Author Topic: The bombing of North Korea  (Read 5296 times)

KTG

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The bombing of North Korea
« on: February 27, 2018, 12:16:41 PM »
I mentioned I would post this in another thread and finally getting around to it because of an article I read today.

I've been following this for a number of years, and I really believe we'll see Trump ordering the bombing of North Korea sometime in 2018, or 2019 the latest.

There have been a number of articles written around what Trump and members of his administration have said, as well as the arguments for bombing and not bombing between the two camps for and against. A lot of these articles come with opinions (which I can't stand), but ignoring the writers opinions and looking into what is said by various members of the administration, I think its pretty clear that once North Korea announces that it has crossed a certain line, we'll start seeing reports on CNN of a massive bombing campaign in North Korea by the US Air Force.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/an-attack-on-north-korea-would-be-massive--and-massively-stupid/2018/02/25/4830251e-18dd-11e8-8b08-027a6ccb38eb_story.html?utm_term=.e817a864afe5

The WS article references this: https://theintercept.com/2018/02/21/gop-senator-says-trump-is-ready-to-start-war-with-north-korea-that-would-be-one-of-the-worst-catastrophic-events-in-history/

but there are a lot of published accounts of comments on North Korea.

There is a growing sense that this is a such a terrible idea that it can't possibly happen, and I think that is naive. If Trump has shown anything, its that he wants to do the opposite of Obama, who he feels was weak and got us into some of the messes we have now (some of that I agree with). I think North Korea just doesn't represent a threat to the US that Trump would like to end, but feels he has to be the one to do it, and to be able to take credit for it. He LOVES to take credit for things (real and imaginary).

For those that don't know, and also for those that do, the bombing of North Korea is an extra sensitive issue for a number of reasons. The biggest concern is South Korea. The Korean War ended with the DMZ within artillery range of South Korea's capital Seoul. The argument has been that if a war breaks out, that the North Koreans would unleash an artillery barrage that would level Seoul and kill hundreds of thousands of people. As a matter of fact, Clinton was going to bomb North Korea back in the day when they first developed their own nuclear power plant, and the South Koreans protested, even though Clinton offered to carpet bomb the artillery sites.

Now the artillery sits are impressive works. They are huge guns that are actually built into the opposite sides of the mountains facing Seoul, and when they would go to fire, they would roll out, fire OVER the mountains into the direction of Seoul, then retreat back into the mountain to reload. Then repeat. This makes them pretty much impossible to destroy in any kind of counter artillery barrage.

Now, the moment I realized the bombing of North Korea would indeed take place at some point was an article I read recently about a US Air Force general who stated that destroying those artillery sites was feasible. He stated that those sites are not movable, took quite an effort and resources to build, and each and every one of them have been mapped by satellite GPS. So with the advances in smart bomb technology, he basically stated that it might only take a couple of days of round the clock bombing to destroy each of the sites. The primary target for the bombing would be missile sites and nuclear production facilities, but those artillery sites would have to be taken out before North Korea could retaliate with them.

Now, it doesn't matter if you think this would really be feasible. All that matters is that Trump feels it would be, being reassured by members of his staff (which McMaster thinks can be done ~ “We’re not committed to a peaceful [resolution], we’re committed to a resolution. … We have to be prepared if necessary to compel the denuclearization of North Korea without the cooperation of that regime.”). The other camp, Tillerson and Mattis, are not so sure.

Provided that the Chinese do not get involved, and unless US troops were to storm the beaches I don't think they would, any kind of conventional war of North Korea will be a short one. Its a very small country, and they can barely feed themselves, let alone their military. Kim has zero military experience, while our's has been at war for the last 17 years. They use pretty ancient weapons while we use state of the art.

That being said, if it were to go nuclear, and I doubt it will, with North Korea sending a nuke at South Korea or Japan, then expect North Korea to cease to exist.

Provided its just a quick and devastating air campaign, I expect China to sit this one out. They have too much to lose in the South China Sea, and lets say for example, they were to come to North Korea's aid and shoot down some of our planes or even attack our navy in the open ocean, they would lose their navy and South China sea islands. It would be no contest. That being said, China's military is growing, and in 10 or so years will probably be a real challenge to the US interests there, but at the moment the US is supreme and I don't think China will risk losing everything they have built in the last 15 years there. I expect they will be patient as they have been shown to be, and not lose it all for North Korea, provided that the US doesn't send troops over the border, throw out Kim, and unite the Koreas.

So all that being said, if you agree with me, how do you think the market reacts?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 12:26:12 PM by KTG »

Dabnasty

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 12:23:44 PM »
It'll go up. Or maybe down.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 12:33:59 PM »
So is this a thread about blowing up NK, or is this a thread about what to do with your investments provided we choose to blow up NK?

If you are 100% convinced this is about to happen, I'd divest some South Korean and Japanese assets and put that money to work elsewhere. This would probably require selling off any standard "international" portfolios, because those will be weighted towards Japan and SK....then putting your money into specific geographic funds. I don't know what options you have available, though, so I don't know if that's even feasible. My work 401(k) just has "interational" and "Developing economy" funds.

I wouldn't be too worried about US assets, they'll recover eventually. I mean that's a good chance something in the US gets nuked, too, but we'll recover from that.

I'm not planning on changing anything, though. I imagine any attack on NK would result in a NK proportional response which would result in a SK proportional response and then cooler heads will prevail (even if 10,000 people die in the process).

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 12:49:12 PM »
So is this a thread about blowing up NK, or is this a thread about what to do with your investments provided we choose to blow up NK?

Well, I am pretty sure the bombing will occur, but I guess I am wondering if it isn't worth selling off a chunk of my holdings now to buy into a massive selloff, even if short term.

And that is if the bombing campaign ends quickly without damage spreading to South Korea and Japan. If it spins out of control and China gets involved, it would really bring down the market for an extended time.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 12:54:45 PM by KTG »

GuitarStv

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 01:20:45 PM »
China has consistently supported North Korea, not because they like the regime but purely because they don't like the US having the foothold on their doorstep that a unified Korea would give them.  It would be shocking to me for China to fail to retaliate after a US-led campaign of aggression in the region.

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 01:38:24 PM »
China has consistently supported North Korea, not because they like the regime but purely because they don't like the US having the foothold on their doorstep that a unified Korea would give them.  It would be shocking to me for China to fail to retaliate after a US-led campaign of aggression in the region.

You aren't alone in that thought, its the conventional wisdom. But if they do, they will lose everything they have in the South China Sea. That area is pretty important to them.

And on the US side, this has been harder and harder to deal with each time the can has been kicked down the road. So do you do it now while you can? Or do you do it when North Korea is mass producing nuclear tipped ICBMs and China has much larger presence in regards to its navy and air force to protect their assets?

I think some kind of backroom deal will be made where the US says, we're doing this, and you can be part of making it easier, or part of it making it worse than it needs to be. In return China will ask for a guarantee that North Korea doesn't become occupied by US troops, or even South Korean for that matter.

These things typically don't happen quickly. I think Trump is doing the sanctions thing to appease the peeps who want diplomacy to work, even though it hasn't in decades, and feels the only solution is 'Fire and Fury".

This is old, but it shows how far back this line of thinking has gone: https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/1/16075198/trump-lindsey-graham-north-korea-war

So if you were China, would you risk all that you have built, knowing you will lose it, over Kim? Besides, lets say the US does this, there will probably be outrage in Asia. And if China sits it out, it wins brownie points and adds to its growing influence.

GuitarStv

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 01:56:20 PM »
If I was China I wouldn't trust the US to keep it's word.  I'd invade/occupy South Korea after the US bombing ends to ensure my interests are kept.  China sitting out a massive US incursion in Asia would make them look very weak, not win any brownie points.

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 02:04:00 PM »
Who would they look weak to? Most countries do not like how they have acted in the South and East China seas. If they go to war with the US (primarily a naval and air war), they will lose. If they stay out, all of their assets remain, and they can play the 'we support peaceful and diplomatic resolutions' and everyone will applaud.

But there is going to be a time when Trump feels he has to put national security over regional stability. If he has a few voices saying it can be done with limited impact to the surrounding countries, I can't see how he would not do it.

Lets keep in mind, he ordered the bombing of a Syrian airbase with Russians present. Granted he gave them warning of the attack, but when was the last time you say a US President do that? Never. Sure there have been times US pilots went up against Russian ones when Russians were denying they were there. But Syria is much different. Here we bombed an ally of theirs while they were in country, and they were not only unable to stop it, but were told it would happen again if the poison gas was used again.

We are in different times.

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2018, 02:26:38 PM »
The Chinese have shown great patience in the past too. Look at Hong Kong for example. They had signed away a bs lease to the UK for Hong Kong for 99 years. As the lease was winding down, Margaret Thatcher suggested to the Chinese premier that they might extend the lease. The premier laughed and replied that they could send troops down into Hong Kong in the morning. And he was right, and Thatcher never brought it up again.

The point is, the Chinese, even being weaker back then, could have easily taken back possession of Hong Kong well before the lease ended, and the UK could have done very little to stop it, but they patiently waited until the lease ended.

The Chinese are concerned with one thing, themselves. And I don't think they are going to risk so much for Kim. Now, their national security is another matter, and if they feel threatened by US troops on their border thats another story, but I do not see the US putting troops on the ground. Nor do I see South Korea wanting to unify the Koreas in any shape or form. North Korea is too big of a mess now, and will be worse off after a bombing campaign. That's going to cost a lot of money to fix, let alone the humanitarian crisis that will come around.

I just don't see any other way this could end.

Sibley

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 03:03:13 PM »
If the US bombs North Korea, then a lot of innocents will die. From our bombs, from their's, from China's, or S. Korea - in the end, a lot of innocents will die. Then everyone will sit down at a table and talk. Like they should have done before. Except that a lot of women, and children, and old people, and plain ordinary people just trying to live their lives will be in graves. The only question will be how many people will be in those graves.

ysette9

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 04:19:14 PM »
If the status quo with North Korea were to change I just can’t imagine any happy possibility. The most concerning part is who is at the head of the US gov and how he makes decisions based on whim, with incomplete understanding and little curiosity. Heavens help us all.

But I won’t be changing my asset allocation, no matter how likely you think it is that bombs will be dropped.

aceyou

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »
Interesting discussion.  I feel for both the North and South Korean citizens, particularly North Korea. 

It is definitely an unearned privilege to have been born in Michigan instead of Pyongyang. 

SwordGuy

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2018, 10:03:04 PM »
China has made itself very clear.  If NK starts a shooting war they are on their own.  If we start it, NK is their ally.

They kicked our asses out of NK the last time and they're feeling their oats, so don't expect them to back down.

ysette9

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2018, 08:12:22 AM »
Interesting discussion.  I feel for both the North and South Korean citizens, particularly North Korea. 

