March 25, 2012

Isolation? I'd Hate to See That...

I'm ready to give the President something of a pass on this, as there is probably no great alternative. I don't think a fiery, Sharansky-esque, appeal to universal freedom is in his repertoire. And I'm jaded enough these days to wonder if that would do any good.

And yet: "Obama: N. Korean rocket test would isolate regime"

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Warning North Korea from its doorstep, President Barack Obama said Pyongyang risks deepening its isolation in the international community if it proceeds with a planned long-range rocket launch.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2011

Headline of the Day

Like Woodstock for Tyrants: Cuba Declares Three Days of Mourning for Kim Jong-il -- Reason.com
Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

To Do List

Heh:

Posted by John Kranz at 11:09 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Ahmadinijad?

Google?

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 11:47 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm an insufferable MSFT apologist, but a liberty lover and web programmer with IE and Ahmadinijad in range with one bullet would be facing a serious conundrum.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2011 12:22 PM

December 19, 2011

Midgets Walked the Earth!

I'm suspending the rules of de mortuis nil nisi bonum (more a guideline, actually...)

This guy watched as hundreds of millions were released from tyranny and privation, only to grab the reins of despotism more tightly. May Hitch and Ms. Rand be wrong, as there should be a hell -- if only to house this man.

Photo Credit and more sic semper tyrannis-y goodness: AP

UPDATE: Homage to the ThreeSources logo: It's so Ronery in the Dark!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If Hitch and Ms. Rand are in fact wrong on that point, then perhaps Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi are no longer ronery.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 19, 2011 11:52 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The diminuative dictator's timely death presents an opportunity to show how America could achieve a "fairer distribution" of wealth. No greedy millionaires in the DPRK! Well, except for "Dear Leader" and his minions. If we have a "one percent" the communist role model has a one-per-million.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2011 2:30 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It was just shared with me that that the Twitterati were hard at work last night, shocked at the sudden and unexpected death of Lil Kim. Not the height-challenged Korean dictator, however - the rumor circulating was about a thug rap "artist." Note the identity of Twit #2; you might recognize the name:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/people-that-thought-lil-kim-died

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 19, 2011 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And twit #22 seems familiar too.

(Honestly, I'm just impressed there aren't more misspellings in those tweets.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2011 4:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Heh! That was exactly the headline The Refugee considered when seeing the news.

Nice cogent comment, JG!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 19, 2011 7:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Like I could ever tell them apart...

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2011 7:32 PM

July 1, 2009

Birds of a Feather

Even if you've already seen this one you'll appreciate it again:

toon063009.gif

Indeed. If you aren't already familiar, here is the real story on the "military coup" in Honduras.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:59 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

The WSJ Ed Page did a nice piece as well.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2009 12:51 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Excellent. It's refreshing to see major sources pointing out that this was not a real coup, but the removal of a proto-dictator. What does it tell you when Chavez and the UN insist that someone be returned to power?

Billy Hollis at QandO has been publishing stuff from his friend in Honduras. Must-read.

So now you know, when U.S. and AFP news talk about "protestors" battling with police, whose side the protestors are actually on. And think about what will happen if Zelaya returns. He'll virtually flood the streets with the blood of his opponents, making Robespierre look like Mother Theresa.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 1, 2009 1:40 PM
But jk thinks:

'nother good cartoon

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2009 2:07 PM

June 24, 2009

The Mouse that Roared

Listening to that little chia-head dictator in North Korea threaten to "wipe the US off the globe once and for all" can't help but remind The Refugee of the 1959 comedy "The Mouse that Roared" starring Peter Sellers. In the movie, the backward little country of Duchy of Grand Fenwick, on the brink of economic collapse, determines that the best course of action is to attack the US, lose, and wait for reconstruction. The Refugee won't spoil the plot for all Netflix subscribers, but you get the idea.

Kim Jong Il is rumored to be a real movie buff, so is this the Big Screen coming to life? Maybe, but The Refugee is still more inclined to bet on syphilitic insanity.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:56 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Ummm, how many stars?

Posted by: jk at June 24, 2009 1:13 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

In the tradition of Mike Rosen, I will give it four suits of armor out of a possible five. If you see the movie, you'll catch the reference.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 24, 2009 2:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Um, I think you meant, "all but one Netflix subscribers" br.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2009 2:48 PM

March 6, 2007

50 years from now...

50 years from now you'll be able to tell your grandchildren, "I was alive when plain English was spoken at the U.N." Sadly, those days are behind us now. But the man who did so is still riding shotgun on America's diplomatic corps as it whistles past the graveyard that is the DPRK.

In The North Korea Climbdown Bolton writes:

The reports raise three separate issues. First, what exactly is the intelligence judgment about North Korea's enrichment activities, and how valid was it in 2002? Second, what are the implications for the administration's ongoing negotiations with North Korea? And third, is Mr./Ms. ASO speaking for the Bush administration, or for those elements in the permanent bureaucracy that have consistently opposed key elements of the Bush foreign policy, at least as conducted until recently?

He then elaborates on the second issue:

North Korea's aggressive mendacity puts it near the top of the list, perhaps tied with Iran for the lead, of countries that need the most transparent, most intrusive, most pervasive verification systems. For America to agree to anything less would be to make our national security, and that of close friends and allies like Japan, dependent on North Korea's word--never a safe bet. And yet, it is precisely this extensive verification system that the North cannot accept, because the transparency we must require would threaten the very rock of domestic oppression on which the North Korean regime rests. North Korea's negotiators understand this contradiction. So do ours.

The only way around this problem is to conclude it doesn't exist, or is so minimal it can be "fixed" in negotiations. That's why Mr./Ms. ASO was busy, laying the foundation to argue that further deals with North Korea do not require much, if any, verification beyond what little the International Atomic Energy Agency can provide. If we continue this approach, what is already a bad deal will become a dangerous deal, whether we make it with North Korea directly or in the six-party talks. (As Nick Eberstadt has put it, a bad agreement with six parties is no better than a bad agreement with two parties.)

Bolton concludes by challenging the president to reign in the "permanent bureaucracy" and hold Pyongyang's feet to the fire. Personally I think Bush and Cheney have decided to put this issue on simmer, leave it for the next administration, and focus on the signature foreign policy issue of this administration: capturing or killing big name terrorists. The Iraq "surge," the Afghanistan "spring offensive," the 82nd Airborne deployment to the Afghan/Pak border, and Cheney's recent trip to Pakistan's capitol all bode well for this assumption.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I completely agree. This great nation has its hands full in Iraq and Iran, both of which are pieces of a long term strategic goal.

I'm one of Ambassador Bolton's biggest fans, but his -- and much of the right wing press and punditry's -- carping about the current deal with North Korea ignores the fact that this one can simmer for a while.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2007 4:20 PM

January 12, 2007

Lasers

FoxNews

    A German pensioner who won a prize and worldwide fame for breeding his country’s largest rabbit — Robert, a 10.5kg (23lb) bruiser the size of a dog — has been offered an unusual opportunity to exploit his talents overseas.

    Karl Szmolinsky has been given a contract by North Korea to supply giant rabbits to help to boost meat production in the reclusive Communist country, which is suffering severe food shortages. The only problem is that such huge rabbits consume vast quantities of food themselves as they grow.


Are these giant rabbits going to be bred for food, or to put "frickin' laser beams on their heads?"

Unfortunately, as soon as Chavez gets his way (completely gets his way), Venezuela won't be all that far behind.

Posted by AlexC at 7:11 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

They can use it to scare President Carter...

(Fot those who forgot: Killer Rabbit)

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2007 10:17 AM

December 18, 2006

A Sharanskyite Approach to North Korea

There's no reason to believe that North Korea would not fall as the Soviet Bloc nations did. The country is poor and isolated and should be susceptible to internal pressure.

To atone for my downbeat post yesterday, I offer the story of Pastor Buck, who rescues people from NK Communism.

OpinionJournal - Featured Article

Pastor Buck is a rescuer. It's a job title that applies to a courageous few--mostly Americans and South Koreans and predominantly Christians--who operate the underground railroad that ferries North Korean refugees out of China to South Korea, and now, thanks to 2004 legislation, to the U.S. Mr. Buck, an American from Seattle, says he has rescued more than 100 refugees and helped support another 1,000 who are still on the run. For this "crime"--China's policy is to hunt down and repatriate North Koreans--he spent 15 months in a Chinese prison. He was released in August.

The plight of the tens of thousands of North Korean refugees in China is a humanitarian crisis that has received scant world attention. It won't be on the agenda of the six-party talks, which are scheduled to restart today in Beijing. But the experience of Pastor Buck and other rescuers is worth noting as negotiators sit down with Kim Jong Il's emissaries. North Korea won't change, they believe, so long as Kim remains in power. Follow that logic, and regime change is the proper goal.

The refugees, Pastor Buck argues, are the key to regime change in North Korea and, by inference, the key to halting the North's nuclear and missile programs. Help one man or woman escape, he says, and that person will get word to his family back home about the freedom that awaits them on the outside. Others will follow, and the regime will implode. This is what happened in 1989, when Hungary refused to turn back East Germans fleeing to the West, thereby hastening the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:12 PM

October 20, 2006

Carrots? Sticks?

North Korea is sorry.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expressed regret about his country's nuclear test to a Chinese delegation and said Pyongyang would return to international nuclear talks if Washington backs off a campaign to financially isolate the country, a South Korean newspaper reported Friday.

    "If the U.S. makes a concession to some degree, we will also make a concession to some degree, whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks," Kim was quoted as telling a Chinese envoy, the mass- circulation Chosun Ilbo reported, citing a diplomatic source in China.

    Kim told the Chinese delegation that "he is sorry about the nuclear test," the newspaper reported.

(tip to Ace)

Posted by AlexC at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Guess Kim heard the Team America World Police were coming!

;-)

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 20, 2006 10:33 PM

October 19, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering

Crazy guy in Iran who happens to be President.

    "The Zionist regime is counterfeit and illegitimate and cannot survive," he said in a speech to a crowd in the town of Islamshahr in southwestern Tehran.

    "The big powers have created this fraud regime and allowed it to commit all kind of crimes to guarantee their interests," he added.


A guy who works for a crazy guy in North Korea.
    If President Bush continues to ask North Korea to "kneel," war "will be inevitable," and it would begin on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean Gen. Ri Chan Bok told "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer, in an exclusive interview inside North Korea.

If only we had a topical quotation from Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro, then we'd have a crazy trifecta.

A general who impliments policies of a government who's crazy to respect a religion that can't respect itself, or it's gays, or it's women, or religious minorities, or... or... or... ad nauseum.[1]

    The U.S. military spokesman says there has been a 22 percent jump in attacks during Ramadan and the drive to secure Baghdad has "not met our overall expectations."

    The spike in violence during the Islamic holy month of fasting was "disheartening" and the Americans were working with Iraqi authorities to "refocus" security measures, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said.

Note 1: Out of respect, weren't we supposed to scale back our military activities around Islamic holy days? I'm glad the other side got the message. As a reward, we should treat their prisoners nicely. Maybe they'll stop the beheadings.

Posted by AlexC at 11:51 AM

Condi: We'll Nuke 'em

Secretary Rice has been kicked about on these pages for what I think is simply the vicissitudes of the diplomacy game.

I imagine even her detractors will enjoy the tough talk she gave in Japan about our country’s ability and willingness to defend our ally.

Yahoo/AP

The top U.S. diplomat said she reaffirmed President Bush's pledge, made hours after North Korea's Oct. 9 underground test blast, "that the United States has the will and the capability to meet the full range — and I underscore the full range — of its deterrent and security commitments to Japan."


Posted by John Kranz at 10:28 AM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Finally. A break from the endless time wasting monotony of sharply worded UN resolutions promising more sharply worded resolutions.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/10/18/D8KRD6500.html

President Bush said Wednesday the United States would stop North Korea from transferring nuclear weapons to Iran or al-Qaida and that the communist regime would then face "a grave consequence."
Bush refused to spell out how the United States would retaliate. "They'd be held to account," the president said in an ABC News interview.

Posted by: AlexC at October 19, 2006 11:40 AM

October 17, 2006

Tyrants and Bombs

Must read.

    In my other life, as a Romanian intelligence general, I was at the beck and call of another 5’4” dictator involved in building nuclear weapons in a defiant bid for survival and respect, and nothing short of death was able to deter him from achieving that goal. Not even the defection of his top nuclear-weapon adviser — myself.

    Eleven years later, in 1989, Ceausescu was executed for genocide, and Romania’s new government reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it had discovered plutonium separated in a Triga nuclear reactor. The amount of plutonium found at that time was small, but the act was a clear violation of Romania’s commitments made under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. According to a Canadian study, “a more extensive nuclear weapons program may have been covered up.”


The west never stood a chance of stopping Kim Jong Ill.

Hans Brix's best efforts, not withstanding.

Posted by AlexC at 2:07 PM

October 15, 2006

Real Time, Real Schoolin'

Must watch "debate" on North Korea.

(tip to NewsBusters)

Posted by AlexC at 2:28 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I fear for the Republic. Millions watch that show and believe that Bill Maher and Ben Affleck represent a serious opinion and that the things they hear are factual. You were right to put scare quotes around "debate."

Ms. Pletka changed no minds, while the natterings of Maher and Affleck fired up the moonbats.

Posted by: jk at October 15, 2006 4:36 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Too many people watch Real Time, the Daily Show and Colbert Report without they are parody or satire.

Yes, they're funny (well Colbert). But someone's number one news source?

Posted by: AlexC at October 15, 2006 6:53 PM

October 14, 2006

North Korean Resolution

RedState provides a list of the provisions of the United Nation's North Korea Resolution.

  • Demands North Korea eliminate all its nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

  • Requires all countries to prevent the sale or transfer of materials related to Pyongyang's unconventional weapons programs, as well as large-sized military items such as tanks, missiles and helicopters.

  • Demands nations freeze funds overseas of people or businesses connected with North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

  • Allows nations to inspect cargo moving in and out of North Korea in pursuit of non-conventional weapons.

  • Calls on Pyongyang to return "without precondition" to stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear program.

  • Is not backed up by the threat of military force.

I'm not war mongering by any means, but that last item there pretty much guarantees that this will fail.

Posted by AlexC at 4:51 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Send in Hans Bricks!

I am not disappointed because nothing, nothing, nothing good will come out of the Security Council. Either China will successfully pressure them or we will do a coalition of the willing someday.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2006 7:32 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Cross-posted over the weekend!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 16, 2006 8:01 PM

October 11, 2006

Or Else What?

(tip to BOTW)

Posted by AlexC at 5:08 PM

October 9, 2006

UN Security Council to Discuss North Korea

I expect a strongly worded resolution promising a another strongly worded resolution if the North Koreans don't start playing nice.

Posted by AlexC at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

If that doesn't work, we'll resolution your ass.

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2006 11:50 AM

NorK Politics

Democrats' worst nightmare...

Karl Rove saying, "I see your October Surprise, and I RAISE!!"

Posted by AlexC at 1:07 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

You guys won't believe this, but at work I am ridiculed for my sunny optimism.

Are we certain that this is good for the GOP? The Clinton administration did a nice deal with them, they have developed this while the Bush administration was distracted in Iraq and spurned our allies in the international community.

I think any ThreeSourcer can accurately rebut any of those claims but our readership compares unfavorably with the NYTimes and Network news broadcasts, who will not.

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2006 12:05 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Any news article writing about North Korea that doesn't mention "the six way talks" and their progress is engaging in journalistic negligence.

A perfect example of "dipolmacy gone mad."

Posted by: AlexC at October 9, 2006 12:30 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Damn ... Karl is good. You do realize that the NoKo's will never actually USE a nuke. It's just a negotiating chip for them.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at October 9, 2006 12:37 PM

October 8, 2006

Diversions and Distractions

Marc Steyn writes today about Mark Foley.

    I'm not a "typical right-wing pedophile apologist" excusing Foley. But, in case you haven't noticed, he's gone. He quit quicker than his instant message. And, true, he's since done the usual contemptible redemption shtick, announcing he's going into alcohol rehab, etc., when the reality is he'd be a better man if he drank more and IMed teens about the size of their wedding tackle less. And yes, he'll get a book deal, just like New Jersey's revolting ex-governor. But no one will buy the book -- and besides, what do you want? When a member of the House of Lords went abroad after a homosexual scandal, King George V is said to have remarked, "Good God, I thought fellows like that shot themselves." It may, indeed, be a less revolting spectacle for a chap to take a tumbler of whiskey and a loaded revolver into his study than to go on "Oprah" and bore on about his personal demons, abusive father, etc., etc. But we live in different times. Foley's history; he's the first footnote in history to a page in history. So the only question now is whether there is any larger issue here worth spending 10 minutes on.

If only... if only....

How about the fact that North Korea is now nuclear?

    North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test. The country's official Korean Central News Agency said the test was performed successfully and there was no radioactive leakage from the site.

    "The nuclear test is a historic event that brought happiness to the our military and people," KCNA said.


Posted by AlexC at 11:25 PM

July 5, 2006

Dems Still Surrendering to DPRK

The hullabaloo (not yet a kerfuffle) over baby Kim's Fourth-of-July fireworks show amongst the media and Democrat pols is truly baffling. "Madeline Albright tells us that North Korea is stuck in the 1950's as a society, to which I say, "Didn't they have electric lights back then? I don't know, I'm not that old." But the point is, how can you impose economic sanctions on an economic null?

"General" Wesley Clark and Governor/Ambassador/Senator Bill Richardson calmly lecture that this is just North Korea's way of "behaving like a spoiled child" in order to "get our attention" and "force us to negotiate incentive agreements" with them. Then they both suggest, in the very next breath, that we engage them in direct talks. Clark says, and I'm paraphrasing, "We are the world's superpower and it is our responsibility to defuse this situation, and the only way to do that is to talk with them." He also said, "We need to work with them, and work against them." Multilateralists hearts must be all aflutter at this stunning display of nuance.

My prescription for North Korea: Exactly what the adminstration has done, and nothing more. If these missiles got close, they'd have been swatted. If one gets through and, NED forbid, a nuclear warhead explodes on US soil, there's a special red button in the Oval Office with North Korea's name on it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:44 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I'd say the seventh missile brings it to an imbroglio. Two more is a contretemps, and then we're on to kerfuffle.

Posted by: jk at July 5, 2006 4:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There's one more thing the President should do to handle this "crisis." The next time a reporter asks him what he's going to do about it he should answer, "Our missiles are fully functional and one-hundred percent reliable. Their range is well known to the world. No test firings are required."

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2006 11:50 AM
But silence dogood thinks:

Hmm, I am not sure that retaliatory strikes fits the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive miliary action. The doctrine seems to morph as it extends east. I agree however with the administration's stand on basically ignoring North Korea's posturing. Somehow this was not an option in Iraq though. I am not sure how we "swat" their missiles if they get close, unless maybe that Star Wars missile defense system did get up and running? Gen. Clark has it all wrong as well, forget responsibility, we simply can't diffuse the situation, the guy is a nut, even negotiation is hopeless with an unstable partner.

Posted by: silence dogood at July 6, 2006 2:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Not necessarily directed at you, Silence, but I hear a lot of exasperation from administration critics at the difference between our treatment of Iraq and North Korea. I think that preventing Saddam Hussein from having the nukes that Kim Jung Il does gets glossed over. That, and he doesn't fire at our airplanes every day.

As NK gets closer to perfecting a delivery system, the President might come closer to conforming with his pre-Iraq stance.

General Clark's partisanship is unbelievable. He can make the rounds of TV shows, praising the job the Clinton Administration did in North Korea. Whew, sometimes I don't like MY job.

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2006 3:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The missile "swatting" system I referred to is described here:

http://voanews.com/english/2006-07-05-voa51.cfm

Posted by: johngalt at July 7, 2006 2:24 AM

June 22, 2006

Much Ado About Korea

It would appear that the North Koreans have a missile all fueled up on the launch pad. All ready to go.

What do we do?

1) Blow it up on the pad.

2) Shoot it down from with our new-fangled missile defense system.

3) Let diplomacy have a chance. (again)

4) None of the above.

Posted by AlexC at 10:47 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Those war-mongering Clintonites, huh?

I must confess, I'd really like solution #2 but I have no idea how viable that is. Blast the freakin' thing out of the sky. No belligerence, just like parrying the punches of a three year old.

Posted by: jk at June 23, 2006 10:02 AM
But AlexC thinks:

To be fair, I heard Jed Babbin, (no Clintonista) vote for #1. He says if the NorK's don't put out a "Notice to Airman and Mariners" before launching it, we have no idea where it's going. It would be prudent for us to destroy it the ground. He even said that position is UN-friendly.

(i don't buy that last part)

Posted by: AlexC at June 23, 2006 11:51 AM
But jk thinks:

#1 is not endemic to Clintonistas, I just remember Secretary Albright toasting his hairiness on completion of their agreement. I find it odd that they get belligerent now, but better to arrive late than never.

The paranoid side of me senses an attack on the Iraq war by Democrats who now claim that Iran and North Korea are more dangerous. I don't know that either situation would be somehow better with Saddam Hussein still in power but I certainly sense an undercurrent.

Posted by: jk at June 23, 2006 12:02 PM