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#1481 Colin

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Posted Yesterday, 07:44 PM

 

 

 

Victor Davis Hanson appears to have lost his frickin' mind:

 

http://www.nationalr...own-and-unknown

 

 

In the 2006 Lebanon war, Hezbollah and terrorist forces on the West Bank boasted that they had launched more than 8,000 rockets into Israeli cities. Israel claimed the number was closer to 4,000. The entire population of Israel in 2006 was then less than half of greater Seoul. Yet in total, some 40 to 50 Israelis lost their lives to rocket attacks in 2006. The rocket strategy of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas did not deter Israeli military operations, nor did it much affect Israel’s strategic options. 

 

Seoul may well be vulnerable to conventional artillery or rocket strikes. But the usual assessments that the city would be destroyed in minutes by North Korea and therefore the South Korean government is now held hostage in its strategic choices are probably not true.

 

 

How so? It's entirely possible many of the Nork's artillery pieces would malfunction in any sustained bombardment and they might well be lacking shells younger than their 'use by' date. Hanson is not saying we should simply ignore the threats made by the Norks; He is saying that we should not automatically assume that the Norks can actually do the things they threaten to do.

 

 

 

Well, I do think that the “NK artillery will vaporize Seoul” trope probably is overstated (like the “only the cockroaches will survive a nuclear war” trope). But I think it’s kind of silly to do what Hanson’s doing in the article, which is to use Hamas and company’s rocket attacks on Israel as some kind of example for what might happen to Seoul if a war breaks out. You’re talking about a smallish kinda-sorta-paramilitary force vs a very large conventional army that’s spent several decades prepping for this. 

 

It's one of the few modern examples to use, unless you want to compare Aleppo?



#1482 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Today, 02:23 AM

 

Doesnt matter. We owe it to them. And besides, its worth reflecting how much they value a US nuclear guarantee currently considering how the relatively minor spat over immigrants nearly turned into a crisis.

 

My way of looking at the world right now is that Democracies, particularly ones well established, well functioning ones, need to stand together.  Because the threat to it is substantial, not just from North Korea, and its as if we yet are incapable of perceiving it.

 

http://www.reuters.c...s-idUSKBN1CM0AB

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s official Xinhua news agency attacked Western democracy as divisive and confrontational on Tuesday, praising on the eve of a key Communist Party Congress the harmony and cooperative nature of the Chinese system.

 

China’s constitution enshrines the Communist Party’s long-term “leading” role in government, though it allows the existence of various other political parties under what is calls a “multi-party cooperation system”. But all are subservient to the Communist Party.

Activists who call for pluralism are regularly jailed and criticism of China’s authoritarian system silenced.

In a lengthy English-language commentary, Xinhua took aim at the “crises and chaos swamp(ing) Western liberal democracy”.

“Unlike competitive, confrontational Western politics, the CPC and non-Communist parties cooperate with each other, working together for the advancement of socialism and striving to improve the people’s standard of living,” it said.

“The relationship maintains political stability and social harmony and ensures efficient policy making and implementation.”

China’s system leads to social unity not the divisions which are an unavoidable consequence of the adversarial nature of today’s Western democracy, Xinhua said.

It's amazing how compliant and cooperative people can be when there's a boot on their throat.

 

 

What scares me is if Western Politicians start seeing something to emulate here. If you just judge things on productivity, then yes, I guess recreating the PRC does have something to commend it. Happily we have as yet political experience that vies against that. For the moment.






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