sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Right Skills

Our fellow blogger Mike MD might not see it this way, but I consider myself a 'trail surgeon'. Let me paint the picture for you. We'll call you LSP, for sake of convenience here on this blog, are out in the back of beyond, far from conventional transportation and the reach of cell phones. You were careless enough to venture out there without a sat phone and suddenly, you find yourself in medical distress. You have few options: (a) Crawl under a bush and wait for the valkyries to take you as you clutch your hunting knife to prove your worth to them; (b) You try and walk out, during which time you drop your knife and the valkyries will pass you by and you'll end up in Hellheim (shudder); (c) You invite a amateur trail surgeon (that would be me) who packs a rusty knife, some parachute cord and a flask of Oh Be Joyful to assuage your pain, making use of his skills for your benefit. Now the plan takes shape for you. I can 'practice' medicine with the best frontier types, and may beat out these guys.
"For thousands of years, trepanation -- the act of scraping, cutting, or drilling an opening into the cranium -- was practiced around the world, primarily to treat head trauma, but possibly to quell headaches, seizures and mental illnesses, or even to expel perceived demons."
Some of you may ask whether I could do a better job patching a wound than the French Foreign Legion barbers at Sidi Bel Abbes (North Africa) in the late 1800's. Or whether I could keep up with the French Foreign Legion engineers (photo right).  The answer is, you bet your bippy I can. I also have an axe.

Sure, some of you wimps would opt for a tourniquet or quick clot and a wash down with beta dyne to keep the would clean. Some of you might even object to me taking a drink to steady my hand before I cut with the (razor sharp, but rusty) camp knife. But I also bring a copy of the Good Book in the event that I need to say a few words over the carcass before rolling it into a hole...that's the kind of surgeon I am. RIP, and carry on.

Observations and Implications

The Summit Meeting (in Singapore)

At their first handshake, Kim told President Trump, “It was not easy to get here. For us, the past has been holding us back and old practices and prejudices have been covering our eyes and ears, but we have been able to overcome everything to arrive here today."

At the end of about four hours of meetings, President Trump and the North Korean Chairman signed a document on broad principles of agreement. It opened with an affirmation that President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un “held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.” 
“President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
“Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and pf the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.”
“Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit – the first in history – was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK officials, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.”
The primary significance of the summit is that it occurred. Both leaders wanted to be the first. In meeting the US President, Kim has surpassed the achievements of Kim Il-sung and Kim Chong-il. Both men have established a place in history.

The emergence of the document above implies preparations and exchanges about appropriate for a half-day summit. Some of the language is lifted from public statements by Kim or from President Trump. Other language is from the Panmunjom Declaration, which is cited. 

Style

Many commentators from the corrupt, smug, sly, lying elite media in the US have criticized the summit style. There are at least two summit styles. 

Since World War II, the dominant style has been for the summit meeting to be the climax of weeks of work. This opens the negotiations to input from all sort of experts.

The Singapore summit conforms to an older style, that of strong rulers – kings/kaisers/emperors/despots -- of the past. Great kings had the option to establish the principles or the framework for an agreement and then set their bureaucracies in motion to execute the details. 

In the older style, the experts have only limited contributions to make to the summit preparations. They still have important contributions, but to the implementation phase of the agreement. Both styles work.

Security and pressure. One of the advantages of the great king style is there are no premature leaks. Plus, there is no time pressure to achieve results before the leaders meet. 

Severability. Another advantage is that differences over the details do not necessarily rupture the overall agreement.

Flexibility. Another advantage is that the great kings have the flexibility to intervene to break deadlocks. The important point is that there is no single path to a useful agreement. 

Iran-North Korea

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi urged North Korea to enter the planned talks with the United States with "full vigilance", ISNA news agency reported on 11 June.
"Given the history and the history of the behavior we know from the United States, especially those of Mr. Trump, who during his term of office has committed obstructions, withdrawal from agreements, and violations of obligations, especially with regards to the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear deal), we do not hold an optimistic view on this issue, and we believe that the Korean government should deal with this with full vigilance, since one cannot judge the nature of the American leadership with optimism," Qassemi said during his weekly press briefing in Tehran on 11 June.
"Iran's position is clear..., we are interested in peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, as well as in other parts of the world, and we will welcome every step in this process, as well as the economic development and prosperity of that region," Qassemi said when asked about Iran's stance on the upcoming US-North Korean talks in Singapore.
The Iranian statement contains no surprises. However, Iran is watching closely, because THEY are interested in an agreement themselves. As Iran ramps up it's capacity to build nuclear weapons, Israel acquires US F-35 stealth strike aircraft, and the Saudis have committed to buy/build their own nuclear weapons in an effort to remain parity with their hereditary enemies. With the North Koreans crafting a deal that may be enduring with President Trump, there is a light with Iran that was not there with the bumbling, craven ObamaNation. Maybe there is a way for them that doesn't end with the Persian Empire turned into a sea of radioactive glass.

I know that there are blog readers who won't agree with me that Iran sees an opportunity for a genuine deal, but (with respect) you're wrong. How to craft such a deal on the repudiation on the horrible situation with Barack Obama's 'sell out' that the whole world now sees clearly, is a task for them.