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Posts Tagged ‘hubris’

Brouhaha over Kavanaugh as an Accidental Genius Move by Democrats

October 8, 2018 18 comments

Over previous 2-3 days, CONservative media outlets have been masturbating with the pretense of joy over the Kavanaugh confirmation. Even usually non-mainstream CONservative alt-right losers are trying to portray it as some great “victory” for Trump. It is amusing to watch their hilarious Gollum death dance, largely because my understanding of history is large enough to know how this will all end. To understand what I am talking about, let me ask a simple question.. Why are there many policies and regulations, especially in USA, about sexual harassment?

Have you ever wondered if this was always the case? Surely, there must have been a time after women entered the workplace in large numbers when policies and regulations about sexual harassment were largely non-existent. Also, why is the issue of sexual harassment a much bigger deal in North America (especially USA) compared to West-Europe, to say nothing about parts of the world. And what does any of this have to do with moribund establishment Democrats making, what I consider to be, an accidentally genius move by opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

A couple of weeks before Y2K, I was an unusually young M.Sc student at one of those pre-Xmas departmental parties. After mixing among the crowd for a while, I ended up sitting down with two professors. After talking about a variety of topics, we came to the issue of sexual harassment because some well-known professor had been recently disciplined by the university for that infraction. Both told me that things used to be quite different even a decade ago, and one was happily married to a woman he started dating when she was his summer student.

When I asked them about their theories as to why things had changed so much and so fast, they were almost unanimous in blaming it on fallout from the ‘Anita Hill controversy’. At this time, I was vaguely aware that a woman named Anita Hill had accused a nominee to the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, of sexual harassment. I was also aware that her attempt to stop his nomination was not successful and republicans had tried to get her fired from a university.

I could not however, at that time, make a connection between the fallout of that controversy and the slew of policies and regulations concerning sexual harassment which were rolled out by large corporations as well as governmental institutions in the 1990s. Almost a couple of years passed. Then one Saturday night, I came across an administrative assistant (and her girlfriends?) whose office used to be along the route to my lab as a student. We briefly exchanged pleasantries and I introduced her to my companion as the secretary whose office was two doors away from the office that dealt with sexual harassment claims etc.

We had a quick laugh about it and then I asked her if that office was always there. She replied that they only came into being around 1993 or 1994 and something about Anita Hill. She also said that prior to this, women either did not complain or went through internal departmental channels if the harassment was especially persistent and severe. After a couple of more minutes during which I told her about my new job in a different part of that building complex, we went our own way. Though a bit drunk, something in my mind immediately made the connection between this incident and the one mentioned a couple of paragraphs above.

But I still could not understand how an incident which had occurred a decade ago and on other end of the continent had such a profound and widespread impact. And let us not forget that this was before everybody and their dog was on the internet and social media. Anyway.. the next morning after a cup of tea and with nothing else to do, I decided to spend some time on Google to find out when policies and regulations surrounding sexual harassment (as we know them today) came into being.This was in an era (1999-2011) when Google search was at it peak.

After searching for about an hour, I noticed a few persistent patterns. Firstly, most modern policies and offices to deal with sexual harassment in universities seem to have started in the early to mid 1990s. There were, of course, some outliers which had something like that as early as late 1980s. But the bulk of them came into existence with four to five years of the Anita Hill controversy. The same held true for large corporations. I briefly considered the possibility that this might be an artifact of the modern internet becoming public in 1994, but the clustering of dates was just too tight (and just before 1994).

After that, I decided to go out and get something to eat and walk around the more fashionable parts of that city. By the time I returned, this topic was nowhere in my conscious mind. Without much to do a Sunday night, I ordered a pizza and went about finishing the remaining two beers in my fridge. Because this was in the pre- YouTube era, I decided to watch some documentary on the Vietnam war on TLC\A&E\ History Channel (back when they broadcast stuff other than fake “reality shows” about pawn shops, truck drivers, naked survivalists and similar crap). Anyway.. this one was part of a series about why USA lost the Vietnam war.

One of the talking heads in that documentary was saying something about how USA never paid attention to how the Vietnamese perceived their presence in their country and then he said something to the effect of “we won every battle, but lost the war”. And this when I had my epiphany about how the Anita Hill controversy unintentionally gave rise to the policies and regulations surrounding sexual harassment as we know them today- at least in North America. Republican CONServatives (with the help of Democrats like Joe Biden) did win one battle by confirming that ugly toad, aka Clarence Thomas, to the Supreme Court- but they lost the war.

