kuenjato

War Drums: North Korea edition

294 posts in this topic

15 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I seriously hope you're right, but let's face facts: if you're wrong about this, it won't change any of your opinions one iota, will it?

I'm not quite sure what you think my opinion is? If the US does invade NK then I would have been wrong. But at the moment I find it highly unlikely and I think its highly unlikely NK will abandon its strong position which is dependent on threatening people with war and acting irrationally, rather than actually going to war.

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16 hours ago, TerraPrime said:

The suffering of the potential fall out of his decision is at best, a passing curiosity to this man.

I have to ask... pun intended?

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10 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

I have to ask... pun intended?

We are talking about nuclear pre-emptive strikes, right? Isn't that "fall out?" 

 

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Posted (edited)

What I find perplexing is the length of time people are willing to put up with despots in the absence of external intervention to remove him.

Surely there must be 0.1% of the entire population willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to end the tyranny. Heck, we saw people sacrifice their lives in their thousands in centuries gone by to fight for causes of liberty and justice.

Even 0.1% of North Korea's population would amount to tens of thousands of people. And yet we have never heard of even one assassination attempt by a kitchen worker in his palace with a carving knife, or by a gardener with a pitchfork, or by his driver who chooses to drive off a cliff, sacrificing himself for the cause of killing the tyrant in the process.

It boggles my mind, I must admit.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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19 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

What I find perplexing is the length of time people are willing to put up with despots in the absence of external intervention to remove him.

Surely there must be 0.1% of the entire population willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to end the tyranny. Heck, we saw people sacrifice their lives in their thousands in centuries gone by to fight for causes of liberty and justice.

Even 0.1% of North Korea's population would amount to tens of thousands of people. And yet we have never heard of even one assassination attempt by a kitchen worker in his palace with a carving knife, or by a gardener with a pitchfork, or by his driver who chooses to drive off a cliff, sacrificing himself for the cause of killing the tyrant in the process.

It boggles my mind, I must admit.

Depends if you even KNOW he's a tyrant or think that there is a better solution. Talk to a lot of chinese people and they will discuss at length why Democracy doesn't work and how their system is better , and you will be baffled because your assumption is that even questioning the idea of a free and open society is bizarre. But to them it isn't, they are happy with the way things are now. 

The North Koreans have grown up to believe the world is one way, and that there is no other way to change it. 

Also there are very few cases of a dictatorship being over thrown and it suddenly transitioning into a steady peaceful democracy. Normally you just end up with another dictator taking his place because that level of absolute power is necessary to maintain control. 

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38 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

What I find perplexing is the length of time people are willing to put up with despots in the absence of external intervention to remove him.

Surely there must be 0.1% of the entire population willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to end the tyranny. Heck, we saw people sacrifice their lives in their thousands in centuries gone by to fight for causes of liberty and justice.

Even 0.1% of North Korea's population would amount to tens of thousands of people. And yet we have never heard of even one assassination attempt by a kitchen worker in his palace with a carving knife, or by a gardener with a pitchfork, or by his driver who chooses to drive off a cliff, sacrificing himself for the cause of killing the tyrant in the process.

It boggles my mind, I must admit.

Despots seem to be a lot smarter than you give them credit, as well as a lot more paranoid. They don't let the people who work for them have these kinds of feelings. They don't let anyone near them who is even remotely against the regime. They constantly monitor and track and listen in, and they kill those who they even suspect. 

Furthermore, killing one despot doesn't kill a family or its support. Kim Jong Un doesn't rule by just a cult of personality. 

Mostly, you're ascribing to a perfect Dunning-Kruger effect - you don't know what you're talking about, so to you it is easy and stupid how people don't do the obvious thing; instead you should probably be trying to figure out why the thing that you think is obvious isn't. 

6 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

I'm not quite sure what you think my opinion is? If the US does invade NK then I would have been wrong. But at the moment I find it highly unlikely and I think its highly unlikely NK will abandon its strong position which is dependent on threatening people with war and acting irrationally, rather than actually going to war.

I think your position is that because war is irrational, no one will engage in it, despite absurd evidence to the contrary of that happening all over the place in the last 5 years. 

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43 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Surely there must be 0.1% of the entire population willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to end the tyranny.

Perhaps. Now, how many of that 0.1% have ever had any opportunity to do so?

Spontaneous political assassination attempts are rare in any country, in dictatorships particularly so.

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1 minute ago, mormont said:

Perhaps. Now, how many of that 0.1% have ever had any opportunity to do so?

Spontaneous political assassination attempts are rare in any country, in dictatorships particularly so.

