General North Korea thread

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-19 08:26am

The big issues here are twofold:

1) Having a Western education is NOT a vaccine against deep ignorance of nuclear weapons and nuclear warfare. If Kim Jong Un knows as much about nuclear war as the average educated Westerner, we should be very, very worried, because average educated Westerners often hold incorrect beliefs about nuclear war. Some of those beliefs would be very dangerous in the hands of an ambitious dictator who aspires to create a nuclear program so that his nation's many enemies will not dare to attack him. Examples of such beliefs:
-Ballistic missile defense doesn't work or is "all for show."
-A variety of mistaken ideas about who does and does not control the US nuclear arsenal.
-A variety of mistaken ideas regarding the US's continuity of command and control after a nuclear attack.
-That nuclear attack is so powerful, even a superpower military cannot function if several of their largest cities are destroyed by such an attack.

So basically, we can be confident that Kim Jong Un knows intellectually that the US nuclear arsenal could reduce his entire country to a field of crunchy glass and large craters... But we can't be confident that he fully understands all the pertinent details. We certainly can't assume that he fully understands the principles behind how deterrence actually works.

Now, this is equally true of a variety of Western leaders (e.g., God help us, Donald Trump). But the key difference there is that the Western leaders have career-service bureaucrats and military officers prepared to explain how all of this works to them. Kim Jong Un... sort of does, but that raises the second issue:

2) Kim Jong Un has a track record of brutally purging and executing his subordinates. He runs a totalitarian state where questioning the official agenda has been forbidden pretty much as long as anyone can remember. The average citizen is required to treat him like a god, most people aren't even allowed to make eye contact with him... Who is going to tell him things he didn't want or expect to hear?

Suppose Kim Jong Un was heavily influenced by some peaceniks he met going to school in Switzerland, who told him that ABM is a big fake by generals who want to pretend nuclear war isn't so bad. That would remind him of a lot of stuff back home, and in his own frame of reference would seem very believable. It's probably a LOT easier for him or other North Koreans to believe in elaborate conspiracies and layered arrays of lies-to-the-public than to believe that you can get a reasonably accurate sense of Western military capabilities from reading random blog posts and Wikipedia. So he comes away from that believing ballistic missile defense doesn't work, it's all a big fake.

Remember- anyone who argues with him is executed in front of cheering crowds with flamethrowers and autocannon. He is, essentially, a god. Who is going to communicate to him something like "no, the American ballistic missile defense system really CAN shoot down our missiles, and can be readily scaled up to counter any number of missiles we can readily construct, if they think they need to do that?"

...

The cumulative effect of all this is that we really, really cannot afford to assume that North Korea is "fully briefed" on the weird logic of nuclear deterrence. It's not because they're crazy- both my points (1) and (2) apply 100% even if everyone in North Korea is a rational actor making logical decisions to the best of their ability, in order to accomplish well-defined goals. It's not because they're crazy. It's because they're a society that sees the outside world through a narrow and distorted window even at the best of times, and a society whose internal leadership is very very much beholden to support the party line.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Broomstick » 2017-09-19 11:00am

Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Gandalf » 2017-09-19 11:06am

Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-19 11:00am
Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?
When people wonder why the DPRK is rushing to build a nuclear deterrent, this will make a nice exhibit.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Caiaphas » 2017-09-19 12:24pm

Pardon me, but does anyone know if Stuart's still around? It'd be nice to get his take on the situation.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-19 01:02pm

Stuart is long gone, realistically.
Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-19 11:06am
Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-19 11:00am
Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?
When people wonder why the DPRK is rushing to build a nuclear deterrent, this will make a nice exhibit.
Yes. Yes, it will. Especially given the extreme weasel-ness with which various US presidents have interpreted "forced to defend itself," a level of weasel-ness matched by few things (among those few things, North Korean propagnda!)

It gets even scarier when you consider how Trump's own narcissistic rage might lead him personally to behave.

This is the guy who's "forced to defend himself" from a department store that drops his kid's perfume line because of the political controversy associated with his name.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2017-09-19 02:35pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-19 11:06am
Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-19 11:00am
Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?
When people wonder why the DPRK is rushing to build a nuclear deterrent, this will make a nice exhibit.
Our news is smart enough to point this one out nicely. They also said that in contrast to Trump's earlier remarks about fire and fury which were more or less off-the-cuff, this speech would have been carefully crafted and choreographed. That, and how it was in front of the UN, it should be taken more seriously. I have to wonder what the Fat One's response is going to be.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-19 04:06pm

I strongly suspect he's going to change nothing and do everything exactly the same way. Because why would the North Koreans believe that President Trump's texts are off-the-cuff remarks that bear less of a resemblance to his real intentions than a prepared speech would?

For that matter, why do we?
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by LaCroix » 2017-09-19 04:27pm

If Nk attacks the USA, NK will be destroyed....

