ChrisWeigant.com

Bad, Worse, And Ineffectual Options On North Korea

[ Posted Wednesday, July 5th, 2017 – 15:58 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is learning the limits of power. Even a superpower has limits on what it can do on the world stage, and Trump is certainly getting schooled in this basic fact by Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. Because when it comes down to it, the choices Trump now faces are bad, worse, or ineffectual.

Trump himself can't be blamed for this, unless he tweets his way into a nuclear war or something equally as disastrous. But so far, that hasn't happened yet, and we're all hoping it doesn't come to that eventually. But even if Hillary Clinton were sitting in the Oval Office, it wouldn't change the menu of options she would face -- or any American president, for that matter.

North Korea has been impossible to control in any meaningful way for at least the last three U.S. presidents. Each took slightly different routes, but North Korea essentially did whatever it wanted to anyway, no matter what America did. They know full well that any military action taken against them would mean the destruction of Seoul in short order. That is a price that is just too high to pay, which North Korea is fully aware of.

So while it's nice to fantasize about pinpoint airstrikes which take out North Korea's missile and atomic facilities, the reality is that even if we were able to completely destroy their ability to make nuclear weapons and missiles, it's still a horrendously bad option to even consider. Much of their facilities are deep underground as well, which would make taking them out incredibly hard to accomplish.

North and South Korea are still technically at war with each other. The demilitarized zone is just where both armies got tired of fighting, essentially. There was no treaty signed to end the war, and no peace deal was ever struck in the 60-plus years since. So if one side attacks the other, a full-blown shooting war would erupt almost instantaneously. Indeed, that is what all those American soldiers in South Korea are still there for -- as a deterrent to any such attacks from the North.

Seoul is a metropolis of over 20 million people. It lies within range of North Korean conventional artillery. No high-tech missiles would be necessary for the North to rain down destruction on Seoul. Just thousands upon thousands of artillery pieces, which are ready and waiting on the northern side of the border. Because of this, Seoul is essentially a hostage city -- any American attack on the North would mean its destruction.

The only thing worse than reviving the conventional war on the Korean peninsula would be launching a nuclear war there instead. This is the "worse" option that America has, as unthinkable as it is. So far, North Korea has done nothing more than launch missile tests and satellites -- they haven't aimed any of these missiles at any particular target, in other words. If they continue down this path, they'll likely improve the range and reliability of their missiles. So far, they show every indication of planning to do precisely this. Which means if a nuclear war breaks out, the United States may be the one to launch a "pre-emptive strike." We would thus become not only the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons in war, but also the only one to ever launch a first strike.

Even that might not be enough, however. If we attempted to take out Kim Jong Un's nuclear stockpile with our own nukes -- and failed to do so -- then Seoul might pay an even higher price in retaliation. North Korea may not currently have a missile that can reach a major American city with a nuclear weapon, but it's a pretty safe bet that they're already able to do so with a shorter-range missile.

Hopefully, none of this will come to pass. But other than bad and worse, Donald Trump has only ineffectual options to choose from. We could talk to North Korea and even come up with some sort of agreement on their nuclear program, but we've already tried that and it didn't work. Bill Clinton thought he had denuclearized North Korea, but they cheated and went ahead anyway. Since that time, nothing much else has worked any better. So even if we held two-party talks with them and hammered out an agreement, it likely wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on, in the end.

Sanctions have already been tried, and they have failed too. For a while, the world tried to starve North Korea into compliance, but their dictatorial regime is such that they really don't care all that much if their citizens starve. Russia and China have now taken the position that trying to do so again is unacceptable, meaning the U.N. security council isn't going to be able to impose such sanctions.

Of course, there's only one country that really does business with North Korea, but the Chinese have their own reasons for not cracking down. China takes a longer view of the situation, and it is in China's interests never to see the peninsula united once again. If North Korea collapsed and was absorbed by South Korea, then China would have an economic adversary -- complete with American troops -- stationed right across their border. Which is a big reason why China is so comfortable with the way things currently stand. It also serves China's interest to have a client state with the capability of openly thumbing its nose at America. The more worried we are about the North Korea military, the less worried we are about China's. Which suits China just fine.

Trump has, so far, been inconsistent towards China in regards to North Korea. He met with the Chinese leader and was informed how complicated the situation is, but Trump still seems to think that the only way out of the mess is to shove responsibility off on the Chinese, in the hopes that they'll do something about it.

This strategy may eventually bear fruit, it's worth mentioning, because China has so many economic levers to use against North Korea. Pulling one or two minor ones wouldn't cut North Korea off completely, but would send a strong diplomatic message, at the very least. But America directly sanctioning North Korea isn't likely to bear much fruit at all, since they do all their business with China. Economic sanctions against the Chinese might be effective, but then again they might backfire spectacularly.

So Donald Trump has no real good options. He could try ramping up sanctions, but likely won't get very far without China's help. He could ramp up the pressure on Beijing, but they could resist such pressure and ignore our demands. He could begin a diplomatic push to come to an agreement to get rid of Kim Jong Un's nuclear arsenal, but there's no guarantee it would work. It's hard to even imagine what we'd be prepared to give up to reach such an agreement, at this point. North Korea would like all American troops to leave South Korea, but that's not happening any time soon. The only other alternatives are bad and worse, which hopefully has been explained at length to Trump by his generals at the Pentagon.

