Author Topic: Summit  (Read 1014 times)

TheDrake

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Summit
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:37:23 PM »
What to expect:

  • Both leaders attempt to crush each other's hands until someone says uncle
  • Trump gets excellent tips on how to purge hostile people from the government
  • Trump gets the Korean War confused with the Vietnam War with tragic results
  • Trump tweets during the meeting as his attention wanders while waiting for translation
  • Trump becomes disoriented and tries to fire Kim Jong Un
  • Dennis Rodman attempts to assassinate Kim with one of his piercings

Greg Davidson

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Re: Summit
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 10:26:51 AM »
I can't wait to see the Republican imagination try to come up with why it is a victory giving up US-ROK military exercises in exchange for nothing verifiable. At best, Trump will violate the flimsy agreement and we will go back to conducting military experiences, leaving the summit as having accomplished nothing.

I am also certain that no Republican will touch the question of how the specifics of this "deal" compare to the Iran Deal

D.W.

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Re: Summit
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 11:21:12 AM »
We aren't at war this morning.  He's already exceeded my expectations.

Seriati

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Re: Summit
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 11:23:43 AM »
I think we need to see the specifics before we "touch the question."  Or we could act like Acosta and try to sabotage any agreement real time.

D.W.

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Re: Summit
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 11:38:02 AM »
or like Pence, or Guliani...

Honestly, getting the 3 prisoners, and immediate repatriation of remains of our soldiers isn't nothing. 

All it cost us was the high-probability of Trump looking like he gave away more than he got.  If NK gained "legitimacy" or "prestige" by meeting with Trump, that just goes to show how low their political cache was to begin with.

Did Trump really make us look worse as a country than we did the day before?  This may just be making the best of a bad situation.

We're already going to demand a "do over" and tell the world to ignore everything that happened during his term, and promise it won't ever happen again, anyway...

When we are trying to look like the respectable, responsible leader of the free world, we couldn't (shouldn't) meet with them and grant Kim any legitimacy.  With all that baggage off our plate, we can trade a photo op for hostages (both alive and dead).    :-[

NobleHunter

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Re: Summit
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 11:57:49 AM »
I think the three big questions about this "deal" are as follows:

What effect will cancelling the exercises with South Korea have both on American diplomacy in East Asia (notably South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan) and on the ability to deter North Korea.

Could/should Trump have gotten more from this concession than he did? Given the exercises usually mark an increase in belligerent rhetoric from North Korea, getting them cancelled seems like it would be a major goal for North Korea.

Will this lead anywhere useful? It's easy to get a deal when one side doesn't have to sacrifice or compromise. Words about denuclearization are much easier to make than concrete and verifiable action.

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 12:13:23 PM »
I see this a lot like the PLO-Israel situation. They signed a peace treaty, a notorious terrorist (by world consensus) got legitimacy. Occupation continues. Violence continues. etc.

Carter wound up with huge accolades for Camp David Accords - making a lasting agreement between Egypt and Israel.

Time will show whether Trump and NK is the latter or the former.

Trump didn't actually give up exercises with ROK, hasn't everyone learned by now that Trump has no problem reneging on agreements? He'll fire up some exercises tomorrow if the whim strikes him. That's why he had no problem agreeing to it, just like his building contracts.

I'm not sure how valuable the exercises ever were, except to poke NK in the eye and demonstrate readiness. Trump has any number of ways to do both without them.

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 01:25:26 PM »
I find it hard to believe that the reactions to the summit actually happening are anything but jubilant. This isn't like Iran, where they were allegedly sponsoring terrorism and threatening Israel, and where the endgame should involve those behaviors ceasing along with a nuclear program. But in the case of NK the nuclear program is everything. There is no other major issue with them other than that. I don't really understand anyone who thinks there's some sort of "deal" we should be reaching beyond disarmament. Now is the time for gestures of goodwill and small concessions, but the the result has to be not worrying about WWIII. If that is achieved then that's your 'deal' right there. You don't need to go Versailles on them and rub it in by demanding unnecessary things on top of it.

What kind of 'concession' is it anyhow not to be running military exercises in SK? Avoiding wasting money on military blustering in SK is a win in itself. In fact, another win would be needing fewer people stationed in SK if a real peace was reached. But all of these would be painted as things America is 'giving up' and needs something in return. I don't see it that way. Any 'concession' America makes is trivial compared to removing the nuclear threat.

Wayward Son

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Re: Summit
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2018, 01:28:30 PM »
According to Electoral-vote.com, here are the specifics:

Quote
[T]he text of the one-page deal is here. The key elements:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

The rest of the document is just flowery diplomatic language.

Everything else is TBD. :)

As Electoral-vote.com points out:

Quote
So, even before we consider the text of the agreement, the evidence suggests a lack of substance or serious diplomacy. And once we examine the provisions outlined above, we see that it is indeed a very Trumplike document: Big aspirations, little substance. Everyone wants peace on the Korean peninsula, and a reduction of nuclear weapons, and good relations between North Korea and the rest of the world. That's the easy part. But just like campaign promises about better healthcare, or 6% annual GDP growth, or a stronger military, or solving the opioid crisis, the hard question is "how?" There is, of course, zero "how" in Monday's agreement. Which means, oddly enough, that the most substantive item on the list above is probably #4, since that one has the potential to generate some tangible result in the near future. Although even then, one wonders exactly how many identifiable sets of POW/MIA remains still exist from a war that ended 65 years ago.

The point is this: Monday's agreement represents a step forward, but a baby step. And if Donald Trump presents it that way, as the first step in a process that is going to require a long time and a lot of hard work, and may or may not pay dividends, then more power to him. But, of course, that is not what is going to happen. He is going to hail this as a triumph on the level of the Marshall Plan or the Camp David Accords. Further, and more unfortunately, he has a habit of losing interest in things once he's declared "victory." When was the last time he said a word about infrastructure, or healthcare, or Syria? So, it is reasonable to wonder if the follow-up will be there, especially with Trump surrounded by anti-Kim zealots (like NSA John Bolton) who would love nothing more than for him to forget the whole thing. On the other hand, Trump does not seem to have forgotten about the Mexican wall yet, so maybe this will be one of the things that he clings onto. We will see.

We should also look out for what North Korea really wants, as David Brin points out:

Quote
Conventional armed forces are incredibly expensive.

The biggest threat to the Pyongyang leadership caste is their vast, bulky, and expensive conventional army. Not only is it bankrupting the nation, but at any moment, an uprising at one base could rapidly spread, turning Kim's military into an instant, deadly danger to the regime. While others point to historical examples like Libya and Iraq, the best parallel is the brutal Romanian-communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who was overthrown in an almost instantaneous popular revolt, spearheaded by countless junior officers.

For reasons of both economic and personal survival, Kim desperately needs a smaller army.

In contrast, nuclear weapons - once you have them - are cheap to hold, to hide and to maintain.

Kim's current dilemma has only one solution, then. Keep enough nukes to deter any adventurous notions  on our side... and hold onto those artillery tubes threatening Seoul... then entice both South Koreans and Americans to shout hosannahs over a "deal" to slash their own forces below the DMZ. Forces they can easily afford and that pose them zero risk.

Let's be clear: any conventional draw-down is Kim's chief aim, his win-win.

But oh, why not also get the South and the U.S. to pay for it all, ending sanctions and with massive aid, welcoming Kim to the club of international leaders? Add more wins.

Trump has already mentioned how expensive it is to maintain our forces are over there. :(

So far all we've seen is a promise to repatriate military remains and look for more.  Which is worth celebrating.  The meat, however, is still to be negotiated.  It will be interesting to see if the hawks scuttle anything more, if Kim gets his agenda, or if something else emerges.

NobleHunter

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Re: Summit
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 01:37:04 PM »
I find it hard to believe that the reactions to the summit actually happening are anything but jubilant. This isn't like Iran, where they were allegedly sponsoring terrorism and threatening Israel, and where the endgame should involve those behaviors ceasing along with a nuclear program. But in the case of NK the nuclear program is everything. There is no other major issue with them other than that. I don't really understand anyone who thinks there's some sort of "deal" we should be reaching beyond disarmament. Now is the time for gestures of goodwill and small concessions, but the the result has to be not worrying about WWIII. If that is achieved then that's your 'deal' right there. You don't need to go Versailles on them and rub it in by demanding unnecessary things on top of it.

What kind of 'concession' is it anyhow not to be running military exercises in SK? Avoiding wasting money on military blustering in SK is a win in itself. In fact, another win would be needing fewer people stationed in SK if a real peace was reached. But all of these would be painted as things America is 'giving up' and needs something in return. I don't see it that way. Any 'concession' America makes is trivial compared to removing the nuclear threat.

Because cancelling the exercises is something North Korea wanted. The US presumably wants things from North Korea and they've already given up something they might have offered in exchange for those things. This gives North Korea more room to negotiate a peace treaty that lets them keep their nukes because there's less for the US to offer in exchange for them or to extract concessions from the US which would actually cost money rather than save it.

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 01:42:46 PM »
Trump has already mentioned how expensive it is to maintain our forces are over there. :(

So far all we've seen is a promise to repatriate military remains and look for more.  Which is worth celebrating.  The meat, however, is still to be negotiated.  It will be interesting to see if the hawks scuttle anything more, if Kim gets his agenda, or if something else emerges.