I'm sure that the current Kim is completely baffled by this absolitely new information and will change his ways. 😆

This speech is more likely an attempt to ensure China and Russia that Trump wont start a preemptive war
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-19 04:32pm

Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-19 11:00am
Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?
Depending on how you interpret that, it could be taken as him threatening nuclear genocide of North Korea. Which would probably lead to a war with China (unless Kim unambiguously attacked first, anyway), and also make the US responsible for the greatest act of mass murder in human history.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2017-09-19 06:12pm

What made me laugh out loud was how Trump was introduced as "His excellency"... :wanker:
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-19 06:36pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2017-09-19 06:12pm
What made me laugh out loud was how Trump was introduced as "His excellency"... :wanker:
Seriously?

Next he'll be declaring himself God Emperor Trump. :lol:
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Gandalf » 2017-09-19 07:11pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-19 01:02pm
Stuart is long gone, realistically.
Yeah, but that's for the best.
Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-19 11:06am
Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-19 11:00am
Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?
When people wonder why the DPRK is rushing to build a nuclear deterrent, this will make a nice exhibit.
Yes. Yes, it will. Especially given the extreme weasel-ness with which various US presidents have interpreted "forced to defend itself," a level of weasel-ness matched by few things (among those few things, North Korean propagnda!)

It gets even scarier when you consider how Trump's own narcissistic rage might lead him personally to behave.

This is the guy who's "forced to defend himself" from a department store that drops his kid's perfume line because of the political controversy associated with his name.
Yeah, the DPRK is sitting on top of a lot of mineral wealth, and the US is starting to cry self defence. It reminds me of when Bill Hicks would invoke Shane when dealing with US foreign policy. :P
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That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-19 07:27pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-19 07:11pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-19 01:02pm
Stuart is long gone, realistically.
Yeah, but that's for the best.
Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-19 11:06am
When people wonder why the DPRK is rushing to build a nuclear deterrent, this will make a nice exhibit.
Yes. Yes, it will. Especially given the extreme weasel-ness with which various US presidents have interpreted "forced to defend itself," a level of weasel-ness matched by few things (among those few things, North Korean propagnda!)

It gets even scarier when you consider how Trump's own narcissistic rage might lead him personally to behave.

This is the guy who's "forced to defend himself" from a department store that drops his kid's perfume line because of the political controversy associated with his name.
Yeah, the DPRK is sitting on top of a lot of mineral wealth, and the US is starting to cry self defence. It reminds me of when Bill Hicks would invoke Shane when dealing with US foreign policy. :P
Yes, Trump is a festering sore on humanity's dick, but their are reasons besides "evil imperialists want to steal all the oil/minerals/etc." for America to regard North Korea as a threat.

North Korea's been building nukes and talking about using them on us for a while now. Hell, their have been incidents with SK (shelling of islands, etc.) that could be considered acts of war, if anyone wanted to push the issue.

The only difference is that now we have an American President infantile and irresponsible enough to reply in kind.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-20 01:54am

Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-19 07:11pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-19 01:02pm
Stuart is long gone, realistically.
Yeah, but that's for the best.
In this specific instance his professional knowledge would be useful, I think.

I cannot help but imagine Stuart having this little inner voice that cries inside at the fact that a deeply conservative president has gotten elected... but that he's so pig-ignorant and acting like a reckless, feckless arsonist in a powder keg with the nukes Stuart knows so well.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Gandalf » 2017-09-20 02:16am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-19 07:27pm
Yes, Trump is a festering sore on humanity's dick, but their are reasons besides "evil imperialists want to steal all the oil/minerals/etc." for America to regard North Korea as a threat.

North Korea's been building nukes and talking about using them on us for a while now. Hell, their have been incidents with SK (shelling of islands, etc.) that could be considered acts of war, if anyone wanted to push the issue.

The only difference is that now we have an American President infantile and irresponsible enough to reply in kind.
A country doesn't need resources to be regarded as a threat, but having them can certainly elevate a country to an actionable threat by incentivising the bringing of freedom. Would Iraq have been invaded had they not been sitting on so much oil?
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-20 01:54am
I cannot help but imagine Stuart having this little inner voice that cries inside at the fact that a deeply conservative president has gotten elected... but that he's so pig-ignorant and acting like a reckless, feckless arsonist in a powder keg with the nukes Stuart knows so well.
Weirdly, you can go back through HPCA to see Stewie (and his hangers on) go from "Trump is a Democratic plant" to "He's got good ideas" to "All hail Trump!" Now that Trump is President, all suddenly of his moves are part of nine-dimensional chess that foreigners can't understand, as seen when non-American members question anything. It's darkly funny.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-20 02:33am

Hah!

