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General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: Fenring on March 12, 2018, 11:52:14 AM

Title: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on March 12, 2018, 11:52:14 AM
https://nypost.com/2018/03/12/kim-jong-un-might-want-trump-to-sign-a-peace-treaty/

In recent news, North Korea seems to finally be open to discussion of a possible peace treaty with the U.S. After many have been worried that Kim Jong-un was a "crazy person" intent on nuking the world, this news may come as a surprise for a few reasons. For those who thought that the nuclear program was itself merely a bargaining tool to give the U.S. an incentive to end the Korean War and recognize NK as a sovereign nation, this will come as no surprise at all. NK officials seem to claim that NK is now ready for peace, or for war, whichever the U.S. prefers, and that they will react negatively to provocation at this point. For my own part I believe that most of what's been going on for the last few years has been bluster for the purpose of building political capital for negotiation, but I can't quite be sure of that either.

What are your general thoughts about this? Would giving in to NK for a peace treaty compromise Asian security, since part of the deal might be U.S. withdrawal of troops from South Korea? Would China be very happy at this result, and is that a good thing? Or is there some chance for real peace here, and all NK ever really wanted was not to be invaded by the U.S.?

I've heard it argued that if NK disarms its nuclear program that would just be an invitation to invasion and be the next Libya, and that they'd do well to hang on to their supposed arsenal.

When I heard the news I actually felt hopeful, and I really do want to think there's potential for a peaceful diplomatic solution here. What do you suppose people would say about President Trump if he was able to successfully broker peace with NK? Would it even be possible that people would be able to bring themselves to praise him for it?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on March 12, 2018, 12:35:06 PM
NK is buying time, in my opinion. They've done this before, with multi-lateral talks and agreeing to demands that they reneg upon. I'd like to be proven wrong, and removing our military umbrella from South Korea and/or Japan would also have the effect of removing checks on Chinese expansion in the region. But I'd love to save the money that we spend on South Korean defense (some estimates are 750 million a year, there are other ways to count it higher). It also fits with my "take all our marbles and go home" foreign policy.

On the other hand, strange things happen. I never would have thought I'd see Germany peacefully reunited.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: D.W. on March 12, 2018, 03:58:14 PM
Been thinking on this as well.  Trump is likely to (probably should) get credit for breaking up log jams in all sorts of areas.  Still way too early to tell if those will break for the better or for the worse.  But let's say things with NK do turn out better.  Let's say that we get SOME movement on gun control.  Let's say that our immigration policies get some serious looking at during, or in response to Trump's policies/ranting.  Even if things get "worse" by many standards during his term, that he will be an engine of change, seems almost inevitable at this point.

I find the man dangerous and disgusting, but when the dust settles, and we wake up from this nightmare and he's gone... maybe we'll look back and decide that as awful as it was, maybe it was needed at the time. 

I suppose it should be no shock that when faced with a mirror image of his behavior overseas, he sees opportunity.  If they find a way where they both "win", anything is possible.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDeamon on March 12, 2018, 08:47:36 PM
https://nypost.com/2018/03/12/kim-jong-un-might-want-trump-to-sign-a-peace-treaty/

In recent news, North Korea seems to finally be open to discussion of a possible peace treaty with the U.S. After many have been worried that Kim Jong-un was a "crazy person" intent on nuking the world, this news may come as a surprise for a few reasons. For those who thought that the nuclear program was itself merely a bargaining tool to give the U.S. an incentive to end the Korean War and recognize NK as a sovereign nation, this will come as no surprise at all. NK officials seem to claim that NK is now ready for peace, or for war, whichever the U.S. prefers, and that they will react negatively to provocation at this point. For my own part I believe that most of what's been going on for the last few years has been bluster for the purpose of building political capital for negotiation, but I can't quite be sure of that either.

I don't really buy it. But I could be wrong, this almost be my Obama co-op of the X-files motto "I want to believe" back in 2008. Only I think alien abduction stories have more credibility all things considered in this particular case.

"Normalization of relations" between NK and the rest of the world is last thing the Kim family should rationally want, and by extension, much of their supporting organizations.

Unless they get offered one the all time largest "golden parachutes" ever seen or heard of, they're not giving up control of "Their Country" and normal relations with the rest of the world(which means open and regular travel, with little fear of the police-state killing them) is a very direct and immediate threat to that control. The moment they let that happen, the clock starts ticking on how long it'll be until they're on the receiving end of mass protests from "their own people."

So basically, not happening.

Likewise, China probably wouldn't be overly happy with that outcome either, as that would likely mean a unified Korea lead primarily by the present-day South Korean government. Which China probably likewise doesn't want on their national border.

Then again, China might be game for that, as having a contiguous land border with (South) Korea means the possibility of a much more robust trade relationship with them(And access to more/new sea ports--not to mention the development opportunities that exist in N Korea), and chances to bring them into their own sphere of influence. Particularly when faced up against the Chinese Army across their border rather than the joke that is the North Korean Army, even if they have an impressively large roster backed by very obsolete gear(that can still make people dead).
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Crunch on March 13, 2018, 09:09:36 AM
Quote
What do you suppose people would say about President Trump if he was able to successfully broker peace with NK?
If Trump *successfully* brokers some deal that defuses NK, he’ll go down as one of the best presidents in history. That’s a big if and I really don’t know what success would look like.  Denuclearization maybe? Reunification? Unlikely.

All I know is that the policy of the last 50 years hasn’t helped. Maybe it’s time to try something else.

Quote
Would it even be possible that people would be able to bring themselves to praise him for it?
Nevertrumpers will never recognize Trump for any successes. Never. If Trump cured cancer, there’d be protests vilifying him for taking away the right to die from cancer.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: DJQuag on March 13, 2018, 11:30:42 AM
I'm not comfortable giving a country running literal concentration camps the benefit of a peace treaty and normalized relations. We probably know 20 percent of what really goes on there, and even that is stomach turning.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on March 13, 2018, 11:39:44 AM
You mean like when Nixon and other Western leaders opened the door to communist China? Engagement is far more effective at helping members of such countries than isolation, in my opinion. As people are lifted out of poverty, allowed to travel internationally, and communicate with the rest of the world they are more likely to demand reforms from their governments.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: DJQuag on March 13, 2018, 12:41:01 PM
China was bad. So was the Soviet Union.

I don't think China was as bad as NK, and by the time the Soviet Union was accepted, normalized, and dissolved, the Stalin era purges and Holodomor were decades in the past.

You can go on Google Earth right now and look down on the NK concentration camps. There is no evidence of mass gas chambers...yet. But they're still hellholes.

If a deal with NK ends that, fine. If not, I'm not okay with it.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on March 13, 2018, 01:13:47 PM
The key to improving conditions with other nations is rarely successful when brought in by force. Look at Iraq and Libya to see how "democracy building" has gone. Really they were cheap excuses to execute private wars using public militaries. The best way to reform another country is to normalize relations, create economic ties, and use incentive-based motive to move the other country into closer line with your principles. Regardless of the particulars of NK, which may include concentration camps, everything is negotiable with a dictator who wants to benefit his position. Give him things that will benefit him and he'll agree to concessions. The people there would be far happier with this approach than with an invasion so that they can have the privilege of being the next Syria.

I think this is a crucial time for Trump to prove he has what it takes as a leader. Regardless of the many demerits he may have in temperament and decorum, if he can actually broker a successful deal it would go a long way to demonstrating that his "make a deal" platform is a real thing. On the other hand there is room here for a massive blunder, and so this is no free ride for him. We'll see what kind of result he can achieve here, not that it's 100% in his hands. There is also the truthfulness of the other side to contend with. That being said, believing the word of the opposition isn't always required in order to successfully negotiate. As long as you're giving them something really valuable they'll come out thinking it's a win for them even if they give up something marginally valuable to them. For instance, how much value can concentration camps really have for Jong-un? It's not like they would produce mass riches, even if they do frighten people into submission. Take away those in exchange for an American guarantee not to undermine the leadership structure there, and it may be a huge win for both sides. Of course there's always the difficulty of actually getting the CIA to comply with any agreement...or to continue their compliance into the next administration.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on March 13, 2018, 01:25:56 PM
Depends on what you mean by "normalize". I mean having diplomatic relations and recognition , which we definitely had with Soviet Russia during the Stalin years (from 1933 on)  while the Great Purge was 34-39.

I'm well aware of North Korea's abuses and a desire to end them, but I don't think they're going to change because of saber rattling and widely violated economic sanctions (which hurt the general population far worse than the disgusting leadership). Echoing Fenring, I think the Glasnost approach is how you tear down an oppressive government from the outside.

It also gets you much better opportunities to spy and cultivate assets when you have embassies and missions.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: JoshCrow on March 13, 2018, 01:26:07 PM
The best way to reform another country is to normalize relations, create economic ties, and use incentive-based motive to move the other country into closer line with your principles. Regardless of the particulars of NK, which may include concentration camps, everything is negotiable with a dictator who wants to benefit his position. Give him things that will benefit him and he'll agree to concessions.

Ahem.

Chamberlain's aeroplane landed at the Heston Aerodrome on 30 September 1938, and he spoke to the crowds there:

The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: " ... We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again."

Later that day he stood outside 10 Downing Street and again read from the document and concluded:

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on March 13, 2018, 01:34:35 PM
But sanctions wouldn't have worked on Hitler either. In fact, crippling post-war reparations from WWI helped give rise to Hitler in the first place. That's the result of an "isolate and punish" approach. Chamberlain's appeasement also came after Germany rearmed in violation of treaties and started invading places.

So if you're going to take the "what about Hitler" approach then I guess its time to let the bombing begin and relegate millions to destruction and starvation, and just keep our fingers crossed that China won't intervene like last time?


Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on March 13, 2018, 02:13:20 PM
Yes, this case is very different from Nazi Germany. In this case Kim Jong-un's chief concern is American invasion and the toppling of his regime, rather than the opposite scenario prior to WWII, which was the allies concerned about Hitler invading other countries. NK is not going to invade anybody, and certainly not with American forces right there. So that is a non-issue. There is no matter here of NK biding their time before striking. Now, JoshCrow, if your concern is specifically that removing American forces from SK would result in NK attacking, then that is another matter and speaks to something other than what it sounds like you're addressing. In other words, the terms of any agreement would have to prevent the possibility of this happening. And yes, that is a major concern. But the counterargument shouldn't "well then screw it, if it's this complicated then let's just forget about the possibility of peace." I do not believe in the inevitability of aggressive relations; I do think there are ways to fix things between powers with the will to do so. Most of the time when this type of agreement isn't made it's because both parties think they can do better aggressing against each other. I *hope* the U.S. doesn't feel this way about NK, and I likewise think that Kim Jong-un knows he can do better than he's doing now if we gets some concessions. I imagine that ending the threat of America ending his regime is the #1 priority for him above all others, especially since the CIA has been basically twitching at the idea of toppling the NK government for a long time.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on March 13, 2018, 02:44:09 PM
JoshCrow that's an interesting point, however, don't you think that's more appropriately a criticism of our approach to North Korea for decades? 

We've a let a problem fester and become far worse by avoiding conflict at every step along the way, to the point where we a let a locally dangerous leader facing strong and respected Presidents become an international nuclear power facing an untested and politically inexperienced President (that has a least a strong minority that believes he's incompetent).  The consequence of our avoiding conflict is Trump facing off with a N.K. armed with ICBMs.

Or are you projecting forward to deal that's say worse than Clinton's fuel for nuclear "pause"?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: JoshCrow on March 13, 2018, 02:47:39 PM
Fenring: I was objecting more to your generalities than to the NK context, specifically.

On the issue of Trump meeting Kim Jong Un... I'll take it. It's probably the best way to stave off a deadly conflict. I may wish we had a better representative, but as even Bill Maher put it on his show last week, these are two guys who might sort of understand each other in a weird, strongman sort of way. I see this as a positive development and preferable to simply waiting around. I am even willing to give Trump credit for pulling it off (assuming it actually materializes).

They used to say "only Nixon could go to China". If Obama were the one going, I can just imagine what people on the right would be saying right now. Instead, with Trump going, I feel like this could actually get support from more level-headed people on the left and produce some rare agreement across the aisle.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: JoshCrow on March 13, 2018, 02:52:45 PM
JoshCrow that's an interesting point, however, don't you think that's more appropriately a criticism of our approach to North Korea for decades? 

We've a let a problem fester and become far worse by avoiding conflict at every step along the way, to the point where we a let a locally dangerous leader facing strong and respected Presidents become an international nuclear power facing an untested and politically inexperienced President (that has a least a strong minority that believes he's incompetent).  The consequence of our avoiding conflict is Trump facing off with a N.K. armed with ICBMs.

Or are you projecting forward to deal that's say worse than Clinton's fuel for nuclear "pause"?

Well, you say we've let it "fester" (although I would argue that a policy of sanctions and Chamberlain-type "appeasement" are different), but NK seemed to have the position that they wanted to develop the nukes first before coming to the table (so they could deal from a position of strength, as they see it). The timing of this announcement could be interpreted as them saying "we've got actual leverage now, so we're ready to talk". I'm not sure whether you are saying we should have had stronger sanctions, or outright invaded them... but as I understand it NK weren't ready to come to the table without a weapon.
Out of curiosity, do you think Obama should have tried to hold this meeting? I remember candidate Obama saying he was open to it (and being attacked for it). Never happened, though.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on March 14, 2018, 04:08:23 PM
For anyone who has high hopes for these talks, just remember: Obama was in a better position for negotiations with Iran than Trump is with North Korea. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumps-position-on-iran-shows-how-much-harder-north-korea-will-be/)

And you only need to ask Trump how well that turned out.  :(
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on March 14, 2018, 04:26:41 PM
For anyone who has high hopes for these talks, just remember: Obama was in a better position for negotiations with Iran than Trump is with North Korea. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumps-position-on-iran-shows-how-much-harder-north-korea-will-be/)

And you only need to ask Trump how well that turned out.  :(

That's nice, except the content of the article is little more than an opinion. They say that Trump is in a worse position, for instance, because NK's nuclear program is more developed than Iran's was. But we could suggest just the opposite: by having a more advanced program it means they actually have something to bargain with and the agreement can end up being mutually beneficial rather than just NK just submitting to threats, which will always yield a half-hearted compliance.

They also say that Obama had better relations with the world, which was to his advantage. Was it? Shakespeare's Prince Hal would disagree. It would seem to me to be an advantage to be underestimated and have room to surprise people. It might also be good to be perceived as a regular dirty player, because that's something some people understand.

I'm not really arguing that Trump is some special diplomatic treasure, just that all this conjecture about his chances seem to be premature. Much more rides on America's actual willingness to compromise than on Trump's tea service etiquette. In the case of Iran the Obama admin was always crippled because it was de facto American foreign policy at the time that Iran was The Enemy, along with Syria, and the American allies were never going to be satisfied with good relations with Iran. So that was always going to be a no go. If anything NK has far better chances for a real rapprochement because I don't know offhand of any foreign interests (like for example the Saudis or Israel) that definitely want NK to remain at odds with America. Maybe there are some but I haven't heard about it so far.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Gaoics79 on March 14, 2018, 04:55:35 PM
For what it's worth, it's been my observation that "crazy" people frequently secure the best deals in a negotiation compared with rational ones.

I truly hope that some kind of deal can be reached. Unfortunately, it appears unlikely that any deal with lead to NK abandoning its nukes. The US is just going to have to live with that reality. They can live with it with a peace treaty or without one - and I'll concede I have no earthly clue which is the better option.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on March 14, 2018, 05:19:34 PM
Quote
If anything NK has far better chances for a real rapprochement because I don't know offhand of any foreign interests (like for example the Saudis or Israel) that definitely want NK to remain at odds with America.

Some have argued that China sees advantages with having a puppet state at odds with the U.S.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on March 14, 2018, 05:34:58 PM
Quote
If anything NK has far better chances for a real rapprochement because I don't know offhand of any foreign interests (like for example the Saudis or Israel) that definitely want NK to remain at odds with America.

Some have argued that China sees advantages with having a puppet state at odds with the U.S.

It's possible, but America isn't beholden to Chinese interests and that's the key. What I'm talking about are foreign interests to which America will bow down, like destroying Syria on behalf of the Saudis to keep the petro dollar cycle going.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDeamon on March 14, 2018, 08:36:23 PM
Quote
If anything NK has far better chances for a real rapprochement because I don't know offhand of any foreign interests (like for example the Saudis or Israel) that definitely want NK to remain at odds with America.

Some have argued that China sees advantages with having a puppet state at odds with the U.S.

They have seen advantages in having a "buffer" between themselves and United States & Allied Forces on their Korean border.

But it has also been strongly suggested that over the past many years, China has started to sour on it relationship with North Korea in general, and their general strategic vision at this may be finding North Korea's current existence to be a hindrance rather than an aid. The only "plus" they seem to get out of it at present is playing deal-maker with neighboring nations and North Korea, but with North Korea being as erratic as it is....

I think they're getting close to ready to let North Korea fall, and try to open up land-based trade and other agreements with a unified Korea. Although I also think they're "not a fan" of the idea of unified Korea with nukes either. Particularly when that Korea is more friendly to the United States than China.

Ultimately, I think the solution that ultimately comes into play will be about 10% North Korea, 80% China and South Korea, and the rest scattered between everyone else.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Crunch on March 28, 2018, 08:15:53 AM
One step closer  (https://www.dailywire.com/news/28755/breaking-china-makes-shocking-announcement-about-ryan-saavedra)to becoming the greatest president in a generation, perhaps in history.
Quote
On Wednesday, China said that it secured a commitment from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to denuclearize the Korean peninsula during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In return, Xi reportedly pledged to uphold China's close relationship with North Korea during Kim's visit to China which lasted from Sunday to Wednesday, Reuters reported.

“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim said, according to Xinhua.

As he should, Trump is getting the credit:
Quote
A new CNN poll released on Tuesday showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans approve of President Trump's plan to meet with Kim, as "The shift in tone between the White House and the North Korean regime seems to have eased Americans' fears about the threat North Korea poses to the US."

Pretty awesome
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on March 28, 2018, 09:24:59 AM
Have you seen their conditions?

Quote
The North's conditions include the removal of a US nuclear guarantee for South Korea, observers say.

Quote
What Mr Kim might want in return remains unclear. But both North Korea and China have long wanted US troops and weapons out of South Korea, and this is likely to be a key bargaining chip.

So we take all our marbles and go home, Kim gives up his nukes, and then invades with conventional forces?

It is interesting to see some developments, though, I guess we'll see how well Trump negotiates the conditions before we annoint him for a stunning foreign policy win.

article (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43564529)

You may also recall 2005, when North Korea committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and returning to NPT as the result of six party talks. Or in 94 when NK froze its weapons program after a deal brokered by Carter. 

NK has a history of dangling the idea of denuclearization out, getting a bunch of aid and other concessions, and then jumping back in to the program. Its like Lucy pulling the football away right when Charlie Brown is going to finally kick it. I also wonder how this will be verified. Are we really going to trust that Kim got rid of his nukes, or are we going to get into another Hans Blix type situation?