When it gets right down to it, there's not a lot America can do to halt the North Korean progress towards missile technology capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. This would be true no matter who is in the White House. By successfully holding Seoul hostage, North Korea has America backed into a corner with no good moves left to make. Trump can bluster about it all he wants, but when it comes time to commit to a policy, he's really got a limited choice of options, and none of them should be seen as offering much hope of success, at this point. North Korea is already a nuclear power, and their technology seems destined to keep improving, no matter how much America would like to stop it.

-- Chris Weigant

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

81 Comments on “Bad, Worse, And Ineffectual Options On North Korea”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    "North Korea may not currently have a missile that can reach a major American city with a nuclear weapon, but it's a pretty safe bet that they're already able to do so with a shorter-range missile."

    I'm bit confused by this sentence.

    Do you mean the North Koreans could respond to a US preemptive nuclear strike by launching a counter nuclear strike on Seoul (or anyplace else in South Korea) with an existing medium range missile?

    Or is this a reference to the demonstrated ability of North Korea to put something into orbit? That trick means they can already hit the US mainland with a small payload, albeit most likely a payload too small or too cooked by reentry to be a working bomb. How long does it take the North Koreans to miniaturize a working warhead that fits into their existing longest range rocket?

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    TS [1] I took that statement to read that North Korea could probably hit anywhere in South Korea or Japan with a nuke.

    We have two clowns who have to prove they are important facing off - I'm glad I don't live in Seoul.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    The real worry for S. Korea is if 45's approval drops well below 40% so he knows his BS isn't working any longer even on the fanboys - he'll be jonesing for a war and nobody is going to get excited by another foray in the Middle East.

    I can see him sacrificing Seoul for his own ego rating.

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    South Korea certainly has the capability to develop their own nuclear deterrent - and rather quickly I would guess. Like Israel, they may not entirely trust their nuclear capable friends to push the doomsday button on their behalf- if push comes to shove over Seoul. Like Israel, South Korea might choose to do this "ambiguously." The US might not be unhappy if this came to pass. On the other hand there is the matter of Japan following the logic and lead of S Korea. How would China like those apples? Might provide a basis for some negotiation among the great powers to tone down the madness...or not.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, a war with North Korea will make the Iraq invasion look like ... well, you know.

  6. [6] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Ultimately, the nuke ambitions of NK are going to depend on China's answer to this question: is a nuclear NK good for business? I'm not sure China has decided yet.

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm-3

    Can Trump handle a two front war with North Korea AND CNN?

  8. [8] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    One option you left out:

    Officially normalize relations with North Korea. It may sound ridiculous, but could it be any worse than our relationship with them is now?

    Kim Jong Un might possibly be a bigger man-baby suffering from naracissistic tendencies & extreme paranoia than our own glorious leader -- which is impressive in a sad/crazy sort of way. Recognizing his government and setting up an embassy would go a long way in helping to stroke his ego and his need to seem powerful while hopefully making him less paranoid.

    Not only could this improve our relationship with NK, but it would probably hurt China's influence over them.

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump himself can't be blamed for this, unless he tweets his way into a nuclear war or something equally as disastrous. But so far, that hasn't happened yet, and we're all hoping it doesn't come to that eventually. But even if Hillary Clinton were sitting in the Oval Office, it wouldn't change the menu of options she would face -- or any American president, for that matter.

    Hear, hear...

    You forget another option, CW...

    A purge.. The US sends in operators and they start taking out Kim on down.. It's well known that there are people in Kim's government who would welcome the little runt be taken out...

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Kim Jong Un might possibly be a bigger man-baby suffering from naracissistic tendencies & extreme paranoia than our own glorious leader -- which is impressive in a sad/crazy sort of way. Recognizing his government and setting up an embassy would go a long way in helping to stroke his ego and his need to seem powerful while hopefully making him less paranoid.

    "Earth... Hitler... 1939"
    -Captain James T. Kirk

    Appeasement never works..

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    Apparently, ya'all have never heard of the PC Game HOMEFRONT or read ONE MINUTE AFTER.... :D

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    Since Trump Bashing is still the soup de jour....

    Look at the brilliant CNN-WWE tweet. CNN was caught red-handed in yet another hilariously embarrassing bust by James O’Keefe. CNN isn’t even pretending to not be the ultimate Fake News Network anymore. And Trump crushed them. It was a knockout punch, judging by the hysteria (the foam-at-the-mouth-why-so-serious-hysteria), especially at CNN.

    They scream and yell, “how can a president say such a thing?”

    Well, because you’ve called him Hitler, fascist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, man-child – and there are a lot more. However, Trump is so hated that when I tried to Google “nasty things said about Trump”, I get scores of results about the worst things Trump has said. Nice to see that Google isn’t manipulating results. That fine. Here’s what “comedian” Samantha Bee has said. Oh, and here’s a delightful list from the Mad-Pussy-Hatters at Jezebel. May as well throw these in for good measure.

    Leftists call his wife a “whore”, and run around with signs saying “rape Melania”. They hold up his bloody and severed head as a “joke”, call for his assassination as a “joke”, call his 10-year-old son a rapist and autistic and a homeschool shooter, and they are suddenly claiming the moral high ground?

    This is why they hate him so much. Because despite doing everything they can think of, Trump is still standing. Then he punches back. His blows are surgical and hilarious. They take next to no effort, while the Left is literally expending all its energy and having no impact. He’s using the media’s own tools against it. He’s using social media – the Great Equalizer – against them. He’s using Alinsky against them. He’s kicking them when they’re down.
    https://townhall.com/columnists/lawrencemeyers/2017/07/05/why-they-hate-trump-so-much-n2350469

    You see, THIS is why ya'all hate President Trump so much....

