North Korea: OMG & WTF?

Pablo Picasso’s depiction of the 1950 mass murder of Korean civilians by the US and allies at Sinchon; likely 30,000 dead

Please add additions, subtractions, speculations at will. And yes, in so many ways, the Cheeto Bandito is just continuing the last guy’s FP positions, but with far more  bellicosity and provocative Tweets and military maneuvers.  And shall I say: in utter ignorance of history and other worlds, other cultures?  Some have said he believes his life as Prez  is a just another Reality Show.  Perhaps they mean: with no more consequences than the teevee version?

Mike Whitney at CP noted on April 17:  ‘The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea’.

In seeming agreement with b at MOA’s thesis (with a slightly different solution), he contends that just now, no other country on the planet needs nukes more than North Korea; he then proceeds to make his case with an historical narrative, almost none of which I’d known.

He writes that since the end of the war 64 years ago, the West has held the Communist nation not only in utter contempt, but punished it with starvation, limited its access to foreign capital and markets, levied heavy economic sanctions, and put foreign bases and missile systems on its borders.  And instead of sitting down to talk, the West is using Chinese diplomats to deliver ultimatums to Pyongyang.

He posits that there are two reasons that the West hasn’t gone to regime-change war with the nation, one being that the DPRK isn’t sitting on oceans of oil, the other is having the “capacity to reduce Seoul, Okinawa and Tokyo (US allies) into smoldering debris-fields”. He then proceeds to describe reporting on the evil war crimes committed on North Korea, although the first author he quotes at Vox, Max Fisher, writes that it wasn’t the cause of the North’s bunker state mentality, nor does it forgive the many abuses they’ve committed, but it does help to explain their hatred of the US, it does help to explain their focus.  His round-up is so stomach-churning that I’m not even sure yet how much I’ll paste in to torment us all further, given the recent levels of barbarity of US foreign misadventures.  But onward, and back to Whitney quoting Fisher:

““In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to fight the war. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry….”

Now quoting a cable from Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who headed the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War:

 “On January 3 at 10:30 AM an armada of 82 flying fortresses loosed their death-dealing load on the city of Pyongyang …Hundreds of tons of bombs and incendiary compound were simultaneously dropped throughout the city, causing annihilating fires, the transatlantic barbarians bombed the city with delayed-action high-explosive bombs which exploded at intervals for a whole day making it impossible for the people to come out onto the streets. The entire city has now been burning, enveloped in flames, for two days. By the second day, 7,812 civilians houses had been burnt down. The Americans were well aware that there were no military targets left in Pyongyang…

The number of inhabitants of Pyongyang killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable…Some 50,000 inhabitants remain in the city which before the war had a population of 500,000.” 

Pyongyang in 1953 after 75% of it had been razed.

Over two million were killed by Amerika and allies in a nation that posed no threat to US national security threat, but was the recipient of muscle-flexing and testing of weapons and weapons systems, as so often is the case.  Yes, and part of what he’s narrated from the Asia-Pacific Journal is the fact that when there were no more population and industrial centers to bomb, they began bombing and napalming dams, hydro-electrical plants, irrigation systems, their entire rice crop…leaving nothing standing.  Scorched Earth total annihilation, leaving many to starve, to freeze, some saved only by fellow socialist nations’ food aid.  He likens the policy to the Seventh Cavalry, for obvious reasons, but includes Iraqis, Vietnamese, and others in the same metaphor; “whoever’s in Uncle Sam’s way”.

“The savagery of America’s war against the North left an indelible mark on the psyche of the people.  Whatever the cost, the North cannot allow a similar scenario to take place in the future. Whatever the cost, they must be prepared to defend themselves. If that means nukes, then so be it. Self preservation is the top priority.

Is there a way to end this pointless standoff between Pyongyang and Washington, a way to mend fences and build trust?

Of course there is. The US just needs to start treating the DPRK with respect and follow through on their promises. What promises?

The promise to built the North two light-water reactors to provide heat and light to their people in exchange for an end to its nuclear weapons program. You won’t read about this deal in the media because the media is just the propaganda wing of the Pentagon. They have no interest in promoting peaceful solutions. Their stock-in-trade is war, war and more war.

