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Post 20 Jun 2017, 10:19 am

I guess I had this illusion if I went to a foreign country and got arrested on a ridiculous charge...that my country would do something about it. Otto Warmbier allegedly tore down a propaganda poster and got 15 years in jail. And then gets released in a vegetative state. And then dies.

I am not sure what should have been done...but I am pretty sure nothing is not the right answer. My instinct would be to say to rogue regimes that if they arrest US citizens on bogus charges they are risking a severe response up to and including a military one.

Our actions were weak here. And yes I understand that was primarily under Obama's watch.
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Post 20 Jun 2017, 1:45 pm

freeman3
My instinct would be to say to rogue regimes that if they arrest US citizens on bogus charges they are risking a severe response up to and including a military one.


Should foreign governments respect the rule of law within the US?
Should the US reciprocate?

Would you risk a war over Warmbier? A war that could ultimately kill millions. Seoul is within range of hundreds of North Korean artillery positions. Even conservative estimates say Seoul would face terrible destruction and many thousands of death if a war begins...

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... lery-20345

By the way, there are far more Americans in jail in Saudi Arabia, supposedly an ally,

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/01/world/ame ... index.html

And Saudi prisons and legal system? Here's what one foreigner went thru...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Sampson_(author)

There are limitations to power... I can't imagine what the US could do to help Warmbier other than pay some kind of bribe ...
Apparently bribes don't work in Saudi Arabia...
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Post 20 Jun 2017, 2:06 pm

Why is this shoe always on our foot? How about this: why risk a war with a country far stronger than your country and detain their citizens for bullshit reasons? Look, each case has to be examined on its own merits. And a US citizen has to respect local laws. But, no, we do not have to tolerate North Korea or any other country doing whatever the heck they want to with regard to a US citizen. And we should use increasing levels of pressure until they stop it. I am interested to see what happens with the three US citizens currently detained.

I don't know about Saudia Arabia but we should not let them mistreat our citizens either. Is it all for one, one or for all...or too friggin' bad we can't do anything if some idiotic regime puts you in jail for 15 years and you wind up dead? Sometimes you have to put your foot down when another country tries to play chicken with their foreign policy (as in they are so crazy they are willing to risk war over any little thing, never mind if a war started their country would be completely destroyed).
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Post 20 Jun 2017, 4:08 pm

RickyP likes to say that we should be like Switzerland and Norway. Perhaps we should be like North Korea and spend so much less per capita on prison populations.

Snarky? Damn right.

We should economically isolate that nation. We should patrol ALL waterways into the peninsula, and not trade with ANYONE (including China) who is trading with North Korea. I want the North Korean population so pressed that they choose to overthrow the nation's dictatorship. If they choose to start a war over this, then we finish it. We finish it rapidly, devastatingly, and without remorse.

Still does not answer the question of why would ANYONE go to North Korea.
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Post 20 Jun 2017, 4:45 pm

Sounds about right to me. At some point North Korea is going to push us with their development of an ICBM where we say they have to stop or else there will be war. The more we keep backing down.the more they think they can keep pushing. Putting someone in jail for 15 years for taking a poster off of a wall... It's completely absurd.

At this point, I think I would demand the release of the three Americans held...or we take steps to severely cramp their economy. I don't think I would decide to take on China by not trading with them..but taking what steps we can to hurt Nk's economy should be our first step. And try to get China to clamp down on them as well..

I suppose the kid wanted to see North Korea because he was curious about life there. I went to East Germany in 1988. We could ban travel there if we want and probably should do so.
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Post 20 Jun 2017, 5:24 pm

freeman3 wrote:Sounds about right to me. At some point North Korea is going to push us with their development of an ICBM where we say they have to stop or else there will be war. The more we keep backing down.the more they think they can keep pushing. Putting someone in jail for 15 years for taking a poster off of a wall... It's completely absurd.

At this point, I think I would demand the release of the three Americans held...or we take steps to severely cramp their economy. I don't think I would decide to take on China by not trading with them..but taking what steps we can to hurt Nk's economy should be our first step. And try to get China to clamp down on them as well..

I suppose the kid wanted to see North Korea because he was curious about life there. I went to East Germany in 1988. We could ban travel there if we want and probably should do so.


When it comes to human rights, you and I are often on a similar, if not exactly the same, page.

And, you're right about NK. If you let them get their way just because their leader is suicidal and/or crazy, then you can expect more of the same. This is the flip side of the "US as bully" historical meme. There are numerous historical situations wherein the US failed to act and caved into a petty tyrant and his regime--to disastrous results.

The one, maybe the only, good thing Trump has done (besides the USSC appointment) was making Mattis SecDef. If the US has to do something militarily, I am confident it will work.

That should keep Kim up at night.
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Post 21 Jun 2017, 5:53 am

bbauska
RickyP likes to say that we should be like Switzerland and Norway

Please quote me...
I'll quote where I have previously supported limited use of drones in countries that cannot or will not control known terrorists.. I don't think either Switzerland or Norway possess drones..

bbauska
We should economically isolate that nation. We should patrol ALL waterways into the peninsula, and not trade with ANYONE (including China) who is trading with North Korea.

Freeman3
Sounds about right to me


North Korea isn't economically isolated now? What do you think is left to do?
And you'd stop trade with China? Really? Talk to Apple, Ford, well ...any of these companies
http://www.jiesworld.com/international_ ... _china.htm

You gentlemen seem to have a wholly unrealistic view of the world and how it is currently structured and functioning..
And a completely irony free view too. You live in a country that jails thousands for life for petty crimes...
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... ut-parole/

freeman3
But, no, we do not have to tolerate North Korea or any other country doing whatever the heck they want to with regard to a US citizen. And we should use increasing levels of pressure until they stop it.

So be specific. Are you willing to go to war over the 3 Americans still being held in North Korea?
And why just them? What about the 8 or 9 in Saudi Arabia?

freeman3
Sometimes you have to put your foot down when another country tries to play chicken with their foreign policy (as in they are so crazy they are willing to risk war over any little thing, never mind if a war started their country would be completely destroyed).

And of course lets ignore the collateral damage.. No worries about the destruction of Seoul... The severe damage a conflict would do to the world economy....

This knee jerk emotional reaction to one young idiot who was responsible for acting horribly stupidly in a country that he knew was immeasurably dangerous is stupid. Senator McCain is right about this... Make idiots sign a waiver when they go to North Korea.

If you guys got worked up about the thousands in US prisons for long periods over similar crimes - there's something maybe you could have some influence on... Your own judicial system ... Write a letter to your congressman about that issue..


There are limits to what a country can do for private citizens travelling abroad. And limits to what they should do. You can't be going to war for every single incident.
If you did, Saudi Arabia would have been bombed into the stone age decades ago. Instead, accommodations for the KSA have been routine. And today the US is increasingly bound up in the Sunni Shiite conflict on the side of the Wahabists... So its unlikely any of those jailed Americans will be coming home soon. Can't upset the Saudis...

Fate
That should keep Kim up at night.

Kim? Tony Kim? I'll bet he has sleepless nights..
Think Trump and Mattis will get Tony Kim out soon?
Nothing is really changing with North Korea with Trump and Mattis... Mattis is cognizant of the limits on power and the unequal equation that military retribution would generate. At least I hope he is, and not given to the vapours and emotional knee jerk reactions that could lead to calamity.

http://news.sky.com/story/north-korea-s ... s-10861307
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Post 21 Jun 2017, 6:06 am

Ricky:
Seoul is within range of hundreds of North Korean artillery positions. Even conservative estimates say Seoul would face terrible destruction and many thousands of death if a war begins...


Is there any possibility of a preemptive strike against much of this artillery, with a warning that if NK responds there will be further escalation forcing regime change (and suggesting the assassination of Mr. Kim)? With Mattis's skill and Trump's bluster, I wonder if we could pull this off.
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Post 21 Jun 2017, 6:46 am

Here's a list of the countries that allow women in front-line combat positions. In Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Elsewhere: Australia, Canada and New Zealand in the Anglosphere; plus Eritrea, Israel, and North Korea.
And here are the countries that allow women in positions such as fighter pilots. Pakistan, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, at least until Panetta's change takes effect.
Formally, American servicewomen who want to serve in combat may do so only in support roles, although a number of those women do end up seeing combat. Women may also hold serious but non-frontline jobs, such as flying fighter jets or staffing ballistic submarines.