    He not only fights back, using the same nasty tactics epitomized by the Left Wingery...

    He is winning!!! :D

    And THAT is simply unforgivable...

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    TS,

    Ultimately, the nuke ambitions of NK are going to depend on China's answer to this question:

    Factually inaccurate..

    NK's nuclear ambitions will be whatever they will be regardless of China's answer to any question..

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    CNN Warns It May Expose an Anonymous Critic if He Ever Again Publishes Bad Content
    https://theintercept.com/2017/07/05/cnn-anonymous-critic-trump-wrestling-gif-reddit-user/

    Nothing like Leftist Media extortion, eh? :^/

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    A purge.. The US sends in operators and they start taking out Kim on down.. It's well known that there are people in Kim's government who would welcome the little runt be taken out...

    Of course such an option, unless timed properly to the millisecond, runs the risk of pre-planned nuclear/biological/chemical strikes being initiated..

    I never said it was a GOOD option... :D

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    POLISH CROWD CHANTS ‘DONALD TRUMP!’'USA! USA!'
    https://news.grabien.com/story-polish-crowd-chants-donald-trumpusa-usa

    :D

    So much for the claim that the "rest of the world" hates President Trump... :D

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,

    donald's approval in poland is 23%. the polish government won the visit by promising supportive crowds, which they delivered by busing in members of that supportive 23% from all over the country.

    JL

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @russ,

    bad idea. if we give kim approval without concessions, he'll deduce his nuclear plan is working and escalate.

    JL

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    bad idea. if we give kim approval without concessions, he'll deduce his nuclear plan is working and escalate.

    Ding, Ding, Ding....

    donald's approval in poland is 23%.

    Yea, that's what the polls say... But we now know how utterly and completely wrong polls can be...

    But I still think it's cute how ya still put your faith in polls..

    "Good for you.."
    -Michael, STARGATE: ATLANTIS

    :D

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But I still think it's cute how ya still put your faith in polls..

    not faith, critical thinking. like any other social science estimates, polls have a margin of error. maybe donald's "real" approval in poland is 17% or maybe it's 28%, but it's a fact that the polish government did bus in supportive crowds.

    JL

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    but it's a fact that the polish government did bus in supportive crowds.

    Yea.. So???

    There were massives amount of people who wanted to see President Trump and the government offered them rides..

    I see no problem with that..

    Just like you saw no problem with people bus'ed in for NOT-45 rallys and such...

  22. [22] 
    michale wrote:

    not faith, critical thinking. like any other social science estimates, polls have a margin of error.

    And what was the margin of error when the polls said it was a 98% chance that President Trump would lose???

    100% margin of error??? :D

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And what was the margin of error when the polls said it was a 98% chance that President Trump would lose???

    98% - is that factual? 538 said 70%, which is about the same as rock paper scissors. that aside, you're confusing estimates with predictions. overall estimates were generally within the margin of error; predictions were off because they didn't account for opinion swings in specific states.

    but i digress. pew global has a reliable track record for accurately measuring world opinion.

    There were massives amount of people who wanted to see President Trump and the government offered them rides..
    I see no problem with that..

    neither do i. the problem only arises when that non-representative sample is held up as evidence to dispute donald's unpopularity in most of the world.

    JL

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    neither do i. the problem only arises when that non-representative sample is held up as evidence to dispute donald's unpopularity in most of the world.

    No, YOUR problem only arises... :D

    I simply point to evidence that indicates ya'all's assessment of the hatred of Trump is not as universal as some here would claim...

    I mean, it's not as if ya'all have been wrong before, right??

    So, it's entirely possible that ya'all might be wrong now..

    And I simply point to evidence that indicates that ya'all ARE wrong now.. :D

  25. [25] 
    michale wrote:

    98% - is that factual?

    Of course it's factual...

    Our model predicted that Democrat Hillary Clinton had a 98 percent chance of being elected. That was more pro-Clinton than most other forecast models (although all of them predicted a Clinton win). Our model said five Senate seats would shift from Republican to Democratic, giving Democrats a likely majority.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pollster-forecast-donald-trump-wrong_us_5823e1e5e4b0e80b02ceca15

    You continue to put faith in polls that say what you want to hear.... I have no problem with that.. It's a coping mechanism, I understand that..

    But don't expect me to buy into the claim, since the polls have MASSIVELY failed in the past...

  26. [26] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Earth... Hitler... 1939"
    -Captain James T. Kirk

    "Appeasement never works.."

    Not appeasement. Just acceptance of the facts and the limitations of power to change things. There's a difference. We got used to a nuclear armed Russia in the 1950's and a nuclear armed China in the 1960's, we will do the same with a nuclear armed North Korea in the 2020's, given of course rational leaders on both sides with a healthy dose of self-preservation.

    "We must acknowledge once and for all that the purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." "The entire key to diplomacy is sincerity. Once that can be faked, the rest is simple." "Unfortunately, diplomacy is the only channel available to us at the moment."

    -First Officer Spock, TOS, The Mark Of Gideon.

  27. [27] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Factually inaccurate..

    "NK's nuclear ambitions will be whatever they will be regardless of China's answer to any question.."

    Not entirely true. China is the one and only nation that has the power to collapse the North Korean regime if it wanted to. The problem is that China doesn't want to and it is also not in China's interest to do so.

    "I simply point to evidence that indicates ya'all's assessment of the hatred of Trump is not as universal as some here would claim..."

    No one ever said it was universal, I believe, only that it was overwhelmingly majoritarian worldwide. Again, there is a difference between the two.

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,
    I didn't say anything about Donald's disapproval being universal. Out of 38 million poles, a full 9 million think he's great. And there's nothing wrong with a little political spin by Poland's government to make the most of them. But you're confusing wrong predictions with false facts

  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    First and foremost... It is ya'll , NOT ya'all . Ya'll got that now?

    If ya'll gonna speak in Southernese, ya'll need to be better learnt than this. Bless ya'lls hearts!

    (I am also fluent in Ewonics -- which is a form of Redneck Ebonics that is spoken at every Waffle House in this country.)

    Next, John M [26],

    Thank you for that response. You said it better than I did.

  30. [30] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    nypoet22,

    @russ,

    bad idea. if we give kim approval without concessions, he'll deduce his nuclear plan is working and escalate.

    What makes you think it can escalate anymore than it already is? We have tried to isolate NK for decades and guess what??? The threat is still there!

    And Un is like Trump: when confronted with overwhelming evidence that his choice is a bad one, he will choose to claim it is a brilliant choice that only he could have pulled off!

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You continue to put faith in polls that say what you want to hear...

    you must be confusing me with somebody else. i was always skeptical of those predictions. since polls are inherently based on opinions, they are subject to conditions changing. however, my decisions about how to weigh the opinions in polls are based on critical thinking, not faith.

    JL

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @russ,

    there's still plenty of room for things in NK to get worse. containment may not yield great results, but it beats nuclear war.

    JL

  33. [33] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    While I long for the day that Trump is removed from office, I don't hate him. Heck compared to how I view those who bend over backwards in an ugly attempt to justify his putrid actions, I practically love the guy!

    Personally, I have come to recognize that while I find Trump's actions offensive, and deservedly so, it is how hard the Right has to work in an attempt to ignore just how horrific and damaging to this nation his actions are, that I find unforgivable!

    There is no way in Hell that you would accept his behavior from anyone with a -D behind their name -- and neither would the Left! THAT is the biggest difference between the two groups. You supported nine investigations into Clinton's role in the Benghazi incident, but you have already declared the investigation into Trump's campaign for possible collusion with the Russians is a waste of time without waiting for their findings.

    I read that Trump followers were outraged at NPR tweeting out statements against Trump and calling for citizens to revolt on July 4th -- when NPR tweeted out all the words to our own Constitution. That image sums it up perfectly!

  34. [34] 
    michale wrote:

    Russ,

    First and foremost... It is ya'll , NOT ya'all . Ya'll got that now?

    Whatever ya'all say.. :D

  35. [35] 
    michale wrote:

    JM,

    "Factually inaccurate..

    "NK's nuclear ambitions will be whatever they will be regardless of China's answer to any question.."

    Not entirely true. China is the one and only nation that has the power to collapse the North Korean regime if it wanted to. The problem is that China doesn't want to and it is also not in China's interest to do so.

    Which doesn't change Kim's *AMBITIONS* whatsoever..

    No one ever said it was universal, I believe, only that it was overwhelmingly majoritarian worldwide. Again, there is a difference between the two.

    And even THAT is nothing more than wishful thinking on ya'all's part...

    Not appeasement. Just acceptance of the facts and the limitations of power to change things.

    Yea.. I am sure Neville Chamberlain said the EXACT same thing..

  36. [36] 
    Paula wrote:

    http://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-west-hartford-trump-morely-school-steven-marks-20170705-story.html

    Marks told police on June 19 he vandalized the property "out of 'anger towards liberals and they are breaking major laws everyday and being disrespectful towards our government,'" according to the warrant for his arrest. He told police it was his hope that the vandalism would appear to have been done by the "Left."...Some of the writings said "Kill Trump," "Left is the best," "Bernie Sanders 2020" and "Death to Trump" and were written on the playground welcome sign, a tan piece of of playground equipment, a yellow concrete barrier pole, a playground bench and on a "Little Free Library" located on the playground.

    Trumpers.

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    You supported nine investigations into Clinton's role in the Benghazi incident, but you have already declared the investigation into Trump's campaign for possible collusion with the Russians is a waste of time without waiting for their findings.

    Four Americans died in Benghazi..

    But I am sure that is of no importance to the Left Wingery.. :^/

    I am also constrained to point out that there were stone cold facts that supported the conclusions that Odumbo and his minions blatantly lied about the events of Benghazi..

    There isn't even a SCINTILLA of factual relevant evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia and there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that indicates Russia changed a SINGLE NOT-45 vote to a Trump vote...

    So, if you want to compare apples and orangutans, be my guest...

    It's par for the course for ya'all's arguments.. :D

  38. [38] 
    michale wrote:

    Trumpers.

    James T. Hodgkinson, the man identified as shooting a Republican member of congress and four others on Wednesday morning, was a small business owner in Illinois who defined himself publicly by his firm support of Bernie Sanders' progressive politics -- and his hatred of conservatives and President Donald Trump.

    Democrats...... :^/

  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    Seriously, Paula..

    If you want to have a war about who commits the most disgusting and perverse violent acts??

    Your Democrat tried to ASSASSINATE Republicans...

    And *YOU* said the Republicans deserved it...

    Yer Left Wingery will be awarded the designation of most disgusting, perverse and violent acts... hands down...

