It never ceases to amaze me how humans filter their beliefs SO MUCH according to what they want to believe, and political correctness.
For example, two really major decisions have been made by China in recent months, which dispel the world's hope that China might provide a new kind of leadership to save humanity from the obvious biases of the old. One: when folks like VP Candidate Kane pointed out holes in TPP which truly hurt working people everywhere, why not lead a new TPP (US invited but not to lead)? Does the leadership in China not understand how important the well-being of working people is to long-term sustainability? But more recently, the big decision was NOT to accept the US request that energy imports to North Korea be included in a new world sanctions blockade. It is very hard to believe that China did not know exactly what it was doing in that decision. It was a strong signal:"Sorry folks, you may be a trading partner, but we don't care whether this guy soon kills every ;person living in the San Francisco Bay area. On balance, we would enjoy the new monopoly this wuold give us, and we are ready to join North Korea in North China Sea to kick out both you guys and the other competitors who are not yet suzerains to the new Empire." The US has aberrations due to oil companies and literal imperialists, but China seems eager to prove it is no better.
So yes, we are on our own. The guy has said he will do anything to get revenge on the US, and he is very very close to mass murder, and the US will not compromise one minute facing THAT MUCH.
But is Trump too weak to do what he feels is necessary, to bite the bullet? Or could HE be discouraged by sanctions and such?
First, he is indeed immensely weaker now than most people expected. The rule that everything now goes through General Kelly is hugely important. Some say "That's just rational," but it reminds me of a novel about China, River of Stars, by Kay, which gives some idea what such reporting can do. The folks who wanted war today between US and Israel versus Russia and Japan are on the ascendant in Congress especially .. and Trump had to deal to stay around. No choice. But guess what? The folks who want war are NOT more peaceful than Trump. Quite the opposite. Lindsay Graham has been very, very clear about how he runs the numbers for the Korean crisis.
Corruption in Washington has made the US much weaker than it should be in areas like missile defense. I wish THAAD was so accurate that it could even reduce Russian and Chinese ability to destroy the US a little bit, but that is not realistic. Complaints like that are a nonsense PR game. If Trump and Kelly felt sure THAAD could at least handle the much smaller capabilities North Korea is starting to deploy, they would just relax. If they don't just relax, Russia and China should remove any doubts at all that THEIR deterrents are at risk. In truth, corrupt lobbyists and folks who respond to them have prevented deployment even of the best available GNC algorithms on existing chips, let alone... what could have been done. I tend to think that Kelly and Bush understand the weaknesses of THAAD, and the need to do something else. I just hope others are wise enough not to terminate the human experiment; if Trump and Kelly start with something which SEEMS very strong, I hope they don't pull out the stronger last ditch plans that others wanted soon.
Why did Trump talk about fire and fury? A matter of due diligence.
But: back to equations, an activity which remains valid with or without this planet. Maybe we will be out of town, by coincidence, when all hell breaks loose. maybe. Probably not, but no one knows. Maybe it will be one of those many worlds junctions...
A few hours lately, Fareed Zacharia is assuring the world that Trump would not take real military action, let alone a scheduled conditional plan. Well, if anyone listens, they should also remember that Zacharia also reassured people that Trump could not possibly be elected, period. Trump has a history of betting his own farm, a billions dollars worth, when the numbers looked like they call for it. Lindsay Graham has spoken about the numbers here.
But other folks said Trump needs to be clear that the goal is to make sure Kim cannot possibly nuc the US mainland, ever. Hasn't he been clear enough? That COULD be accomplished by regime change (e.g. by China or Russia just taking over North Korea) or by a much stiffer embargo demanding quick action or by turning North Korea into a sea of glass. Of course a truly effective embargo would be his preference -- or even more pleasant talks inviting Kim to Miss Universe parties and such, IF the nuclear program slowed enough to make that realistic as a hope. But for now, present sanction s don't seem realistic as a way to prevent Trump's absolute red line, and talks just accelerate the program. There is no contradiction with what Tillerson said; regime change as such is not a stated goal of any of them... but if China gives us no other option to achieve the goal, Trump is very much a bottom line results guy by nature (even though he messed up on health care that way).
Who knows? But at least the equations finally seem to be behaving better for now...
not the quantum but subquantal..