Friday, March 3, 2017

Blundering into war with North Korea
  Fools in the White House are dangerous to
  California, Oregon, and Washington

As noted in the first post in this blog, "What Trump's 'America First' speech means to Californians is that to continue to survive and thrive, we must embrace a 'California First' attitude for the next four years."

I said that because the Rust Belt President was elected by people in states not "within arms reach" of North Korean strategic or tactical nuclear weapons as indicated on the map above.

For some reason those folks seem afraid of brown skinned people from 3000 miles away carrying out a Oklahoma-City-type bombing, which was actually done by white-skinned Irish American Timothy McVeigh and  Michigan farm-boy Terry Nichols.

Californian's need to shift the nation's focus off of some petty thugs in the Middle East and onto real nations in the Pacific Rim, nations that have real war capabilities, nations that are a threat, before our children can only be remembered like we remember the shadows of Hiroshima.

As I noted in May of last year "the wild card for us [California, Oregon, and Washington} is North Korea which currently has nuclear warheads and missiles." And as I explained:
For us, the nation of North Korea which is working on longer range missiles is the potential threat to millions of Pacific Rim lives, not some ragtag groups of Middle Easterners that seem to dominate the political discussion in this Presidential election year.

And the economic and military power People's Republic of China is of far more concern than Putin's Russia.
And so Donald Trump got elected by spreading fear of ISIS and the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) among the ignorant.

It is 42 days since he was sworn in and the headlines that follow are not about a rag-tag bunch of Middle Eastern thugs, they are about Pacific Rim nations:

Were these the headlines you saw today leading to stories you read this week?

Or maybe you are a follower of Steve Bannon's Breitbart News:

But most Americans probably did not read the Breitbart stories either.

Almost no Americans read the story above from the Yonhap News. In fact, almost no Americans would know that the "Yonhap News Agency plays a central role in the South Korean press by delivering news to its customers as well as newspapers, broadcasters, government agencies, businesses and Internet portals on a real-time basis."

So you missed these headlines from people who live next door to North Korea:

Click on headline image to read the story! header Malaysia Lotte trip sales state department finalize policy dealt with social  media
In November  I offered:
I only mention my background as a native Californian because here is a list of nations of the world (and in some cases their states, provinces, or other political subdivisions) that have Pacific Ocean (or adjoining seas, bays, etc.) beachfront properties plus a map designed to give one a graphical feel for this world view:

Click on image to see a larger version!

Notice there is no Europe or Africa or Middle East or Indian Subcontinent on the map. It is absolutely necessary to show this reality - it is a reality. The narrowest distance between mainland Asia and the United States - specifically between Russia and Alaska - is approximately 55 miles.

The narrowest distance between Europe (Ireland) and the United States is approximately 2,600 miles, about the same distance between North Korea and Alaska's Aleutian Islands. The distance between the United States and Syria is double that.

Would it be troubling to know that at least 15% of the world's Muslims live in areas on this map as opposed to knowing less than 20% live in the Middle East-North Africa region? It isn't very troubling to me. Here's why....

Three nations on this map which are not friendly to the U.S. have submarines, missiles, and atomic weapons. At least one of these nations, North Korea, is run by a crazy despot....

Yes, it is troubling to me that millions of U.S. Pacific Rim citizens are within striking range of those nuclear weapons but Americans living east of the Rockies think the international threat to the U.S. is a bunch of Middle Eastern thugs who have mastered the internet.

On October 12 an opinion piece written by Ohio Governor John Kasich on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) appeared in the Washington Post.... I was surprised when I read his opinion:

Don’t be fooled by divisive talk in the presidential campaign that the TPP is only a debate about trade. At its very core, this agreement is about making sure the United States continues to strengthen its essential alliances and is willing to sustain its standing as the global leader — something we have done for more than half a century.

While China and Russia — and dangerous client states such as North Korea and Iran — jockey to outmaneuver everyone else and gain a dominant hand for their global schemes, there are fast-growing, independent nations looking to partner with the United States and thereby bring their strategic, economic and political values into alignment with ours. That list begins with the initial TPP partners, but as many as 10 additional economies have expressed interest in joining.

The last thing we need is for these thriving markets to come to believe they can’t count on U.S. support, pushing them instead into economic and geopolitical relationships with China or Russia. In the event of our inaction and loss of resolve, the United States will surrender global leadership to our most aggressive rivals, dictators who have the most to gain: Vladimir Putin, Russia’s latter-day Stalin; and Xi Jinping, the most repressive Communist Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.
Does it bother me that the likes of Bernie Sanders from Vermont and Donald Trump from New York City - unlike Governor Kasich - failed to tell Americans that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement among twelve of the Pacific Rim countries was specifically designed to reduce the economic and geopolitical influence of China and Russia in the Pacific Rim region, plus continue to fence in North Korea?

