Duck and Cover

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 16th, 2017 - 89 comments
Categories: afghanistan, International, us politics, war - Tags: , , , ,

During the 1980s when another madman was in control of the Whitehouse I always had a foreboding of the future in a Terminator sort of way. The prospects of nuclear war seemed so likely. The Americans and the Russians had armed themselves to the teeth and their relationship was poor. And it all seemed so insane.  As David Lange famously said all the super powers were doing was refining an existing capacity to make the rubble bounce and bounce.

Lange and the fourth Labour Government played their part by declaring that New Zealand would be nuclear weapon free. Twenty two years later and this declaration holds firm despite National’s private wish to see it gone by lunchtime.

And the Soviet Union’s economic implosion meant that the arms race was called off. One of the many criticisms of the arms race, that it would bankrupt us all, proved to be correct at least in part.

But the world has recently tripped into a terrible state again where if anything a nuclear exchange seems to be even more likely than it was in the dark years of the 1980s.

There is a madman in the White House, someone displaying the control and sensitivity of a 12 year old boy who has forgotten to take his daily dose of Ritalin. He has the nuclear launch codes under his control. And he has been flashing them around like a brand new golf driver that he has recently bought.

North Korea is Trump’s bogeyman just as the Soviet Union was Ronald Regan’s. But the differences are considerable. North Korea is a tiny failing state run by a dictator with a marginal nuclear presence, perhaps five Hiroshima quality bombs whereas the Soviet Union was a major state able to compete with the United States on its own terms.

North Korea is a perfect test case to allow the United Nations to exercise powers under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. There should be a collective response based on the international rule of law.

Trump’s recent testosterone driven dropping of the mother of all bombs on a cave structure in Afghanistan shows what he is capable of. Weirdly the caves are the same ones used by the US backed Mujahideen who successfully fought the Soviets in the 1970s and 1980s (corrected).  The United States ought to realise that undermining a local society even if purportedly based on good intentions can have disastrous effects.

And the tension is rising. From the Guardian:

China has urged the US and North Korea to step back from the brink of a potentially catastrophic conflict after Pyongyang warned it would not “keep its arms crossed” in the event of a pre-emptive strike.

Speaking in Beijing on Friday, the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, told reporters the region faced a “precarious situation” in which “one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment”.

He made his plea before an anticipated sixth North Korean nuclear test on Saturday to mark the birth of the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung.

“We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not to let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage,” Wang said, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

“If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner. It is not the one who espouses harsher rhetoric or raises a bigger fist that will win.”

North Korea despite its puny status is not holding back.  Paradoxically the threat of taking out its nuclear capability may make its use of its weapons more likely.

North Korea’s vice-foreign minister, Han Song-ryol, earlier warned it would not “keep its arms crossed” in the event of a pre-emptive US strike and would conduct a nuclear test when it saw fit.

Han told the Associated Press in an interview in Pyongyang that Donald Trump’s “aggressive” tweets aimed at the regime were “causing trouble”, adding that the mounting crisis on the peninsula was locked in a “vicious cycle”.

And it could be happening soon.

Experts believe Pyongyang could defy Trump by carrying out a missile launch or nuclear test to coincide with the so-called Day of the Sun on 15 April, commemorating the birth of the country’s founder. Satellite imagery has revealed signs of preparations for a possible nuclear test in a new tunnel complex at the Punggye-ri military site.

Trump needs to hold back and breathe through his nose. There are multiple more peaceful ways of dealing with North Korea. A preemptive strike that may tip it over into attacking Seoul and maybe even Tokyo is not the thing a wise leader of the United States.

This should almost make everyone nostalgic for Hillary. At least she was sane …

89 comments on “Duck and Cover”

  1. weka 1

    Pretty sure Tr*mp doesn’t give a shit about Seoul or Tokyo. The people behind him want the Armageddon.

    Good post. Are the rest of the nation stated going to sit on their hands?

    I’m just remembering all those conversations where people were saying DT wouldn’t go to war because he said so and I was asking why do you believe him? This looks entirely predictable.