I'm all for progress, and I'll give credit to Trump on this if it pans out, but I won't hold my breath. I shudder to think what will happen if Trump gets played like virtually every other President since Ronald Reagan. He doesn't exactly tolerate even minor betrayals.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on April 27, 2018, 05:51:11 PM
Thought it made sense to bump this, in light of the historical events occurring in South Korea with its visit by the Rocket Man himself.  Not sure if this is all Trump, the Olympics certainly also opened a door, but in any event its a bit shocking that so much progress appears to be occurring under Trump.

On the other hand, I told my wife this morning that if Trump brokered a comprehensive middle east peace treaty, the CNN headlines the next day would read, "Trump acts to raise the price of America oil hurting the poor and minorities."
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Grant on April 27, 2018, 07:12:23 PM
The price for peace with LilKim is going to be propping up his Dynasty in perpetuity, abandoning nuclear deterrent forces in ROK, maybe pulling out conventional forces, all while the country is on the verge of collapse and NK becoming a playground for the four horsemen in the form of famine, sickness, coup, war, and death.  So we have a choice, as LilKim sees it.  We stand by a commitment to freedom from tyranny and let millions of Koreans and probably plenty of Americans die and also piss off China.  Or we can save them all by shipping them lots of food and money and support and leaving LilKim in charge. 

Honestly, he knows he's already won.  He set the whole thing up beautifully.  His mastery of 24th dimensional chess surpasses even the powers of Cheetoh Jeezus and Darth Puter. 
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: JoshCrow on April 27, 2018, 09:33:08 PM

On the other hand, I told my wife this morning that if Trump brokered a comprehensive middle east peace treaty, the CNN headlines the next day would read, "Trump acts to raise the price of America oil hurting the poor and minorities."

Just to screw with you, CNN's headline is now "Give Trump some credit for Korean thaw". They may be reading Ornery... *paranoia increasing...*

As for me... I'll give him credit if he does something here. His presence in the Oval Office is not, itself, enough to impress upon me that all other results follow.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on April 28, 2018, 04:14:33 AM

On the other hand, I told my wife this morning that if Trump brokered a comprehensive middle east peace treaty, the CNN headlines the next day would read, "Trump acts to raise the price of America oil hurting the poor and minorities."

Just to screw with you, CNN's headline is now "Give Trump some credit for Korean thaw". They may be reading Ornery... *paranoia increasing...*

As for me... I'll give him credit if he does something here. His presence in the Oval Office is not, itself, enough to impress upon me that all other results follow.

I wasn't sure about the details myself, but the South Korean President explicitly stated that Trump was to thank for making this possible:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/south-korean-president-credits-trump-with-bringing-north-korea-to-the-table/2018/01/10/ae0ee266-f606-11e7-91af-31ac729add94_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.8cc3bbe9543c

I had a deal of my own with my wife on Trump's potential peace talks. Despite all of the rubbish he's created I did tell her that if he accomplished one out of two between peace with NK or peace with Syria I would oblige myself to call him the best President in at least 20 years. If the peace is made and the cost isn't unacceptable (i.e. if it feels like a win) then I'll give Trump the benefit of the doubt and assume his foreign policy was responsible. I'm not exactly keen to praise him, but I'll have no choice if this really happens.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Mynnion on April 28, 2018, 07:55:35 AM
Hopeful but not convinced this is more than delay tactics.  Especially when you read reports that Kim's nuclear testing location collapsed.  We'll see what happens.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Grant on April 30, 2018, 02:01:17 PM
My Korean Peace Plan:

Offer LilKim $100 Billion from the US, ROK, and Japan, a Casino Resort in Fiji, an NBA team in Las Vegas, a spot on Ellen, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, and international tax exemption for life, if he retires and turns over the government of North Korea to the ROK. 

By the way, Democrats, I think this would work on Trump as well, but for the lower price of $10 billion.  Think about it.  You could give all that money to media and political operatives and roll the dice, or you could just bite the bullet and go for the sure win.  I'm sure there are some Republicans who might contribute.  I'll donate $200 right now.  Somebody start a GoFundMe. 

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 02, 2018, 12:09:47 PM
Regarding Trump, Grant, it's an interesting idea.  In the immortal words of Doctor Frankenstein (pronounced "Frank-n-STEEN, Frank-n-STEEN"): "It just--might--work!"  :)

But, of course, then we're stuck with President Pence...  :o ??? :P
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 15, 2018, 03:44:48 PM
North Korea threatens to cancel US meeting over American military drills with South Korea?

I don't want to see how Trump reacts if Kim cancels on him.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 15, 2018, 03:53:39 PM
What about when Trump discovers that "denuclearize" was a mistranslation from Korean? ;)
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 15, 2018, 04:04:58 PM
There have been a lot of very public moves towards a peace talk and I've been getting more optimistic about this. I'm still hesitant to "believe" it will happen but I want to. Because of these overtures by NK it would cause them some loss of face to do an about face all of a sudden, so I'm hoping they won't be given actual cause to do so and make it out like they weren't being taken seriously.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 16, 2018, 01:40:10 AM
If Trump pulls this off, with a better "deal" than Iran got (or even just as good as that "worst deal ever"), I'll give him credit.  He will have finally done something worthwhile that will help this world and our nation.  I will celebrate with everyone else and give him credit for pulling it off.

But it's still a longshot.  We've made deals with NK before, and they haven't turned out so well.  And with scraping the Iranian nuclear deal, he's set the bar even higher than before.  He's done just about everything he could to fail.  It will be a surprise if he actually succeeds despite his best efforts. :)
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: D.W. on May 16, 2018, 09:18:44 AM
Even on the outside chance that Trump could pull this off, it looks like elements in his government are already attempting to sabotage the efforts.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 16, 2018, 10:50:18 AM
Even on the outside chance that Trump could pull this off, it looks like elements in his government are already attempting to sabotage the efforts.

That is the problem. It's very hard to broker a peace when on the same team as people who would literally like to see NK a smoldering crater. Kim Jong-un's statement seemed pretty specifically targeted towards Bolton's statement that NK's disarmament would proceed just like it had with Libya. It's almost hard to parse that except by way of seeing it as a direct threat, with the double meaning of implying "First you'll do what we say, then we'll level your country anyhow. Loser." And there are powerful people who literally want that result.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on May 16, 2018, 01:57:12 PM
If Trump pulls this off, with a better "deal" than Iran got (or even just as good as that "worst deal ever"), I'll give him credit.

This concept that the deal has to be "better" than the Iran deal is odd to me.  I get why you and others find it appealing.  It's an easy parse.  But the fact is, N. Korea is not remotely the same as Iran on any basis.  A deal that stops N. Korea from developing Nukes and selling military tech pretty much ends 100% of the cross border threat from N. Korea.  The same deal doesn't end any of the current bad acts by Iran.

Iran is a regional power that is actively destablizing the region and directly supporting  terrorists and insurrections, who without Iran's support would largely be ineffective.  The deal entered into not only didn't constrain any of that it actively gave them extra capital to pursue it (plenty of sources show that Iran's military spending is up over 30% since the deal and it's funding of these bad acts has increased).  N. Korea, on the other hand, is known as the "hermit" kingdom for a reason, it's a satellite of a true regional and global power that is not, to my knowledge fomenting active insurrection or terrorism any where in the world, other than it's willingness to sell military tech to all comers.  If the N. Korean deal is just a deal for a deals sake it too will be a waste, if just ends their Nuclear program it'll have solved a much bigger part of the problem than the Iran deal.

Can you explain why you perceive these situations as so identical that your point would make logical sense?  Or is this literally a claim that because Trump thinks selling the Crown Jewels for $1000 is a bad deal, he's at fault for selling a used car for the "same deal" of a $1000?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: D.W. on May 16, 2018, 02:05:56 PM
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Can you explain why you perceive these situations as so identical that your point would make logical sense?
Can you explain why the same, or a better deal shouldn't be possible considering there is no need to try and slow/stop behavior Iran takes part in, when NK isn't doing so?

Your point that what makes the Iran deal "bad" is that it didn't address these things is not without merit.  I don't believe that was the point of the deal, but it COULD have been, so I suppose a "better" deal, would delve into it.

But all that's besides the point.  The same, deal, or a "better one" (since Trump loves to proclaim the Iran one was terrible) should be even easier to achieve with NK, for all the reasons you listed.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on May 16, 2018, 02:30:01 PM
D.W. my point on the Iran deal was that it gave up our leverage and was counterproductive to our goals because we are funding Iran to fund terrorism and destablizing activities.  Effectively we declared that measures that may or may not actually slow Iran's ambition to develop Nuclear weapons (but don't slow their ability to develop delivery systems), were worth trading out all leverage on their terroristic activities.

What more do we want from N.Korea?  Don't know if it will be "easier" to achieve.  But just getting them out of the Nuke business may solve  the majority of our problem with N. Korea.  And unlike with Iran, we have both S. Korea and China there to help bring them into the international fold.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 16, 2018, 03:04:12 PM
If Trump pulls this off, with a better "deal" than Iran got (or even just as good as that "worst deal ever"), I'll give him credit.

This concept that the deal has to be "better" than the Iran deal is odd to me.  I get why you and others find it appealing.  It's an easy parse.  But the fact is, N. Korea is not remotely the same as Iran on any basis.  A deal that stops N. Korea from developing Nukes and selling military tech pretty much ends 100% of the cross border threat from N. Korea.  The same deal doesn't end any of the current bad acts by Iran.