You're damned right it does because Vermonters and New Yorkers are an additional 3,000 miles from these risks. So are the Ohio and Georgia voters who elected a Presidential candidate who has financial interests in Russia and China....
Which bring us to this map, the initial version of which was actually published by the East Coast/Atlantc oriented Wall Street Journal but the second, modified version emphasizes reality assuming the missiles would be aimed at significant strategic targets in the U.S:

There is some speculation about the progress of North Korean missile capabilities which ends up giving us a graphic that looks like this:

That, of course, ignores the fact that North Korea has submarines.including six ballistic missile submarines. As noted in a recent Popular Science article:
North Korea is currently pursuing a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which went from a spectacular failure of a test in December 2015 to a modestly successful 300-mile flight in a test in August 2016.
Such a 300-mile flight would allow a submarine to sit comfortable 150 miles offshore to strike every major city and port on this map located west of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges:

What is not within range of any North Korean nuclear weapons is any Rust Belt, East Coast or Gulf Coast state or the people therein. While naturally people fear strategic nuclear weapons mounted on intercontinental missiles, North Korean submarines and warships can carry tactical nuclear weapons. As explained in Wikipedia (emphasis added):
There is no precise definition of the "tactical" category, neither considering range nor yield of the nuclear weapon. The yield of tactical nuclear weapons is generally lower than that of strategic nuclear weapons, but larger ones are still very powerful, and some variable-yield warheads serve in both roles, for example the W89 200 kiloton (1/5Mt) warhead armed both the tactical Sea Lance anti-submarine rocket propelled depth charge and the strategic bomber launched SRAM II stand off missile. Modern tactical nuclear warheads have yields up to the tens of kilotons, or potentially hundreds, several times that of the weapons used in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki [both estimated at 18± kilotons].
It is difficult to overemphasize the complexity of the situation in the Pacific Rim. It could easily become a Cuban Missile Crisis level situation. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are not Jack and Bobby Kennedy. Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who since the age of 16 has been a politics nerd, is no Kenneth O'Donnell who spent World War II in the US Army Air Corps (1942–1945).

China, which has plenty of ICBM's that can hit anywhere in the United States plus their own submarines with nukes, is disturbed about our plans for placing Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles, a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase, in their backyard. Per Wikipedia:
In May 2014, the Pentagon revealed it was studying sites to base THAAD batteries in South Korea. In February 2016, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed concerns that deployment of THAAD in South Korea, despite being directed at North Korea, could jeopardize China's "legitimate national security interests." The major controversy among Chinese officials is that they believe the purpose of the THAAD system, "which detects and intercepts incoming missiles at high altitudes, is actually to track missiles launched from China" not from North Korea. In July 2016, American and South Korean military officials agreed to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in the country to counter North Korea's growing threats and use of ballistic missile and nuclear tests; each THAAD unit consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors, a fire control and communications unit, and an AN/TPY-2 radar.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is crazy, of course. The Chinese know this. They also know the American THAAD system is not designed to defend against ICBM's - we have no defense for that. They also know the reliability of the THAAD system in warfare conditions has not been tested.

But they do have disputes with neighboring countries involving the South China Sea as explained in the November post previously mentioned. It's complicated.

Most of Trump's supporters don't understand the Pacific Rim. If they did, they would not have opposed the TPP. The Rust Belt and most of the other states whose Electoral College members voted for Trump have put fools in charge of protecting the Pacific Rim including California and Oregon and Washington.

It's as if Americans are ignorant of the fact that WWI, which led to the European theater of WWII,  began as the July Crisis with incompetents blundering their way into creating the worlds most violent century killing 160± million people. Along with East-of-the-Rockies-Americans ignorance of the Pacific Rim which has been continuous since California was admitted to the Union, there is almost no chance of adequate monitoring of the fools in the White House. The President of the Rust Belt said Thursday while standing on an aircraft carrier:
We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing. You know what that is: Win. Win! We’re going to start winning again!
What exactly the voters in the Rust Belt and The South have in mind for the 21st Century is unclear, but if they care about the next generations they had better become familiar with the Pacific Rim. Because there are no winners when you kill 160± million people.