The attempts by Republicans and some Democrats to publicly humiliate Anita Hill to push through the nomination of that uncle Tom.. I mean Clarence Thomas, made her into an unintentional martyr for the cause of a certain ascendant brand of feminism. It also helped that the guy accused of sexual harassment was seriously lacking in the looks and personality department. Subsequent Googling revealed that women (especially white educated women) saw those hearings very differently from men. It did not help that her subsequent harassment by republicans and attempts to kick her out a university job made Anita Hill into a bonafide martyr for white educated professional women- the same ones who came to populate administrative positions in universities and large corporations.

It then occurred to me that the course of the movement against sexual harassment in North America might have been different if those myopic idiots had spiked the nomination of Clarence Thomas in favor of a less revolting corporate cock-sucker. But no.. those idiots had to “win” that battle. And this is how they lost the war and that is why we now have so many policies, regulations and all the other stuff surrounding sexual harassment. I cannot resist pointing out that “victory” of putting that Uncle Tom on the Supreme Court ended up costing many hundreds of thousands men their jobs, careers and promotions- not to mention social status.

Clarence Thomas was only accused of sexual harassment and most of this occurred before the internet and social media age (at least in their full-blown form). Kavanaugh has been credibly accused of sexual assault and worse. His looks, history, personality and demeanor have not helped sell his case to most women. FYI- most women do not constantly post on social media about supporting CONservative causes with their styled bleached hair or tits hanging half-out. Mark my words, this is going to get much uglier and far more consequential than what happened after Clarence Thomas was pushed through to the Court. And yes, this has very serious potential of helping Democrats in future elections- because face it, women universally and viscerally hate mediocre men trying to force them to into uncompensated sex.

What do you think? Comments?

Kavanaugh Confirmation is American Version of Brezhnev 1979 Speech

October 6, 2018 14 comments

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my two recent posts about why the nomination and attempt to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court were incredibly bad ideas with huge potential for future disasters due to second/third order effects. To be clear, I have always seen that court as a regressive institution whose primay function is the maintenance of status quo for the wealthy and corporations, at the expense of everyone else. I also wrote that confirming him would be the best surprise gift for establishment Democrats since Trump’s 2016 electoral victory.

Putting an entitled effeminate man credibly accused of multiple sexual assaults and a poor liar, like Kavanaugh, to the Court does wonders for the ability of otherwise moribund establishment Democrats to motivate voters as well as collect donations. And yes.. it does matters a lot how Kavanaugh appears to most women of reproductive age, and not just due to of his stance on abortion. As I keep on saying, he is a living breathing embodiment of the mental image most women have of that rich but unattractive asshole who tried to sexually assault them.

Let us be honest about it, a guy who had to corner women in a room or stick his penis in front of their face was not making them wet in the first place. Sadly, there are more than a few retarded men who want to believe that all CONservative women will steadfastly support that loser because they came across a few photos of a minuscule number of attention-whoring barbie CONservatives pretending to do just that on Twitter. First of all, most CONservative women are post-menopausal, tending towards senility and on their way out. More importantly, most of their daughters don’t share their belief system and never will.

And do not, for one moment, assume that there will be no future revelations about Kavanaugh. On the contrary, we are going to see and hear a lot more about the misadventures of Brett and his friends at Georgetown Prep and Yale. And ya.. establishment Democrats will keep hammering away at him- largely because it increases voter turnout and nets them more donor cash. If you don’t believe me, just look at what they have built out of the ludicrous accusation that Trump is a Russian puppet. This is going to be a long.. long road.

But what does any of this have to do with Leonid Brezhnev‘s now infamous televised address from December 1979? Also who was this guy? For those of you born after mid-1980s, Leonid Brezhnev was the leader of the erstwhile- USSR from 1964 to 1982. In other words, his political career began and ended before many of us were born or old enough to understand things. But as you will soon see, all of this is very relevant to the USA of 2018.