I have to say, WS, with all due respect, I find a certain derangement in the idea that any outcome where Kim "gets his agenda" is bad. I would caution you about buying into warhawk narratives that suggest America needs to get its pound of flesh in order to put Kim in his place or something. That is nonsense. Give Kim his win-win - who cares? It doesn't matter if he wins on all quarters, so long as peace is achieved. In fact it goes beyond that: a reasonable solution should actively involve trying to make Kim feel like he's won all around. Yes, the other side should feel very happy about the result, rather than this strange idea that they should feel like they had to pay through the teeth to get what they want. That's such a capitalist notion. Nothing for free, sucka! 

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2018, 02:01:43 PM »
Worst deal ever... so weak… bad, so sad…

Of course just because its signed by a president doesn’t mean the US has to honour it. 

Wayward Son

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Re: Summit
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 02:28:45 PM »
Trump has already mentioned how expensive it is to maintain our forces are over there. :(

So far all we've seen is a promise to repatriate military remains and look for more.  Which is worth celebrating.  The meat, however, is still to be negotiated.  It will be interesting to see if the hawks scuttle anything more, if Kim gets his agenda, or if something else emerges.

I have to say, WS, with all due respect, I find a certain derangement in the idea that any outcome where Kim "gets his agenda" is bad. I would caution you about buying into warhawk narratives that suggest America needs to get its pound of flesh in order to put Kim in his place or something. That is nonsense. Give Kim his win-win - who cares? It doesn't matter if he wins on all quarters, so long as peace is achieved. In fact it goes beyond that: a reasonable solution should actively involve trying to make Kim feel like he's won all around. Yes, the other side should feel very happy about the result, rather than this strange idea that they should feel like they had to pay through the teeth to get what they want. That's such a capitalist notion. Nothing for free, sucka! 

I would be happy to give Kim what he wants--security of his regime--except for the reason we are against his regime in the first place.

Kim is a murderous tyrant.

He has concentration camps where prisoners starve to death.  He murders his own family.  One estimate has the North Korea regime responsible for somewhere between 740,000 and 3.5 million deaths, for those murdered in the Korean War, murdered POWs, forced labor deaths, and concentration camp starvation.  This apparently does not include those who died during the famine in the '90s.

That's just the past.  With fewer troops on the border, he can concentrate on solidifying his power internally.  And dictatorships usually need an external threat to keep power, so he will be looking for another scapegoat, or worse, another war to distract his people from blaming him for their problems.

I'm selfish enough that I don't want my son endangered to overthrow his regime.  But I also consider it to be a "win" if he was overthrown and a democratic, or at least non-dictatorship, took over.  It's not that I want "nothing for free, sucka!"  I just don't want to help him stay in power, and to do everything short of war to take him down.  If "peace" means he is assured of his position to continue to murder his own people and threaten those around him, I don't consider that a "win," for either peace or security.

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2018, 02:35:07 PM »
He has concentration camps where prisoners starve to death.  He murders his own family.  One estimate has the North Korea regime responsible for somewhere between 740,000 and 3.5 million deaths, for those murdered in the Korean War, murdered POWs, forced labor deaths, and concentration camp starvation.  This apparently does not include those who died during the famine in the '90s.

Why are we mixing apples and oranges? The treaty is about ending hostilities between the U.S. and NK, and de-nuclearization. It's not about making them awful nice. That could be pursued as relations improve between the two countries, sure. When there are economic and diplomatic ties you can try to push for them to modernize and stop being bad guys. But until then you can't demand they totally reform and be a model democracy in the same conversation as you're trying to prevent nuclear escalation. It's totally bonkers.

And btw the last thing you should want is a country's legitimacy to be questioned based on how many deaths it's caused. You *totally* don't want to go there :)

NobleHunter

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Re: Summit
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2018, 02:40:23 PM »
Why are we mixing apples and oranges? The treaty is about ending hostilities between the U.S. and NK, and de-nuclearization. It's not about making them awful nice. That could be pursued as relations improve between the two countries, sure. When there are economic and diplomatic ties you can try to push for them to modernize and stop being bad guys. But until then you can't demand they totally reform and be a model democracy in the same conversation as you're trying to prevent nuclear escalation. It's totally bonkers.

I'm too lazy to check, is this consistent with what you've said regarding the Iran deal? Which also intended to prevent nuclear escalation and not transform Iran into a model democracy.

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2018, 03:09:18 PM »
I'm too lazy to check, is this consistent with what you've said regarding the Iran deal? Which also intended to prevent nuclear escalation and not transform Iran into a model democracy.

I can't recall saying much of anything about the Iran deal, although it's possible I chimed in to a conversation about it in some way. I don't really understand that deal (what Greg supposes of others is true of me) so I'm not in a position to criticize or praise it. Sometimes in arguments what I try to do is try to help clarify what one side or the other is really saying when I think people are speaking past each other. Maybe sometimes that makes it look like I'm taking that actual side on the issue.