Iran is a regional power that is actively destablizing the region and directly supporting  terrorists and insurrections, who without Iran's support would largely be ineffective.  The deal entered into not only didn't constrain any of that it actively gave them extra capital to pursue it (plenty of sources show that Iran's military spending is up over 30% since the deal and it's funding of these bad acts has increased).  N. Korea, on the other hand, is known as the "hermit" kingdom for a reason, it's a satellite of a true regional and global power that is not, to my knowledge fomenting active insurrection or terrorism any where in the world, other than it's willingness to sell military tech to all comers.  If the N. Korean deal is just a deal for a deals sake it too will be a waste, if just ends their Nuclear program it'll have solved a much bigger part of the problem than the Iran deal.

Can you explain why you perceive these situations as so identical that your point would make logical sense?  Or is this literally a claim that because Trump thinks selling the Crown Jewels for $1000 is a bad deal, he's at fault for selling a used car for the "same deal" of a $1000?

The main reason I want to compare deals is that Trump characterized the Iranian deal as "the worst deal ever" or some such.  Terrible in many ways, and the only way to fix it was to break it.

The problem is that I'm pretty sure that he really doesn't have a good understanding of the deal, of exactly why it is a "bad" deal, and how to fix it.

So there is plenty of room there for Trump to make exactly the same mistakes as were made in the Iranian deal with North Korea, and then proclaim that it is "the best deal ever" or some such.

For instance, can you explain to me what we gained by breaking the Iranian deal?  That we can impose more sanctions now?  What about the sanctions we were currently imposing on Iran because of their terrorist activities?  Are the additional sanctions really worth giving them permission to start their nuclear weapons program again?  What was Trump's calculus on this?  Did he really believe that new sanctions would be more effective in preventing them from making a Bomb?  Or does he think that it is a worthwhile trade-off in order to hurt their terrorism program?

Trump says stuff and expects people to believe him, whether it is true or not.  If people dispute him, he calls it "fake news."  ::)  But here we have a standard to judge his achievement against (assuming he gets that far, which is looking less likely today).  An arms treaty that he had loudly proclaimed is "terrible."  So I think it is very worthwhile to compare what he thinks were the bad parts of that treaty with any treaty that we make with North Korea, as a measuring stick.

Maybe it's not a perfect comparison, but it is better than relying on his word.  ;)
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on May 16, 2018, 03:34:51 PM
For instance, can you explain to me what we gained by breaking the Iranian deal?

The ability to cut them off from sources of income that touch American dollars.  The ability to impose secondary sanctions that punish non-US companies that do business with Iran.

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That we can impose more sanctions now?  What about the sanctions we were currently imposing on Iran because of their terrorist activities?

We can reimpose sanctions, and the secondary sanctions regime, that was lifted.  Not the same thing or same consequence or same severity of consequence.

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Are the additional sanctions really worth giving them permission to start their nuclear weapons program again?

Isn't this expressly the question I asked?  Is "pausing" their development of a nuclear warhead, but not their ability to develop the technology to build and deliver it, worth giving them access to a continuing massive cash boost that is funding that research, terrorist activity and an increase in their military that threatens our regional allies?

And honestly, they were never "allowed" to develop nuclear weapons.  This is not "permission" to do so, thus imposition of the sanctions designed to cripple that goal.  Or were you under the mistaken impression that we've been approving of Iranian nuclear development for the last 4 decades of sanctions?

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What was Trump's calculus on this?

Presumably, that the deal wasn't actually achieving our strategic goals on Iran and that in fact it was counterproductive on all but one of those goals.  I wouldn't be surprised if he also expressly considered the fact that he would b carrying out a campaign promise and sticking it to Obama, pretty much the same way that Obama did to Bush on the pullout from Iraq.  Hopefully the consequence of this flip won't be the same as of Obama's and lead to the rise of another Isis.

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Did he really believe that new sanctions would be more effective in preventing them from making a Bomb?  Or does he think that it is a worthwhile trade-off in order to hurt their terrorism program?

I suspect he thinks the marginal gain or loss on the aspect of "making a bomb" is less than the massive boost to constraining their other activities.  Without hindsight it's really hard to say who is correct.

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Trump says stuff and expects people to believe him, whether it is true or not.  If people dispute him, he calls it "fake news."

Yes to the first sentence, no to the second.  The media has been over 90% unfavorable for no reason that isn't partisan.  Heck they criticized the administration for bringing home people from N. Korea - for no money - can you imagine how they'd reacted if Trump's admin had sent a pallet of cash to N. Korea for such a little gain?

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::)  But here we have a standard to judge his achievement against (assuming he gets that far, which is looking less likely today).  An arms treaty that he had loudly proclaimed is "terrible."  So I think it is very worthwhile to compare what he thinks were the bad parts of that treaty with any treaty that we make with North Korea, as a measuring stick.

Maybe it's not a perfect comparison, but it is better than relying on his word.  ;)

So we're back to the original question, and you didn't answer it.  Why is the situation similar enough that this is a meaningful measuring stick?

Do you really not have a reason or explanation?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 17, 2018, 02:52:09 PM
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So we're back to the original question, and you didn't answer it.  Why is the situation similar enough that this is a meaningful measuring stick?

What I would be comparing it to is the concessions Iran made to stop their nuclear program and to verify that they actually did. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33521655)  Specifically, Iran agreed to:

o Reduce their number of centrifuges from over 20,000 to "no more than 5,060 of the oldest and least efficient centrifuges."
o Reduce their uranium stockpile by 98% to 300kg, with the stockpile enrichment limited to 3.67% (which is useless for atomic bombs, but not for reactors).
o Limit nuclear research and development to Natanz, which is constantly monitored by video and subject to random inspections.
o Allow international inspectors to inspect any suspicious site in their country within 24 days.
o Continued ban of ballistic missile technology for up to 8 years, and an arms embargo for up to 5 years from the start of the agreement.

Any agreement with North Korea would entail some similar kind of verification agreement that they won't do further work on nuclear devices.  I am hard pressed to imagine a more robust agreement short of unconditional surrender. :)

In exchange, the Iranians were given back over $100 billion of their money that was held overseas, were allowed access to global financial systems for trade, and, of course, the ability to sell oil again, plus the lifting of some other sanctions, such as jet aircraft.

So these are the points of comparison that I am using.  I'm sure you agree that these particular points are applicable to North Korea, too.

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For instance, can you explain to me what we gained by breaking the Iranian deal?

The ability to cut them off from sources of income that touch American dollars.  The ability to impose secondary sanctions that punish non-US companies that do business with Iran.

This is where I'm a bit unclear.  Exactly what sanctions is Trump planning to unilaterally impose?

Because from what I can find out, the one major sanction that really hurt Iran was the one for oil.  They have made billions in sales of oil since the lifting of sanctions, and it seems to be their major export.

But so far, I have been unable to find how much oil we buy from Iran.  It seems that we don't buy any.  I have only found sales mainly to Europe, Japan, China and India.

So without the cooperation of other countries, I don't see what major source of American dollars we will be cutting them off from.

And while we can impose sanctions on foreign companies that do business with Iran, that would further strain our relations with our allies, perhaps triggering another trade dispute.

So from what I can see, we are trying to remove the impediments on Iran to develop a nuclear bomb for the ability to impose minor sanctions on Iran and sanctions on our allies to try to force them to cooperate with us.

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Hopefully the consequence of this flip won't be the same as of Obama's and lead to the rise of another Isis.

I very much doubt it.  More likely it will be a war among Middle-Eastern nations, possibly a nuclear one. :(
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Greg Davidson on May 18, 2018, 01:38:30 AM
The US had virtually no trade with Iran, so US sanctions alone had very little impact. What worked quite well was the extended diplomatic efforts by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry to align a coalition that included Iran's major trading partners to force them to make the concessions that they did.

That is why Republicans must have irrational hate for the Iran Deal, because it is a fundamental axiom that anything done by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry must be wrong. So you find that Republican opponents don't actually know what provisions were in the Iran Deal, they have no alternative explanation of what better approach could have been taken (at the end of the Bush Administration the right wing was focused on military actions, as if the Iraq War was not bad enough, they want to try another war against a country with three times the population and terrain less well suited to military invasion), and now that they have eliminated the Iran Deal because they hate Democrats they have no real argument why elimination of the deal makes us any safer.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Crunch on May 18, 2018, 07:38:07 AM
What worked quite well was the extended diplomatic efforts by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry to align a coalition that included Iran's major trading partners to force them to make the concessions that they did.

LMAO. Seriously, LMAO. Your disconnect has never been more starkly demonstrated than in that statement.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: DonaldD on May 18, 2018, 10:03:28 AM
With which part do you disagree, Crunch?
1) Were the diplomatic efforts in the area of the Iran concessions not extended, or do you consider them not diplomacy?
2) Did the coalition NOT include Iran's major trading partners?
3) Do you feel that the efforts made by Obama, Clinton and Kerry had little or no constructive effect on that coalition?
4) Did Iran not make concessions?
5) Do you feel that Iran was not forced to make those concessions, rather that they would have made them unilaterally without the intervention of its trading partners?

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on May 18, 2018, 11:01:27 AM
The US had virtually no trade with Iran, so US sanctions alone had very little impact.

This is so fundamentally wrong as to be funny.  Read up about secondary sanctions.  Iran didn't just lose access to direct US trade, they lost access to every person on the planet that wanted to trade in US dollars, through US dollar denominated transactions or with US persons.


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What worked quite well was the extended diplomatic efforts by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry to align a coalition that included Iran's major trading partners to force them to make the concessions that they did.

They weren't really Iran's "major trading partners" they were Iran's potential major trading partners.  Iran had limited and controlled trading rights under the prior sanctions regime.

