Hands Off Peace-Loving North Korea!

And this country should not use its remaining surgical strike capacity to eliminate the grotesque monsters who bleed the miserable  North Korean people while they threaten us and their neighbors with death because?

Yes, I don’t mean “occupy.” I mean let the South Koreans and the Chinese pick up the pieces afterwards. It’s their cousins and and it’s their clients. They will grumble but they will be grateful.

Our military experts, or those who say they speak for them, are guessing that the North Korean dictatorial regime does not really have the means to hurt us, not badly at any rate, maybe not. Possibly they are bluffing. Or maybe they are not. We will soon find out if they do nothing. We will also find out if they do something.

This is another on of those cases where self-interest and common decency coincide.

You don’t want to apply the precautionary principle here because the situation is not as grave as, say, the possibility that average global temperatures will rise by two (2) degree Centigrade in one hundred years?

(Note: The precautionary principle would demand that we conduct such strikes on North Korean command centers just in case they are able and willing to hurt us.)

The policy of non-intervention  that is a sacred to mainstream libertarians and, on and off, to liberals, is working just fine in Syria, you see (70,000, 80,000 civilian deaths later). That’s the place were Al Qaida is currently picking up a whole country next to Israel,* by default, our default and that of other democratic countries.

Pathetic!

* I am not Jewish, never have been. I tried to be a born-again Christian but their alcohol policy sucks.

About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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59 Responses to Hands Off Peace-Loving North Korea!

  1. Bruce says:

    The problem is we don’t have a foreign policy. Our current president and secretary of state are wait and see, play as you go, lead from astern guys. We should expect nothing more than the weakness and indecision we got from the “What difference does it make now” Benghazi debacle. Too little, too late or nothing at all. We would be better served to have Dennis Rodman go back and show Dear Leader how to play hoops. I spent a lot of time over the years in South Korea doing joint ops with ROC SEALs. Though less well armed, they were a tough and committed bunch. The people of South Korea deserve our support and I doubt they’re going to get it. Sometimes I wish we had a guy in charge more like Putin.

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    It’s been a decade since we started a war, the neocons are getting restless.

    • Simple, simplistic sarcasm Terry but are not saying anything about the issues. Or, are there issues?

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “Or, are there issues?”

        I think the main issue is that it would be absolutely insane to start a war in Korea. Not the normal neocon level of insanity, we’re talking batshit crazy, the level of insanity normally associated with gibbering and drooling in the corner of the room.

      • Well, Terry you have made your feelings clear. Now, why don’t you explain why you feel those feelings. It’s not that I don’t think there are no reasons to feel the way you do. I am curious about which reasons you prefer.

        “batshit crazy” is not much of an argument.

        I think it’s insane not to do something vigorous about North Korea now but I take a few words to explain why.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “I might be forced to explain why starting a war in East Asia would be a bad idea.”

        You can try if you want Brandon. I’m not going to bother.

      • I think Terry is absolutely right here. Bombing North Korea is batshit insane. Then again Dr J truly, deeply believes the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq was a success…

        I have an idea Dr J! You should dress up in your nicest suit and stand out in front of the Santa Cruz courthouse with a “Bomb North Korea” sign. Even the crackheads would laugh at you.

      • No, they would lynch me.

        I am impressed by the lack of substantive arguments against the idea of bombing NOT “North Korea” but the command centers of the Nazis who run it.

        I suspect it could be done in five days . If I am technically wrong, then, it should not be done.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        Facts Matter Top 10 Reasons to Start a War in Korea

        10. Trillions of dollars of debt added while Obama is President
        9. Maybe we’ll find Iraqi WMD in Korea
        8. Benghazi
        7. Shows this generation the difference between ‘War’ and ‘Police Action’
        6. Lets bigots go back to hating ‘slopes’ instead of ‘towelheads’
        5. We can finish the job left undone by that pinko Eisenhower
        6. Obamacare
        5. Something to do for troops no longer deployed in our middle east wars
        4. North Koreans will welcome us as heroes unlike those ingrate Iraqis and Afghanis
        3. Dick Cheney won’t be in deep doo doo
        2. The norse ate beef in Greenland in 1100
        1. We can update our stock of grainy black & white video of smart bombs blowing up buildings

      • Terry: Your just have nothing to say. You sound paralyzed. Your aimless indignation is not an adequate substitute for thinking.

  3. More absurdity. It’s a good thing nobody takes the GOP seriously anymore, or I might be forced to explain why starting a war in East Asia would be a bad idea.

    Here is how we could ameliorate the situation: liquidate the US Army and focus the relevant wings of the military on upgrading and downsizing (at the same time!). This would mean faster ships, smarter bombs and much, much less personnel. Bye bye 38th parallel!

    Time to get real folks. Unicorn and fairy fantasies just won’t cut it anymore.

    • Your plan for next year are interesting, Brandon but all you have said about tomorrow’s problem is “absurd,” same as our liberal friend, Prof Terry except that, for once, you are more polite than he is.

      PS I hope you ideas on how to save military money take into accout how much the US military costs today. I don’t know if they do. A “yes” or “no” would be useful.

  4. David says:

    Perhaps my recollection of history is off, but the Korean War was started well over 40 years ago. (My Grandfather fought in the Korean War when he was a young lad.) There was an Armistice signed that halted active hostilities, but didn’t end the war. I think Kim “Batshit Crazy” Jong Un unilaterally rescinded the Armistice recently, so technically the Korean War has already re-started and we didn’t do restart it. Since there was never an end to the Korean War, then we would just be finishing what was started all those decades ago. And I get tired of North Korea extorting other countries (namely us and our allies) because they have their priorities wrong and can’t feed their people. They threaten war, we give em supplies. Sounds like we didn’t learn the lesson of Nevel Chamberlain. I am open to correction if I erred in any meaningful way.

    • More unicorns and fairies.

      PS you spelled ‘Neville’ wrong.

      • McHenry says:

        Well, being the liberal dirt skinned broccoli gutted hippy I am cannot wait to see the mouthy kid get smacked. It seems to me that this is a case of countries acting the part of children on the playground.
        As a child it was always my style to try diplomacy first, as we are with china, but as an adult I find it much more fun to put whiny brats in their place. Maybe not with punches but given the poor lot that is the north Korean military I think it would be fun to provoke them back with fairly harsh counter demands, ie act as the adult and lay down the rules.
        Something needs to be done, I’d prefer it to be political, but as a guy who has learned that merely observing aberrant behavior never intercepts the moment it crosses the line, I’m up for some muscle, and I think the rest of the playground would not miss those high pitched wails.
        Sorry if this is a grim rambling of a bigot.

      • David says:

        I made no mention of unicorns or fairies. And I don’t give a damn if I mispeled his name wrong, Appeasing a less-than-stable authoritarian dictator is a recipe for disaster. Kim Jong Un has made threats against the USA, and is steadily moving towards making good on those threats. He’s already exploded nukes (is that a unicorn or fairy to you brandon?) and it is only a matter of time before they’re able to miniaturize it to fit on a ballistic missile. (are those pesky missiles fairies to you as well?) Brandon, I know that dismissing any inconvenient truths is normal for you, but why don’t you try googling the history of the korean war and get some background. Keep in mind that peace at any cost is pretty damn expensive.

      • Kim Jong Un […] is steadily moving towards making good on those threats.

        Unicorns,

        it is only a matter of time before they’re able to miniaturize it to fit on a ballistic missile.

        and fairies. Pathetic.

      • David says:

        Do correct my unicorns and fairies then Brandon. What species be they if not unicorns and fairies? twenty-odd years ago they didn’t have nukes, and the American public was told they wouldn’t be allowed to have them, yet here they possess nuclear weapons. Time passed and they developed/bought new capabilities. It can happen again.

  5. I am genuinely surprised by the lack of substantive arguments in this debate. Then again, most of this debate is being pushed by people who think Social Security and Medicaid are great ideas, and that foreign boogiemen lurk under every American child’s bed at night.

    For example, Dr J writes:

    I am impressed by the lack of substantive arguments against the idea of bombing NOT “North Korea” but the command centers of the Nazis who run it.

    Yes, and Japan didn’t bomb the “United States” but merely a strategic location run by imperial racists.

    He similarly loses his bearings on matters in the Middle East as well:

    in Syria, you see (70,000, 80,000 civilian deaths later). That’s the place were Al Qaida is currently picking up a whole country next to Israel,* by default, our default and that of other democratic countries.

    Again, 70,000 citizens is what percent of the population? Does Dr J not understand that Al Qaeda operatives make up a percentage of the civilian population in Syria, and that bombing the Assad regime would – amongst other things – strengthen Al Qaeda in that country?

    I think he does, and that he simply doesn’t care. All he cares about is shoving his moral intuition down the throats of everybody else. Trotsky would be proud.

    Speaking of socialists, McHenry chimes in with this predictable lament:

    Something needs to be done

    Unfortunately, he’s right. However, as is usually the case with readers of the New York Times (they simply do as they’re told), he is confused about what exactly needs to be done: the US military needs to be withdrawn from the Korean peninsula.