It is definitely an unearned privilege to have been born in Michigan instead of Pyongyang.
This, a million times. Heck, I am immensely grateful that my parents were able to move us out of rural CA because our opportunities have been so much better in a big urban center. North Korea is another universe away from that.

OurTown

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2018, 10:37:42 AM »
This is one of the two scenarios I have been truly worried about under the current regime, the other being a debt default.

Just Joe

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2018, 11:03:58 AM »
If I was China I wouldn't trust the US to keep it's word.  I'd invade/occupy South Korea after the US bombing ends to ensure my interests are kept.  China sitting out a massive US incursion in Asia would make them look very weak, not win any brownie points.

I think there are enough examples of the American leadership outright lying, or demonstrating a lack of understanding of the true nature of a crisis, or simply failing to follow through after the initial action. If I was the head of another country I would be very cautious about anything the American government SAYS. Especially with the current president in office. 

OurTown

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ysette9

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2018, 11:51:44 AM »
Thoughtful and interesting article. Thank you for sharing.

MrMoogle

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2018, 12:11:14 PM »
China has consistently supported North Korea, not because they like the regime but purely because they don't like the US having the foothold on their doorstep that a unified Korea would give them.  It would be shocking to me for China to fail to retaliate after a US-led campaign of aggression in the region.

You aren't alone in that thought, its the conventional wisdom. But if they do, they will lose everything they have in the South China Sea. That area is pretty important to them.
I'm not sure we'd necessarily wipe out China's navy if they were to intervene.  That would be more of a declaration of war than shooting down planes, small boats, and missiles.  Relatively small things like that would be on the table, but I don't even think Trump would put us in a war with China. 

I'm guessing the drama between the US and NK is just a lot of hot air that will dissipate.

Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2018, 12:22:49 PM »
I know a lot of people around here have a low opinion of Don, but I think he's worked out something of a gentleman's agreement with Xi to handle the Nork situation.

Anything is possible, but I just don't see too many big moves happening, except maybe a China backed coup that results in a puppet ruler.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2018, 02:14:32 PM »
That article is more heat than light. We aren't going to be able to fully remove their nuclear capacity without a ground invasion, but we can certainly blow their missile infrastructure and command infrastructure to Kingdom Come (and knock out a bunch of nuclear infrastructure with it).

I think it's stupid, but there's definitely a logic behind the McMaster strike. He's a Lt. Gen in the US military, you don't get to that level by being a complete idiot.

I don't think NK will start off by dropping WMDs. There's no advantage there. If SK is willing to accept 300k dead SKs from artillery strikes, they'll accept 1mil dead from WMD strikes. Plus there's a damn good chance the US nukes you back. You don't want to get nuked by the US. Only China and Russia could feasibly survive a US nuclear strike in anything remotely resembling their former selves.

misshathaway

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2018, 07:42:24 AM »
Interesting discussion.  I feel for both the North and South Korean citizens, particularly North Korea. 

It is definitely an unearned privilege to have been born in Michigan instead of Pyongyang.

+1

I just finished the account of a man who, at the brink of starvation, still managed to escape

A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea
by Masaji Ishikawa and Risa Kobayashi

It haunted me for days after I finished it.

sequoia

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2018, 02:19:47 PM »
That article is more heat than light. We aren't going to be able to fully remove their nuclear capacity without a ground invasion, but we can certainly blow their missile infrastructure and command infrastructure to Kingdom Come (and knock out a bunch of nuclear infrastructure with it).

I think it's stupid, but there's definitely a logic behind the McMaster strike. He's a Lt. Gen in the US military, you don't get to that level by being a complete idiot.

I don't think NK will start off by dropping WMDs. There's no advantage there. If SK is willing to accept 300k dead SKs from artillery strikes, they'll accept 1mil dead from WMD strikes. Plus there's a damn good chance the US nukes you back. You don't want to get nuked by the US. Only China and Russia could feasibly survive a US nuclear strike in anything remotely resembling their former selves.

From the article:
“There is a military option: to destroy North Korea’s nuclear program and North Korea itself,” Graham told the Today show’s Matt Lauer. “He’s not going to allow — President Trump — the ability of this madman [Kim Jong Un] to have a missile that could hit America.

“If there’s going to be a war to stop him, it will be over there,” Graham continued. “If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die over here — and he’s told me that to my face.”

------------------

One question that I do not see asked often, is how many dead US citizen does US government/the current president willing to accept if US starts the war? Would several thousand US casualties be acceptable? Not just military - we are talking about innocent men, women, children, old people.

A quick Google search shows 230K US citizen lives in South Korea. Easy to say for US officials to say lets bomb so and so, and execute it when only a few US citizens are on the line, but not in this case.

IMHO, market is going to go down, a lot. 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:27:20 PM by sequoia »

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2018, 02:31:04 PM »
One question that I do not see asked often, is how many dead US citizen does US government/the current president willing to accept if US starts the war? Would several thousand US casualties be acceptable? Not just military - we are talking about innocent men, women, children, old people.

A quick Google search shows 230K US citizen lives in South Korea. Easy to say for US officials to say lets bomb so and so, and execute it when only a few US citizens are on the line, but not in this case.

IMHO, market is going to go down, a lot.

