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RE: North Korea Warns of Military Strike

In response to the news that North Korea is warning of military strikes and disengaging from the armistice (see: Lorie Byrd minutes ago), I shared a note among friends also sending notes around on the North Korean "declaration of war."

NoKor is rattling a very large sabre. They can destroy Seoul, but we can destroy North Korea. Less than mutually assured destruction.

They are - with Chinese consent - testing Obama's passivity. He gave them every reason to believe.

But don't go headlong into "there's a war on soon." North Korea still wants concessions, not casualties. North Korea will do nothing until China is ready to storm Taiwan. Wondering what that front is looking like right now.... Hmmmm....

In short, North Korea will be nothing more than a loud-mouthed neighborhood thug kicking over garbage cans until China is ready to take Taiwan.

I don't think now is that time - though this is as much a Chinese test as a North Korean one. It must be recognized, however, that a demonstratedly timid Obama administration and American preoccupation both domestically (economy) and abroad (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan) could prove to be too enticing for the Chinese. They may likely decide that there will never be a better time (vis-a-vis American intervention) than now or in the next year or two.

Oddly, our economy and not our military are the strongest deterrent protecting Taiwan. If our economy continues to sink - through natural cycles and unnatural government fiat over entire industries as well as exponentially accruing debt and a plummeting dollar - then the deterrent protecting Taiwan from China erodes and the enticement of Chinese aggression compounds.

Most won't see it coming, and it will surprise many just as did 9/11. But the indicators for increased risk will all be there. Think like a Chinese communist seeking to restore Taiwan in fulfillment of the "One China Policy." If you think like an American, you'll be almost certainly surprised when it happens.

If you were Chinese, could you dream of a better time than with the current administration? I can't. And I say that through logic from a Chinese perspective, not my distaste for President Obama's policies, choices and ambitions.


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Comments (18)

Well, as someone who lived ... (Below threshold)

Well, as someone who lived in Taiwan for four years (when it was still essentially a military dictatorship), I would guess that now is not China's time. They are certainly working in that direction, given that Ma is more or less decreasing Taiwan's military and in particular its future state (reducing spare parts stocks and refusing to spend money on new weapons systems), and that China has been clear that "one China" means "Taiwan is a part of that one China, ruled by the mainland." And I wouldn't be terribly surprised if China thinks that the Obama administration is a good opportunity to try to take Taiwan by force.

Except...

China has three economies: the new relatively free market in the SE (actually, not much less free than the market here, except politically, and that seems to be changing here), the feudal market in the countryside, and the mid-'50s Stalinist (they would say Maoist) market in the big cities outside of the coast and the SE. Taiwan would fit both geographically and economically with the SE economy. And the problem with the relatively free market it that it includes fairly strong property rights. The more that people see their future (economically) as bound up in their property, the more say they want over that property, and thus the more they agitate for what Westerners would call freedom — freedom of speech, assembly, to market their goods on their own terms and so forth.

The upshot is that, even if China does absorb Taiwan, that is more of a problem for China than it is for us. We lose some face; China loses its economic rationale, which is at the center of its identity as a Communist state.

In other words, if China does take Taiwan (and it can), then it suffers long-term by becoming Taiwan: free market ethnic Chinese.

"Present!"... (Below threshold)
davidt:

"Present!"

Expect today's talking poin... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Expect today's talking points to be that it's all Bush's fault.

On the way to work yesterda... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

On the way to work yesterday we turned the radio on and caught the tail end of some politician talking about the North Korean bomb test. He said it was "time to tell the North Koreans" that this is "unacceptable".

I thought, so what is it exactly that we've been telling them for decades? That they were reaching the point where they're actions will someday, but not yet, be unacceptable? And now they are - kinda sorta?

This is one of the many rea... (Below threshold)
mag:

This is one of the many reasons I dreaded Obama winning. How come our enemies could see him for what he is and Americans could not?
We need now, in this time and place an extremely strong and pro-American president, not this "american idol" wannabe.

This problem is out of his ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This problem is out of his league. I hope for the best though. Kim Il is one sick puppy. I am worried for Japan. ww

Given what's going on in th... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Given what's going on in the world I expect that China will eventually take back Taiwan. Taiwan is not some backward nation that could absorb bombardment with minimal damage to it's ability to sustain it's people nor can this island nation long resist once cutoff from world commerce

I believe that one of the reasons China is building up it's armed forces is for the eventual showdown with the United States over Taiwan. China doesn't want to destroy Taiwan either, so I believe they want to make such a show of force that the United States will back down. If such a confrontation happens and the United States backs down it will be dethroned as the leading superpower in the world, with the implication that none of its security guarantees are worth much.

I expect this will happen during Obama's watch, which will greatly demean him in the eyes of history. If Obama is smart he'll head off that confrontation by starting the reunification negotiations soon in order to get the best deal for Taiwan. If Taiwan won't negotiate then Obama will have to let it be known that the United States won't go to war with China to protect Taiwan as their life sustaining trade and infrastructure would be destroyed in the opening days of such a war, and Taiwan's population would quickly face starvation. Such a war would be pointless.

