sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Breaking it Down (Sunday Sermonette)

China, North Korea and the Allied Nations

Summary: South Korea, Japan and the United States are still pushing China to "do something" about the North Korean creature that it helped to create. China is preparing for the aftermath of a war between the allies and North Korea.

The fat kid with the bad haircut doesn't feel that the US has the guts to take
him out. The Chinese know differently.
The Chinese have responded to the allied push for them to do more by saying the they will not impose more sanctions on the Norks without additional United Nations approval. When one wants to know what the Chinese are thinking unofficially, turning to the quasi-official Chinese daily Global Times is always a good move. Yesterday, they published an op-ed article on additional sanctions on North Korea. After a review of the Korean situation in light of the latest missile launch, the author wrote, 
“We sincerely hope North Korea will stop provoking the US and not overestimate its ability to deter Washington. Now is the most dangerous moment for Pyongyang. The country's leader should be clear-headed.”
The editorial goes on, but I'll summarize it for you. It is a statement that China now will look to its own interests. These are:
  • China will not impose or support others in imposing unilateral sanctions on North Korea;
  • China will not support measures that create a humanitarian crisis in North Korea;
  • China will not permit itself to be manipulated by the US, South Korea and Japan;
  • China will not permit the US, South Korea and Japan to undermine relations with North Korea;
  • China has tried its best to prevent a war and now should prepare for the worst.
Unless the UN Security Council comes up with some new ideas, China is not likely to approve tighter sanctions that are inconsistent with list (above). China continues to insist that it is not a primary party to the Korean nuclear confrontation. Naturally, the Chinese blame the United States for allowing things to come to this. The Chinese are certain that Kim Jong Un will launch an intercontinental ballistic missile with a hydrogen warhead on it for a "mid-Pacific test and demonstration" - maybe at Christmas. The Chinese are equally certain that it will provoke a military response from the US and its allies against North Korea, and expect that it could turn into a nuclear weapons exchange that will leave much of Korea (North and South) devastated. They also believe that it will leave China with a humanitarian crisis of Biblical proportions, that they will be forced to contend with.

I don't disagree with the Chinese assessment. As President Trump has pointed out. America will look to their interests and other nations must look to theirs. The Chinese will do their best do cope with a nuclear war on their doorstep.

This won't look like Armageddon (because this is a sermonette) unless you're in North Korea. The North Koreans are atheists so they won't need to make their peace. Will the American motto reflect an earlier military campaign?
"Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." was allegedly spoken by Papal legate and Cistercian abbot Arnaud Amalric prior to the massacre at B├ęziers, the first major military action of the Albigensian Crusade. A direct translation of the Latin phrase would be "Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own." Let God sift the souls of the elite Norks as He will, separating what small amount wheat there is from a great deal of chaff. I feel sorry for the maggot and worm infested common North Koreans who have been beaten, starved and often worked to death to please Dear Leader's vanity. A country without light at night - and during the daytime, in a metaphorical sense, it's still midnight in Norkland.
The latest North Korean missile (Kwasong-15) was a technical failure because it broke up on re-entry into the atmosphere. That means they're going to test more of them. The warhead portion of the missile (a sensor package) splashed down in Japanese waters. I believe that the Japanese Self Defense  Force recovered it. Whether that is significant beyond its recovery remains to be seen.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said Friday that the two-stage liquid-fuel missile potentially capable of striking targets as far away as 8,100 miles, which would put Washington within reach...if it can hold together. It is more likely that the Norks would barf out a hydrogen bomb that would fall -- wherever.

The stock market is at an all-time high. I don't see that a North Korean War will have much impact if it goes quickly (even if it goes nuclear). Call me an optimist.

Syria

The US military has withdrawn to a position east of the Euphrates River. ISIS has been defeated and the Caliphate no longer exists as a tourist organization that holds territory in the Levant. You'd think that the progressive left in America would be happy but you won't hear anything on CNN or NBC because it would mean heaping praise on President Trump.

My sense is that the US will retain a military presence east of the Euphrates River for the foreseeable future to thwart any resurgence of ISIS. I don't think it will be a 'winning hearts and minds' operation so much as it is a deterrent.

     Kurdistan

There are things that the US military presence will and won't do. It's not there to support the establishment of Kurdistan...but it will keep the Turks from invading to wipe the Kurds out. At least in the short term. In the long term the Kurds must unify (and there are a lot of factions in Kurdistan). You will recall that killing Kurds is a Turkish national pastime and has been for some decades.

     Rumor and Innuendo

I've heard various reports for over a year of Chinese troops replacing Russian soldiers as the Russians begin to withdraw from Syria. I have yet to see anything that indicates it to be true. So far, there has been a lot of chatter and rumor mill speculation. I personally doubt that China is that stupid. As the graphic above illustrates, the place is a complete mess. The Russians and the US under President Trump have ended ISIS as a territorial entity. Hat's off to them.