In any event, it's literally a fact that the group you listed achieved the "concessions" in the deal.  For the low low cost of a billion dollars in hard currency and potential access to unlimited funds, releasing any constraints on military spending, terrorist support and fomenting unrest, we got the concession that Iran could continue their nuclear development for energy purposes on a limited basis rather than an unlimited basis (of course that ignores that prior to the "concession" technically it wasn't conceded that they even had that right).  Did they really give up Nukes?  No guaranty, that part of the plan was aspirational and based on the idea that Iran would become addicted to not being a pariah and sort of give it up long term voluntarily.

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That is why Republicans must have irrational hate for the Iran Deal, because it is a fundamental axiom that anything done by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry must be wrong.

Well I've walked through many of the actual reasons several times.  And I didn't deny your good faith agency like you seem intent to do here.  Maybe I should?  Okay?

Greg has no rational basis to support the Iran deal, he only likes it because to believe otherwise would mean his heroes Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry made a mistake and it's too late for him to internalize that such a thing is possible.

Is it really just impossible for you to comprehend that reasonable people can reach a different conclusion about the worth of this deal?  Heck you can go back and look, I've never even expressed an opinion about whether I think  that Trump was right to exit the deal.

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So you find that Republican opponents don't actually know what provisions were in the Iran Deal, they have no alternative explanation of what better approach could have been taken (at the end of the Bush Administration the right wing was focused on military actions, as if the Iraq War was not bad enough, they want to try another war against a country with three times the population and terrain less well suited to military invasion), and now that they have eliminated the Iran Deal because they hate Democrats they have no real argument why elimination of the deal makes us any safer.

Or you could refer to what I wrote that literally does explain why someone could rationally think that constraining Iran's access to resources generally makes us safer.

Honestly, I feel like this is debate where you negotiated with MS-13  to pardon their past offenses and not to prosecute them or deport them in the future  if they just stop burning people, leaving them free to rape pillage and kill by other means with impunity.  Too much given up for too little return.  it's too late to take back the pardons, but it wasn't too late to drop the no prosecution for future acts.  Do you honestly think this deal constrains Iran on all the ways they are a bad actor at a reasonable price?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 18, 2018, 11:06:50 AM
Secondary sanctions aren't looking so hot.

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The EU has begun reviving legislation that will allow European companies to continue doing business with Iran, despite US sanctions, officials say.

The so-called "blocking statute" was introduced in 1996 to circumvent US sanctions on Cuba but was never used.

An updated version of the measure should be in force before 6 August, when the first sanctions take effect.

It will prohibit European companies from complying with the penalties and permit compensation for affected firms.

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The Commission - the EU executive - said the European Parliament and member states could raise objections to the statute. But the measure could also be activated sooner if there was strong political support.

It also announced:

The start of the formal process of allowing the European Investment Bank to lend to EU projects in Iran

It would urge EU governments to explore "one-off" transfers to Iran's central bank to help authorities to receive their oil-related revenues

It would continue and strengthen the assistance to Iran with Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete travelling to Tehran this weekend
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on May 18, 2018, 11:14:16 AM
Agreed, the EU had a work around for Cuba as well.  That's one of the reasons that here the US exit may actually allow the best of both worlds as the EU's efforts will keep Iran in the deal, and the US will be free to pursue other containment goals.  The EU is very experienced in tweaking these kinds of regs when they need to to "support" or "hinder" the US in order to get compliance with Iran.

In any event, the actual reality is going to be far more nuanced than the Obama good Trump bad morality play that's going on here.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 18, 2018, 11:41:35 AM
This "peace talk" is going downhill in a hurry. Hard to parse at the moment what's happened. 
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Greg Davidson on May 21, 2018, 06:14:48 PM
Seriati, do you even know what the provisions of the Iran Deal were?  I suspect you don't know, that your opposition has been based on ignorance and other echoing of partisan media that also are based on ignorance.

Prove me wrong. Please, tell us your understanding of what Iran was required to do up front, what provisions were in place for 10, 15, 25, etc. years. If you literally don't know what you are talking about, that puts the value of your views in context.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 21, 2018, 07:14:02 PM
I can't speak for Seriati, but in general it is very easy for someone to know the provisions of the Iran Deal and still hate it. They express that it was bad because we unfroze lots of assets, they do lots of bad things against our interests outside of nuclear weapons, and that denuclearization wasn't a permanent forever stamp.

You can just look at Pompeo's fantasies to see what kind of deal many hardliners think we should get in exchange for not using our economic and military might to smash them to bits. They aren't happy unless they get something that looks more like the treaty of Versailles. In order to get something like that, you're going to have to utterly destroy a nation.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Greg Davidson on May 21, 2018, 10:12:52 PM
TheDrake, you speak in the abstract only. Do you know what is in the Iran Deal? Sounds like you also are ignorant of the specifics of what you are condemning.

My two questions: why should your voice be credible on a topic where you have ignorance of the primary topic? And don't you find it suspicious that the right wing anti-Iran Deal arguments all share the same fundamental ignorance of the actual specifics of the Iran Deal?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 22, 2018, 09:07:53 AM
I've read your posts, Greg, and a fair amount of other material.

Here are two references that I don't believe you bothered to provide.

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33521655)
State Dept (https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/iran/jcpoa/)

What exactly do you think it is that I'm missing? I mean, I'm not going to quote that the power of the Arak reactor can't exceed 20 MWth.

Wayward listed a bunch of specifics, all of which materially can be summarized as "preventing the pursuit of nuclear weapons for a limited period of time with verification"

Quote
o Reduce their number of centrifuges from over 20,000 to "no more than 5,060 of the oldest and least efficient centrifuges."
o Reduce their uranium stockpile by 98% to 300kg, with the stockpile enrichment limited to 3.67% (which is useless for atomic bombs, but not for reactors).
o Limit nuclear research and development to Natanz, which is constantly monitored by video and subject to random inspections.
o Allow international inspectors to inspect any suspicious site in their country within 24 days.
o Continued ban of ballistic missile technology for up to 8 years, and an arms embargo for up to 5 years from the start of the agreement.

I've not heard many argue any of these points. I don't even think it was a bad deal myself. Do you have some information that the deal did include a reduction of Iran's conventional military power, or did hold them accountable for funding and supplying terror groups, or any of the other concerns?

In defending his deal, the President made the following statement according to the NYT:

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“We are not measuring this deal by whether it is changing the regime inside of Iran,” said the president. “We’re not measuring this deal by whether we are solving every problem that can be traced back to Iran, whether we are eliminating all their nefarious activities around the globe. We are measuring this deal — and that was the original premise of this conversation, including by Prime Minister Netanyahu — Iran could not get a nuclear weapon. That was always the discussion. And what I’m going to be able to say, and I think we will be able to prove, is that this by a wide margin is the most definitive path by which Iran will not get a nuclear weapon, and we will be able to achieve that with the full cooperation of the world community and without having to engage in another war in the Middle East.”

So that's what the deal was designed for, and that's what it was doing successfully. All the right wing anti-Iran Deal arguments I've heard don't dispute that, they just say it sucks because it doesn't do all the other things.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 22, 2018, 09:27:12 AM
I'll tell you why a lot of politicians say it sucks. It's because they want Iran razed to the ground, and if Iran was abiding by the treaty then it essentially blocked that avenue of advance.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: rightleft22 on May 22, 2018, 12:35:36 PM
We create what we Fear and hate what we create.

“Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.” ― Fredrik Backman, Beartown

Beartown - pretty good read.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Greg Davidson on May 23, 2018, 10:42:55 AM
There was a disingenuous and incomprehensible argument on the right on the Iran Deal after it accomplished exactly what the Obama Administration said it was designed to accomplished. Because it was successful in its goals, the right wing had to argue that it was a failure because it did not accomplish things that were not its goals (or, in the case of President Trump, argue that it was a terrible deal without any deep understanding of what the actual deal was).

The incomprehensible part:

those on the right who see Iranian support for Shiite extremists as a problem so serious that getting nukes out of Iranian hands for a generation is negligible are the same people who don't seem to care that Sunni extremists (remember Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS?) get their support from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.  Are we breaking all diplomatic relationships with those Sunni states until they stop their support of Sunni extremists? Why is it valid for Iran but not for the Sunni countries?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 23, 2018, 11:23:07 AM
Whataboutism from a guy claiming we were ignorant about the terms of a deal...
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 23, 2018, 11:28:49 AM
Drake, whataboutism is best applied when someone is deflecting from their own bad argument by pointing out someone else's bad argument. In this case Greg is trying to build his case that those who wanted the Iran deal gone have acted in bad faith, and their hypocrisy on the matter would be directly pertinent to that argument. It's not *always* wrong to point out someone else's bad arguments in order to back up your good ones. It's just wrong when you're doing it to avoid backing up your actual point.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 23, 2018, 12:50:10 PM
" who don't seem to care that Sunni extremists (remember Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS?) get their support from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.  "

To me, that's whataboutism. Okay, you want this tough deal on Iran, but what about Saudi Arabia?

What we do about SA has nothing to do with what we do about Iran, or whether it was sufficient.

Greg's point was "you don't know what's in the deal". I refuted that, and then I felt it was a big gear change. It wasn't "oh, I guess you do know what's in the deal" or "no, you still don't, here's why"
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 23, 2018, 01:41:27 PM
Greg's point was "you don't know what's in the deal". I refuted that, and then I felt it was a big gear change. It wasn't "oh, I guess you do know what's in the deal" or "no, you still don't, here's why"

To be fair, his main point seems to be that the politicians saying the deal is bad don't know what's in the deal. By corollary he supposed that many people who oppose it likewise don't know. The fact that you may actually know what's in it doesn't particularly disturb that argument, although it does mean that he may be making unwarranted assumptions about posters here.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 23, 2018, 01:49:52 PM
Greg said:

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TheDrake, you speak in the abstract only. Do you know what is in the Iran Deal? Sounds like you also are ignorant of the specifics of what you are condemning.

