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May 24, 2009



Over Tjere--the song of the yapping left--wherever we are, we shouldn't be. We should be somewhere else--even if only re-deployed to Okinawa.

Need any more proof of how unserious these folks are?



Rick Ballard

I'm not sure what an appropriate comment concerning the lack of intellectual rigor, integrity or consistency among Obamunist sycophants might be. Isn't this a "wow, did you see the size of the hunk that pit bull chewed out of the mailman" type of observation? Liars lie, that's why they're called liars. Marshal is neither a better nor worse a liar than is his master. At least he didn't preface the lie with "as I've said before".

JM Hanes

"I'm still trying to decide what I think about this question. But given how much strategic focus we're giving to Afghanistan, I'm confident we haven't given the question enough collective thought."

Would that be "collective" in the Eric Holder sense of an honest convervsation about race, or is Marshall just pushing for a JournoList consensus?



Yes indeed, but there is another layer to the Josh Marshall story. People tend to forget that Marshall was a big proponent of war in Afganistan as well as the one in Iraq.

In fact, Marshall's initial view was that W. was too much of a pussy to actually go after Saddam reasoning that W. had been too afraid of American casulties when Bin Laden was trapped in Tora Bora. During this period, Marshall lamented that the 2000 election was stolen from real he-man Democrats who, after all, had already demonstrated their heroism by Clinton's "impeachment eve" bombings and by making regime-change in Iraq the official US policy.

The truth is that Marshall has no interest at all in what makes a good policy on Afganistan or Iraq. To paraphase H.L. Mencken, if there were any substantial number of voting cannibals in the US, Marshall would be demanding a missionary in every pot.


I can't say anything quite surprises me about Marshall. except that sounds suspiciously like the MoveOn schpiel circa Oct 2001, and Michael Moore. And LeCarre who had succumbed to BDS before the first rangers hit the ground in Afghanistan. Also the message of that chap Ansary who said he didn't want his country, brought down to the Stone age. Didb't Atta do his finishing
up at an Afghan camp around '99. Didn't the 7/7 crew earn their spurs at the mosque in Lahore, how about half a dozen other plots
including the TransAtlantic TATP one.

Original MikeS

"Collective thought", may not be impossible, but I'm sure I can do it.

On the other hand, if it is possible I suspect Marshall has been doing too much of it.

Original MikeS

can = can't What the hell do they put in these Martgueritas?


And let me finish on two further points. Through much of the last decade, I've been in the group of people saying that Iraq was a distraction and that Afghanistan was the place we really needed to be focusing on. So this is in conflict with much I've said before.

I've already filed the above in the "No Shit, Josh?" folder on my desktop. I can hardly wait for Marshall's next breathless self-revelations.


Obama focused on Afghanistan because it's 'Harvard and Peace' cash. The planning and funding was geared to this. The intelligence always wanted Pakistan and that's what screwed up their funding, intelligence. The Af/Pak war is angering because it shows dem greed giving all that ngo cash to it's pals. Their coups in 'The Stans' have been a failure with the exception of Georgia who slaughter their own people with US money making them the biggest military in the region. The entire intelligence and funding is claimed by dems and the results are obvious. Insane dictators or failed states returning to where they were safe.

The planning and funding of the Af/Pak war was done by and for dem cash and it is a failure.


O.K, that was more incoherent than usual, seeing how Armitage and Zinni, are on the board of the venture capital fund that runs
DynCorp, which makes them very much like the
mysterious Jonas Hodges of Starkwood, I nicknamed Armitage, "Kingsley" after the Caspian oil broker revealed as the real enemy at the end of Season 2, who would set
off a nuke to start a war; when the reverse
is more likely true. Powell the other part of the Cerberus-like network,the man who parlayed early Pentagon staff connections
and a personal tie to Prince Bandar to the JCS and ultimately part of Baku Chamber of
Commerce, gives his well considered advice
to the GOP, in the previous thread, along with Scowcroft, the eminence gris of the establishment. whose policy platform much
like Freeman has a distinctly Saud flavor

hit and run

If Obama hadn't promised to end cynicism, I might be cynical regarding the Marshall/Klein abandonment of Afghanistan . . . the very moment that being able to beat George W. Bush over "taking his eye off the ball" regarding Afghanistan had ended.

