RANGER AGAINST WAR: Dog Day Afternoon <

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dog Day Afternoon

And when you turn on the evening news 
Mass confusion is the only thing you see 
Well there's no question that we need a new direction 
Cause we all could use some peace and harmony 
--Love Will Save the Day
Whitney Houston

 You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together 
--Ya Gotta Be,

There is a choice. One may make a realistic threat assessment prior to taking a discretionary action (Like the Afghan and Iraqi Wars), or one may leap upon the braggadocio of an adversary who may be acting out of a feeling a threat and call it a legitimate casus belli.

The rational player should realize, if you have an insane adversary, to even reply is an insane act.

In the case of NoKo's Kim Jong-Un, a little sabre-rattling is most probably an adequate response. A display of force, like deploying an aircraft carrier group off of his shores, would allow Kim to save face. He may spin it to his people as he wishes. ("You see how important I am? Just look at their response!")

Instead of President George Bush's schoolyard bully reply ("Bring it on!") to Saddam Hussein, the President may instead choose to ignore the prod of inflammatory rhetoric, not chomping at the bit after every word. Like mothers used to advise when dealing with bullies, "Pay him no never-mind!", or "Like water off a duck's back". "Do not go down to his level." Bullies usually act from fear.

The President could act as a hostage negotiator with Kim. If we take his threat as viable, Mr. Kim is taking the NoKo people and the world hostage. It is important to note, the hostage negotiator cares as much for the dignity and survival of the hostage taker as he does for that of the hostages.

When dealing with various threats, politics is often hostage negotiation at an international level.

Bush disallowed Saddam his dignity; there was no way out for either man. In hostage negotiations one never corners the hostage taker. On an international level, especially when dealing with an autocrat -- and especially in the orient -- the leader should be allowed to save his respect. This all part of the game of realpolitik.

President Trump betrays his campaign platform of non-interference when he engages in tit-for-tat inflammatory rhetoric. He should be curtailed from his trash talk; following in the footsteps of GWB is not winning (as Charley Sheen might say.)

At the end of the day, Kim likes his Emmenthaler, American Basketball and Dennis Rodman. He should be satisfied with the opportunity to wallow in a bit of puffery.

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Anonymous David said...

Interesting thoughts Jim.

This isn't an angle I see brought up as much, but do you think there are any parallels here between Japan/Korea and NATO?

What I mean by that is that, putting aside what to do now about North Korean missiles, the only reason this long, simmering problem has even gone on and involved the rest of the world is because the U.S. has been "protecting" South Korea and Japan from North Korea since 1953.

I'm not sure exactly how protected the South and the Japanese feel at this moment, but surely the time has come that they could look to their own defense against a country that is now, by modern standards, very loud but also very small and feeble.

Yet for some reason America has been providing them a discount security blanket for many years now and, as a result, North Korea feels the need to develop its own weapons capable of striking the United States. Had the U.S. insisted South Korea and Japan take care of their own security, which they very well could have, I doubt there would even BE a North Korean ICBM program.

Friday, August 18, 2017 at 12:57:00 AM GMT-5  

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