    Right now there is a power struggle going on in North Korea between Fatso the Successor and the military. This is what always happens in authoritarian regimes. The successor is attempting to flex his muscles and the military is attempting to counter his moves. Just sit back, relax, and watch the whole thing die down in a couple of weeks. Jesus…

    This whole conversation is absurd. No, it’s batshit crazy. Again, I would urge all of you tough guys to dress up in your fanciest threads, go down to your local courthouse, and hold a homemade sign that says “Bomb North Korea” (or its “command centers”). Don’t use cardboard, it’ll make you look unprofessional!

    Good luck in next year’s election!

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “I am genuinely surprised by the lack of substantive arguments in this debate.”

      Why are you surprised, there are only substantive arguments on one side. You’ll notice that the warmongers anthropomorphize international relations into playground squabbles. You can’t have an actual debate with people that can’t distinguish between a 9 year old boy and a nation state.

      • Hahah!

        You can’t have an actual debate with people that can’t distinguish between a 9 year old boy and a nation state.

        You just summed up the entire worldview of the conservative movement in the United States. I’d be laughing harder but these people make up 35% of the electorate…

  6. McHenry says:

    “This is what always happens in authoritarian regimes. The successor is attempting to flex his muscles and the military is attempting to counter his moves. Just sit back, relax, and watch the whole thing die down in a couple of weeks.”

    And reoccur again in a year? Is this not the tactic we continually resort to and what keeps this unwanted behavior going? Isn’t that the real issue? To end this cycle once and for all before it actually boils over for real?

    I once knew a sexual predator, before he was a real predator. I just thought he was a weird guy and always meant to take him aside as a friend and point out a couple things that weirded people out, but I let it go. One night he raped someone. After the fact, all you have is brawn, but it never undoes what some early intervention could have.

    I think currently the US keeps turning the blood eye in the hopes it will all die down, and the behavior or North Korea just keeps getting weirder.

    We are still in a time where some non-military intervention would do a lot, but watching and waiting, it seems to me, will end in violence anyway.

    I think I’ll try out city hall tomorrow, I’ve got some left over poster boards and a tie.

    • McHenry says:

      I guess I mean blind eye, but spell check is faster than me.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Isn’t that the real issue? To end this cycle once and for all before it actually boils over for real?”

      A very nice summation of the Delacroix doctrine: we need to start a war to avoid a war. That has a familiar ring to it. Oh yes…

      “A famous quote from the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. officer by AP correspondent Peter Arnett in his writing about Bến Tre city on 7 February 1968. Arnett cited an unidentified U.S. military official in his report: “‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it’, a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.”[3]”

      • Summary of comments:

        1 Those who support the idea of removing the North Korean gangster elite militarily present substantive arguments. Opponents do not, or they are silent. Their best arguments are silly invectives.

        2 We learn that those who oppose military action against the North Korean bloodsuckers don’t like war! Deuh!

        One opponent compares me to a nine-year old. Not too bad. It’s common for little boys to enjoy great moral clarity. I know it took me many years to regain mine when I got past the pseudo-sophistication of leftisism.

        Speaking of moral clarity, it seems that Paulista libertarians and liberals share this position: What my neighbor does when he cuts his children’s throats is none of my business. It would be a big mistake, both intellectual and moral, to let myself become interested in the cries of agonies of the slaughtered.

        Paulistas are especially obsessed with the cost of war. In this case, would it be absurd to explore the possibility that a single surgical air campaign would be cheaper than another fifty years of maintaining a military presence in South Korea?

        Finally, the main question is a simple one: For how long does a responsible people ignore the threats of those who repeatedly declare their intention to kill us?

        Every other issue is subordinate to this one. If you bypass this question, you are not serious. No amount of phony humor, of humor that makes no one laugh changes this fact.

        Today, 4/13/13 no one has answered my simple question with any form of credible words.

      • I’m sorry but it’s impossible to take you seriously on this issue Dr J. Starting a war in East Asia is, like Terry said, batshit crazy.

      • David says:

        SInce starting a war in southeast asia is “bat-shit crazy,” could either Terry, Brandon or other well informed person (yes, I am excluding monkeys on typewriters) elucidate on that? Especially since it seems that both Terry and Brandon seem to be against damn near ANY war. (I don’t like war very much, but peace at any cost is always more expensive. Just ask Nivulle Chamberlain, his idiocy damn near put the world under the Nazi flag.)

