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Journal shanen's Journal: Do good ends justify stupid means? 16

If Trump defeats Kim, will that make it okay for him to have naively gambled with other people's lives?

On the one hand, getting rid of Kim Jong-un's insane dictatorship would surely be a great thing. The North Korean people have a whole lot of healing to do.

On the other hand, Trump is gambling with OTHER people's lives and money. Any costs are coming out of taxpayers' pockets, which infamously does NOT include #PresidentTweety. Much worse is that any lives lost will not be his own. If he bungles "the game" badly enough, that could be MILLIONS of human beings. I think it's even worse that many of Trump's most enthusiastic supporters would dismiss them as little yellow runts (or worse) that don't even count.

On the third hand, going against little Kim could be a smart bet if the Donald had carefully and deeply studied his opponent, but there is no evidence that he has or that he wants to do so. Actually, the evidence is even worse than that, indicating that Trump is not even capable of deep thinking and careful study. It appears that he whipped up this fresh crisis without even discussing things with "his" wise and experienced generals.

More hands to hand, but I think that's enough for now. Whatever happens, we already know that Trump is going to claim 1000% of the credit if things go well and accept 0% of the blame if they don't.

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Do good ends justify stupid means?

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  • I have something of a love-hate relationship with the businessinsider.com website but this article raises some really interesting points on the current state of things [businessinsider.com]. One take home point is that as much as few people like having the Kim family in power in DPRK, the devastation that would follow if we immediately reuinified the countries could be even worse yet (they make an interesting point about how hard German reunification was on West Germany in the beginning after East Germans fled their failed stat
    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      The notion of Trump contributing to a solution is absurd. He was just distracted by the missile launch and said something stupid. However, he may use it as a distraction again. Mostly I predict Trump will remain uninterested in North Korea mostly because there's no way to blame it on President Obama. Having said that, I now have to predict that Trump will blame "it" (to be defined later) on Obama.

      • If your point is that there is essentially zero chance of Trump making the DPRK situation better as a direct result of any intentional decision of his, I agree. However there are a lot of ways that he can make it a hell of a lot worse - either by making a decision or by neglecting to make one.

        As for laying the blame on Obama, the republicans will always be able to find a way to blame things on Obama. If not on Obama, then on Clinton (pick your preferred Clinton here). To a nontrivial number of repub
  • It's not just China that needs the status quo. So does South Korea. So does the USA. So does Russia. Anyone who thinks Trump can launch a nuclear attack is an idiot. He would be immediately removed from office under section 4 of the 25th amendment:

    Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

    But seriously, the real question is why does anyone listen to this guy any more, except for their daily dose of entertainment? It's not like any of the world leaders do.

    • So, a coup against anybody who rocks the boat would be legal then?

      • Coups are, by definition, never legal. I don't see what that has to do with anything anyway.A coup against Kim is pretty much impossible, and there's no need for a coup against Trump because there are legal ways to remove him.
        • Coups are, by definition, never legal.

          Yeah, technically you're right, but unless the guy actually breaks the law, falls ill, etc, I still think removal from office should require a recall from the voters. That Section 4 leaves the whole thing wide open to political judgement [latimes.com] of what "unable to discharge" means.

          • What you or I "think" should be the procedure is irrelevant. Section 4 leaves it to their exclusive judgment, with no provision for a judicial review by the justice system, not even the Supreme Court. And of course it's a political judgment - it's politics. :-)

    • I'm not sure why anyone needs Kim to keep people from leaving DPRK. The total population is only ~25 million. By comparison that is less than half of the population of South Korea and under 2% of the population of China. If 90% of North Korea fled to China, and the other 10% to South Korea tomorrow, it would not be a huge impact on their populations.

      I think Kim is the only person who needs Kim to keep North Koreans in North Korea.

      And don't forget how much the state media in DPRK tells their peopl
      • Absolutely foolish unrealistic thinking. First, the people would not be distributed homogeneously - so you'd have enclaves that have a completely different culture. No such thing as a melting pot in those situations. Think of 20 million of them moving to, say, New York city.

        Go live somewhere that is dealing with large numbers of immigrants,l even though in relative terms it's only a couple of percent of the population, and tell me that there aren't problems. Just logistically it's a nightmare.

        China doesn'

        • While the influx of 15-20 million North Koreans into China (to pick one likely destination) would not be a trivial event, the establishment of a North Korean enclave in China would not be unprecedented culturally for that country (assuming of course they can all find a place to live). There are a large number of other ethnic groups living in China who are not (Han) Chinese - the Uyghurs and Hmongs come to mind quickly as examples - and their presence doesn't seem to be a huge impediment to the country.
          • China has made it abundantly clear over they years that they don't want North Koreans settling in their country, and they use force to round them up and return them, so forget China. And South Korea doesn't want millions of North Koreans suddenly settling in their midst either.

            As for propping up Kim, it's not the goal. The goal is to keep North Koreans from doing a mass exodus into China, and that is easily achieved via force - and China has no problem using force on illegals. Whether North Korea continues

            • The reality is that the Chinese, Japanese, and Americans would prefer a failed North Korean state

              I think that depends on where you draw the line for "failed". There is a solid argument to be made that the Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Russians, and South Koreans would all prefer that the North stays exactly at their current level of failure for the foreseeable future. However they all realize that this won't last forever and they each have their own preferred state of what happens next.

              • A failed state no longer has the wherewithal to research, build and test nuclear weapons delivery systems. So unless you believe that Kim will go out with a bang via a nuclear suicide any nuclear bombs won't go anywhere else. And with a failed state, you can be sure that the surrounding nations will move quickly to secure those that remain (like who is going to give the order to stop them anyway).

                A failed state is probably the North Korean's best hope for moving into the modern world and ending their isola

                • A failed state no longer has the wherewithal to research, build and test nuclear weapons delivery systems

                  A fairly well-backed hypothesis suggests that the newest DPRK missiles were sourced through Ukraine. Whether or not they have any complicated delivery system beyond the rocket itself is - as best I know - still unknown.

                  That said, the regime keeps going by convincing the world it is irrational. Starving and torturing the people while doing stupid things with nuclear material goes right with that routine.

                  A failed state is probably the North Korean's best hope for moving into the modern world and ending their isolation as they're going to need massive agricultural and financial aid.

                  They already have a failed state. It hasn't gotten better.

                  That said from the North American per

                  • by shanen ( 462549 )

                    Seems like a moderately interesting discussion, though I've been busy and I'm still busy to consider it carefully enough to unravel it completely. Just noting that I'm still alive and that I think I reject the premise. At least Japan and South Korea hate the status quo, and the US has good reason to dislike it, though no one can tell what "the US" is thinking or will be doing with #PresidentTweety in place. (I do not see the 25th as an out there, because Trump (or someone) picked spineless Pence quite caref

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten