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#53689 - 10/01/04 07:52 PM Re: OT: politics
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
I agree, BigWill, the North Korean regime is a 'shakedown' artist, living it up while its people eat grass and field stubble. Oh, the joy of the only remaining pure Stalinist regime on the planet.
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#53690 - 10/02/04 05:39 PM Re: OT: politics
jtmccoy Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 96
BigWill,

As much as I disagree with you on some of your other points (so, you're saying you DON'T like John Kerry, right?), I think you're right on in your assessment of N. Korea and Kim Jong-il. Not to sound all pretentious, but I grew up in Korea and I believe I have an intimate understanding of the Korean culture and their way of thinking. Will, you're right--a lot of what the North Koreans are doing is posturing and bluffing. In a way, you have to respect the political savvy of both South and North Korean leadership. In all fairness, the Korean peninsula should be a colony of either China, Russia, Japan, or the U.S. at this point, but the fact that such a small country has been able to survive through so much war and takeover with a very distinct culture still intact is a reflection of the political prowess of leaders like Park Chung-hee and his successors in the South and Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jong-il in the North. What they've lacked in military might (relative to the surrounding world powers), they've made up in political savvy.

North Korea is motivated by one thing only--survival--in particular the surivival of the regime of Kim Jong-il. Unlike Islamic fanatics, they have no goal to take over the rest of the world, and they are not self-destructive. In fact, the country's national "religion" is called "Juche," which translates as "self-reliance."

My personal belief is that you have to treat North Korea much like we treated the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Continue to help protect South Korea, and pressure other countries, especially China, through economic and trade policies to continue to pressure North Korea to change its ways. Like the U.S.S.R., as North Korea's economy continues to detiorate, the government will naturally collapse as a result--maybe not until Kim Jong-il dies, but it is just a matter of time. However, and this is very important in Korean culture, we have to continue to let North Korea know that we're still the toughest, baddest S.O.B. on the block, and that they don't have a shot against us. At the same time, we also have to still be willing to aid the North Korean people through food and medical relief if they're willing to disarm. Perhaps tell them they have to let inspectors in if they want relief, not because we believe they'll actually honor the agreement, but because it allows more Western influence to infiltrate their culture. You see, the North Koreans are totally in the dark as far as the rest of the world is concerned. The more aware they are of their own backwardness and the great success of democracy and capitalism in South Korea, the more unwilling they're going to be to keep putting up with the current state of affairs. I know several Americans who are now living in North Korea (which would've been unthinkable ten years ago), and they can attest to this. Already, North Korea is opening up more than we could ever imagine.

I'm not at all worried about North Korea actually using nukes. They will NEVER use them, because they know that would be suicide. I am a lot more worried about North Korea selling them in secret to some nutty Islamic terrorist group. That's the real issue that has to be tackled.

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#53691 - 10/02/04 05:45 PM Re: OT: politics
jtmccoy Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 96
One other thing,

The one thing we cannot do is invade North Korea like we did Iraq. They have a standing army of 1.5 million extremely well-trained troops and could immediately conscript millions more. We would likely eventually win, but it would be a blood bath on a scale that this generation of Americans could never handle. It would also lead to the near-destruction of South Korea as North Korea would quickly overrun Seoul as a counterattack.
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#53692 - 10/02/04 06:37 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
How could you disagree with me on anything? I spend a lot of time thinking this stuff through.

And, for the record, I would like to recant my statement that Kerry "won" the debate. He benefited from the debate. He looked Presidential, he sounded Presidential, he earned big style points. But, as we discussed earlier with regards to the fickle swing voters, an election shouldn't be determined by the style of a person's delivery, his height, his posture, or his facial expressions. If that kind of stuff is what you base your decision on, then you shouldn't be voting at all.




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#53693 - 10/02/04 07:45 PM Re: OT: politics
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
So first he won, and now he only benefited? So which is it? Is this flip-flopping I hear, from a Bush supporter?