      • The Korean peninsula is not in Southeast Asia. This just keeps better and better…

      • David says:

        So….you don’t know why it’s bat-shit crazy or can’t elucidate why? And it is in the south eastern quadrant of asia. Hell, most asian countries are in the Southern half of Asia, since Russia takes up damn near half of the continent. To some recollections, California is on the Eastern Pacific. It’s symantics, Get over it. Either post something cogent or shut up.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “Especially since it seems that both Terry and Brandon seem to be against damn near ANY war.”

        I will admit to some degree of selectivity when it comes to starting wars. I supported going into Afghanistan [and still do]. Generally I’m closer to Jacques than Brandon on issues of foreign policy. Starting a war with North Korea…well I’ve already stated my opinion. Despite Jacques delusion about the ‘substantive’ arguments being put forth by the warmongers and saber-rattlers I’ve yet to see anything beyond macho posturing and inane comparisons to playgrounds.

        How about one of you chickenhawks tell us the most important benefit with starting a war with Korea. How about this, will there be a regime change so that the communist north gets absorbed into the democratic south? Will we be welcomed as conquering heroes?

        “One opponent compares me to a nine-year old.”

        You need to work on your reading comprehension. Seriously.

        “SInce starting a war in southeast asia is “bat-shit crazy,” could either Terry, Brandon or other well informed person (yes, I am excluding monkeys on typewriters) elucidate on that?”

        Sure. Roughly a trillion dollars and I’d guess around 250,000 dead people.

        “I don’t like war very much, but peace at any cost is always more expensive”

        So at what cost does it become a bad idea? Lets ignore money for the moment and just focus on body count. 250,000? 500,000? 1,000,000? Give me the number of corpses where you say “this wasn’t a good idea”.

        “It’s symantics, Get over it. Either post something cogent or shut up.”

        That would be semantics.

        “Perhaps Brandon’s real fear is that if we started a big war with North Korea it would be necessary to reinstate the draft and he would have to leave the comfort of his toasty-warm academic cocoon.”

        I doubt it, but it definitely doesn’t hold for me. I did my tour from 1968 to 1972. Was there a draft when you were in the military? The draft had exemptions for people in college [or university as the Canadians would say] so Brandon wouldn’t have to worry a bit.

  7. Bruce says:

    Perhaps Brandon’s real fear is that if we started a big war with North Korea it would be necessary to reinstate the draft and he would have to leave the comfort of his toasty-warm academic cocoon. He might just excell as a boot recruit. Hell, he could help the drill sergent improve his grammer, and I’ll bet his company officer would appreciate some geography lessons. Get a haircut, and donate it to the “Locks for Love” charity.
    On the bright side, after a tour in North Korea he might have a better idea of how the real world works. If nothing else, he would have some stories to tell his grandchildren instead of boring them with “How I got published in a real professional journal”.

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
    George Orwell

  8. I appreciate the pacifists’ attempts to be substantive and I appreciate Bruce’s boundless patience, and David’s attempt to keep everyone rational but: For the historical record,( just in case there is one) I never wondered about “starting a war” with North Korea. I was merely musing about the possibility of a swift surgical decapitation of the North Korean mafia leadership from the air. No boots on the ground; no draft would be needed at all.

    I probably agree with the pacifists that the US should not get involved in a ” land war in Asia.” More importantly, I think this country should avoid the trap of trying again to do nation-building with people it does not understand (Wrong in Iraq, even more wrong in Afghanistan)

    I am making the implicit bet that the North Korean fascist regime would lose all its legitimacy within days of the airwaves being open to all. I have made explicitly the further bet that South Korea, or China, or the two jointly, would quickly move in to fix what needs to be fixed. Japan would give money. Everyone would be relieved.

    I believe that there is zero chance that China would retaliate militarily if the strike were swift and clean.

    There are three things missing in the pacifists’ opposition to the idea: a) the swift disappearance of a communist East Germany that was covered with Soviet military bases; b) the vigorous decisive destruction of the Khmer Rouge communist tyranny by Communist Vietnam; c) basic, elementary compassion for the long inhuman suffering of the North Korean people. I suspect in my heart that this indifference contains a large semi-conscious racist component . I can’t do much to support this suspicion, it’s true.

    The general idea is that if there is a rabid raccoon in my neighborhood that no one loves, I should take the first opportunity available to destroy it. I should not risk my life or my safety or anyone’s safety doing away with it. (In this case, it turns out that I know exactly what I am talking about!)