  2. Ad 2

    +1000

    All their weapons should be melted into spoons.

  3. Andre 3

    The argument that North Korea needs to be reined in somehow. Before all the rest of the world’s nasty tinpot dictators take the lesson that all they need is a few nukes and they’re untouchable.

    http://www.salon.com/2017/04/15/making-nukes-mandatory-a-lesson-for-dictators/

  4. I was surprised trump didn’t take them all out while the big parade was on.

    • Rightly or Wrongly 4.1

      It is quite likely that most of those missiles were made from plywood and paint.

      There was some mention that one of the missile tips was wobbling around while going through the parade.

      The biggest risk I feel if a shooting war starts are the people of Seoul.

      If (Glorious Leader) Kim decides to do a Saddam Hussein and take everyone down with him, Seoul could be in for a battering.

      Ideally the best thing that would happen is for a few in the NK military (who haven’t been executed) to depose Glorious Leader and then reach out for dialog.

      If that doesn’t happen, the ego of the great one may tempt him to strike Seoul.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    The comment yesterday on open mike about the HMNZS Endeavour refueling- “The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem is “conducting routine operations” in the South China Sea,” from a US navy press release.

    It appears the USS Stethem is part of the fleet that Trump has pushed into the south China sea – to ratchet up a bit more tension? but as far as I can see our newspapers haven’t mentioned this at all.

    Now personally I’d like New Zealand to keep as far away for this as possible- not be hanging around holding hands with the US Pacific Fleet – so could Bill English kindly tell us just what is going on and could the MSM actually ask?

    • weka 5.1

      Didn’t quite follow that. The Stethem is in the South China Sea and the Endeavour is where?

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        Somewhere close by.
        Why is the MSM not discussing this as they discussed the Iraq deployments?
        Did the Navy think to tell the Defence minister?

    • Carolyn_nth 5.2

      It’s in a press release from the US Navy published 14 April 2017:

      The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS STETHEM (DDG 63) forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, is conducting routine operations in the South China Sea.

      While in the area, Stethem completed a refueling at sea with Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship (HMNZS) Endeavour (A 11).

      The United States is committed to the security of the Indo-Asia- Pacific. The U.S. Navy routinely conducts naval operations in oceans and seas worldwide. Our allies and partners value enduring U.S. Navy presence throughout the Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) area of operations.

      It’s mainly the Russian press that has picked up on USS Stethem’s current operations.

      The only NZ report of it I can see is on Selwyn Manning’s Foreign Affairs website, published in the last half hour.

      • The Chairman 5.2.1

        “I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.” – Donald J. Trump.

        Seeing as we are refueling their ships, one wonders if that includes NZ and will that make us a potential target?

        • RedBaronCV 5.2.1.1

          I’d think hanging anywhere close to the USA would make us a target and Trump is somewhat unstable.

          Not to mention we are trading with China whilst refueling a US pacific fleet in the South China sea which is there in part because China is trying to use their man made bases in the sea on the hotly disputed islands to claim it all as an exclusive economic zone.

          So would Nact care to explain why they have this hanging onto the yanks foreign policy??

        • The Chairman 5.2.1.2

          I see Corin Dann put this question to Brownlee today, not long after North Korea warned Australia of a nuclear strike over their foreign minister’s comments.
          http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/state-our-defence-force-minister-gerry-brownlee-video-6522804

      • dukeofurl 5.2.2

        “BERSAMA LIMA and BERSAMA SHIELD are military exercises held each year with forces from New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom. These countries signed the Five Power Defence Arrangement in 1971 as a commitment to defence co-operation and regional stability in South East Asia.

        The BERSAMA exercises are usually based out of Singapore and take place in the South China Sea and around the Malaysian Peninsular. The frigates TE KAHA and TE MANA are regular participants in the exercises and are supported by the Fleet Tanker ENDEAVOUR.
        http://www.navy.mil.nz/oae/ex/bs/bersama-series.htm

        Its roughly 4000km from the sea around peninsular Malysia to Seoul. Its 10,000km from seoul to Auckland.