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#53694 - 10/02/04 09:21 PM Re: OT: politics
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16267
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
LOL! Admitting an error? That's very un-Bush-like.
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#53695 - 10/02/04 11:53 PM Re: OT: politics
jtmccoy Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 96
In regards to the debate:

Face it, Kerry mopped the floor with Bush, both in terms of style AND substance. I love the new Republican spin that says, yeah, Kerry won a lot of style points, but he again was just flip-flopping blah blah blah blah....face it, YOUR MAN LOST and looked like an idiot in doing so.

Basic synopsis of Bush's debate: "Well, uhhh, it's really, uhhhh, hard bein' president, and we got ourselves a tough fight o'er der in Iraq, and it's, uhhh, really hard, and uhhh, it's gonna take some time to win, but uhhhh, we're workin' hard, and we gotta be strong...we gotta be strong. (*nod head meaningfully, sigh, then look over at Kerry with a smirk as if it say, "Top that, ya little pansy!"*).

Now a few points: I will be the first to admit Kerry has at times seemingly contradicted himself. So has Bush. So has every candidate that's ever run for office. As for his stance on Iraq, I've done quite a bit of research, and honestly, he's been pretty consistent (but not completely, I'll give you that), as has already been pointed out in this forum. However, why don't we discuss Bush's attempt to stonewall the 9/11 commission? Let's see: 3,000 people killed in the WTC, but we better not investigate it because it might come out that it was partly our fault! And then when the 9/11 commission does finally happen, he blocks his little toadies from testifying under oath! What the hell does that imply?!? And when it's finally all wrapped up, he practically takes credit for the commission, talking about how valuable it was blah blah blah.

Another point: It DOES matter how the President comes across and that the President does seem "Presidential" as Kerry did Thursday night--articulate, calm, confident, knowledgeable, and empathic. The President is our representative to the rest of the world, and I, for one, would personally prefer one who can speak eloquently, in complete sentences, and display some understanding of the complexities of foreign diplomacy.

Which brings me to a final point (and then I need a stiff drink as well). I hate it when Republicans say that by trying to work with other major world powers (no, Poland is not a major world power) and the U.N. to address global issues that we are allowing other nations to determine our foreign policy. Uh, noooo, we're actually "doing" foreign policy, the concept of which is utterly lost on this embarrasment we somehow got stuck with as our President.
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#53696 - 10/03/04 12:21 AM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
haha, very funny. I'm a flip-flopper.

Seriously though, how does Kerry's final(?) position that the war is a mistake - but he'll expand it and get others to join in - make any sense?
If it was a mistake then say, "I will rectify that mistake by pulling out of Iraq."
Anybody have an answer for me?

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#53697 - 10/03/04 12:30 AM Re: OT: politics
jtmccoy Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 96
Yo BigWill,

Because now that we are presently stuck in Iraq, we gotta get the job done right. To pull out now would be a betrayal of the Iraqi people and would lead to an even bigger mess than the one we're already in. Kerry realizes that. Basically he sees his job as President as cleaning up the mess that Bush has made.

By the way, even though I rip on Bush, it's all in good fun. Nothing personal and no hard feelings, right? I like everybody on this forum, Dems and Reps alike.
_________________________
Fight on 'SC! Three-Pete Baby!

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#53698 - 10/03/04 01:23 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
"Because now that we are presently stuck in Iraq, we gotta get the job done right. To pull out now would be a betrayal of the Iraqi people and would lead to an even bigger mess than the one we're already in. Kerry realizes that. Basically he sees his job as President as cleaning up the mess that Bush has made."

I figured that would be the response. Should we have fought in Vietnam indefinitely - rather than betray the Vietnamese people? Korea? Cuba? Somalia? If there is no overwhelming US interest in Iraq, then you should want our troops to come home. As Michael Moore asked O'Reilly, "Would you sacrifice your son for Fallujah?"

The prosecution of a war by a President who thinks it is a mistake, but feels obligated to continue - and even expand operations, is guaranteed to end poorly. Your quagmire realized. Of course, Kerry and the Democrats will be blameless for "Bush's mess".
BTW, not a Republican.

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