Monday, August 28, 2017

Cheap Talk

Actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap. Put up or shut up. Prove it.

There are many ways to say it, but they all come down to one thing: Do you mean what you say? For anyone claiming to be a leader that means warn once, then execute. Never bluff.

When Saddam Hussein first took steps develop nuclear capabilities in the Iraqi desert, Israel sent jets in to destroy his facility at Osirak. In and out went the planes — a surgical strike. That was June, 1981. When Bashar Assad built a nuclear facility in Syria called Al Kibar for the same purpose, Israeli jets destroyed that too. In and out went the planes — another surgical strike. That was September, 2007.

Syria's Al Kibar destroyed

With the destruction of Osirak, Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin established his doctrine: “prevent confrontation states … from gaining access to nuclear weapons.” Both Iraq and Syria had tried to invade Israel after declaring it had no right to exist. 

When the Kim dynasty was threatening the United States and simultaneously building nuclear facilities in North Korea, American military officials advised sending jets in to destroy them. President Clinton instead deployed former President Carter and a lead negotiator named Wendy Sherman for talks. They came up with the 1994 deal under which North Korea promised to freeze its nuclear program. In return, the United States gave $4 billion to develop nuclear reactors that would ostensibly be for generating electricity. We also gave them $100 million in oil and some food.

Then in 1998, two things happened: One — North Korea was caught sending missile technology to Pakistan, itself a nuclear power. Two — it tested an ICBM. Four years later in 2006, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon. That same year, Israeli intelligence photos showed North Korean workers helping to build the Al Kibar reactor in Syria the Israelis later destroyed. Clearly, the Clinton/Carter/Sherman agreement was a disaster and North Korea couldn’t be trusted. In the middle of all this, however, Carter won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

All through the George W. Bush administration, aid to North Korea was suspended and restarted, talks were restarted and suspended and restarted over and over. Long story short, North Korea continued testing missiles and nuclear devices, just as it is today. One thing Bush did was declare Iran, Iraq, and North Korea “The Axis of Evil” which the left criticized as too simplistic. President Obama repeated the bluffing and talking cycle during his eight years with about the same results.

Hey, what could go wrong?

Thus did the Kim Jong Il learn how gullible the United States and the United Nations could be. He continued promising to stop developing nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them — and the USA continued sending aid for his starving citizens. When he wasn’t making fools of US presidents, he would stay up late watching old Daffy Duck cartoons. Meanwhile, his chubby son Kim Jong Un was taking notes.

So were the Mullahs in Iran. They played the same game with Presidents Bush and Obama and got everything they wanted. Obama even used the same chief negotiator, Wendy Sherman, that President Clinton used for the 1994 debacle. Obama and Kerry insist Iran will not have nukes for ten or fifteen years. Can we trust Iran to comply until then? About as much as we can trust North Korea — which is not at all. We cannot send inspectors into Iran to verify compliance because Iran inspects itself under the Wendy Sherman/John Kerry agreement — and they get back their $150 billion in frozen assets up front.

Why didn’t anyone get tough with the Kims? Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon said out loud what everyone suspected just before he resigned: “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here; they got us.” He was talking, of course, about the 10,000 mobile artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, South Korea. We have no way of neutralizing them.

How about in Iran? Were we ever able to take out Iranian nukes militarily? Yes, but not without pain. Iran has Hezbollah proxy armies in Lebanon and Syria ready to use rockets and other assets against Israel, not to mention another proxy army in Gaza under Hamas. Nonetheless, Israel was ready and willing to attack Iran’s nuke facilities just as it had Iraq’s and Syria’s. Saudi Arabia would have allowed Israeli planes to fly over its air space to Iran. If the USA had supplied two things: in-air refueling for Israeli jets and bunker-busting technology for destroying underground facilities, Israel would have attacked. Many expected President Bush to help out, but he never did. Nobody ever expected President Obama to.

In Bush’s Axis of Evil triumvirate, North Korea has nukes and Iran will soon. Thanks to Israel, Iraq won’t. Now it’s all in Trump’s hands.