It's just cosmic coincidence...

Because otherwise I would be forced to...



they abandoned hatred of deficits.

they will abandon afghanistan and the hunt for binladen.

these are the folks who abandoned south vietnam.

they wanted to abandon iraq.

obama will prob soon abandon israel.

it's all the left knows how to do: abandon allies and appease enemies.


"I'm still trying to decide what I think about this question. But given how much strategic focus we're giving to Afghanistan, I'm confident we haven't given the question enough collective thought."

Translation: I'm just now getting around to thinking about this, therefore no one else has given any thought to it, either.

The world revolves around these people.


Great post! Keep up the excellent work!
ps. Link Exchange??

John Janski

One Big Ass Mistake America (OBAMA). It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid the majority of the American people can sometimes be - like on November 4th, 2008.

We now have an idiot in the White House. A former community agitator. That's it. Barry had put the county in a very serious condition regarding our national security and on top of that he is bankrupting the nation.

Who the hell voted for this disaster!!!!!!


Perhaps Marshal should have asked this question BEFORE Obama sent 20+ thousand more troops there. Instead he, and the rest of the hack liberals, were silent.

When Bush announced the surge in Iraq, the debate was fierce; in Afghanistan, we got nothing.


You were mentioning Lee Child's latest, in an earlier thread, it indulges some of the similar flawed premises about Afghanistan
as they do about Iraq, I don't so much mind the mayhem so much as the ideological violence that tries to put the Russians and
the American actions in Afghanistan in any
kind of equivalence; even retroactively.


And now NoKo is testing underground nukes again.


The great irony is that the campaign for Iraq, a Nation which actually stands a fig's chance of paying its way into the modern age, was so stridently decried by the Left as being so hideously expensive.

Most of Afghanistan stands to need extensive life support for decades, in order to effectively enter the Iron Age. And this was the war that the Left shrieked that we should focus on. Methinks that the awkward transition from professional heckling to the actual need to perform has had a sobering effect on the denizens of the Left. Sticker shock has apparently set in.

We may be witnessing the initial shaping of the retreat-space for abandonments yet to come.


Women voted for this disaster. Single Women voted Obama 70-29. Around 8 points more than they voted for Kerry. The big difference -- most women are single now. Had women been married at the rate they were in 2000, McCain would be President. I'm not a fan of Maverick, but he's better than the Oprah-fied Big Man we have now.

Women love Obama. They always have, they always will. North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan could nuke NYC and Boston out of existence, and Obama grovel, and women would still love him.

Heck, Obama's dream to become the Marshal Petain of America, would find a lot of support among Women. Women would rather surrender to Islamist than fight, because fighting would transfer power from women (no more Sex and the City frivolity) to the fighting man on the front line and the defense worker making stuff to kill the enemy.

Much of Obama's spending (well, nearly all of it) is to benefit nice middle class ladies sitting around earnestly writing studies about White Male Oppression. Meanwhile male job losses account for 82% of the current layoffs. Lots of laid off Wall Street financial guys, computer programmers, and blue collar workers. Not so many advertising, government workers, and so on. All of which are female dominated.

It's the Cold Civil War.


Powell thinks he's a Republican. He's really like he thinks we think that.


Well if the Administration is anything like Josh Marshall then I better get a quick screen shot of Drudge:

"Report: Pyongyang also test-fires short-range missile...
SKorea military forms crisis team...
Japan says test 'unacceptable'...
U.S. 'gravely concerned'...
Obama says actions 'threat to international peace'..."

because by tomorrow the White House might put on their re-thinking caps and conclude that a Nuke-exploding Pyongyang is hunky dory.


And if you care, Lanny Davis just put on his Re-Thinking Cap as well and now">http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/25/second-thoughts-on-cheney-indictment-pardon-him-an/">now thinks that he was wrong to call for indicting Dick Cheney last week. He had insufficiently thought the matter through. Must be something in the water in DC. Or perhaps the 'H1-hand on the other Virus'.


Gee, some dummy might think the left concentrated on Afghanistan for JUST political reasons.

And, although they are far greater patriots than anyone else, they just saw an opportunity to take advantage of an ill-informed populace.