So here is a quick historic primer about the actors and context to this event. Leonid Brezhnev came into power in 1964 after Nikita Khrushchev was deposed by an internal coup. It is fair to say that he was chosen because he was seen as least likely to rock the boat, especially since his predecessor was well.. kinda impulsive and often did things without carefully thinking through the consequences. This is not to say that Khrushchev wasn’t an effective leader. It is just that other people near the top preferred somebody more predictable and boring.

Initially, it looked like a good choice. As some of you know, USSR experienced massive real growth and improvement in living standards for its people from 1946 to the early 1970s. Did I mention that this occurred in spite of the chronic stupidity and short-sightedness of its political elite. Long story short, the first few years of Brezhnev’s “leadership” were good for most people. Then the consequences of previous bad choices and attempts to copy the most disastrous aspects of western capitalism caused economic stagnation.

The later years of his “leadership” were also characterized by a general social and intellectual malaise throughout the country, partially caused by regressive social CONservativism. By the late 1970s, many Russians had started to express serious doubt (in their private circles) about the direction and future of their country. But this being USSR, those doubts were almost never aired in forums larger than your close family and intimate friends. While Gulags were a thing of the past, nobody wanted to risk job promotions or attract extra scrutiny from the security apparatus.

Back to Brezhnev.. as we now know, his health declined a lot in later years to the point where, by 1979, he was a mere shadow of his former self. Of course, he never expressed a serious desire to resign (that we know of) and the other people at top were not especially interested in replacing him before his death. For some years, they were able to hide the extent of his physical deterioration from the public. However, towards the end- it was very obvious. And then he decided to record that televised address in December 1979.

By now, some of you must be wondering.. “what is exact connection between the recent farce of Kavanaugh’s confirmation and some televised address made by an old and sick leader of USSR in 1979”? Well.. both are pivotal moments for the loss of public confidence in existing systems of governance. Confused? Let me explain.

In the very late 1990s to early 2000s period, I performed research at a couple of places alongside many immigrants from the eastern block, including Russia. Almost every one of them was about 10-20 years older than me. We often used to talk about non-research related stuff including how things went south in USSR after 1980. During the course of these discussions I noticed something peculiar. While each one of them reached their moment of epiphany about the future of USSR through an often unique set of circumstances, a majority made at least passing mention of the speeches and public appearances made by Brezhnev from 1979 till his death.

But why would people remember a few routine speeches made during that time period? More importantly, why did they connect them to the final collapse of USSR in 1991? At that time, internet video sites such as YouTube did not exist, and my options for further investigating such stuff on the internet was restricted to reading transcripts, archived newspaper articles etc. A few years later (around 2004 or 2005) I came across a highly edited clip of one such speech while watching some TLC/A&E/History channel documentary about USSR in the 1980s. And yes, it looked like he was not doing too well.

But I still could not understand why people who grew up during time remembered the ambiance of those speeches. A few more years later, I finally came across a YouTube clip of one such speech. It was then that I started to realize why people who were around when that speech was first broadcast associated it with the beginning of end for USSR. Long story short, if you watch the speech, a few things quickly becomes obvious. Firstly, Brezhnev was in pretty bad shape and not just physically. Secondly he seemed unaware of, or did not care about, the severity of his medical problems. Nobody around him was trying to help him beyond doing perfunctory stuff.

To summarize, those speeches (including the one linked below) mass-validated the worst fears people in that country harbored about the system but were afraid to discuss with anyone outside of their close social circle. It was now obvious to almost everyone that those in charge were seriously disconnected from reality and were not even trying to put on a proper dog-and-pony show. It also revealed that almost everyone at the top was looking out for themselves, and nobody else. And don’t forget that this came at the end of almost a decade of economic and social stagnation. Even people who had some real faith in ability of that system to solve problems could no longer believe that was likely. It was all just too hard to ignore and look past.

The Kavanaugh confirmation is the contemporary american version of Brezhnev’s televised speeches from 1979. You cannot look at that shitshow and pretend it was anything but a shitshow. You cannot look at that guy, his bad acting, constant lying and still pretend that he was a good person. You cannot make a plausible case that the guy is anything beyond a sadly mediocre, but born rich, asshole who had sex with unconscious women when he was in high school. But most importantly, you cannot ignore that the system to confirm such an atrocious person to the Supreme Court worked just as it was intended.

FYI- only the edited version of Brezhnev’s speech in this clip was eventually televised. But even it was full of obviously slurred words and odd body language.

What do you think? Comments?

More Thoughts on the Flaming Disaster of Kavanaugh’s Nomination

September 30, 2018 31 comments

Let me be upfront about something before we proceed any further. I had no real desire to write another post about the latest train-wreck in DC aka Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to Supreme Court. There are so many other interesting and consequential topics which I could have written about. Sadly, the shitshow surrounding nomination of that worthless loser has become national news and could have some pretty significant effects on immediate future- specifically outcome of November 2018 elections.

With that in mind, let me revisit what I wrote about that rich rapey mediocre prep-school jock a few days ago. It is my firm opinion that the idiots in Republican establishment should never have nominated somebody as widely despised as Kavanaugh. The recently publicized sexual assault accusations against him are only a small part of the litany of reasons he is seen in such poor light by establishment Democrats. Kavanaugh was, after all, part of the Kenneth Starr “investigation” as well as Bush43’s administration. But why is that such a bad thing?

This is where I start telling stuff you might not want to hear. You see.. protection of the rich and capitalist class from average people has always the main function of Supreme Court and through most of its history it has been a highly regressive institution. The Warren Court was perhaps the only time in history that it consistently ruled in a quasi-progressive manner. But how the court has ruled since the 1980s? Long story short, it has consistently ruled in favor of the rich, powerful and corporations and against average people- with exception of social issues.

But why do establishment Democrats care about who is appointed to the Supreme Court? As you all know, both establishment Democrats and Republicans are corporate whores. But, then shouldn’t their choice of candidates for that court be almost identical? Well.. for a long time that was indeed the case. There is a reason why most Supreme Court nominees, as late as the 1990s, were confirmed by an almost unanimous Senate vote. Sure, some were a bit to the right and some to the left – but by and large, they were predictable “centrists”.

Then the presidential election of 2000 happened and we know the role played by a slim majority of that court in appointing Bush43 as president. From that moment onwards, the Supreme Court (and appointments to it) were irreversibly politicized. Of course, there were other reasons for that change- ranging from changing demography of USA, irreversible decline of white male privilege, establishment Democrats support of identity politics to cover up their neoliberal belief etc.

And this brings us to why the nomination of Kavanaugh was such a bad idea. Once again to make a long story short, he was always seen as a rabid partisan figure by Democrats and there was no way they were going to confirm him. But could things have gone differently if that orange-haired buffoon had nominated a less controversial figure? What about somebody like Thomas Hardiman? For starters, the guy is a good corporate whore- just like his appointed predecessors. More importantly, his wife and in-laws are of Mexican descent and prominent democrats.

In other words, Hardiman in addition to having a compelling life story and being a good corporate whore could be relied upon to support progressive social causes. Sure, he would have only been 90% of the corporate whore Kavanaugh would be, but let us be realistic- it would be way easier to confirm him. In fact, even sad turtle face aka Mitch McConnell conveyed that to Trump on more than one occasion. But the dumbfucks in White House thought they knew better than everybody else and decided to nominate that post-menopausal woman-faced loser.

But why so much hate for this guy? Well.. it is way more than hate. I can foresee very plausible scenarios in which his confirmation (or even failed nomination) could have large impacts on the results of 2018 and 2020 elections. But before we go there, let us talk about why the sexual assault charges against him are so sticky and problematic. I kinda hinted to that in the previous paragraph by calling him a ‘post-menopausal woman-faced loser’. Still confused at what I am hinting at? OK.. let us do a thought experiment.

Imagine that the person nominated to the supreme court had the looks of a handsome masculine actor, rock star or sportsman. Now ask yourself, would sexual assault accusations by Christine Blasey Ford have been more credible or less credible? Would she have even accused him of sexual assault in the first place? Ok.. let me ask you a question, which might seem odd. Have you noticed a common thread running through almost every man who has lost his career because of accusations of sexual assault or harassment. Anything..

What about their looks or lack thereof? Have you noticed that the most famous scalps taken by the MeToo movement have been mediocre to ugly-looking men (Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, Roger Ailes etc) with either a lot of power or money? For some “odd” reason, handsome men with complicated sex lives such as such as Rob Lowe and Charlie Sheen (in their prime), music icons (Lenny Kravitz and almost every other famous male musician) and sport-stars just don’t seem to end up on MeToo lists. It is always the mediocre-looking guy (usually white) who got lucky and made a lot of money or came into some power.