Anonymous said...

Couple of things:
1) The creation of Israel was problematic. This country did not exist before in the previous roughly 2,000 year. To suddenly create a new country in the Middle East by displacing Arabs was bound to create problems. Essentially, the persecution of Jews in Russia and Europe was solved by displacement of Arabs and now persecution of Palestinians. Is it any wonder the Arab world has some displeasure?
2) The discovery and development of oil in the Middle East in roughly the same time period has led to US desire for control of these resources
3) The only reasons the US are involved in the Middle East are oil and Israel
4) The reasons we are allies with Israel and Saudi Arabia and not Iran seem almost arbitrary from a historical standpoint. If we hadn't overthrown the Mossadegh government of Iran in 1953 and instead had supported it in it's desire for independence and a better oil deal from the UK, perhaps we would be in a much better position to broker a peace.
5) Why are the United States and Israel allowed to have nuclear weapons and other nations not? At least in the case of North Korea, there is a sold case that for them it is a deterrent to US invasion and not an offensive weapon.

Brian said...

Not sure how much poker you know, but the Phil Helmuth quote is telling you that you SHOULD occasionally bluff, but you display his quote and then say "never bluff". Look into the great bluff Napoleon’s cavalry made during the capitulation of Stettin.

Trump, the king of bluster, bluffs and lies, has thrown out his "fire and fury" comments (oooh, what a tough guy!) so now I guess we just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Bluffs don't alway work out, but there are occasions when they are necessary and when they work successfully.

Anonymous said...

For Anonymous: Try reading Caroline Glick's "The Israeli Solution, A One-State Plan for Peace in the M.E." for some historical facts on Israel, the Arabs, and the "Palestinians".

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Alfred Nobel never stipulated "Everybody gets a participation trophy!"

&%&*79)^870-97(*^&^($(^ said...

I'm pretty sure Alfred E. Newman said "What, me worry?"

Anonymous said...

Cheap talk is littering a blog post with cheap memes.

Anonymous said...

Cheap talk is criticizing a harmless blog post with a snarky comment.

Anonymous said...

A great example of actions speaking louder than words is Donald Trump. Take his blatantly insincere words he read off a teleprompter about racism and nazis, and compare it to actions he has taken. Anybody wonder why he can't speak passionately and off the cuff about these things?

Tom McLaughlin said...

He and tens of millions who voted for him know that no matter what he says or how he says it, the left will alway have the daggers out.

It's very tiresome to most of America, but people like you will never see that. Keep it up and you'll assure his reelection.

Anonymous said...

Oh, now you are upset about how people treat the president. Obama never said anything about grabbing pussy, or the many other stupid, made-up, rude and obnoxious things Trump is constantly saying, but the daggers were constantly out anyway. Surely you don't deny that.

Tiresome to "most of America'?? By "most", do you mean his 33%. You should touch up on your math skills.

And don't worry, nobody is worried about him getting re-elected. The question is will he be able to finish his term.

Brian said...

North Korea obviously saw right through Trump's goofy "fire and fury" bluff, and continue to set off their test missiles.

As for the left having it's daggers out, it is also many members of the right who are rightfully bearing their blades against Trump. To name a few -

Lindsey Graham: "Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer. (The protester who was killed) I, along with many others, do not endorse this moral equivalency," Graham said in a statement.
He continued: "Many Republicans do not agree with and will fight back against the idea that the Party of Lincoln has a welcome mat out for the David Dukes of the world."

John McCain, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, Ed Royce, Leonard Lance, Jeb Bush, and many, many others have called Trump out by name and denounced his repulsive statements.

With many of Trump's statements, it is not a matter of left vs. right, it is a matter of human decency vs. heinousness.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, just imagine the extent and the viciousness of the daggers that would have come out against Obama had he blown off the Texan court system and pardoned some Muslim-American thug who had broken many laws. Or said anything remotely connected to sexually abusing women. Or failed miserably at being a "deal maker", getting nothing done after bragging about how great he would be at it since the campaign. Or did any number of moronic things that Trump did (falling asleep while tweeting conferee nonsense, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc...)