I don't know, I'm beginning to think they aren't really patriots (or even Americans in the sense of shared destiny).


Even in his correction, Davis is wrong. He says:
"But still, that was not a completely satisfactory distinction to me: Why did not these congressional leaders who had been briefed and knew that illegal torture techniques had been used do what Rep. Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, did in February 2003 after she was first briefed: Send a classified letter to the CIA and express concerns about the legal basis for these techniques? "

No. She didn't. She conceded the legality of the program and asked whether this was nevertheless something we thought it wise to do.

Why bother with the work of someone who doesn't even bother to get facts straight?



"Would that be "collective" in the Eric Holder sense of an honest convervsation about race, or is Marshall just pushing for a JournoList consensus?"

No that would be the Collective.


Thank You to our veterans!


Posted from the previous thread:

No one asks that weasel Powell about the wisdom of the Nowrouz letter to Ahmadinejad
which conceded the legitimacy of the Islamic
Republic, and was answered by the Saajil launch, the acquiescence to Kim, which led
to the and the pacific overflight and,
nuclear test, the embrace of Chavez and the tacit acceptance of Ortega's plan, the necessity for cap n trade, the fact that our country is running out of money, that the government and the unions are heisting two of the big three, that they're shutting down oil and gas production, and not doing much in the way of viable alternatives, the brief step toward the moderate "Taliban" in other words any of the substantial reasons
that have been confirmed about why anyone
could have had reservations that would make them vote against his candidate on reconsideration; last fall


PUK--I think it's time for you to do your Zimbabwe primer on how exactly to bring a prosperous country to its knees--Ibama has apparently a good idea, but I think AT readers would appreciate your step by step--beginning with that marvelously named farmers group of yours.


Is it about time we dispense with the Professor appelation for Marshall? Why accord any respect, or else why didn't we call Groucho Marx "Professor", it made about as much sense and was a hell of a lot funnier.


Ah, Memorial Day! A day for sober reflection, appreciation for those who have gone before, and resolve to make this world a better place.


I missed most of yesterday and, skimming, I'm grateful, appreciating as I do the insight each of the Bickersons can offer when they do.

Reminds me of my definition of journalist -- not a professional, not a craftsman, but an accolade earned fresh each day.


On a day like today I'm fortunate to have decent in-laws visiting and the mess we are in isn't as bad as it might be... yet. Have a nice Memorial Day!


Gmax, I beg to differ, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (aka Groucho) was president of Huxley College and deserved the title for his pithy rendition of academic foofoo.

Professor is a perfect title, so long as you snicker with sarcasm when you type it.


OH Horsefeathers!

Can we call him Professor Wagstaff then?


First you have to find a hip,young black Marxistm,someone who is at home in the salons of the left. Their credentials are secure because,for reasons of racism and political solidarity,the left are unable to question them.Secondly he will have the jargon of anti-capitalism,racism and imperialism off pat. He will also be fluent in the hysterie du jour,in this case AGW,and thus conversant in the tribal language which binds the left together.
Next get him elected,his credentials will stifle all criticism of any little failings he might have.
As the country descends into the abyss his tribe will simply avert their eyes and indulge in displacement activity.
How are you doing so far?


It seems that moving the goalposts is one of the basic strategies of the left. We saw this again and again with Iraq. Every time there was a major accomplishment, something that the left had previously listed as a sine qua non for success, whether political (like the election) or military, they went back to the drawing board and came up with a new list of requirements.


It is no coincidence that the Left is always trying to convince us that we are losing wars we are winning. America winning is not going to do anything for their cause.

So as Iraq looked better, the left shrieked that we should be in Afghanistan instead, hoping a "resurgent Taliban" (MSM trademark) would finally make their dreams come true and deal America a defeat.

Now that the Taliban is running from us into Pakistan, and finally succeeding in awakening the Pakistani army, all of a sudden we need to be somewhere else again, presumably before we kill, catch, or dig up Osama bin Laden, and ostensibly win there too.

The left is asking themselves how they are going to take over the world if America keeps winning? That really is the big question for them - how to get America back to those salad days after Vietnam when they had succeed in breaking America's spirit by getting Democrats to abandon an ally.