  6. Marco 6

    Old Trumpy should act a bit more like Nev Chamberlain back in the ’30s. That worked out well.

    • Skeptic 6.1

      Whoooooa – do I detect a teeny tiny bit of sarc there

    • dukeofurl 6.2

      North Korea has taken neighbouring territories like Hitler did with Austria, Sudenland in the late 30s then ?

      You should look at a map sometimes. It shows NK surrounded by China, Russia, Japan.
      They are the ones more like little Czechoslovakia ?

  7. Antoine 7

    I worry for the people I know in Seoul

  8. mauī 8

    John Pilger calls it the festival of war as like minded parties like CNN and Clinton cheer him on and in some cases predict what he’ll do before it happens.

  9. rocco siffred 9

    “North Korea is a perfect test case to allow the United Nations to exercise powers under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. There should be a collective response based on the international rule of law.”

    I wish you luck with this. Your going to need it.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      International law is what the world decided would be the best way to handle tensions between countries after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked. Do you think there is a better way?

      • garibaldi 9.1.1

        The sad fact is that American exceptualism overrides international law.

      • rocco siffred 9.1.2

        International law has no meaning without the will and power to enforce it. North Korea has been in violation for decades and until both China and US decide to deal with it, that will continue.

        The UN has zero ability to do a thing other than pass more meaningless resolutions.

        • aom 9.1.2.1

          North Korea was a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but withdrew in 2003, blaming the aggression of the USA. Clearly, it, like Israel which never was a signatory, is not subject to the provisions of the treaty, so any attack on its weapons infrastructure would be an ‘act of war’. That aside, have the largest nuclear states ever met their obligations? Not likely!

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1.1

            Clearly, it, like Israel which never was a signatory, is not subject to the provisions of the treaty, so any attack on its weapons infrastructure would be an ‘act of war’.

            Yep. International law only applies if the nation agrees to the law. If it doesn’t then that international law doesn’t apply. Like the US not being part of the ICC. China claiming all those artificial islands as territory is actually in breach of those laws and they even agreed to them – until they got in the way of their geopolitical ambitions.

            This is a serious weakness of international law.

            That aside, have the largest nuclear states ever met their obligations? Not likely!

            The largest nuclear states were very careful to ensure that the NNPT would never apply them.

    • Hanswurst 9.2

      Don’t know whether you’re “Siffredi” or “Siffred”, but I’m not sure how wise it would be to take advice from someone who can’t even spell their own name consistently.

  10. Bill 10

    There’s an argument that runs along the lines that N.Korea only continues to exist because it has a nuclear deterrent. The accompanying argument is that chemical weapons are the ‘poor man’s’ nuclear deterrent. Some people might want to join some dots on that one.

    As for Clinton’s supposed sanity…yeah, nah. Yes, on N.Korea. I’m guessing she’d just have continued the US policy of containment and non-confrontation – and that would have been a good thing. But there are other regions in the world where her ideas and notions are just bat-shit crazy, dangerously wrongheaded and utterly misanthropic.

    But that said, I think we’d do well to move away from analysis based on singular personalities that would then tend to lead us to a position of lending support to one or another individual (eg Trump or Clinton).

    No US president acts in glorious isolation. Their policies reflect general sentiments or factions within the broader US political establishment. And they all resist or cave to given factions.

    So, Obama for example, did quite well in resisting the hawks when it came to the ME. (Brokered a deal with Iran, held back on Libya…). Clinton on the other hand, would have been leading a disastrous charge in the ME from the front. Trump it seems, is in the process of caving to the hawks on every identifiable front in terms of that nebulous and all encompassing notion of US National Security.

    But it’s not Trump and it’s not Clinton and it’s not Obama per se – they are responding, or would have responded, or did respond to deep seated and often long standing pressures within the US political establishment.

    The craziness (if we want to use that term) runs much, much deeper than Presidential figure-heads.

    • Anne 10.1

      The craziness (if we want to use that term) runs much, much deeper than Presidential figure-heads.

