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Peace: The One Thing the US Warmongers Do Not Want

Vice President Mike Pence made fools of the US at the South Korea Olympics. Kim Jong Un's sister stole the show.

For a welcome change of pace, a thaw between North and South Korea is taking place. Unfortunately, the US wants no part of it as vice president Pence showed the world at the Olympics.

New York Magazine describes the great lengths Pence took to make a fool of the US at the opening ceremonies (above Tweet) and even more so at at a dinner party on Friday put on by South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

After showing up late, the VP intended to quickly leave after a photo session. Moon asked him to greet the other dignitaries at the event and Pence did, shaking the hands of everyone at the VIP table except for Kim Yong-nam [Kim Jong Un's sister].

By leaving early, Pence missed out on a special dessert — a chocolate representation of the Korean peninsula with a dark chocolate piece of barbed wire laying over it.

And then, during the ceremonies, as North and South Korean athletes entered the stadium together under a unified flag, Pence and his wife Karen remained seated while everyone around them rose to applaud.

Dinner Desert

Pence Sits Down, Everyone Else Stands

Sports Irony

Hypocrite Pence demands respect from athletes while offering none to the Olympic athletes and none to his South Korean hosts.

Unity Flags

CNN has a nice collection of Unity Flag Images.

Unification Flags at Hockey Event

Unification Note

Unification Opening Ceremony

Stealing the Show

Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo-Jong, Stole the Show at the Olympics.

If "diplomatic dance" were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un's younger sister would be favored to win gold.

With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea's presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games.

Brilliant Maneuver

Sending Kim Yo-Jong' Smiling Face to South Korea was a brilliant diplomatic maneuver.

Kim’s proposal for a summit was “a brilliant diplomatic maneuver,” said Andrei Lankov, a historian at Kookmin University in Seoul who once studied in Pyongyang. Moon would irritate Trump if he accepts the invitation, while declining would make the U.S. and South Korea appear “unreasonably bellicose,” he said.

“The proposal, as well as North Korea’s presence at the Games, sends a signal that the North Koreans are ready to talk,” Lankov said. “And this signal helps the opponents of a military operation in Washington and elsewhere.”

Time Columnist Ian Bremmer Idiocy

Time columnist Ian Bremmer is at the top of the list in not getting it. Here is his remarkable display of warmongering idiocy.​

Isolationism Two Ways

It's pretty hard not to be isolated when the whole world has sanctions on you.

The irony in the unity message is South Korea's move to un-chill relations with North Korea is likely in direct response to Trump's threats. It is logical for South Korea to diffuse Trump's ridiculous posturing.

It is also logical for North Korea and Iran to want nuclear weapons. The whole world has seen how the US destroyed Iraq for no reason, on trumped-up lies about weapons of mass destruction.

Arrogant, Childish Behavior

Consortium News sums up the Korea "Missed Opportunity" perfectly.

"At the end of the day, Pence had exemplified the worst of arrogant U.S. foreign policy with his childish behavior."

Chilling Indeed

Please spare us silly comparisons to appeasing Hitler. Kim Jon Un does not seek world domination nor does he plan on extermining people based on race.

Also spare us the sap about Kim Jong Un being a brutal dictator. It is not for the US to determine what is best for South Korea.

The Rolling Stone accurately explains how Trump's North Korea 'Options' Could Lead to Nuclear War.

"The president has taken his saber-rattling beyond Twitter – showing a real willingness to gamble with millions of lives," says the Rolling Stone.

The world should welcome peace overtures between the divided Koreas. But the one thing none of these warmongers want is peace.

That's what's chilling.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

This is all the US ruling class is about anymore. Childish, petty, acts of “symbolism.” “We’re gonna show what dumb little childish us really feel about you!” Like insecure teenage girls trying to be in the “in crowd” by freezing someone out of the clique. All in the hope that abject idiots back home, will see them on teevee and think they look cool. “Look, Ma! Massa is so tough! He didn’t look at someone! Wow! He must be sooo cool! Maybe he’ll even say something petty and mean about Mexicans and Chinese! Yeahhh!! Go, Massa! Go!!”

Kim & Family may not be all that, but compared to the crowd in Washington (Rand and Mike Lee perhaps excepted), and all those who support any of them even in the slightest, the Kims are certainly no worse. As if a government worse than the one we are stuck with, is even theoretically possible.

"Only problem with a deal like that in Korea is the PRC's government wouldn't want a land border with SK or SK inheriting nukes." China won't mind having a land border with a united Korea as long as the US has no base there. SK is NPT member so the nukes would go as long as the US base goes. NK will not re-unite with SK as long as the US has bases there.