  40. [40] 
    michale wrote:

    Protester arrested at Sen. Flake's Tucson office

    A protester was arrested at Sen. Jeff Flake’s Tucson office Thursday morning.

    According to a media release distributed Wednesday by the Tucson Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America, dozens of people planned a sit-in at the Senator’s office to demand that he vote “No” on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

    The release stated, “Protesters to Risk Arrest in Sen. Jeff Flake’s Office to Save Health Care for Millions of Americans.”

    According to Jason Samuels, Sen. Flake’s Communications Director, the protester was arrested for making the following statement:

    Protester: You know how liberals are going to solve the Republican problem?

    Staffer: No.

    Protester: They are going to get better aim. That last guy tried, but he needed better aim. We will get better aim.

    News 4 Tucson is waiting for more information from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department regarding the incident and will provide updates as more information becomes available.
    http://www.kvoa.com/story/35826190/protester-arrested-at-sen-flakes-tucson-office

    Democrats.... :^/

  41. [41] 
    TheStig wrote:

    John M-27

    "China is the one and only nation that has the power to collapse the North Korean regime if it wanted to."

    The N Korean GDP is about the same as Monaco. About 75% of N Korean import/export is with China. Land based access to N Korea is mostly via China. That is a lot of high value cards for China to play.

  42. [42] 
    michale wrote:

    The N Korean GDP is about the same as Monaco. About 75% of N Korean import/export is with China. Land based access to N Korea is mostly via China. That is a lot of high value cards for China to play.

    NONE of which will have any impact on NK's *AMBITIONS*...

    It will impact NK's capability...

    But it won't do diddley squat for Kim's ambitions...

    Which was your original claim...

    And which I have proven is in error...

  43. [43] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that there were stone cold facts that supported the conclusions that Odumbo and his minions blatantly lied about the events of Benghazi..

    Sure. I can remember all the way back to 2015 and the 'dramatic' 11-hour grilling of Hillary by the Benghazi committee. Hillary came off great, and the Pubbies came off petulant. Too bad they didn't wait until closer to the election to pull that stunt.

    There isn't even a SCINTILLA of factual relevant evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia and there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that indicates Russia changed a SINGLE NOT-45 vote to a Trump vote...

    Of course it is also true that the investigation has already found contradictory and false statements made by Flynn, Sessions, Manafort, Kushner, Carter Page and Trump himself. Kushner was working on acquiring a loan from a bank personally controlled by Putin during the campaign, both Manafort and Flynn failed to disclose contacts with Russians on their security checks, and we're just clearing our throat. Stay Positive!

    Oh, and by the way, not a single voting machine used in the election was ever submitted to forensic examination. Imagine that.

  44. [44] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [40] - Democrats.... :^/

    Maybe. More accurately, potentially dangerous wacko. Dark netherworlds of minds can be found, too, for example in, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/06/hanassholesolo-anti-semitic-posts-215344
    which contains some interesting field work.

    I doubt you would find anyone around here quoting something from that reporting, and, if so, generalizing with the leap:

    Republicans....:^/

    or even

    Trump supporters...:^/

    Partisan bullshit can be amusing sometimes. Not always.

  45. [45] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [14] - CNN Warns It May Expose an Anonymous Critic if He Ever Again Publishes Bad Content ... extortion, eh? :^/

    CNN or any investigator would have been fully within bounds by releasing the identify. He was effectively "quoted" by the President of the United States in a manner that the White House has identified as being official communications.

    I'm happy that it was done that way, though. With his apology and promise to be good, we all get to see how one brave soldier in the coming civil war against the Left reacted under fire.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought it was y'all ...

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    we are not amused.

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As for what the Trump administration should do about North Korea ... I agree with Joe Cirincione in that there is no military option.

    As difficult as talks with North Korea have proven and will be again, there is no viable alternative. Former Director of Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory Sig Hecker argues that we must engage North Korea as well as pressure it. “The fundamental and enduring goal must be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” he wrote, “However, since that will take time, the U.S. government must quickly press for what I call ‘the three no’s’ — no more bombs, no better bombs, and no exports — in return for one yes: Washington’s willingness to seriously address North Korea’s fundamental insecurity.”
    Joe Ciricione, president of Ploughshares Fund, writing in Defense One 

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  50. [50] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So here's a headline, ripped straight from a parody:

    FRUSTRATED US ETHICS CHIEF GIVES UP
    Not "much more I could accomplish", he says.

  51. [51] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey gang

    Gotta go with Liz on NK options... and y'all... and Listen in comment 8.

    Normalize relations on the condition of a peace agreement with the South.
    Was normalization of relations with China appeasement? No.
    Russia? No.
    It's just admitting reality and moving on in a manner that benefits the US more than NK.

    Bring the troops home too.
    We don't need 30,000 sacrificial lambs to justify turning all of NK into glass if they attack SK or anybody else.

    -
    -

    In other news, anyone interested in the latest on the Flint water crisis check this out

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/06/flint-j06.html

    Democrats and Republicans dancing to the tune of Wall Street at the expense of Flint residents... this time in the name of "safety".
    Michigan is suing the city council to force it to accept a 30 year deal to return to the pre-crisis water supplier with the caveat that the banksters who tried to use the emergency to extract profits get to keep the ill-gotten gains from their failed scheme that voters rejected... with city residents paying even more than their already price gouging rates.

    Oh, and the Republican governor's boys are also fixing to foreclose on 8,000 Flint homeowners who refused to pay their water bills because the water was poisoned.
    Who here agrees with that?