      Indeed it does!!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      The craziness (if we want to use that term) runs much, much deeper than Presidential figure-heads.

      The craziness is embedded within the entire capitalist system.

    • Bang on the money , there Bill.

      Though as someone has said here , chances are those paraded missiles were a mock up for effect. Of course, – that doesn’t mean the real weapons don’t exist. I would suspect that the airfield in Syria was a mock up as well ,- and that those missile strikes were pre agreed upon by the various party’s concerned. Classic political /military diversions.

      I would suspect that the real reasons for those missile strikes was to coincide with the Chinese President and Trumps meeting. It is rather suspicious that they occurred at the same time. It seems like it was done for effect to convince China to exert pressure on North Korea.

      We see now there was a presumed ‘ failed’ missile test. Trust no one. For all we know even that could have been staged to create a foil against western speculation of just how far along North Korea is in its nuclear ICBM program.

      Smoke and mirrors , bluster and bullshit.

      That’s geopolitics for ya.

    • keepcalmcarryon 10.4

      Agree with most of what you’ve written Bill especially re insanity in the US polical establishment -but surely the “measly” handful of Hiroshima power nukes isnt really a deterrant to a superpower. On the other hand North Koreas main ally- China- including its probable 200-300 nukes is the actual deterrant.
      Its an important distinction to make because in this context, China telling both sides to just simmer down tells us that we probably arent that close to nuclear war at all.

      • Bill 10.4.1

        I’m guessing the idea would be to lob a couple of warheads into S. Korea. What’s the flight time/chances to intercept? And if they are intercepted/shot down, then what? (Do they explode/not explode?)

        Throw in the capacity to hit US bases in Japan just for the sheer hell of it and tell everyone to leave you the fuck alone.

        It’s kinda worked (the last bit being a recent addition) and if nothing else provides an extra level of insurance should China step back and away (unlikely as that might be).

      • WILD KATIPO 10.4.2

        Pretty much. But eventually the USA will be taken out by China. Almost definitely not in this round with NK , but over the middle east. It seems likely it will be the USA West Coast that gets it. Sad but true.

        Not sure how presently the USA will resolve this with NK , but any pressure put on China will have to be some sort of trade sanctions in the future. And that will hurt China. That they will not like.

        …………………………………
        John Pilgers ‘ The coming war with China’ … is an interesting look – see…

        The Coming War On China – YouTube
        Video for john pilgers the coming war with china you tube▶ 28:06

        ………………………………….

        Chris Trotter did a very interesting post on The Daily Blog site about ‘ Battle for the Heartland’ … on an older geopolitical theory that seems to have dominated US foreign policy post world war two.

        ” That, at least, was the contention of Sir Halford Mackinder, the nineteenth century British geographer and founder of what came to be known as “geopolitics”. Mackinder’s ideas would inspire imperialists the world over. They inspired Adolf Hitler and, following Germany’s defeat in 1945, captured the imaginations of the elite advisers to the new kid on the imperial block – the United States.”

        ………………………………….

        But it wont be until the remaining states of the E U are embroiled with Israel and the emerging Muslim 10 nation Caliphate ( Erdogan has continually expressed his desire that Turkey is the seat of this Caliphate … ) that we will see full scale nuclear war… and China suffering from continued trade sanctions that they will grab at world power ( or what remains of it ) and move westwards.

        That’s when you can expect the shit to hit the fan. For all concerned.

        • keepcalmcarryon 10.4.2.1

          Yes, I read Mr Trotters piece the other day, it was very interersting to see modern US strategy through that historical perspective.

          Human history tells us at some point the most powerful nations will bang heads, Lets hope a) its not for a long time yet and b) future conflicts are non nuclear.
          We have had tensions and arms races before and it didnt end in overt war, it doesnt have to this time.

          Best quote from your also very interesting video:
          “The west struggles to understand China because the west doesnt have a free media”

  11. Anne 11

    Permit me to be off topic… but when I saw the headline “Duck and Cover” I thought it was a sequel to “Hit and Run”.

    Seriously, thanks for an informative post mickysavage .

