sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Situation on the Korean Peninsula

I think that in order to understand what's going on between North and South Korea, and I mean REALLY understand it, you must have spent time in Korea. There is a national flavor to the situation that I haven't found anywhere else on the planet. Much of it has to do with emotion and pride that runs to the very core of the culture -- going back thousands of years. The only way I have found to explain it to make it meaningful to people in "the West" is to explain it this way: When Gene Roddenberry (created of the popular media series, Star Trek) wrote about Klingons, he used Koreans as the model.

That is not to say that I don't like Korean people. Quite the opposite. It's just that trying to explain a Confucian warrior culture to somebody who hasn't been exposed to it is difficult.

On 20 August, North and South Korea carried out their respective threats. North Korea threatened to destroy South Korean propaganda broadcast stations. At 15:53 local, it fired a single round at a broadcast station in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province. At 16:12 it fired a greater number of shells across the Demilitarized Zone. South Korean authorities said the attack caused no casualties or serious property damage.

Senior South Korean authorities threatened strong retaliation for any North Korean provocations and authorized forward forces to retaliate. In response to the North Korean fire, South Korean 155-mm howitzers returned fire. North Korean media said they fired 36 shells, but inflicted no casualties.

The South Korean national defense ministry said that about 17:00 local time, it received a message from North Korea via a communications link at Panmunjom that contained an ultimatum from the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army. The ultimatum said that if the South did not stop the propaganda broadcasts within 48 hours from 17:00, then the North would begin strong military action.

A South Korean military source said Wednesday that North Korea’s military was ratcheting up its combat readiness posture. Front-line fortifications have opened their weapons portholes and units had intensified artillery firing drills. “The North Korean army is performing its exercises more frequently, including one that aims to speed up artillery operations.”

Later on the 20th, North Korean media reported that Dear Leader Kim Jong Un ordered the Korean People’s Army to move to “semi- war” combat readiness as of 17:00 Korea time (0430 ET) on 21 August.

South Korean forces are at their highest alert level. South Korea has implemented a partial evacuation of civilians from the western part of the Demilitarized zone.

The semi-war combat readiness condition is the second highest combat readiness condition. A semi-war state brings the combat forces to a condition from which they can launch attacks without warning, although all readiness measures are not completed. It always means there is a crisis, but not that a general war is imminent or likely.

The North appears ready to order increased readiness to the civilian sector, but the report does not indicate that Kim gave such an order. The changes to civilian normality under an order to increase civil readiness are so disruptive and destructive of national life that they would mean the end of Kim’s building and development programs for a considerable time. Such an order to the civil sector also would significantly increase the probability of an armed confrontation across the Demilitarized Zone.

Conditions are in place for a potentially serious escalation. The North Korean ultimatum requires some form of military action against the South Korean broadcast stations to prevent a loss of face. The North Koreans might have misjudged South Korea’s readiness and willingness to take them on. The chances of a miscalculation of intentions feeding escalation of the crisis are high. It's likely that North Korea will test a ballistic missile by shooting it in the general direction of South Korea.


Fishwrap

Welcome to the weekly axe grinding session.

The Iranian Nuke Deal makes sense now that I know that the plan is for Iran to do their own inspections and to report their compliance rather than having Americans and other spies nosing around their bombs and nuclear program. It's obvious why the side deal was kept secret. I mean, it would damage the possibility of getting Congress to sign off on it if the public knew that we wouldn't be allowed to check compliance - - and had to trust the nation that repeatedly calls for our destruction and that of the State of Israel.

Will we end up in a war with Iran in the next twenty years? Likely. Who will start it? That's a more difficult question and begs questions like, 'why did we fake the Gulf of Tonkin Incident', a pretext for the Vietnam war. Why did we invade Iraq when the evidence all pointed to an absence of weapons of mass destruction? You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist because most of them aren't theories really...except for alien abductions. But then I worked on cases where illegal alien drug dealers were kidnapped and I found out that alien abductions are real.  See, I can't be that serious about the Iranian Nuke Deal because if I was to be, my invective toward the president, and the political class in America would violate my rule of general civility on this blog.

Shaun King (h/t LSP), a member of the racial pressure group #black lives matter, is apparently not a negro. He's been outed. Would a DNA test be conclusive? Not so fast.

We all know that if a man cuts parts off and adds implants, he's still genetically a man, even though he's legally a woman. It's the same for a woman who wants to be a man. It's called progressive behavior. 

Race, it seems is not a matter of genetics either. What does it take to be a negro? Rachael Dolezal (you all remember her) rose to high standing in the NAACP with a spray-on tan and a perm. She even taught college classes on how she (as a negro) had been kept down by white oppression. Now there is Shaun King, a white guy who has pretended to be black to cash in on big scholarship money and advantages only available to black people (such as the United Negro College Fund). When you think long and hard about it, you're going to get a lot more free phones and cheese as a member of the grievance culture than you'd ever get by being white. 

We've had a two-term mixed race man in the White House, two black attorneys general, lesbian and black Director of Homeland Security - and on and on. The #2 candidate for president on the other  (Republican Party) is Dr. Ben Carson, a black man. 

Last time the Republican, Herman Cain was a front runner and there is still the rant that the white man is trying to keep the black man down.  Yeah, I know, only black lives matter.

Hillary Clinton is angry at the vast right wing conspiracy that wants to hold her accountable for improperly handling classified material, which we know now was also literally stored in a restroom in Colorado. If the Russians and Chinese don't have it now, they're even more incompetent than SecState Clinton - and that's difficult to believe.


President Obama can always pardon her if she's indicted to keep her out of federal prison. Once pardoned, she can still run for office and there is no doubt in my mind that she'd remain a Democratic Party front-runner.

Jeb Bush is peeved at Donald Trump, who had to rent a stadium with a capacity of 55,000 for a rally this weekend.  Trump packs them in. Hillary has to pay people to show up and plump black women take the podium over from Bernie Sanders, who just sulks off and...who should have been a colonel - think of the campaign slogans one could come up with.


The California Highway Patrol has recommended that famous transexual Bruce/Cait Jenner be charged with manslaughter for his/her role in an automobile accident where he/she drove recklessly and it lead to another motorists death last year. If sentenced, would he/she serve his/her time in a woman's custodial facility? And if he/she impregnated his roommate while in custody, what are the legal implications if any? Most men, if asked, would prefer to spend hard time in a women's prison (pun intended).

Coming to the blog next week: Another short - this one with a science fiction theme.