Fenring, that was a direct callout - not "many people", not "politicians" - but specifically "me". While also at the same time misrepresenting me as condemning the deal when I have done nothing of the sort.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: D.W. on May 23, 2018, 01:51:33 PM
Camp A:  stop their nuclear weapons program, continue diplomatic outreach because we are not ready to topple the regime and that's the only way to stop ALL the crap they're up to quickly.
Camp B:  Topple the regime!  Their government can't have a weapon's program if they have no government.  This must be resolved quickly!

The deal can at the same time be effective, an impressive diplomatic achievement, and the worst possible outcome and a terrible deal, all at the same time.  Just depends on your views/goals.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 23, 2018, 01:58:58 PM
Fenring, that was a direct callout - not "many people", not "politicians" - but specifically "me". While also at the same time misrepresenting me as condemning the deal when I have done nothing of the sort.

Agreed, but I guess I saw it as being peripheral to his main argument, which is what I was trying to focus on. I can see how a personal callout would feel more 'immediately serious' to address if you're the target of it.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 23, 2018, 02:00:42 PM
Camp A:  stop their nuclear weapons program, continue diplomatic outreach because we are not ready to topple the regime and that's the only way to stop ALL the crap they're up to quickly.
Camp B:  Topple the regime!  Their government can't have a weapon's program if they have no government.  This must be resolved quickly!

The deal can at the same time be effective, an impressive diplomatic achievement, and the worst possible outcome and a terrible deal, all at the same time.  Just depends on your views/goals.

This is a reasonable position to take if you accept Camp B at face value - meaning you believe their actual concern is about a weapons program. What if it isn't and the alleged danger of that program is an Iraq 2.0-style smokescreen? Then it ceases to be about point of view and instead becomes about "what do you guys actually want?"
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 23, 2018, 02:04:27 PM
They want the Libya model, just like Bolton said. Except with Trump gloating instead of Hillary.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: D.W. on May 23, 2018, 02:04:34 PM
I don't think it IS about the weapons program.  They've proven that in a way by scrapping the deal.  They want the regime gone.  THAT is the goal.  This also stops the weapons program as a free bonus...

No smoke screen necessary.  No deception necessary.  Sure, some of them pay lip service to the, "they're obviously cheating" trope, but most are pretty open about their goal. 

People of Iran, rise up, risk reprisals of your government, because as soon as we believe it's not political suicide to do so, we're coming, and it will be oh so much worse. 
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 23, 2018, 02:08:05 PM
Quote
People of Iran, rise up, risk reprisals of your government, because as soon as we believe it's not political suicide to do so, we're coming, and it will be oh so much worse.

The Kurdish model then. :P
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 23, 2018, 02:11:19 PM
They want the Libya model, just like Bolton said. Except with Trump gloating instead of Hillary.

Yes, but WHY?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 23, 2018, 02:22:27 PM
They want the Libya model, just like Bolton said. Except with Trump gloating instead of Hillary.

Yes, but WHY?

Glory of the American Empire, death to fundamentalist Muslims, death to regular Muslims, reduced support to حزب الله, pro-Western democracy/dictatorship/monarchy, base for operations in Afghanistan, hedge against Chinese expansion, control of ports in the Gulf and Caspian, Xerxes cosplay....
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 23, 2018, 04:48:37 PM
And don't forget...oil. ;)
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 23, 2018, 09:46:21 PM
So what do you think would happen if the fake reasons were dispensed with and the real reasons were proposed as overt policy?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Greg Davidson on May 24, 2018, 12:41:59 AM
TheDrake, even your summary article was incomplete.  I'd like a critic to actually be able to argue the specifics of the provisions and their duration. If you have a depth of understanding of the specifics, not only can you recognize the number of specific bogus claims that opponents have made about the Iran Deal, but you should wind up with an understanding that it is one of the strongest nonproliferation regimes ever implemented (and far more stringent than any of the right wing critics believed was possible before the deal was struck).

And, because of the instinctive opposition to anything that Democrats do, suddenly a diplomatic accomplishment on nonproliferation that went far beyond the expectations of anyone in the Republican Party must be opposed, because it does not achieve even more. I bring up the example of Sunni support for extremism because I believe that demonstrates that those post-agreement arguments by Republicans are not based on a genuine concern about support for extremism, but rather as an excuse to oppose something that a Democrat has accomplished. 
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Grant on May 24, 2018, 10:56:22 AM
So much for that horse manure!  LOL!  No Nobel Prize for the Cheetoh. 
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 24, 2018, 11:31:13 AM
The arguments have never been that it should have included one more line item of exclusion to add to reactor changes, inspections, ballistic missile production, etc. Nor has it been "10 years is too short, it should have been more like 15 years" Arguing specifics doesn't lead anywhere. You ascribe that to proof that all the arguments are politicized in nature, okay, that's certainly possible. But it is also possible to hold the view that any limits make it a bad deal and that to make it a better deal one would have to amend every sunset clause to say "forever".

As for pure partisanship, there were a number of Democrats who joined Republicans in criticism of the deal at the time - some using the same language that you are objecting.

no deal democrats (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/09/09/us/politics/lawmakers-against-iran-nuclear-deal.html)

Quote
Schumer came out against the deal about a month before the Senate voted on the measure. In a statement, he said he would vote against the deal for three reasons:

• The U.S. could not unilaterally demand inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites at any time.

• Iran would have more resources to develop nuclear weapons after a decade of lighter sanctions, Schumer argued. As we’ve rated before, Iran was not free to build nuclear weapons after a decade.

• Iran would also have more money to expand its influence in the region. The U.S. State Department has labeled the country a state sponsor of terrorism.

This article digs more into specific claims about centrifuges, uranium, etc etc

article examining limited duration clauses (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/05/08/trumps-claim-that-iran-could-build-nuclear-weapons-in-seven-years/?utm_term=.42e620fa9193)

Quote
David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a skeptic of the Iran deal, and Andrea Stricker, a senior policy analyst at that institute, wrote in an op-ed in January that the nuclear accord potentially opens the door to Iran achieving “breakout capability” for a nuclear bomb in about a decade.

“Left unchecked, in about a decade Iran will be closer to producing enough nuclear fuel for a bomb — a ‘breakout capability’ — than it was before the agreement was finalized in 2015,” they wrote. “The Europeans recognize the danger of allowing the sunset clauses to stand, yet they haven’t offered any serious solutions. They are, however, rebuilding business with the Islamic Republic. Although the nuclear deal placed restrictions on Tehran’s gas centrifuge uranium-enrichment program, the regime will be allowed in just six years to ramp up the centrifuge manufacturing process essential for the production of thousands of advanced centrifuges.”

Albright is a long term scholar studying the precursors to nuclear weapons, who has worked with the IAEA for decades. But I guess maybe he doesn't really know the terms of the deal either, eh?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on May 24, 2018, 01:18:03 PM
So, TheDrake, which of these objections were mitigated by Trump unilaterally pulling out of the Iranian Deal?  ???

We won't magically have the ability to unilaterally inspect Iranian reactors now.

We have released their assets already, so they won't be getting any fewer of their assets from us now. 

If other nations continue to trade with Iran (especially buy their oil), I don't see how much our unilateral embargo will do to limit their income for state-sponsored terrorism. 

And while it is disturbing to think how they will be able to resume their progress for making a bomb in as little as six years, Trump has given them permission to start right now instead (if they are willing to defy the other countries in the agreement, too).

So how exactly are we benefiting from breaking this deal, rather than having had used it as a bargaining chip in negotiating a better deal?  ???

It's fine to say that it was a bad deal.  But if walking away from it now leaves us in a worse position, I don't see how it being initially a bad deal justifies it.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 24, 2018, 01:33:24 PM
The only way it becomes a "better deal" now is military engagement, which I think is the plan. They'll have to demonstrate sanctions falling apart, blame it on Europe, China, India - and then it is game on.

There's a reason why Schumer hated the deal yet didn't want it dismantled.

What's been done here is like tearing up a mortgage contract and refinancing after the interest rates have increased.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: DonaldD on May 24, 2018, 04:04:24 PM
More likely Europe, Russia and China will try to negotiate to keep Iran in the deal and not actively working on nuclear weapons.  If successful, then Trump gets a win (pyrrhic, purely political) at no apparent cost, even without increased military engagement on the US side.

If Europe et al manage to wrangle Iran into continued compliance, any US political cover of a military engagement disappears internationally.  I don't see Trump managing to manufacture domestic support for military intervention, either: half the country will oppose him on principle, and a large portion of his base voted for him because he promised to disengage internationally.  Sure, they tend to change their minds at the whim of his tweets, but not enough to stomach seeing body bags returning to the US in a protracted war.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on May 24, 2018, 04:53:44 PM
I don't see Trump managing to manufacture domestic support for military intervention, either: half the country will oppose him on principle, and a large portion of his base voted for him because he promised to disengage internationally.  Sure, they tend to change their minds at the whim of his tweets, but not enough to stomach seeing body bags returning to the US in a protracted war.

It wouldn't go down like that. False flag would be the obvious choice for entry into hostilities.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on May 24, 2018, 05:06:52 PM
That's why I think a limited engagement - volley of cruise missiles anyone? Way more likely and you don't need any real support, it is over before anyone can complain.

The only other reason we don't wind up reverting to the state of affairs prior to the deal is if enough countries trade with Iran to give them incentive - but that would require Trump giving the okay when he's stated we will sanction secondary countries who don't jump back on board with the previous sanction program.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: DonaldD on May 24, 2018, 05:36:43 PM
Quote
It wouldn't go down like that. False flag would be the obvious choice for entry into hostilities.
Probably, but that wouldn't be sufficient even so - the USA is more politically fractured than ever, and the current denizen of the oval office has become so distrusted by a majority of the country that it is unclear whether any false flag operation would be believable.  I mean, sure, if he could somehow blow up another WTC and pin it on Iran, then maybe: but this administration can barely tie its own shoes, and the secrecy and effectiveness required is simply beyond its capabilities.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on June 04, 2018, 04:12:12 PM
Seriati, do you even know what the provisions of the Iran Deal were?  I suspect you don't know, that your opposition has been based on ignorance and other echoing of partisan media that also are based on ignorance.

Prove me wrong. Please, tell us your understanding of what Iran was required to do up front, what provisions were in place for 10, 15, 25, etc. years. If you literally don't know what you are talking about, that puts the value of your views in context.

Greg, I have read  the joint plan more than once, and read the state department's announcement when it came out.  That doesn't explain to me, why reciting those points, which any rationale person could easily google and list out, is relevant.  Honestly, I explained to you exactly what the issue was, too much given up for too little return.  Not for zero return, not for nothing, for too little.

There are little bizarre things included in there that don't get talked about a bunch, like the the way Iran gets to replace and upgrade their centrifuges under the plan (and they can develop better ones over time, if I recall correctly), or how they don't have to destroy any of them (they all go into monitored storage).  And there is whole reams of diplomatic speech that it is designed to mean little or to demonstrate "success."  As an example a lot of what Iran promises in the sections you like to site is highly specific and layered into strings of promises, not because it couldn't have been more directly restricted, but rather (at least it appears to me) to add bulk and to "prove" that we got a lot of concessions.

Do you think giving Iran a massive amount of cash and access to freer global markets without constraining their military spending or limiting their ability to funding terrorism was really a good idea?  Like I said  before, some accounts indicate a 30% boost in military spending.  If the US did that you'd be on here raising heck, yet the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism does it with money handing to them by President Obama and it's nothing but a great deal that only mean spirited Republicans could criticize?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on June 05, 2018, 09:26:50 AM
Quote
The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, told reporters on Tuesday that preparations were under way to build new centrifuges.

"If we were progressing normally, it would have taken six or seven years, but this will now be ready in the coming weeks and months," he said.

I guess its about time for a ship to sink. #Maine #GulfOfTonkin

Sweet deal.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on June 27, 2018, 07:38:26 PM
All systems go (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/27/north-korea-nuclear-reactor-upgrades-summit-pledges) but on a potential solid deal or on building more nukes?

Quote
The cooling system for the plutonium production reactor has been modified and at least two new non-industrial buildings have been built on the site, possibly for use by visiting officials. A new engineering office building has been completed and construction has continued on support facilities throughout the complex, according to a blog post written by Frank V Pabian, Joseph S Bermudez Jr and Jack Liu.

No smoking gun, though.

Quote
“Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,” the experts warned. “The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: yossarian22c on June 28, 2018, 09:49:14 PM
Trump didn't even bother to talk to the pentagon or South Korea before cancelling the joint exercises. Is Trump trying to alienate all our allies and become buddies with dictators or is he just that incompetent.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/world/asia/trump-military-exercises-north-south-korea.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/world/asia/trump-military-exercises-north-south-korea.html)
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on June 28, 2018, 11:00:08 PM
On the positive side, NK cancelled their annual "anti-USA" rally this year, in keeping with the spirit of the U.S. cancelling the military exercises. So we can be cynical or pessimistic if we like, but so far things seem to be going apace towards peace. This is one of the few news items in recent history where I'm legitimately keeping my fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: velcro on July 01, 2018, 06:47:44 PM
First:

Quote
Effectively we declared that measures that may or may not actually slow Iran's ambition to develop Nuclear weapons (but don't slow their ability to develop delivery systems), were worth trading out all leverage on their terroristic activities.

As proven elsewhere on this site, to you, this is completely false.  We have several sanctions in place regarding Iran's terrorist activities (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS20871.pdf).

Quote
N. Korea, on the other hand, is known as the "hermit" kingdom for a reason, it's a satellite of a true regional and global power that is not, to my knowledge fomenting active insurrection or terrorism any where in the world, other than it's willingness to sell military tech to all comers.

Which is why Trump put them on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Quote
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

So if the deal does not address this, then it is not as good as the Iran deal.  On another axis, North Korean's human rights violations are among the worst in the world, and Iran is nowhere near as bad.  To be "as good" as the Iran deal, a North Korea deal should address that more strongly than the Iran deal.  Neither human rights nor terrorism were even mentioned in the agreement with North Korea.

But back to the OP:
Quote
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that "there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."

Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don't see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They see a regime positioning itself to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration — while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival.

link (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/north-korea-has-increased-nuclear-production-secret-sites-say-u-n887926)

Is anyone really surprised?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Greg Davidson on July 01, 2018, 08:17:12 PM
Let's do a midterm report card on the Trump Administration's nonproliferation policy. Seeing as the Republicans led the country to a war in Iraq over the (falsified) threat of nuclear weapons, nonproliferation would seem to be a pretty important issue. Worth thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The results so far of the Trump Administration so far look like a failing grade:

The Trump Administration has pulled the Iran Deal (which reduces constraints on Iran and gives the US nothing in return)

The US also has given North Korea the unprecedented prestige of a bilateral meeting with the US President and a US pledge to halt war games with South Korea. And in return, North Korea has yielded nothing.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/30/north-korea-believed-to-be-deceiving-us-increasing-nuclear-production-report.html (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/30/north-korea-believed-to-be-deceiving-us-increasing-nuclear-production-report.html)


PS: all of you who asserted that you knew what was in the Iran deal, why didn't you identify any of the provisions that lasted more than 10 years?
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Wayward Son on July 02, 2018, 11:16:33 AM
As expected, according to U.S. Intelligence officials, North Korea is already "considering ways to conceal the number of weapons it has and secret production facilities." (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-working-to-conceal-key-aspects-of-its-nuclear-program-us-officials-say/2018/06/30/deba64fa-7c82-11e8-93cc-6d3beccdd7a3_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3a4baf054c45)  IOW, only pretend to cooperate.

That didn't take long.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on July 02, 2018, 11:57:32 AM
Quote
PS: all of you who asserted that you knew what was in the Iran deal, why didn't you identify any of the provisions that lasted more than 10 years?

Because, Greg, all the interesting sunsets are much earlier.

deal. (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2015/07/21/a-comprehensive-timeline-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal/)

10 years is the focus because that's when R&D on enrichment can go forward. In 8 years ballistic missiles can go ahead. In 5 years, conventional arms sanctions are lifted. What do we actually have beyond the 10 year timeline? Some monitoring and some restraint on enrichment.

Mind you, I was a supporter of the deal. But the fixation on the late provisions is distracting.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on July 02, 2018, 01:54:53 PM
Let's do a midterm report card on the Trump Administration's nonproliferation policy.

Sure.  How many countries have new Nuclear weapons, or have made substantial changes towards obtaining them?

How many have done the opposite?

Or did you want to just look at this completely subjectively from the position of already having predetermined an outcome?

Quote
Seeing as the Republicans led the country to a war in Iraq over the (falsified) threat of nuclear weapons, nonproliferation would seem to be a pretty important issue.

The dastardly "Republicans" voted by a filibuster proof majority in the Senate that was majority controlled by the Democrats.  Wait, what?  How'd those Republicans manage to clear 70+ votes when they had less than 50?

Hmm... something weird going on here, sure you're looking in a history book that says what actually happened, and not one that projects leftist delusion back into the past?

Quote
The Trump Administration has pulled the Iran Deal (which reduces constraints on Iran and gives the US nothing in return)

Still not sure if it was a good idea or not, but that's pretty false summation.  You've still never actually responded to the points that I've raised multiple times on this, or why people could have and still could think not being in this deal is better all around, including for nuclear deterrence reasons.

Quote
The US also has given North Korea the unprecedented prestige of a bilateral meeting with the US President and a US pledge to halt war games with South Korea. And in return, North Korea has yielded nothing.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/30/north-korea-believed-to-be-deceiving-us-increasing-nuclear-production-report.html (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/30/north-korea-believed-to-be-deceiving-us-increasing-nuclear-production-report.html)

Lol. It's still early in the process.  You'd reserve judgement on a failed Obama policy for decades until an intervening act of someone else generates a statistical bump you can claim was caused by Obaman, but you expect North Korea to have "surrendered" in a matter of weeks?   Double lol.

What we have done so far with respect to cancelling war games costs us literally nothing.  Most our President's have been unwilling to take that step because it would make them appear weak, not a problem for this one (much likely Clinton (the first one) could engage in welfare reform where others dared not tread).    There's no guaranty on getting a peace treaty or a good result, we're still dealing with Kim after all.

You do  have a point on the face to face.  That's literally a change from deliberate past policy on our part, that gives Kim a pr victory (of course, you completely ignore that this would be a reasonable bargain if it got a result, and that you - and I mean you specifically - applauded Obama's "reset" policy with the governments of the world, including the bad ones).  How are you not being a hypocrite here, or in your evaluation?

Quote
PS: all of you who asserted that you knew what was in the Iran deal, why didn't you identify any of the provisions that lasted more than 10 years?