    It may well be that this is all an unrealistic fantasy, a surgical strike on North Korea. It would not be surprising if someone better informed than I pointed out technical obstacles. In the meantime, all I hear is pacifists making the usual uninteresting noises.

    Correct me if I am wrong but a central pacifists’ assumption is that doing nothing carries no cost. They are quick to ridicule the Neville Chamberlain comparison (including by pointing to a misspelling, N. S. !) but they fail to shoot it down with real arguments.

    Repeating myself consciously: There is only the pax americana. It’s an armed peace. There is nothing else but bloody chaos.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      At last we’re getting somewhere, Jacques is giving some specifics.

      “I was merely musing about the possibility of a swift surgical decapitation of the North Korean mafia leadership from the air. No boots on the ground; no draft would be needed at all.”

      There are already boots on the ground, public sources suggest 28,500. I don’t know how accurate that is, that seems to be the agreed ROK-US agreed force level.

      “I am making the implicit bet that the North Korean fascist regime would lose all its legitimacy within days of the airwaves being open to all. I have made explicitly the further bet that South Korea, or China, or the two jointly, would quickly move in to fix what needs to be fixed. Japan would give money. Everyone would be relieved.”
      “I believe that there is zero chance that China would retaliate militarily if the strike were swift and clean.”

      These bets are now explicit, that’s improvement. The one that is still not explicit is the bet that the North Korean regime will not react militarily to airstrikes in the north. That is also a bet you’re making is it not?

      “It may well be that this is all an unrealistic fantasy, a surgical strike on North Korea.”

      I believe that it is, in fact, an unrealistic fantasy. In 2 ways. First, that there would be no military reaction. Second, what you’re proposing seems to deviate from standard practice, not just eliminating command & control centers but also air defenses. See the section on the suppresion of enemy air defenses in the US Navy document: The Navy’s Tactical Aircraft Strike Planning Process which is available as a pdf file.

      • Why waste your time with the obvious, Terry? This is beyond me. I know and I assume that others know as well that there have been American military personnel in South Korea for about fifty years. THat’s SOUTH KOREA.

        My initial posting clearly did not imply an invasion such as in Iraq or in Afghanistan, certainly not like in Vietnam.

        It seems to me that the fact that the North Korean regime transmits power within the family, like a primitive group is a sure sign that it enjoys little internal legitimacy . It seems to me also that what legitimacy it has would evaporate if its captive people were allowed to see the real world for one or two days. Just beaming Mexican telenovelas would undermine the regime.
        I think the country would empty as East Germany almost did if you care to remember

        The lesson from the Cold War is that the US grossly overestimated the resiliency of the tyrannies facing it. It did underestimate the sturdiness of the so-called Communist government of North Vietnam. This was astonishing because Western journalists were writing from 1944 that Ho Chi Minh only a Communist to get his gun powder.

        BY the way, the invasion of Iraq and the victory, in two weeks plus a sandstorm, was an unqualified success. The trouble begun with inept attempts at state building without sufficient cognitive resources. This enterprise was also weakened by predictable American cultural features. I even said so at the time: I fear that this country does not have the patience, the perseverance to finish what it is undertaking.

        The Colin Powell rule that if “you destroyed it you bought it” is stupid. Of course, you can just walk away and let the b neighbors, or, my favorites, the Finns, fix it.

        No one seems to realize how small North Korea is. The dwarf is treated like an ogre by people who have lost their nerve.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        You’re back to ducking, bobbing & weaving. Let me ask a second time:

        “These bets are now explicit, that’s improvement. The one that is still not explicit is the bet that the North Korean regime will not react militarily to airstrikes in the north. That is also a bet you’re making is it not?”

        Yes, the boots are on the ground in SOUTH Korea. Which will imediately be a combat zone if the North reacts miltarily. That’s sort of the entire reason they’re in Soth Korea is it not?

        So to reiterate you believe [and are willing to bet big money and lots of lives] that
        1. A 5 day air campaign will remove the upper echelon of the North Korean regime with little or no ‘collateral damage’
        2. North Korea will not respond with military action against South Korea [including US personnel]
        3. China will not respond with military action against South Korea [including US personnel]
        4. A 5 day campaign of broadcasting MTV will convince the North Korean populace to think everything is swell
        5. China & South Korea will together recreate a new unified, democratic Korea

        That about cover it?

        “My initial posting clearly did not imply an invasion such as in Iraq or in Afghanistan, certainly not like in Vietnam.”

        If your airstrikes cause the North to invade the South it doesn’t matter much does it? Dead Americans are just as dead south of the 38th as they are north of it.