Just when we need a strong ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Just when we need a strong president, we have President Weak Knees. Guess all that talk about the US being the main problem in the world has been taken to heart by those Barry wanted to love us. Go figure. Have the white flags been ordered?

Mac Lorry: "If Taiwan wo... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry: "If Taiwan won't negotiate then Obama will have to let it be known that the United States won't go to war with China to protect Taiwan"

If [U.S. Allie] won't negotiate then Obama will have to let it be known that the United States won't go to war with [Country opposed to U.S.] to protect [U.S. Allie]

Merely insert the name of ANY and EVERY allie or friend of America in the [U.S. Allie] blocks, and the name of ANY and EVERY country opposed to us and you have the Obama "policy"!

Peace at any price...especially when our allies PAY that price!

Seems like extortion to me.... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Seems like extortion to me.
NoKor see's Obama spending money like a drunken liberal and probably wants a bigger slice.

Side note: Does this debacle end up on Hillarys' resume? Won't be helpful next time she runs for POTUS.

Will China risk all the mon... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Will China risk all the money they have invested in America? Will they risk losing their best importer of their junk that they send here?

"Will China risk all the mo... (Below threshold)
sam:

"Will China risk all the money they have invested in America? "

China does not risk anything, because it knows that the US has no stomach for any confrontation, that it lacks political will to do anything.

This whole N.Korea incident... (Below threshold)
Matthew:

This whole N.Korea incident is BS! It shouldn't even have gone this far! We all knew they had been producing Weapons of Mass Destruction for some time now and what did the UN do? "NOTHING!"
The US started a war with Iraq claiming that they had WMD, in which none was found by the way.
If such claims can be made, with N.Korea having substantial overwhelming evidence, why hasn't a war been waged against them?
I'll tell you why, N.Korea acts like a little punk brother who taunts and mocks knowing he's got big brother China standing behind it's heels. The US is in no condition to mess with China, who technically owns the US since the US owes Trillions in borrowed bonds!
Geez, I wonder why our economy is in a slump?!
And on top of all this BS, there is two journalist being held captive, in which we hear nothing of? We've had so much more coverage and updates over Roxan Saberi, what about these two journalist?
Jong-"ILL" should be yanked out of bed by his ears, and have a size 14 Special Forces boot broken off in his rear cleavage!

President Obamas possible r... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

President Obamas possible responses to this crisis.

1. "I inherited this crisis"
2. Blame Bush
2a. (Great time to announce a new supreme court nomination.)
3.

My husband was in Taiwan le... (Below threshold)
Spiritus Litis:

My husband was in Taiwan less than a month ago and has been there for work for the past several years. The Taiwanese have already surrendered to China. The airport has been renamed and the Taiwanese can now invest in China and vice-versa. They have grown financially dependent and will not bite the hand that feeds them. The war between and China and Taiwan will never happen. The threat of North Korea is something only the Chinese can control, or perhaps we should give Japan nuclear weapons to balance the threat. Ugly solution, but can help stability.

Regardless of where the nex... (Below threshold)
G.:

Regardless of where the next thing happens, Obama will cower like a shivering chihuahua. Big mouth, little balls. My dead grandmother had bigger balls than he does. :-)

Side note: what if Russia decides to take them on?

that it lacks poli... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
that it lacks political will to do anything.

It's not just politics. Their party is atheist and believes that is their strong point. As far as China is concerned, it's just them and us, with no repercussions. The Russian govt will show no fear of an agenda they are part of. The problem is, China believes if they take over businesses and living space in the U.S. they can expand their atheistic culture and survive. This has nothing to do with the Chinese citizens, it's the atheistic Chinese party. They think American land and business must belong to them for their survival. What they don't know is this "clearing house" has a more sinister agenda behind it, and they are just being used as pawns in the "clearing" of America. I have yet to see them follow through with their "humanitarian" attempt to warn Americans to leave.

Merely insert the ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Merely insert the name of ANY and EVERY allie or friend of America in the [U.S. Allie] blocks, and the name of ANY and EVERY country opposed to us and you have the Obama "policy"!

I don't consider Taiwan so much as an ally, but more like a protectorate. In 1948 our Chinese ally did flee to Taiwan, but starting with Nixon the U.S. has been slowly disengaging. It may soon be time to resolve the issue between Taiwan and China or get out from between them.

Are you really willing to start WW3 over Taiwan? Even if it didn't go nuclear Taiwan would be destroyed as a developed nation in the first few days of the war. I learned again in 2006 and 2008 that the American electorate has no stomach for a war of more than a few months, which means we simply don't have the will to take on China apart from them invading the U.S. or a major ally like Japan. What's the point in pretending otherwise?




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