To be fair they used to be a lot more common - in the 19th century and the start of the 20th. They have become incredibly rare by comparison since the 1930s, I'd say. Most assassinations now happen after the removal of power, like the Operation Condor stuff.

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12 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Despots seem to be a lot smarter than you give them credit, as well as a lot more paranoid. They don't let the people who work for them have these kinds of feelings. They don't let anyone near them who is even remotely against the regime. They constantly monitor and track and listen in, and they kill those who they even suspect. 

Furthermore, killing one despot doesn't kill a family or its support. Kim Jong Un doesn't rule by just a cult of personality. 

Mostly, you're ascribing to a perfect Dunning-Kruger effect - you don't know what you're talking about, so to you it is easy and stupid how people don't do the obvious thing; instead you should probably be trying to figure out why the thing that you think is obvious isn't. 

I think your position is that because war is irrational, no one will engage in it, despite absurd evidence to the contrary of that happening all over the place in the last 5 years. 

Not really, I agree that most wars are irrational because they often don't balance the cost benefit of the war properly. 

But North Korea have been playing a very logical game of bluff with the world for decades, in what was a very sensible move, and they've massively benefitted from it. The perception that they are raving lunatics only feeds into that and helps them. 

They could invade South Korea but then they would lose any leverage they ever had with the world and would lead to their own self destruction. I'm not so sure they are totally oblivious to that.

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Did you know that in North Korea, you can be captured to "re-education camp" for 5 to 8 years of hard labor in the coal mines for "offenses" like using a newspaper with the Great Leader's picture on it to wrap things? Similarly, you can be jailed for criticizing the way the Great Leader's wife dresses. 

Also, it's not just you. It's 3 generations - your parents, you, and your children, are all guilty. 

There are no trials. 

Most people believe that people in South Korea are constantly fighting starvation in ways that are worse than what they have. They believe that South Koreans are work slaves in factories serving the U.S. interests. 

That's what generational totalitarian dictatorship looks like. 

Your question, FNR, is similar to asking victims of domestic abuse: "Why did you let him hit you over and over? Surely, at some point, you were angry? I can't figure out why you didn't leave him, lol." 

 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Despots seem to be a lot smarter than you give them credit, as well as a lot more paranoid. They don't let the people who work for them have these kinds of feelings. They don't let anyone near them who is even remotely against the regime. They constantly monitor and track and listen in, and they kill those who they even suspect. 

Furthermore, killing one despot doesn't kill a family or its support. Kim Jong Un doesn't rule by just a cult of personality. 

Mostly, you're ascribing to a perfect Dunning-Kruger effect - you don't know what you're talking about, so to you it is easy and stupid how people don't do the obvious thing; instead you should probably be trying to figure out why the thing that you think is obvious isn't. 

I think your position is that because war is irrational, no one will engage in it, despite absurd evidence to the contrary of that happening all over the place in the last 5 years. 

Quite laughable how you think that you happen to know what you are talking about, our resident internet expert all of a sudden. Dunning-Kruger effect indeed.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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2 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Depends if you even KNOW he's a tyrant or think that there is a better solution. Talk to a lot of chinese people and they will discuss at length why Democracy doesn't work and how their system is better , and you will be baffled because your assumption is that even questioning the idea of a free and open society is bizarre. But to them it isn't, they are happy with the way things are now. 

The North Koreans have grown up to believe the world is one way, and that there is no other way to change it. 

Also there are very few cases of a dictatorship being over thrown and it suddenly transitioning into a steady peaceful democracy. Normally you just end up with another dictator taking his place because that level of absolute power is necessary to maintain control. 

That raises the interesting point that if an entire society is so brain washed that they are actually happy with the status quo, are you actually doing them a favor by destroying that dream? Is being free, and aware of how shit your situation was really better than being ignorant and happy under the despot?

At the very least, that means that the idea of "going in to free the North Koreans from their shackles" then does not hold water. In your scenario they are then perfectly happy. The reason for a possible invasion would then be based solely on the threat that North Korea poses to the outside world, and all of their citizens can then be legitimately seen as part of the problem.

Interesting to ponder on.

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22 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

That raises the interesting point that if an entire society is so brain washed that they are actually happy with the status quo, are you actually doing them a favor by destroying that dream? Is being free, and aware of how shit your situation was really better than being ignorant and happy under the despot?

At the very least, that means that the idea of "going in to free the North Koreans from their shackles" then does not hold water. In your scenario they are then perfectly happy. The reason for a possible invasion would then be based solely on the threat that North Korea poses to the outside world, and all of their citizens can then be legitimately seen as part of the problem.

Interesting to ponder on.