    My heartfelt wish: would someone please destroy the Orange maniac – and his coterie of maniac underlings – before they destroy us. Don’t care how they do it… just do it.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks Anne

      It is what they used to tell kids in case of a nuclear attack. The advice was completely hapless and totally illogical, a bit like nuclear war itself.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_and_cover

      • weka 11.1.1

        I think it works when you are further out.

        I remember being taught at high school what would happen to various parts of the country if a nuclear bomb was dropped on Christchurch (I lived in the SI). There was this diagram that had these concentric circles radiating out across the SI. It showed who would be killed immediately, who would die from radiation over days, who would be blinded if they were looking in the direction of the blast, who would get hit by the wind etc. Sobering stuff. I joined the peace movement when I was 17. I don’t know what they teach now, but that was in the early 80s, so all kudos to the teachers that did that.

        • mickysavage 11.1.1.1

          Yep the only piece of sound advice I have heard is …

          In case of the start of nuclear war …

          Put your head between your knees …

          And kiss your arse goodbye …

          • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1.1.1

            Well that may /will deal with significant populations of human beings unfortunately ,… but the wildlife after Chernobyl seems to be flourishing once human beings were out of the picture ! So , 30 years after… the animals are finding all those cozy buildings just peachy .

            🙂

            Of course, that was a nuclear reactor meltdown – and not an all out nuclear war.

          • cyclone 11.1.1.1.2

            Weirdest thing I ever saw on New Zealand and nuclear war was a NZ Planning Council booklet published at the height of the cold war entitled “Can New Zealand Survive a Nuclear War?”
            It was reported here: http://www.nytimes.com/1988/02/17/world/new-zealand-ponders-a-nuclear-survival-kit.html
            Conclusions were that we were likely to survive the direct effects and fall out but run out of manufactured goods and medicines. There was also a big question about our ability to cope with waves of refugees.
            Still worth a read if you can find a copy.

    • One Two 11.2

      Were you being ironic, Anne?

      Destruction, to prevent destruction..

      In any event the ‘real power’ exists above POTUS, not at that level or below

      The underlings you refer to are the interchangeable and dispensible ‘useful idiots’

      As dispensible as anything which is in the path of the ‘real power’

      What/who is the ‘real power’..

      That’s a more intreaguing discussion than pots shots the string puppets who carry out the insructions

      • Anne 11.2.1

        That’s a more intreaguing discussion than pots shots the string puppets who carry out the insructions

        Do learn to spell and type properly.

  12. For those that are not aware of the Cold War significance of Duck and Cover, Duck and Cover is a 1951 Civil Defense film from the United States about what to do in a nuclear attack.

    Before a 1965 film called “The War Game”. Before the American nuclear holocaust movie “The Day after” or the B.B.C. docudrama “Threads”.

    And try this one from Britain (1964):

    Notice how both films seem to think that normal life will somehow resume and that it will be safe to go back outside shortly afterwards.

  13. johnm 13

    The Reagan period turned out to be one of the most hopeful ever for arms limitation and control and restraint and cooperation.

    ” Ronald Reagan came to the presidency as a long-time critic of arms control and detente with the Soviet Union, the preeminent U.S. strategic adversary during his eight years in office. Throughout the 1970s, Reagan had argued that the United States was falling behind the Soviets in the nuclear competition and that U.S. long-range ballistic missiles were becoming increasingly vulnerable to Soviet attack. During his 1980 election campaign against President Jimmy Carter, Reagan contended that the unratified Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II (SALT II) was “fatally flawed.” As president, Reagan accelerated strategic nuclear modernization plans and launched modern efforts to build a national missile defense system through his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), raising tensions with the Soviet Union and prompting widespread public concern about the possibility of war between world’s two major nuclear superpowers.

    Yet, Reagan’s early opposition to U.S.-Soviet arms control negotiations gradually gave way to a more conciliatory approach that was consistent with his growing concern about the threat of mutual assured destruction. By the time he had left office, Reagan had overcome the reluctance of many of his closest advisers to engage with the Soviets and had forged an enduring diplomatic partnership with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. That partnership, combined with strong U.S. and European public pressure for nuclear restraint, led to some of the most sweeping arms control proposals in history and helped usher in a new age in U.S.-Russian relations.