Yes, yes that would be funny and unsurprising. If so, yeah, he wouldn't be useful in this context because his need to believe that all Republican presidential nominees are smart is likely to override his good judgment in the one area where he could be depended on to know what the hell he was talking about.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Broomstick » 2017-09-20 10:18am

Alright, I think everyone in this thread would be in agreement with a statement that the US being the first to engage in violence would be deplorable, horrific, and wrong.

However - what if it is the NK starting a fire fight? Dropping a nuke on the US or Japan or opening fire on Seoul. What level of retaliation would you feel is justified in such a circumstance?
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-09-20 10:22am

Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-19 11:00am
Well, Donald Trump just stood up in front of the world, before the United Nations general assembly, and stated quite plainly that if the US is forced to defend itself from North Korea it will destroy that country.

Thoughts?

:lol:
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Omeros » 2017-09-20 02:17pm

Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-20 10:18am
Alright, I think everyone in this thread would be in agreement with a statement that the US being the first to engage in violence would be deplorable, horrific, and wrong.

However - what if it is the NK starting a fire fight? Dropping a nuke on the US or Japan or opening fire on Seoul. What level of retaliation would you feel is justified in such a circumstance?
If the North Koreans launched a nuclear weapon, a retaliatory strike on Pyongyang together with conventional attacks on any known launch sites would be the obvious response. However the Chinese and Russians would need to be on board for this.

If they 'only' open fire on Seoul, massive airstrikes to take out their artillery as quickly as possible, combined perhaps with a ground attack to overrun them if this is feasible.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-20 03:16pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-09-20 02:16am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-19 07:27pm
Yes, Trump is a festering sore on humanity's dick, but their are reasons besides "evil imperialists want to steal all the oil/minerals/etc." for America to regard North Korea as a threat.

North Korea's been building nukes and talking about using them on us for a while now. Hell, their have been incidents with SK (shelling of islands, etc.) that could be considered acts of war, if anyone wanted to push the issue.

The only difference is that now we have an American President infantile and irresponsible enough to reply in kind.
A country doesn't need resources to be regarded as a threat, but having them can certainly elevate a country to an actionable threat by incentivising the bringing of freedom. Would Iraq have been invaded had they not been sitting on so much oil?
Maybe, maybe not. The US, and the Bush family in particular, had history with Iraq, and I've heard it theorized that they wanted to democratize it to use as a buffer or staging ground against Iran. Plus war profiteering, of course.

But North Korea is not Iraq. This is a big problem I have with a lot of the anti-war people, even when I agree with their basic position- too often, they try to fit all wars into the same box, and employ the same argument against them- basically that they're fabricated imperialist wars with the aim of stealing resources.

War may or may not come to be justifiable against NK (I certainly would not support a US first strike at this time), but its not Iraq, and shouldn't be treated as the same as Iraq.

Minerals might be one reason, but I think that even before the nukes, it would take an utter ignoramus or an utter psychopath to think that war with NK, and destruction of Seoul, and possibly nuclear war with China were a fair price to pay simply to aquire North Korean minerals. Their are other motives here, and not all of them are unreasonable. Its not just corporate Neo-Cons who regard NK as a "threat". Because they've gone to great lengths to make themselves seem like a threat.

Do they have reasons for feeling that they need to do that? Maybe. But it doesn't change the fact that a reasonable person can regard them as a threat, based on their actions.
Weirdly, you can go back through HPCA to see Stewie (and his hangers on) go from "Trump is a Democratic plant" to "He's got good ideas" to "All hail Trump!" Now that Trump is President, all suddenly of his moves are part of nine-dimensional chess that foreigners can't understand, as seen when non-American members question anything. It's darkly funny.
So a self-deluded imbecile, then?
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-20 03:20pm

Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-20 10:18am
Alright, I think everyone in this thread would be in agreement with a statement that the US being the first to engage in violence would be deplorable, horrific, and wrong.

However - what if it is the NK starting a fire fight? Dropping a nuke on the US or Japan or opening fire on Seoul. What level of retaliation would you feel is justified in such a circumstance?
If they used a nuke, nuclear retaliation is pretty much inevitable, I expect. Personally, I'd prefer that it be limited to tactical nukes on the fortifications along the DMZ, which would make the point about use of nukes being met with nuclear retaliation, and would probably be militarily necessary to quickly eliminate all the artillery they've got their to fire at Seoul.

But since this is Donald Trump, and given his words at the UN, I half-expect (and sincerely hope I am wrong) for any attack to be met with nuclear genocide of North Korea.

A successful nuclear attack on an American city certainly would be, and the vast majority of the people would be behind it. And probably martial law and internment camps. I remember how nuts this country got after 9/11, and I can't imagine how much worse it would be if, say, LA got levelled by a nuke.

