With every new missile launch out of North Korea, the threat to the U.S. increases. This article from our friends over at 4Patriots highlights the severity of this threat, and offers a simple, inexpensive way to protect your family if North Korea succeeds in their nuclear pursuits.
It is difficult to gauge and understand geopolitical and economic events without first comprehending the fact that much of what happens in the world is engineered to happen, and with a specific encompassing goal in mind. If you subscribe to the theory that all is random “chaos” and outcomes are circumstantial or coincidental, then you will be lost in the dark on most things.
You might have heard that North Korea and the United States are not getting along. We mock their lack of electricity, they threaten to annihilate us with thermonuclear weapons, that sort of thing.
But why are we enemies?
I’ll sort it all out for you here.
Obviously the largest source of friction is that the United States and North Korea want very different things. And those different things are mutually exclusive. For example, we want to avoid nuclear war and they… okay, they also want to avoid nuclear war. But on most other issues, we want different things.
For example, North Korea doesn’t want the U.S. to invade their country. The United States, on the other hand, wants to invade North Korea about as much as we want rabid porcupines shoved up our asses. I guess you could say we’re on the same page on that too. But that’s only two points of agreement in this whole mess. You have to look at the big picture.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to establish himself as a credible nuclear power, partly for defense, and partly as a vehicle for national pride. So far, they have succeeded on the national pride part. The United States wishes they had not, but we agree it was an impressive achievement. So we’re on the same page about the national pride. They earned it.
Where we differ is that the United States and its ally, South Korea, would like to see a unified Korean peninsula someday, but we realize there is no-way-in-hell it can happen in our lifetimes. North Korea, on the other hand, wants to see a unified Korean peninsula someday, but they realize there is no-way-in-hell it can happen in their lifetimes. If you strip away the magical thinking and hard-wishing, we’re of the same opinion on unification: Nice, but not gonna happen while we’re alive.
Okay, okay, we’re mostly on the same page about all of the stuff I mentioned so far. But consider that North Korea would like to feed its people and grow its economy. The United States would like for them to do that too, so long as they leave us alone. Okay, I guess we’re on the same page there too.
The biggest problem the United States has with North Korea is that Kim Jong Un wants to avoid being killed or deposed and we don’t give a shit about him one way or another so long as he leaves us alone. So I guess we aren’t too far apart on that either, unless we want to be total dicks about it and kill him just for fun.
One of the biggest sticking points is that the United States has massive military assets in South Korea. North Korea doesn’t like that. Contrast that opinion to the normal citizen in the United States who doesn’t understand why-the-hell we have even one soldier in South Korea. What is the point of it? Are we preparing for the big push to conquer China? (Probably not.) Is South Korea unable to deter an attack from the North? (Not as long as they can afford American weapons systems, and the U.S. still has a navy.) So I guess Kim Jong Un and American voters are mostly on the same side about our presence in South Korea. We all understand that American military presence in South Korea once had a purpose, but not so much in 2017.
I confess to being under-informed about the situation with North Korea, but it seems to me that the issue boils down to magical thinking about future unification. North Korea wants to be on the winning side of any unification and so does South Korea. The problem is that no one knows how both sides could be the winners.
Except for me. This is right in my wheelhouse.
Let me reframe this for you. I won’t change any of the data, just the filter you apply to it.
The situation in North Korea involves a number of what I’d call “real” problems, such as the very real risk of nuclear war, and the very real artillery batteries in North Korea pointed at South Korea. When your security risks are the “real” kind, you hire an experienced military person to deal with it. General Mattis seems to have a good handle on the “real” risks.
Now let’s talk about the stuff that isn’t “real” in any physical sense. The first issue is North Korean national pride. I’m sure any negotiated settlement could keep that intact. For example, having direct talks with the United States would be a point of honor. And one can imagine a negotiated agreement that lets them keep nuclear power for energy while not building any ICBMs. Everyone’s pride stays intact.
But what about all the magical thinking about unification? That requires a magical-thinking solution. That’s where I come in. As a trained persuader, I have a suggested solution. I call it the hundred-year-plan for unification. Both sides would simply agree to work out the details over the next hundred years. The details might include loosening travel, establishing trade, eventual amnesty for leaders, that sort of thing. That way, both sides could claim victory. The victory would be in the imagination of both sides, not in the real world. But it still works, because a change in imagination is all you need to cure magical thinking. And unification in our lifetimes is, for all practical purposes, just magical thinking.
For more details on my 100-year-plan for Korean unification, see this blog post.
For my regular readers, recall that a year ago I was one of the few voices saying Kim Jong Un was rational while most pundits and “experts” were saying he was a total nut job. Today, most “experts” have evolved to my view that Kim Jong Un is a rational player.
Recall also that in 2015 I was one of the first public voices to proclaim candidate Trump was far more than the “clown” the public and pundits widely believed him to be. I mention both cases to bolster my credibility.