What a huge pile of hypocritical horse shit that last comment from Tom was!!!

Peter said...

Like drawing daggers at a wild boar with an orange wig, squealing obnoxious noises, and running towards you. There is a time and place for daggers. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Anonymous said...

Had Hillary won I'm sure that Tom and the rest of the alt-right would have said, "congratulations" and put away their daggers. There would have been no columns from Tom whining about every little thing she did and said, and all the alt-media talking heads would be saying, "Show the president some respect, give her a chance". So of course Tom is upset that Trump's words and actions are drawing so much criticism. Unfair!

Anonymous said...

Trump's followers are just like him - they love to dish it out but they just aren't tough enough to take it back in return. Pathetic!

badda bing said...

Tom's theory of constant criticism of the president backfiring and resulting in re-election does have some truth to it, but only if the criticism is unjustified. Just look at the 2012 election as a perfect example.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Would Hillary supporters be shouted down on college campuses? Beaten up in the streets?

Anonymous said...

(New York Times) Campuses Confront Hostile Acts Against Minorities After Donald Trump’s Election

BEATEN in the streets? How about MURDERED in the streets (Ms. Heyer)

So just knock it off. Nobody buys that the far right are perfect little pacifist angles being abused by big mean hippies.

Tom McLaughlin said...

I put my name on my opinions. Why don't you?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my name is Robert. Does this change any of the facts?

Brian said...

Once again, is Tom simply naive or is he dishonest?

Obama’s election in 2008 was preceded and followed by violent attacks and property destruction targeted against minorities.

Kaylon Johnson, an African American campaign worker for Obama, was physically assaulted for wearing an Obama T-shirt in Louisiana following the 2008 election. The three white male attackers shouted “Fuck Obama!” and “Nigger president!” as they broke Johnson’s nose and fractured his eye-socket, requiring surgery.

More frequently, Obama’s presidency was marked by effigies of our first black president hanging from nooses across the country, for example in Kentucky, Washington State, and Maine, or being burned around the world. What Trump supporters fail to remember is that following Obama’s election, property was destroyed across the country, for example in Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Carolina, and a predominately black church was torched in Massachusetts.

In 2008, anti-Obama protesters lashed out against minorities because of their discontentment with a black man being voted into the office of president for the first time in our nation’s history. Conversely, in 2016, anti-Trump protesters are holding mostly peaceful demonstrations because of their discontentment with a man, who has ostracized minorities, being voted into the office of president.

(from The Hill)

Tom McLaughlin said...

There are lots of Roberts and Brians out there. I can see you like to hide behind anonymity just like your black-clad, masked, Antifa thug buddies -- cowards all.

Tom McLaughlin said...

There's an open invitation for any of you cowards to come on my TV show. We'll film a special edition for you. Brian has managed to find excuses why he can't, and I still don't know who he is.

Robert said...

I guess since you were getting your butt handed to you in the argument, and you felt defenseless, you needed to deflect and attack the identity of the one making a fool of if their name had anything to do with the argument at hand.

Perhaps, in light of all the evidence listed above of Trump supporters violence against those that are different, people don't want their personal information listed. Who wants anything to do with your white-clad, masked and hooded, thug buddies....cowards all.

Brian said...

Why don't you call out CaptDMO for being a coward? His "handle" is even more anonymous than a first name. Oh, because he takes your side! (at least I think he does, who knows what he is ever really saying).

A bit more of your hypocrisy?

Tom McLaughlin said...

The Captain is a former student who has offered to tell me who he is.

Robert and Brian? Here's your chance to "hand me my butt." I'll again take your responses to my invitation for one or both of you to appear in person on my show and make your arguments as a "No."

I can see you're both unwilling to debate me face to face before the entire community.

Brian said...

Why try and rearrange schedules and trek up to your area just to appease a host who is already throwing out insults to potential guests, all just to once again hand you your butt? So speaking for myself, I'll just do it here. I'm sure the "entire community" is not watching your show. There are probably just as many people that read this. If I wanted to humiliate you in front of most of the community I would just do so by responding to the Daily Sun, as a lot of people do.

I can see you are unable to defend yourself before this blog's community.

Anonymous said...

The Captain is NOT a former student of Mr.M's
I use "Mr. McLaughlin" as an address in public forum as that's how SOME mannered folks still do it. ALSO , as we've NEVER MET.
I AM quite familiar with the history of the area, including Fryeburg and Lovell.
The Captain is really CaptDMO (no period denoting an abbreviated title) which is NOT to imply in ANY WAY that he is, or was, a member of Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, Salvation Army, Fire Dept, etc. I could be a Dance captain, or Captain of Industry, but that's not really important.
The Captain generally behaves himself, and although he MAY use BIG WORDS, and references seemingly obscure to those of limited, and narrow scope, is NOT interested in the new trend in non-sequitur douchebaggery troll assaults in the other public spheres he maintains and supports.
The Captain by no means "takes Mr. M's side" on ALL issues, yet manages a modicum of decorum, civility,an reason when our "taks" are at odds, NOT seen from the so-called "many" that amusingly choose to get their name in "the paper"(including some of their other "regulars" that I simply find unengaging, yet HAVE/DO cross paths with) AT ANY COST!
CaptDMO ALSO uses ONE name, and no sock puppets, and no ambiguity as to who's "speaking".
The offer to come out of the closet to our host still stands of course,
If my plea for nom d'internet (y'all talk 'nuk too...right?) isn't compelling to him, I'll simply retreat.
I'd be happy to meet anyplace between Kezar Lake, and the office of The Daily Sun.

Steve said...

'One thing Bush did was declare Iran, Iraq, and North Korea “The Axis of Evil” ' In phrasing that way, you're giving credit to Bush for making what turned out to be a vaguely threatening bluff. The step you're trying to give Bush credit for making actually supports the thesis of this blog that bluffing is usually dismissed. Neither aid nor threats did anything to slow or stop North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Tom McLaughlin said...

It wasn't much, no, but it did call evil what it is before the world. Reagan did a small service too, calling the USSR the evil empire. Calling the enemy by its name helps, as in the case of radical Islam.

Brian said...

I find it both incredible, and yet at the same time not surprising, that Tom is called out for an outright, blatant "alternative facts" lie, and like Trump, completely ignores it and comments on something else.

"The Captain is a former student who has offered to tell me who he is."

But he isn't. Wow. What more does one need to be assured of Tom's dishonesty. Why would anyone travel to "debate" somebody like this? Why would we believe ANYTHING he says? Tom may very well be naive, but he has proven himself to be dishonest as well. What a combo. Sad!

Steve said...

Conservatives made so much out of Obama’s exclusion of radical islam references. This gives us an opportunity to study the cause and effect. In an earlier post to a previous blog, I asked what would be different if Obama mentioned radical Islam to a degree that would satisfy you, and I didn’t get an answer. We now have a controlled case study to review. You can fill in the blanks for us in these two questions:
Obama did not call Islam evil and the effect was…?
Bush called North Korea evil and the effect was…?

Tom McLaughlin said...

"You can fill in the blanks for us in these two questions:"

"for us"? You and who else?

"Obama did not call Islam evil and the effect was…?"

Obscuring just who it is that wants to kill us and why.

"Bush called North Korea evil and the effect was…?"

Telling Americans who the bad guys were.

Anonymous said...

"Actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap. Put up or shut up. Prove it."

When I was a kid, there were one set of facts and a bunch of different interpretations. You could go to a place like the encyclopedia britannica and everyone would agree on the basic facts there. Now there are different set of facts. The far right has set up their own websites, with their own facts and everything else is just liberal facts.

Everything's a conspiracy with the far right. Evidence is not needed. Republicans spent 25 years and 10's of millions of dollars to prove that the Clintons were guilty of something, anything. But they never found anything. Trump and his close associates have openly stated doing things that are borderline illegal. Maybe there isn't anything there but it's not a witch hunt to investigate people who brag about committing crimes.

The far right has rejected every source that used to be considered evidence. The far right makes it's decisions about the world and everything that goes against it is liberal. If Trump says water is not wet, his hard core followers say yes sir and call anyone who believes that water is wet is a liberal/communist/socialist/nazi.

When people walk down the streets in large groups with a torch in one hand and a weapon in the other hand, that is not a peaceful demonstration. Not everyone in the demonstration is a nazi but when you walk down the street with a weapon in your hand, with a guy carrying a nazi flag on one side and another guy in a kkk uniform on the other side, you should expect to be called a nazi yourself.


Not Tom's former student said...

WHAT? You are claiming that if Bush did not call North Korea evil then you would be confused as to whether or not they were the "bad guys"??

And your feelings were "obscured" about who the enemy was because of Obama's vocabulary?

Do you really need to be told exactly what to think and feel by others?

Steve said...

"for us"? You and who else? - Fair enough. Consider the pronoun changed from us to me. You've written about universal conservative victimization and universal liberal bias, hypocrisy, oppression, intimidation, discrimination and general thuggery long enough, I thought it was safe for me to take that license.
"Obama did not call Islam evil and the effect was…?" Obscuring just who it is that wants to kill us and why.” Obscuring who wants to kill us? Tell me you know anyone who is unsure why we conducted combat operations in Afghanistan, mountainous regions of Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. Tell me you know people who simply can't figure out why Obama increased the drone-strike campaign in those countries. Tell me you know people how can't understand why he rationalized that an individual simply being proximal to a suspected terrorist must mean they're also a terrorist and can be legally taken out with a drone strike. Tell me you know people who can't figure out why Obama increased TSA security for flights originating or laying over in 13 different muslim-dominant countries. Tell me you know people who are confused about these combat efforts. Obama continued many of Bush's military actions and added some new ones, but they're still actions, not words, which is the whole point of your piece; actions matter, talk does not.

"Bush called North Korea evil and the effect was…?" Telling Americans who the bad guys were.” Now tell us what strategic advantage we gained over N. Korea with these words: Iraq, Iran and N Korea are an axis of evil?

It seems a little coincidental that we invaded and occupied the one country that ended up having no WMD programs when that was the whole pretext for war.

Brian said...

Strange how Tom's "side" likes to lump whole groups of people together as "evil" (Muslims, North Korea), and yet they jump to the defense of groups of demonstrators being called racists (KKK, neo Nazis), going as far as to claim that some in the group were "very fine people".

Anonymous said...

I think Tom is too embarrassed to comment again after all this. Tom's faulty arguments and outright lies aside, how can anybody supporting Trump NOT be embarrassed with who is representing our country?

A three-time married, serial adulterer and confessed predator; a man whose election and business dealings and relationships are riddled with controversy and malfeasance. You’re perfectly fine being represented by a bullying, obnoxious, genitalia-grabbing, Tweet-ranting, Prime Minister-shoving charlatan who’s managed to offend all our allies in a few short months? And you’re okay with him putting on religious faith like a rented, dusty, ill-fitting tuxedo and immediately tossing it in the garbage when he’s finished with it?

It blows my mind that this cretin is still suckering people into thinking he cares about them.

Tom McLaughlin said...

This came to me via email. I post it with the author's permission:

Read your article on the history of no action by the US leading us to this untenable situation.
Being a former atomic weapons specialist in the Army, I know how technically difficult it is to get an ICBM delivered atomic bomb to work correctly. That said, they may have had help achieving this, but I have my doubts.

That said, the world faces more danger from too many evil, anti-American countries at present that could very easily end all life on the planet.

The Israel tactic of surgical strikes appears to be the only option, but China and Russia need to be onboard with this.

How do we get there?

Michael Donahoo

Sent from my iPad