The Lynx Bulletin

Number 177                                                                                                   

24 November, 2010

What To Do About North Korea?

Begin with a simple fact: literally nobody knows what to do about North Korea. Even the Chinese, who know everything, don’t know what to do about North Korea. It’s the perfect example of a nation run by a mad totalitarian dictator.

Yes, that alien in charge of the place is genuinely insane. His health may be bad, a speculation that has probably led the US to assume that things will naturally fall apart when he dies or is incapacitated, for his designated successor is assumed to be utterly incompetent. Given time, in other words, North Korea will collapse and be absorbed by the south.

That hopeful scenario overlooks the fact that South Korea may not agree. The burden of rescuing the north is not generally understood; in fact, it would cripple the south for decades, effectively destroying the economic power of that nation and threatening the very existence of its political elite. The north is far, far worse off than most people know: it is so retarded that it will take at least a full generation for it to achieve novice status in the community of nations.

So while the short term is very dangerous, the long term is both dangerous and grim. When (not if) North Korea gets nuclear weapons, there will be hell to pay. If that can be averted and the north collapses, there will be serious problems that could have utterly unforeseeable consequences.

Because nobody knows when the unfolding of an insane process will come to a climax and what that climax will be, North Korea is a virtual imponderable.

This newsletter believes there are only two options, and that both of them are bad. The first would involve the immediate nuclear bombing of several targets in the north, followed by a short and simply-worded threat to do it again if the North Korean military does not stand down. No invasion would be necessary. The second involves the tiresome and ineffective policy of wait-and-see.

If anything is certain, it is that the Obama administration absolutely cannot be depended on to execute either policy effectively.

That, more than the insanity that rules North Korea, is the real problem. If you are incapable of dealing intelligently with an emergency, the nature of that emergency hardly matters. Unfortunately Obama and Clinton have failed repeatedly — there is no area of foreign policy in which they have chosen wisely or managed to deliver a satisfactory result. Whether the policy relates to Israel, Europe, Central America, Afghanistan or any other region, the USA has reacted with stunning failures of imagination and principle — or outright unethical stupidity. The best examples of policy have been compromised by blunders that would not have been made by sixty of a group of one hundred people chosen at random from the Pittsburgh telephone book.

The job is too big for this administration. Recounting the debatable policies of the past five presidents is not a rational response to that criticism; the single significant fact is, the USA is not adequately governed today.

The present ruler of North Korea has proved once again how much harm can be done by bad governance. Now the Obama administration is demonstrating that a representative democracy ruled by an entitled elite is capable of blundering into disaster. (See the mention of Sarah Palin in the links below.)

All reasonable people regard the future with trepidation.



How did this information get out? Somebody in the Obama administration is not doing his job! Selected quotes: “‘It became a political decision that they didn’t want to risk having this big blowout,’ said Fischbeck, who wasn’t part of the commission. ‘You set up a logical reasonable process and in the heat of the moment all these factors creep in and it pulls you off what you had logically decided to do. And that is very dangerous when it happens.'” That’s damaging enough, but then there’s this: “…the oil industry in general and the government have not spent the money they promised to improve clean-up equipment and technique for oil spills, a second commission report said. Despite billions of dollars in profits, oil companies spend only a few million dollars a year on clean-up technology. The federal government in 2010 spent $7.4 million on oil spill research. In 1993, when adjusted for inflation, the federal government spent $20.3 million on the subject.” Mismanagement? A classic example.

The opinion polls continue….

You remember Paul Krugman. He’s a genius, a Nobel laureate, and so on. And he’s, er, flexible.

US diplomats and intelligence types score again. This belongs in the museum next to Hillary’s “Who painted it?” exhibit. Then there’s this little gem.

Explaining Sarah Palin: this columnist has part of the answer to the puzzle of why the Alaskan so enrages, horrifies and enchants. His insights are worth your time. Yes, there is more to it, but he’s got the basics down.

It’s nice to find admirable people like Greg Lukianoff are actually doing something to make life better for everybody.

Here’s a link for new subscriber RB. He’ll be interested in the philosophy and bigotry involved.

States’ rights were supposed to be a dead issue, weren’t they? Yes, because they inhibit the expansion of federal power. That has made them somewhat attractive to some folks. Oops. The result has been to sue to overturn non-constitutional federal deeds with lawsuits.

Dignity: a quality that can erode the hauteur of an elite. The full implications are staggering.

Stand your ground, for you have that right. Which is to say, villains give up the exercise of their rights when they attack, and victims may legally choose to resist rather than flee. That’s a simple concept that the US jurisprudential system unwisely abandonded. Some folks are trying to reinstate it.

You just knew this was coming.

“…people who claim that they are spiritual but not religious; they are a cross between Dale Carnegie and relaxation therapy, with just a hint of eastern spice, but not too much. In fact it is distinctly more Californian than Iranian: Islam-tinged psychobabble.” That irresistible quote is found in this irresistible piece.

Remember the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere? This time, the USA won’t go to war to stop it.

When is the last time you saw anything like this in the USA? Remember it when you shop for a computer, and ask your salesman to find you one that does not benefit from the Chinese version of quality assurance.

Insight into the “progressive” agenda: when incompetents cannot govern, they blame others — and then seek to arrogate all power. Thus do elites become dictatorial.

This newsletter has pointed out several times that they don’t believe in the freedom of the press, they believe in the licensing of the press. It’s true. So here it is again.

The entire concept of human rights is philosophically indefensible; getting into it means letting the ethics that underlie it escape. When you have a chance to see how the defenders of human rights are doing, by all means take it. It may just demonstrate how shaky the undertaking is.

“I voted for Obama because the United States needs a government, and that is something that John McCain and the Republicans were simply unable to provide at the time.” Ouch; then it gets down and dirty.

The staff of The Lynx Bulletin expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Debian GNU/Linux (yes, it’s back to the Old Reliable while the Bleeding Edge distro is in the shop for a valve job), Emacs and Iceweasel.


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