Examples? Switzerland. Germany. Denmark. Norway. Sweden. The Netherlands. Slovakia. The Czech Republic. Canada. Luxembourg. Costa Rica. New Zealand.
People in these nations seem to be happy with government.


RickyP, Redscape is replete with your comments of European nations that are better than the US. There is a search function on the site.
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Post 21 Jun 2017, 2:36 pm

First, I did not say to end trade with China--Brad did. And he said only if they will not cooperate against North Korea.

You're right--there are limits to what we can do to protect US citizens abroad. But there also should be limits to what we will tolerate other countries doing to our citizens. Countries have different laws and visitors have to respect those laws. And within limits we will not intervene if US citizens get punished for violating those laws. I see nine main possibilities for US citizens getting punished for violating the laws of other country: (1) the US citizen did an act there that would be a criminal act here , the process was fair, and the sentence was reasonable, (2) the US citizen did an act there that would be criminal here, the process was not fair, but the sentence was reasonable,(3) The US citizen did an act there that would be criminal here, the process was fair, but the sentence was unreasonable, (4) The US citizen did an act there that would be criminal here, the process was unfair and the sentence was unfair, (5) The US citizen did an act there that would not be criminal here, the process was fair, the sentence was fair (6) The US citizen did an act there that would not be criminal here, the process was fair, but the sentence was unreasonable, (7) The US citizen did an act there that would not be criminal here, the process was unfair, and the the sentence was reasonable, (8) The US citizen did an act there that would not be criminal here, the process was unfair, and the sentence was unreasonable. So, here Warmbier did an act (tearing down a poster) that would not be criminal here, the process was not reasonable (1 hour trial), and a 15 year sentence was unreasonable. On each aspect we are talking about--criminal act, fairness of process, sentence-- North Korea acted at the far range of unreasonableness as to defining a criminal act, what constitutes fair process, and what constitutes a fair sentence. So this is the kind of case involving a US citizen that militates a strong response. And strong action where a US citizen is manifestly being treated unfairly may deter future action by rogue states. If they get benefit from treating US citizens that way with no adverse consequences...why not continue to do it.

Look...it's a sad fact that Seoul is in the line of fire of a crazy regime. But we cannot let that determine our foreign policy. If we do..it will become well we can't stop North Korea from developing an ICBM because they might bomb Seoul. At some point, risks will have to be taken.

I don't think we can tolerate a US citizen being convicted for a crime that no reasonable state would find to be a crime,then afforded almost no due process, then sentenced to a ridiculous amount of time, and then allowed to die in prison with poor care (that's the best case scenario here). Countries should know we will not tolerate this. Usually there is more ambiguity or plausibility. But here everything was clear. And wrong.
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Post 21 Jun 2017, 7:39 pm

freeman3
Look...it's a sad fact that Seoul is in the line of fire of a crazy regime. But we cannot let that determine our foreign policy. If we do..it will become well we can't stop North Korea from developing an ICBM because they might bomb Seoul. At some point, risks will have to be taken
.

I wonder how South Korea would feel about a so called ally that was so cavalier about the potential destruction of Seoul.

freeman3
I don't think we can tolerate a US citizen being convicted for a crime that no reasonable state would find to be a crime

Unless of course that citizen is being held in an American prison. Then reasonableness goes out the window.

At about 12.40pm on 2 January 1996, Timothy Jackson took a jacket from the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans, draped it over his arm, and walked out of the store without paying for it. When he was accosted by a security guard, Jackson said: “I just needed another jacket, man.”
A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/ ... ent-crimes

freeman3
So this is the kind of case involving a US citizen that militates a strong response. And strong action where a US citizen is manifestly being treated unfairly may deter future action by rogue states. If they get benefit from treating US citizens that way with no adverse consequences...why not continue to do it.

A strong response that causes war?
And only for North Korea?
Would you bomb Riyadh too?


ray
I
s there any possibility of a preemptive strike against much of this artillery, with a warning that if NK responds there will be further escalation forcing regime change (and suggesting the assassination of Mr. Kim)? With Mattis's skill and Trump's bluster, I wonder if we could pull this off.


No.
read this.
http://www.newsweek.com/2017/05/05/what ... 88861.html
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Post 21 Jun 2017, 7:46 pm

bbauska
RickyP, Redscape is replete with your comments of European nations that are better than the US. There is a search function on the site.

Maybe you could use the search function to try and find what your original comment
RickyP likes to say that we should be like Switzerland and Norway

has to do with North Korea then?


Your all about personal responsibility B. How could you possibly justify the US risking war or economic chaos because this young jackass made an incredibly stupid decision?
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Post 22 Jun 2017, 9:54 am

Seriously, Ricky, your post is so annoying I have a hard time responding in an even-keeled fashion. And it's not because you are making good arguments, either. You are really making bad arguments...and they are just friigin' annoying.

First, with regard to US citizens jailed in Saudia Arabia four had been recently detained and four had been detained in the previous November and December due to suspicion of being involved in terror offenses. A 9th American., apparently imprisoned since 2007 had been convicted. We don't know the crime, the sentence, or when the conviction occurred. US officials were unable to confirm any of this information. The information was obtained from an on-line list posted by the Saudi Interior Ministry.

First, we don't even know if this is accurate. Secondly, if these are US citizens we don't know what the crimes were and what the evidence is against them is. Finally, this link is from February 1, 2016. So, at that time, four Americans had been recently detained and four more had been detained for a couple of months.

So...in order to try and attack our concern over an American being turned into a vegetable over tearing a poster off of a wall...you apparently thought , aha, I'll do a google search for Americans jailed by Saudia Arabia...and come up with a 15 month old link based on a list posted on-line with very little information about 8 Americans being detained for a couple months and one for a long time. None of those detentions had been verified by US officials, we have no idea of the crimes, and we have no idea of the merits of the cases. And you posted no follow-up link to show what was found out by these Americans detained.

Contrast with the Warmbier case where we do know all of the facts. The only thing we don't know is how he sustained catastrophic brain injury, but since that would not have happened if he was not in jail on a ridiculous charge then NK gets the blame for that. Until I see otherwise I do not believe Saudia Arabia is putting Americans in jail on ridiculous charges. You did not provide any information to show that they do.

Your link to a foreigner being mistreated in a Saudi jail does not work. Surprise.

As far as your questioning a strong response that you think might cause a war...I outlined the case for taking steps for showing our displeasure with Warmbier's treatment. Frankly, I think NK will back down because they are not suicidal. If they are stupid enough to try and bomb Seoul because we implement economic sanctions...then that's on them. We cannot tolerate them doing they want for fear they will retaliate in a hugely disproportional way. If they are that crazy...things are going to come to a head anyway with their attempted development of an ICBM. And if we let them do whatever they want because they are crazy and will react with war if we do anything...they will just keep acting worse with by playing "chicken" with their foreign diplomacy. You cannot continue to appease bad actors. You know, the Hitler thing, Munich, etc.

Given what your link about Americans in Saudi Arabia jails revealed your comment about whether I would bomb Riyadh too is asinine.

And your post about Americans unfairly in jail and how come I am not concerned that and concerned about 1 American jailed by NK is offensive. Do you ever consider the background and the views of the people you are addressing? I am liberal--of course I am concerned about injustice in the American penal system. That does not mean I cannot be concerned about Americans being mistreated abroad, as well.

And I was not cavalier about Seoul being bombed by artillery. Where did I say that or where did my words imply that? Read what you quoted from me carefully...idiot.

And what you said about Warmbier was incredibly offensive: "...this young jackass made an incredibly stupid decision." So he got what he deserved for tearing a poster off of a wall...right? I feel like you need to write an apology to the Warmbier family for that comment. Jeez...

I don't know why I wasted any time responding to this nonsense. There is a rational debate to be had about the proper course of action here but clearly...that debate is not to be had with you.
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Post 22 Jun 2017, 10:31 am

I am impressed, freeman3.
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Post 22 Jun 2017, 10:53 am

I thought it was you before coffee DF. :angel: