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02 December 2017


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McMaster is not the brightest bulb.

- Sanctions don't work on North Korea (or elsewhere). Would the North Korean government give up its nuclear insurance program when several hundred-thousand die of hunger? Or would it behave more aggressive? What comes when an embargo fails?
- Oil imports can be replaced by converting coal in a Fischer-Tropsch process. Germany used it a lot during WWII. South Africa used this on a large scale when it was boycotted. North Korea has lots of coal China is no longer buying from it.

McMaster seems to still be in the denial and anger phase of his grief. Time has long passed to move forward from that towards acceptance.

The only way to handle North Korea is to talk with it. Find some non-aggressive deterrence balance that both sides can live with. It's doable.


Unfortunately for your argument the NoKos do not want to talk about anything except our submission to a situation in which they hold our cities at risk. You know, the outcome that you want so that all countries large and small will be equally puissant. pl


Looks like you were right about Flynn being completely co-opted by the neocons, never changed his opinions on Russia though. I expect Flynn will be looked after by Trump, who sounds like he has had enough of Mueller et al.


"to a situation at which they hold our cities at risk"=deterrence ?
Is that not the bitter pill that Israel has had to accept from Hizbullah, that they are deterred from destroying Lebanon?

Aside from the Russian Bear & Chinese Panda: With Israel's Nuclear Triad, how many countries are at risk? likewise, from the force de frappe, Trident subs, from Pakistan, India, dirty bombs from any country for that matter.

Why isn't the "freeze for freeze" advocated by Russ/China attractive? It would be a win/win. Must the other side always lose? Do a peace treaty. Trade and free access would do more to undermine the NORKO regime than confrontation.

It would be preaching to the committee choir here to maintain that biggest sources of instability in the world today are Settler Israel, Saudi Barbaria/Gulfies, & the baiting of the Russian Bear.


We have the conventional and advanced capabilities to turn their stuff into duds if we really want to with minimum casualties around their 'stuff'.


Flynn had his faults, including in his association with the Leedens of this world, but the guy put his neck on the line with that DIA memo and his subsequent interviews. Who else in Trump's orbit has taken that kind of risk to expose a dangerous failing policy? Whatever anyone may think of him, the guy had a lot of guts and now he's in the cross-hairs for it.

Trump knows the game and he knows the score. They want to paint Flynn as a liar, putting into question the credibility of Flynn's earlier diagnoses of the mess in Syria among other things, and thus sling more mud at Trump in order to bring down his presidency or at least handicap it's effectiveness.

And Flynn's loyalty to the President should not be put into question. He's in an impossible situation and Trump gets that. Trump's lawyers will have to attack Flynn's credibility. Flynn will have to throw Mueller some sort of bone, probably Kushner. I don't think Kushner will have a problem, but it will mean he'll need to leave the administration, which rumors have him already preparing so.

A. Pols

"Airtight sanctions" are sort of an "if ya coulda wouldya" thing; seems like a good idea, but hard to implement in the real world of complicated national interests in other significant countries such as China and Russia bordering on NoKo.
For them perhaps, having a festering sore on their rumps represented by the 65 year confrontation between the USA and NoKo may be something they might want to lance by enabling the NoKos to acquire the power to blunt US intentions and make necessary some sort of modus vivendi.
Given the "No eternal alliances, only eternal interests" factor, maybe the Russians and Chinese are enabling the NoKos in the hopes that we won't send the SWAT team into the neighboring apartment. After all NoKo hasn't been threatening either one


Kim Jong-un's cards aren't all that great. He is like man with a revolver with a single bullet in the chamber trying to hold 5000 people at bay. Of course, they could rush him, but nobody wants to be the one taking the losses. But you can play the Samson-Card only once, so he has to think very carefully what to do when provoked. I think Russia and China and the NoKo generals can take him out anytime, but they enjoy playing a dangerous little game with Trump, pretending they cant do anything, hoping to profit somehow. Let's hope they all know what they are doing.



We are not Israel. Hizbullah deterrence of Israel means little to the world as a whole. We cannot accept a situation in which minor powers like NoKo can be seen to have defeated us in this kind of staring match. If you would would accept that then we should withdraw all our forces fro overseas commitments and concentrate on a fortress America strategy. pl



International relations is not about social justice. In your desired world Luxembourg and Russia would have equal weight in the world. That is a nonsense. This Boy Scout view of yours is further complicated by your Canadian inferiority complex vis a vis the US. I am an isolationist except with regard to trade and tourism and don't really care about the rest of the world. pl


I also think that you can't have a situation were every Tom, Dick and Harry have their own little bomb. If too many got them, they can blow anyone up without even anyone knowing who dunnit. For obvoius reasons there would be no tracable evidence left. What do you do then with diplomacy? In 1964, Barry Goldwater said in an interview: Today, you make an A-bomb in every kitchen. Whilst this was a bit exaggerated then, it is certainly becoming more true every day. In the end it is the old question: Who stares down who?


Very clear and very honest. But...
I think we are all witness to NoKo doing exactly that. Someone overplayed his hand and now there are two possible outcomes. 1st - bluffing side folds cards. 2nd - 10-100 million people die in next round of NoKo destruction.
I do not think elites are sure enough in their ability to contain that destruction and survive it to enjoy its wealth another day, so I think card folding will happen - this way or another.


Fortress America strategy amen. We have been the world's policeman for far too long. And what have we gained from "the global policing beat"?

Bill Herschel

This is all about domestic politics, specifically the 2018 Congressional elections. Absolutely nothing will happen militarily before (or after) those elections. But "being soft on North Korea" is being developed as a stick to beat Demacrats with.

So, expect Republicans to call for war, and Democrats to suggest that war might be premature.

War and No Taxes are the Republican platform, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Does anyone want to put money on a war with North Korea between now and Nov. 2018? Oh, and could such a war occur without our receiving an assurance from China that it would not intervene, particularly seeing that it is a signatory to the ceasefire that currently governs the Korean peninsula? Let's not be silly.

Babak Makkinejad

Let us walk through a scenario in which DPRK conducts a nuclear detonation in the air somewhere East of Japan.
US will attack and much of Korean penninsula as well as Tokyo Bay area is in ruins. So much so that there is no longer any allies left to protect and US will withdraw from NE Asia. That would be in the interests of RF and PRC.


A few simple questions of curiosity come to mind;

How many times has NoKo attacked US mainland?
How many US cities have been leveled by NoKo planes?
How many times has NoKo conducted massive military exercises of US coast lines simulating an invasion?
How many millitary basis NoKos have all around US mainland or anywhere else?
How many countries NoKo has attacked in its entire existence?
How many regime changes has NoKo promoted in ME or latin america or anywhere in the world?

In 1954 the Breetish empire made an "angry" choice to attack Naser for having dared to nationalize Suez canal. Historian seem to suggest that was a flawed choice on the part of the former empire...


"For obvoius reasons there would be no tracable evidence left."

Er, no. Every nuclear reaction leaves a unique fingerprint of fission and/or fusion products that tell you a great deal about the nuclear material used and even the design of the device. That in turn tells you where the materials for it came from. Typically down to the level of the specific processing plant that made them.



Ah, more social justice confusion. Silly. That has nothing to do with the game of nations. Incredible naivete. pl



Yes. pl


Then why all the concern?


Bill Herschel

Ah, you see this in partisan terms ... Amazing. Still got Clinton stickers on your cars? IMO she would have ordered an attack by now. The armistice is just a piece of paper like the treaty that protected Belgium or the Netherlands, whichever it was. . Neither China nor Russia would do anything but hint at possible repercussions. Lavrov said the other day that Russia would wprk to diligently to prevent an armed response. What do you think that means? pl


I haven’t completely figured out my own position in regard to North Korea, but I do note that three more days from now will mark the 76th anniversary of the last time your first four questions were asked about Japan.


I am unsure whether I understand you fully. Would you favour a war against North Korea, mainly as a matter of face?


"Fortress America" might turn out to be a damn good idea, and much larger (depth) than one might initially think.


If NK is "in ruins" that means, correct, they are not threatening to blow up cities in the US, correct? Whatever else it may mean, it means that.

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