    A

  52. [52] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I've seen it written as "y'all" before, but typically it is "ya'll". Think of it like the contraction of "you will", but replace "you" with "ya". "Ya'll" can be used for both "you all" and "you will".

    Today was the first time I have ever seen it written as "ya'all".

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Four Americans died in Benghazi..

    But I am sure that is of no importance to the Left Wingery.. :^/

    What was found from the Senate's sixth or eighth Benghazi investigation that was not known after the first?

    And if it was about the four Americans that were killed, where were the investigations into the Yemen raid under Trump? Or do military deaths not matter to Trump trolls?

    The Republicans were simply attacking Clinton to hurt her credibility; knowing that she was likely to run for President. I had no problem with them investigating the incident the first time.

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    LWYH
    29

    First and foremost... It is ya'll , NOT ya'all . Ya'll got that now?

    If ya'll gonna speak in Southernese, ya'll need to be better learnt than this. Bless ya'lls hearts!

    It's actually a contraction of "you all" that works just like a regular contraction wherein the apostrophe replaces the missing letters.

    Y'all got that? :)

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    46

    I thought it was y'all ...

    It is! EM's got it. :)

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indubitably.

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Russ[8],

    You may be on to something. I think that idea has legs.

    Let's hash that out a bit more, sometime ...

  58. [58] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The true power of "Y'all" is understood in Kentucky.

    True story: in 1970, the builders of a new mall in Florence, Kentucky donated land next to the site to the suburban city for a new water tower with the stipulation that the words "Florence mall" be written on the side of the tower. But after this was done, the State sued, saying that it exceeded height limits for advertising, and would have to be painted over. Leaders of the suburban community huddled: there wasn't enough money in the community's coffers to completely repaint the sign, and voters wouldn't take kindly to having their local taxes raised for a mistake like not checking state law before creating a hugely visible violation. As Mayor "Hop" Ewing began to erase the word 'Mall' from a sketch he'd made, he realized that he could change the 'M' into a 'Y' and an apostrophe, so that ($472 later) it would read: Florence Y'all, as it does today. Thanks in part to publicity generated by the city's unusual calling card, the mall itself succeeded spectacularly, anchoring an explosion of retail growth in Florence that paid off handsomely for the city. The water tower now even has its own annual festival.

    That's the power of "Y'all", y'all.

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Nice story!

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    Sure. I can remember all the way back to 2015 and the 'dramatic' 11-hour grilling of Hillary by the Benghazi committee. Hillary came off great, and the Pubbies came off petulant. Too bad they didn't wait until closer to the election to pull that stunt.

    Which doesn't address the FACT that Odumbo, NOT-45 and the rest of their minions LIED...

    You CAN'T address the point, so you make shit up that is completely non-sequitor..

    Of course it is also true that the investigation has already found contradictory and false statements made by Flynn, Sessions, Manafort, Kushner, Carter Page and Trump himself. Kushner was working on acquiring a loan from a bank personally controlled by Putin during the campaign, both Manafort and Flynn failed to disclose contacts with Russians on their security checks, and we're just clearing our throat.

    Which DOESN'T address the FACT that there isn't ANY factual relevant evidence to support your claim that President Trump colluded with the Russians and there is ANY SCINTILLA of evidence to suggest that a single NOT-45 vote was changed to a Trump vote..

    Once again, you ignore the facts because they ARE facts and go off on some wild assed tangent that no one is talking about because you CAN'T address the facts..

    Oh, and by the way, not a single voting machine used in the election was ever submitted to forensic examination. Imagine that.

    And the DNC won't let the email server that was, allegedly hacked, be forensicly examined..

    Imagine that...

    "You can't win. I've got god on my side!!"
    -Max Von Sydow, NEEDFUL THINGS

    :D

  61. [61] 
    michale wrote:

    LB,

    I doubt you would find anyone around here quoting something from that reporting, and, if so, generalizing with the leap:
    Republicans....:^/

    or even

    Trump supporters...:^/

    Yer kidding, right??

    Because that is EXACTLY what happens, which prompts my foray into political bigotry...

    Partisan bullshit can be amusing sometimes. Not always.

    But for most here, partisan bullshit is all they have...

  62. [62] 
    michale wrote:

    LB,

    CNN or any investigator would have been fully within bounds by releasing the identify. He was effectively "quoted" by the President of the United States in a manner that the White House has identified as being official communications.

    I'm happy that it was done that way, though. With his apology and promise to be good, we all get to see how one brave soldier in the coming civil war against the Left reacted under fire.

    So it doesn't bother you that a mighty media corporation extorts John Q Citizen into silence SOLEY because he made a parody GIF that made fun of the mighty media corporation??

    Let's put the shoe on the other foot.. Suppose someone had made a parody GIF that made fun of Trump using a FoxNews logo and FoxNews stated, for the record, that as long as John Q Citizen didn't make fun of FoxNews anymore, FoxNews wouldn't dox him...

    Would THAT bother ya??

    I am sincerely curious...

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    I thought it was y'all ...

    Com'on Liz!!

    It's 2017!!

    If a white blue-eyed freckle face woman can be a black person, if a 5 yr old boy can chose to be a 5 yr old girl, if a guy can say 'I feel like a woman' and skip right into the woman's bathroom.......

    Then surely I can have "ya'all" be anything I want it to be, no?? :D

    A sign of the times...

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    And if it was about the four Americans that were killed, where were the investigations into the Yemen raid under Trump? Or do military deaths not matter to Trump trolls?

