“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best

THE ELEPHANT BAR IS CLOSED

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Friday, March 09, 2018

Trump

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un believe they are winning – and the risks of that are epic

Only months ago they traded insults but now they could be about to meet. The moment is fraught with danger

If a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un really takes place in May, it will count as one of the most remarkable and unexpected pieces of theatre in diplomatic history.

If that drama leads to a substantive peace agreement it would represent an extraordinary achievement. The Korean war never formally ended and the threat of a new devastating conflict has hung over the peninsula for decades. 

It is a prize on an epic scale, but so are the risks. Both leaders view the provisional agreement to meet as a personal triumph born of resolve. The South Korean messengers who conveyed Kim’s invitation took pains to lay credit at Trump’s feet. White House briefers on Thursday night also went out of their way to tie the surprise development tightly to the US president’s leadership qualities. 

Having invested so much personal capital in the meetings, there is a significant danger of a backlash from either or both men if they do not get their way under the glare of international attention.


 Q&A

Why does the North Korean regime pursue a nuclear programme?


There is a lot of room for misunderstanding. Both leaders say they want the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but historically their governments have interpreted that to mean quite different things. While Washington sees it in terms of North Korean unilateral disarmament, Pyongyang envisions an end to the “hostile policies” of the US and the formal removal of the nuclear deterrent umbrella that has sheltered South Korea from its northern neighbour. 

Mutual insults and rattled sabres


There is no guarantee of the summit actually taking place. Kim did not put his invitation down on paper. It was relayed orally by the South Korean national security chief, Chung Eui-yong. Since Kim met Chung and his delegation on Monday in Pyongyang, the North has remained silent on the contents of the offer and could seek to move the goalposts in the run-up to the high-stakes meeting.
Trump could not contain his excitement at Thursday’s developments. He appeared unannounced at the White House briefing room to tip off journalists about Chung’s planned press statement. He told one reporter he hoped to garner the credit for the breakthrough. 

He seemed unaware that Pyongyang had been seeking a one-on-one meeting with a US president since the 1990s at least. In securing agreement, Kim can claim an achievement that eluded his father and grandfather – being treated in the eyes of the world as an equal by the most powerful man on earth. 

“To be clear – we need to talk to North Korea,” argued Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury institute of international studies at Monterey. “But Kim is not inviting Trump so that he can surrender North Korea’s weapons. Kim is inviting Trump to demonstrate that his investment in nuclear and missile capabilities has forced the United States to treat him as an equal.”

Arguably neither Kim nor Trump deserve the principal credit for the sharp turn they have taken from mutual insults and rattled nuclear sabres. That credit is more reasonably attributed to the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, who found himself in the crossfire since coming to office last year, but has managed to leverage that position, through the hosting of the Winter Olympics, into an opening for dialogue.



The timing has also been benign. The election of a pro-engagement president in South Korea has been followed by Kim’s declaration at the start of this year that his regime had attained its goal of building an arsenal of nuclear missiles. The Pyongyang regime now sees itself entering negotiations from a position of strength as a nuclear power.
The White House narrative is entirely different. It portrays North Korea as cowed into talks by Trump’s determination and the unprecedented international sanctions regime that has been imposed since last September. 
However, any expectation Trump might have that Kim will trade his nuclear weapons for sanctions relief may be ill-conceived. Few observers believe the North Korean leader will bargain away lightly what he sees as a guarantee of his dynastic regime’s survival.


A grand bargain


Historically, major summits have followed months or years of carefully orchestrated lower-level negotiations. For this new diplomatic opening to be successful, that order will have to be reversed. The question is whether Kim and Trump would settle for something less than a grand bargain. 

“If [the summit] helps to establish a process for serious, sustained negotiations, then it’s a positive move,” argued Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the New America thinktank who has been involved in informal contacts with North Koreans. “But it will have to be managed carefully and with a great deal of prep work.”

There are serious questions over whether the Trump administration is equipped for complex talks. Its leading Korea experts have left and the state department has been excluded. Rex Tillerson, travelling in Africa this week, does not even seem to have been informed of the development. He was still telling journalists on Thursday that negotiations remained a distant prospect.

Trump for now is flying solo, convinced of his expertise in the art of the deal. But his deal-making in the real estate business drove him to bankruptcy several times. The implications of an equivalent failure in nuclear summitry, and how he might react, are sobering.

33 comments:

  1. I take the John Bolton outlook.

    Nothing will come of it, Kim is just buying time, and building while he goes, like for the last 25 years.

    Hope I'm wrong and peace breaks out all over.

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      My comment from the last stream.

      QuirkFri Mar 09, 12:51:00 PM EST

      BobThu Mar 08, 09:21:00 PM EST
      Can't wait to hear what Quirk has to say about The Donald getting Little Rocket Man to a meeting.


      If this turns into something positive I will be the first to give Trump the amount of credit he's due. Well, not the first since you've already done it months before anything is scheduled to happen.

      And as with most things, I can wait for results. As to this apparent move towards rapprochement, I trust what Kim says almost as much as I trust what Trump says. That should tell you where my skepticism meter sits at the moment.

      I hope I'm wrong. As it stands, talking about meetings is more encouraging than talking about war.

      =================================

      That said, there are other players involved besides the three key ones, the US and the two Koreas. I'm pretty sure Japan is also looking on this move with skepticism. More importantly, there's a big player right next to North Korea that will have their own views and could easily an arrangement they don't see as in their interests. Most commentary sees China as opposed to any unification of the Korean peninsula if that means they have an enemy right next door. And while China says they are for denuclearization of the peninsula as we all know they are inscrutable.

      .

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      ...easily scuttle any arrangement...