One thing I'll observe about countries like Iran is that they had no problem modernizing and becoming cosmopolitan without any help from the U.S. Cities like Tehran had a reputation in the past for being quite Western in certain ways, with women dressing to kill and all the rest. Assad's wife, from what I understand, was a feminist of a sort and a model of how Mid-Eastern women can be prominent on the world stage. So my general opinion about modernization is that it's not something you generally should force on anyone but rather something that inevitably happens when quality of life improves. Very often that trend gets disrupted when those countries become pawns in a world chess game. In terms of NK my advice would be to solidify relations, help them to improve their conditions and quality of life, and the improvements would follow on their own without the need for either bluster or horse-trading through mutual concessions. Just 'giving them stuff' sounds like a loss if your goal is to defeat the enemy, but I believe it's a win if you want to foster good will and actually help that country.

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2018, 03:35:55 PM »
Gifts inspire reciprocation, which is partly why public officials (and quite a few private employees) are not supposed to get them. A salesman might just be giving you Giants tickets with no formal strings attached, but really he is expecting to get influence. Likewise, Trump is offering up exercises (with no binding duration, I'll point out). He is also offering flattery. Kim won't want to give up the light he is basking in.


Wayward Son

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Re: Summit
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2018, 06:02:14 PM »
He has concentration camps where prisoners starve to death.  He murders his own family.  One estimate has the North Korea regime responsible for somewhere between 740,000 and 3.5 million deaths, for those murdered in the Korean War, murdered POWs, forced labor deaths, and concentration camp starvation.  This apparently does not include those who died during the famine in the '90s.

Why are we mixing apples and oranges? The treaty is about ending hostilities between the U.S. and NK, and de-nuclearization. It's not about making them awful nice. That could be pursued as relations improve between the two countries, sure. When there are economic and diplomatic ties you can try to push for them to modernize and stop being bad guys. But until then you can't demand they totally reform and be a model democracy in the same conversation as you're trying to prevent nuclear escalation. It's totally bonkers.

And btw the last thing you should want is a country's legitimacy to be questioned based on how many deaths it's caused. You *totally* don't want to go there :)

Mainly because denuclearization as we mean it--getting NK to give up their Bombs--will never happen while Kim's family is in charge.  There is literally no upside for him and his regime to give up their bombs.

So any discussion about concessions is in the framework of Kim having nuclear weapons. :(

So we should not be making concessions that strengthen his nuclear regime.  We should at least make deals that in some way weaken his regime, in exchange for what he wants, like removal of American troops from the DMZ.

Because think of what he would do if we withdraw our forces and the South Koreans are left to defend themselves.  NK will withdraw from the DMZ for a while, while Kim strengthens his grip on the country and modernizes his conventional weapons.  And when he needs to do something to keep his regime in power, he's liable to invade South Korea.  If he does it fast enough (how far is Seoul from the northern border?), by the time we can respond, it will be a done deal.  And then he can ask Trump or the next President if taking back Seoul is really worth the city of Los Angeles? ;)

While numbers of deaths may not be a good measurement of the evil of a regime, the reasons and ways of those death are illustrative of what the regime values and what they are willing to do stay in power.  Killing people--civilians, their own citizens, even Kim's own family--is obviously a price they are more than willing to pay.  We don't want such a regime to have nuclear weapons.  And we certainly don't want to help strengthen them.

Grant

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Re: Summit
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2018, 09:16:27 PM »
I can't wait to see the Republican imagination try to come up with why it is a victory giving up US-ROK military exercises in exchange for nothing verifiable. At best, Trump will violate the flimsy agreement and we will go back to conducting military experiences, leaving the summit as having accomplished nothing.

I am also certain that no Republican will touch the question of how the specifics of this "deal" compare to the Iran Deal

We have 500 bases in ROK, Greg!  500! 

At a time when public debate was focusing on Nork nukes, Trump was the only Presidential candidate in either party who had an accurate diagnosis of how much it actually cost us to maintain a force in ROK and an appropriate consideration of the right steps to take: trade war with Canada!  Are you saying that it would have been better to let the public discussion remain oriented on the wrong war in the wrong place, because of concern for the feelings of within the country that was actually dumping Chinese steel on us and not allowing us to sell wholesome, American MILK cheaply to them!?


Grant

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Re: Summit
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2018, 09:28:34 PM »
I think the three big questions about this "deal" are as follows:

What effect will cancelling the exercises with South Korea have both on American diplomacy in East Asia (notably South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan) and on the ability to deter North Korea.


Next to nothing for the ROK commanders who have been participating in Ulchi Focus Lens every damn year since the 1970s. It will have an effect on the US rotational forces in 8th Army, 2ID, etc. The effect will be exacerbated for every year we do not conduct the exercise. Think of it as skipping a workout day. It’s ok short term if you keep it limited. Stop all together and you’re a fat pog slob in the blink of a half decade.

The Japanese and Chinese are probably thanking us under their breath. But the ROK generals are probably pissed. Those guys are pretty Napoleonic.