    Com'on Russ.. I KNOW you have more than 2 brain cells to rub together..

    Do I have to explain to you the difference between a MILITARY OP where casualties are expected and a civilian outpost where security requests are ignored and our Ambassador, a civilian, is brutally murdered???

    I *KNOW* you are not THAT stoopid...

    The Republicans were simply attacking Clinton to hurt her credibility; knowing that she was likely to run for President.

    And you Left Wingers are simply attacking President Trump because he DEVASTATED your NOT-45 in an election and ya'all are trying to de-legitimize President Trump's legal, legitimate and fair election win..

    What's yer point??

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    True story: in 1970, the builders of a new mall in Florence, Kentucky donated land next to the site to the suburban city for a new water tower with the stipulation that the words "Florence mall" be written on the side of the tower. But after this was done, the State sued, saying that it exceeded height limits for advertising, and would have to be painted over.

    The tower was built by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and painted in 1974 by the Virginia Erection Co

    Huh... hu.... hu....huh...

    :D

  66. [66] 
    michale wrote:

    Federal judge turns back Hawaii's motion on Trump's travel ban

    A federal judge has denied an emergency motion filed by the State of Hawaii that would broaden the familial exceptions to President Trump's travel ban.
    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/35829846/federal-judge-turns-back-hawaiis-motion-on-trumps-travel-ban

    And the Ant-Trumpers luse again...

    What part of THE LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL AND WITHIN THE POWER OF THE POTUS do Left Wingers not understand??

  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    Leading Climate Scientist Says Debating Scientific Theories Would Be ‘Un-American’
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/07/06/leading-climate-scientist-science-debate-un-american/

    This is EXACTLY why it's IMPOSSIBLE to take human caused global warming fanatics seriously...

    "HUMAN CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!!!! 97% OF SCIENTISTS AGREE!!! THERE CAN BE NO ARGUMENT!!!"

    OK, then let's have an open, honest and completely transparent debate on the subject...

    "OH!! Uh.... er.... I can't be there... I... uh... I have to wash my car....
    But Human Caused Global Warming is real!!! AND IT WILL KILL US ALL WITHIN A WEEK!!!!
    SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!!!!!"

    That's why it's impossible to take these fanatics seriously...

    They are AFRAID to back up their claims in an open and honest debate...

    Their fear is warranted.. Every time that there WAS a debate, the religious-esque Global Warming fanatics LOST....

    Then there is the interminably-petulant and prosaic Michael Mann, who routinely dishes out the “denier” name to anyone who crosses him, and recently compared himself to a Holocaust survivor. Mann told ThinkProgress that the red-team concept is “un-American” and a ruse to “run a pro-fossil fuel industry disinformation campaign aimed at confusing the public and policymakers over what is potentially the greatest threat we face as a civilization.”

    Aha! Right there is the key objection to the entire exercise: the risk to their political power. These activists know that climate change long ago stopped being about science. It is a liberal, big-government agenda wrapped up in a green cloak of superiority and virtue. For the past decade, the pro-climate crusaders have ruled policymaking, from international organizations to federal agencies down to your local park district. The Trump administration poses the first threat to their dominance, and instead of being up to the task of defending it — in public, with evidence and not platitudes, facing scientists they have smeared for not being part of the ‘consensus’ – they want to walk away.

    Human Caused Global Warming is a POLITICAL issue, not a scientific one...

    And THAT'S why the fanatics don't want to debate it..

    Because they KNOW that they will lose...

    If their theory is valid, they should have NO PROBLEM debating and defending their theory..

    Since they refuse, it all but proves that they know their theory is bupkis...

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    Today was the first time I have ever seen it written as "ya'all".

    That's funny, because I have been using it that way for the last 10+ years. :D

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Then surely I can have "ya'all" be anything I want it to be, no?? :D

    Absolutely! Why do you think I haven't said anything about it for the last 10 years? Heh.

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    Absolutely! Why do you think I haven't said anything about it for the last 10 years? Heh.

    "Cause you have wisdom beyond your years..."
    -Daniel Kaffey, A FEW GOOD MEN

    :D

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's the correct answer!

  72. [72] 
    michale wrote:

    Charles Krauthammer: North Korea — The Rubicon Is Crossed
    http://www.investors.com/politics/columnists/charles-krauthammer-north-korea-the-rubicon-is-crossed/

    "Peace" with North Korea is the WORST possible option imaginable...

  73. [73] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Not appeasement. Just acceptance of the facts and the limitations of power to change things.

    Yea.. I am sure Neville Chamberlain said the EXACT same thing.."

    We are NOT giving North Korea anything that they don't ALREADY HAVE. So how can that be appeasement??? We are not opening an embassy in North Korea. They already have international legitimacy and diplomatic recognition. They got those when they were allowed to join the United Nations as a member state. We are also not giving them nuclear weapons. They already have those as well. And short of invading and completely taking over their country, there is nothing we can do about that other than to accept the reality.

    That's ALL I am saying.

  74. [74] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Do I have to explain to you the difference between a MILITARY OP where casualties are expected and a civilian outpost where security requests are ignored and our Ambassador, a civilian, is brutally murdered???"

