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  1. #41
    Platinum Poster flabbybody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    Please mention that Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright had at least three clearly defined opportunities in the 1990's to kill bin Laden (prior to 9/11)
    Given overwhelming intel on his location and his endless public promises to commit a horrific terrorist attack against the United States, they choose to defer. Was it the Clinton Saudi money?
    Yet I see Albright on cable TV news, to this very day, comment and criticize Trump's foreign policy as if she's some elite expert on diplomacy.
    Why is she not held accountable for 9/11? No one asks her why she allowed the atrocity to happen



  2. #42
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    Quote Originally Posted by flabbybody View Post
    Please mention that Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright had at least three clearly defined opportunities in the 1990's to kill bin Laden (prior to 9/11)
    Given overwhelming intel on his location and his endless public promises to commit a horrific terrorist attack against the United States, they choose to defer. Was it the Clinton Saudi money?
    Yet I see Albright on cable TV news, to this very day, comment and criticize Trump's foreign policy as if she's some elite expert on diplomacy.
    Why is she not held accountable for 9/11? No one asks her why she allowed the atrocity to happen
    I think you are conflating two separate issues. My post was intended to dampen the hysteria in the media over the proposed meeting between the US President and Kim Jong Un which is not the first time a proposed meeting between the two heads of state of the US and North Korea has been proclaimed. The first did not happen, and this latest one has not been confirmed by North Korea, there are no plans for the meeting with regard to whatever 'deal' might be on the table, and the US State Department has limited expertise on North Korea as Rex Tillerson -who was not told about the 'historic meeting' until after it had been broadcast to the media- has been shredding jobs at State and the US still has no Ambassador to South Korea.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...-talks/555041/

    The issue with regard to the Clinton administration and its three opportunities to kill Bin Laden is problematic; I am not sure what Madeline Albright has to say on the matter is of any importance, she was a lightweight then and now.

    I rely in this instance on the account in Steve Coll's Ghost Wars (2004) in which he discusses the assassination proposals in 1998 and 1999, the first on Zawhar Kili camp near Khost in Afghanistan, where Bin Laden the intelligence claimed, would be attending a major gathering of al-Qaeda and allied supporters. The camp was hit with cruise missiles on the same day as the attack on the chemical factory in the Sudan, but it is claimed Bin Laden had left the meeting by the time the missiles struck. Clinton was not happy with the consequences of the attacks in Sudan and Afghanistan which appeared to make Bin Laden stronger as a survivor of American 'aggression' -in spite of the fact that al-Qaeda had earlier in 1998 declared war on the USA- and the fear that another attack would kill innocent civilians was a major issue as it is still is today.

    Thus in the second opportunity, a report Bin Laden was due to visit the Haji Habash house in Kandahar the problem was that George Tenet said the intelligence was 'single threaded' meaning it did not have sufficient back up from another source and the location was too vulnerable for civilians casualties.

    The third opportunity came in February 1999 when reports suggested Bin Laden was out hunting in Helmand with members of the royal family from the United Arab Emirates, there is even a claim the CIA had identified the tent he was sleeping in. Yet within the CIA there was still doubt as Bin Laden had not been identified through any satellite photos, and the fact that the UAE was an ally of the US meant they were cautious about blowing up half the royal family and their guests with no Bin Laden corpse to show for it.

    Coll also argues that as this coincided with the impeachment hearings in Congress, Clinton was weak and distracted, so when weighing the balance of argument on this, you need to consider the strategic benefits of striking the targets with the political outcome, and in all three cases the justification was strong but the evidence their target was at point 'X' was not 100%.

    That is the kind of gamble that in the end paid off when Bin Laden was tracked down to Abbottabad, but with more certainty than on the previous occasions.

    More problematic still is the possibility that the US having told Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence of the first strike in 1998 that they in turn leaked it to the Taliban and via them to Bin Laden, in which case it is not the relationship with Saudi Arabia that matters in these assassination attempts, but the relationship with the military and intelligence in Pakistan; while the close relationship with the UAE may have led the US not to strike in Helmand without the 100% guarantee Bin Laden was there -the CIA unit tracking him was convinced.
    Again, the Clinton administration in 1998 listened to the proposal of Nawaz Sharif for the formation of a commando unit acting with the support of the Pakistan military to track down and kill Bin Laden, which went nowhere as trust between the ISI and the US had more or less collapsed at this time. In fact according to Sharif, he told the Americas if they were serious about killing Bin Laden all they needed to do was to 'send a few men into Afghanistan with briefcases full of dollars, and they would have got the job done' (p430). If this is all that was needed, why didn't Pakistan do that and earn the gratitude of the USA?
    That the dots were not joined before 9/11 to prevent it, if that were possible, remains one of those things which people will argue about for years. One could just as easily argue that had the US not become an intimate player in the civil war in Afghanistan or waged war against Iraq none of it would have happened, but that is relegated to the 'What if?' chapter of history.

    References to the assassination attempts in Steve Coll: Ghost Wars. The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2011 (Penguin Books, 2004)

    Zawhar Kili Camp 1998 pp409-412.
    Haji Habash house, Kandahar 1998, pp422-423.
    Hunting party, Helmand province 1999, pp445-459.


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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    With newspapers reporting that Mike Pompeo has been to North Korea for 'talks' with Kim Jong-Un the prospect of a peace treaty to end the Korean War is being talked up, as is the claim the North has agreed to a process of 'de-nuclearization' though it it is not clear what that means. But it is also not clear what, other than ending the war, the Treaty would achieve, as my assumption has been that neither side wants two Koreas. It could be that the North will no longer lay claim to the South and vice versa, but according to reports the propaganda in the North has paved the way for the talks with hints at what it wants, thus:

    ...Pyongyang has issued calls for unity, sending a rare announcement to all Koreans earlier this year exhorting them to “smash” obstacles to reunification and to “promote contact, travel, cooperation between North and South Korea”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8309606.html

    So is this 'reunification' just an opportunity for the North to become involved in the economy of the South to buttress the privileged class that runs it? That it is not reunification at all but just an elaborate ruse to get around sanctions? And if it means ditching nuclear weapons, it has to work to preserve the Northern elite or it would not be worth the effort. But what does the South get out of this, and is the USA's primary aim to secure the Nobel Peace Prize for its so-called 'President'?


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  4. #44
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    More information is dribbling out of South Korea that gives deeper meaning to what North Korea means by 'de-nuclearization'--

    North Korea has expressed a desire for the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula without attaching preconditions such as the withdrawal of US troops, the South Korean president has said.

    But,
    North Korea has said over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear arsenal if the US removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear deterrence umbrella from South Korea and Japan.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ion-says-seoul

    I don't know if this is still North Korea's position, but I would expect it to be the preferred position of both China and Russia which separately or together would like to reduce the USA's military presence in East Asia to their strategic benefit. Thus, the position of Japan could also make a deal harder -or easier- as it relies on the USA's defence guarantee -unless Japan revises its 'self-defence only' --

    Since 1947, Japan’s constitution has forbidden the formation of a traditional military force. The country has maintained only a Self Defense Force (SDF), the mission of which has been to protect the Japanese mainland. Even within these limitations, the SDF has performed a paramilitary, logistical role, supporting U.S. troops based in Japan in exchange for promises of protection. Some experts now see this dynamic shifting. Arguments for "remilitarization"—or military "normalization," as many proponents term it—have gained currency over the last two decades.
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/japan-and-its-military
    see also
    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/stra...pans-military/

    So what looks like the kind of deal that the current US administration wants, may contain too many add-ons to be acceptable, unless Shinzo Abe has taken the position that it would be acceptable to Japan if he can change the Constitution which itself rests on him staying in power or his successor also seeking constitutional change. Japan is concerned with the extent to which China is creating a physical presence in disputed islands in the China Sea but a military confrontation would not seem to make sense even if it is an excuse to change the constitution. But North Korea has relied on its demonization of Japan as an 'aggressor' since the 1940s and would thus have to swallow hard to see its 'historic enemy' regain the level of military competence it used to invade the peninsula in 1910.

    The other issue which puzzles me is that while a peace treaty might end the state of war between the two Koreas, does it mean that both North and South will accept the division of the country? Or, perhaps the fantasy project, has the North Korean elite realised it cannot carry on and is seeking a long informal transition that will see the two Koreas merge through trade, like the EU?


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    Last edited by Stavros; 04-19-2018 at 04:39 PM.

  5. #45
    5 Star Poster sukumvit boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    N Korea ready to suspend nuclear testing

    North Korea is now desperate for a way out of economic sanctions.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.875662b10b32


    Last edited by sukumvit boy; 04-21-2018 at 02:05 AM.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    [QUOTE=sukumvit boy;1834756]N Korea ready to suspend nuclear testing
    North Korea is now desperate for a way out of economic sanctions.

    All so odd, I mean they spend all that money on prestige projects and then just drop it all? And so far they have the USA dancing on the end of a string, awarding the 'rocket man' with the international recognition he craves, and needs to prove to North Korea he is truly important. He isn't caving in to/crawling to the USA to meet an American President, the Americans are travelling thousands of miles to meet him.

    What does North Korea get in return? That surely is where the truth of 'the deal' will be revealed.



  7. #47
    5 Star Poster sukumvit boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    I don't think the North intends to "drop it all" in any real sense . Now that they have proven they have (almost) the nuclear and missile capability they will consider that a bargaining chip ,whereas I think that they realize that to see anyway out of the present sanctions they need to put a lid on those projects.
    It's a tough job , being a ruthless dictator , and trying to keep a nation of people terrified and ignorant in the digital age .
    Just happen to be reading ,"Why Nations Fail : The Origins of Power , Prosperity and Poverty" although published in 2012 the principles laid out by the authors seem universally valid.
    Excellent read. Simply put ,they compare the societies in history produced by extractive political and economic systems and institutions vs inclusive political and economic systems and institutions. A key point being that the two systems are mutually exclusive. If the people in power loosen the reigns a little too much the system falls apart .

    https://www.amazon.com/Why-Nations-F...y+nations+fail








    l


    Last edited by sukumvit boy; 04-22-2018 at 02:44 AM.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    I think the elite in North Korea are innovating to survive, as they own the state and have an existential reason to preserve as much as they have. I think it is a given that China does not want a re-unified Korea, so this gives North Korea another opportunity to extract as many benefits as it can from the outside world to survive, but it cannot survive in the long term and I suspect that if key supporters of Kim in the military die or are for whatever reason no longer there the system will fall apart, just as the USSR collapsed from within as before it did the weak and divided Autocracy of the Tsar.

    Thanks for the link to Why Nations Fail. There are some good reviews (Jared Diamond in the link below), but the topic has been dealt with before in other works, the most famous being Barrington Moore Jr's The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966) [link below].

    I would also recommend Joel Migdal, Strong Societies and Weak States (198, but while I would also recommend the four volumes in the series by Michael Mann Sources of Social Power, this would be heavy reading for most people, but grounded in a rigorous theory that presents Politics, Economics, the Military and Ideology as the four foundations of social power that sustain the state (or contribute to its success, failure, stasis, etc).

    Violence is central to all of these issues, though not its sole determining factor. Modern Britain would not exist without the near permanent wars of the Plantagenets which shredded both the peasantry and a fair chunk of landed aristocrats before the civil war wiped out even more, and that in both cases includes the wars in Wales and Ireland. Moore is particularly good on the US Civil War as a crucial stepping stone to a more inclusive capitalist economy across the USA, but at the expense of Black Americans who, initially freed from slavery and brought into the public domain as equal citizens, were then, in the South, relegated back to the margins through segregation and the same voter suppression we see today.

    Korea was radically changed by its war, and I therefore wonder if the South also developed more rapidly than the North because its social composition was changed, and it thus became easier to create a successful capitalist economy without social resistance, as was the case with Germany's revivals after 1918 and 1945. In all these cases, the flourishing of civil society seems to me to be key to the success of inclusion, its absence the basis of dictatorship.

    Jared Diamond's review here-
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2012...-rich-or-poor/

    Moore here-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Moore_Jr.

    Migdal here-
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strong-Soci.../dp/0691010730

    Mann here-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michae..._(sociologist)


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  9. #49
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    I think the elite in North Korea are innovating to survive, as they own the state and have an existential reason to preserve as much as they have. I think it is a given that China does not want a re-unified Korea, so this gives North Korea another opportunity to extract as many benefits as it can from the outside world to survive, but it cannot survive in the long term and I suspect that if key supporters of Kim in the military die or are for whatever reason no longer there the system will fall apart, just as the USSR collapsed from within as before it did the weak and divided Autocracy of the Tsar.

    Thanks for the link to Why Nations Fail. There are some good reviews (Jared Diamond in the link below), but the topic has been dealt with before in other works, the most famous being Barrington Moore Jr's The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966) [link below].

    I would also recommend Joel Migdal, Strong Societies and Weak States (198, but while I would also recommend the four volumes in the series by Michael Mann Sources of Social Power, this would be heavy reading for most people, but grounded in a rigorous theory that presents Politics, Economics, the Military and Ideology as the four foundations of social power that sustain the state (or contribute to its success, failure, stasis, etc).

    Violence is central to all of these issues, though not its sole determining factor. Modern Britain would not exist without the near permanent wars of the Plantagenets which shredded both the peasantry and a fair chunk of landed aristocrats before the civil war wiped out even more, and that in both cases includes the wars in Wales and Ireland. Moore is particularly good on the US Civil War as a crucial stepping stone to a more inclusive capitalist economy across the USA, but at the expense of Black Americans who, initially freed from slavery and brought into the public domain as equal citizens, were then, in the South, relegated back to the margins through segregation and the same voter suppression we see today.

    Korea was radically changed by its war, and I therefore wonder if the South also developed more rapidly than the North because its social composition was changed, and it thus became easier to create a successful capitalist economy without social resistance, as was the case with Germany's revivals after 1918 and 1945. In all these cases, the flourishing of civil society seems to me to be key to the success of inclusion, its absence the basis of dictatorship.

    Jared Diamond's review here-
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2012...-rich-or-poor/

    Moore here-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Moore_Jr.

    Migdal here-
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strong-Soci.../dp/0691010730

    Mann here-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michae..._(sociologist)


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  10. #50
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    Although the events that took place in South Korea and the DMZ were broadcast live to most of the world (but not in North Korea where the visit of its leader to the South was not officially reported, I don't know if it has since the visit ended) have given people a great sense of optimism for a more peaceful future on the peninsula, the two sides have been close to this position before so it is too early to say if the next steps will be as positive as the ones taken already.

    There is little doubt that China has played a key role in this manoeuvre, as it was China that requested Kim Jong-un visit Beijing and events have moved quickly since his visit. We don't know what they discussed, but the reluctance of China to continue bailing out the North Korea economy may be one, while it seems to some that for his part Kim may be trying to edge North Korea away from China, though the two states retain the military pact that was the basis of China's participation in the War in 1950-53. It is even conceivable that China advised Kim to seek a 'peace' with South Korea in order to obtain substantial economic aid in return, thus protecting China's position without incurring extra costs.

    The USA appears to have fallen on its knees in a desperate attempt to court the leader of North Korea, a shocking collapse, not least because in the recent past the President of the USA threatened to destroy the country, and a surprising move given that the President of the USA has now said he is willing to meet the leader of a country the USA does not recognise exists. Perhaps someone forgot to tell the President, or maybe they did but he didn't understand. It remains to be seen how Congress will advise the President on the next steps, but it is complicated by the conditions of the armistice that was signed in 1953.

    To begin with, the armistice was only signed by three of the parties to the war: China, North Korea and the United Nations. South Korea did not sign the armistice, so one must assume that before any talks begin on a peace treaty, the two Koreas will first have to end their state of war through a North-South Armistice. Only then can talks on a peace treaty begin.

    Also, while it appears that the USA would be party to any talks leading to a peace treaty, again this could only happen if the USA were to give North Korea diplomatic recognition, which may be the decision of Congress rather than the President, while the question of who represents the United Nations Command may lead to the answer: not necessarily an American, as the Command was established by the General Assembly of the UN through its Uniting for Peace resolution in 1950. Nevertheless the USA has a military pact with South Korea similar to the one that China has with North Korea, but the final constitution of any parties to the peace talks is thus not absolutely clear though one might expect a citizen of the USA to be involved.

    Some interesting articles here-
    https://thediplomat.com/2018/04/a-pe...a-not-so-fast/

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-2...-china/9687834

    https://www.38north.org/2017/09/ibchun091217/


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    Last edited by Stavros; 04-28-2018 at 08:25 PM.

  11. #51
    5 Star Poster sukumvit boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Murder /Assassination of Kim Jong Nam

    Trump calls Kim a "very honorable " man ...
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.c07a37b51359



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