In summary, if you have “real” security problems, call General Mattis. But if your problems are in the realm of imagination and magical thinking, call a Master Persuader.
Better yet, elect him president.
You’re in better hands than you know.
That doesn’t mean everything will turn out well with North Korea, but it does mean you have the right team in place for the first time, capable of managing both the “real” and the imaginary dimensions. And in Kim Jong Un I suspect we have a negotiating partner who understands all dimensions.
We are closer to war with North Korea than at any time in recent memory. But we are also closer than we have ever been to a permanent solution. My optimism about North Korea is that for the first time in history we have players on the field who understand the nature of the problem as partly real and partly imaginary, and they have the tools to deal with all of it. I don’t think we’ve had the right people on the job until now.
Have you noticed that our Insulter-in-Chief has been going easy on Kim Jong Un in the verbal sparring? President Trump has been downright respectful.
It isn’t an accident.
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Though a lot of people in my line of work tend to be accused of “doom mongering,” I have to say personally I am not a big believer in “doom.” I think the concept of “apocalypse” is rather lazy – unless we are talking about a movie scenario, like a meteor the size of Kentucky or Michelle Obama’s Adam’s apple hurtling towards the Earth. Human civilization is more likely to change in the face of crisis rather than end completely.
Until we accept that government lies to us as a matter of course we will never grasp the immorality of government. Yet like an abused spouse who returns to her husband on his promises that the abuse will end, the American people buy the new war propaganda.
Wouldn’t you know it; the exact moment Kim Jong Un decides to go full “James Bond villain” is the same moment the radioactive can kicked down the road by successive Administrations came to rest at the feet of a guy who – to put it mildly – lacks compunction. This little tableau couldn’t look more perfect for the war machine and its engineers if they had set it themselves.
While the propaganda media and establishment elites try to “scare people to death” over North Korea and the prospect of nuclear war – and, by implication, instant or quick death — with a country that can’t feed its people or hit a target smaller than the ocean with its missiles, multinational corporations with U.S. sanction are killing crops, pollinators and Americans slowly with chemical deaths.
North Korea keeps testing missiles that can reach the United States. China could turn off trade with North Korea, and effectively force them to stop, but that isn’t happening. Why the hell not?
A story in Newsweek says the bulk of Chinese trade with North Korea involves just ten Chinese companies. The working assumption is that those ten companies are so “connected” and powerful that even the Chinese government can’t influence them, or might not want to try.
Fair enough. That makes the government of China common observers in this drama. Embarrassing for them.
But those ten companies are certainly our enemies. I’d say those ten companies are fair game for a cyberattack, a financial attack, competitive attack, and any other kind of non-military attack we can mount. My understanding is that only our government knows which ten companies are involved. If we aren’t moving against them, I don’t understand why. The Chinese government would try to stop us, but I’m betting they wouldn’t try that hard, if you catch my drift.
By the way, how do we know ten companies are the villains in this story? Sounds like the sort of thing a clever president would leak to the press to foreshadow what might be happening behind the scenes. I’d hate to be an owner of any of those ten companies.
Keep in mind that none of us has the required knowledge to distinguish a good idea from a bad one in this realm. I offer this sort of blog post to diversify the pool of ideas. That in itself can often be good.
You might enjoy reading my book because I published two blog posts for you today and reciprocity is hardwired in humans.
An interior monologue by North Korea’s dictator might go something like this: I can see myself as if I were back at the Liebefeld-Steinholzi school in Bern, Switzerland, with everyone convinced I was crazy because I talked little and was fixated on my PlayStation, keeping quiet for hours on end, observing others. What is… Read More »
In the year 2017, most of our national problems are information problems. And by that I mean having the right information would allow us to solve most problems.
Consider the nuclear threat from North Korea. That’s an information problem disguised as a military problem.
I hope that statement seems wrong to you, so you will be extra-impressed when I change your mind in the next hundred seconds.
If the U.S. government tries to strongarm China to control North Korea’s nuclear program, that might cause more problems than it solves. No one likes a government-to-government confrontation of that type. China would have to push back. It could get ugly fast.
But imagine what would happen if American consumers knew which American companies were doing the most business with China.
And imagine American consumers understanding that China can turn off the economy of North Korea, like a switch, any time it wants, thus controlling North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Now connect the dots.
If you treat the North Korean nuclear threat as a military problem, it becomes one. If you treat it as an information problem, with an economic variable, it becomes that instead.
I’m in favor of my government trying to negotiate an agreement with China, Russia, and North Korea. But if our leaders can’t get it done, I ask the government to get out of the way. Citizens can take care of this one directly.
All we need is some information.
I think that took me less than a hundred seconds.
You might enjoy reading my book while enjoying a delicious beverage because it is hot outside.