I don't blame Pence. The whole show was propaganda for North Korea. Better to leave gracefully and not be used as a prop.

And Mish - you are correct. Kim Jon Un is no Hitler. More like a Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao. The standard of living for the average German went up under Hitler.

@wootendw I doubt it's that important to the PRC gov whether the US has bases in K-united. But, I'd guess the US would agree with a buyout even if it were on condition of leaving the bases. SK may not agree with such a deal. Certainly, if I were them, I'd make sure to keep the NK nuke team in-country. Nukes to protect against the PRC doing a Tibet on them. And, I don't think the PRC would agree to a buyout, bases or not. If so, why wasn't a buyout done long ago? What's changed now? The Kim family and friends may not sell in any case, either, though if the PRC said, "Sell", Kim, et al would have to say, "Yes, my lord."

@Mish, "The whole world has seen how the US destroyed Iraq for no reason, on trumped-up lies about weapons of mass destruction." I think you meant, the US "liberated" Iraq[i oil]. Also, was trumped-up a pun? if not, it works as one.

"For a welcome change of pace, a thaw between North and South Korea is taking place." It is a transparent North Korean propaganda campaign. Just months ago, Otto Warmbier came back from North Korea in a coma and died shortly after. Kim Jong Un had his half brother killed. Weeks ago a NK soldier was shot as he fled the country. A phony choreographed charm offensive is not a welcome change of pace, when it doesn't really change anything. It is likened to a Trojan Horse.

The only historical model for a divided country reuniting peacefully that comes to mind is the reunification of Germany. In that case, a combination of East Germans fleeing to the West, and protests in the East brought East Germany to a point where reunification was the best option. By that measure, the diplomatic successes of N. Korea at the Olympics made chances of reunification more remote, not more likely. S. Korea will obviously never agree to become a third world country ruled by a dictator, and Kim kill never voluntarily give up power, so reunification can only occur if the North collapses, as East Germany did.

"Also spare us the sap about Kim Jong Un being a brutal dictator." It is not sap. It is exactly what Kim Jong Un is, as well as his father and grandfather before them. I was in Panmunjom on August 19, 1976. That was the day after North Korean soldiers murdered Captain Boniface and Lieutenant Barret, while they were protecting workers who were trimming a tree near the bridge of no return. It was the day of the Armistice commission meeting following the incident. At the meeting, the North Korean propaganda machine was on display. They had a number of large black and white photos of bandaged North Korean soldiers on display. At the Non Aligned Nations conference, occurring in Sri Lanka at the time, the NK delegation said the U.S. had attacked them and demanded that they pass a resolution demanding the U.S. troops leave South Korea. It was passed, then rescinded once the truth came out.

Reunification is a nice idea. It’s hard to imagine how that could happen. The biggest impediment to reunification is China. They would be worried about a western leaning Korea, with military ties to the US on their border. The second impediment is US warmongers who hate the idea of peace. The third impediment is Kim, who is not interested in giving up power. However, Kim has certainly played this game beautifully. Sadly, the US looks like it’s being run by a group of morons. Oh wait....it is.

When i first arrived in South Korea, a series of 4 tunnels that North Korea had built under the DMZ, had been recently discovered. Prior to the Panmunjom murders, there had been another incident there, in which a U.S. Army officer was assaulted by NK soldiers and seriously injured in the throat as he lay helpless on the ground. I remember seeing a photograph of the incident, in a newspaper article. Subsequent to the tree cutting incident, i was in Panmunjom again, as work was being done to create a border demarcation between the Armistice Commission buildings. While i was there that day, i heard a squawk over a radio, that NK soldiers had placed nails around the tires of some vehicle. That's the kind of people the MP's stationed at Panmumjom, had to deal with.

""At the end of the day, Pence had exemplified the worst of arrogant U.S. foreign policy with his childish behavior." So not falling for it, is now deemed childish behavior?

Bremmer's Tweet about N. Korea being the most diplomatically isolated and sanctioned country just causes me to ask "When has not communicating and not trading ever worked?" Cuba? Iran? Russia? Iraq? Seems like it just gives the dictator a scapegoat and staves the people. If I were in charge I'd have a few cargo ships accidentally lose their cargo of satellite phones and .45 magnums just off shore. Then do it again and again until everyone in the country has one.

We never learn. We - as a society - see it as our right...no, our obligation...to interfere in other people's lives whether they live next door to us or in another country. We have it in our head that our ways - whatever they are - are perfect and everyone else's views are flawed. Pax-f**king-Americana.

