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post #81 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Bush did a lot more than nothing. Much like Clinton (or Bush Sr.) he achieved nothing, as will Obama, but NK is in the driver seat (so to speak). The UN has its face pushed to the floor with a bleeding orifice as always.

NK might shake us down for a cool billion every ten years or so. But that's certainly a lot cheaper than if we invaded.

An invasion of NK and the subsequent occupation (because an insurgency is inevitable, as we've learned) would cost similar to what Iraq cost us (to date - shy of one trillion).

And that's not what we paid in blood.

NK is not interested in nuking anyone. They want aid and they want cash. Period. This notion that we're facing nuclear annihilation is silly and any acceptance of that premise forces us to react emotionally and not prudently.
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post #82 of 109
I don't know why you are auguring against? I never advocated any invasion.
post #83 of 109
An interesting new development which may put the final nail in the still-living Kim Jong Il's coffin.

http://www.reuters.com/article/world...12005420090602

Quote:
Analysts said they see the energetic and urbane Jang, 63, as the real power broker after Kim who will groom the successor. Jang, who once fell out of Kim's favor, has in recent year's been Kim's right hand man, they said.

You can almost bet that this Jang fellow will end up being the right-hand man that holds the knife to plunge into Caesar's heart...

Also, there is the very real possibility of nationwide instability, mass suicides or insurrection from the starving and brainwashed masses, no intervention of any kind by the US will be needed (other than possible medical or food aid).

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post #84 of 109
Not matter what happen the US will be blamed for the whole thing. Only if the outcome is bad of course. LA Times, NYT get your keyboards ready.
post #85 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Not matter what happen the US will be blamed for the whole thing. Only if the outcome is bad of course. LA Times, NYT get your keyboards ready.

It won't be Obama's fault, either. Nothing bad that happens is Obama's fault.

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(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #86 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Not matter what happen the US will be blamed for the whole thing. Only if the outcome is bad of course. LA Times, NYT get your keyboards ready.

NK has been developing nukes since the1980s; they obviously felt threatened enough to make the effort.. like in the Cold War, where both Eastern and Western blocs felt threatened by each others' nuclear weapons program, hence the arms race? Its absurd to claim that NK started a nuke program in order to take over the region. It also doesn't help to isolate nations on account of the ideological position of their governments; NK has been ostracized by the international community for decades. Then things got far worse when Bush Jr. branded them as a member of "an axis of evil", and NK correspondingly ramped up their development efforts.

But, you can't blame the US for the whole thing, no. In this case, we not responsible for setting up, supporting or featherbedding a crazy dictator. AFAIK.
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post #87 of 109
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Its absurd to claim that NK started a nuke program in order to take over the region.

Nobody has made that claim...
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post #88 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Nobody has made that claim...

If the reactions are anything to go by, then the claim is there, but unsaid. "A nuclear armed North Korea is completely unacceptable".... what is that supposed to mean, if NK was not into (some kind of) expansionism or regional muscle flexing?
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post #89 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

If we go to war with North Korea, the main problem is the artillery batteries aimed a Seoul. I figure the best bet is a Neutron bomb/EMF pulse that takes out the telecommunications infrastructure, followed with a synchronized ground invasion from the south. If they can't order the destruction of Seoul, maybe we can take out the guns before they fire.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009...k-north-korea/

Any other opinions on the best way to win?

The best way to win is to get Microsoft to sell only windows vista to North Korea. After that their telecomunications and military infrastructure should completely shut down very quickly.
post #90 of 109
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

If the reactions are anything to go by, then the claim is there, but unsaid. "A nuclear armed North Korea is completely unacceptable".... what is that supposed to mean, if NK was not into (some kind of) expansionism or regional muscle flexing?

Just because we think that they will attack their neighbors (or at least threaten to attack, to extort money) does not mean that we think that they will expand. The US has attacked plenty of places it does not currently own.
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post #91 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Just because we think that they will attack their neighbors (or at least threaten to attack, to extort money) does not mean that we think that they will expand. The US has attacked plenty of places it does not currently own.

Perhaps "we" think that they will attack their neighbors because thats the kind of thing "we" have been doing for decades.... although the word "neighbors" in "our" case refers to anywhere on the planet. Even though we behave aggressively by default all around the world (as you inferred)... does not necessarily mean that others are automatically going to follow suit.... even in the case of NK under Kim Jong Il. Even though the war between North and South Korea was never officially ended, when was the last time NK got involved in actual aggression (a real shooting war as opposed to angry rhetoric and missile tests etc) towards its neighbors?