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-inner-circle-victor-cha-confirm-bloody-nose-strategy-north-korea-2018-1

He actually asked this guy if he would be able to help with assisting an evacuation if necessary.

http://www.newsweek.com/japan-south-korea-winter-olympics-north-korea-trump-administration-799008

Even the Japanese are preparing for the possibility.

OurTown

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2018, 02:36:51 PM »
And . . . McMaster is being eased out the door.  Soon to be replaced by John Bolton.  I don't know about you, but I'm not planning any family vacations to Seoul anytime soon.

MrMoogle

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2018, 02:39:53 PM »
And . . . McMaster is being eased out the door.  Soon to be replaced by John Bolton.  I don't know about you, but I'm not planning any family vacations to Seoul anytime soon.
But if you ever want to see it, go now /s

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2018, 07:01:37 PM »
Interesting discussion.  I feel for both the North and South Korean citizens, particularly North Korea. 

It is definitely an unearned privilege to have been born in Michigan instead of Pyongyang.

+1

I just finished the account of a man who, at the brink of starvation, still managed to escape

A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea
by Masaji Ishikawa and Risa Kobayashi

It haunted me for days after I finished it.
Oh, was that published recently? A few years ago I read this which was notable as being an escape from one of the highest-security prison camps in the country.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2018, 07:37:24 PM »
This is one of the two scenarios I have been truly worried about under the current regime, the other being a debt default.

Given that China holds US$1.3 trillion in US bonds and currency - about one-fifth of all foreign-held US currency and debt - the two are likely to come together. In case of a US-China war, either the US repudiates its bonds etc in China, making their value drop hugely, or China sells them off cheap. In either case the US ability to borrow to finance itself collapses. The US economy would not be able to sustain a lengthy war, and even a short one would lead to a depression.

That it would be abominably stupid and lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people does not mean that Trump and his buddies don't want to do it. After all, there were people saying in 2001 "Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires" and in 2003, "Iraq does not have WMD, and an American invasion will lead to a length civil war." But Dubya convinced himself it was a brilliant idea and so...

Most significant is the attitude of RoK. It's not mentioned much, of course, since they're against war with DPRK, and we don't like to talk about that - doesn't everyone love war as much as those of us enjoying the bravery of being out of range? What if RoK prohibited US attacks from RoK bases? Is Japan, with its pacifist constitution, going to be keen to let the US fly from there, instead? How about join in? Japan fighting in Korea and against China, this would be as popular as Germany fighting in Russia. So the US has to either piss off its allies, or fly a long, long way to RoK. There are carriers, of course, but for them to be in range of DPRK they also have to be in range of SSMs from Russia and China, so...

The market should be the least of our worries. Worrying about your nest-egg is abominably heartless.

Leisured

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2018, 09:22:13 PM »
There was a thread on this topic August 2017.

Thank you OurTown for the post from Vox.

Long ago, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I read an extraordinary article in, I think, the magazine Scientific American, which suggested that World War Three could be fought exclusively with cruise missiles, armed exclusively with conventional warheads, and guided by on board altimeters recognising the pattern of heights of the land below them. The accuracy of this guidance system at the time was, I think, about 100 metres, so that a very large number of cruise missiles, launched in, say, half a day, could destroy Soviet military capability and send the Soviet economy back to pre-industrial level.

The accuracy of cruise missiles is even better today, and I wonder about a pre-emptive strike with conventional warheads against the North Korean military only, leaving civilian industry and most infrastructure intact. I repeat, a strike against the North Korean military only, with conventional warheads. Say ten thousand cruise missiles, armed exclusively with conventional warheads. Satellite imagery tells us the location of North Korea’s nuclear capability, and army, navy and air force assets.

The only powers who could consider such a strike are the USA, Russia and China. The US faces a sea barrier, but Russia and China, acting together could, over time, buy and move five thousand cruise missiles each into forested areas not too far from their borders with North Korea, and strike in unison.

I assume that cruise missiles flying at low altitude would hit North Korean nuclear targets before North Korea could react. Cruise missiles launched late at night, with no moon, preferably in rain or cloud, should achieve surprise. Strike the nuclear missile sites first, and then less dangerous targets such as air and naval base, and storage buildings for artillery and tanks. I suggest multiple strikes per target. Blitzkriegs can be amazingly effective.

North Korean radar is a serious problem, but I would be surprised if North Korea watched all possible approaches to its territory. Cruise missiles can fly a dog leg if needed to avoid radar. Once NK nuclear missiles are destroyed, cruise missiles can destroy NK radar and then attack NK conventional military targets.

A strike against North Korea’s nuclear assets must be completely effective. I realise of course, that such a strike, even if militarily possible, is politically impossible.

misshathaway

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2018, 05:46:13 AM »
Interesting discussion.  I feel for both the North and South Korean citizens, particularly North Korea. 

It is definitely an unearned privilege to have been born in Michigan instead of Pyongyang.

+1

I just finished the account of a man who, at the brink of starvation, still managed to escape

A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea
by Masaji Ishikawa and Risa Kobayashi

It haunted me for days after I finished it.
Oh, was that published recently? A few years ago I read this which was notable as being an escape from one of the highest-security prison camps in the country.

He escaped in 1996. It was a recent free Kindle book for Prime, which is how I stumbled onto it. I read this and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas back to back. Not exactly uplifting treadmill distraction, but it was worth it.

Are any other readers out there turning to history as a way to gain perspective on the current world/US situation? I'm college educated, yet don't remember much about government or history.

Sibley

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2018, 09:10:47 AM »
I do return to history, but probably different aspects. I've got a couple books on my reading list about vaccines, diseases, etc.

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2018, 10:53:33 AM »
Are any other readers out there turning to history as a way to gain perspective on the current world/US situation? I'm college educated, yet don't remember much about government or history.

Yeah I would say history is a hobby of mine. I find it far more interesting than fiction.

The North Koreans are excellent players in manipulating and taking advantage of everyone. Their negotiating/stalling tactics at the end of the Korea War are legendary. But since peeps are typically ignorant of them, or memories are short, whenever they do some kind of BS publicity move that people want to see, everyone is like, "Oh maybe things are changing!" but in reality its just the North Koreans being North Koreans. They are masters in getting others to delay their actions while they cement their position.

Having been to Seoul many years ago, I was amazed at all the sonic booms from aircraft taking off or flying over, the markets and shelters underground, and the paranoia the South Korea military had. Then I was there, they would post guards along the beaches/rivers/canals near North Korea looking out for North Koreas trying to infiltrate the south. In one instance, one of these guards saw some bubbles a little ways offshore, and assuming it was a North Korean scuba diver, dropped a bunch of grenades into the water and killed a pod of Dolphins.

Not sure how much of that is going on today. But it was a strange place. You had a really modern city, peaceful countryside surrounding it, and this feeling how most of it would be wiped out in a serious war with the North.

Which did happen already. Seoul was pretty much leveled in the Korean War.

A lot of people really do not know the story of that war. Its probably the most misinterpreted wars we've been in. People call it a loss, but it was not. You could argue that we lost because we got pushed out of the north, but China was also kept from taking the south. It was a war no one wanted to fight, and essentially ended the way it started. Asking US soldiers towards the end of the war "Do not win too much for fear of escalating this war, and definitely do not lose it" had to be a tough thing for GIs to hear when their buddies are getting killed. And it was America's lack of preparedness for that war is pretty much the reason we have the massive military industrial machine today. Had that war not happened, I think our military would be very different today.

Just Joe

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2018, 10:58:30 AM »
Yes history is very important. Important b/c of all the reasons you detailed but also for seeing what our gov't has done in the past and how some of their current tactics play on voter anxieties. Also how the current gov't is playing a very dangerous game with flippant statements from the POTUS.

Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2018, 11:34:57 AM »
There was a thread on this topic August 2017.

Thank you OurTown for the post from Vox.

Long ago, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I read an extraordinary article in, I think, the magazine Scientific American, which suggested that World War Three could be fought exclusively with cruise missiles, ....
A strike against North Korea’s nuclear assets must be completely effective. I realise of course, that such a strike, even if militarily possible, is politically impossible.

The problem is, you only get one chance to do it right. If NK thinks they're under attack, they might  try to destroy Seoul or activate any other number of doomsday plans. Is that a risk any politician or general wants to take?

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2018, 02:01:45 PM »
Quote
A lot of people really do not know the story of that war. Its probably the most misinterpreted wars we've been in. People call it a loss, but it was not. You could argue that we lost because we got pushed out of the north, but China was also kept from taking the south. It was a war no one wanted to fight, and essentially ended the way it started.

You know, I think this is probably true about most wars, but to some extent I think it's nit-picking. Most people get the basic gist of the importance and outcomes of the wars from their typical schoolings.

Like I came out school thinking Korea was basically a bloody draw and the official kick-off for the Cold War, and set the tone for most things being proxy conflicts. That's accurate enough for a broad sweep.

The bad idea is probably over-drawing inferences when you don't know the details. Like, China comes across really good in its Second Phase Offensive, when it kicked us out of North Korea. They only barely outnumbered us, they had no artillery and no air force, and they drove us back into the longest retreat ever! They must be really good!

In reality it was an over-stretched and poorly deployed US army accompanied by a bunch of SK conscripts. The US retreated in good order. The Chinese made a BUNCH more attacks, with a LOT more men, and made little to no progress....after the UN forces kicked them out of Seoul and pushed them back to the 38th.

But, still, the basic idea is right: it was a stalemate. It wasn't going to change. It was pretty bloody. It was the start of the Cold War. It definitely set in place that the major superpowers were afraid of escalating too much.

A better example might be Vietnam, because this once gets a lot of play in the more right-wing circles. The common perception is that it was a hopeless and pointless war that ended in a loss. The right-wingers argue that we basically the NVA cold and could more or less continue that with impunity, without ground forces. Thing is, there is no reason the ARVN should've collapsed when the NVA went in after them. We would have been committed to supporting them for years, possibly with ground troops again, just because South Vietnam was SO poorly run. It wasn't a stable government and might never be a stable government.

So in the broad strokes, yeah, it was still a bloody, pointless loss. There are a few fuzzy details and asterisks, but that's not super-important for your average high school junior to understand.

Just Joe

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2018, 03:26:35 PM »
Our HS history classes ended with the Great Depression. My college history class ended with Eisenhower. I've long argued that if this is common across the country then public schools need to put less emphasis on early American history and more on 20th century history which more directly affects our daily lives.

The fact is that, at least in my corner of the country, this would be potentially covering non-conservative controversial topics and I suppose there would be a pushback from some folks.

scottish

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2018, 09:39:08 AM »
A better example might be Vietnam, because this once gets a lot of play in the more right-wing circles. The common perception is that it was a hopeless and pointless war that ended in a loss. The right-wingers argue that we basically the NVA cold and could more or less continue that with impunity, without ground forces. Thing is, there is no reason the ARVN should've collapsed when the NVA went in after them. We would have been committed to supporting them for years, possibly with ground troops again, just because South Vietnam was SO poorly run. It wasn't a stable government and might never be a stable government.

And yet Vietnam today has a reasonably stable government.  Despite the US withdrawal and notional loss.

Maybe these countless military incursions by the US aren't such a good thing.   Kim Jong-un isn't the only unstable authoritarian (Trump, Xi, Putin, Hussain, Netanyahu) in charge of a nuclear capable military...

Kyle Schuant

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2018, 02:01:45 AM »
And yet Vietnam today has a reasonably stable government.  Despite the US withdrawal and notional loss.
Change "despite" to "because of".

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2018, 11:21:20 AM »
A better example might be Vietnam, because this once gets a lot of play in the more right-wing circles. The common perception is that it was a hopeless and pointless war that ended in a loss. The right-wingers argue that we basically the NVA cold and could more or less continue that with impunity, without ground forces. Thing is, there is no reason the ARVN should've collapsed when the NVA went in after them. We would have been committed to supporting them for years, possibly with ground troops again, just because South Vietnam was SO poorly run. It wasn't a stable government and might never be a stable government.

And yet Vietnam today has a reasonably stable government.  Despite the US withdrawal and notional loss.

Maybe these countless military incursions by the US aren't such a good thing.   Kim Jong-un isn't the only unstable authoritarian (Trump, Xi, Putin, Hussain, Netanyahu) in charge of a nuclear capable military...

I think almost all Americans agree that Vietnam was a waste of lives and money. The right-wingers argue that Vietnam was basically a won war by 1972, and the South Vietnamese could have continued indefinitely with US air and logistical support. So, no, shouldn't have gone in in the first place, but the actions we took post 1972 seem stupid.

I think on balance the US and most of the Western nations do more good than bad with their interventions.

GuitarStv

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2018, 11:53:24 AM »
A better example might be Vietnam, because this once gets a lot of play in the more right-wing circles. The common perception is that it was a hopeless and pointless war that ended in a loss. The right-wingers argue that we basically the NVA cold and could more or less continue that with impunity, without ground forces. Thing is, there is no reason the ARVN should've collapsed when the NVA went in after them. We would have been committed to supporting them for years, possibly with ground troops again, just because South Vietnam was SO poorly run. It wasn't a stable government and might never be a stable government.

And yet Vietnam today has a reasonably stable government.  Despite the US withdrawal and notional loss.

Maybe these countless military incursions by the US aren't such a good thing.   Kim Jong-un isn't the only unstable authoritarian (Trump, Xi, Putin, Hussain, Netanyahu) in charge of a nuclear capable military...

I think almost all Americans agree that Vietnam was a waste of lives and money. The right-wingers argue that Vietnam was basically a won war by 1972, and the South Vietnamese could have continued indefinitely with US air and logistical support. So, no, shouldn't have gone in in the first place, but the actions we took post 1972 seem stupid.

I think on balance the US and most of the Western nations do more good than bad with their interventions.

It must be hard to make this argument considering the past 20 years or so of US foreign policy.

- paved the way for ISIS in Syria and Iraq (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq)
- supported and empowered Al-Quaeda (https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terror-group/5402881).  Then in an effort to fix Afghanistan they started putting pedophiles into positions of power (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/world/asia/afghanistan-military-abuse.html)
- spent hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to destabilize Iran (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/11/27/the-next-act), including advising and encouraging drug lords with links to Al-Quaeda to perform guerrilla attacks on the country
(https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/07/preparing-the-battlefield)
- illegally kidnapped, tortured, and imprisoned without fair trail hundreds of people (many of whom of course, were never guilty of anything) in Guantanamo Bay (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/most-guantanamo-detainees-are-innocent-ex-bush-official-1.804550)

We go back a little further and it's much worse . . . a litany of propping up dictators and overthrowing legitimate governments.  The US trained terrorists in Nicaragua, overthrew a peaceful government in Grenada, overthrew the democratically elected government of Chile, ousted a popular Bolivian government to institute a system of state terrorism, aided in the massacre of 500,000 to a million people in Indonesia, overthrew the democratically elected government of Brazil to institute a dictator . . .

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2018, 02:15:39 PM »
The US created neither Al Qaeda nor ISIS. We also didn't destabilize Syria: Syria destabilized itself. The entire Middle East is unstable, so it is not surprising that the Arab Spring resulted in a civil war between Salafi/Sunni elements and the regime in Syria.

Re: Iran. NGOs in general and Middle Eastern militant groups in specific are pretty porous with...erm...non-defined separations. But that also means that groups are not homogenous and refusing to engage with any of them is a political death-sentence. that's how you end up with the US ending up with only 12 "vetted" rebels remaining in Syria. You end up getting shut out of any big decisions and lose all your influence.

In the real-world, you have weird situations like the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban being different entities. https://ctc.usma.edu/the-complicated-relationship-between-the-afghan-and-pakistani-taliban/

Or in Syria, where you have Turkey basically assaulting nominal US allies because they might be sort of affiliated with a designated Kurdish terrorist group.

ISIS would still be a functional entity in Syria without US intervention. A group of nutsos was likely going to emerge during the civil war regardless of US actions in Iraq in the previous decade.