The North wants the US to honor its obligations under the 1994 Agreed Framework. That’s it. Just keep up your end of the goddamn deal. How hard can that be? “

He then quotes a WaPo op-ed by Jimmy Carter from 2010 liberally; I’ll just clip a bit:

““…in September 2005, an agreement … reaffirmed the basic premises of the 1994 accord. (The Agreed Framework) Its text included denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a pledge of non-aggression by the United States and steps to evolve a permanent peace agreement to replace the U.S.-North Korean-Chinese cease-fire that has been in effect since July 1953. Unfortunately, no substantive progress has been made since 2005…” [snip]

““Pyongyang has sent a consistent message that during direct talks with the United States, it is ready to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear programs, put them all under IAEA inspection and conclude a permanent peace treaty to replace the ‘temporary’ cease-fire of 1953. We should consider responding to this offer. The unfortunate alternative is for North Koreans to take whatever actions they consider necessary to defend themselves from what they claim to fear most: a military attack supported by the United States, along with efforts to change the political regime.”

Whitney asks “How dumb it that?”…then answers himself:

To preserve the image of “tough guy”, to convince people that the US doesn’t negotiate with weaker countries,  to prove to the world that “whatever the US says, goes”?   Is that it?  Is image more important than a potential nuclear disaster?”


 In his April 14 ‘Why North Korea Needs Nukes – And How To End That’, b at Moon of Alabama writes:

“Now consider what the U.S. media don’t tell you about Korea (link to a Jeffrey Kaye tweet):

‘BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) — China proposed “double suspension” to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.

“As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.’

“Wang said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is mainly between the DPRK and the United States, but China, as a next-door neighbor with a lips-and-teeth relationship with the Peninsula, is indispensable to the resolution of the issue.

FM Wang, ‘the lips’, undoubtedly transmitted an authorized message from North Korea: “The offer is (still) on the table and China supports it.”

North Korea has made the very same offer in January 2015. The Obama administration rejected it. North Korea repeated the offer in April 2016 and the Obama administration rejected it again. This March the Chinese government conveyed and supported the long-standing North Korean offer. The U.S. government, now under the Trump administration, immediately rejected it again. The offer, made and rejected three years in a row, is sensible. Its rejection only led to a bigger nuclear arsenal and to more missiles with longer reach that will eventually be able to reach the United States.

North Korea is understandably nervous each and every time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large yearly maneuvers and openly train for invading North Korea and for killing its government and people. The maneuvers have large negative impacts on North Korea’s economy.”

He goes on to demonstrate that the timing of the maneuvers isn’t accidental: they’re held during the planting and harvesting seasons, and given the scant amount of arable land left, it causes more hunger and famine when ‘full alerts’ occur, necessitating farm workers to leave the fields.  But back to his ‘Why NK needs nukes’ notion, this is fascinating:

“Its nuclear deterrent allows North Korea to reduce its conventional military readiness especially during the all important agricultural seasons. Labor withheld from the fields and elsewhere out of military necessity can go back to work. This is now the official North Korean policy known as ‘byungjin‘. (Byungjin started informally in the mid 2000nds after U.S. President Bush tuned up his hostile policy towards North Korea – Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy)

A guaranteed end of the yearly U.S. maneuvers would allow North Korea to lower its conventional defenses without relying on nukes. The link between the U.S. maneuvers and the nuclear deterrent North Korea is making in its repeated offer is a direct and logical connection.”

He then provides evidence that ‘byungkin’ is still operative under Kim Jong Un, and links that apparently show that it’s been successful.  As did Mike Whitney, he provides evidence:

“To understand why North Korea fears U.S. aggressiveness consider the utter devastation caused mostly by the U.S. during the Korea War:”, then brings this history, new to me:

“Imperial Japan occupied Korea from 1905 to 1945 and tried to assimilate it. A nominal communist resistance under Kim Il-sung and others fought against the Japanese occupation. After the Japanese WWII surrender in 1945 the U.S. controlled and occupied the mostly agricultural parts of Korea below the arbitrarily chosen 38th parallel line. The allied Soviet Union controlled the industrialized part above the line. They had agreed on a short trusteeship of a united and independent country. In the upcoming cold war the U.S. retracted on the agreement and in 1948 installed a South Korean proxy dictatorship under Syngman Rhee. This manifested an artificial border the Koreans had not asked for and did not want. The communists still commanded a strong and seasoned resistance movement in the south and hoped to reunite the country. The Korea War ensued. It utterly destroyed the country. All of Korea was severely effected but especially the industrialized north which lost about a third of its population and all of its reasonably well developed infrastructure – roads, factories and nearly all of its cities.

