Town Square

Post a New Topic

Hard Labor in North Korea for 2 American Women

Original post made by Sharon on Jun 8, 2009



Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, have been arrested by the North Korean government and sentenced to twelve years hard labor.

This is what they face, according to the State Department's human rights report on the DPRK:--Web Link

"Prolonged periods of exposure to the elements; humiliations such as public nakedness;
confinement for up to several weeks in small 'punishment cells' in which prisoners were unable to stand upright or lie down;
being forced to kneel or sit immobilized for long periods;
being hung by the wrists;
being forced to stand up and sit down to the point of collapse."

Maybe some of the outraged expressed at the treatment of a few AQ terrorists can be expressed against the treatment of the two American women by North Korea.

Comments (72)

Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Sharon,

Are you actually trying to justify the torture at Abu Graib by comparing it with what North Korea doles out? Got news for you--both are wrong.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Egregious Moral Equivalence of the Day ?

Ling and Lee were working for Current TV, a cable and Web network co-founded by former vice president Al Gore,
when they were detained March 17 by North Korean soldiers along the border with China.

More from the State Department re NK hard labor camps----

"---beatings and torture were common within the camp. Shin reported that he was tortured with hot coals while being hung from the ceiling after members of his family tried to escape from the camp.

Officials prohibited live births in prison and ordered forced abortions, particularly in detention centers holding women repatriated from China, according to refugee reports.
In some cases of live birth, there were reports that prison guards killed the infant or left it for dead.
In addition guards reportedly sexually abused female prisoners."



Posted by Richard, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm

All North Korea has to say is that their country is endanger and there is an imminent threat to their national security and label the two women as terrorists (and at least they have had a trial)--what can the US say to that? Seems like we said the same thing recently.
Anyway, OP is correct, both are wrong, Sharon


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm



The American guards involved in Abu Graib were tried and severely and appropriately punished under American Law.

Compare the treatment ( 12 years hard labor and torture ) of these 2 local journalists from SF, working for Al Gore, with the treatment of a couple of mass murdering terrorists at Gitmo working for Abu Graib

Moral Equivalence ?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm


I meant "Compare the treatment ( 12 years hard labor and torture ) of these 2 local journalists from SF, working for Al Gore, with the treatment of a couple of mass murdering terrorists at Gitmo working for Osama bin Laden"

One of the young journalists has a 4 year old daughter, she may see her mother again when she is 16, if she is luck and the mother survives ---that is.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2009 at 3:22 pm

the behavior of the North Korean government is reprehensible. However all they have to say is that these women were terrorists, the country was in immenent danger and these women were a threat to national security.
Who can really argue with them? Certainly not the US--we have squandered our moral standing in the world thanks to the shenanigans of Bush/Cheney/rumsfeld.
But, really, if the US syas anything to North korea, they will laugh at us behind our backs and say the same words that we used to justify torture and a lack of anything resembling atrial for these so called terrorists at Guantnomo 9we will not even discuss Abu Gharib now)


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

It's the usual right wingnut perspective: Abu Ghraib was OK because it was us good guys torturing them bad guys. North Koreans are bad because we're afraid they'll torture us.

Rudyard Kipling said it best:

All good people agree, / And all good people say, / All nice people, / like Us, are We / And everyone else is They:
But if you cross over the sea, / Instead of over the way, / You may end by (think of it!) looking on We / As only a sort of They!


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Sharon,

The administration that okayed Abu Graib's tactics have not been held accountable. We just made a show of punishing some underlings.

But, again, you're showing serious moral confusion here. North Korea's moral failings do not make our country's okay. No one's saying that the sentencing of the two journalists is okay. It's horrific.

So is torturing people.

It's really easy to condemn both North Korea's actions and those of the U.S. and Abu Graib and Gitmo.

So what point do you think you're even trying to make?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm



So the Moral Equivalence argument is what?

1/Two young women SF journalist working for Al Gore cross the border between NK and China(maybe). One with a 4 year old daughter at home.
They are sentenced to 12 years hard labor which will include torture and violent rape.

2/Two admitted terrorists working for Osama bin Laden one of whom, on tape, beheaded Daniel Pearl, at WSJ reporter, who happened to be Jewish and proud of it.
The other planned a mass homicide attack on LA
The 2 Osama bin Laden employees, both admitted terrorists, are harshly questioned, with a technique, we use with our own troops, that has been abandoned with suspects since the panic re the attack on 911 has faded.
Remember we did not know what was coming next and may have over compensated, all acknowledge that.

