of telling Kim, "Don't do it!"  Emperor Hirohito's radio broadcast surrendering Japan took place on August 15, 1945, 72 years before.  

At that moment, there was no North or South Korea, only one single Korean nation emerging from 35 years of Japanese rule as a part of Japan, and all told, 50 years, if counting the 15 years of preceding status as a protectorate and colony of Japan, starting in 1895.

Kim ignored the message, lock, stock and barrel, evincing his disdain for the South Korean leaders whom he called "puppets", and revealing that his aim is not just reunification, but total domination of all Korea.  

How long Moon can maintain his peace policy remains to be seen.  Moon did not seem deterred from insisting on peace, because he understands that under all scenarios of peaceful reunification, South Korea stands taller than North Korea, and will have more say in the united government.  In pursuit of this, Moon refuses to be derailed by Trump.  When Peace is strength and victory, war is weakness and defeat.  This much is clear from President Moon's public statements.  In this effort, Moon got a surprise shot in the arm from China, which saw the solution in Moon's position.  China also insisted on peace at all costs, but now, it realizes South Korea is its greatest supporter for peaceful resolution.  Suddenly, China is no longer peeved by South Korea's deployment of its THAAD systems.  These two odd bedfellows are conspiring to establish and maintain peace on the Korean peninsula at all costs, and they know, between the two of them, that together they will succeed, and separated, they will not only fail, but suffer miserably from the aftermath.  This new dynamic of an alliance for peace throws the Chicken paradigm into complete disarray.  Instead of an inevitable clash between NK and America, both are finding road blocks that prevent their ever coming into contact with each other.  What is remarkable is that what Moon is achieving is being done by sheer will power to never fire a single shot.  For it to find an ally in China is the second miracle.  There is a new dawn on the Korean peninsula as a result of this peace initiative by SK and China, like the rising sun, it refuses to shirk the burden of destiny, but insists on owning it.

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Post time 2017-11-4 15:13:36 |Display all floors

Although most pundits intimate that we are sailing through uncharted waters, that is only half of the truth.  We may not know how far Scylla or Charybdis may be from the current position of the world, or how close the monster iceberg may be as it passes by, seasoned mariners know more or less what to do when faced with such situations.  Their plans may not work as intended, due to circumstances beyond their control, but there is a chance they will be able to snatch life from the jaws of death.  The captain and all the mates are waiting for the lookout to holler out what he sees coming up ahead.

Sometimes, some of the best plans turn out to be the deadliest ones, such as that which misinformed Captain Smith of RMS Titanic on the night of April 14, 1912.  Although lay persons would think that sailing a ship through a field of icebergs was suicidally insane, it was common practice for liners to do so.  The captain relies on the look-outs to spot icebergs long before they are near the ship.  This is true if the sky is clear, with starlight to show the outlines of the icebergs, and the surface of the sea free of fog or haze, which depends on the cooperation of the weather.  Both conditions were present where the Titanic was at.  It was the counsel of experience too to sail the ship faster through the ice field under such conditions, as the chance of a collision with an unseen iceberg is low, while the chance of colliding with one because of a change in weather conditions is much higher.  So, why did the Titanic hit an iceberg?

Well, the anti-climactic reason it hit an iceberg was because the iceberg was not big at all.

A large ice field could be seen 5 miles away.  A 50-foot high iceberg could be seen 3-4 miles away on a clear night, and the night was clear on April 14, 1912.  But there was also no wind at all - a perfect calm - which is all the more deadly as the iceberg would make no froth at its base to reveal its presence, nor would it crack into smaller pieces due to wave motion.  And there was no moonlight either.  A medium-sized iceberg in such a situation could only be seen when it is just half a mile away, and a small iceberg (called an ice-growler), just a quarter of a mile away.  At the faster speed that the Titanic was moving, to get out of harm's way, at 22 knots, it had only 80 seconds to get out of the way of the medium iceberg that it collided with.  The iceberg was so small that when the passengers went out on the deck to see it, it was nowhere to be found.

Compounding this unexpected event was the captain's decision to speed up the ship for a short while after it had come to a stop, which may have increased the size of the hole on the hull, as well as weaken the hull even further.

Why do we have to study the Titanic?  Because it holds lessons for all of us.  It is the basis for an analytical model of how human beings can blunder into disasters, even with the most experienced hands on board, even in the clearest and calmest weather, on the largest liner known to man.  That was the maiden voyage of the Titanic, but it was the valedictory, and last voyage of Captain Edward Smith, a voyage to crown a lifetime of distinguished seamanship.  

Do we see a parallel between the tragedy of the Titanic and the present situation where the largest and fastest ships are gathered against a tiny land-berg called North Korea, whose every inch could be mapped out in utmost detail, in a clear and calm moment that is today?  Captain Smith would probably advise, "Go slow.  Do not fear the giant icebergs that you can see, but rather the small icebergs that you can barely see.  Avoiding a field of icebergs is more prudent than racing into and beyond it.  For with a change in the haze or fog of war, fortunes change, and the glory of victory is not worth the cost of not a shipload, but a planet-load of human lives."

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Post time 2017-11-4 18:44:28 |Display all floors

Slow down.  Speeding up in an ice field is not a sign of confidence or strength.  But rather, of fear and carelessness.

Danger ahead.  Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

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Post time 2017-11-5 01:25:11 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abcfirst at 2017-11-5 01:44


April 14, 1912 at 11:40 PM, the RMS Titanic was speeding through an ice field in the North Atlantic which was extremely calm with no wind, no clouds, under a moonless, but clear starry sky.  As long as the visibility holds up, the standard practice was to speed up the boat through the ice field, using the look-out to spot the iceberg coming up, alert the bridge, and avoid collision, with time to spare.  As the world's and history's largest ship, the Titanic was also outfitted to take in water in up to four compartments without sinking.  Captain Edward Smith, on his valedictory and last voyage, capping a lifetime of maritime safety, retired for the night, with instructions to be awakened by the bridge should the slightest haze appear that would render the look-out ineffective.  

He never got the call.

Until the ship shuddered with a series of crunches, and came to a stop.  As crew and passengers looked over the railings of the deck, there was no iceberg anywhere to be seen.

It was indeed a small to medium iceberg that the Titanic hit while trying to speed through the ice field.  The look-out failed the captain, as the water was so still no froth could be seen around the iceberg's base, and the starlight though aided by the clear cloudless sky was not enough to make up for the absence of the moon.

The calm is not always followed by a storm, but may be, by a crunch, somewhere, against something so plain and ordinary.  USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain forewarned of the dangers of complacency, as if Heaven were desperately trying to alert the innocent seamen below.  The Korean Crisis is worse than an ice field, and cutting through it in haste does not limit one's exposure to risk.  Maybe, it does cut down the time of exposure, but it disproportionately increases the spatial exposure by an order of magnitude.  This is the silent story of the Titanic, that Captain Smith might have told, had he not gone down with it heroically.  It is a story worth the telling, if only to warn future captains of ships and men, that keeping the peace, in many ordinary and plain ways, is often wiser than rushing to war.  Being able to stop is more important than being able to finish the journey.  105 years later, we know where the journey of the Titanic ended, and it was not where it was intended.

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