Every Korean family was (a)ffected. Ancestor worship is deeply embedded in the Korean psyche and its collectivist culture. No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.

The country would reunite if China and the U.S. (and Russia) could agree upon its neutrality. That will not happen anytime soon. But the continued danger of an “accidental” war in Korea would be much diminished if the U.S. would accept the North Korean offer – an end to aggressive behavior like threatening maneuvers against the north, in exchange for a verified stop of the northern nuclear and missile programs. North Korea has to insist on this condition out of sheer economic necessity.

The U.S. government and the “western” media hide the rationality of the northern offer behind the propaganda phantasm of “the volatile and unpredictable regime”.

But it is not Korea, neither north nor south, that is the “volatile and unpredictable” entity here.”

Jean Perier’s
April 14 question at NEO: ‘Donald Trump – a Bellicose President Going Berserk?’ opens with:

“Donald Trump is a kind of a real estate king that has recently manifested his special devotion for the army, militarism, and all things army-related that he had previously been hiding. Thus, the nature of his political ambitions that remained a mystery for a while has suddenly become crystal clear for analysts across the world, since they claim that he’s going to subject every aspect of America’s everyday life to his militaristic fantasies.

When he paid a visit to the United Central Command at the very beginning of the term, he declared: “We must start winning wars again!” To achieve this, Donald Trump has stripped the US State Department along with a number of assistance development programs of 54 billion dollars for this whooping sum to be gifted to the Pentagon.”

Well never mind; it’s depressing, likely true enough, especially the parts about USians not minding endless war and militarization much any longer, although while scoffing at Obama’s receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace under some dubious reasoning, he adds:

“…it seems that Trump would settle for a title of a US military dictator. But will it make those living in the West any more happier?”

 Meanwhile, from ‘Africom Commander Concerned About New Chinese Naval Base’, March 27

ha ha, ho ho!  good!

40 responses to “North Korea: OMG & WTF?

  1. I hadn’t considered the timing of the exercises (what was then known as Team Spirit) when I was there. But, yeah, it was always a couple of weeks around March/April and September/October. The number of F-4 sorties flown was so massive I can’t even estimate. The exercise always included TDYers from Philippines and Okinawa, as well as others who brought F-16s and A-10s. And it was around the clock, so those who worked the field didn’t likely get much sleep either.

    To my surprise, I read not long ago something speculating whether or not the US would start to house nukes on the penninsula, and thought, “WTF kinda bullshit is that? We got nukes there for sure!” I hadn’t been aware that GHWB has negotiated their removal in the 90s. But, as you can imagine, I am skeptical about that removal. The U2 also took off right outside our shop every day. That was loud as fck. There wasn’t a, um, soul who didn’t know it was there, though, theoretically nobody was supposed to.

    I’m gonna link an article I searched up recently. I found it trying to remember the terminology a guy briefing us for a tour used for the respective towns on the DMZ. I don’t even have to tell you the tale, because the author does a good enough job. I will add that the photos in the room had things like a photo of a Korean walking with a wheelbarrow with the caption “North Korean doing forced labor.”

    The germane part:

    We passed a scruffy village on the South side of the dividing line. Here a score of families live on land donated by the government, with generous tax and other concessions (not to mention military protection) to keep them there. “This is called the Freedom Village,” said Sergeant Manfull, without irony. “That other one you can see on the North Korean side is the Propaganda Village.”

    • that was a great read, davidly; thanks for bringing it. “it’s all bullshit’ the names are just reversed on the other side”.

      in what sort of capacity were you there, davidly? you’d mentioned ‘a shop’.

      • Officially “Survival Equipment”: routine maintenance thereof, which routine, as I’d come to realize to believe, was of the superfluous “better safe than sorry” nature that in the aggregate of such career fields across the organism functioned as justification for funding.

        Those who recall “Gramm-Rudman” of that era might remember the lip service given to military thrift and base closings. What this amounted to for the laborer was service-wide incentive to submit suggestions for savings while being encouraged at squadron level at the end of fiscal cycles to use any & all resources possible so as to warrant funding for the same the following cycle. Even at face value (wherein one considers killing a good thing) the military budget is the most massive fraudulent waste of money yet conceived by man or machine. And this doesn’t even factor in the black budget, which itself doesn’t necessarily include things like Iran-Contra of the same era.

        • yes, it would be rather easy to get ‘survival equipment’ funded. but what a good point: use up whats there as in all those tomahawk cruise missiles on syria that *must* be replaced by more expensive ones, eh? how odd it must have been to see what happened at the squadron level, then, after all the ‘savings suggestions’ fol-de-rol.

          as i remember it, the self-same nick turse had spent about a year tracking down the shadow military budget. what he’d found was that it was almost as large as the ‘official’ one. clever mofos, aren’t they? but ‘even when one considers killing a good thing’ was a pithy qualifier; thanks for that, as well..

  2. Good look at history of the post-World War II grab of the American Century. The Korean War (cough, “police action”) was the first major military action under the National Security Act of 1947. Truman was as experienced in national security and foreign affairs as Trump and as dependent on his advisers, who tended to play to his insecurities. There were some of his advisers who were brilliant in the actions they took but short-sighted on the long-range consequences, and some who staked out what turned out to be a very long-range “victory” through the containment strategy that infuriated the military brass eager for “their war’.

    Here’s the piece of work who drove a lot of the actions in Korea.

    “In March 1951 secret United States intercepts of diplomatic dispatches disclosed clandestine conversations in which General MacArthur expressed confidence to the Tokyo embassies of Spain and Portugal that he would succeed in expanding the Korean War into a full-scale conflict with the Chinese Communists. When the intercepts came to the attention of President Truman, he was enraged to learn that MacArthur was not only trying to increase public support for his position on conducting the war, but had secretly informed foreign governments that he planned to initiate actions that were counter to United States policy.”

    The guy who suppressed the Bonus Army was totally about “winning” in the worst way — and often did, in the worst way.

    Congress’s attachment to enforcing non-recognition of “Communist” countries has done much mischief and constrains what Trump can do in these circumstances with diplomacy, almost forcing into a military confrontation. Even if Trump were interested in a diplomatic settlement, it would require his saving face enough to claim victory. The US national security establishment, including those members of Congress, could not allow that. They had too much fun claiming Truman lost both Korea and China. No President wants to face that sort of historical reputation. And the arrogance of thinking those countries were Truman’s to lose. American domestic politics deranging US foreign policy.

    As to nukes on the Korean peninsula, given its size would one have to have land-based nukes within South Korean territory in order to cover all of the targeting options in North Korea and China at all? And would not land-based nukes be the first targets of a North-South Korea war? Submarines, naval battle groups, and aircraft based nearby with cruise missile nuclear capabilities kind of reduce the need to cheat in South Korean territory, don’t they?

    On Djibouti, does hedging one’s bets like that work out well for the host country? Is the restrained attitude on the party of the Africom commander a signal that one knows when one has been bested and is looking from a graceful exit that will save face?

    US interest in Djibouti is (apart from “full spectrum dominance” everywhere) really and interest in keeping trade flowing to Europe and free use of the seas (a global commons interest). Both are infrastructure for globally-oriented US corporations.

    China’s interest is free use of the seas and not being handicapped by interruptions of trade before One Belt/One Road infrastructure becomes a reality.

    Matthew Karp’s The Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy describes some of the US early moves to reduce the power of the British Navy during the antebellum period. One important one in the Polk administration was taking the Pacific Coast. Until the settlement of borders, the US and Britain had the same sort of dual basing in what was called Oregon. The US was more aggressive in encouraging settlement. Not an exact correspondence with the Djibouti situation, but both countries pursued Oregon for the strategic value in naval warfare in the Pacific.

