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Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

Pete Seeger wrote that song in 1963 about a training accident during WW 2, and obviously referring to the then developing Vietnam War. Incidentally I think he should have received the Nobel Prize for Literature that went to Bob Dylan 1 year later instead after he died. The reason this song triggered in my memory is the recent policy shift/continuation of Trump administration on Afghanistan and “Fire and Fury” toward North Korea.. The lyric perfectly illustrates the dilemma faced by U.S., “Waist deep in the big muddy, but the big fool said to push on”.
The increase of troops in Afghanistan was expected and received approval from the military and main stream media, but opposition from both right and left. It’s true that Trump campaigned against bigger involvement in Afghanistan and certainly not in the best interest of U.S., but that’s the nature of empires. Afghanistan has been the burying ground for empires from British to Soviet, and now probably American Empire. To me Taliban is a push back against modernity which U.S. helped to finance during the Cold War, and sowed and reaping the backlash now. I detest Islam’s treatment of women, and time and modernization is the only solution as China is doing so in Xinjiang.
As for North Korea I think Trump and Kim deserve each other. For me Trump reminds me of the character in Stephen King’s novel and movie, “The Dead Zone”, Greg Stillson. I just hope the generals can somehow restrain Trump from releasing a nuclear holocaust. At least Steve Bannon understand there can be no military solution against North Korea which probably is beyond Trump’s understanding. Logic dictates U.S. has to negotiate with North Korea for denuclearization in exchange for American troop withdrawal from South Korea. U.S. do not need those military exercises, or troops as hostages in South Korea to deter North Korea from invading. Nuclear umbrella from Japan or submarines are more than sufficient. If North Korea feels survival is no longer a question it will evolve by herself. Similarly U.S. do not need troops in Germany to deter Russia from invading, all are excuses to maintain the empire.
Looking at the world today, one can’t help but admire China’s policy of non-interference of internal affairs of other countries. This policy may be dictated by China’s weakness in the beginning, but I think also due to the wisdom of Chinese history and philosophy. The “Star Trek” has the “Prime Directive” which every episode of the TV series violated because entertainment value, but for China it’s great and wise.

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  1. pug_ster
    September 6th, 2017 at 06:31 | #1

    What I am surprised is the response from the western media about having talks again with North Korea from the latest opinion piece. Perhaps Americans are waking up that having troops in South Korea is doesn’t make them safer.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/opinion/trump-strategy-north-korea.html?_r=0

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/world/asia/china-north-korea-nuclear-problem.html?mcubz=0

    Like I said from yesterday, the miniaturization of the hydrogen bomb has changed the balance of prospects of war in North Korea. The war in the Korean peninsula will affect China, Russia, and Japan the most. Trump’s comments against South Korea is not helping either. South Korea’s reason for aligning with the US is their crazy fantasy for the North Korean government to collapse and take over the North. The prospects of that happening is lower and lower everyday.

    Despite all that crazy rhetoric from Trump, the US has succeeded in one thing, selling more arms to South Korea and Japan. Not to mention that this drove South Korea to install rest of the THAAD in that country.

  2. alanking
    September 7th, 2017 at 17:12 | #2

    My fear is that by now, even signing a peace treaty will be insufficient for N. Korea to give up it’s nukes. It is one thing to attempt to get it as a negotiation leverage. That was when you don’t have it, and using that for peace negotiation seems like a good exchange. Now that you have it, is a peace treaty enticing enough to give them up? What is the record of the US really sticking to “international agreements” ? – not so good is the record, look at the Paris agreement, TTP, NAFTA, nuclear ABSM treaty with Russia, etc etc. Trump is even trying to tear away the agreement with Iran. What is there to stop next US administration from tearing up any peace agreement later on?

  3. pug_ster
    September 7th, 2017 at 21:22 | #3

    At this point, I think the only way for North Korea to give up its nukes is if the US leaves South Korea. The US is losing ground and Russia and China knows it. After North Korea’s latest nuclear test, both Russia and China went out of the way and condemn the US rather than going after North Korea.

    I would not be surprised that North Korea is trying to be Cuba in the Cuban Missile Crisis. I think that they just want to be left alone like what happened to Cuba with the mutual agreement with then USSR and the US. The only way to do it is to force the US’ hand of having a nuclear weapon aimed at them and then the US will listen.

    I thought this is an interesting article from the New Yorker.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/18/the-risk-of-nuclear-war-with-north-korea

    In the late 1990’s the Clinton Administration could’ve probably bargained a better offer when China, North Korea and Russia was weaker. But hey, the US screwed up with the whole “Axis of Evil” speech.

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