I'd assume if people were starving they would be happy to suddenly have lots of food! (Though that wouldn't happen immediately)

id also assume there would be quite a large resistance movement that would be hard to get rid of.

but then I know lots of people who grew up in ex soviet countries and despite material improvements they often pine for the good old days of communism and dictatorship. 

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2 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

I'd assume if people were starving they would be happy to suddenly have lots of food! (Though that wouldn't happen immediately)

id also assume there would be quite a large resistance movement that would be hard to get rid of.

but then I know lots of people who grew up in ex soviet countries and despite material improvements they often pine for the good old days of communism and dictatorship. 

Exactly.

I guess my point is, if there aren't really that many people unhappy with the guy's rule - for whatever reason - brainwashing, genuine love for their society or whatever - then we shouldn't interfere with their lifestyle. Interference should then solely be due to the threat they represent to other countries, and not to "bring freedom" to the North Koreans.

 

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20 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Exactly.

I guess my point is, if there aren't really that many people unhappy with the guy's rule - for whatever reason - brainwashing, genuine love for their society or whatever - then we shouldn't interfere with their lifestyle. Interference should then solely be due to the threat they represent to other countries, and not to "bring freedom" to the North Koreans.

 

If they just sat on their laurels and didn't mess with the world that might be possible.  That's not what they do.  They have thousands of artillery pieces trained on Seoul.  They have nukes and have threatened to use them.  They are developing missile tech that could allow them to hit the US.  They are not keeping to themselves... hence the problem.

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8 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

If they just sat on their laurels and didn't mess with the world that might be possible.  That's not what they do.  They have thousands of artillery pieces trained on Seoul.  They have nukes and have threatened to use them.  They are developing missile tech that could allow them to hit the US.  They are not keeping to themselves... hence the problem.

Indeed. Hence my point that interference should be based solely on neutralizing that threat. Propaganda of "liberating the North Koreans from opression" or some such story as was used in Iraq should really not come into the equation this time around.

 

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1 minute ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Indeed. Hence my point that interference should be based solely on neutralizing that threat. Propaganda of "liberating the North Koreans from opression" or some such story as was used in Iraq should really not come into the equation this time around.

 

Exactly and it has almost never worked when they tried it anywhere else.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, TerraPrime said:

Did you know that in North Korea, you can be captured to "re-education camp" for 5 to 8 years of hard labor in the coal mines for "offenses" like using a newspaper with the Great Leader's picture on it to wrap things? Similarly, you can be jailed for criticizing the way the Great Leader's wife dresses. 

Also, it's not just you. It's 3 generations - your parents, you, and your children, are all guilty. 

There are no trials. 

Most people believe that people in South Korea are constantly fighting starvation in ways that are worse than what they have. They believe that South Koreans are work slaves in factories serving the U.S. interests. 

That's what generational totalitarian dictatorship looks like. 

Your question, FNR, is similar to asking victims of domestic abuse: "Why did you let him hit you over and over? Surely, at some point, you were angry? I can't figure out why you didn't leave him, lol." 

 

Well my question was exactly that. A question, based on the intriguing psychology behind it all.

Why would Japanese pilots be willing to become Kamakazis for the sake of defeating an enemy, or Gauls be willing to die in their millions to oppose the superior Roman legions, or American Revolutionaries be willing to die to liberate themselves from British rule, or Apache members of raiding parties remain silent as they fall down a cliff to their deaths, resiting the natural urge to scream rather than alerting enemies to the party's approach, or WW1 soldiers fatalistically charge from a trench into the face of machine gun fire and certain death, or a Chinese protester standing in front of an advancing tank, or believers refusing to speak against their conscience even when burnt on a pyre, or thrown to lions to be devoured, and and and, while in other societies or circumstances people are not willing (or able) to make such sacrifices for something they believe in.

My point is that it is an intriguing question, to which I don't have the answer. All it takes is one close aid who has reached breaking point, grabs a pen and stabs him in the throat. But for some reason - and we have seen it in many tyrannical states in the modern era - it does not seem to happen.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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2 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

My point is that it is an intriguing question, to which I don't have the answer. All it takes is one close aid who has reached breaking point, grabs a pen and stabs him in throat. But for some reason - and we have seen it in many tyrannical states in the modern era - it does not seem to happen.

Certain death for yourself and your family whether you succeed or not is a pretty universal incentive not to do that. 

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1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Quite laughable how you think that you happen to know what you are talking about, our resident internet expert all of a sudden. Dunning-Kruger effect indeed.

I certainly know more about it than you appear to. I don't claim to be an expert - but I do claim to be able to tell when someone thinks things are easy because they don't understand them in the least. But please, entertain us - tell us what we said that is wrong. 

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