    • holy crap; that’s one long wiki for a general, isn’t it? and what did truman do about macarthur’s secret communications and calls for a successful general war? talk about a palace coup! as an aside, i’d been looking for art for this, and had ended up at a US korean war triumphalist website, but how can anyone know which photo captions are true? but yes, at least one photo of the man with a pipe that would have needed to be surgically removed…riding in a jeep. sorry for the dangling phrase. is it akin to the dueling propaganda on the coach tour along the dmz? ‘freedom pagoda’, lol.

      you’ve mentioned some sort of necessary face-saving for a diplomatic solution for herr T; any thoughts on that? and at least now and again, one or two of his cabinet kinda veer away from his bombastic rhetoric, don’t they? more later; i do wanna talk a bit about camp lemmonier a bit. thanks for all this.

      on edit: Xi got some trade concessions for willingness to talk north korea off the nuclear edge. “why would i accuse him of currency manipulation? he’s willing to help!”

    • “On Djibouti, does hedging one’s bets like that work out well for the host country? Is the restrained attitude on the party of the Africom commander a signal that one knows when one has been bested and is looking from a graceful exit that will save face?”

      in 2014 the US signed a lease for 10 more years at a rate of $63 mil a year, up from $38 mil until then. the pentagon promised a billion toward ‘contructioon projects’ (likely similar to what china would have offered), training troops for somalia, who knows what other carrots and sticks? the gig was, of course, all about helping fight various islamic fundies. reason i went to look was that yes, it was admitted that drones flew out of djibouti to yemen and the horn of africa (enigmatic?).

      but then i went to tom dispatch to find‘Tomgram: Nick Turse, America’s Empire of African Bases’, nov. 2015

      since 2008, africom bases have gone from one (admitted one) to about 60, although turse seems to think not all are active, and some seem to be used for ‘sea-basing’; remember that? “in order to provide help even when the host nations doesn’t grant approval” or some such? that video ha been deleted for several years, lol. too bald? anyhoo, it’s long, long, long, but i think scanning showed many of those bases are jet and drone capable. turse has been dogged over the decade to dig into…the almost truth of africom, bless his pea-pickin’ heart.

  3. I read that article too, and learned for the first time about the sadistic timing of the military exercises. I have had it with US aggression and the endless lies of the MSM. I decided to write a scathing letter to the editor of my local paper but also, even though I have zero experience in these matters, to try to organize an anti-war movement by myself. I am unsatisfied with the paltry and ambiguous efforts of ANSWER and I can’t stand the idea of Ellspeth’s beautiful little daughter, or anyone else’s children, being incinerated in a nuclear war, or having to live with the consequences of global warming (in the best case scenario of fifty years or so provided the methane holes don’t blow much sooner than that. I don’t know how to do that, but I do have some contacts in the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, so that’s a possible starting point. I’m going to print up leaflets tearing into the pervasive propaganda on North Korea, Russia, Ukraine and Syria. I can’t rely on others to do it anymore. It probably will be a big flop, given the gullibility and insouciance of the American people, but I have to try or I can’t live with myself.

    • dunno which article you’d read; perhps b’s? but good on your plans. i poked about a bit, remembering that sometimes May 1 (socialist worker’s day) is also keyed to anti-war. but…i can’t find anything save one day labor strikes. vets for peace will join a climate change march in deecee, cuz nothin’ says climate change relief like folks flyin’ into deecee, eh? but they have a find a chapter, create a chapter page.

      my stars; that will be a tome of a samizdat if you dig into all that! will your letter ask folks who might be interested in a protest demo to contact you? or on the leaflets?

      • I was referring to Mike Whitney’s article, but I read B’s also. I was thinking about including a contact for me, but I still don’t have a personal e mail yet, we have been too busy dealing with this bankruptcy fiasco, as well as a trial I lost Monday but should have won, and another trial Friday, and an old friend of mine who has a new case involving massive escrow overcharged, etc. etc. etc.

        As far as samizdat, I once considered publishing a leaflet detailing the crimes of Israel and putting it on cars windshields at fundamentalist churches, but then my fibromyalgia hit and I was unemployed for four years and filled with too much crippling fear to take on the Zionist establishment at that time but who knows in the future? I live in a glass house and somewhat reluctant buto throw stones buttoo old to feel that kind of fear, especially when the cancer is likely to reappear and end my sojourn on this good Earth.

        • i hear you, c seeker. also: you have outstanding comments across a couple other threads; wish i knew where to direct you. maybe…the earlier open menu for one? with the vltchek essays?

          nope: on the gowans thread on syria.