  9. McHenry says:

    I apologize for contributing nothing to the direction of the discussion, but, just to support my own “inane” metaphor, do nations not behave like school children? http://www.mainjustice.com/2013/04/14/russia-bans-current-and-former-doj-officials-in-retaliation-for-magnitsky-act-list/

    Our relations with the Russians lately remind me of a clubhouse I once had.

  10. Mr McHenry: I don’t know why you place “inane” in quotes. It seems to me no one called your metaphore that on this blog.

    To answer your questions: Yes, sure, why not?

    In the world as in the schoolyard, there are differences of perspective that can be resolved through exchanges, trade-offs and and negotiations. There are also dangerous bullies, such as Adolph Hitler. Among the bullies there are loud, small ones, such as the North Korean grotesque dictatorship. The latter category of bullies, the weak ones, should be taken down before they become very dangerous. (I think that taking out a portion of a small American city with a bad-quality nuked missile qualifies as very dangerous.)

    Since you mention the schoolyard, I wold add two comments about childhood:

    First, I think it’s childish to deny the existence of danger. Closing one’s eyes in the presence of real danger is as immature as exaggerating imaginary or unlikely danger (such as_______ [ Fill-in blank.]).

    Denying the existence of evil is also infantile, in a Disneyland sort of way. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was not more or less like Denmark. North Korea is not more or less like our( imperfect) Unites States.. The North Korean butchers will sometimes (not always) murder your family if you leave the country. The punishment for leaving the US is having to stand in line at the airport when you return. It’s really not equivalent!

    We don’t squabble over small things.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Mr McHenry: I don’t know why you place “inane” in quotes. It seems to me no one called your metaphore that on this blog.”

      I did. I stand by the characterization. Claiming that nation-states and individuals are the same is inane. Mr. McHenry was kind enough to provide a cite, I should return the favor [Jacques might remember this from his earlier days]:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essence_of_Decision

  11. Oooh. Looks like I struck a nerve.

    Does pointing out the sheer ignorance of one’s argument bring out the worst in people, or what? I really shouldn’t be wasting my time arguing about unicorns and fairies, but the trash is starting to stink.

    David: nice try, but you’re out of your league. I’m sure your dazzling displays of geographic and historical competence impress all of the old church ladies in your pathetic little fold, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Let us all know how your fairy egg hunt goes!

    Bruce: yet another brilliant display of fallacious reasoning and ad hominem banter. Your admiration for the Putin administration is also telling. Speaking of the “real world” (ouch!), remind us all again: Is Amsterdam in Denmark or the Netherlands? Did unicorns really live in England before migrating to Kazakhstan (on a neverending rainbow slide), or are you just pulling my leg?

    Dr J: Too many assumptions (that’s why Bush’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq was such a failure).

    Also, arguing that the invasions of East Germany and Cambodia by fellow communist states is an example of success? This is, like Bruce’s admiration for Putin, telling actually.

    Aaand bombing North Korea makes one a compassionate, racist-free advocate of liberty and justice in the world. You’re Bizarro Hippie! God I miss Santa Cruz! Just remember: Don’t use cardboard for your crackpot “Bomb North Korea” sign. It’ll make you look unprofessional.

    The amusing display of ignorance about the world on this thread, by people who vote in the same country as me, is enough to make the skin of weaker-minded men crawl. Luckily for me, I know better than to take you clowns seriously. You are, after all, serious when you say you want to bomb North Korea (is Kim Jong Un serious?). Pathetic, and good luck in the next election!

    • Speaking of ignorance and of fallacy: Did someone argue that East Germany disappeared because it was attacked by another Communist state?

      Brandon: If you insist on treating others as believers in unicorns, why bother to argue with them at all?. There must a level beneath which you will not fall, right?

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Aaand bombing North Korea makes one a compassionate, racist-free advocate of liberty and justice in the world. You’re Bizarro Hippie!”

      You should know by now that Jacques never follows links. I think he suspects that we have elaborate phishing schemes such that clicking on a link will give us all his financial info and he’ll be destitute. As a consequence you’ll have to tell him directly about Bizzaro World, Superman, etc. He might enjoy it, he’s demonstrated great capacity for the suspension of disbelief. I just hope he doesn’t discover Mister Mxyztplk.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      Jacques has already expressed his disdain for listening to ‘experts’ but someone else may find this interesting.

      http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-dossiers/north-korean-dossier/north-koreas-weapons-programmes-a-net-asses/the-conventional-military-balance-on-the-kore/

    • David says:

      It is true that you struck a nerve, Brandon. One that only my 5 year old daughter every hits, her logic is more linear than yours right now. Complaining about Bruce making an ad hominem attack after having yourself made one is moderately hypocritical. and you have failed to explain why it is bat-shit crazy to attack North Korea. Terry has at least explained himself better. I suppose I am out of my league, but I don’t often extend a hand down very often. I don’t recall making claims to being an English major nor a Cartographer, hell if we dismissed every person who flubbed in such a fashion, Barack Obama wouldn’t be POTUS! (Which is your favorite of our 59 states?) Also, I would ask for forgiveness since most of my posts have been about 3am local time.