But why is that so? The simple answer to that question is that looks, physicality and attitude are attractive to women in a way that money and power are just not. That is why the white wife of a white physician will gladly cheat on him with some mediocre musician- but the reverse will never happen unless money changes hands. Kavanaugh, you see, comes across an effeminate white guy who was born to rich parents, got into an expensive prep school and ivy-league university because of parents’s connection and glided through life despite his utter mediocrity.

To put it another way, this guy has not made many (if any) pussies wet- even in his twenties. And this is why those charges of sexual assault and general rapey behavior have turned out to be so sticky. He really looks like the rich but mediocre looking white guy who has to sexual assault women or otherwise compensate them to get laid. It does not help that he is such a terrible liar. To summarize, he instinctively looks and behaves like a mediocre-looking prep-school rapey asshole and most women are viscerally repulsed by guys like Kavanaugh.

But why does this matter? The simple answer is 2018 and 2020 elections. The slightly longer answer is that the Democratic party had been unable to come up with a program or issue which was strong or visceral enough to increase turnout among likely voters in the 2018 mid-term election. All that constant talk about Russia, Putin, Collusion was simply not influencing voters who are not already partisan. Then Trump gave them an unexpected gift by nominating an hypocritical and effeminate prep-school asshole who just happened to have done some pretty repulsive (at least for women) things when he was younger.

Now they have a highly emotive issue to constantly beat republican candidates over the head with and simultaneously increase turnout of their own voter base. And this is not going away whether, or not, he is confirmed. Indeed.. confirming him might be the greatest gift received by moribund establishment Democrats since the election of Trump. And ya.. he will almost certainly be subject to multiple criminal investigations once confirmed resulting in his impeachment (or resignation) within 2-3 years. Establishment republicans, being as pathetic as their Democratic counterparts, still think they can wing it by getting him confirmed. I guess that stupid people cannot (or won’t) find out any other way.

What do you think? Comments?

How CONservatives Screwed Themselves by Nominating Kavanaugh

September 24, 2018 16 comments

I was originally going to post about something less topical today. Then I decided to quickly share my views on how establishment CONservatives truly fucked themselves over by nominating Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Some of you might counter by saying that his nomination might still be successful, and you know what.. that might very well be the case. But mark my words- if appointed, he will also be the first supreme court justice to be removed (either through formal impeachment or via some underhanded method) within next few years.

How did we end up in this situation, anyway? And was it inevitable? In my opinion, it comes down to a unique combination of hubris, stupidity and magical thinking on the part of CONservatives. To understand what I am talking about, let us go back to 2017 and the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme court. You might recall that he was supposed to replace Antonin Scalia after that POS died in his sleep. Given that he was supposed to occupy the “CONservative” seat left vacant by Scalia, one might have expected stronger opposition from Democrats, especially given how republican senators scuttled Obama’s nominee for that seat.

And yet.. nothing like that happened. Heck, a few democratic senators even voted for him. So why did Gorsuch get such an easy confirmation, given all the issues Democrats should have had with his nomination? The conventional explanation is that they did not care much since he was a 1:1 replacement for a demented CONservative asshole- and there might be some truth to that. However, there is a far more obvious (and cynical) reason for their lack of ‘resistance’. Gorsuch, you see, was an otherwise non-controversial shill for business and corporate interests.

Sure.. he was also pro-gun, pro- “law and order” etc, but otherwise Gorsuch was just another establishment CONservative shill who could be trusted to reliably fellate the cause of corporate rights. Establishment democrats, being the pro-corporate whores they are, are perfectly fine with supporting plain CONservative supreme court nominees. Indeed, they prefer to have people like Gorsuch in the judicial system since it allows them to feign impotence in face of demands from their voter base. That is why they were so willing to speed up nomination of CONservative judges by the Trump administration in lower courts.

Then why was Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court cursed from the beginning? Well.. it begins with his role in “investigation” of Clinton42 by Kenneth Starr in late 1990s. Kavanaugh’s senior role in that “investigative” team pretty much guaranteed that he would always be in the proverbial cross-hairs of establishment Democrats. His becoming a member of Bush43’s white house team, closeness to Karl Rove and subsequent appointment to a federal judgeship only increased the size of the proverbial red dot- and establishment Republicans knew that.