          • Yeah, I’ve never been much of a clotheshorse, so threads elude me. Haha! But thank you for the compliments, it’s good to feel appreciated; lately I’ve been subject to the misplaced wrath of clueless “liberals” and have grown tired of arguing with the “race realists” of Paleo rags like Takimag. I feel at home here. Thank you for your hospitality. Care to join my anti-war movement of one? Actually two, I’ve recruited a friend of mine, a leftish radical who voted Trump out of desperation.

            BTW, “Ellspeth” is a pseudonym but it’s so close to her real name I call her that affectionately at times.

            • i’d meant that you have comments on that thread i’d linked to that you hadn’t responded to, is all. not that your comments were necessarily outstanding. ;-) sorry to have made it confusing. i’d taken time to respond, maybe others had is what i’d meant. communications can be hard, eh? ‘threads’ refer to comment threads on a particular diary or post, afaik.

      • I reckon that socialism insofar as it is averse to capitalism is by default if not intent anti-war. Not that socialists cannot plunder for the sake of the community’s material largess, but applied internationally, there’d be a lot less resources for it. Of course this is just from my “bottom-up” perspective (not intended as a pun for “the view of one having imbibed”).

        • i think you’re just right about most socialists being inherently anti-war, which framing has led to the arguments over jacobin authors and others being part of the ‘cruise missile left’. iirc, i’ve linked to a few such examples over the last month. likely there’s an acronym for it akin to PEP: ‘progressive except palestine’.

  4. only slightly off topic, but…only slightly. The Guardian joins the LA times in fomenting regime change in VZ: ‘Are you taking part in protests in Venezuela? Mass protests are expected to take place in Venezuela on Wednesday. We’d like you to tell us why you’re taking part!”

    “Spiralling unrest across the country has resulted in the death of six protesters this month. Maduro has resisted calls from the opposition to hold a referendum on his leadership, vowing to continue the work of his predecessor Hugo Chavez. He says the economic crisis and efforts to remove him are a capitalist conspiracy.”, yada, yada.

    from Telesur: ‘What Everybody Needs to Know About Venezuela Protest Deaths’, 13 April 2017

    of course, few will ever know; the fix is in, including w/ the head of the OAS, friend of the Imperium.

    oopsie; it seems i just got bit by the sleepy bug; see y’all tomorrow. g’nite.

  5. Little by little, I’m withdrawing from commenting.
    My POV on comments is that their only accomplishment is for the commenter; in the greater world, they’re as a drop of fresh water, in the ocean.
    I’m in my 6th cycle (12 years to a cycle) which is recognized as a time for withdrawl (in this society) from the greater life for the for the private world.
    The Korean war was but a fraction of the crimes against humanity committed by the greatest charletan in the history of the world.
    That the main construct of the U.S., was little more than a giant Potemkin Democracy; now coming apart at the seams.
    It’s likely at its most dangerous iteration now, with a Harlequin for president.
    For the immediate future; be very afraid if you live in the U.S. especially; the dangers come from myriad directions and forms.
    I may visit from time to time; best to all…

    • i do understand your position, v arnold, but for some of us, the value of blogging/commenting as a safety valve is considerable. and learning things like this on the actual history of of the empire v. north korea, and what commenters bring in additionally helps focus on the false histories/agitprop we’ve learned all our lives. as to what value beyond that any of it to the world’re likely right, save for the idea that some of us need to act as ‘fair witnesses’ to the best of our abilities.

      now i get that it’s far more fun to set people straight at ian’s, though. makes commenting far more interesting interesting than finding agreement, no? but as for this w/ korea being only a speck of USian cries against humanity, you’re so right. as to that, i can only wish again that i’d read howard zinn’s book when i could still read dead tree.

      ‘Harlequin president’: yes! he’s the naked face and Tweet of what we hope will be the great unraveling of not only capitalism, but amerika as the sole super power. both of those are on the way, but our rulers just refuse to see it. best to you, too, and stop by whenever the spirit moves you.

      i guess i refuse to be afraid, partly as i know i’m here till they carry me out in a body bag, and if i succumb to fear, they’ve won.

      • Yes, commenting can indeed bring in new information.
        Your blog is very different than most other blogs, in that it lacks the divisiveness so prevalent elsewhere, Ian’s in particular. I appreciate that very much.
        What happened to Davidly’s reply to my comment and my reply to his reply?
        My reason for retreating has nothing to do with blogging or commenting; but rather, it’s about pursuing other less tangible areas.
        If and when I do comment, it will likely be here as long as I’m welcome.

        • Addendum: Fear has nothing to do with my decision and hopefully, never yours as well…

        • Good question. Guess they just disappeared. Re. contentment: well said.

        • t’other day jason had said something about his comments being eaten. zo…i went into the wp comments section, and both had been ‘approved’, so i dunno what’s going on. maybe the WP happiness team or whatever could say, but i rarely get any real answers from them. but here they are, and i’m sorry they were disappeared. i’ll shimmer them back into this reality. ;-)

          Davidly In reply to V. Arnold.
          Potemkin Democracy is inspired contextual perfection. I agree with the ultimate reasoning behind your withdrawal, having myself recently remarked as such regarding commenting in particular. I mentioned that it was all part of our creative urge, noting that so much of our creative urges converge with lamenting how much others’ are creatively destructive amounting to being a side-effect of sorts. On that note, however, I will say that given how I received the aforementioned portmanteau’d term, inspired creation inspires commenter and reader alike. I nevertheless understand the need to focus that energy three/four-dimensionally and encourage the capacity to grow comfort & happiness going forth to continue the same in the real world.

          V arnold In reply to davidly.
          Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.
          It’s not happiness that is important (to me) as much as contentment.
          And contentment comes with understanding the world as it genuinely exists, IMHO. Not an easy task but very important, IMO.

        • of course you’ll always be welcome! i’d just mentioned reusing to be afraid given you’d said: ‘be very afraid if you live in the U.S. especially’.
          now i have a number of things in my personal life that i do fear, and try to (apatheistically) pray and meditate them away, but only find partial relief.

          but both you and davidly can add your comments to one another as the templates are right there. if you do, i’ll edit them out below…or wherever i’d added them. ;-) oopsie; looks like ‘above’ (ya po’ old crone…) them thar shiitake mushrooms don’t seem to have kicked in yet.

          on edit: you’re always welcome here unless you tell your host to stick a cactus up her ass, as an erstwhile friend had ordered me over yonder. ouch. ;-)

  6. Double nuts; charletan, not charletain…

  7. Potemkin Democracy is inspired contextual perfection. I agree with the ultimate reasoning behind your withdrawal, having myself recently remarked as such regarding commenting in particular. I mentioned that it was all part of our creative urge, noting that so much of our creative urges converge with lamenting how much others’ are creatively destructive amounting to being a side-effect of sorts. On that note, however, I will say that given how I received the aforementioned portmanteau’d term, inspired creation inspires commenter and reader alike. I nevertheless understand the need to focus that energy three/four-dimensionally and encourage the capacity to grow comfort & happiness going forth to continue the same in the real world.

    • Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.
      It’s not happiness that is important (to me) as much as contentment.
      And contentment comes with understanding the world as it genuinely exists, IMHO. Not an easy task but very important, IMO.

  8. Thanks Wendy, you got them back.

  9. here we go: ‘‘Sword stands ready’: Pence vows ‘overwhelming & effective’ response to N. Korean attacks’, via RT, AP
    “US Vice President Mike Pence has issued a fresh warning to North Korea, saying that Washington will counter any potential attack with an “overwhelming and effective” response.

    Speaking from the deck of the aircraft carrier ‘USS Ronald Reagan’, docked in Yokosuka, Japan, Pence told 2,500 American sailors that North Korea is “the most dangerous and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific.”

    “The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” he said, as quoted by AP.
    He went on to vow that the US would “defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response.”

    ‘but we’re still workin’ on diplomatic solutions thru japan and china, i swear!’ so this one is small buffoon v. large buffoon cage match? can ya just stop your own pretense of glorious power, kim?