Why would I?  If you want to make a point about a provision feel free. I don't believe Iran ever had any intention to honor the deal.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: velcro on July 02, 2018, 09:58:26 PM
Quote
You'd reserve judgement on a failed Obama policy for decades until an intervening act of someone else generates a statistical bump you can claim was caused by Obaman, but you expect North Korea to have "surrendered" in a matter of weeks?   

Not aimed at me, but I will jump in. 

You have no real idea of what anyone here would do in that situation.  You have no basis to claim you do.  You think you do, but you are just telling yourself stories to support your worldview.  And nobody, anywhere, expected North Korea to have surrendered in a matter of weeks. 

Quote
I don't believe Iran ever had any intention to honor the deal.

Lol. It's still early in the process. Oh wait, it was several years, and with very minor exceptions, they actually did honor the deal.  But don't let the facts influence you, believe what you like.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: DonaldD on July 02, 2018, 10:33:19 PM
Velcro, you don't get it - Iran did not honour the deal that Republicans would have supported, one presumably involving regime change, unconditional surrender, loss of sovereignty over their oil fields and a century of military occupation. Maybe they did honour the deal signed by all parties involved at the time, but that deal sucked rocks, so it doesn't count.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on July 03, 2018, 10:26:01 AM
Oh you guys!  Iran has increased military spending by 30%, has increased its support of terrorist and insurgent activities, retains all of their centrifuges (and can continue researching new ones and can even replace their old ones over time) and nuclear education efforts, but I'm the irrational one for considering that one of the world's foremost fomenters of global unrest is going to reform because they said they would in exchange for one of the biggest political bribes in the history of the world.

You guys are literally a broken record.  You haven't addressed any of the sensible concerns with the deal, because, in my view they don't matter to you, it only matters which team approved of them.  It's not a crime against your party to realize it was not a good deal.

It's not a crime against mine to wonder if it's really better to have exited it, even understanding the reasons.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: velcro on July 03, 2018, 05:05:16 PM
Oh you guys!  Iran has increased military spending by 30%, has increased its support of terrorist and insurgent activities, retains all of their centrifuges (and can continue researching new ones and can even replace their old ones over time) and nuclear education efforts, but I'm the irrational one for considering that one of the world's foremost fomenters of global unrest is going to reform because they said they would in exchange for one of the biggest political bribes in the history of the world.

You guys are literally a broken record.  You haven't addressed any of the sensible concerns with the deal, because, in my view they don't matter to you, it only matters which team approved of them.  It's not a crime against your party to realize it was not a good deal.

It's not a crime against mine to wonder if it's really better to have exited it, even understanding the reasons.


You said "I don't believe Iran ever had any intention to honor the deal."
Iran was honoring the deal.

All your points are distraction from this truth.  You are really good at this, you know?

We all agree it was not a perfect deal.

Remind me - what could have made it better, and had any realistic chance of being agreed to by all parties?  And remind me - are we better off now that Trump backed out?  (I think we had a whole thread, and nobody came up with anything substantive.)

If you don't have an answer, then your argument about the quality of the deal is completely irrelevant, and, wait for it, a distraction from the truth, namely, it was stupid to withdraw.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on July 05, 2018, 09:22:13 AM
You said "I don't believe Iran ever had any intention to honor the deal."
Iran was honoring the deal.

All your points are distraction from this truth.  You are really good at this, you know?

Velcro.  It's still my view that Iran intends to have a nuclear weapon.  "Honoring" this deal to the extent they have doesn't stop them from getting there, it's questionable if it really slows them (imo).  It certainly does give them floods of cash they wouldn't have had to spend on that research.

You've had months to respond to any of the legitimate criticisms to the deal.  If I recall correctly, all you asked at first is how anyone could legitimately oppose the deal or think exiting it was a good idea.  I gave you that, you've had months, you still don't seem to have a response.  How am I the one deflecting?

Quote
Remind me - what could have made it better, and had any realistic chance of being agreed to by all parties?

Why is that my choice?  I'm on record, no deal and continuing the existing sanctions regime was an objectively better option.

They could have done baby steps here and actually built trust if they had wanted to get something everyone could sign.

Quote
And remind me - are we better off now that Trump backed out?  (I think we had a whole thread, and nobody came up with anything substantive.)

Except for the dozen or so things I listed - for which you apparently have no response.

I'm not convinced we are better off.  Obama gave away a huge chunk or our leverage in a way that was never going to be recoverable - all of which could have been conditioned on proof of success by the way.  The deal should have been evaluated - at this point - on whether its marginal gains exceeded its marginal costs.  I think reasonable people can disagree on whether continuing was a good idea, pretty much though the deal even as current was bad, the only thing balancing the scale was the possibility of building on it by giving a little bit of unearned trust.

Quote
If you don't have an answer, then your argument about the quality of the deal is completely irrelevant, and, wait for it, a distraction from the truth, namely, it was stupid to withdraw.

I've answered your questions more than once.  Acting petulant doesn't change that.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on July 05, 2018, 11:36:58 AM
You guys are literally a broken record. 

We are all broken records on this one. You say "this was a bad deal" and I say "it was better than no deal, and there was no better deal available".

They can both be true at the same time. Would continued status-quo sanctions have been the better path, as you suggest? Because that doesn't seem to slow a nation down significantly, from what I can see. That's the NK model, is it not? Other than that, all you have is bombings and invasions, and I think we know how well those work out by now.

I'm sorry that you're upset that we gave back the money we stole from them because we didn't like their change in government back in the 1970s. I can only imagine what you'd say if a country froze American assets because of Trump.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on July 05, 2018, 01:05:57 PM
TheDrake, I still haven't made up my mind on whether exiting the deal was wise.  Once you factor out the sunk costs, even continuing a bad deal can generate positive results.

Status quo puts all kinds of pressure on a country.  NK is a stunted mess because of the measures they've had to take to keep their own citizens from realizing how hurt they've been.  Iran didn't have that option, their citizens are far more aware. 

I can say - for a fact - that releasing them from sanctions has increased their military spending and their activities to cause unrest in the region.  Lots of people have died.  How do you factor whether their deaths were "worth it" in your calculus?  If Iran develops a Nuke in 10 years was this deal worth it?  If Iran uses their sanctions relief to kill 10's of thousands was it worth it?  What if they kill hundreds of thousands by triggering civil wars and supporting oppressors?

I don't get why you think a program to secretly fly millions in currency to Iran is a good thing.  How about, applying that cash to settlements for the victims of their sponsorship of terrorism.  Or is Iran not responsible for the harms it caused?

If this was a good policy it could have been agreed openly in advance.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on July 05, 2018, 01:31:07 PM
TheDrake, I still haven't made up my mind on whether exiting the deal was wise.  Once you factor out the sunk costs, even continuing a bad deal can generate positive results.

I get that, and really evaluating requires running into philosophical questions, like whether you are operating under a utilitarian philosophy or some other code.

A large center for agreement is that a Nuclear Iran would cause them to be ten times more belligerent and destabilizing than anything we've seen to date. Who would curb their funding of terrorism if they had the capability to erase Tel Aviv?

As for responsibility for harm caused, one could make the argument that American military spending and intervention has been far more destabilizing to the middle east than anything the Iranians have managed. How shall we assess that harm that the US has caused?

Sometimes good policy can't stand the light of day. Kennedy's deal to exchange Turkish missiles for Cuban ones is a clear example, to me.

The millions shipped to Iran, as you doubtlessly also know, was the return of an advance payment for goods we never delivered. Or do you advocate just stealing the property of countries that don't align with what you want them to do? And yes, I know these tactics are common and accepted. It just doesn't sit very well with my personal philosophies, which are not grounded in utilitarianism.

And as you point out, agreeing to the deal in the first place is separable from the decision to exit the deal.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Fenring on July 05, 2018, 01:37:16 PM
Or do you advocate just stealing the property of countries that don't align with what you want them to do? And yes, I know these tactics are common and accepted. It just doesn't sit very well with my personal philosophies, which are not grounded in utilitarianism.

Just a quibble, but utilitarianism =/= realpolitik.
Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: Seriati on July 05, 2018, 01:48:05 PM
Or do you advocate just stealing the property of countries that don't align with what you want them to do?

I don't advocate stealing it, but that's not the same thing as returning it.  There's lots of complications to the issue, that the simple idea of "returning" it ignores.  We have all kinds of concepts of escrow in our legal world that could have been used.  Heck, the money could have been spent on behalf of the Iranian people by us, or like I said used to recompense victims of Iranian hostility.

I don't see that if you borrowed $5k from your grandmother that after she passes, "returning" to your cousin who's addicted to Herion or is looking for $5k to pay a may to kill his wife is a good thing.  Holding it until he grows our of it?  Maybe, using it to pay for his treatment, maybe?  Handing it over being morally right - don't see it (note, legally right is a different context, but it's less applicable in international relations).

I can not separate knowledge of what Iran would use (and did use) the money to support with a "moral" position that we had to give it back.

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How shall we assess that harm that the US has caused?

How about on a net basis.  I'm confident that we've acted overall, and in many local cases, on a net positive basis.  Should we hold ourselves to an even higher standard?  Of course.  But we shouldn't pretend we've been a force of evil, when we haven't.

Title: Re: Possibility of peace with NK
Post by: TheDrake on July 05, 2018, 02:09:45 PM
I can not separate knowledge of what Iran would use (and did use) the money to support with a "moral" position that we had to give it back.

It's an interesting model, to put it that way. So if Facebook receives ad money for something they eventually deem racist, morally they should just keep it so they don't give it back to the people who will probably use it for bad things, according to their value system?

Since we received the payment to send them a bunch of weapons, it seems weird to balk at the fact that they will use it to buy a bunch of weapons once it is returned. It's not like we held money that had been paid to us for medical supplies.