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2018, 10:29:20 AM »
Kim Jong Un won that round.
He created the space for China and Russia to remove sanctions and or by pass them and I suspect he will use that time to perfect the re-entry vehicle for his missiles.
He also opened the door to weakening the US and South Korea alliance. (Has the administration filled the South Korea’s Ambassador position yet?) Of course, Trump would never turn on his Allies or break international agreements. South Korea has nothing to worry about.

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2018, 04:40:10 PM »
Anyone else find it disturbing how much Trump admired Kim Jong Un (and the leadership of other dictators) – Labelling Kim as honourable and his leadership style as talented and tough.

We have enough facts now to say that Trump is not a proponent of democracy (or the rule of law) and leans more to more authoritarian styles of governance. 

Wayward Son

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Re: Summit
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2018, 04:44:57 PM »
And if you're too bored reading the news stories about the Summit, you can just watch the video that the White House produced.  :D

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2018, 05:00:23 PM »
Trump describes everyone he interacts with in a very binary way. Either they are a menace to be scourged, or a paragon to be put on a pedestal. Just look at his comments about various cabinet members, etc. I believe this is a cartoonish, monochromatic version of praise and criticism.

D.W.

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Re: Summit
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2018, 05:02:49 PM »
Anyone else find it disturbing how much Trump admired Kim Jong Un (and the leadership of other dictators) – Labelling Kim as honourable and his leadership style as talented and tough.

We have enough facts now to say that Trump is not a proponent of democracy (or the rule of law) and leans more to more authoritarian styles of governance.
This is what was asked for right?  A business man, not a Washington insider.  A shot caller and a deal maker.  This is how a CEO views things.  It's not the same as a politician.  I don't find it disturbing.  I find it depressing this is what (some) people wanted.

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2018, 05:19:58 PM »
 ::)

Enough with the "like a boss" explanations. Tim Cook, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban, and just about every major business executive - none of them act like Trump. Most of them have to navigate a board of directors, analysts, and press. The closest might be Musk, who has his share of unhinged tweetstorms and often cuts against the grain on earnings calls. Most of them understand that they can't just do it alone, that they are part of a team.

What Trump IS: A New York real estate developer. And I find it exceedingly depressing how many people think that's something to admire.

Seriati

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Re: Summit
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2018, 05:23:38 PM »
I actually find this thread depressing.  Acting like a short statement released from an introductory meeting in this context is the same as a final deal to be evaluated and compared on its specifics. 

I did point out in the Iran treaty thread the potential absurdity of using it as a baseline to which to compare any arrangement with N.Korea and yet that's exactly where this went.  As if every deal with every country should be on the same template. 

I do agree that if we fail long term to make improvements for the N. Korean people, to end their gulags and repression that it will be a failing.  If we trade nuclear disarmament for the whole shebang that'd be as bad as the Iran deal. 

However, I don't think there's any risk that we're inviting N. Korea into the G7 next week.  Far more likely, we're talking baby steps.  Real improvements in the N. Korean economy and real steps for nuclear disarmament, and then more real improvements for other reforms.

It's certainly possible we'll see no real changes and this will play out as just another set of N. Korean lies that they don't follow up on.  But that'll be a fair measure to claim Trump's deal stinks too, when we actually have the details worked out.

Of course, even if it does work and N. Korea becomes a model western country, that becomes our number 1 trade counterparty and a beacon for Democracy for a hundred generations, people will still be on here telling us Trump got a bad deal.  Lol.

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2018, 05:35:33 PM »
I agree, it is entirely premature to weigh in on Trump's effectiveness with respect to NK.

It would be like a labor negotiation where they declared the union got a bad deal before there was a contract. And on the first day sitting down to the table. Or getting a declaration of intent and calling it a final deal.

Of course, Trump himself declaring "Mission Accomplished" and beaming from ear to ear does invite some kind of judgement, as opposed to saying "Today we have taken some promising first steps..." like any normal leader

Ronald Lambert

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Re: Summit
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2018, 07:52:53 PM »
The USA and South Korea have been conducting joint military exercises twice a year for a long time. They already had the spring exercise. The next one is not scheduled until autumn. So if Kim Jong On does not keep his word, the autumn exercises could be reinstated with no loss. They are not due for five or six months yet. So how much did Trump really give up?

The North Koreans have not done any more nuclear tests, or ballistic missile launches, for several months now. And Kim Jong Un has demolished his main underground nuclear test site (although it was probably already mostly destroyed by an earthquake). And he has returned three American hostages. And he has promised to return the remains of several thousand U.S. servicemen who died during the Korean War--something their families and our government have been seeking for 50 years.

It looks to me like President Trump has really given up nothing, and Kim Jong On has given up quite a number of tangible things, enough to qualify him for our estimation that he is showing reasonably good faith.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:02:44 PM by Ronald Lambert »

Ronald Lambert

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Re: Summit
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2018, 08:14:54 PM »
Yes, there is no question that Kim Jong Un has been a real villain on the world stage, doing horrible things to his own people, and making really foolish, belligerent, threatening statements. He did fire ballistic missiles over Japan, and threatened to nuke Guam. But it is possible for people to change. Maybe he is under conviction, and has started on the path of mending his ways. Khaddafy of Libya seemed to undergo a profound change of heart, after he was almost killed in a U.S. military attack, and a member of his family (a daughter, as I recall) was killed, and after he saw that the U.S. was really angry after 911 and willing to use its war power to remove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, when they refused to take action against Al Qaeda and its training bases in their country. And succeeded in about a month, something the Soviets had been unable to do with most of their army in several years of all-out effort. Perhaps Kim Jong Un saw in President Trump a man he had to take seriously, who really would be willing to use America's awesome military might against his tiny, failing country.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:22:52 PM by Ronald Lambert »

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2018, 08:16:43 PM »
I will also point out that even when it (publicly) appeared that Trump was withdrawing from the summit NK and SK still maintained that they would continue their rapprochement. This means that the U.S.'s involvement may not have even been necessary in the short term. In the long term, yes, official hostilities would have to end sometime, but N and S could make their own peace quite apart from America, and in fact this was being hailed in some quarters as a good thing. Much like the effect of withdrawing from the Iran treaty led to other countries suggesting they might still honor the treaty with Iran, so the same might have been true with NK.

For the naysayers who believe the Kim Jong Un is operating in pure bad faith - and this is certainly possible - he seems to have made significant efforts to demonstrate the contrary. Only time will tell, however I'm inclined to believe for the most part that the main reason why peace with NK wasn't possible before was because important parties in the U.S. were resolutely against it. They didn't want peace. I'm not at all sure to what extent Jong Un has 'suddenly' decided to offer to put away the nukes, or whether this was on the table before but he was ignored. I noted that even some people here were displeased at the notion of 'legitimizing' Jong Un's position by meeting with him, despite the fact that seeking peace seems to me a no-brainer. And no one here strikes me as being as 'warhawk', and definitely not of the ilk found in Washington who need to use up their bombs so they can order more. So if people here were tepid about a peace attempt I can only imagine how defiantly against it many in Washington must have been. Maybe Jong Un has been legitimately open to it for a long time; maybe it's recent; or maybe he's playing games. Only way to tell is call his bluff and see if he follows through. Guessing about it doesn't accomplish much.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Summit
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2018, 03:38:45 AM »
I think we should have pulled out of South Korea quite some time ago and they can defend themselves if the North ever attacks which I find highly unlikely. Also, that's the job of the U.N. Why does the U.S. have to be the world's policeman all the time, everywhere? I'm pretty sure Trump has feelings along those lines and is tired of the U.S. wasting money we don't have defending people who are often ungrateful, protecting the borders of foreign countries while ours remain porous and virtually undefended with tens of thousands of people crossing and invading at will every month. So if Trump gives up troops and exercises that's what he wanted to do anyway and now he just has a better excuse for it with the chance, however slight, of getting something in return such as nuclearization. If Kim reneges then big whoop. Let the U.N. do its job for once in its miserable life. There is no good reason why this should all be on us anyway.

D.W.

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Re: Summit
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2018, 09:41:42 AM »
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Why does the U.S. have to be the world's policeman all the time, everywhere
Because we are not protecting nations, we're protecting our own interests more often than not.  The USA-World Police thing lets us do so while playing the "good guys" and "martyr" while doing so.

Not to say we don't do any humanitarian and selfless work.  But maintaining a "stabilizing presence in a region" is often more important than defending a line in the dirt.

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2018, 10:28:14 AM »
The US would stand to lose plenty if SK got embroiled in a regional war, a lot of it in trade.

As for the payments....

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The most recent agreement, signed in 2014, increased South Korea's contribution to more than $800 million a year. That's equal to about half the annual cost of the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there, according to Pentagon officials, not including personnel costs that the Defense Department would have to pay no matter where the troops were posted.

So unless withdrawal comes with a reduction in force, simply relocating troops doesn't save a tremendous amount. Are those aircraft still being flown, just in a different hemisphere? No savings on fuel, maintenance, parts, etc.

An argument could be made that by getting real estate from host nations, we are going to lose money if we had to expand facilities in the US to handle the extra load - but I have no way to know if that is actually true or if existing facilities can absorb the excess.

NobleHunter

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Re: Summit
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2018, 10:37:23 AM »
Depending on how messy the war got, it could impeded trade from the entire region not just South Korea.
I think we should have pulled out of South Korea quite some time ago and they can defend themselves if the North ever attacks which I find highly unlikely. Also, that's the job of the U.N. Why does the U.S. have to be the world's policeman all the time, everywhere? I'm pretty sure Trump has feelings along those lines and is tired of the U.S. wasting money we don't have defending people who are often ungrateful, protecting the borders of foreign countries while ours remain porous and virtually undefended with tens of thousands of people crossing and invading at will every month. So if Trump gives up troops and exercises that's what he wanted to do anyway and now he just has a better excuse for it with the chance, however slight, of getting something in return such as nuclearization. If Kim reneges then big whoop. Let the U.N. do its job for once in its miserable life. There is no good reason why this should all be on us anyway.