      @Terry,

      regarding body count. I suppose it depends on who’s bodies you’re referring to. If you mean our troops, I don’t think more than 20k would die before hostilities stopped, and that’s in the worst case scenario in my head. I think that the DPRK has increasing capabilities that would make future conflict far more deadly than one engaged in today. Add more capabilities to an unpredictable leader, and that adds up to lots more innocents dead than would otherwise be the case. Most of those innocents would be Koreans from both North and South, and possibly Japan. (I don’t think they’d take too well to being nuked a third time.) I’d personally advocate carpet bombing the country’s capital and every major military installation in the country. Take out the head and cripple the military and they’ll come around to the negotiation table. Japan and Germany both know that lesson well. I see military confrontation with North Korea being inevitable given the rhetoric and stability of their leaders, it’ll be far less deadly now than later.

      As far as how we’ll be “welcomed,” I don’t think we’d be welcomed at all. We’d have to leverage South Korea and China to reign in the natives (so to speak) of North Korea. Particularly South Korea, they’d be closest culturally to the North and would be best suited to assimilate them.

      • The ever-present miracle of blogging: I start a topic in a few sentences and others – like Bruce, like David, strangers – fill it in, develop the idea, support them better than I ever could.

        Friends: It’s time you forgave yourselves for occasional lapses in geography (or in English, for that matter). Don’t let Brandon juvenile straigthjacketism affect you. Brandon has wonderful qualities. (Visit his blog: Notes On Liberty.) Below is a story relevant to lapses.

        For years, my wife Krishna, a powerful artist, believed that there were two small countries in Europe, Holland an the Netherlands, that quaintly shared a capital, Copenhagen. She believed that even after she had been in Copenhagen and in Amsterdam. We both think that she is more intelligent than I am. (She came to that conclusion before me, for obvious reasons.) I control her through her senses, of course.

  12. Terry: It’s not disdain, it’s skepticism. You are not against skepticism, are you? (or are you?)

    As for my following links, I have explained repeatedly that anyone who gives me a reading assignment has to explain briefly why I should do it. The reason is that it’s too easy for someone with nimble fingers to bury others under a mass of irrelevant, obscure, trivial information. Happens all the time; it’s not an imaginary danger (like other alleged dangers I could name but won’t.)

    You, Terry, often follow my simple requirement but sometimes, you get excited and your lose your mind, and you forget this simple matter. I don’t hold it against you though but it’s a lot like a rule that you should take off your shoes when entering some else’s house. It’s not much; you might as well do it..

    You could have said: “What you propose cannot be done (is not advisable) because of X. Follow this link for a document by my brother -in-law.”

    It may well be that what I proposed lightly a couple of days ago is completely unfeasible. I am intrigued however by how long it takes for anyone to formulate any reasonable objection. (As I write this, I have not activated your link. See reason above.)

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      Well the link is full of info, no doubt about that. Ability to process info varies. Here’s a tidbit I found interesting because it surprised me…

      “With equipment operated by the infantry added, the North Korean ground forces possess an overall firepower which is equivalent to nearly five modern US heavy divisions. By comparison, Iraq was assessed as having six modern division equivalents when the same TASCFORM scoring system was used in 1990. Using the same methodology, North Korean airpower, the equivalent to six US wing equivalents in size, corresponds to only two F-16 wing equivalents in estimated net capability.”

      There is also a section on chemical & biological weapons capabiliies.

      • Terry: You don’t need to cite to induce me; just say why. Thank you for the citations anyway. They taught me something I did not know:

        North Korea has a weaker land fighting capability that Iraq did in 2003. Iraq folded in two weeks plus a sandstorm.

        Its air force is negligible. (The Iraqi air force did not fight at all in 2003.)

        Your research suggests that the situation is more propitious to an American attack than I would have guessed.

  13. Note: This story has received 105 hits thus far. Only our friends Prof. Terry and head-libertarian Brandon have offered negative comments. I am grateful to both.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Your research suggests that the situation is more propitious to an American attack than I would have guessed.”