In the LUN, the idiocy of one of these peddlers of truth; Flynt Leaveritt, peddled
as some kind of wisdom:


" presumably before we kill, catch, or dig up Osama bin Laden, "

Worst thing you could do.Liberal lawyers would be gauging each other to represent bin Laden and sue the US.


There's nothing new under the sun.
I can't read TM's post without the cynicism and duplicity of the left during the Ribbentrop-Molotov episode coming to mind.


Our tough as nails president just accused N. Korea of "defiance".

Oh he has me scared for kim jon il.


Agreed Peter, the media's willingness to canonize even KSM as some kind of
misunderstood victim is quite extraordinary. My loco paper, the Herald,
"I know friends don't let friends. . ." but
the delusions are instructive in small doses. Hiassen, who's mischararacterizations
were a subject in my previous blog, is going
on and on, on how not only are civilian courts the proper venue but Florida's prisons are the proper place to hold them; how often have there been escapes from various facilities by less motivated, less dangerous criminals. He relies on a an anecdotal basis on the flawed methodology
of the Seton Hall Gitmo reports, which I mentioned earlier;

Danube of Thought

At this moment we are waiting for Mr. Obama's remarks on the North Korean nuclear test.

Does anyone doubt that we are about to hear recriminations about the prior administration, from which he inherited North Korea?

Thomas Collins

See LUN for an article on North Korea's strategy from a Kim Jong-illophile. Don't ignore the article because of the perspective of the author; the article gives a crystal clear account of the NoKO strategy to become a significant nuclear power. While the Obama Administration is trying to gut our program to ensure reliability of our warheads, and while the Obama Administration fiddles and diddles on nuclear missile defense, and while the Obama Administration apparently worries more about finding matters for which to apologize on foreign trips than about bolstering our capacity to remain the world's preeminent military power, North Korea, Iran and China continue to play power politics the old fashioned way, which is to recognize that while there may be treaties and conventions and international bodies, world politics is essentially a dog eat dog, Hobbesian system.


"Does anyone doubt that we are about to hear recriminations about the prior administration, from which he inherited North Korea?"

We certainly won't hear about the wonderful ministrations of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright, who allowed themselves into being bamboozled into giving the NoKos exactly what they wanted.

Thomas Collins

Meanwhile, the Persians are doing their part to remind us of the idiocy of the talk therapy mode of international relations practice. See LUN.

Diplomacy is best conducted from a position of internal strength. Diplomacy is not a substitute for internal strength.

Thomas Collins

Not to worry, though, because the Kellogg-Briand Pact has outlawed war for the past 80 or so years. How has that worked out?


PUK--It's a good outline..

What About-- Dummies Guide to National Destruction from Zimbabwe to the U.S.?

Danube of Thought

I'm waiting to hear from Jimmy Carter. He went to N. Korea for 72 hours a number of years ago and claimed thereafter to have solved the problem as he, and he alone, can do. Stand by for a fusillade of Carterian criticisms of all his successors. If only we would do as Jimmy tells us...

Danube of Thought

And can anyone come up with the photo of Madeline Albright dancing with whatever Kim it was at the time?


I think today, Memorial Day is the day I officially have ODS.

Mid speech, the president breaks into a stump speech at Arlington. I just couldn't be more disgusted.



...I'm confident we haven't given the question enough collective thought. Matt Yglesias had a post...

You know the question I'm wondering? Do Josh Marshall, Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias read any other blogs other than themselves? Every flippin blog post of theirs...

"adding to Ezra's thoughts"

"Josh wrote"

"Matt says..."

When you look up circle jerk in the dictionary there's a picture of the Josh, Matt and Ezra. I gave up reading the 3 because i was sick of the love affair the 3 are having.


Jane Did our First Lady show up at Arlington?


Would that be "collective" in the Eric Holder sense of an honest convervsation about race, or is Marshall just pushing for a JournoList consensus?

Posted by: JM Hanes | May 24, 2009 at 09:10 PM

You nailed it JMH, it's been tested and refined in JournoListâ„¢ and this is just the first public role out.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for Strategy Page's Memorial Day tribute to our soldiers.



"What About-- Dummies Guide to National Destruction from Zimbabwe to the U.S.?"

Perhaps something more snappy?