I'm reasonably sure the US has treaty obligations with South Korea, so defending it is your job.

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2018, 10:50:40 AM »
I think having troops in South Korea allowed the US to maintain influence in the region.
Not so much to police it but keep an check against China and Russia.
A chess game that Trump wants to replace with checkers.
King me. 

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2018, 10:52:14 AM »
I don't think those defense treaties spell out troop numbers and locations. We have mutual defense treaties with NATO and mostly service those from bases in Germany. SK could be defended from Japan. We're pledged to defend Taiwan, but if we tried to station anyone there, China would be apoplectic.

Not to mention that Trump doesn't have any problem tearing a treaty into tiny bits if the mood suits him.

Wayward Son

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Re: Summit
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2018, 11:03:40 AM »
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So if Kim Jong On does not keep his word, the autumn exercises could be reinstated with no loss. They are not due for five or six months yet. So how much did Trump really give up?

So which of the four elements could Kim break within the next six months, Ron?  Which important, verifiable promise from the list could he go against? ;)

And exactly which of the four elements was it worth weakening our commitment to South Korea?

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I think we should have pulled out of South Korea quite some time ago and they can defend themselves if the North ever attacks which I find highly unlikely.

Fortunately (for you), the President seems to agree, asking the Pentagon to see if we can reduce the number of troops in South Korea. (Or not.)  Which, of course, is just what North Korea wants.

And while South Korea may be able to repel an invasion by North Korea, how about one by North Korea and Russia?  Not that Russia would ever do such a thing.  Just look at Ukraine.  Russia never sent troops there.  They just wanted the bodies of their soldiers back after they were killed there. ;)

And, BTW, can you guess who else wanted the U.S. to end military exercises with South Korea?  Apparently, Putin.  Not that there is any hint of collaboration between Putin and Trump... ;)

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But that'll be a fair measure to claim Trump's deal stinks too, when we actually have the details worked out.

Why do we need to work out any more details, Seriati?  Haven't you been listening to our Commander in Chief?  It's done.

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There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.

Mission Accomplished!  :D

velcro

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Re: Summit
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2018, 01:14:58 PM »
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When President Bill Clinton struck a landmark deal with North Korea in 1994, the isolated nation agreed to take a variety of specific steps that included freezing and later dismantling its nuclear program, as well as opening its facilities to international inspectors.

When President George W. Bush forged a deal in 2005, North Korea promised to abandon all of its nuclear weapons programs and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

On Tuesday, when President Trump unveiled his agreement, he excoriated past presidents for failing to make the issue a “priority” and hailed his own document as “very, very comprehensive.”

But scholars say the joint statement signed by Trump and Kim Jong Un reduces North Korea’s commitments to just one sentence: a pledge to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

link

Note that neither of these presidents had to give North Korea what they always wanted (a photo-op with the POTUS) to get these deals.  Neither one praised a human-rights violating tyrant to get the deals.  Also note that North Korea backed out of both of them.

Also note that Trump is lying about the very real risks we have from North Korea right now.

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2018, 03:01:22 PM »
North Korea is a nuclear state and I don’t see them giving them up. I wouldn’t. They have a place at the table now and everyone is going to have to get used to it.

Maybe Trump is right, there will always be people, nations... that do bad things, who are we to judge... or let it get in the way of business. I’m not trolling. I really don’t know if I really care anymore if some dictator abuses his own people… as long as it doesn’t spill over and affect me or mine. (Once you surrender your values life gets easier.) Maybe I am trolling

"I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, 'Hey I was wrong,... "I don't know that I'll ever admit that, but I'll find some kind of an excuse."
Ha Ha Ha so funny

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2018, 03:21:15 PM »
North Korea is a nuclear state and I don’t see them giving them up. I wouldn’t. They have a place at the table now and everyone is going to have to get used to it.

I believe their concern is that if they give up their big weapon they'll just be regime changed anyhow. So they would need some kind of positive assurance that this won't happen. If I was in their place, I'd want that too. So no, I'm sure they won't give up their nukes for nothing. But I also think they'd probably prefer to cease fearing the CIA's trigger finger which has been targeting them for a very long time rather than keep their big toy. If there was some way for them to both cease fearing the USA and also retain their sovereignty and safety, while also benefiting from more international trade, it would be a win for all parties concerned. But the big thing is they don't want to be another Libya.