Edit: Although, one good reason to hold back would be because we wouldn't want to irradiate our allies in the area any more than necessary. Also, probably a good idea not to provoke China more than we can help, even if NK fired first.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2017-09-20 08:48pm

I would hope that Trump has at least a rudimentary knowledge of what nuclear fallout is, and if he does, how he plans to confine it to North Korea. NK is all but surrounded by countries that you don't want to irradiate, for obvious reasons.

Unless I'm very mistaken, nukes are the only weapons capable of the large-scale destruction that Big Orange is threatening. So unless he has a means of accomplishing the same result with conventional weapons, nukes are the only option.

Really the least bloody way of deposing The Fat One once he pushes the button is for China to do the job instead. And that would have to be pretty damn fast since the US counterattack would be almost immediate.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Gandalf » 2017-09-20 10:25pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-20 02:33am
Hah!

Yes, yes that would be funny and unsurprising. If so, yeah, he wouldn't be useful in this context because his need to believe that all Republican presidential nominees are smart is likely to override his good judgment in the one area where he could be depended on to know what the hell he was talking about.
Pretty much. It's a weird but ultimately tragic thing where a group of people who are largely past their prime are trying to impress each other by pretending to be in the know and tuned into the zeitgeist.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-20 03:16pm
Maybe, maybe not. The US, and the Bush family in particular, had history with Iraq, and I've heard it theorized that they wanted to democratize it to use as a buffer or staging ground against Iran. Plus war profiteering, of course.

But North Korea is not Iraq. This is a big problem I have with a lot of the anti-war people, even when I agree with their basic position- too often, they try to fit all wars into the same box, and employ the same argument against them- basically that they're fabricated imperialist wars with the aim of stealing resources.

War may or may not come to be justifiable against NK (I certainly would not support a US first strike at this time), but its not Iraq, and shouldn't be treated as the same as Iraq.

Minerals might be one reason, but I think that even before the nukes, it would take an utter ignoramus or an utter psychopath to think that war with NK, and destruction of Seoul, and possibly nuclear war with China were a fair price to pay simply to aquire North Korean minerals. Their are other motives here, and not all of them are unreasonable. Its not just corporate Neo-Cons who regard NK as a "threat". Because they've gone to great lengths to make themselves seem like a threat.

Do they have reasons for feeling that they need to do that? Maybe. But it doesn't change the fact that a reasonable person can regard them as a threat, based on their actions.
My issue wasn't the issue of "threat or not," but rather "do something or no." The cons of an attack on the DPRK are largely known; a big conventional attack on the ROK and a nuke somewhere. The pro being that once the dust settles there's no more DPRK to create and exacerbate crises. Also minerals. Depending on one's position, these individual factors vary in worth. So when I see the head of the US government essentially replay the buildup to Iraq it leaves me concerned. To clarify, I do think that there should be action taken in Korea, but I don't think that a "Coalition of the Willing" is the one to do it.

I'd personally rather carpet bomb the DPRK in food in order to make everyone fat and happy.
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Simon_Jester
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-20 11:22pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-20 03:16pm
Weirdly, you can go back through HPCA to see Stewie (and his hangers on) go from "Trump is a Democratic plant" to "He's got good ideas" to "All hail Trump!" Now that Trump is President, all suddenly of his moves are part of nine-dimensional chess that foreigners can't understand, as seen when non-American members question anything. It's darkly funny.
So a self-deluded imbecile, then?
Stuart started out from a position of considerable intelligence. But his forum became even more of a right-wing echo chamber than SDN is a left-wing one.

And frankly, a fair number of Republican intellectuals (e.g. people from the Cold War military-industrial-security complex) have this problem. For one reason or another they have political positions they can't abandon by leaving the party, which forces them into association with non-intellectual ideologues. Over time, they get dragged down into trying to defend greater and greater amounts of stupidity, or they have to openly dissociate themselves with a big chunk of their own party.

There are people on the left in a similar position, because there is a reasonable amount of stupidity to go around on the left. But it's been especially pronounced on the right with the rise of Trump. The man can say several mutually contradictory dumb things before breakfast, so it takes a LOT of self-deception to believe in the basic sanity of his plans and policies.
EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2017-09-20 08:48pm
I would hope that Trump has at least a rudimentary knowledge of what nuclear fallout is, and if he does, how he plans to confine it to North Korea. NK is all but surrounded by countries that you don't want to irradiate, for obvious reasons.
He showed little sign of truly grasping that on the campaign trail or in earlier months. The fact that nuclear weapons have terrible consequences is precisely why normal leaders DON'T constantly spam threats to use them. But Trump and Kim Jong Un have that in common- they're not normal.

My comments on Kim Jong Un apply equally well to Trump; the man may have a Western upbringing but that doesn't mean he understands nuclear war.
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The Romulan Republic
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-21 01:45pm

Yeah, I don't think Trump has much more understanding of nuclear weapons other than that they can blow things up real good, and therefore he can use them to threaten people who offend him and make himself feel like a big man.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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