So,the Moral Equivalence argument is? What?, we trouble a couple of admitted killers.

So NK is justified in torturing and raping a young mother and a young woman who work for Al Gore?

Help us understand, we do not see the moral equivalence here


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Sharon,

Obviously.

BOTH are wrong. BOTH.

Murder and rape are both wrong. You may consider one more wrong than the other, but both are wrong.

Or, more simply: two wrongs don't make a right.

North Korea's crimes don't justify ours.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm



Paul--

I agree the General who commanded Abu Graib at the time should be in the brig for life, she was dismissed from the Army and convicted of theft in civilian life and she has gone on to obscurity.
The thugs at Gitmo admitted and boasted about beheading Daniel Pearl, who was a student at Stanford with me and my husband by the way.Web Link
I still do not see the moral equivalence between that and a young mother and her colleague reporting for Al Gore being sentenced to 12 years of torture,rape and hard labor, are we missing something?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Sharon,

You are precisely correct...the arguments to moral equivalence of the leftists are absurd. Let's see, FDR hanged a few German non-combatants, and Hitler killed some Jews...hmmm, they are morally the same, right? Thank you for reminding us, once again, Sharon.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

It is a low yield thread because no one cares, these women will be raped and tortured, they work for Al Gore, he has done nothing in 28 days?
they are lost to us, what about the 4 year old, what is the truth to her?


Posted by MidtownMom, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Help me understand - what is Al Gore doing in this? These women work for his TV station, correct? Does he still own the TV station (or has something to do with it?)

Also, what has the American govt done to prove that these women are not spies ? ( I don't think they are spies .. but isn't that what the other govt believes?)


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Sharon,

"They are lost to us" Hon, they're political hostages. North Korea has a reason to keep them alive as bargaining chips.

But you don't seem to actually be talking to anyone who's in this Forum.

Can't even keep up with the altered-reality of the fragments of the right wing these days.


Posted by WilliamR, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Sharon--

My (unprofessional) guess is that most people don't expect these women to serve 12 years of hard time. More likely the scenario will involve appropriate 'apologies-without-admission-of-guilt', propaganda points for North Korea, some back-channel humanitarian aid, and a quiet reprieve and release.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm

From what I have learned from the news media...it is very unlikely these women will spend much time in N Korea. N Korea does have a short-term publicity advantage though.
The US government will be blackmailed into providing 1M per woman or some concession.

My question is: what were these young ladies doing traipsing into N Korea in the first place? Are they genuine journalists? One has a very young child, did it not cross her mind that this might be a very risky stunt to pull? Or were they looking for their 15 seconds of fame?

It doesn't ring true to me that these are two bona fide journalists.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm


Fascinating responses, the majority feel this is the Non-Egregious Moral Equivalence of the Day and do not feel that Gore has any responsibility to save these 2 women.
Remember when Ross Perot spent millions of his own money to rescue his employees from death ASAP in Irans prison camps?

We may well have lost the struggle for good, surprising that the old Europeans have woken up to this reality---too little, too late IMHO


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:43 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I suggest that Gore emulate the captain in the recent piracy and offer himself as hostage. At any rate, they apparently did violate Nork law, and heir treatment will be no different than that given domestic Nork prisoners. Libs with their moral equivalency fail to comprehend how much BETTER we are than the rest of the world.
"The administration that okayed Abu Graib's tactics have not been held accountable. We just made a show of punishing some underlings." - The punishment was well under as a mater of public record way before the media decided to whack Bush with it.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:55 am


Walter

That is an excellent idea, Gore could give himself up as hostage as the brave captain of the ship off Somalia did.
These 2 young women, one of them with a 4 year old daughter, work for Gore.They face horrible torture and violent rape in hard labor prison.
If he is not going to pay for a Ross Perot like rescue for them then he should follow your advice and stand in their stead.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:08 am

Walter's suggestion is ridiculous--he is comparing a hostage situation, with two people, who he even admits broke the law in North Korea--and expects Gore to emulate the captain in the pirate episode. ridiculous.
Naturally Sharon jumps on to that idea since she is using this as a forum to bash Gore/ Why does Gore have a responsibility to "save" these to women? Did they break the law under his orders? if so, then we can talk about it.
Naturally Sharon and Gary do not understand that what is morally wrong, is morally wrong regardless of who did it. Of course, they believe that the US has done absolutely nothing wrong since 9/11.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:17 am

my thought has been ignored - I think it is more likely a publicity stunt by the two women.
There is NO WAY these two will do 15 years of hard labor in NK prison camp.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:18 am