      .

      Delete
    3. inscrutable

      That's why The Donald needs you on his team.

      If anyone can read inscrutable, it's you.

      I don't see the Koreas reuniting anytime soon. Missile Boy must be assured of his position. The Chinese can do that. Denuke the North and South, the Chinese guarantee the North, we guarantee the South....

      It's possible.

      Delete
  2. Prepare for an influx of North Korean immigrants?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....nononononoNoooooooonooooooooN0000000

      Delete
    2. no No NO

      breaks down weeping

      Delete
  3. A qwik glance at Drudge cheers one up !

    SUPREME VACANCY FOR SUMMER?....DRUDGE

    rah rah

    FEB JOBS BLOWOUT: +313K...
    SMASHES EXPECTATIONS...
    RECORD 155,215,000 EMPLOYED...
    MANUFACTURING ADDS 263,000 SINCE TRUMP...
    BLACK, HISPANIC UNEMPLOYMENT HISTORIC LOWS...
    STOCKS HIT RECORD HIGH....DRUDGE


    yippee coyote !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (never did hear the saying yippee coyote before, did ya ?)

      Delete
  4. Quirk buries face in MY PILLOW, weeps uncontrollably.....

    American Thinker Blog
    Trump's popularity hits new heights - and Dems are running scared - 3/9/18
    What kind of political party gets upset about good economic news? Yes, it's the Democrats. More


    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/03/trumps_popularity_hits_new_heights__and_dems_are_running_scared.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (i recall a quirkprediction that trump would never go over 40%)

      Delete
    2. .

      Also from the previous stream.


      BobFri Mar 09, 01:36:00 AM EST
      How about some examples, five examples ?


      QuirkFri Mar 09, 12:34:00 PM EST

      Damn, Bob, not only do you not watch or read legitimate media, you don't even read the stuff that's put up here. The rat has put up examples. I have put up a few myself. You simply ignore them.

      Trump has run the gamut on the conflict of interest list, from the macro (millions of tax breaks for himself and billions for family and friends) to the micro (an immigration policy that hurts industries right and left but never his) to the absurd and tacky (putting the presidential seal on ball markers sold at his resorts). They are constantly in the news. You have to go out of your way to avoid them either that or hole up in your fake news universe. Here's an article from the Atlantic listing about 40 or 50 of them (and note the Article is from last August. The number could have doubled by now.)

      https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/08/donald-trump-conflicts-of-interests/508382

      If you want to find anything critical of Trump it's down right stupid to expect you will find any reference to it in AT or jihadwatch. Are you that stupid, Bob? Really?

      .

      Delete
    3. Haven't been reading JihadWatch, or Geller, lately.

      Never read rat.

      Always read you, often ignoring what you write.

      I find it a form of recreation.

      Delete
  5. Replies

    1. .

      rat, quirk, Maddow - legitimate media

      .

      .


      ho ho ho

      Delete
    2. .

      I don't consider myself media but merely the conscience of the blog.

      .

      Delete

    3. .

      Every bar needs a self appointed conscience.

      .

      .

      Delete
  6. Radio-Dispatch Recordings Blow Up Florida Cop’s Excuse for Not Engaging the Shooter

    Despite his public insistence to the contrary, the newly released recordings reveal that Peterson knew exactly where the shooting was taking place and instructed his fellow deputies to stay away from the building.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/parkland-shooting-officer-knew-shots-inside-school/

    ReplyDelete
  7. .

    Smirks turn to tears as Pharma Bro gets seven years, only half of what the prosecution asked for.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/pharma-bro-cries-in-court-while-apologizing-for-fraud/ar-BBK2hMD?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    .

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trump only agreed to the Kim meet to bury the Stormy Weather expose.

    So saith Joe Scarborough.

    Ruling requested from the conscience of the bar on this assertion by Scarborough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hookers rule the world, same as always ?

      Scarborough: Let’s Face It, Trump Agreed To This Summit With Kim Because Of … Stormy Daniels
      ALLAHPUNDITPosted at 2:01 pm on March 9, 2018

      https://hotair.com/archives/2018/03/09/scarborough-lets-face-trump-agreed-summit-kim-stormy-daniels/

      Delete
    2. I've had Quirkie wrapped around my little finger for years.

      Delete
  9. https://fightsanctuarystate.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Maybe The Donald is just trying to get the 4 remaining American captives in North Korea back before obliterating the place.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "U.S. President Donald Trump will not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un unless Pyongyang takes "concrete actions," the White House said on Friday as it faced criticism for agreeing to talks that would give North Korea international legitimacy."





    friggin' doofus!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A concrete action that could be demanded would be to insist that Fatso Kim III give back the 4 American hostages he now is holding, if any are still alive, or if not, their bodies.

    Lacking that, we could obliterate the place, as noted above.

    Just looking at all the possibilities.

    Don't wet your underwear, Ash.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Trump caved in a span of hours. I'm sure the 3 stooges will cheer the flip flop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears Trumps instinct led him to the conclusion he and Kim should kick back, chat, and spitball some solutions. Maybe even share a broad, bourbon, and a cigar.


      He a Doug is lije his cheering 3 stooges.

      Delete

    2. He a Doug is lije his cheering 3 stooges.

      If you say so.

      What ARE you drinking, Canadian Club ?

      Delete
    3. Heh, "he is a doofus like his cheering 3 stooges"

      Doug = doofus - auto-correct is on to something.

      Delete
  14. Canadian Club + Great White Mary Jane + auto correct = nirvana

    ReplyDelete
  15. Breaking News On Hannity

    Sara Carter: There is an on going FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One.

    ReplyDelete