There is a reason why sad turtle face, aka Mitch McConnell, was not especially enthusiastic about Kavanaugh being nominated to the supreme court. He had a pretty good idea of the shit-storm this nomination was going to unleash, and frankly he did not see how Kavanaugh was a better corporate cock-sucker than other generic CONservative judicial nominees. But the idiots in the white house thought that his nomination would please their most delusional CONservative supporters. They just didn’t expect it to become such a big media circus.

So.. let us turn to the controversy surrounding his alleged history of sexual assault of women. What do I think about it? Did he do those things? Well.. given that he was a rich prep school kid from a white COnservative family, it is almost certain he did everything he has been accused of and worse. For example, I would not be surprised if tomorrow some woman accused him of date rape, drugging and raping, frequenting brothels which specialize in underage prostitutes, exchanging sex for professional favors etc.

That is how rich, white, allegedly CONservative men in USA with a drinking and gambling problem behave! I would not even be surprised if we someday find out that he molested one or both of his daughters. That guy has entitlement and poor impulse control written all over him. Those idiots should never have nominated somebody as intrinsically problematic and loathed by establishment Democrats as Kavanaugh. And it is not as if they did not have a stable of plain CONservative judges, who just love to fellate corporations, to choose from.

Which brings me to the hilarious and idiotic defenses of Kavanaugh’s character being mounted by CONservatives to save his nomination. As I have previously said, supporting a guy with so many skeletons in his closet is not the proverbial hill any sane person should be willing to die on. Then again, CONservatives seldom demonstrate an ability to think beyond whatever is immediately in front of them. They have also not fully understood why doing stupid things such as questioning the honesty of his female accusers in 2018 is such a bad idea. But why is that so?

Well.. it comes down to plausibility of those accusations, as opposed to their authenticity. As an example, if a woman accused Bill Clinton of staring at her body- we would all believe it without asking for further proof, simply because it fits with our previous experience and knowledge about his behavior and mindset. Similarly, an accusation of Trump cavorting with porn stars and washed-out playboy models does not require further evidence to be believable.

Kavanaugh’s public image is that of a spoilt and rich jock (with major alcohol problems) whose career trajectory was largely determined by the wealth and connections of his parents. Trying to rape a girl while drunk, or force another to blow him, sounds about right for a generic prep school CONservative jock. That is why, you see, those accusations are so sticky and will only get worse as time passes. Furthermore, they resonate very well with personal experiences of many women. Did I mention his alleged stance of Roe Vs Wade does not help his image. It will be interesting to see how much worse things will get if he is actually confirmed.

What do you think? Comments?

Three Erroneous Assumptions Made by Most Americans about DPRK

October 25, 2017 7 comments

As regular readers know, I have written more than a few posts about the current situation caused by DPRK aka North Korea testing nuclear weapons and ICBMs. The gist of those posts is as follows: Accepting DPRK as a bonafide nuclear weapon state with a rational foreign policy and acting towards it accordingly is infinitely better than pretending otherwise.

Having said that, I have noticed that a lot of americans keep on making a number of erroneous, and unrealistic, assumptions about DPRK and the current situation. While we certainly cannot go over every one of them in a single post, I thought it would be a good idea to cover the three most important erroneous assumptions (or beliefs) about that country and the current situation.

Erroneous Belief # 1
: Current situation between DPRK & USA can be resolved by military force.

While jingoists, keyboard warriors and many west-point educated generals might want to believe that the USA could resolve its current situation with DPRK through military force, even a basic reality check and some knowledge of relevant history suggests otherwise. Let me remind you that the decision by USA to not attempt a Korean War 2.0 after the 1953 armistice was based in military calculations, rather than humanitarian considerations- to put it mildly.

