Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Testing North Korean Waters

The New York Times published an op-ed written by Donald P. Gregg on August 31, 2010. In the article, Gregg argued that the hard-line approach taken by the Obama administration towards North Korea was not working and that America should start talking to the country.

“There also is a growing realization in Washington that alienating China is an inordinately high price to pay for putting pressure on Pyongyang,” said Gregg.

Unfortunately, Gregg does not say what the price was for pressuring North Korea. Some may believe that the price was China’s refusal to fund our budget deficit. At several points since the financial crisis began, the media reported that China had begun selling its Treasury holdings. However, at the same time, there were also media reports that China was hiding its purchases of Treasuries by using British financial institutions to make the purchases. The U.S. government publishes a spreadsheet of which countries hold its debt. Since the financial crisis began, the amount held by Britain has expanded dramatically. Having a trade deficit, Britain has no means of expanding its Treasury holdings in such a dramatic fashion. That lends credence to the idea that China continued to buy U.S. government bonds, but bought them indirectly through British financial institutions.

I believe that I was the real price that America had to pay for pressuring China. Remember that I have been publishing information on the Internet in an attempt to pressure China. But this strategy backfired. As I became more enmeshed in this game, both myself and my government realized that I don’t care about pressuring China. What I care about is getting the truth out to the public. But our government does not want the public to know the truth. So in order to prevent the public from learning the truth, they had to torture me to prevent me from telling the public the truth. But by torturing me, they have made criminals of themselves.

Whoops.

My government doesn’t want to kill me because other governments know about what has been happening to me. If my government kills me, other governments could use their knowledge of my death to extort our government.

You may be wondering why my government is allowing me to write this article. There are three possibilities. One possibility is that my government has decided that it should stop digging itself into a deeper hole and should just stop torturing me and see what happens.

Another possibility is that my government wants me to publish this information on the Internet in an effort to pressure other governments. Perhaps our government is talking to other governments, saying things like…
We’re going to tell the truth this time! Really! If you don’t do what we want right now we’re going to tell the truth! Of course, we’ll be completely screwed in the process, but so will you! Do what we say now! If you do, we’ll make this guy shut up and we’ll delete his articles from the Internet!
Still another possibility is that East Asia has successfully used the carrot and stick method against America. Perhaps East Asia has delivered an ultimatum to America. Unless America stops doing its dirty tricks and tells the world the truth, East Asia will exclude America from the regional order it is building, meaning that Japan, Korea, and China will focus only on building an East Asia Community which excludes America instead of an Asia-Pacific Community that includes America. The economic consequences of excluding America from Asia would be enormous and so threatening to do so might convince America to suck it up and tell the truth.

Only time will tell which of these three possibilities is right.

One inch ahead is darkness.

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