It is depressing that NK has spent all that money on developing such weapons, instead of useful things... but when it comes to their own national security, and the obvious and vocal threats from the world's major superpower with a long history of initiating and engineering warfare, who can blame them?
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post #92 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

If Iran nuked London, the British PM would get on the phone to his officers and have them launch Trident at Iran. If you think they would piss about with the US and the UN, you don't know Brits very well. Russia would just have to sit pretty, until they landed in Iran or face a barrage of Trident too, which should keep it's finger off the button.

Well, the British PM is likely radioactive ash and the civilian chain of control broken. No Admiral is going to order the destruction of anything without direct orders.

Which requires reconstituting the government.
Which requires finding the real culprit.

Which all requires time.

Given there's no follow on attack to this terrorist event the general response will not be a rain of Trident missiles on whatever the current target list is.

Quote:
The destructive power of Trident is huge, far exceeding Polaris and more than enough to cause massive destruction to numerous countries. 165 Trident missiles, think about it, that's 165 cities destroyed. At least 16 cities destroyed within an hour.

Great. Now, say you're Admiral Stanhope (CINC Fleet)...and assuming that the First and Second Sea Lord are also radioactive ash...you have 156 Tridents and no target list. Even if you assume that Tehran ordered the strike you cannot simply nuke it until it glows.

From a deterrent perspective, the Trident fleet is good for MAD. Not so good for an asymmetric threat...even if nuclear. Good against China. Good against Russia.

Not so good against a country with a real death wish or is willing to use it's own population as expendable pawns in a nuclear exchange because MAD assumes the other guy isn't willing to kill himself.

So, now you have two options:

Nuking a bunch of innocent civs and probably not killing the folks that are responsible (because they have likely dispersed with only a few folks in Tehran).

Conventional strikes and military actions to destroy the government that did something incredibly stupid.

Quote:
Germany and Japan lost the war and so don't have nukes. That puts them at a big disadvantage, less bargaining power IMHO.

Excepting that 50 years of cold war has pretty much erased that "lost the war" stigma and they have economies and militaries every bit as good as anyone else excepting the US (and China in terms of sheer volume) that there's zero less bargaining power vis a vis UK and France.

Without Germany do you REALLY think the EU would exist? With whom is France fighting for dominance in the EU? It isn't the UK. Who made concessions about the Mediterranean Union last year? It wasn't Germany. Who is Europe's largest economy? It isn't France. Who's driving the EU?

Less and less France and more and more Germany.

So to what does France's nuclear arsenal provide bargaining power?

Quote:
NK with nukes, makes it less likely anyone will attack them. Why you don't think so is beyond me.

If no one really cared to attack them, how does it actually make it less likely? Because Bush called them names? Right.

The US would no more directly attack North Korea than China would directly attack South Korea. We simply don't play that way. Likewise, the US would no more directly attack Iran than China or Russia would directly attack Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.

To do so constitutes intention for global conflict.

South Korea, not being idiots, has no intention of attacking North Korea as puppets or otherwise.
post #93 of 109
Sorry, somehow double posted.
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post #94 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Well, the British PM is likely radioactive ash and the civilian chain of control broken. No Admiral is going to order the destruction of anything without direct orders.

Which requires reconstituting the government.
Which requires finding the real culprit.

Which all requires time.

Given there's no follow on attack to this terrorist event the general response will not be a rain of Trident missiles on whatever the current target list is.



Great. Now, say you're Admiral Stanhope (CINC Fleet)...and assuming that the First and Second Sea Lord are also radioactive ash...you have 156 Tridents and no target list. Even if you assume that Tehran ordered the strike you cannot simply nuke it until it glows.

From a deterrent perspective, the Trident fleet is good for MAD. Not so good for an asymmetric threat...even if nuclear. Good against China. Good against Russia.

Not so good against a country with a real death wish or is willing to use it's own population as expendable pawns in a nuclear exchange because MAD assumes the other guy isn't willing to kill himself.

So, now you have two options:

Nuking a bunch of innocent civs and probably not killing the folks that are responsible (because they have likely dispersed with only a few folks in Tehran).

Conventional strikes and military actions to destroy the government that did something incredibly stupid.



Excepting that 50 years of cold war has pretty much erased that "lost the war" stigma and they have economies and militaries every bit as good as anyone else excepting the US (and China in terms of sheer volume) that there's zero less bargaining power vis a vis UK and France.

Without Germany do you REALLY think the EU would exist? With whom is France fighting for dominance in the EU? It isn't the UK. Who made concessions about the Mediterranean Union last year? It wasn't Germany. Who is Europe's largest economy? It isn't France. Who's driving the EU?

Less and less France and more and more Germany.

So to what does France's nuclear arsenal provide bargaining power?



If no one really cared to attack them, how does it actually make it less likely? Because Bush called them names? Right.

The US would no more directly attack North Korea than China would directly attack South Korea. We simply don't play that way. Likewise, the US would no more directly attack Iran than China or Russia would directly attack Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.

To do so constitutes intention for global conflict.

South Korea, not being idiots, has no intention of attacking North Korea as puppets or otherwise.

It's obviously different if London were nuked by terrorists, that is not what I was responding to, as it wasn't part of your question. If terrorists nuked London, it would be completely wrong to nuke Iran.

Just like the US has a chain of command if it's president is killed so does the UK. No different there than saying Washington got nuked.

Europe's not just a German thing. Germany is powerful, but far from all powerful. Europe has a population of 731,000,000, contains 50 countries and is bigger than the US. Then there's the EU. There are many who want a larger EU, even though it's GDP is now around $18.5 trillion to the US's $14.5 trillion. Who knows, maybe Europe before long will extend further East than many would have ever thought possible. The jostling for power in the EU will remain a complex equation, just like Europe's role with the US.

The US has just attacked Iraq for no good reason other than profit and a secured energy supply. I certainly wouldn't put it passed the US to attack NK. But the military consequences are far greater and the financial rewards far less. Indeed it could deeply damage the American economy, so they don't have much incentive.
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post #95 of 109
Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

And I hate to post a picture, but this sums up my feelings on the thread:
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post #96 of 109
Thread Starter 
If we had an army of trolls, attacking North Korea would be much easier...
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post #97 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

But two is OK? Both Afghanistan and Iraq are part of said continent.
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post #98 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

It won't be Obama's fault, either. Nothing bad that happens is Obama's fault.

Hey. We're a nation that re-elected Bush!
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post #99 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

But two is OK? Both Afghanistan and Iraq are part of said continent.

And our commitments there are going to end when? The Soviets spent over 9 years trying to occupy Afghanistan before giving up, we'll likely exceed that. Like I said...
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post #100 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

And our commitments there are going to end when? The Soviets spent over 9 years trying to occupy Afghanistan before giving up, we'll likely exceed that. Like I said...

Exactly so. They are not. One of the objects of both invasions was occupation in perpetuity. Afghanistan had always been known to be difficult/impossible (Afghanistan has never been "conquered" with its inhabitants accepting the new management... and the 2001 invasion and occupatuion is/was no different). A working peace in Iraq, under the "new management", on the other hand was conceivably possible, if done right. But those people in the military who wanted to "do it right" were silenced, ridiculed, forced into retirement or even fired, because "doing it right" was not part of the plan.
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post #101 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

It's obviously different if London were nuked by terrorists, that is not what I was responding to, as it wasn't part of your question. If terrorists nuked London, it would be completely wrong to nuke Iran.

If you prefer Iran shoots a single ICBM (that it doesn't posess) at London. Assume that nobody intercepts this lone ICBM and it hits.

Now what? Level Tehran? Even with the understanding that the IRGC is mostly likely to control any nuke and delivery vehicle and these guys are not Iran's regular military and often is that tail that wags the dog?

The IRGC is like one step removed from terrorists. Besides, how on earth did you expect to get a nuke from Iran to London anyway? It's not like Iran can shoot that far today anyway.

Quote:
Just like the US has a chain of command if it's president is killed so does the UK. No different there than saying Washington got nuked.

That's not the point. The point is that unless there is a need for an immediate retaliatory strike (as in the event of a general nuclear war) they will spend the time to reconsitute the civillian chain of command.

Given that there is no follow on attack you can either:

a) use nukes to kill more innocent people, just this time they are Persian rather than English.
b) use conventional weapons to kill less innocent people and more guilty people.

