This Is Probably A Good Idea And Should Be Done Quickly

On Sunday, One America News reported that the Pentagon is considering installing a THAAD system on the West Coast. This is the anti-missile system designed to shoot down incoming missiles.

The article explains:

This comes days after Pyongyang launched a missile it claims is capable of reaching the United States mainland.

South Korea installed the same system in September to protect the nation against possible missile launches from Pyongyang.

This makes sense as a temporary measure. However, it is not a long-term solution. The thing to remember in dealing with North Korea is that any perceived aggression from America will most likely result in a massive attack on South Korea by North Korea. It would be nice to avoid that. China is not really going to help in this situation–they fear being overrun with North Korean refugees. The only real pressure we can put on China is to threaten to arm Japan with nuclear weapons. That will provide a check on China’s quest for increasing power in Southeast Asia, and the threat of that might be enough to cause China to put pressure on North Korea to stop testing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is being reported that the mountain North Korea has been using for its testing has collapsed.

This is a complicated mess left for the Trump Administration by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. It may take a while to sort it all out. Hopefully, that can be done without waging war.

Leadership Matters

We have known for some time that North Korea is an awful place to live. It is a prison camp run by a heartless tyrant. Looking at a nighttime satellite photo of the Korean peninsula shows South Korea lit up and North Korea dark. That is a true picture of the total lack of nearly everything in North Korea. Recently a video was posted on the Internet showing a North Korean soldier escaping North Korea. He was shot five times as he fled to the safety of South Korea–but that is not the whole story.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line reported yesterday:

In treating the North Korean, doctors discovered that he was malnourished and had a severe parasitic infection they hadn’t seen before except in medical textbooks. The tapeworms they found in the man hadn’t been seen in South Korea since the 1970s. Uncooked corn was in the soldier’s stomach.

These discoveries shocked South Korean, given that the soldier came from an elite military unit. If the regime can’t feed its best soldiers, it is probably in more trouble than we have assumed.

Would a malnourished army fight for the regime against South Koreans? If so, how effective would it be?

Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un does not look as if he is starving. Even if the North Koreans wanted to rebel against their leadership, would they be physically able to do it?

 

Inappropriate Behavior

While the media is focusing on whether or not President Trump’s tweets are appropriate, they are ignoring some extremely inappropriate behavior by former President Obama.

The Federalist Papers posted an article today about the recent violation of the Logan Act by former President Obama.

The article reports:

President Moon Jae-in renewed his resolve to pursue sanctions and dialogue to tackle North Korea’s nuclear program during a meeting with former US President Barack Obama on Monday, saying now is the “last chance” for the regime to return to the negotiating table.

During the 40-minute talk, Moon shared the results of his recent summit with his incumbent US counterpart Donald Trump, asking for Obama’s advice on ways to advance the relationship.

The article then explains the problem:

This could be construed as a violation of the Logan Act as defined by Cornell Law School:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

However, the article includes a quote from The New York Times:

The Logan Act appears to be a so-called dead letter, meaning a law that remains technically on the books but is essentially defunct or toothless.

A study by the Congressional Research Service in 2015 said nobody has ever been prosecuted under the statute and identified only one instance of an indictment under the law: in 1803, the United States attorney in Kentucky obtained from a grand jury an indictment of a Kentucky farmer who had written an article in support of creating a separate nation in the territory west of the fledgling United States that would be an ally to France. But the prosecutor dropped the case. A recent draft scholarly paper posted online by a Federal Appeals Court law clerk identified a second apparent such indictment, involving the reported arrest in 1852 of a man who wrote a letter to the president of Mexico.

What President Obama did in meeting with the South Korean President was tacky, inconsiderate, breaking with tradition, and a further attempt by a now irrelevant politician to regain the spotlight.

Meanwhile the media is focused on Donald Trump’s tweets. Really?

The Logic Behind This Escapes Me

The BBC is reporting today that South Korea has halted the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles while the government examines the environmental impact of the missiles.

The article reports:

Four recently arrived launchers will not be deployed, an official said. Two already installed will stay in place.

Thaad aims to protect South Korea from the North’s missiles, and has been criticised at home and by China.

…Many South Koreans have objected to Thaad, believing it will become a target and endanger the lives of those who live near its launch sites.

China has also voiced opposition to the system, saying it affects the regional security balance.

Yes, the THAAD system does affect the regional security balance–it allows South Korea the possibility of defending itself against North Korea’s growing nuclear missile program. Yes, there is a danger of the launch sites becoming targets, but this is a defensive missile–not an offensive missile. The only reason to target its launch site is to take out the ability of South Korea to defend itself against nuclear attack.

Has anyone considered the environmental impact of a North Korean launched nuclear missile that South Korea has no defense against? This is just nuts.

The Importance Of Preventing A Nuclear Iran

The 47 Republican Senators who signed the open letter stating that the Senate needs to ratify any treaties that will be binding on the next administration are not the only people worried about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. On Wednesday The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea.

The article explains the consequences of Iran going nuclear:

That agreement, along with recent comments from Saudi officials and royals, is raising concerns on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies that a deal with Iran, rather than stanching the spread of nuclear technologies, risks fueling it.

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family, has publicly warned in recent months that Riyadh will seek to match the nuclear capabilities Iran is allowed to maintain as part of any final agreement reached with world powers. This could include the ability to enrich uranium and to harvest the weapons-grade plutonium discharged in a nuclear reactor’s spent fuel.

Several U.S. and Arab officials have voiced concerns about a possible nuclear-arms race erupting in the Middle East, spurred on by Saudi Arabia’s regional rivalry with Iran, which has been playing out in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen in recent months.

Essentially, if the Shiite Muslims have a bomb, the Sunni Muslims also want a bomb.

The article further reports:

A U.S. diplomatic cable from December 2007, published by WikiLeaks, quoted Pakistan officials saying it was “logical for the Saudis to step in as the physical ‘protector’ ” of Sunni countries in response to the threat posed by Iran, a Shiite-majority nation. Saudi Arabia, unlike Egypt, another Arab power, has the finances to develop a nuclear-weapons arsenal, the Pakistanis argue.

Evidently the Saudis have no more confidence in the Obama Administration’s ability to negotiate a treaty with Iran that will actually stop their nuclear program than the 47 Senators who signed the letter. I think the fact that the Saudis are pursuing an atomic bomb of their own tells us all we need to know about the treaty President Obama is negotiating.

What We Are Teaching American High School Students

The College Board, under the leadership of David Coleman, architect of the Common Core, is introducing a new AP History course and exam this month called Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum Framework (APUSH). The course has no resemblance at all to the history those of us over the age of forty learned in school.

A post at American Principles in Action explains some of the problems with the course:

Here is a sampling of what our nation’s brightest high-school students can expect:

  • A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
  • Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
  • A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.

I have a copy of the course standards for the course. One of the more interesting goals in the course is “Competency Goal 10: The emergence of the United States in World Affairs (1865-1930) The learner will analyze cause and effects of the United States emergence as an imperial power and world influence.” Now think about that for a minute. The entire course paints the United States as an imperial power. I would like to note at this point that if we are an imperial power, we are not very good at it. We did invade France during World War II. We took enough land to bury our dead. We did invade North Korea in the 1950’s. We set up a border for South Korea and left them to run their country. We did invade Japan during World War II. We kept some land for military bases, and promised to protect them since they were prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves. I love my country, but I have to say that as imperialists we have failed miserably. We didn’t even take the oil from Iraq!

There is nothing wrong with teaching our children to be patriotic. America is unique in the world, and in order to stay unique, we need educated leaders. This AP History course will create leaders who do not love their country and may not be willing to defend our way of life. This is another attempt by the political left to undermine the future of America by teaching future leaders inaccurate history. Like Common Core, this curriculum needs to be scrapped.

The Results Of Socialism

A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture is from the Independent Journal Review:

You Can See Socialism From Space…

The heading of the article with the picture is, “You Can See Socialism From Space….”

The article points out:

In newly released nighttime photos from NASA, the disastrous economics effects of socialism can be clearly seen. Causes: North Korea’s stifling government control yields power generation and per-person economic activity that is less than 10% of that in South Korea. Still think socialism is “good on paper”?

If we lived in a world of perfect people, socialism would work. Unfortunately, we live in a world of flawed people–all flawed in different ways. Socialism was tried by the early settlers of America. The Puritans instituted a form of socialism–they abolished private property and stated that all property would be held in common. Half the colonists died of starvation. At that point, private property rights were restored, and each man farmed his own land. As a result of the decision to restore private property rights, more food was produced, and fewer people faced starvation. Americans can learn from their own history as well as the history of other countries. Socialism is a wonderful utopian idea that does not work. It’s really that simple.

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What Kind Of People Are We Dealing With?

Reuters is now claiming that the story below is not true. It may or may not be, but it is worrisome that the world community’s opinion of Kim Jong Un is such that the story was believed.

Last week a Singapore Newspaper reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek, the No. 2 man in North Korea, by throwing him and his five top aides into a cage with 120 starving dogs. That is barbaric.

Aside from that, the execution is a problem for relations between North Korea and China.

The article reports:

First, China’s own security is at risk. The erratic and ruthless behaviour of Mr Kim Jong Un suggests that China should not underrate the likelihood of a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

The Internet version of the Global Times carried an article last Monday by Lieutenant-General Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of Nanjing Greater Military Region, saying that the recent incident showed North Korea had become increasingly provocative and was getting out of (Chinese) control. He urged a complete reassessment of security threats originating from that direction.

Second, China’s political and strategic influence on the Korean peninsula has been drastically reduced. China was widely considered to be able to rein in the unruly Kim regime, thus acting as a force for peace in the region. But it now appears China’s influence over its neighbour is close to zero.

China needs to learn an important lesson from this–when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas!

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The Real Cost Of The 2012 Election

On November 27, the Asian Times posted an article entitled, “Post-US world born in Phnom Penh.” The article reports something not widely reported in the American media:

President Barack Obama attended the summit to sell a US-based Trans-Pacific Partnership excluding China. He didn’t. The American led-partnership became a party to which no-one came.

Instead, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club and leave out the United States. As 3 billion Asians become prosperous, interest fades in the prospective contribution of 300 million Americans – especially when those Americans decline to take risks on new technologies. America’s great economic strength, namely its capacity to innovate, exists mainly in memory four years after the 2008 economic crisis.

The article includes a number of charts detailing the decline of American economic influence. The first chart explains what is happening:

Asian, European and US exports

It is hard to fathom just what President Obama had in mind when he arrived in Asia bearing a Trans-Pacific Partnership designed to keep China out. What does the United States have to offer Asians?

  • It is borrowing $600 billion a year from the rest of the world to finance a $1.2 trillion government debt, most prominently from Japan (China has been a net seller of Treasury securities during the past year).
  • It is a taker of capital rather than a provider of capital.
  • It is a major import market but rapidly diminishing in relative importance as intra-Asian trade expands far more rapidly than trade with the United States.
  • And America’s strength as an innovator and incubator of entrepreneurs has diminished drastically since the 2008 crisis, no thanks to the Obama administration, which imposed a steep task on start-up businesses in the form of its healthcare program. Washington might want to pivot towards Asia. At Phnom Penh, though, Asian leaders in effect invited Obama to pivot the full 360 degrees and go home.

The arrogance of the Obama Administration is part of the problem. After over-regulating small business, driving up the national debt, and increasing borrowing from China, what did President Obama think he had to offer? The results of President Obama’s Asian trip are proof that America’s influence in the world is waning (as charged by Governor Romney during the Presidential campaign). The question becomes, “Is this important; and if it is, what are we going to do about it?”

 

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The North Korean Missile Test Was Unsuccessful

Hot Air posted an article tonight about the North Koreans’ unsuccessful missile test. The article reported the basic facts, but had some interesting theories about why the test took place and an interesting idea as to how it was reported.

One source cited in the article wondered if the test after the agreement signed on February 29 was an indication of miscommunication between the political and military branches of the government.

I think the conclusion of the article is very interesting:

Update: Let’s say the NorKs had managed to launch this thing without a hitch and that it completed its 10-minute flight path before landing in the ocean. What incentive would leaders in the west (or the east, for that matter) have to report a successful long-range missile test by NK? All it would do is heighten panic over North Korea’s intentions, and the greater the panic, the greater the risk that South Korean or Japanese leaders would be forced into some sort of brinksmanship with Pyongyang that would end in a catastrophic war. The international consensus on NK has typically been to avoid poking the hornet’s nest for fear of what might fly out if you do. Confirming a successful test would, almost necessarily, require subsequent poking. That’s not to say western officials or anyone else are lying about tonight’s launch having gone bust, but I am curious as to why they’d report it accurately if they could keep it quiet and in so doing keep the public off their back while they plot a strategic response. In the interest of avoiding greater bloodshed, the world already looks the other way at the concentration camps run by the Kim family. If they’re willing to grudgingly tolerate something as filthy as that in the name of “peace,” why wouldn’t they fib about a missile test?

Is it time for a new conspiracy theory?

 

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What Happens Next In North Korea ?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is dead. This was reported by North Korean state television early today. The North Korean media is reporting that Kim Jong Il died on Saturday during a train ride. The youngest of his three sons, Kim Jong Eun, will succeed him.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

South Korean shares tumbled along with other Asian markets on concerns about potential instability in the region. South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 3.4% to a four-week low after initially dropping 4.4%. South Korea’s currency, the won, tumbled to over two-month lows against the dollar before recovering somewhat.

Kim Jong Eun is believed to be 27 or 28 years old. In September 2010, his father appointed him a four-star general in the North Korean military and to high-level posts in the ruling political party.

An article in the New York Daily News today suggests that the chances of a military coup in North Korea at this time are very small. The concern that seems to come up in most of the articles written today on the death of Kim Jong Il is the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons. The unknown fact is who has control of those weapons and whether or not this change in leadership will mean that North Korea will become an aggressor in that area of the world. 

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