"Success Is For Losers".

I suspect that Ahmadjihadi,Kim il whichever,Chavez and Obama have a dead pool.Who can get their country to the bottom first.Admittedly Obama starts with a handicap,but the game isn't over until the last dog sandwich


"Jane Did our First Lady show up at Arlington?"

No, haunting allowed on Memorial Day.

Danube of Thought

I've had thoughts similar to Marshall's since the day the Taliban government fell. At that point we had about 200 pairs of boots on the ground. It was self-evident, I guess, that we needed to go after bin Laden, and ground troops were needed for that, but once the trail went cold that operation could have been considered an unsuccessful raid, the troops withdrawn, and our efforts thereafter simply devoted to keeping the Taliban out of power.

But hell, the fat has long since been in the fire, and The One has added to the fat considerably. None of this is going to end well for him.


Jane Did our First Lady show up at Arlington?

Not on a bet. Well actually I never really looked up, but no one said anything about her.


I would have hoped she would go and take the daughters .Guess it just wasn't important.



Cheers DoT!!!

Danube of Thought

Thanks so much, Ann--let's hope it starts making the rounds on the web.

Meantime, I have downloaded The Last Detective by Robert Crais onto my Kindle. But right after doing so I discovered there is a new Elmore Leonard out--it's called Road Dogs.

Is there anyone here who hasn't discovered Elmore Leonard? If there is, I feel I have just given you as fine a gift as you could possibly hope for. Best ear for dialogue I've ever encountered. Slight warnig: I think he may be a bit more of a guys' writer than an all-gender one, but I hope not.

Just as a refresher, he's written innumerable books that were made into films (for some of which he wrote the screenplay). Get Shorty and Hombre come to mind, but there are many, many more.


DoT, I ordered the first 4 books in the Harry Bosch series.

I loved Connelly's "The Lincoln Lawyer."

JM Hanes

Thomas Collins:

Thanks for the fascinating piece by Kim Myong Chol (the "unofficial" voice of Kim Jong-il) from Asia Times.

It will be interesting to see how Obama reacts to NK's saber rattling. What Kim Jong Il has really learned is that every US Administration will eventually cave in and try to pacify NK with bribes -- including, to my profound disappointment, GWB. I suspect that by the end of his time in office, the only thing Bush really cared about was winning out on Iraq. It looked to me like Condi's basic mandate was to eliminate distractions elsewhere by doing whatever it took to maintain the status quo -- even if that meant abandoning the six party talks. Bush knew perfectly well that China, not the U.S., holds the key to North Korea, and this is one place that Obama's talent for passing the buck might actually prove useful as policy, if he can muster up the declarative sentences required to keep the ball in China's court.

KJI will never take on the Chinese upon whom he depends, and who could crush him at will. What China fears is an inundation of NK refugees, so KJI's iron curtain serves them well -- indeed, I doubt he could prop up his regime in the nuke tech black market without China's tacit approval. Neither of them want multilateral engagement. The carrots are great, but the ultimate goal of demanding bilateral assurances -- which significantly serves Chinese purposes too -- is to neutralize the U.S. regionally, and, I suspect, to undermine U.S. relationships with S. Korea and Japan. The Japanese seem increasingly worried about U.S./NK entanglement, which the pathetic reaction to recent NK launches hasn't helped, and China is surely worried about Japan's stunning decision to sign onto the U.S./Tawain defense pact (a major Bush achievement).

Notwithstanding Pyongyang propaganda, framing NK as a direct threat to the U.S. itself seems terribly misguided. While proliferation poses clear dangers, I doubt NK even has much interest in the long range missile delivery of nukes. Why American pundits, pols and press work themselves into a lather over potential future attacks on U.S. soil, when NK regional ambitions seem both more plausible and more obvious, is a mystery to me.

In his drive to build a mighty and prosperous country and have the divided Land of Morning Calm reunified in an independent and peaceful manner, all indications are that Kim Jong-il, supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has finalized a little-known watershed decision in March to shift to a "plan B" after more than a dozen years of fruitlessly pursuing "plan A" ..... The Kim Jong-il administration has learned the hard way that there is no point in negotiating with the US government on a bilateral or multilateral basis while the US remains hostile with no intention of adopting a "live and let live" policy towards Pyongyang.

Plan B envisages the DPRK going it alone as a fully fledged nuclear weapon-armed state, with a military-first policy, and then growing into a mighty and prosperous country. It will put the policy of seeking reconciliation with a tricky US, a helpless superpower with a crippled economy that is losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the back burner.

NK has devoted itself exclusively to the mighty military-first side of that equation. That was the real Plan A. Plan B is "growing" into the prosperity of S.Korea, for starters. Anything that contributes to U.S. hesitation works to NK's advantage; if S.Korea,/Japan/Taiwan lose confidence in U.S. commitments, our presence in the region will be effectively diluted at every level.

What virtually no one seems to be addressing is the fact that North Korean ambitions serve Chinese ambitions in almost every regard. If we can't figure out a way to play NK off against China, I see zero reason to acknowledge or deal with NK bilaterally at all. Shore up S. Korea and Japan, nurture strong intra-regional ties and defense capabilities. There's plenty of hard work to be done on that front; NK is truly a debilitating distraction.


JMH: "While proliferation poses clear dangers, I doubt NK even has much interest in the long range missile delivery of nukes."

NK's interest is foreign exchange and forbidden technology is its only avenue to get it.

Danube of Thought

Amazing. Here is John Bolton in the WSJ five days ago (courtesy Powerline):

"The curtain is about to rise again on the long-running nuclear tragicomedy, 'North Korea Outwits the United States.' Despite Kim Jong Il's explicit threats of another nuclear test, U.S. Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth said last week that the Obama administration is 'relatively relaxed' and that 'there is not a sense of crisis.' They're certainly smiling in Pyongyang."

Here's hoping Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth is about to enter his fifteen minutes of fame.

Danube of Thought

You're gonna love 'em, Bad. After reading all the Bosch ones in order, I then read The Lincoln Lawyer followed by The Brass Verdict, the two Mickey Haller novels.

Harry has a pretty big role in Brass Verdict, but it's told by Mickey in the first person.


JMH, I'm glad you have so much faith that Kim won't deal bombs to terrorists or rogue states. I'm much less sanguine.

And, a ship arriving in a US port is the only delivery system they need.


Before long they will be saying that Baltimore isn't worth the trouble.


Reporting from Washington — Instead of seeing older workers staying on the job longer as the economy has worsened, the Social Security system is reporting a major surge in early retirement claims that could have implications for the financial security of millions of baby boomers.

Since the current federal fiscal year began Oct. 1, claims have been running 25% ahead of last year, compared with the 15% increase that had been projected as the post-World War II generation reaches eligibility for early retirement, according to Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration.

I expect to see more of this if Obama raises tax too much. I might opt for this myself before Obama means tests the hell out of SS.

JM Hanes


"JMH, I'm glad you have so much faith that Kim won't deal bombs to terrorists or rogue states. I'm much less sanguine."

It's not so much faith in my reading of KJI as it is a conviction that China knows exactly what Kim is doing. They could stop him any time they liked, and we cannot unless the Chinese are on board. Shoot, they could probably bring Kim down just by turning off a couple of spigots, while we can haedly even assess, let alone compel, compliance with agreements north of the DMZ.

I don't think the calls for U.S. to "do something" about NK make any more sense now than they did when the Democrats were complaining about Bush policy. Proliferation is a legitimate worry, I just think that China, not the U.S., is the key player here and that for the foreseeable future, nothing suits them better than watching us get tangled up with NK on our own. From that perspective, NK looks more like a Chinese proxy than problem. What concerns me most are China's ambitions, and I think we're far better off devoting resources and attention to our actual allies in the region


You're right, JMH, it's China, not the US, who can do something about North Korea. I don't know if Obama is actually working with China on it or not.

What I do want from our President is for him to take our allies in the region- especially Japan- seriously. I'd like him to take their concerns seriously. But after having won his election in November, Obama is just now getting around to naming his two Ambassadors to China and Japan and Japan's is a fundraiser with no experience in the area.

It's like he can't forgive South Korea and Japan for making good cars and selling them in the US.


Shucks--Kerry and Pelosi are in China at this very minute and the Chinese are probably thinking tha tin somparison Kim looks smart.


JMH, I guess we're all stuck speculating here, but my gut tells me the Chinese won't control (or can't control) what's going on in NK.

I don't see China's incentive to control NK--many of their leaders are still true believers of Marxism/communism, and a nuclear attack on the US would be just ducky with them.

Original MikeS

a nuclear attack on the US would be just ducky with them.

I've always assumed that the U.S. response would be to turn North Korea into a glowing ember. With the new administration I'm not so sure. They might opt to strenuously object and possibly even file a formal complaint.


**that in comparison***

Maybe if we poked holes in the border between NK and China, we'd light a fire under China.


"I've always assumed that the U.S. response would be to turn North Korea into a glowing ember."

If the attack is direct from NK, that would be true.

I'm assuming it would be indirect, like via Iran (but with Iranian deniability, some "rogue" ship in one of our ports).

I believe the NK's would just want the money and the satisfaction of having one of their nukes going off in the West.

Is our intelligence capable of tracing a bomb back to NK?

Or, more importantly, do the NK's believe our intelligence agencies could pin it on them?

JM Hanes


Not when they're holding masses of US debt and they'd lose their primary consumer market! The Chinese have been traders a lot longer than they've been communists.

JM Hanes

mm -- That was in response to your 8:55 post.


And maybe they would see us as the goose with the golden eggs. Rich, weakened and easier to exploit.


Om[pssobleBoris.Kerry and Pelosi are there to show them how tough and brilliant we are.



Melinda Romanoff

OR, the little test was a party favor for Nancy and John, just a tad on the strong side.

Danube of Thought

One thing we can be grateful for is the reluctance of the likes of NK and Iran to surrender possession of one of these things once they have them. It's not an impossibility, but it is a major hurdle they'd have to get over; there's also the uncertainty on their part about our ability to trace a detonated weapon back to them. (I know less about that possibility than I used to, but I'd be surprised if a rogue-nation producer could feel assured of not being caught.)

But things have reached a sorry state when we have to take comfort in that kind of deterrence.

JM Hanes

More from Asia Times on China and the Two Koreas and on up & coming new Chinese Leadership.


Jesus. My mouth is wide open.

Three thousand of our people died and we suffered a trillion dolllars in economic damage because Al Qaeda had safe havens in Afghanistan.


This is all because Josh and the gang want to spend the money on AFDC and National Health Care.

Jesus. He wept.



I am glad you in particular and other JOMer's are paying attention to North Korea and China, because I learn an awful from you guys when you focus on a topic. I too found that linked Asia Times story very valuable, and am glad that the Left is now going to have to deal with reality as opposed to simply engaging in the harmful license of disingenuously nitpicking the Bush Administration for partisan advantage. Unfortunately we're all probably going to be saying that about a ton of trouble spots around the world as they flare up these next 4 years.

Just an anecdotal tidbit about North Korea, but something I've always found interesting. On some of our legs, while at altitude, we occasionally wind up dealing with North Korean Air Traffic Controllers. It has always surprised me how good their English is. I have no idea where they got their training or schooling, but the excellent quality of their controller's English startled me the first time I heard it, as I certainly expected something very scratchy and difficult to understand. That was not the case. I've done it enough now to know it wasn't an aberration. and it's surprising enough that you wind up joking about how they're easier to understand than the South Koreans.
It makes no sense to me that it is so, and since it is so, it tells me that my preconceptions are wrong, and that obviously I don't know enough about what internally is going on in North Korea. Hopefully with you guys focusing on it, I'll learn.


NK just tested(?) two short range rockets.


"I don't see China's incentive to control NK--many of their leaders are still true believers of Marxism/communism, and a nuclear attack on the US would be just ducky with them."

Not a chance,you owe them money.

Captain Hate

You're right, JMH, it's China, not the US, who can do something about North Korea. I don't know if Obama is actually working with China on it or not.

I would think the jug-eared bastard should be pretty good at this, since it involves blaming somebody else for the problems he faces. As long as he doesn't give them the finger or call them "chinks" we should be ok. Just send the best unhackable teleprompters.


--Is our intelligence capable of tracing a bomb back to NK?--

I don't know about our Intelligence, but our scientists can trace the radioactive signature back to the reactor that produced the fissile material.

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