It's hubris - on a monumental scale. We just can't understand that other people are entitled to make their own decisions - even if we think those decisions are wrong. Bear in mind that I'm not saying we - as a country - can't defend ourselves. Of course we can. What we can't do is attack another country under the pretense of defending ourselves when they've done nothing to us. Their mere possession of a weapon can't be a pretext for an attack. If they use it, turn them into a parking lot. Otherwise, attacking them is straight-up aggression. It's bullying. Being the biggest kid on the block with the biggest stick doesn't give you the right to tell other kids where they can play, when they can play, or where they can shop, or what they can buy, or what they can eat or drink...or whether or not they can have the same stick you have.

And let's face it. We pay a metric shit-ton for our military. And when you pay that much for something, you have to use it. Otherwise it stagnates and those who supply it have to close up shop and those jobs disappear. There is no politician or party on the planet who wants to be responsible for that. So they become a guy with a hammer and every problem around the world begins to look like a nail. Why do you think the Constitution says there will be no standing army? And don't give me that bullshit about having to renew their budget every two years or whatever means they aren't a standing army. Please...

The unfortunate reality is that you can only push people around for so long. Eventually the worm will turn. We will end up in a position where we are down and rather than help us, I figure most of the world will take the opportunity to kick us instead. And I'd say in many cases we've earned it.

We still won't learn though. This trait seems to be part of being human. Which is sad.

DBG - you are correct.

"When has not communicating and not trading ever worked?" Cuba? Iran? Russia? Iraq? " Probably the single best example was the collapse of the USSR. Of course, Russian Dictators did take over again, but many areas are no longer under their control, such at Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.

The unfortunate thing is that the world is run by psychopaths and narcissists. They are liars, murderers and bullies by nature and feel no remorse. If you are not the biggest bad ass on the street, it is only a matter of time... Since the end of WW2, the US has kept the oil flowing and the West safe from aggression from many sides. I don't agree with a lot of US foreign policy, especially in the last 20 years. But, if the US stands down what happens next will not be pretty. Imagine what would happen if someone with bad intent gets his hand on the valve that can cut off 25% of the world's oil supply. For the last 73 years, from the German border to the Pacific Rim, the military power of the US has maintained stability and prosperity. For that, we have heard a load of crap from those that have benefited most. Russian tanks have not rolled west and the Chinese have not moved very far east and south. Any thank yous???

“Imagine what would happen if someone with bad intent gets his hand on the valve that can cut off 25% of the world's oil supply. “

Considering “someone with bad intent” already has control over 100% (or at least 90%, if you wish to leave salt-of-the-earth US shale wildcatters out of it….) of it, not much is left to the imagination. Your “someone with bad intent” will do what Isis did. And Saddam. And the Mullahs want to do. He’ll sell the oil to the highest bidder. I.E maximize utility, much of which can be had from a mountain of money, very little for a shut wellhead somewhere in a dessert. It’s called basic economics. Economics 101. Heck, it’s one of THE fundamental axiom of economics.

His “highest bidder” may not be “us.” He may be happy to take $10 for himself, $40 for The National Oil Co., from someone with fewer scruples about “corruption”, rather than $60 for The National Oil Co. from “us.” But then the guy buying from him will sell to us, pocketing the difference without a lick of work. As that is what maximizes his utility.

One way or the other, the oil will be extracted. AND, it will find it’s way to the one who can use it most efficiently. As he is the one who can afford to pay the most, considering efficiency of use is simply a measure of how much value is created per unit of oil. Hence, the more efficient you are, the more you can ultimately afford to pay for it. So the most efficient will get it.

Now, who do you think will be the most efficient user? A closed dictatorship where all production is undertaken to maximize “bad intent,” or an open society where anyone is free to improve any existing process, while competitive pressures ensure anyone no longer the cheapest and most efficient user, is quickly routed around and left behind?

IOW, freedom works, dude! For real. Noone needs world policemen managing affairs for them now, any more than the hordes who crossed the Atlantic and set off into the then wilderness needed it back in America’s civilized era. Left to their own devices, people will maximize utility all by themselves. Which means transacting with, hence make wealthier and more influential, those who can help them do that. IOW, guys who help others for a competitive fee. IOW good guys. Not with “guys with bad intent.” Which will leave the latter routed around, impoverished and irrelevant. All without any need for some blowhard bully, claiming the world owes him thank yous for being just that.

@stuki

This x10000

It's just unfortunate that a majority of people don't believe it will work and that they can't see that it's their own fear convincing them of this.

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