Given the pause, the most likely option is B. There are a lot of complications from A and more importantly, everyone will support B and most countries (like say the US, China and Russia) will prefer "Not A" and offer a lot of concessions to the UK to opt for B rather than A.

Quote:
Europe's not just a German thing. Germany is powerful, but far from all powerful.

So what? Who said Germany was "all powerful". The point is that they are more powerful than France or the UK despite not having nukes (or carriers for that matter).

Quote:
The US has just attacked Iraq for no good reason other than profit and a secured energy supply.

Iraq had no friends. Had it been a close Russian or Chinese ally then we would not have attacked Iraq. Hell, we don't even pick on Cuba militarily and she has no nukes, is a hell of a lot closer and is also one of them "evil" countries.

Quote:
I certainly wouldn't put it passed the US to attack NK. But the military consequences are far greater and the financial rewards far less. Indeed it could deeply damage the American economy, so they don't have much incentive.

The military consequences is war with China. No freaking way we would ever attack NK without Beijing's tacit approval. So the probability of US attack was zero and remains zero.
post #102 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Exactly so. They are not. One of the objects of both invasions was occupation in perpetuity. Afghanistan had always been known to be difficult/impossible (Afghanistan has never been "conquered" with its inhabitants accepting the new management... and the 2001 invasion and occupatuion is/was no different). A working peace in Iraq, under the "new management", on the other hand was conceivably possible, if done right. But those people in the military who wanted to "do it right" were silenced, ridiculed, forced into retirement or even fired, because "doing it right" was not part of the plan.

Afghanistan has been conquored lots of times. You don't think they started as Muslims do you?

The Persians, Chinese and Mongols were early conquorers and the Arab conquests brought them Islam.

Hell, Pakistan owns half the Pashtun territory at the moment.
post #103 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

If you prefer Iran shoots a single ICBM (that it doesn't posess) at London. Assume that nobody intercepts this lone ICBM and it hits.

Now what? Level Tehran? Even with the understanding that the IRGC is mostly likely to control any nuke and delivery vehicle and these guys are not Iran's regular military and often is that tail that wags the dog?

The IRGC is like one step removed from terrorists. Besides, how on earth did you expect to get a nuke from Iran to London anyway? It's not like Iran can shoot that far today anyway.



That's not the point. The point is that unless there is a need for an immediate retaliatory strike (as in the event of a general nuclear war) they will spend the time to reconsitute the civillian chain of command.

Given that there is no follow on attack you can either:

a) use nukes to kill more innocent people, just this time they are Persian rather than English.
b) use conventional weapons to kill less innocent people and more guilty people.

Given the pause, the most likely option is B. There are a lot of complications from A and more importantly, everyone will support B and most countries (like say the US, China and Russia) will prefer "Not A" and offer a lot of concessions to the UK to opt for B rather than A.



So what? Who said Germany was "all powerful". The point is that they are more powerful than France or the UK despite not having nukes (or carriers for that matter).



Iraq had no friends. Had it been a close Russian or Chinese ally then we would not have attacked Iraq. Hell, we don't even pick on Cuba militarily and she has no nukes, is a hell of a lot closer and is also one of them "evil" countries.



The military consequences is war with China. No freaking way we would ever attack NK without Beijing's tacit approval. So the probability of US attack was zero and remains zero.

I didn't "expect Iran to get a nuke to London", as they don't have any nukes!!!!

I actually don't think, like you, that using nukes is a viable alternative very often. The idea of nuking a country, is appalling. That said though, 'if' Iran nuked London the only way to prevent them from nuking another city, might be by nuking one or two of theirs, so they knew that there'd be further consequences, should they try to do some more nuking. Particularly America, has developed and is still developing nukes that do far less damage and are therefore far more likely to be used.

Why do you think Germany is more powerful than France or the UK? Sure it's got a bigger economy, but it spends noticeably less on it's military than the UK or France. The UK is also better connected abroad than Germany will be for a long time to come.

I wouldn't say that a US attack on NK is zero, closer to 50:50 at the moment. China would no doubt help with the reconstruction. It could be a huge mess though and that's not in American interests, including financially.
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post #104 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

I didn't "expect Iran to get a nuke to London", as they don't have any nukes!!!!

I actually don't think, like you, that using nukes is a viable alternative very often. The idea of nuking a country, is appalling.

Thats a nice about face. I've argued that nukes are worth little to a nation because they are unlikely to be used, even in a retaliatory strike, but now all of a sudden I think that nukes are a viable alternative and you don't.

Quote:
Why do you think Germany is more powerful than France or the UK? Sure it's got a bigger economy, but it spends noticeably less on it's military than the UK or France. The UK is also better connected abroad than Germany will be for a long time to come.

Because it has a bigger economy and it isn't spending a lot of money on power projection capabilities it is unlikely to use? From a defensive standpoint not too many countries are capabile of successfully attacking Germany. They typically rank very high (as in on par with UK and France) in military power comparisons despite having no nukes and no carriers.

Two large ticket items that translates into very little combat power unless you have a lot of them like the US. Of course, Germany has nearly zero ability to project power beyond its borders (or where their tanks can drive anyway). But arguably the power projection capabilities of the UK and France are extremely limited.

Quote:
I wouldn't say that a US attack on NK is zero, closer to 50:50 at the moment. China would no doubt help with the reconstruction. It could be a huge mess though and that's not in American interests, including financially.

50-50?

Right. At this point I'm just hoping we're still a world power in a couple decades if our economy goes to pot.
post #105 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Not really - the meta discussion has really become "Does the US have the need/right to keep its current position as the policeman of the world? And it so, should we use preemptive attacks to reduce the costs of inevitable war?"

If the answer turns out to be "yes, and yes", then we return to our original discussion about the best way to attack North Korea, since they sure need attacking IMHO. I think that we need to be the world's policeman, because otherwise we get drug in later when the costs are higher like in WWII.


The problem with separating the questions of whether we should attack and how we should attack is that they are interrelated. It depends on why we attack. There are two scenarios:

1. Preemptive: I think we would conduct an extended air campaign aimed at their nuclear sites, command and control, and border (to prevent massive counterattack). This runs the risk of their rather huge army over running the South, requiring us to kick them out. Such a scenario would cost many thousands of lives.

2. NK Ground/Conventional Attack: We'd respond with massive air and naval power. We'd lose plenty of lives at the border as well. We'd prevail, but it would expensive in every sense of the word. I also think there is a remote possibility that'd we threaten if not use tactical nukes.

3. NK Nuke or Bio Attack: Our defense strategy pretty much mandates that we respond with nuclear weapons.

The only scenario where KJ would possible retain power is #1. Any attack on his part is utter stupidity. Despite all the saber rattling, I can't believe he'd be that dumb. That is, of course, unless he's actually insane.
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post #106 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The only scenario where KJ would possible retain power is #1. Any attack on his part is utter stupidity. Despite all the saber rattling, I can't believe he'd be that dumb. That is, of course, unless he's actually insane.

He's not insane. He's quite smart really. All the recent activity is to insure his son inherits power. He's backing nuclear weapons and saber rattling to keep the loyalty of important generals.
post #107 of 109
The bottom line here: NK has developed nukes to lessen the probability of being attacked... and it has probably worked out well for them militarily; they are certainly less likely to be taken to task (militarily) on account of their nuclear status. What's left? Sanctions, but they screw the ordinary people, and wont bring down or inconvenience the dictatorial leadership (as in Iraq). But the planners of sanctions don't give a rats about ordinary people and wield that power because they can. Its another case of the many suffering on account of the actions of a few.

Same old, same old... you can't change human nature.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #108 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

The bottom line here: NK has developed nukes to lessen the probability of being attacked...

Attacked by whom...us? The US wasn't going to attack North Korea before they had nukes anymore than we'd attack them now.

Quote:
and it has probably worked out well for them militarily; they are certainly less likely to be taken to task (militarily) on account of their nuclear status.

They weren't going to be before, either. That is, unless they attacked first.

Quote:


What's left? Sanctions, but they screw the ordinary people, and wont bring down or inconvenience the dictatorial leadership (as in Iraq). But the planners of sanctions don't give a rats about ordinary people and wield that power because they can. Its another case of the many suffering on account of the actions of a few.

Same old, same old... you can't change human nature.

It's more a question of "what's left" as you said. Sanctions are the only option in lieu of military action. I don't generally like sanctions, but that's what there is.
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post #109 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

He's not insane. He's quite smart really. All the recent activity is to insure his son inherits power. He's backing nuclear weapons and saber rattling to keep the loyalty of important generals.

I don't know if I buy that. I think he's more of a toddler who throws a tantrum until he gets more concessions.
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