Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 11, 2017

The North Korean situation makes much more sense when seen from the perspective of a film director performing a social experiment. Film makers, directors, actors, screen writers—they love to do good “real life” research. If one was making a movie simulating culture in a story such as Orwell’s 1984, North Korea would be a perfect laboratory.

Looking at North Korea through this lens, some predictions could be made. What outside forces and events would be necessary to watch a “hermit kingdom” implode?

Another perspective could be from, say, China’s view. China rightly fears that it is surrounded by US allies—Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan… India is a “frenemy” of the US, but more of an “enemi-friend” from China’s view. Then, there is Korea. If the North were provoked to invade the South, that would be “plus one” ally for China and “minus one” ally for the United States, at least on China’s border. “Gain more land to win the war” is an old school strategy from Westpoint, a strategy that Grant had to put aside at Gettysburg.

So, the jockeying in the West Pacific could be more predictable by thinking of international policy for North Korea as Film Maker vs Westpoint China. One set of policies wants the North to be easily provoked into decimating the South to win a land war in Asia. The other set of policies initiates “outside force” to carefully study an implosion of the North—and that includes allowing the North to be provoked, but on a controlled terms.

This week, North Korea made even more threats. So, the theorem of Film Maker vs Westpoint China can be put to the test in weeks to come, watching international policies provoke the North to attack and pressure the North to implode. While that transpires, international support from common folk to see North Korea’s dynasty come to an end only grows, and the international press certainly doesn’t do anything to shift sentiment the other direction.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 11, 2017

Today, America remembers.

This week, three storms hit America: Harvey, Irma, and Donald. Harvey and Irma distracted the mainstream media from Storm Donald.

Harvey came with little warning and little room for evacuation. Irma came with plenty of warning, plenty of time and means of evacuation, and, evidently, plenty of need for evacuation. Storm Donald responded in strength and force. While Irma quickly lost wind and strength at landfall, Donald increased popularity to 46%. Donald maintained a greater positive impact on the economy.

Harvey defeated the news media for “not caring”. Irma helped police catch several looters and, though hardship befell Floridians and their neighbors, they will be stronger in the end. Harvey and Irma have passed. Donald is continuing to storm Congress to simplify taxes, all the more to overcome fallout from Harvey and Irma. The greatest threat to disenfranchise storm victims is against members of Congress who do not get to work and heed the warnings of the growing storm coming against them.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 4, 2017

Korea’s situation is amplifying. We know this. North Korea is making more threats than ever with it’s “boy king” on the iron clad throne. We know that military options are 1. relevant and 2. undesirable. The Pentagon consistently barks about “military options”, while “economic options” stay on the table—don’t overlook how talk of military bolsters economic action. Rather than reviewing the obvious, consider North Korea through the eyes of the White House—viewing both economics and security—and from the rest of the world.

As the Pentagon, economists, and surrounding nations sees things, not China, but specifically the Communist Party seated in Beijing, is viewed as the “menace of Asia”, venturing into increased trouble with Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Africa, Europe, and others. North Korea has six months of oil remaining, and China does 90% of North Korea’s trade. No Beijing Communist Party feeding the Kim Dynasty equals no Kim Dynasty nukes. That’s how the Pentagon, the US Treasury, and many surrounding nations view China and North Korea.

It will never be said, just as much as it will always be considered: North Korea is a stepping stone to facing the Beijing Communist Party. For the Pentagon, it’s practice and demonstration. For economics, North Korea is an excuse to cut off trade with China who manufactures technology, but does not develop their own, and uses copied technology with trade money to make it more difficult for their neighbors to sleep at night. Right or wrong, justified or not, that’s how others view China these days.

Now, Xi Jinping addresses an assembly over the BRICS bank group, while still not having dealt with the menace in its own back yard. Without a word being mentioned, Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa—and the nations who trade with them—will view China as being the “maker of promises that won’t be kept”.

China had so much going for it, as did the Communist Party in Beijing. They had trade, they had marked-off territory that no one encroached. But, it wasn’t “what they deserved by rite”, thereby provoking them into too much venture and not enough housecleaning. Make no mistake, North Korea is only the tip of the iceberg marking regional vendettas that loom beneath the surface, both militarily and economically. The US is not as friendly as it seems, “considering either” economics “or” military; it has already been implementing both as part of a greater regional ambition.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 4, 2017

Sheriff Joe Arpio was pardoned, as predicted. His case could set precedent to defend future situations in years to come, notoriety only granted because he was prosecuted in the first place.

Trump will end the work permit program for “Dreamers”, children who entered the US illegally with parents who entered the US illegally. Trump has not officially announced, but notified Ryan’s office and the press on Sunday, though Trump’s official announcement will come on Tuesday. Obama’s program being shut down will continue for six months. If Trump were a heartless tyrant, there would not be such advanced notice.

Those at-their-entry-illegal children now understand America’s culture and will retain the skills necessary to more likely re-enter America with better opportunities than Obama’s quick-fix policy ever offered them. Their road ahead will be rough, but without hatred from even Trump’s gentle yet firm hand. The rewards awaiting them at the end of that road will be all the more gratifying and those who supported Trump will applaud the Dreamers when they reach that goal. The road of the American spirit was never easy, it included pressing through the hard times that come with multicultural and international life.

Territories, provinces, cities, counties, continents, and countries need borders as much as homes need walls, bedrooms need doors, and private property needs marking. Suspending enforcement of those rules hurts everyone. Obama could have worked with Congress to make laws for Dreamers, but Obama chose not to help the Dreamers in the long run. Republicans in Congress have had more than half a year to present their Republican president with a bill to help the Dreamers, but they haven’t. Congress still has six months to help the Dreamers.

But, Obama and Republican Congress have done nothing. They delegated action to Trump, who only has the power to enforce or not enforce. By himself, the president, whether Trump or Obama, can’t dictate the perfect law for “Dreamers”. Trump won’t give false hopes because setting up people for disappointment is heartless. It was Obama who had less of a heart by cultivating false hopes in the first place, but not taking action to secure those hopes in the future. Still, there still is time, if Congress actually wants to do its job rather than just talk all the time.

Houston saw a great flood. Evacuating would likely have caused more problems and saved fewer lives. Individuals are responding from around the country. The good guys and bad guys had a chance to show their true colors. In the end, uncompassionate “Churchianity” that wouldn’t open the doors of “Church Ma Hal” lost, along with the mainstream news casters who debated the first lady’s shoes and interviewed victims in shelters rather than helping them. As much as Hurricane Harvey pounded Houston, it utterly destroyed shallow institutions in America and only strengthened America’s spirit.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 28, 2017

China should be upset over North Korea for deeper reasons than on the surface. Trump’s “fire and fury” comment a few weeks ago was the clear explanation.

Donald Trump was not in favor of the W. Bush invasion of Iraq. Trump does not like large footprints of war. If this administration authorizes action in North Korea, it would not be anything like Iraq. It would be surgical and instant. There might not be time to react.

With the threat growing from China’s venture missions—flying its flag on man-made islands since it can’t find other ways to fly its flag on more soil—the Pentagon would be foolish not to seek an opportunity for a small demonstration. By not bringing North Korean threats to an absolute halt, China may be giving the US just that opportunity.

China and Russia neither want North Korea to be volatile nor shut down. Perhaps they don’t understand North Korea’s political DNA. It seems they all want to have their cake and eat it too and blame the world if they can’t, a mindset common in Communist regimes.

So, Communism itself is on trial, for its ability to deliver on its goals. But, so on trial also is Democracy’s ability to respond if Communism fails to deliver.

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