On a human level men who act like Kim Jong Il and force those they encounter to pay up or else will find 99 of a hundred willing to back down instead of risking an all out fight.
But sooner or later they'll meet the hundredth;
who will listen to their threats and bluster with cold eyes and then shoot Kim in the knees regardless of the hostages.
I do not think Barack Obama will do this.
But someday Kim will push his luck too far.
People like him always do.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:24 am

At first Sharon was advocating doing everything to "save" the two women, while shedding crocodile tears over the fact the one was a mother. Now she is calling them hostages and advocating doing nothing for them while standing up to Kim Il Jong.
Which is it, Sharon?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

Two aspects not yet mentioned.

First, is it any coincidence that these two women, although US citizens possibly born here, are Asian? I wonder what the situation would be now if they were two white women journalists or two AA journalists? From what I have read, these women were doing exactly the same as many other journalists do regularly, but these happen to be the two that got caught?

Secondly, this issue has been mentioned in news reports for weeks. Why didn't Gore, as their employer, do something way back when they had first been arrested? Why is it only now that he wants to become more visible? If he had really been concerned about their welfare it strikes me that a reasonable employer would have got involved long before this.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:33 am

All this could have been avoided had Bush dealt with the pivotal member of his "axis of evil," the one that openly bragged about its WMDs while he proceeded to tie the US military down in his pointless war with Iraq. But I fault Bush less than the dupes who ignored the plain evidence and believed him.


Posted by Greg, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:35 am

Just because Al Gore is not whining on TV does not mean that he is doing nothing. The North Koreas are trying to provoke a public spectacle so quite diplomacy will probably be much more productive.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:13 am

The Administration is apparently trying to de-link the arrest of the two American journalists from the nuclear confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington.

Quite naturally, the diplomats don't want Laura Ling or Euna Lee caught in the middle.

The problem of course, is that is precisely what the Dear Leader wants them for:
to mix them up with the nuclear issue.
The men in Pyongyang can read the New York Times just as well as anyone else.
They know that President Obama is trying to set an exchange up as a side deal.
For that reason they will keep sweeping Ling and Lee into the center of the table.

Gore of course has much more important things to do-- he is busy saving the planet from itself--- he doesn't have time for "the little people who made it all possible"

Ross Perot in the same situation did spend the time and money to get his employees out of Iran successfully.

Gore has had since early March to act, way before nuke escalation,he should have acted before the trial and conviction of these 2 women--- now it may be too late-- there is no urgency for NK--it could drag on for years.
Like the Iran Hostage Situation with Carter this could be Obamas drip drip drip as the days and months go bye.

Apparently these 2 women were filming a documentary on the sex slavery and trafficking of young girls in NK--ironic


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

Good God Almighty.

Are you people SERIOUSLY comparing the mere humiliation in Abu-Graib( though illegally done, and the culprits caught, convicted and punished, it was still all a crime of HUMILIATION, that is all) of men who were caught with smoking guns in their hands from murdering innocents... to 12 years incarceration, beatings, and who knows what else of 2 women who were, at the WORST, trying to do a story on human trafficking,maybe even rescuing a few innocent women and children?

What in GOD's name is wrong with you people? Have you completely lost all sense of bearings?

You really have to look seriously in the mirror and ask yourself if your borrowing of an office pen overnight justifies someone stealing everything you own, and leaving you beaten and naked in the street.

After all, you lost your moral ability to have outrage by borrowing that pen.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:28 am

Perspective--how easily you dismiss what occured at Abu Ghraib by saying that it happened to "men who were caught with smoking guns in their hands from murdering innocents". I think you will find that this is a gross exageration of the facts. Anyway, what happened their was wrong--just as it is wrong to beat and torture the 2 women in North Korea (wrong is wrong, regardless whom you do it to). The question of whether they broke Nk law by illegally entering NK is another question. the human trafficking issue is totally unrelated to the real issue.
I am not sure why we are seeing this "mock" outrage from Perspective and Sharon now. The beatings and torture of these two women has been stated by Sharon, but it is not based on any facts. Why haven't Sharon and Perspective spoken about human rights abuses in other countries, including many that the US supports?
Really, Sharon and Perspective, your act is getting really old.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:46 am


We have been here before.

In Jeffersons day the cruelty, exorbitance, and intransigence of the Barbary states decided things.
He sent in the Marines to "The shores of Tripoli" and put a stop to it once and for all.
But the Jefferson was the 100th man who would not back down .
He listened to their threats and bluster with cold eyes and then shot the Barbary thugs in the knees and burned down Tripoli.

Those were the days!


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 11:30 am

"He listened to their threats and bluster with cold eyes and then shot the Barbary thugs in the knees and burned down Tripoli."

And don't you wish you had the videos. Was it Colonel Andrew Bacevich who noted how certain people regarded war as a spectator sport?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Back in my leftist days, my comrades were always arguing about the most pure socialist state. North Korea was right up there at the top, because it was not corrupted by creeping bourgeois influences. Socialist states are all either totalitarian, or heading in that direction. Why? Because they personalize the macroeconomic decision. It is a theoretic that cannot be overcome. It will always end up in mass murder or mass starvation or both. My own value judgement is that mass murder, against one's own people, is evil. That is why I do not confuse waterboarding some al qaeda thugs, in order to save many innocent people, with a socialist totalitarian state abducting some journalists.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 9, 2009 at 1:39 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Even Walter agrees that they broke the NK law.
What Gary does not seem to understand is that doing morally wrong things is wrong. I think we have now seen that many of the things done by our previous government was morally wrong because it really was not about saving "innocent lives".


Posted by James C Q, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm



Sharon

Thanks for the great thread, you are spot on in your analysis of this matter and the nuke matter, Kim is going to play us like flute.

you are also correct about this toxic ,Moral Equivalence, which will be our down fall as a society next step is Chamberlin all over again


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

"...my comrades were always arguing about the most pure socialist state. North Korea was right up there at the top, because it was not corrupted by creeping bourgeois influences."

If your comrades were quite mistaken, Gary. North Korea is a reactionary kingdom, with a hereditary succession for its kings whose rule is absolute. That's as far right as you can get.


Posted by James C Q, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm



Their is a very good article in WSJ today that spells out what it takes to deal with a dictator like the one in NK.
Today NK made a threat to use its nukes offensively, a first for them and a trigger for Japan build nukes.

If we do not put a stop to NK now then in a few short years it will not be two of Gores journalists held hostage, it will be the cities of Portland, Oregon or seattle, Washington.
Clinton saw this coming but when they war gamed attacking NK they came up with at 1 Million casualties so they backed down.
I would have done the same at that but Perry wanted to go ahead, he was right, there is a Unitarian for you, we used to sing in the same choir many years ago.
I always thought it interesting that a Unitarian has their finger on the nuke button.


Posted by Wondering about NK, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Why is there a big rush to deal with NK now? Not much has changed in NK in recent years. While Bush called NK part of the axis of evil, he did not feel that anything needed to be done about them.
I am wondering if all these people who are clamoring on this forum to go to war with NK have ever served in the military or are they chicken hawks a la Cheney.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

"What Gary does not seem to understand is that doing morally wrong things is wrong"

Just taken at face value, that is a purist notion that obviates the notion of the greater good. It assumes that a good nation, like the USA is bad, becasue it is not saintly in all its methods. The obverse of this notion is that Ghandi was immensely immoral, becasue he told the Jews to go happily to their death chambers, without taking up the gun to defend themselves (thus soiling themselves by doing immoral things, like shooting their enemies, or torturing their captives in order to gain intel in the Warsaw ghetto).

"Gary presents no facts to back up his claims"

Just for starters, and please do not let me put you to sleep, Richard:

Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Kim Il-sung (and his offspring), Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Castro, Saddam...all socialist totalitarians. The socialism comes first, followed by the totalitarian control.

"Well, Gary, neurons do not touch."

Richard, Richard...that is like saying that when you had your first kiss, there was only molecular interaction, no touching. The synaptic gap is close enough for me!



Posted by James C Q, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm



If you read the WSJ or Foreign Affairs then you will understand what has changed is that NK
1/ said it will not abide by the 1953 armistice any longer.

2/ they have a working nuke bomb

3/ today they said they will use it OFFENSIVELY

4/ they are rapidly developing accurate medium and long range missile capability that could deliver those nuks on Seattle may be LA.
5/ China supplies 95% of NK oil, they could put a stop to all this nonsense by turning off the spigot, but they have not and they will not, they want a united Korea under their hegemomny whatever the cost


Apart from that-- how did you enjoy the play????


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

The "rush" is that we now have 2 American CITIZENS held captive in NK for the "crime" of crossing a border. Imagine if we imprisoned to 12 years hard labor eveery illegal alien who crossed over our borders?

Yes, think about it a second.

As for serving in the military, never forget, it is an all volunteer military now.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

"Why is there a big rush to deal with NK now?"

Nuclear bombs, delivered by missles and cargo containers.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm

"your comrades were quite mistaken, Gary. North Korea is a reactionary kingdom, with a hereditary succession for its kings whose rule is absolute. That's as far right as you can get."

Paul, you would need to explain that to Stalin and Mao, both of whom put him up to his attack against the south. They saw him as a revolutionary ally. So did my comrades. If you want to start harping about hereditary succession, start with Cuba.


Posted by Wondering about NK, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

"The "rush" is that we now have 2 American CITIZENS held captive in NK for the "crime" of crossing a border."
Is that the case? Did they not cross the border illegally?
Given your above comments, why have you not spoken up about this matter: Web Link

"Imagine if we imprisoned to 12 years hard labor eveery illegal alien who crossed over our borders?"
Each country has different laws. NK laws are apparently stricter for illegal border crossings

"As for serving in the military, never forget, it is an all volunteer military now."
That is true, but what is your point? If you are so vocal on this forum about defending our country, don't you think you should practice what you preach?


""Why is there a big rush to deal with NK now?"
Nuclear bombs, delivered by missles and cargo containers. "

How do you propose dealing with NK now? Our military is stretched pretty thin now as is.
Maybe we can put together a "chicken hawk" army composed of Perspective, Gary and Sharon.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm

"How do you propose dealing with NK now? Our military is stretched pretty thin now as is.

Maybe we can put together a "chicken hawk" army composed of Perspective, Gary and Sharon."

Wondering,

Actually, I was just thinking that the "chickens" could initiate, without preconditions, unilateral talks with Dear Leader. Just LISTEN to him, instead of challenging him, perhaps give him what he wants, and more.

We just elected a "chicken empty" president, who believes in unconditional talks with anybody, and our State Dept. is already that way reflexively, so our course is set. I guess it will turn out peaches and cream, because the U.S. is no longer a bully. I, personally, would not bet the farm on it, but it sounds like you are confident.

However, just in case, Plan B: Have those tactical nukes ready to fly.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm


If we allow the virus of identity politics and grievance activism to infect our foreign policy we have lost the war before even the first battle.

Cui Bono-- Who benefits? is the key question

China and to a lesser extent Russia benefit if we back down or are distracted by NK.

With rational actors MAD works, with mad men, Unilateral Preemptive Destruction (UPD) is the only option.

"We sane people sit around wondering what makes crazy people crazy, while crazy people sit up all night finding ways to get crazier. We'll never catch up."

Does nobody study Game Theory anymore?


Posted by Actually I did, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

"Does nobody study Game Theory anymore? "

Got an A+. Propose a winning position. I see none.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm



Game Theory

Move one collaborate

Move two Tit For Tat

Move N -same as move 2


But that is with a rational opponent --even the police are taught, with a rational opponent with a gun negotiate, with an irrational opponent with a gun-----Shoot to Disable or Kill.

SWAT teams are taught to shoot at the brain stem, instant paralysis then death.

Kim Jong Il is crazy,armed and dangerous, his sons are the same, following SWAT logic we should take them all out.
And that is just the police ROE, Special Forces have a military ROE way beyond that.
A drone launched from a SEAL craft will resolve this issue in 3 hours, once the rotten head is gone the military will follow their self interest, we have the assets in place to help them with decision quality and achieve a good outcome for USA interests-- Do It


Posted by Wondering about NK, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Sharon--Your last two posts had me rolling on the floor. You mix in game theory, MAD, identity politics and grievance activism, SWAT teams etc.
I thought this thread was about the two journalists held by the NKs. I see you have just used that as a jumping off point for all of your crazy theories


Posted by Actually I did, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm

As I see it, you have neglected to consider all the pieces on the board. Also the assumption that the strike would be executed with the correct result is problematic or that the attack would not have side effects. This is not a description of a winning position. The game board is over simplified. One needs to take into account the world's reaction to the strike. One needs to consider the result should the strike fail, yet the attempt be known.