    Maybe I should explain a different to you Michale:

    Do you know the State Department Protocol for an Ambassador and staff when trouble erupts in a country? Of course, you don’t, or you would not have swallowed the big Benghazi lie. State Department Protocol instructs the Ambassador to go to the Embassy and lock himself in the hardened area that will protect him. Whether you know it or not, Embassies have hardened areas that it would take days to break into. Days are enough time for the Cavalry to arrive to relieve the Embassy siege. State Department Protocol is NOT to grab some Marines, jump into a car and drive 65 miles to a Consulate that is NOT hardened to see what is going on. Seeing what is going on in when violence erupts is not the job of the Ambassador. It is the job of the CIA. Chris Stevens ignored the protocols that were in place to protect the Ambassador, and that's what got both himself and the marines who were with him killed. NOT anything that either Obama or Clinton did or did not do.

  75. [75] 
    michale wrote:

    We are NOT giving North Korea anything that they don't ALREADY HAVE. So how can that be appeasement???

    We're giving NK space and breathing room...

    Something the appeasers gave Hitler... With disastrous results...

    That's ALL I am saying.

    No, ALL you are saying is that we should appease the little runt...

    Maybe I should explain a different to you Michale:

    Your ignorance is astounding..

    There WAS no embassy in Benghazi..

    There was *ONLY* a consulate.....

    A Consulate that DIDN'T have NEARLY enough security protections in place because your hero, NOT-45 didn't bother to answer the frakin' phone at 3am...

    THAT is on Odumbo and NOT-45..

    And then those 2 morons tried to cover their asses and blatantly LIE about the incident.

    I notice that ALL of you ignore that fact....

  76. [76] 
    michale wrote:

    JM,

    You would prefer to give NK enough time to deploy long range ICBMs that can hit San Francisco and LA and San Diego with miniaturized nuclear weapons???

    In other words, bury the heads in the sand and hope the bad things go away....

    Typical Left Wing response.. HOPE

  77. [77] 
    michale wrote:

    Before ya'all ask, I don't have all the intelligence on the NK situation, so I don't have any answers..

    I *CAN* tell you though, from a PLETHORA of personal experiences, training and expertise.....

    Letting a scumbag little runt develop nuclear weapons *AND* the means to deliver them to the United States is the *WORST* possible option of all the possible options their are...

  78. [78] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Your ignorance is astounding..

    There WAS no embassy in Benghazi..

    There was *ONLY* a consulate.....

    A Consulate that DIDN'T have NEARLY enough security protections in place because your hero, NOT-45 didn't bother to answer the frakin' phone at 3am..."

    NO, YOUR ignorance is astounding Michale. You made EXACTLY MY POINT. The ambassador should have stayed in the embassy in Tripoli, and not traveled to the consulate in Benghazi!

  79. [79] 
    michale wrote:

    NO, YOUR ignorance is astounding Michale. You made EXACTLY MY POINT. The ambassador should have stayed in the embassy in Tripoli, and not traveled to the consulate in Benghazi!

    He was doing his job!! NOT-45 SENT him to Benghazi on a fact-finding tour....

    This is well documented...

    No matter how you want to spin it, NOT-45 is responsible for Ambassador Chris Stevens death and the deaths of the other Americans there..

  80. [80] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "No matter how you want to spin it, NOT-45 is responsible for Ambassador Chris Stevens death and the deaths of the other Americans there.."

    Then lets SPIN it some more, shall we???

    If All those Republicans in Congress who were conducting so many multiple investigations of Hillary over Benghazi, were really concerned about diplomatic security, WHY were they CUTTING funding for security for State Department diplomatic missions AFTER Benghazi??? Care to explain that HYPOCRISY to me???

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    67

    Human Caused Global Warming is a POLITICAL issue, not a scientific one...

    Wrong. It's both... but largely a political issue confined to the United States since only one major political party in the world denies climate change... primarily because oil companies like Koch Industries, etc., a/k/a Big Oil, support the GOP who deny what scientists have known for decades. American politicians denying science in exchange for monetary support isn't remotely a new phenomenon in this country and not confined to one Party... see Big Tobacco denial that cigarette smoking causes cancer.

    And THAT'S why the fanatics don't want to debate it..

    Because they KNOW that they will lose...

    Wrong. The fanatics actually want to debate it in order to lend credence to nonsense, while the scientists know that debating the issue would be the equivalent of debating whether or not cigarettes are harmful to humans.

    If their theory is valid, they should have NO PROBLEM debating and defending their theory..

    It's not a theory; it's proven science and has been for decades. A debate with the handful of scientists known as "deniers" lends credence to morons versus the 97% of peer reviewed published papers that support the conclusion that climate change is real and humans are responsible. Having a United States government sponsored debate of deniers versus scientists would reinforce a totally false impression that there are equal sides to the debate when it's basically deniers 3% and scientists 97%... might as well go back to debating that cigarettes aren't harmful since the researchers are interchangeable regarding both issues. *LOL*

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tobacco-and-oil-industries-used-same-researchers-to-sway-public1/

    Since they refuse, it all but proves that they know their theory is bupkis...

    Nope. It's kind of like people choosing to ignore some of your nonsense of these boards. The GOP and their useful idiots have long played a type of identity politics where they identify their opposition as weak and unarmed snowflakes, but lately they're engaging in the exercise of identifying them as violent shooters, primarily because gun sales plummeted and they needed to get the rubes scared all over again and buying multiple firearms since the loss of their Obama boogeyman. Lately the useful idiots are arguing the "weak unarmed" bullshit right alongside the "violent shooters" bullshit without even the presence of mind to realize they're bleating obedient sheeple contradicting themselves. When people refuse to debate your spew it's generally because it's such obvious bullshit that it doesn't deserve a platform to lend it credence.

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