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Friday, August 11, 2017


The lives of millions of South Koreans, North Koreans, Japanese, and Americans depend on the ruler of North Korea being more rational than the President of the United States.  Can no one rid us of this narcissistic uncontrolled child?


F Lengyel said...

Rationality doesn't imply morality, except possibly for Kantians. If he were playing with all sixteen general purpose registers, he might follow von Neumann's backward induction argument: "If you say why not bomb them tomorrow, I say why not today? If you say today at 5 o'clock, I say why not one o'clock?" But then, what difference would it make for Trump to forego even that argument and push the button anyway?

F Lengyel said...

But rational means "acting to ensure your survival"--which may or may not be moral. He might be goading the North Koreans into making a move. China has stated that North Korea is on its own if they attack the US. That's a tense calculus. If they attack the US, the US will respond in any case. The geography of North Korea doesn't make a nuclear response particularly promising. This would be like bombing Buffalo New York and expecting the fallout to respect the US/Canada border.

s. wallerstein said...

World War 2 was started by a narcissistic uncontrolled, child, and I have no reason to believe that humanity has advanced in wisdom since then.

In fact, most probably, wise and rational adults do not and have never started wars, although they defend themselves if there are no other options.

All the great and not so great conquerors and even some not so great would-be conquerors have probably been narcissistic children. Sages do not set off to conquer and kill others.

Now, why does a country elect a narcissistic uncontrolled child as its ruler or follow enthusiatically beating drums would-be Alexander the Greats ? That says something about the mentality of our fellow men/women and even of ourselves.

LFC said...

The new element here is not N Korean rhetoric (threats to engulf this or that adversary in "a sea of fire" have been standard w them for years). The new element is Trump's rhetoric. While it has been, on the whole, counterproductive (esp. after the first day), I don't see it as changing the underlying dynamics of the situation.

Kim Jong Un is not suicidal, and a N Korean first move of any significance against Guam, S Korea, Japan or the mainland US is thus highly unlikely. As long as Kim Jong Un is not suicidal, nothing Trump says can "goad" Kim into an attack. Trump could call him all sorts of vile names and it wouldn't matter, as long as Kim wants to survive and understands, even in a very rough way, the balance of forces. (Nor will the intensified sanctions, assuming China helps enforce them, goad Kim into an attack, though whether they will bring him to a negotiating table or otherwise alter N Korean behavior seems an open question.)

F Lengyel said...
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F Lengyel said...
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Hey Man said...

For all the media attention, I haven't heard a word about the lives of North Korea's civilians. No one seems to care about them. Mattis literally threatened the "destruction" of the North Korean people. Commentators welcome sanctions that may increase the suffering of innocent persons. They urge China to cut off energy supplies, which would have an even worse impact on the innocent. It isn't that Mattis and others argue that these are "costs" possibly worth paying. Rather the lives of those civilians appears to count for nothing to them. This is the behavior of barbarians.

Unknown said...

Off topic: A blog I follow published this from Politico:

"Over the first six months of 2017, the Republican National Committee pulled in $75 million—nearly twice as much money as the Democratic National Committee, which raised $38 million. The predicament isn’t simply that there is a funding gap between the parties; it’s what kind of money they attract. Republicans have quietly taken a decisive edge over Democrats when it comes to small-dollar fundraising.

"During that same six-month time span, the RNC raised $33 million in small contributions—money from people who donate $200 or less over an election cycle—while that same class of donors gave the DNC just $21 million."

This is not good news. It appears that the enthusiasm for Bernie (and for Hillary) in the presidential election as not carried over to the more mundane state and local campaigns that are going on now. There's a chance that isn't he case because, as has been pointed out by someone on this blog, the DNC and the RNC are primarily responsible for the presidential election. But it is not, in my view, a good sign.

Unknown said...

Hillary Clinton was in earnest about going to war with Russia as soon as elected. She was also an advocate of the "pivot" to Asia (military confrontation with China). Much more dangerous for more millions (well, billions, to be precise) than anything so far from President Trump. Yet she was treated, here as elsewhere, as a serious candidate for president, rather than the dangerous incompetent she proved as Secretary of State.

If you want rid of President Trump, impeach him. Is there any other constitutional means (other than medical)?

Unknown said...

Impeachment must begin with an action of Paul Ryan and the House Republicans. That isn't going to happen. Only if the Democrats win the House next year can Trump be impeached. Then the problem is to get a Republican controlled-Senate to convict him.

LFC said...

@Ewan (iirc?) posting under name of Lindsay Hall

I don't where exactly you got the idea that HRC was going to go to war w Russia "as soon as elected" (or any time, for that matter), but it's fairly delusional. IMO.

F Lengyel said...
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Unknown said...

I'm sure you are aware of her stated intention to impose a no-fly zone in Syria as soon as elected, which either requires Russia to desert is ally in its fight against al qaeda (by various and changing names) and IS, or for the US to shoot down Russian planes. The US has already committed many acts of war against Syria; this would be an act of war against Russia. Russia has said it will respond to any attack. Any attempt by the US to impose a no-fly zone in Syria would be an illegal act. Any such attempt would lead to war with Russia. This is much more dangerous to the rest of the world than a bloviating buffoon pursuing a cartoon version of long-standing US threats against North Korea.

Unknown said...

David Palmeter
If you can't impeach him, then he remains the elected President. Do you join the blogger in appearing to propose the overthrow of the duly-elected President? (I'm asking as an ignorant foreigner).

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