Cold War actions are a different story, but these governments are almost all domestic creations that received US support, not US-imposed entities. The US cannot overthrow governments in Brazil anymore than it can overthrow the government in Russia. All of these nations are historically unstable and the prior leaders had unstable and rapidly eroding power bases. In the case of Chile specifically, Salvador Allende was in the midst of a constitutional crisis and both the Supreme Court and his opposition parties (which controlled nearly 2/3 of the legislature) called him a tyrant and demanded he stepped down.

scottish

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2018, 03:52:04 PM »
Really?   The US government was afraid that Chile would follow in Cuba's footsteps and they actively worked to oust Salvador Allende.

US history is full of examples like this.    You should try and remove the US spin on these stories and see how it looks to an outsider.
  You seem to think it's ok for the US to go and interfere in sovereign countries to support your interests - primarily your business interests.

Radagast

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2018, 09:12:56 PM »
I think NK will flip sides within the next 10 years. If the US wanted to invade they would have done so 25 years ago. The changing entity in the equation is China, and NK has far more reason to be concerned about them than they do the US. Once they are in a position of strength, I expect them to change sides. Their doing so will inadvertently make whatever US president look like a foreign policy genius, while bombing NK will make Trump look even dumber than he already does, which .... I can't even imagine. I doubt that is a big concern for him.

Radagast

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2018, 09:18:35 PM »
Their doing so will inadvertently make whatever US president look like a foreign policy genius, while bombing NK will make Trump look even dumber than he already does, which .... I can't even imagine. I doubt that is a big concern for him.
And the same for me and my prediction!

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2018, 09:52:04 AM »
It must be hard to make this argument considering the past 20 years or so of US foreign policy.

- paved the way for ISIS in Syria and Iraq (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq)
- supported and empowered Al-Quaeda (https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terror-group/5402881).  Then in an effort to fix Afghanistan they started putting pedophiles into positions of power (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/world/asia/afghanistan-military-abuse.html)
- spent hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to destabilize Iran (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/11/27/the-next-act), including advising and encouraging drug lords with links to Al-Quaeda to perform guerrilla attacks on the country
(https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/07/preparing-the-battlefield)
- illegally kidnapped, tortured, and imprisoned without fair trail hundreds of people (many of whom of course, were never guilty of anything) in Guantanamo Bay (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/most-guantanamo-detainees-are-innocent-ex-bush-official-1.804550)

We go back a little further and it's much worse . . . a litany of propping up dictators and overthrowing legitimate governments.  The US trained terrorists in Nicaragua, overthrew a peaceful government in Grenada, overthrew the democratically elected government of Chile, ousted a popular Bolivian government to institute a system of state terrorism, aided in the massacre of 500,000 to a million people in Indonesia, overthrew the democratically elected government of Brazil to institute a dictator . . .

Whoa, hold on. The more problems in the middle east begin with the British mapping out the countries we know of today. That is the root of the problem. Second, the US didn't create wahhabism. Those beliefs are what drive Al Qaeda and ISIS, and would still exist in one for or the other even if the US hadn't invaded Iraq.

I do think removing a dictator from power and bringing freedom for his people is a noble deed. It is a shame the world doesn't do it more often. The problem of the Neo-Cons was the lack of understanding of the middle east and a moron named Paul Bremer dismantling the iraqi army. Iraq would be a very different place had the former military had been available for supporting security. Sure there were members of their military that deserved to be thrown in jail, but that could have been done over time, not eliminating the jobs of the rank and file. That was a major mistake, but removing Saddam was not.

Even still, you can't blame the US for everything that happened there. Iraq was, at the very root, and Iraqi country. The Iraqi's chose to fight between themselves, that wasn't the US instigating that. And it does go to show, even today, how messed up of a place Iraq is, and how it probably takes either a genius to run the country (who probably doesn't exist) or a ruthless dictator to crush all opposition. Same probably applies to Syria. There are just too many rival groups with their own agendas to unite. They have been cutting each other's heads off in tribal disputes for the last thousand years and that will continue for another thousand.

There are other things you mention that are true, but the US is not exclusive in doing this stuff. Lets not forget the times most of these occurred during. If it wasn't us doing what was in our best interest, others would be, and are. Its not a game the US plays by itself, but mankind in general. You might be in a country that typically doesn't get involved physically, but as Canada is part of the Five Eyes, you sure as hell know your government knows all about it before it happens. So just be careful with slinging you know what.

I think NK will flip sides within the next 10 years. If the US wanted to invade they would have done so 25 years ago. The changing entity in the equation is China, and NK has far more reason to be concerned about them than they do the US. Once they are in a position of strength, I expect them to change sides. Their doing so will inadvertently make whatever US president look like a foreign policy genius, while bombing NK will make Trump look even dumber than he already does, which .... I can't even imagine. I doubt that is a big concern for him.

The US would have bombed NK years ago if it wasn't in protest from South Korea and Japan. Times are different as in before it was about regional stability but now it is national security.

And do not be charmed by North Korea's latest show. They have done this many times before to get some kind of concessions, which I am sure now has to do with food (the North has never been able to feed itself). They can't change their spots. Kim is a product of his dad and grandfather, and only knows one way to do business. While there photo ops are taking place, he is still developing his nuclear and ICBMs, and when this show falls apart, he'll be even further ahead.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 09:54:15 AM by KTG »

GuitarStv

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2018, 11:11:41 AM »
The US created neither Al Qaeda nor ISIS.  We also didn't destabilize Syria: Syria destabilized itself.