    ‘‘Iran complies with nuclear deal but sponsors terrorism’ – Tillerson on Trump’s review order’, at RT.

    ha ha, but our partners in peace the sauds and israelis? ‘we’re kewl with them’. ‘whose yer daddy?’
    well, it’s just bidness is all…

  10. Trump: In North Korea You will be Murdering Human Beings’, by Andre Vltchek, April 19, 2017, a photo essay

    “I have already said a lot about North Korea. I have shown images. I have spoken about the unimaginable pain this country has had to endure. I have spoken broadly about its tremendous gesture – of helping to liberate and then to educate so many parts of the world, including the enormous and devastated continent of Africa. North Korea is a beautiful country, inhabited by human beings, with blood circulating through their veins. Despite what you are directly and indirectly told, these people feel pain and they are capable of experiencing great joy. Like others, they often dream, fall in love, and suffer when being insulted or betrayed or abandoned. They laugh and cry, they hold hands, get angry, even desperate. They have great hopes for a better life and they work very hard trying to build their future.

    So listen well, manager, or supervisor of what you yourself call the “free world”. Or how should I call you, President? Ok, fine, President… If you shoot your Tomahawk missiles at them, at DPRK, (as you recently did at Syria), or if you drop your bloody “Mother of All Bombs” on them (as you just did on some god-forsaken hamlet in Afghanistan, just in order to demonstrate your spite and destructive force), their bodies will be torn to pieces, people will die in tremendous agony; wives will be howling in despair burying their husbands, grandparents will be forced to cover the dead bodies of their tiny grandchildren with white sheets, entire neighborhoods and villages will cease to exist.”

    the rest of his cri de coeur is here, as are his moving photos.

  11. Indeed, I have long since stopped believing anything from the MSM and U.S. government regarding North Korea, or any other country on this planet the U.S. demonizes.
    There is evil afoot and the U.S. is the largest purveyor of that substance…

    • but we’re not supposed to think of the empire’s enemies as human beings, are we? just ‘the evil others’ who are collectively threatening the world with more nuclear madness just for the hell of it. but really, so much of this context and history was totally new to me that i’m glad to have learned how much i need (most need) to unlearn.

      the man has a deep soul, doesn’t he? some of the photos also demonstrated that, as well as the photo of sweet lovers he chose…not to take.

      the full court press against maduro again is evidence of exactly what you’re saying. just despicable lies being told, and tillerson has issued dire warnings. i’d think he must be pretty concerned that the ptb will assassinate him; i’ve forgotten how many attempts were made on chavez.

  12. Colonel Patrick Lang weighs in:

    Remember this Lang’s commenters are primarily old imperial hands who don’t like poor quality hegemony. Nonetheless, often he had good insights into what is going on.

    Short version: Lang predicts late May – 3 carrier groups in the Sea of Japan (Carl Vinson one is only the first) and a range of air resources available. And he outlines the DPRK assets that they have available.

    It could very well be a catastrophe on the peninsula. Even if it ends Trumpismo.

    • ack! i had a hard enough time reading that crazy font (much less grasping it all) that i’d forgotten to read the comments. but i love your construct of ‘ old imperial hands who don’t like poor quality hegemony’. i’ll try again later, still got lots of chores before sleep time. but: oy…and veh. dicey stuff; thanks…i think?

      inside tracks, though.

    • the back and forth between b and co lang were interesting, as were the folks w/ links challenging the ‘fact’ that the north invaded the south first’. but no, i backed out of the only one i clicked into at asia pacific journal.

      i’m not at all clear about why lang believes china wouldn’t want to talk kim jong-un off the edge, though, nor do i understand why b believes that NK wil ever be, *can* ever be…de-nuclearized.

      • On the latter, wendye, isn’t it because as b sees it, the devastation already inflicted upon North Korea that has to be part of every citizen’s DNA there just makes the only possible deterrent to that ever happening again – well – the only possible deterrent. At least in the lifetimes of those currently inhabiting therein and herein.

        And on that point, what is it about the sic_semper guy that causes him to be so disrespectful (and totally wrong.)

        “…The # # # kid does not really understand just how much devastation the US can wreak upon his “# #” of a country if it sets itself on that path…”

        Seems to me NK’s leader does totally understand.

        Way to win friends and influence people, guy! Way to help us all sleep better at night, as well!

        • -NOT

        • yes, and both he and whitney had provide ample context to the reasons dprk needs nuclear weapons, but i’d thought there’d been some ‘for now, for the near future’ provisos, if: thus and so were to be agreed. but after i’d posted that, i began to wonder if b is thinking of ‘containment’ as being the way forward for now. his eventual reunification theories were another jolt to my understandings.

          ach, col. lang: i’ve never been a fan, but yes, on that issue: phooey.

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