Is Trump really gonna get there ?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by mongey, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    "I know words, I know the best words" -- Jimmy, Age 9

    "I know words, I know the best words" -- George, Age 89, onset dementia and mild aphasia.

    "I know words, I know the best words" -- President of the United States


    I mean, which feels more at home to you?
     
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  2. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Well, if he actually does oversee the beginning of de-nuclearisation, then that accomplishment would be FAR more important than whatever words. You can talk all about sunshine and puppies and rainbows, but the prize should (presumably) be given for people who actually contribute towards peace. Maybe you need strong words and threats to get a dictator to the table.

    Their regime has been playing the West for decades, doing their tests, then offering some sort of olive branch. They did it with Bill Clinton back in the 1990's, and Bush was too busy in the Middle East, and Obama kicked the can down the road for the next guy because he didn't want to deal with it. So now it's landed at Trump's feet and like it or not, he is the only person who can deal with it. If he has to mention the big red button, so be it.

    Because everything in international relations is painfully slow, NK have been able to keep on developing their nuclear weapons and missile technology, sprinkling in some threats and some peaceful remarks occasionally to keep us busy. Do a test to remind us of their power, but if we start thinking about taking him out, they offer some sort of talks. Rinse and repeat. If Trump is just bluntly saying "stop it, or we fuck you up", that might be the only thing that can work at this stage. NK knew that the last three presidents wouldn't actually attack them... with Trump I suppose they aren't too sure.

    Personally, I don't think NK will ever disarm. We probably just need to accept the reality that they are now a nuclear power, and respect them as such. It's either that or really just go to war and absolutely annihilate them, and accept the collateral damage on SK and Japan as a consequence for failing to deal with NK decades ago. The worry is that if NK get away with it, other countries will feel emboldened to violate non-proliferation agreements too.

    Finally, I'd remind you that Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 when he had done literally nothing deserving of winning it. They cited a "new climate" of relations, whatever that means, and his desire for denuclearisation... a year before he announced a huge US nuclear upgrade program.

    The prize apparently lost all meaning years ago, so you probably shouldn't be too upset about whoever wins one.
     
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  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Your post is about 12 hours too late. :lol:

    I thought Obama's Nobel was... wildly optimistic, I'll say. Trump's would be plain delusional. :lol:

    EDIT - should probably provide some contest - overnight, Kim has said that if denuclearization is a requirement, he's out, seizing on joint US and SK military exercises as an excuse and, likely, noting the difference in Pompeo's and Bolton's negotiating positions and seeing opportunity.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/...column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
     
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  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Nothing is settled yet, but North and South Korea both signed the Panmunjom Treaty, and the USA did not. To me, that means that there is a massive loophole in that the USA and China can simply supply the south and north, respectively, with whatever weapons, and tensions will simply persist.

    A little history most of you likely already know: North Korea signed the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) in 1985, due to pressure from the USSR. As soon as the USSR collapsed (1991 and early 1992), NK began the process of producing nuclear weapons. International inspectors were immediately aware that enriched fuel that was the precursor to weapons-grade material was being taken off the record books, and it was implied and not denied by NK that this material was being used to develop nuclear weapons. When the UN called them out on it, they simply withdrew officially from the NPT.

    One of North Korea's few natural resources that it has in spades it Uranium ore. What they did not have was the technology to enrich the ore (which they received from Pakistan and Libya) nor the technology to weaponize it (which is a bit of a puzzle). What is interesting is that NK's closest allies, China and Russia/USSR both consistently refused to help NK develop a nuclear weapons program, despite many appeals from Pyongyang.
     
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  5. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Kim's word is hardly trustworthy though. Both sides are jostling right now. Neither wants to look weak, as if *they* were the ones forced to the table. It's pretty standard - you see the same sorts of statements from the UK vs EU leaders. Neither side wants to lose face.

    Kim hasn't actually cancelled the summit. It was alluded to - but again, standard negotiating tactic to try and get the advantage before the meeting.

    The US agreed to scale back military exercises in exchange for the talks, which seems fair. The US and Korea don't really need to do those exercises right now, and obviously they are designed to be deliberately provocative. That seems like a worthwhile compromise to me. If the talks fail and Kim is lying or simply delaying (as usual), then I presume we will see a big scale up of those exercises, more sanctions (if it's even possible to add more at this point), and perhaps a full-on blockade of NK by sea and air.
     
  6. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Last I heard, it was potentially Iran who have been helping them with the missile technology.

    China finds NK somewhat useful, but they also don't really want some crazy guy threatening everybody with nukes on their border. Especially when he enjoys killing all opposition and will do anything to stay in power. To be honest, the conventional weapons aimed at Seoul is enough of a deterrent to stop most people from attacking NK.

    As I said earlier, IMO, we have two choices:

    1. Bomb the shit out of them. Accept collateral damage as NK retaliates on Seoul and maybe Japan.

    2. Accept their nuclear power, the eternal rule of the Kim family, and get over it. It gives "peace" (kinda), but also sets a very bad precedent that NPTs can be violated with no real consequences, and that nuclear weapons absolutely guarantee your security. Iran, Saudi and others will be watching closely.

    In all honesty, choice number 1 is probably the better one, assuming it isn't too late and he can actually nuke people. I suppose only a few intel agencies really know the answer to that one.

    Really, Bill Clinton should have solved this back in the 1990's. It's a total failure of international governance that it has ever been allowed to get this far. Everybody just kept kicking the can down the road, not wanting to deal with it.
     
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  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Not that I don't care about SK and/or Japan, but, really, none of this should have ever been our problem. The entire situation exists because of a proxy war between the USA and the USSR back in the late 1940's up until 1991. You are correct in assessing that Bill Clinton had an opportunity to do something about NK and didn't, but so did both George Bushes. Now Trump seems to be actually getting some diplomacy to occur, which I love, but before we get too excited about it, we can't forget that NK has a long history of saying one thing for the sake of diplomacy and then doing the opposite thing without even making much of a secret out of it.

    The crux of this problem is the same with every international problem - the UN is essentially useless, especially when they are really needed.

    Here I go sounding alarmist again, but this is a real threat. The proliferation of nuclear weapons means that one of those weapons will inevitably be used some day. Honestly, I don't think that there is anything that can be done to stop it from happening, but there are lots of measures that the international community can take to impede the process of nukes falling into the wrong hands. The fact that Iran, North Korea, etc., are blatantly seeking nuclear weapons and both have taken the public attitude that they will not hesitate to use them, and yet the international "authorities" are doing jack shit about it means that maybe the nations in power don't deserve their power. Maybe humanity is too stupid to continue existing, if it can't even focus on one task long enough to get anything through bureaucracy.

    Typically, my approach toward international conflict is to simply stay out of it, but as soon as you bring nuclear weaponry into the equation, the game changes.
     
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  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yeah, but, I mean, neither is Trump's. :lol:

    I'm just saying, maybe we should hit the brakes on Trump's victory lap until we actually see tangible results.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Meanwhile, this is worth a read:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news...=affiliate_impactpmx_12f6tote_desktop_VigLink

    In the Cohen financials that linked a week or two back for his shell company that showed, amongst other things, payments from AT&T and Novartis for consulting contracts, the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) made reference to two other SARs that Essential Consultants' bank had filed. Those two reports, detailing $3mm worth of payments, are nowhere to be found in FINCEN, the federal database law enforcement agencies use to monitor suspected money laundering activity.

    For those of you not in the financial industry who are not familiar with SAR reporting, this is EXTREMELY unusual. I don't know how to describe just how unusual this is, but failing to file a SAR is the kind of thing that, if it turned out that a client was using your services to launder money, you had enough information to detect suspicious activity, but you failed to submit a SAR, would probably end in tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and cost everyone involved their jobs, as well as likely a lifetime ban from the industry. This stuff is pretty serious.

    The two most plausible explanations are regulators have removed them from the database due to the extremely sensitive nature of their content and their relevance to an ongoing investigation, which is within their power but virtually unprecidented, or some sort of a "bad actor" has somehow obtained access to the FINCEN database and deleted the two of them. Of the two I think the former is more likely than the latter because deleting two but leaving a third that references the first two is, well, virtually guaranteed to set off alarm bells, but that's just a guess, and considering how much else sheer stupidity we've seen from Cohen, Trump, and their other associates, I guess anything's possible. If they were filed within the past five years, however, paper backup is probably archived somewhere.
     
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  10. auxioluck

    auxioluck Metal Teddy Bear

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    As someone who works in the financial industry, I can doubly confirm that it is extremely unusual for a SAR to not be retrievable from FINCEN. If someone sees suspicious activity and doesn't report it, it's bad.

    It's very bad. Drew is 100% correct.
     
  11. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I have no idea about this SAR thing, or how the process works in the US. But is it possible that the two reports mentioned were never filed in the first place?

    A couple other thoughts:

    This isn't a defence of Trump or Cohen for their dodgy behaviour, but I think it's safe to say that these politicians, their lawyers, their friends and family, and basically the DC, London, Hollywood etc elite are all like this. This last 3 years have just been a massive eye opener. Turns out that our Western countries are not really much better than Russia, or even South East Asian countries in terms of our democracies. It's just a bit less blatant here, and everybody keeps up the pretence of civilised competition. In reality, we've had campaigns paying for private spies to dig dirt. Very uncomfortable cross-overs of the intelligence services and political candidates, and citizens. The involvement of multiple foreign intel agencies (both "friendly" and hostile). The crossover between intel services and private companies. The extreme lobbying. The extreme narratives cast by both sides of the press to the point where people have no idea what to believe. The insane amounts of money being poured into elections, including from foreign sources. I believe this sort of thing has always been going, but this election has put everybody into an overdriven frenzy and blown it all into the public eye. And really, it's appalling. No wonder countries like China are laughing at us all, and steering away from the idea of Western-style democracy - whereas in the past they always saw it as a long-term goal.

    You start putting these "fixers" like Cohen under a magnifying glass and you will start to see the dirt. Common sense tells me it's virtually impossible that Trump builds skyscrapers in NYC and Chicago without some dodgy payments, bribes, etc. Same goes for anybody who has made billions. You're not going to do that without some rule-breaking, not to mention the massive temptation to avoid taxes.

    Problem is, I see no solution. The US has two parties, and you need billions of dollars to be elected. And those armies of lawyers, consultants, lobbying firms, intel firms aren't going to go anywhere.
     
  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    The idea, at least, is that western culture is open to correction, whereas, in places like Russia and China, no one dares to challenge the authority.

    To Trump's credit, he hasn't really done any unilateral power moves. He's tried to influence people and tried to use leverage, of course - and I think every president ever elected has done such things.

    In order to get yourself installed into a position where making a run for president even mean anything, means that you have to have done a lot of asshole things to a lot of people. In other words, you don't get to the top without stepping on some people.

    I mean, what China has is working for China, domestically, but they are in no position to take the moral high ground and ridicule any other nations.

    My biggest issue with the whole Trump movement, is that all of the reasons people cited for supporting him were thinly veiled bullshit.

    Are we worse off with him in the Oval Office than we would have been with Hilary Clinton? Who knows, and who cares? Clinton lost, so it doesn't matter what she would have done to the country. I, personally, didn't have high expectations for any of the candidates, but that's ancient history now, because Trump is here, and he's been making some changes. I think we're at the point now where he's starting to undo some of the good he did early on, and then there is the list of things he's done with which I strongly disagree. It's easy to sit back and say "I guess we'll see how this shakes out," but that attitude is what leads to things like Hitler's rise to power.
     
  13. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    To be honest, that's all they really need to do. At the current rate, they will overtake the west by default. It's why they don't really get involved in anything very often in terms of international affairs.

    I also don't believe there is such a thing as moral high ground in this world. Nor do you need it when ridiculing others. We are still just animals, and might still = right for geopolitical matters. Nobody gives a shit what Australia or Sweden says about anything. When China becomes the largest economy in the world, with the leading scientific research, leading tech companies, leading AI etc then maybe they will start to influence the world around them to suit their needs better.

    What I find interesting is that for China, they previously used to believe that their current system was a means to an end, and not necessarily the ideal. They genuinely envisaged a time when they would open up a bit and become more western. Taiwan did similar where they transitioned from dictatorship to full-blown democracy. But seeing the terrible state of the west in the last 15 years, China have now changed their minds. In fact, they are now offering their governance model to other nations including African and SE Asian countries as a direct alternative to western-style leadership.

    And yeah, I'm pessimistic too. What does our "freedom" really mean? Choosing from a handful of pre-approved people who all lie anyway? Getting to vote every 4-5 years plus occasional referendums? It means frequent paralysis, everything is slow, things undergo a U turn every 8 years. I really can't see any way for us to rescue ourselves now, which is pretty shit.

    Also, I think Clinton references are still relevant given that there was a choice of two. Not like you can compare Trump vs an ideal president. It was Trump or Clinton, and that's it.
     
  14. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I agree with about half of what you said, and I'll sum up my disagreement vaguely by saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the street."
     
  15. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    No. The bank did file them.

    I just wanted to call out the both-side-rism in your arguments, which is false. Typically the right embraces those who engage in bad behavior (bribery, sexual harassment, etc.) while protecting them as long as they think the perpetrators are helping their party acheive their goals.

    The only news organization which has really run with crazy false speculation is Fox.

    Nice try, though.
     
  16. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I literally said "this isn't a defence of Trump" and also directly criticised him multiple times, in that very post. Seems like your own beliefs are preventing your from seeing anything objectively.

    Also, let me be clear. I'm not American, actually don't really care that much about what happens inside your country. I couldn't care less what Trump does with guns or transgender bathrooms or any of the other silly issues that send people into a frenzy. I only follow this stuff because it's kinda amusing, and the foreign policy might affect us. That gives me a much more impartial view from the outside.

    If you think "the left", Hillary, or the Democratic Party are any better, that's just hilarious, sorry.
     
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  17. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    In that case, support your words. Show examples of the mainstream media engaging in the kind of biased and even false reporting engaged in by Fox. Show examples of how Hollywood has continued to support harassers.

    Giving examples on the left which equal the landslide of examples on the right would prove me wrong. Otherwise you've got nothing.

    I look forward to learning, even if it's not the lesson you thought you were giving.
     
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  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Extremely, extremely unlikely - considering failing to file a SAR when suspicious activity was observed is a SERIOUS breach of protocol, comes with huge penalties, and the bank in question is one I'm familiar with and wouldn't see doing something like this. I also CERTAINLY wouldn't see them failing to file two SARs, and then mentioning that in a third. :lol:
     

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