As part of Operation Cyclone the US armed and trained the mujaheddin (who later formed Al Quaeda).  The US armed ISIS by way of arming Islamic radical rebels in Syria. I don't know what you want to call providing arms to rebels in a country if not destabilizing the country.  The US paved the way for ISIS to take power by invading Iraq, deposing of Saddam, dismantling the countries military and infrastructure, and then leaving.


ISIS would still be a functional entity in Syria without US intervention. A group of nutsos was likely going to emerge during the civil war regardless of US actions in Iraq in the previous decade.

ISIS would not have risen to power if Saddam had not been deposed.


Cold War actions are a different story, but these governments are almost all domestic creations that received US support, not US-imposed entities. The US cannot overthrow governments in Brazil anymore than it can overthrow the government in Russia.

When you arm, supply, and train a military force to overthrow a government, you are overthrowing a government.  It doesn't matter if the military force are rebels from another country, or your own people.  It's not a domestic creation at that point, it's a creation of the US government.


All of these nations are historically unstable and the prior leaders had unstable and rapidly eroding power bases. In the case of Chile specifically, Salvador Allende was in the midst of a constitutional crisis and both the Supreme Court and his opposition parties (which controlled nearly 2/3 of the legislature) called him a tyrant and demanded he stepped down.

Salvador Allende was democratically elected, and the US did everything possible to prevent him from ruling.  Including attempts to subvert the election, attempts to prevent the election from happening, and eventually supporting Pinochet . . . one of the most ruthless dictators the world has seen.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_FUBELT)

Trump isn't a popular US president.  Would you be OK with China supporting an armed resistance to him in the US?

Prairie Stash

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #46 on: March 06, 2018, 11:37:52 AM »
There are other things you mention that are true, but the US is not exclusive in doing this stuff. Lets not forget the times most of these occurred during. If it wasn't us doing what was in our best interest, others would be, and are. Its not a game the US plays by itself, but mankind in general. You might be in a country that typically doesn't get involved physically, but as Canada is part of the Five Eyes, you sure as hell know your government knows all about it before it happens. So just be careful with slinging you know what.
Accepting that your country is responsible is not the same as slinging stuff. I blame my country for lots of crap, we have a long list of faults. Try writing down a list of all the faults your country has; its a simple exercise to see how objective you are vs. blindly patriotic. I can list lots of crap that my country has done that I think are wrong, it keeps me from naively thinking that everything that they do in the future is going to be morally right. Please remember, I think patriotism is good, blind patriotism is not. I think a lot of North Koreans are blindly patriotic, its a scary problem if you can't criticize your political class without feeling the need to defend them.

If you can't objectively recognize the misdeeds your country does, how will you ever become better? I strongly encourage a critical examination of history to find the list of misdeeds you would change if you could, great leaders recognize bad actions and the world needs more great leaders.

Kris

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #47 on: March 06, 2018, 11:47:51 AM »
There are other things you mention that are true, but the US is not exclusive in doing this stuff. Lets not forget the times most of these occurred during. If it wasn't us doing what was in our best interest, others would be, and are. Its not a game the US plays by itself, but mankind in general. You might be in a country that typically doesn't get involved physically, but as Canada is part of the Five Eyes, you sure as hell know your government knows all about it before it happens. So just be careful with slinging you know what.
Accepting that your country is responsible is not the same as slinging stuff. I blame my country for lots of crap, we have a long list of faults. Try writing down a list of all the faults your country has; its a simple exercise to see how objective you are vs. blindly patriotic. I can list lots of crap that my country has done that I think are wrong, it keeps me from naively thinking that everything that they do in the future is going to be morally right. Please remember, I think patriotism is good, blind patriotism is not. I think a lot of North Koreans are blindly patriotic, its a scary problem if you can't criticize your political class without feeling the need to defend them.

If you can't objectively recognize the misdeeds your country does, how will you ever become better? I strongly encourage a critical examination of history to find the list of misdeeds you would change if you could, great leaders recognize bad actions and the world needs more great leaders.

Indeed.

"There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover's quarrel with their country."

Pastor/activist William Sloane Coffin

KTG

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #48 on: March 06, 2018, 12:22:39 PM »
Please remember, I think patriotism is good, blind patriotism is not. I think a lot of North Koreans are blindly patriotic, its a scary problem if you can't criticize your political class without feeling the need to defend them.

Well, for the record, I am actually a nationalist. lol

Prairie Stash

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Re: The bombing of North Korea
« Reply #49 on: March 06, 2018, 02:35:37 PM »
Please remember, I think patriotism is good, blind patriotism is not. I think a lot of North Koreans are blindly patriotic, its a scary problem if you can't criticize your political class without feeling the need to defend them.

Well, for the record, I am actually a nationalist. lol
Fair enough, I had to look up the difference. I don't deal with a lot of nationalists so I'm not well versed in the nuances. I take back what I said about North Korea, they are more nationalist like yourself than patriotic.

http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-nationalism-and-patriotism/

"When talking about nationalism and patriotism, one cannot avoid the famous quotation by George Orwell, who said that nationalism is ‘the worst enemy of peace’. According to him, nationalism is a feeling that one’s country is superior to another in all respects, while patriotism is merely a feeling of admiration for a way of life. These concepts show that patriotism is passive by nature and nationalism can be a little aggressive.

In patriotism, people all over the world are considered equal but nationalism implies that only the people belonging to one’s own country should be considered one’s equal."

@Kris, I like the quote, its much more succint than my rambling.