      Yes, I was surprised that Iraq was scored higher than North Korea.

      “Note: This story has received 91 hits thus far. Only our friends Prof. Terry and head-libertarian Brandon have offered negative comments. I am grateful to both.”

      I won’t speak for Brandon, but I’m always willing to correct the mis-statements, distortions, fallacies, and mind-boggling silliness generated here.

  14. Dr J:

    Your advice about “punching down” is much appreciated. I’ll try to remember that in the future.

    Also, it was very, very nice of you to condescend your readers in regards to their ignorance. Just out of curiosity: did your wife advocate starting a military campaign against Denmark by bombing Amsterdam first?

    You can often tell a lot about the quality of a blog by what you read in the ‘comments’ section. Rather than smooching the rear ends of hillbillies and baboons every chance you get, you ought to be nicer to your keener critics (and fans).

    Regarding your 91 reads of this article: I see the same crackpot preacher on the street corner just outside of my university nearly every day. I can always hear him screaming about the apocalypse and the evils of Islam. Many people can see and hear the same thing. Yet nobody talks to him. We do our best to ignore him. He is a crackpot with an axe to grind. I’ll bet he thinks the US military is a force for good in the world, too!

    Now, there are way too many assumptions in your argument for anybody to take it seriously. Terry already took care of the Korean angle, so I thought I’d remind everybody here about China. China’s reaction is much more likely to be like Russia’s in the 90s when the Clinton administration administered surgical strikes in the Balkans (we still have troops there, by the way): instead of lashing out and starting a major land war, Beijing will simply stop cooperating with the West.

    Here is a question by which you can test this hypothesis: if the US were to talk to China about air strikes against North Korea, what would Beijing’s response be?

    • Brandon: I am not always sure who you are addressing. But, just in case, I have to remind you that I posed the issue of attacking North Korea as a question.

      I am getting fairly interesting responses (out of the hundred and some hits I got on this so far). I am learning. It’s pretty much the way I think blogs ought to be used.

      A personal comment if I may (I may, what the hell!) : Whenever you speak about war, or react to any item about war, you sound like someone else.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “A personal comment if I may (I may, what the hell!) : Whenever you speak about war, or react to any item about war, you sound like someone else.”

        Well, don’t keep us in suspense, who does he sound like?

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Rather than smooching the rear ends of hillbillies and baboons every chance you get, you ought to be nicer to your keener critics (and fans).”

      Hmm. I think you must be talking about me.

      “Hillbilly is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily southern Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its strongly stereotypical connotations, the term can be offensive to those Americans of Appalachian heritage.”

      I think I’m the only denizen of this blog with Appalachian heritage [although I prefer the eastern kentucky variant: briarhopper]. For example I think Bruce hails from florida, not sure about David, McHenry, or others. I don’t know if there are any baboons but given his recent slander of hyenas in another thread I think we can rule them out.

      “Here is a question by which you can test this hypothesis: if the US were to talk to China about air strikes against North Korea, what would Beijing’s response be?”

      If you get a response it should be very entertaining.

      • For what it’s worth, Terry: I want you to know that I, for one, believe fervently there are hillbillies of great distinction and of even more admirable style. (The habit of drinking alcohol from a jam jar does not negate anything. The fact that the alcohol was produced from a rusted old car radiator is not relevant. The additional fact that it was made from corn that had to be disputed to the family pig makes no impression on me. And, speaking of family, I find endearing the custom of calling your sister “Mom,” just in case.)

  15. Terry Amburgey says:

    No self respecting briarhopper would drink shine from a jam jar. A quart canning jar is de rigueur. I can’t speak for hillbillies from the rest of appalachia or the ozarks but my uncle Floyd always used mason jars. As I recall they were always Ball jars…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_Corporation

  16. Terry Amburgey says:

    “And, speaking of family, I find endearing the custom of calling your sister “Mom,” just in case.”

    I should point out that Kentucky bans cousin marriage by statute [i.e. first cousins] while cousin marriage is entirely legal in California.

    • Terry. Two things: 1 Of course, I defer to you on mountain culture (so to speak) . I knew about Mason jars but I remain keenly aware that this blog has an international readership. Many of our foreign readers would logically read something into the word “Mason” that isn’t there.

      2 I am glad for the Kentucky law banning cousin marriage but I must point out to you that no one ever made a law against eating cherries in the dark. Invariably, laws are made against behavior that would be destructive and common without repression. For Kentuckians mating with close relatives must have been like parking across driveways used to be in San Francisco.

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