As many of you know, DPRK has hundreds (if not thousands) of artillery pieces capable of bombarding Seoul on a moment’s notice- not to mention the tens of thousands of rocket artillery and swarms of short-range missiles. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by DPRK in the later half of 2000s makes the destruction of Seoul Capital Area (about 25 million people) almost inevitable if a serious war was to break out between DPRK and USA. To make a long story short, Korean War 2.0 = No Seoul

Then there is the question of whether large urban aggregations in Japan, specifically the Greater Tokyo Area, would get nuked in the event of such a war. It is no secret that DPRK has a number of liquid and solid fueled SRBMs which could deliver a few nukes on top of such large urban aggregations. While Japan claims to have many types of “effective” anti-ballistic missiles, it is highly doubtful that they can do much against a swarm of dozens of warheads within a 2-3 minute window, especially if only 5-6 of them were nuclear.

My point is that even the most optimistic projections of casualties caused by DPRK’s response to a military strike by USA involve millions of dead and dying people in South Korea and Japan plus long-term (potentially irreversible) damage to two of the largest and most prosperous urban areas in the world. And we have not even started talking about the effects of a few nuclear weapon tipped ICBMs going off over large cities in mainland USA.

Erroneous Belief # 2: DPRK is a vassal state of China.

One belief constantly resurfacing in regards to the current situation with DPRK is that China is somehow the real power behind the show. Another version of this belief is that China possess extraordinary leverage over DPRK. The reality is, however, quite different. While China has always been the most important trading partner for DPRK and was its most important weapons provider in the past, its actual leverage over DPRK has been rather limited. Even worse, the political relationship between them has never been especially warm.

China’s support for DPRK has to be understood through the lens of history and pragmatism. To put it bluntly, China intervened in the Korean war because it did not want an american puppet state on its eastern border- which is also why it got involved in the Vietnam war. Of course, China is quite happy to let DPRK poke and prod South Korea, Japan and generally undermine the rationale for american military presence in that region. But let us clear about one thing, Beijing does not control Pyongyang. Nor do they want, or can afford, the current regime in DPRK to fail.

A related delusion still popular among americans is the belief China will help the USA secure DPRK after a “successful” invasion of DPRK. Even if we discount the possibility that major urban centers in South Korea and Japan will be nuked within the first few minutes of a serious armed confrontation, we have to contend with the reality that DPRK’s leadership (or their population) do not see China as their master and will not hesitate to use their weapons against China. Yes.. you heard that right. If DPRK feels that China is cooperating with USA to invade it, there is a pretty high likelihood that some of their nukes will go off over Chinese cities.

Erroneous Belief # 3: DPRK will agree to give up its nuclear weapons.

Another popular delusion harbored by the establishment in USA is that they can somehow convince DPRK to give up its nuclear weapons. While this delusion is especially funny, it is worthwhile to point out that “denuclearization” of DPRK is still the main and only focus of any talks USA is willing to have with DPRK. Let us be clear about one thing, only one nation (namely, South Africa) has ever voluntarily gave up its arsenal of self-developed. Also they had less than a dozen of very primitive nuclear weapons- so it wasn’t exactly a big sacrifice to begin with.

In spite of all the sanctimonious talk about global denuclearization, no other nuclear weapon power has seriously considered giving up its nuclear weapon arsenal. In fact, all nuclear weapon powers have kept on improving their weapons even if two of them (Russia and USA) did reduce the absolute numbers in their inventory in the 1990s. However the total number of nuclear weapons in the world had remained largely constant since those early post-cold war reductions. It is not realistic to expect any nuclear weapon power, let alone one who needs such deterrent capability, to give up nuclear weapons- especially if they were developed indigenously.

Furthermore, the experience of DPRK of negotiating with USA in the mid-1990s, and then again in the early-2000s, has left them with the correct impression that any treaty with the USA is not worth the paper on which it was printed. They correctly recognized that credible lethal force is necessary for any future talks with USA. In other words, DPRK now rightly believes that acquisition of a credible capability to launch a nuclear attack on american cities is a prerequisite to any worthwhile talks between the two parties. The recent fiasco over Trump decertifying a multinational nuclear deal with Iran has simply demonstrated that their strategy towards USA is correct.

In this situation and environment, it is supremely delusional to believe that a regime whose survival is predicated on possessing a credible nuclear deterrent will give it up to satisfy another country which has consistently demonstrated its unwillingness to respect the terms of any agreement it has ever signed. In other words, DPRK (and many other countries) will require a credible nuclear deterrent as long as the USA continues to exist in its current form. Also, USA is no longer seen as an omnipotent military power- especially after its recent humiliating defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

What do you think? Comments?