There is a lot of complexity that is not being taken into account.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm


I summarized Game Theory for non academics based upon the state of the art knowledge, again with two players the best strategy is--
1-collaborate
2-tit for tat
3-tit for tat
Etc till end

I am sure there are some Mandarin academics who read this thread who can further simplify or obscure Game Theory-- go ahead but please apply it to the North Korean situation.
I as a simple plebe can only speak to my own experience in practice.

I know that theory beats practice and evidence in academia-- go ahead--what is your best shot- what should we do with Pyongyang please provide links to evidence for your position--


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm

"There is a lot of complexity that is not being taken into account."

Now that hammers the obvious on the head!

The question is: What will Obama do? The clock is not only ticking, but time is being compressed...that's what happens when nukes are on the playing board. Think Japan as a nuclear player...it will help you focus your mind.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Actually I did, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm

"what is your best shot"

I told you, I dont see a winning position.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

The problem Obama faces is that the NK Dear Leader won't cooperate with his little game plan.
Kim Jong Il keeps throwing him curve balls; keeps refusing to be bought off.
Kim is doing an Alinsky on Barack Obama.
He's going outside BHO's experience set and refusing to play the game.
Eventually, Obama may find himself in a place where he actually has to do something.
And you can see he dreads that moment of compelled decision like the plague.
His strong suit is vagueness; having it both ways and being all things to all men.
And the NK Dear Leader is exploiting this to the hilt.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm


Here is the joint statement by France and the USA re NK nukes

Web Link

This will get Kims attention, he will obviously comply after hearing this strong statement.
The two women can rest well after hearing this.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I repeat, Gary, your comrades were quite mistaken about North Korea being a perfect socialist state. It is a kingdom with a deified absolutist hereditary monarchy, which is about as right reactionary as you can get. It started ostensibly communist, but it very rapidly regressed. So, as you pointed out, has Cuba.

Ironic, ain't it? The major exceptions to the general leftward arc of history occur in communist regimes, which not coincidentally fly the same symbolic red color as our rightist reactionary Republican party. The Convergence has happened. Commies ain't lefties anymore.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2009 at 11:32 pm

The unfortunate reality is there are people out there for whom decency, morality, honesty and example mean nothing.
Absolutely nothing.
Showing a good example to them is as useful as throwing organic broccoli at ravenous wolves.
They're not interested.
And throwing more broccoli won't help in the slightest.
I hope I'm wrong, but we'll soon find out if the Ayatollahs and the NK Dear Leader can be dissuaded by the shining example of Barack Obama


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:58 am

Wow, scary youtube link, Sharon, of President Barack Hussein Obama ( it is now PC to say his full name, so I will play along) fumbling around and saying nothing in response to a question on NK.

And this guy is in charge of our security.

Could we please get someone into office next time who has actually ever fought an irrational bully, or even helped defend a friend against a bully, not to mention someone who actually had to get a job to work through college or at least get a full-time job afterwards?

Just pick any name out of a phone book, and I think we will get someone with more understanding of economics and human nature than this ideology now running our nation.


wow.


Posted by Wondering about NK, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:13 am

Unfortunately for Perspective, Gary and Sharon, the US has not kept them in the loop regarding the behind the scenes contacts with NK. Do you seriously think that everything that happens is made public? Do you think that sensitive diplomatic efforts are made public so that the likes of Perspective, Gary and Sharon can go to town second guessing the experts.
As for your question, Perspective, there will be an election in a few years and we can decide on a president. The people spoke a few months ago and they seem to be happy with Obama. You have let your blind hatred of Obama cloud your judgement


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm

"Just pick any name out of a phone book, and I think we will get someone with more understanding of economics and human nature than this ideology now running our nation." - John Kerry 2004, or John McCain 2008


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm

North Korean media said Wednesday that a U.S. pledge to extend its nuclear umbrella to South Korea and Japan over military threats from Pyongyang would consist of a declaration of nuclear war........

Meanwhile, Russia has obtained information on North Korea's plans to launch a ballistic missile but does not know when it will take place, Interfax news agency quoted a senior military source as saying on Wednesday.......

South Korea has recently said the North is preparing to test a long-range missile capable of reaching U.S. territory and mid-range missiles that could strike South Korea or Japan.Web Link

In retrospect Bill Perry was correct, we should taken out their facilities years ago.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm

"Commies ain't lefties anymore."

Paul, how convenient...Reagan defeats the communists, then you conflate him with them.

This is boring. You lefties need to get your best player back on the field (OP). The B-team just ain't cuttin' it.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:08 pm

"Reagan defeats the communists, then you conflate him with them."

C'min now, Reagan paled around with head honcho Commie Gorbachev while Nancy paled around with head honcha Commie Raisa. One does not "defeat" one's pals, does one? It ain't polite. Then we got Bush 43 gazing deep into KGB Colonel Putin's soul, and obligingly bogging our military down in Iraq while Putin marches thru Georgia.

So tell me, who needs to conflate when we got all that Repub-Commie palsy-walsy going on right in front of everybody? And don't forget they both like the color red.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm

A demented, racist 89 yr old neo nazi commits suicide by cop, murders a guard and defiles a DC memorial to the 6 million Jewish victims of the nazis.
Kim Il-sung is a demented, old, dying Stalinist who is clearly prepared to commit suicide by US preemption, taking with him a significant part of the NK population.
We must have assets in the NK military who can put an end to this madness, China and Russia clearly do have such assets.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm

foot note

We just payed Palau $ 200 Million to take 17 Gitmo Chinese Muslims, a tiny fraction of that sum should buy cooperation from some NK general to take out Kim Il-sung


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Sharon,

That is way too costly to pretend to take out an already dead man. His son, Kim Jong-il, would just kill off his various internal army enemies, so it would still be a waste of money.

However, His Emptiness, could just invite Dear Leader to Washington, D.C., and beg for understanding, including a prompt withdrawl of U.S. troops from S. Korea. That should make Dear Leader happy for a while, and we can have peace for the next 2-3 years. I suggest that the name of this historic conference be "Dear Emptiness Peace and Justice Conference".


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:44 pm

"a tiny fraction of that sum should buy cooperation from some NK general to take out Kim Il-sung"

Cute, Sharon, but nonsensical. After Bush blew off his chance to regime change the Beloved Leader out of office, he tried to buy him out personally. That didn't work. Couldn't get the cash through the banking system. Couldn't do anything right.

So, while I'm glad to see you have more confidence in Obama's abiity to deliver the dough, I doubt you'll have any more luck with it than the CIA has had trying to buy Castro's demise.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2009 at 8:13 pm


Looks like those two women have gone down the memory hole, as has Al Gore.

But the threat to the USA has notWeb Link

" Iran and North Korea are working together to develop ballistic missiles and have made significant progress, the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said on Thursday.

"It really is an international effort going on out there to develop ballistic missile capability between these countries," Army Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly told a forum on Capitol Hill.

......the Federation of American Scientists, said North Korea was continuing work on its Taepodong 2 "that could reach the United States with a nuclear payload" if developed as an intercontinental ballistic missile."


Posted by An Engineer, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:57 am

Nonsense. If NK was serious about nuking the US it would be busily smuggling in bomb components even as we blog, to be covertly assembled in the targeted areas and readied for detonation at the chosen time. This Roman Candle ballistic missile stuff is a reliably impressive sideshow for the technologically naive. It's a holdover from the Cold War which was a holdover from WWII, and not a cost-effective weapon for terrorists or small states.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm



RAND did a study of the effects of a nuke in a ship container in Long Beach Harbor.
The effect on the L A area would be devastating.


Posted by sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm

NK again ratcheted up the tension in its nuclear standoff with the world by declaring yesterday that it would "weaponise" all of its plutonium and threatening its opponents with military action.

The embattled secretive regime was responding aggressively to a series of sanctions imposed by the United Nations last week aimed at punishing Pyongyang's recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

In a statement carried by its official news agency, North Korea said it would also embark on a uranium-enrichment programme and that abandoning its nuclear ambitions was now impossible. "It has become an absolutely impossible option for [North Korea] to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons," the country said.Web Link


Where is Al Gore?


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Veggie Grill coming soon to Mountain View's San Antonio Center
By Elena Kadvany | 21 comments | 3,355 views

Is HBO's Silicon Valley Any Good?
By Anita Felicelli | 23 comments | 2,201 views

Finding mentors in would-be bosses
By Jessica T | 0 comments | 1,915 views

PAUSD Leadership Challenges
By Paul Losch | 23 comments | 1,694 views

A memorable Paly prom
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,092 views