All errors should be reported to

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Liberal misunderstands Trump's strategy in North Korea

Peter Maass of The Intercept thought he was cutting down Donald Trump in his piece today, "North Korea Is the Most Predictable Regime on Earth. The Real Threat Is the Erratic U.S. Government."

Maass just explained why President Trump will prevail.

In fact, President Trump already has won this confrontation.

I shall explain, but first, here is what Maass wrote:
This raises a serious question: Which of these awesomely flawed men is the most volatile and dangerous? The trail to an answer begins with an article that Evan Osnos wrote for the New Yorker about his recent journey to totalitarian North Korea. His “Letter from Pyongyang” reached 14,000 words and was praised as a marvel of reporting that revealed the stark yet impenetrable contours of the world’s most famous nuclear-armed nightmare.
Osnos described how he was met at the Pyongyang airport by a polite government minder who never left his side. He stayed at a special hotel for foreigners that was isolated from the general population. He visited a school where the students made statements that were programmatic. He was taken into Pyongyang’s subway and told that its deep tunnels would be fallout shelters in the event of nuclear war with America. He was not allowed to make a spontaneous visit to anyone’s home.
I was struck by these things because I had the exact same experiences when I made a trip to North Korea — in 1989. Same type of minder, hotel, and school, same prohibition on popping into anyone’s apartment, even the same remark from my minder that the subway would double as a fallout shelter if America attacked. Osnos and I were taken to the demilitarized zone between the Koreas, and we made the same futile requests to interview the country’s supreme leader. We even reached the same conclusion that a nearly occult haze made it hard to know what was really going on in the country.
Kim Jong Il used Maass the way Kim Jong Un used Osnos.

That is good news. America knows the North Korean playbook, so the odds are Kim Jong Un will continue to use that playbook.

Kim Jong Un also knows the American playbook, which is no one cares about North Korea, so give it what it wants and hope it goes away.

That knowledge helped Kim Jong Un not only get nuclear weapons but intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Then along came Donald Trump.

According to Maass, Kim Jong Un does not know what to expect.


From Maass:
Until the end of the Cold War, the U.S. stationed its own nuclear weapons in South Korea even though North Korea, at the time, had none of its own. Almost 65 years after the Korean War ended in 1953, the U.S. continues to station tens of thousands of its soldiers in South Korea (North Korea has no foreign soldiers on its territory) and holds regular military exercises there (and just flew B1 bombers close to North Korean airspace).
But the dynamics have changed, and it’s not due to the Dennis Rodman-loving Kim Jong-un or the nuclear weapons he is fond of detonating (as was his father, who created North Korea’s nuclear program and oversaw its first detonations – the family’s consistency is as crushing as its brutality). We now have Donald Trump and cable news, playing the 24/7 jester on his West Wing wall. Hyping war has always sold newspapers, but the competition for eyeballs and profits is particularly keen these days. And while CNN and MSNBC are terrible enough, Fox News is probably the worst offender in the ratings-driven effort to summon Armageddon. Unfortunately, Fox happens to be the preferred network of the six-times-bankrupt reality television star who somehow gathered enough electoral votes to place him in charge of the U.S. arsenal.
Trump and cable news are the feedback loop from nuclear hell. In a narrow way, this is good for American journalists who wish to write about political insanity. They do not need to travel thousands of miles to visit ground zero of crazy and dangerous.
Crazy like a fox, as my youngest niece (she's 44) said the last time I saw her.

What did Sun Tzu say 2,500 years ago:
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
To achieve peace, you must understand war.

Either Maass does not understand war, or he thinks his readers do not.


Please enjoy my books on how the press bungled the 2016 election.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at

Please follow me on Twitter.

Friend me on Facebook.


  1. I agree with you Don. Every time kim acted irrationally, the US would give him billions of dollars of air and modern technology. That was what he was hoping to get from the "naive" president. He believed the dems and our media. Unfortunately, for kim, he is now dealing with the Art of the Deal. He did not expect that but he has to continue to act belligerent to impress his people who only get his side of the news.

  2. That's supposed to read "aid and modern technology."

  3. "These awesomely flawed men". Analysis from a virtue signaling sack of shit.

  4. Peesident Trump to Kim Jong Un (shuffling a model ship, model airplane, and a model submarine in front of him): See if you can guess where hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles will come from. Surprise! They're coming from all of them to destroy your nuclear sites AND you! - Elric

    1. Not to mention the artillery emplacements north of the DMZ.

  5. I'm pretty sure most of his readers know about as much as Maass does, which to zip.

  6. A few things...

    We still haven't started NEO (Noncombatant Evacuation Operations) for US Family members etc. in South Korea. Hence, the US mustn't see the situation as that critical on the peninsula.

    TV and other folks keep saying we have 25,000 troops "on the DMZ." A few are up in that direction, but not a lot are north of the Imjin River. Even most of our headquarters units (Combined Forces Command, 8th Army, USFK and so forth are now down in the Osan Air Base vicinity (about 30 miles down the road from Seoul), and have been for several years.

    Although the US is the primary representative, the way I understand it the Korean Warm Armistice (never was a peace treaty and no one capitulated) is still really a UN-North Korean thing. At least those were the flags at the conference table in Panmunjom/Joint Security Area when I visited it several years ago.

    The US has kicked the Korean problem down the road since the '53 armistice. The Pueblo capture, the EC-121 shootdown, the tree-cutting incident, all were things for which we didn't respond militarily, though we should. ROK had a ship sunk, an island shelled, and I can't think of whatever other North Korean provocations.

    What are the South Koreans doing about little rocketman's recent tantrums?