Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Just a Few Words on the Impending Nuclear War With North Korea, Thank You Republicans...

(Update: So of course all morning I've been in committee meeting, and I find out that Batocchio listed me on Crooks & Liars' Mike's Blog Round-Up for today! I had no time to bake anybody any cake. I feel awkward, man...
I kid. Thank ye, Batocchio, and to everyone visiting please check out the blog!)

So it's gotten out that North Korea has designed a nuclear warhead that can fit onto missiles. With the United Nations issuing tougher sanctions to let North Korea know the world isn't happy with them, North Korea issued a threat to send "packs of wolves" to defend itself.

Via David A. Graham at The Atlantic:

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” (trump) said. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

This was followed up with North Korea making noises about launching strikes at the US territory - and key airbases there - of Guam.

And we're pretty much looking at a modern day Cuban Missile Crisis, but with ego-driven crazy people driving both cars over the cliffs of Armageddon.

Let's just consider what we know:

  • This is the Cold War update of Brinkmanship, which is a variation of the pre-World War Balance of Powers theory. Both sides rattle their sabers to garner concessions, making their side more reckless to make the other side more compliant. Neither side actually goes to war as long as deals are made.
  • We're at a point where deals can't be made. North Korea has too much invested into its status as a nuclear power, the United States is currently led by a person in trump who is reckless to the point of stupidity.
  • Secondary players such as China are limited in what they can do to stave off conflict. China has a use for North Korea as a loose cannon on the Asian political stage. Japan and South Korea - the nations most likely damaged by this war - are caught between a North Korea regime that has no qualms attacking them and an American regime that won't care much as long as US areas remain safe.
  • trump has been talking about a preemptive strike on North Korea just to be done with the 70-plus years of stalemate there.
  • A preemptive strike on North Korea may not succeed in taking out their missile sites and nuclear program.
  • North Korea would likely respond to that as an act of war, and retaliate with a massive artillery barrage across the DMZ into South Korea. Which means Seoul is in the crosshairs.
  • China, having arrangements with North Korea, will get drawn into the conflict in some form. Not a direct involvement against the United States or our allies there - Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Southeast Asia - but something to tie down our military focus. Something like starting a blockade around Taiwan or making a military claim for the South China Sea oil fields.
  • trump will likely escalate from there with a full invasion of North Korea. He would have to address Congress and get a vote affirming the effort, and there is a likelihood even Republicans in Congress would balk at the threat of full war. trump will likely ignore them.
  • At BEST in this scenario we end up in a Constitutional crisis where trump is removed via the 25th Amendment and let cooler heads prevail.
  • If there is a land invasion of North Korea, it won't be quick or clean. Korean terrain is notoriously bad, the regime had decades fortifying everything since 1953, and they'll have enough technical know-how to stymie American and South Korean forces early on.
  • This brings up the possibility - like it happened in the Korean War - of China sending in their troops to save their Korean allies (again). This will be another bloody mess.
  • If the US is successful enough, and if North Korea still has at least one bomb left, the North Koreans will use it. It's unlikely they can strike the mainland US, but Guam is notably in range. It's more likely North Korea will strike South Korea/Japan targets as a major Fuck You to the rest of the world.
  • If North Korea launches even one nuke, trump will use that as an excuse to nuke North Korea into a radioactive wasteland.
  • If the US launches nukes at North Korea, China may be compelled to launch an equal number of nukes at the US. And they can reach Mainland US.
  • And why would China respond like that? Because in this crazy game of Brinkmanship AKA Mutually Assured Destruction, nobody wants to be the one to pussy out. 

This is pretty much why 65 million Americans are screaming at the 62 million who voted for trump "ARE YOU FUCKING HAPPY NOW?"

I swear, in 1992 it felt like the world was gonna be safe from The End Of All Things. The Soviet Union collapsed, ending the Cold War. China wasn't interested or capable at the time of being a global threat even with their nuclear capability. Iraq was pacified. If there were wars going on, they were brushfires in Third World regions where global destruction was impossible. Even India and Pakistan - the two nations most likely to start nuclear war in the 1990s - weren't crazy enough to go there.

And yet here we are in 2017, with two knuckleheads in donald fucking trump and Kim fucking Jong fucking Un oh so eager to host a dick-measuring contest to see who can leave the most radioactive craters.

If this does all come down to a nuclear war between the US and China - because it won't stop with North Korea - I hope China has the decency to launch a few nukes right at Putin as a nice little "Thank you" note. That bastard is probably enjoying this with a bag of popcorn.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

I saw Lawrence Wilkerson, who actually knows what he's talking about, comment on this clusterfuck yesterday. He said that he is indeed worried about what may happen, but wanted to tamp down the notion that Kim Jong Un is crazy. He said none of the Kims were crazy, and all of them could be negotiated with, you just had to understand what they wanted and needed and be ready to give them some of it in exchange for what you want from them. You know, diplomacy.

I know some folks who live on Saipan, and we have a military presence there, also, so I hope they will be OK.

Fire and fury = shock and awe, only stupider and more dangerous.

Funny, but living on the West Coast doesn't make me feel all panicky about this. Perhaps that might be because I grew up here, and got used to the Coast Guard chasing Soviet submarines out of our territorial waters about once a month for so long that it just seemed like the way things were.
It did get scary at times, but what was I gonna do about it? You can't hide from a nuclear missile.
Although there was that one time we got spooked and drove over the top of Lord Ellis summit and slept in the car...

-Doug in Oakland