Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

For the public good

I’m not all that enthralled by the notion of the nation-state. As an expression of an ethnic group and all that implies, it is an anachronism which should eventually join the divine right of kings on the scrapheap of history.

However, such states are here, they exist, so, what should they do? What is proper policy for a nation state?

The public good. That is what the nation-state must serve. Not just some utilitarian idea of the greatest good for the greatest number, though that’s part of it. The aspirations of the nation state should be to in some real and tangible sense, make things better in a lasting and sustainable manner for all people and for the earth, as stewards.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” proposed a hierarchy of needs from the most basic humans needs to the more advanced, which depend upon the forgoing.

Maslow’s hierarchy is: physiological needs, safety needs, social belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

So a good government, first and foremost, must see to the physiological well-being of the people. This means housing, clothing, health care and energy.

Second, safety. This means public safety, environmental and workplace regulation in the public interest, and defense. Actual defense, not occupying other countries or using force to implement regime change.

Third, social belonging. If you are going to have a just nation, then there must be a true sense of “one people.” Including everyone. Also, open borders and acceptance of refugees and migrants with open arms.

Esteem, treat everyone as of value and of worth. Let them make their own choices.

And self-actualization. The key to this is free education, and also a robust economy welcoming to co-ops and startups with strong protections insuring transparency and interdicting monopoly power. Regulation of “natural monopolies” through common carrier, public interest, and environmental legislation. Self-management and workplace democracy, with unions playing a key role in the transition from industrial capitalism to post-industrial social democracy.

So yes, nation-states, do those things. The people have spoken. :p

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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30 September, 2017 Posted by | government, Maslow, nation, nation-state, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is to be Done?

I admit that Mr. Trump reminds me of Mussolini with his puffed-up sense of arrogant self-importance, his childlike delight in praise, his bullying sense of wounded pride when confronted by honest criticism or any limits on his self-aggrandizing greed and entitlement.

Trump’s irrational demonization of immigrants, his attempts to equate Nazis and anti-Nazis or even to make anti-Nazis and the press the villains, his revanchist call to “Make America Great Again,” all this is reminiscent of the worst days of fascism and stalinism.

But for all that, having lost the support of 2/3 of the American electorate, big business, the joint chiefs, congressional leaders of both parties, the press and America’s allies, Trump must soon depart the stage. Indeed, one wonders if he is not yearning to have someone remove him from this cleft fork of his own cutting, with his increasingly deranged “stop me before I tweet again” morning raves and rants.

But as disturbing as Trump is, what most worries me is the 35% of Americans who refuse to accept rational evidence or logic, who join with Trump in vilifying the nation’s most honored and reliable news sources as “fake news,” who, in defiance of 70 years of American conservatism, apparently see no problem at all with the corruption of the US electoral process and the office of the President by Russians in the regime of Mr. Putin, an authoritarian and Machiavellian former KGB spy. That 35% of Americans won’t be going away. What is to be done?

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 August, 2017 Posted by | Fascism, It Can't Happen Here, Make America Great Again, Mussolini, scanlyze, What is to be Done | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Never Again

400,000 Americans and 20 million Allies died violently fighting Fascism in World War II. Another 35 million were tortured, gassed, burned, died of disease and privation, slaughtered, bombed, starved, shot, and beaten to death.

Yes Mr. Trump, I expect that “some of them were good people.”

And God bless them all for saving the world. And damn us all if we let it happen again.

Never. Again.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 August, 2017 Posted by | eternal war, Fascism, Never Again, scanlyze, Trump, war, war crimes, WWII | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We are the good Americans.

We are the good Americans.

Our America is the America of “This Land is Your Land.” Our America is the America of “America the Beautiful.” Our America is the America of “We Shall Overcome.” Ours is the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Our America is the America of Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth and Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson. Our America is the America of Joe Hill and Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Our America is the America of Michael Harrington and Kwame Ture. Our America is the America of Malcolm X and Upton Sinclair. Our America is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. Our America is the America of Smedley Butler and Abbie Hoffman.

Join us!

Statue of Liberty

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Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

15 August, 2017 Posted by | America, Americans, scanlyze, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Brief History of the Second Korean War

Obviously this is a hypothetical and I most sincerely hope it remains so!

The Second Korean War began the night of Sunday, August 20, 2017, though few people knew it at the time. Power started going down in Pyongyang and the few other North Korean cities with significant electrification. Residents in the countryside reported a strange black fibrous substance falling from the sky and hanging from electrical wires, power substations, and other systems. A few reported seeing parachutists or men gliding down from the sky.

Tensions had been high since the launch of four North Korean missiles toward the US unincorporated territory of Guam earlier that week. One missile had malfunctioned on launch, another suffered a mysterious in-flight malfunction and exploded, but two had arrived time on target near US territorial waters. In response, first North Korea, followed by South Korea and Japan, had announced a full mobilization. The US went to DEFCON 4, and remained in a status of watchful readiness as increasingly frantic international efforts were made to resolve the Korea Crisis, as it came to be called.

On Friday, the 18th of August, the US had quietly gone to DEFCON 3, and all US Air Force, SOCOM, and Marine assets were mobilized. The EU and NATO members, except the UK and former Warsaw Pact members, plus Turkey, declared neutrality. Australia declared solidarity with the US, but New Zealand declared it was withdrawing from the ANZUS Pact. Canada likewise declared neutrality.

China began to mobilize its mobile forces, and Chinese positions along the Yalu river were reinforced by several hundred thousand troops.

As with the Gulf War, the US planned to begin offensive operations against North Korea on the dark of the moon, first inserting Special Operations and UK SAS and SBS troops as forward observers, and then dropping conductive carbon-fiber chaff to disrupt electrical and communications facilities.

The war began in earnest that night at 04:00 South Korean time (+9:00 UTC) when the South Korea port of Busan went up in a mushroom cloud. The underwater burst also resulted in a large tsunami which did significant damage along the coast. It is believed that the device was delivered either via a North Korean suicide sub or half-submarine, or else in container freight. The US amphibious assault ship USS America, the already damaged destroyer USS John McCain, the destroyer USS Chafee, the US hospital ship USNS Mercy, and a number of support and logistics vessels were severely damaged and irradiated and had to be evacuated and scuttled. The US 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit suffered 80% casualties.

Surprisingly, Russia declared solidarity with the US and South Korea, allowing its airspace and ports to be used by the US (but not Japan or South Korea). As a result, China declared a full mobilization, followed by Russia, Eastern Europe, and then NATO.

The US 7th Fleet dispersed as it expected to be a prime target for any additional nuclear weapons, and the US went to DEFCON 2.

President Trump went to Congress and gained an almost-unanimous Declaration of War. As soon as he had this in hand, Trump announced the firing and detention of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and imposed a nationwide State of Emergency and dusk-to-dawn curfew under NSPD-51.

All interstate highways were closed to non-military traffic. All civil air traffic in the US was shut down, and civilian airliners were drafted for use as troop and supply transports. As in the Cuban Missile crisis, young children were wowed by the distinctive quadruple contrails of ancient B-52’s going to and from their fail-safe points, and US citizens particularly in the US midwest and west were rocked by near-constant sonic booms as fighters scrambled to fly combat air patrol missions over American cities.

Several US cities experienced mass protests and rioting, which were put down with military force, resulting in thousands of casualties. Washington, DC, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon had their municipal governments replaced by military governors.

Following the US Declaration of War, the US went to DEFCON I, and strategic, non-nuclear strikes began against North Korean air defense, command and control, and strategic missile facilities.

In response, North Korea attempted to launch its remaining medium and long-range nuclear missiles. None of these reached ground or naval targets and successfully detonated, but two nuclear devices were detonated at an altitude of 400 km, one over Seoul, and one over southern Japan, resulting in substantial electromagnetic pulses. The fear created by this massive aurora and disruption of the earth’s magnetic field, and the failure of many electrical transformers and computer systems created great unrest and political dislocation resulting in the fall of both the Japanese and South Korean Governments. But with different results, whereas Japan declared neutrality and banned combatant ships and planes from its territory, the new South Korean government declared all-out war.

The territory along the North Korea/South Korea border, particularly the 30 miles from the border to the outskirts of Seoul, became a hellish free-fire zone. It is estimated that 300,000 shells landed on Seoul in the first hour following the South Korean official Declaration of War. The bombardment and subsequent firestorm, as well as the use of nerve gas and biological agents, resulted in huge loss of life. The South Korean highways were jammed with people trying to flee in all directions, even in some cases, toward the front lines, and military maneuver became all but impossible for mechanized and armored units.

Although the advance by North Korean troops toward Seoul was stymied a mere 30 km into South Korea, and also stopped just over the border at the eastern coastal road, infiltration units quickly cut off pockets of ROK and US troops between the cities of Yeoncheon, Cheorwan, Yangu, and Goesong. The ROK troops fought stoutly for a week, but following another underwater nuclear blast in the channel near Inchon, and widespread use of North Korean school children as sappers to clear minefields and as human bombs, the northern pockets became demoralized and surrendered between August 30 and September 2. Small groups of special forces and SAS troops as well as local ad hoc groupings of ROK forces and militia kept up a guerrilla war in the besieged cities and mountains, until they were decimated and forced to retreat by the use of chemical weapons, which also killed the better part of the civilian populations in those cities.

Meanwhile, a UN Security Council resolution supporting South Korea and the US under Article 7 was vetoed by China. However, as in the first Korean War, a General Assembly resolution by the US was overwhelmingly passed. Unlike the First Korean War, this resolution was co-sponsored and supported by Russia.

Consequently, a small trickle of reinforcements from nations which could provide their own transport, such as the UK, Turkey, India, and Australia, began to arrive in theater. The US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, The US Third Marine Division, comprised of 3, 4, and 12 Marine Regiment, and 1 Battalion, First Special Forces Group, arrived from Japan. They were joined by the US 75th Ranger Regiment, US 10th Mountain Division, 86 Brigade Combat Team and 36 Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. US 3 and 4 Marine Regiments along with the British 1 and 2 battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles, reinforced the East Coast road, setting up roadblocks and ambushes along the road and inland strategic passes.

The remaining reinforcements, joined by Turkish 4 Commando Brigade, were airdropped/airlifted into central Korea and attempted to stabilize a front there, using Chuncheon as their command post under the rubric of UN First Army. They were also unofficially reinforced by elements of the Russian 10th Separate Special Purpose Brigade, and French 2nd Foreign Paratroop regiment, operating as “volunteers” with the sanction of their respective governments.

While the ROK units proved to be stalwart in static defense of prepared positions and urban areas, they quickly became demoralized in the confused central highlands and began to flee south, jamming the roads and making reinforcements and logistics very difficult.

In the meanwhile, the US and allied airforces had established air superiority over North Korea by mid-September and began to bomb front line troops and rear areas and roads and other strategic targets almost at will. This resulted in a large migration of North Koreans fleeing north to China, mirroring the bug-out which was now fleeing south in north-central South Korea. This threatened to overwhelm the Chinese on the frontier until the US, probably with tacit Chinese approval, used cruise missiles and drones to take out the bridges over the Yalu.

Surviving elements of the US 2nd Division and ROK forces in the Seoul theater actually managed to move forward and cross the North Korean frontier, supported by an armored thrust from the newly-arrived 2nd Armored Combat Team, 4rth Cavalry Regiment, and support units from the US 1st Infantry Division, as well as 2 Brigade, US 25th Infantry Division and US 40 Division, 81st Infantry Brigade. They were stopped when, ten miles into North Korea, their second-echelon forces were crippled by a concealed North Korean crude atomic bomb, the “mother of all IED’s” as one officer bitterly, and famously, described it to an embedded reporter.

This left the leading elements exposed, and a brutal close-quarters fight ensued, where human waves of North Korean schoolchildren strapped with mines and crude improvised bombs were mowed down by the trapped US and ROK forces. Until their ammunition ran low. At that point it became a literal hand-to-hand and house-to-house fight, with heavy casualties on both sides.

In the central theater, things were not so good for the UN forces. The bugout of ROK troops which began in mid-September, became a rout by early October, which was only stopped by the advent of cold and mud season. Chinese troops from PRC 12 and 13 army groups were now filling in for the exhausted NK troops, once again under the rubric of being “volunteers.”

The entry of substantial numbers of Chinese elite special forces and chemical weapons troops caused the complete collapse and rout of the central front, with many ROK units surrendering en masse. The Gurkhas, US Marines, SAS and Turkish forces began a fighting withdrawal, eerily similar to the 1st Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

Russia and the US confronted China (rather hypocritically given their own use of “volunteer” forces) and demanded that the Chinese withdraw. China refused and withdrew its membership from the UN, leading to a further Chapter 7 Security Council Resolution which was passed 13-0, with only Uruguay abstaining.

Noting the defiance of China, Russian marines and special forces seized the North Korean ports of Chonjin and Sonbong.

China declared war on Russia and began a massive invasion along a wide front. This went badly for them. In areas, Russian armored and airborne units penetrated deep into China. China in turn, activated its nuclear mines along the primary Russian invasion routes. Russia retaliated by depopulating Harbin and Nanjing with enhanced-radiation “neutron” bombs in the “Second Nanjing Massacre.”

Fearing losing their strategic nuclear force, and feeling they were now in a use them or lose them posture, China launched a massive counterforce nuclear strike against Russia, South Korea, Japan and the US, resulting in the destruction of what was left of Seoul, Busan (again), several ports in Okinawa, Yokosuka, Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, Ulan-Ude, Vladivostok, and Petropavlosk, Russia, and Port Darwin, Australia. Japan’s declaration of neutrality was to no avail, as the US had perforce simply refused to quit its facilities there and in the turmoil surrounding the fall of the Liberal Party government, Japan was in no position to enforce its demands.

In the US were destroyed: Guam, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Nome, Alaska, Pearl Harbor, San Diego, San Francisco, and Livermore, California, Hanford, Washington State, Los Alamos, White Sands, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Groom Lake and the Nevada Test Site, Vandenberg AFB, Edwards AFB, Cape Canaveral, Colorado Springs, Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Aiken, South Carolina, Amarillo and Houston, Texas, Mount Weather, and Wallops and Norfolk, Virginia as well as Thule, Greenland and Portsmouth, Menwith Hill, and Scapa Flow, UK.

The resulting “limited” retaliatory strike from the US and Russia destroyed 50 strategic sites in China, as well as Shanghai and Guangzhou.

All the New England States except Maine, plus Texas, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington state, declared independence from the US and formed the Federal Republic of New England, with its capital at Boston, and The Pacific States of America, with its new capital in Bakersfield, California. Utah declared itself to be the Republic of Deseret. Nevada declared itself affiliated to the Pacific States, but disintegrated into Federal, Pacific, Deseret, and ungoverned territories. The Navajo and Great Sioux nations declared independence within their national territories in the Four Corners region, and Dakotas and western Minnesota and north-west Iowa. Mexico declared the Gadsden Purchase and annexation of former Mexican territories in the southwest null and void and began a series of incursions in the border regions. Texas declared independence, and declared war on Mexico. Alaska petitioned to join Canada, and was provisionally accepted as a Canadian self-governing territory.

The rump US government was overthrown by a military junta. The government in North Korea disintegrated and a ceasefire was declared on November 11, 2017, with a ceasefire in place, to be followed by a staged withdrawal to the 38th parallel. The EU, which had largely survived unscathed, emerged as the new world hyperpower, and guarantor of the cease-fire and armistice terms.

Total immediate casualties of the war were as follows:

Australia: 100 thousand
China: 50 million (estimated)
Denmark: 2 thousand
France: 3 thousand
Japan: 3.2 million
Nepal: 3 thousand
North Korea: 15 million
Russia: 1.9 million
South Korea: 9.6 million
Turkey: 5 thousand
UK: 120 thousand
USA: 16.5 million

Other combatant nations: under 1,000 casualties each

Of these casualties, approximately 1/4 were killed, and 3/4 were severely wounded.

An additional 150 million in early mortality is expected over the next 50 years.

disclaimer: I have no knowledge of actual US planning or deployments aside from what is available from public sources, primarily gloabalsecurity dot org. The force deployments are hypothetical, and based on what I would do if I was the US commander in theater and could set my own order of battle. There’s not a lot of armor because its not that great in built up urban areas nor mountains and forest without a good road infrastructure and I didn’t want the logistical tail. I didn’t go into political events in the US, Koreas, and other countries but the general story is things went to shit as soon as nukes started to be used, which was on the second day of the war. I left out HQ, artillery, naval and air units, and support units, as well as any specific ROK units entirely in the interests of moving along the narrative. As I said, I hope to God this all never happens.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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13 August, 2017 Posted by | history, Korea, Korean War, North Korea, nuclear war, scanlyze, South Korea, war | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments