Friday, August 11, 2017

Wednesday I jotted some notes for a post to be titled "Games:" the games professional athletes play, cops use of games in interrogating subjects, the "game" car salesmen play, the games of spycraft, rhetoric, what was real and what was a game, when games are real...It was going to be a long fucking post and I didn't write it. Now it has expanded. Keeping it short:

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words shall never hurt me."

"Words matter."

"Hate speech."

"Sea of fire." North Korean threats to Guam

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Fire and fury, signifying nothing?

"Locked and loaded." This morning.

"if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so."

What happens if you are playing a game, something that is virtually real, but the other side is not? In trying to recruit a foreign national to become an agent that can result in both of you getting whacked. China did that to a dozen of its nationals recruited by the CIA.

I was not playing the "game" when I went in with a check for $14,500 to buy a car. The "bad cop" manager of the sales duo thought I was. After three hours I left without a car and he without a check. After I walked out the manager said to my son, "Good game."

“North Korea best not make any more threats..."

Threats, not hits.

" the United States..."

Guam is the United States? South Korea and Japan are not. So the DPRK has to threaten the U.S. They can go ahead and threaten anybody else.

"They will be met with fire and fury..."

"if North Korea launches missiles that threaten..."

"Threaten," not "hit."

"US soil..."

Guam is U.S. soil. Can we agree that Guam is U.S. soil? South Korea and Japan are not.

"...first and the US retaliates..."

By launching missiles that threaten but do not hit DPRK soil? What if we drop bombs, no missiles.

"... China will stay neutral."

If the DPRK starts it by launching missiles that threaten U.S. soil and the U.S. retaliates by same.

"If the US and South Korea..."

What if we act alone? What if South Korea acts alone?

 "...carry out strikes..."

Is to "carry out strikes" different than "launching missiles"? What if we drop bombs?

"...and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula..."

So you know what's coming, right? I'm going to go full lawyer on you: All of those things in the conjunctive have to happen: the U.S. and South Korea acting together, to "try" to overthrow un and "try"' to change the political situation on the Peninsula, as pre-conditions for:

"...China will prevent them from doing so."

Words do matter, not just to lawyers. A threat and the apparent ability to carry it out is a crime. North Korea has made threats and can carry them out, at least as regards Guam. Words matter to the Chinese, who are verily alarmed by the rhetoric of the fire twins. That is why the Chinese parsed Japan and South Korea out of the neutrality sentence: They will stay neutral only if the DPRK "threatens" U.S. soil. Why would China use different words when they are trying to "make clear" where they stand? Are the Chinese playing games? What does "prevent" mean to the Chinese?

Taking off my lawyer's hat I think Chief WaPo's construction on things is more accurate, more reasonable, but I do not know, and we, lawyers and non-lawyers, should know, when the Chinese say they are making their position clear.