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2018, 04:19:41 PM »
Unless Kim is someday planning on  letting go of power someday, I just don't see him giving up all the weapons or fully opening the country to the outside. I suspect a fully open economy scares him.
Kim doesn't need the US to lift sanctions. He just needed to create room to lower the pressure on China and Russia in holding to sanctions.

D.W.

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Re: Summit
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2018, 05:17:24 PM »
Makes you wonder how much it would cost to "buy out" dictators.  Is there a luxury level that makes up for the lack of power? 

rightleft22

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Re: Summit
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2018, 10:16:28 AM »
It must be something in the psychological make up of men like Putin, Kim, Bashar  (Trump?) that enjoys all the hassles that come with being a dictator or crime boss.
Personally I think the life style would suck

Fenring

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Re: Summit
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2018, 10:49:56 AM »
It must be something in the psychological make up of men like Putin, Kim, Bashar  (Trump?) that enjoys all the hassles that come with being a dictator or crime boss.
Personally I think the life style would suck

I'll quote Oscar Wilde, mouthed through an honorable character unironically:

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Sir Robert Chiltern.  [Throws himself into an armchair by the writing-table.]  One night after dinner at Lord Radley’s the Baron began talking about success in modern life as something that one could reduce to an absolutely definite science.  With that wonderfully fascinating quiet voice of his he expounded to us the most terrible of all philosophies, the philosophy of power, preached to us the most marvellous of all gospels, the gospel of gold.  I think he saw the effect he had produced on me, for some days afterwards he wrote and asked me to come and see him.  He was living then in Park Lane, in the house Lord Woolcomb has now.  I remember so well how, with a strange smile on his pale, curved lips, he led me through his wonderful picture gallery, showed me his tapestries, his enamels, his jewels, his carved ivories, made me wonder at the strange loveliness of the luxury in which he lived; and then told me that luxury was nothing but a background, a painted scene in a play, and that power, power over other men, power over the world, was the one thing worth having, the one supreme pleasure worth knowing, the one joy one never tired of, and that in our century only the rich possessed it.

Lord Goring.  [With great deliberation.]  A thoroughly shallow creed.

Sir Robert Chiltern.  [Rising.]  I didn’t think so then.  I don’t think so now.  Wealth has given me enormous power.  It gave me at the very outset of my life freedom, and freedom is everything.  You have never been poor, and never known what ambition is.  You cannot understand what a wonderful chance the Baron gave me.  Such a chance as few men get.

Ronald Lambert

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Re: Summit
« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2018, 11:17:57 AM »
President Trump mentioned something interesting today in his impromptu press conference on the White House Lawn--he said that Kim Jong Un had removed three or more of his generals, ones who were known to be hard-liners. Tump hinted that KJU may have done more than just "fire" them. You would expect that to happen in a totalitarian regime if the leader decided to turn toward moderation.

By the way, TheDrake, Trump did not tear up any treaties. The Iran deal was not a treaty--Obama knew he would never get Congress to approve it, so he just did it on his own. Sent a planeload of cash to Iran, etc.

Presidents would have a hard time just "tearing up" a treaty. When approved by Congress, they have the force of law. And the Constitution grants Congress the authority to enact treaties, not the President. Trump has said he would like to get an agreement from North Korea that he can submit to Congress for formal ratification as a treaty. And he went on to say that when the Iranians wise up, and seek a decent deal, he hopes that would be suitable to be made into a formal treaty as well. Trump seems to be trying to restore to American government the practice of following the Constitution, more than was the case with the previous administration.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 11:20:50 AM by Ronald Lambert »

D.W.

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Re: Summit
« Reply #46 on: June 15, 2018, 11:33:12 AM »
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Trump seems to be trying to restore to American government the practice of following the Constitution, more than was the case with the previous administration.
More than in anything else, I hope I'm wrong on this part, and you are correct.  While I may believe a belligerent obstructionist congress drove him to it, I was never particularly comfortable with Obama's trend towards strengthening the executive branch.  Oh, I liked most of what he did with it, but didn't ever really lose sight of how likely it was to bite the country in the ass later.

In a way though, I expect the executive branch WILL have some of it's power stripped.  And I think that's a good thing.  That Trump is working towards that goal, rather than necessitating it seems comical to me.  But... hopefully I'm wrong.

Gaoics79

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Re: Summit
« Reply #47 on: June 15, 2018, 07:57:16 PM »
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Makes you wonder how much it would cost to "buy out" dictators.  Is there a luxury level that makes up for the lack of power?

A man like KIm can't just retire to a tropical island like some 30 something tech billionaire. He knows that his power is the only thing standing in the way of a bullet to the brain, or in a best case, a war crimes tribunal. Totally apart from the lure of power from a psychological standpoint, a man like Kim is dependent on his power; he literally can't live without it.

TheDrake

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Re: Summit
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2018, 08:17:13 PM »
I should have said "International agreement" and not treaty. There are thousands of non-treaty obligations, including NAFTA that haven't typically been considered weaker than treaties.