    Reagan and Gorbachev eventually concluded the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement and established the foundation for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which was concluded in 1991. Nevertheless, the full promise of Reagan’s and Gorbachev’s proposals for radical nuclear weapon reductions remain unfulfilled. U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, although smaller, still confront each other, and many of the strategic weapons systems promoted by Reagan remain in place or have been revived. ”

    https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_07-08/Reagan

    • Two of the most terrifying films ever came out during Reagan’s time in office. Both were in response to a growing public concern that World War 3 might start without prior warning.

      One was the American movie called “The Day After”, which was deliberately made with B-grade actors. It had U.S. military co-operation in terms of making it as realistic as possible whilst still being a movie. When Reagan watched it in the White House, he apparently cried and was depressed for awhile afterwards.

      The other was the British docudrama “Threads”, based on an east-west exchange involving 3000 megatons with 210 megatons falling on Britain. 9 million die initially. By the time the film ends 95% of Britain’s pre nuclear exchange population has died. The sunlight is only just starting to come back and society is effectively dark age in nature.

      I have watched both. Very good given their subject matter. But very very depressing.

  14. The Chairman 14

    I asked these questions below yesterday in Open Mike to no avail, but this thread seems to be more appropriate, so here they are again.

    Trumps posturing will entice North Korea to intensify their nuclear capability, hence can’t envision them canceling nuclear tests now.

    Therefore, how will this play out?

    Is Trump backing himself into a corner, thus will have no choice but to act or look weak?

    • Graeme 15.1

      Or was it “failed” by an outside influence?

      They aren’t having a good run of late. Could also be the the pressure within NK has ramped up past the point where everything goes to shit

      • The Chairman 15.1.1

        “Or was it “failed” by an outside influence? “

        At this stage, one can only wonder.

        The question is, how will Trump respond to the launching?

        • WILD KATIPO 15.1.1.1

          I would suspect it was a deliberate ‘ failure’. NK ‘s leader may be a nutcase but he isn’t stupid – or at least , his adviser’s are not. What better way to convince western intelligence their ICBM systems have a bit more to go before completely operational ?

          A nice way to induce a lulled sense of ‘false alarm’….

          For a ‘ hermit state’,… they sure seem to be getting the cashflow from somewhere ,… perhaps China could answer that question… as China does not want to lose a satellite nation… this could go a long way to explain the reason for the missile strikes in Syria coinciding with Trumps entertaining of the Chinese President and the timing of those strikes…

  15. Skeptic 16

    I think the problem here is in the penultimate sentence Mickey used – ” There are multiple more peaceful ways of dealing with North Korea. ”

    The problem being that these more peaceful ways have allowed NK to go from a state without nuke to one with both nukes and IR missiles – that is bluntly speaking – they’ve failed big time and we are very much worse of for it.

    Those who forget or ignore their history are condemned – yes – condemned – to repeat it. Appeasement did not work with Adolf – and it will not work Kim Il Un. If there are any “peaceful methods” that will achieve the desired goal of eliminating NK nukes and missiles – I have yet to hear them.

    That being said, I have no desire to be see northern east Asia turned into a nuclear parking lot – and if the weapons were launched that’s exactly what would happen, despite the presence of US THAAD missiles and Aegis destroyers.

    If trump lives up to his bombast, and if KIU decides to celebrate his grandfather’s birthday or whatever with a missile launch, I fear such a confrontation is inevitable.

    If all 12 of NK missiles are launched at once, does the USN have enough THAADs to take them all out? If they don’t, the probability of mushroom clouds again overshadowing an Asian country looms large.

    • Apparently China is supposed to be signatory to an agreement to stop its banks doing business in North Korea.

      But it is not holding up its end of the bargain. So there might be leverage to get out of that.

  16. Sabine 17

    we grew up with these

    i never quite understood why the heck they would want to warn the civilian population that they will use any of the ABC weapons. Much better just to use the weapons and let god sort them out.

  17. Liberal Realist 18

    Weirdly the caves are the same ones used by the US backed Mujahideen who successfully fought the Soviets in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    Micky, I think you mean late 1970’s and 1980’s?

  18. The Chairman 19

    Will the US try to denuclearise North Korea by force? – Inside Story

  19. adam 20

    I said weeks ago this was a frightening period in relation to nuclear weapons, and we are closer to nuclear war anytime since the Cuban crisis.

    trump and the whole corporate elect are mad. Mad! As in they have actually lost it. Our government is no better.

    Here the kicker though, when you support the system, you support this madness. The system is fundamentally flawed – the right have a solution for that – kill off all the undesirables and start again.

    How are you going to respond?

    • Incognito 21.1

      Sticky clock dial/hand? It should have jumped forward last November. Perhaps it is more like a barometer where you have to tick the glass a few times to get the actual reading … In fact, I think the current situation has more in common with ACC than with time as such.

  20. Poission 22

    The most important lobby group of the cold war was the Pugwash conferences.

    Set up following the Russell-Einstein manifesto of 1955 it allowed some of the greatest scientists of the era to debate across party lines on the ramifications of global conflict.

    https://pugwash.org/history/#jp-carousel-1740

    The above participants from 1958 with all its laureates, the strength of the soviet scientific attendees is remarkable.

    https://pugwash.org/

    Nice statement on the Chilcot report suggests it is as relevant today.

    https://pugwash.org/2016/07/12/statement-on-the-chilcot-report/

  21. DS 23

    North Korea obeys the rules of MAD (they use their nuclear deterrent to keep the regime in power, and to wheedle food parcels). Trump does not obey the rules of MAD.

  22. One Two 24

    More boogie man script writing as if on cue

    ‘Amazing’ that these boogie men exist in geographically ‘helpful’ locations

    Helpful to?….

  23. Carolyn_nth 25

    Oh dear, oh dear. TV1 news tonight was very pro-Trump and US forces in the area to take it to Nth Korea. So much dangerous, one sided bias! One report from a US journo who seems to be embedded with US ships in the area, and another from the UK.

    They presented Trump in heroic terms, as some kind of keeper of world stability!

    • Then there’s the other side of things,.. if China is using NK as a kind of ‘pitbull’ and a proxy threat against USA belligerence in the South China seas…

      I tend to believe John Pilger when push comes to shove… and if we cant get over ourselves and admit when even a small time bit player like John Key in an insignificant country in the south Pacific so easily pulled the wool over this country’s populations eyes, – what hope in hell do we have in realising just how deceptive geopolitics are with the big boys ?

      The USA wants to goad China for economic reasons .

      And Putin and Trump are pissing their pants laughing about the rest of us believing that instead of having a love in together, their now having a hate fest. What better way to get the heat off inquiry’s about Russian involvement in USA elections?

      Coronation Street does just as many TV plots full of intrigue.

      Face it.

      They are all bullshit artists and manipulators.

  24. Sanctuary 26

    North Korea is trying to design and build a nuclear armed SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) that if deployed could destroy not just a US city but Auckland or Sydney with little to no warning if launched.

    Remember, this is a country that has no governmental checks and balances, has a government that thinks nothing of lawlessly bombing airliners and carrying out assassinations on foreign soil, which attacked and destroyed a South Korean warship without warning in 2010, which routinely kidnaps and abducts foreign nationals to suit it’s perceived needs and brutally suppresses its own population, using anti-aircraft guns and artillery to execute senior members of the regime.

    So think about that. Do we really want a country like that equipped with SLBMs able to wipe out any NZ city at any moment should Kim Jong-un take umbrage at something we have said or done?

    SLBMs are a step to far. Better one bunch of smoking ruins in North Korea than a heap of them all around the Pacific, and better any number of smoking, ruined cities in North Korea than any one of ours.

    • Indeed.

      Just one well placed bullet can ease all the tension. But that then still leaves all the rest of the fanatics, unfortunately.

    • One Two 26.2

      Sanctury, you’ve expressed the same sentiment towards other nations, and ‘turning them to smoking ruins’

      Don’t be cowed into a fear response by the script writers…

    • marty mars 26.3

      riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight so if we (your proxy US) did to him what he has done to others and potentially could do to us, then we are the greater morally speaking – nah fool – we just become like him – ffs

      • WILD KATIPO 26.3.1

        I can see Sanctuary’s line of thinking , and it certainly will be being considered – after all there were several attempts on Hitlers life – mind you , that was after a war had actually started, this nutjob in NK is just beating his fists on his chest atm… like the knuckledragger he is.

        But he is a liability. Rather than any nuclear exchange , – far cheaper for a $1.50 bullet well placed if possible. Then no one will have to sleep on a rubble mattress. And that is still being very nasty . If anything , that will probably be the final fate of the guy. And of course, no one will ever know who did it and there will be plausible deniability by all those concerned….

      • Sanctuary 26.3.2

        No need to get all biblical – morality doesn’t enter into it. People forget that when we expect our leaders, above all else, to manitain our national security they also take that responsibility seriously. Who wants to be the US politician or official whose lack of action led to the zero warning destruction of Los Angeles by a North Korean SLBM launched 1000km away in the Pacific? The same thinking applies to NZ – do we really want North Korean submarines armed with ballistic missiles cruising in the Coral sea? What action should Australia/NZ take if our ASW aircraft (directed by SOSUS) detected such a submarine within launch range of Auckland at a time of heightened tension for whatever reason?

        North Korea can only justify a nuclear weapons program on two grounds. Firstly, that the USA has them so it is simply imperialism in action that are not allowed to have them. Putting aside the troubling “two wrongs make a right” aspect of this argument, non-proliferation is surely the best guarantee for the non use of nuclear weapons, and it is a common sense observation that the fewer countries who have nuclear weapons the better. This is a very thin argument at very best.

        Secondly, especially in light of the 2003 Iraq invasion, is the argument they need nuclear weapons for self defense. Now, it seems to me that you are really playing with fire here. Nuclear war fighting doctrine in the cold war was based on MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction – no matter how many missiles the USA or USSR fired in a first strike, a second strike capability would destroy the attackers nation. But we no longer live in the cold war, and nuclear war fighting doctrine in the post-MAD era is now about overwhelming first use. In other words, if you suspect the DPRK has eight nukes at a possible 32 locations, you fire four nukes at each location (128) to be absolutely sure you get them all, and fire a couple of dozen more to be sure utterly destroy the North Korean state while you at it.

        Still, as long as your deterrent is just a very small number of low yield single warheads on a bunch of unreliable IRBMs that can just about wheeze their way to Tokyo at a pinch then you can make an argument they are simply to make an attack on the DPRK to unattractive to be worth it, so you can just about get away with having such a deterrent.

        Putting these missiles on a submarine transforms this situation. It puts 4 or so nuclear missiles within 10 minutes warning of launch or less of the entire US western seaboard, or indeed of Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland from the north Tasman/Coral sea. This is totally destablising. Without a doubt, the US nuclear submarine fleet will be able to easily detect and track the 2-3 North Korean submarines armed with these weapons. How would the USA/Australia/NZ react if one of these boats suddenly starts heading into the central Pacific or towards the Coral sea during a period of very high tension, given how unpredictable the DPRK regime is? The answer is the reaction would be with a hair trigger, and the moment the nuclear-armed sub was destroyed nuclear war fighting logic dictates an immediate all-out follow up nuclear attack on the DPRK, in order to prevent it launching retaliatory land based missile attacks.

        The above reasoning is why even the Israelis are not crazy enough to deploy SLBMs. North Korea, by trying to develop and deploy SLBMs, is really lowering the trigger threshold for a (justified) all out pre-emptive US nuclear attack on it.

  25. Philj 27

    Hey Sanctuary, you aren’t advising Trump on defence strategy are you?
    Lol. Nuke first and finish then off. Sounds insanely risky.

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