Ship intercepted carrying missiles
December 10, 2002 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Ship intercepted carrying missiles North Korea truly is a part of the "Axis of Evil." Question: who was to get the missles in Yemen, and what was to be done with them?
posted by Postroad (94 comments total)

 
Difference between the BBC and US Media: BBC puts quotes around "Axis of Evil" and "dangerous."
posted by zekinskia at 4:08 PM on December 10, 2002


Gee, I guess we'd better bomb Iraq then.
posted by kickingtheground at 4:12 PM on December 10, 2002


Ok.
So if this thing is being sent to Yemen and it's legal . . . why are there no documents aboard the ship? And why were the missiles concealed?

Sounds like they're asking for trouble and scrutiny if this is indeed a 'legal' arms sale/trade . . .

Unless, of course, they weren't meant for the Yemenese government . . . or maybe not Yemen at all . . .
posted by cinderful at 4:19 PM on December 10, 2002


The government of North Korea is evil and dangerous. No need for the " marks.
posted by Baesen at 4:22 PM on December 10, 2002


"The boarding of the ship occurred as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was traveling in the area." What a weird coincidence.
posted by Voyageman at 4:26 PM on December 10, 2002


Last month, the US killed six "dangerous" al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen.

Yeah, I can see why they put quotes around "dangerous" in that sentence. In all likelihood the al-Qaeda were potato-cooking homemakers on a shopping errand.
posted by dhoyt at 4:43 PM on December 10, 2002


"Ok.
So if this thing is being sent to Yemen and it's legal . . . why are there no documents aboard the ship? And why were the missiles concealed?"


To avoid a hostile boarding by the Biggest Bully on the Planet United States?

It's a lose-lose if you're dealing weapons and you're not one of the U.S.'s allies. If you make it public that you have them, you get harassed by inspectors, called names, and possibly dealt some bad trade sanctions. If you try to hide them you risk this...
posted by zekinskia at 4:46 PM on December 10, 2002


It's a lose-lose

What are you some kind of Marketing relic from the late 90s?
posted by Karl at 4:53 PM on December 10, 2002


why is postroad still allowed to post? we get it -- you really like breaking news about the middle east.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:53 PM on December 10, 2002


According to FOX news:

"It was unclear precisely what missiles were aboard the seized vessel. North Korea has built and exported at least two missiles in the Scud class: the Scud B and the Scud D, or No Dong."

Uh...could you run that last one by me again?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:58 PM on December 10, 2002


Was it on it's way to the Tonkin Persian Gulf?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:00 PM on December 10, 2002


A number is a terrible thing to waste...
posted by azazello at 5:06 PM on December 10, 2002


Dnkey: no. you decide who can post what, right? The post involves my country --the U.S. and Yemn had recently a bombing of an American ship, the Cole, and I was in South Korea before you were born, at war with the North Koreans. Is that sufficient for you. And if not: tough shit, babe.
posted by Postroad at 5:07 PM on December 10, 2002


So wait, zekinskia, by trashing US (and just about everybody else's efforts) to put a lid on N. Korean nuclear ambitions are you arguing nuclear proliferation is a good thing?
posted by ednopantz at 5:09 PM on December 10, 2002


"...No Dong."

Uh...could you run that last one by me again?


Yes, sounds funny to uncivilized westerners. It means "worker". So, the Missile of the Workers or Worker's Missile, or something like that.
posted by Baesen at 5:10 PM on December 10, 2002


Yeah, I can see why they put quotes around "dangerous" in that sentence. In all likelihood the al-Qaeda were potato-cooking homemakers on a shopping errand.

They put quotes around it because we don't even know if they were actual members of al-Qaeda. But you can buy everything at face value if you want to.
posted by The God Complex at 5:18 PM on December 10, 2002


[offtopic]
You tell 'em Fred. But this 'axis of evil' stuff as a tool for bearing any information at all has to go. Along with phrases like 'ethnic cleansing' and 'collateral damage' and so on.

What were we talking about again?

Yes, sounds funny to uncivilized westerners.

I'm kinda uncivilized too - I'll admit to giggling quietly and sophomorically to myself occasionally when I have students named (for example) Ee Bum Suk, as I did this last semester, for example. There are a whole bunch of phonemes in Korean that when combined in certain ways sound amusing when listened to with English ears.
[/offtopic]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 PM on December 10, 2002


"...sounds funny to uncivilized westerners."

Hey, if it was up to me I'd name it the big bad dong'o'death. How's that for some civilization?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:36 PM on December 10, 2002


Dnkey: no. you decide who can post what, right? The post involves my country --the U.S. and Yemn had recently a bombing of an American ship, the Cole, and I was in South Korea before you were born, at war with the North Koreans. Is that sufficient for you. And if not: tough shit, babe.

and english is your first language? cripes.

frankly, uh, frank: you post so often, and your posts are so often expunged, that your credibility is what's "shit."
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:42 PM on December 10, 2002


uncivilized westerners

Since we're name calling here...
Your explanation sounds pretentious to the Civilized Westerners amongst us, but thanks, none the less, for clearing up the 'No Dong'. I was wondering about it myself.
posted by Nauip at 5:51 PM on December 10, 2002


It is obvious they're in Axis of Evil : they're not selling american/nato weapons, so no profits for american/nato weapons companies , so they must be evil, no ? Of course if you sell Stingers to Mujahedins to fight againts the Evil Russian Empire everything is ok, after all who cares if a couple Black Hawks copters are going someday to be shot down by some american/nato made weapon ? It's all profits, we'll sell one more Black Hawk and one more Stinger. Somebody died ? Too bad, it's the war, it's the holy crusade, behold infidel ! They're martyrs aren't they ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:54 PM on December 10, 2002


Yes, sounds funny to uncivilized westerners.

Not familiar with the vocabulary of a foreign language? You're uncivilized. Sorry you had to be exposed to the crude & vulgar ways of the West, Baesen.
posted by dhoyt at 5:58 PM on December 10, 2002


I think baesen was making a joke, folks, and I know I was. "Big bad dong'o'death" is not what I would call a missile. I'd call it "Shirley".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:06 PM on December 10, 2002


Dear DoneyS: you seem unable to note the difference between English and typing. It is my typing that is wanting here. As for the written language, I will match my publishing record of books against yours, ok? And not oly did I serve in Korea a few months after the war broke out, but my oldest son was there as a marine, years later, and my next son has been there 4 years, teaching--English.
Perhaps,then, I will look to corrct my indecent typing and in return yuo can take a course in civility.
posted by Postroad at 6:08 PM on December 10, 2002


Dude, you just mispelled 'you'.
=)

If worker meant 'no penis' in Korean, I wouldn't mind them laughing. I'd laugh too.

Anyhow.

This is probably silly to discuss until we've got more info/disinfo on these weapons, their ship, and their destination.
posted by cinderful at 6:18 PM on December 10, 2002


crash- do you mean "Charlene" or is that a different joke about munitions-naming?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:25 PM on December 10, 2002


North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons program and to not sell nuclear weapons or any kinds of missiles. In exchange ... well, I can't remember what the United States, South Korea and allies agreed to do. Maybe something to do with providing food to North Korea.

We can surmise that North Korea violated the missile-transfer terms of the agreement, and that the United States knew about it and stopped the transfer. I think the Americans are the good guys in this case. Anyone disagree?
posted by Holden at 6:27 PM on December 10, 2002


Heh...amazing the response a couple simple words like, "uncivilized westerner" provokes. I guess I was assuming too much knowledge of Asian history and language on the part of those here. Geez, I should have just stuck with sangnom...

stavos -- Yes. After thinking about the "no dong" I thought of my friends, "Yu Bum Suk" and "Yu Pae Me". Ah, the fun of my language. *sigh*
posted by Baesen at 6:34 PM on December 10, 2002


Sorry to post again so soon, thank you Mr_Crash_Davis, I was... :-)

My humor must be a bit off tonight...
posted by Baesen at 6:35 PM on December 10, 2002


The government of North Korea is evil

Only people can be evil, not institutions. Governments (like corporations) can be ineffectual, misguided, restrictive, demanding, inhumane, even cruel, but they are not capable of understanding the concepts that constitute "morality" and therefore of making moral choices. There may be "evil" people within the North Korean government, but it is surely counterproductive to conflate the two.
posted by rushmc at 6:48 PM on December 10, 2002


While we're all having a great time sniping at each other's English and generally clowning around, I wonder if we could get serious here for a sec...

what's the approx range of a No Dong, and how accurate is it? For example, from Yemen, can you hit Qatar or maybe Djibouti? I'm a little hazy on the geography of the southern Arabian Peninsula when it comes to distances. The -D covers what, 200 km? How far is it to Djibouti from Aden?
posted by alumshubby at 6:48 PM on December 10, 2002


To Postroad : Thank you for serving Sir, we need people like you today more than ever !

I suggest we bomb North Korea first, then we head to Iraq (by that time I am sure there will be plenty of evidence to bomb them ) , then Yemen so we can teach those bastards an All American Lesson. And since we are in that region I would also bomb Saudi Arabia back to stoneage ( I mean bomb the 7000 members of their royal family so they stop attacking us)



posted by bureaustyle at 6:53 PM on December 10, 2002


but it is surely counterproductive to conflate the two

I dunno.

That makes sense somewhere like the US, where the institutions of government ("President", "Congress") are very clearly not the same as the people who happen to fill them ("George W. Bush", "Trent Lott, Tom Daschle, et al."). In somewhere like North Korea where the "Dear Leader" a) is both the title and the person, and b) exercises essentially unlimited power, I think conflating the two is much less objectionable.
posted by jaek at 6:59 PM on December 10, 2002


"crash- do you mean "Charlene" or is that a different joke about munitions-naming"

It's a different joke. Think Airplane:

"Of course I'm serious, and stop calling me Shirley"

posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:04 PM on December 10, 2002


Depends on which No Dong missile. There is a No Dong 2 that has been rumored. It is estimated it would have a range of 2200 miles.

Here is a wondful place to see the technical details of North Korean missiles.
posted by Baesen at 7:04 PM on December 10, 2002


well, I can't remember what the United States, South Korea and allies agreed to do. Maybe something to do with providing food to North Korea.

We agreed to build the North Koreans a nuclear power-plant (apparently one that you can not use to build nuclear weapons from?) and send shipments of food and fuel in exchange for the end of their nuclear weapons program. That is if my memory serves me correctly...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:13 PM on December 10, 2002


"There is a No Dong 2 that has been rumored. It is estimated it would have a range of 2200 miles."

Yeah, a 2200-mile range would put Qatar, Kuwait, and even Israel within reach of Yemen.

Yikes.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:16 PM on December 10, 2002


These things are probably being bought by some government that wanted these weapons enough to try and hide their source from the US.

Yemen used them in the 1994 civil war (one reportedly blew up the British brewery in Aden--A massive loss to Arabian civilization if you ask me.)

My bet would be that whoever bought them wanted them for conventional reasons of state and is hiding them out of embarrassment.

After all, if you were Yemen, it would look bad to your new US ally to put hard currency into the hands of the N Koreans. Or if you were Ethiopia, it would look bad to spend money on arms while asking the West to feed your people. Plus the arms embargo against Ethiopia may still in effect.

I really doubt Yemen harbors any ambitions of attacking either the gulf states or Israel. Gulf states: too many Yemenis bring in too much hard currency working as taxi drivers, mechanics, police, soldiers, etc. in the gulf states. Israel: none of the Arab states' leaders have the slightest desire to lose another war to the Israelis. Prez. (General) Saleh is nothing if not pragmatic.
posted by ednopantz at 7:27 PM on December 10, 2002


"Big bad dong'o'death" is not what I would call a missile. I'd call it "Shirley".

You've met my wife then?
posted by velacroix at 7:53 PM on December 10, 2002


Nodong-2 appears to be going under the moniker Taepodong-1 these days (earlier the Nodong-2 and the Taepo-1 referred to two different missiles, with the Nodong-2 slightly superior to the Nodong-1, and the Taepo-1 the 2200km range missile in question). These days we get to worry about the 3-stage Taepodong-2, with a range somewhere between 4-6000km. Taepo-2 could probably make Alaska. Assuming, of course, it actually exists.

A few useful tidbits are here, but it's a big 'ole pdf, so be wary. Page 11 has a useful map centered on NK, showing how far various missiles will fly. BBC overview of NK missile history.

In any event, foxnews is reporting either Scud-B or D (Nodong-1), so maximum range would be somewhere around 1500km, which would still leave Qatar and Kuwait in range. Taepo-1 has only even been tested once, over Japan, and never exported to our knowledge.
posted by apostasy at 8:17 PM on December 10, 2002


Sounds a bit "Gulf of Tonkin" to me....
posted by troutfishing at 8:20 PM on December 10, 2002


Definitely Gulf of Tonkin, Troutfishing! I mean, any time anyone does something wrong and the US says "They're Doing Something Wrong" and then the US intervenes, well, heck, the US is obviously not playing by the rules. The US is full of conspiracies, after all. George Bush wants all the Oil in the world for his family, after he kills Saddam Hussein because he has to show the world that he's a bigger man than his dad.

God, don't you fools know _anything?_ It's _OBVIOUSLY_ just the US faking this so that they can start a war with peaceful Iraq and peaceful North Korea, because those people are brown and Americans like killing brown people.
</sarcasm>

Get a grip, people. Even Freud admitted that sometimes a Cigar was a Cigar. How come people have trouble admitting that sometimes a regime is evil, it violates its treaties, represses its own citizens in ways that are inhumane and violent? How come people ignore the fact that one in seven Iraqis have fled the country in the last 15 years? How come people ignore the fact that Korea signed a treaty proscribing certain actions and has admitted to violating that treaty, and somehow this spells American misdeeds? Gulf of Tonkin? Cripes.

Let me guess. American CIA agents knocked down the twin towers so that the Bush junta could make a pipeline through Afghanistan? After all, Hitler's henchmen burned down the Bundesrat (or however you spell that) and so it's not out of the realm of possibility, so it's more probably than people who have claimed they're out to kill 4 million americans doing it, right?

Here's a hint: repeat after me - this is a spade. See? Calling a spade a spade isn't so hard. That one also goes by David.

But jeez. Not everything is a vast right wing conspiracy to control the world's oil. There _are_ brutal, repressive, evil dictators out there.
posted by swerdloff at 8:41 PM on December 10, 2002


(didn't mean to single you out, TF)
posted by swerdloff at 8:41 PM on December 10, 2002


Q: How come people have trouble admitting that sometimes a regime is evil, it violates its treaties, represses its own citizens in ways that are inhumane and violent?

A: Because Metafilter is abundant with insecure, self-loathing contrarians who are (either literally or emotionally) still sophomores in college?
posted by dhoyt at 8:59 PM on December 10, 2002


First of all, I'm an insecure, self-loathing contrarian who's a Senior in college, thank you very much. ;)

Second, I've never suggested that all regimes aren't evil and violating treaties and represses its citizens in ways that are inhumane and violent. The problem is that you apply that statement selectively without realizing it applies to a range of nations, many of which you might not consider "an evil regime." In terms of repressing citizens and violating treaties as definitions of an "evil regime," that criteria can not only apply to Iraq and North Korea, but to allies Saudi Arabia (quasi-dictatorial monarchy that has an equal level of abuse to women and homosexuals as any other Arab nation), Israel (has ignored countless UN resolutions and lied about nuclear weapons programs, treats Israeli Arabs as second-class citizens), and even the United States (Homeland security, "enemy combatants," abandoning Kyoto and the missile treaties, demanding exemption from international war crime courts)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:32 PM on December 10, 2002


How come people ignore the fact that one in seven Iraqis have fled the country in the last 15 years? How come people ignore the fact that Korea signed a treaty proscribing certain actions and has admitted to violating that treaty, and somehow this spells American misdeeds?

How come people can't grasp that the fact that Iraq and North Korea are evil is irrelevant to how evil certain aspects of U.S. foreign policy are? Are Americans so insecure in their national identity, their cultural identity, their personal identity that they can't admit that some really shitty things are done around the world, in their name, using their tax dollars?

Back on topic, this is no Tonkin incident. Although I am sure the Pentagon has planned for any number of possible entries into armed conflict in Iraq, and an external triggering event like an intercepted weapons shipment is probably one of them, this seems too tame to act as a convincing excuse for firing the first shot before we've finished reading the inspection report.
posted by Vetinari at 9:43 PM on December 10, 2002


Goofy old Bush nailed it again, I see.

And swerdloff. And dhoyt, rather strongly.

What baffles be is that either people aren't reading the news, or they are deluding themselves into not believing it, which leads to such epidemics of mass psychogenic fugues as Artists United to Win Without War.

Maybe we should just e-mail them and hope they surrender.
posted by hama7 at 9:49 PM on December 10, 2002


Uhhh yeah. Memo to dhoyt (and kinda swerdloff too):

Welcome to Earth.
Welcome to fallibility.
Welcome to successful campaigns of propaganda.
Welcome to the underclass.
Welcome to we don't know shit about our government any more than we know about "theirs".

This year's sophomore theme is how to be a nationalist true believer and justify the shit they do that they don't tell you about, nor ask you as a taxpaying citizen if they can. Take one for the team class of '04!

(on preview)
Hi Hama7!
posted by crasspastor at 9:53 PM on December 10, 2002


Hi Hama7!

Hiya, crasspastor! Just passin' through?
posted by hama7 at 10:03 PM on December 10, 2002


Appeasement hasn't stopped North Korea from trying harder.
posted by homunculus at 10:07 PM on December 10, 2002


Sounds a bit "Gulf of Tonkin" to me....

Trouble is, that while Gulf of Tonkin justified a policy the Johnson administration had already decided on, the last thing the current admin wants is a reason why N Korea is more of a threat than Iraq. I reiterate my bet that contrary to the beliefs of the tinfoil hat crowd, the Yemenis are just restocking their arsenal.
posted by ednopantz at 10:11 PM on December 10, 2002


After all, if you were Yemen, it would look bad to your new US ally to put hard currency into the hands of the N Koreans.

If you were Yemen, and you had noticed how tolerant the U.S. is of Pakistan aiding North Korea's nuclear program, you probably wouldn't be too worried about buying a few scuds.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 PM on December 10, 2002


...why were the missiles concealed?
To avoid a hostile boarding by the Biggest Bully on the Planet United States?


zekinskia, it may interest you to know that the interception was undertaken by Spain, which has long supported the MIF, the Maritime (aka Multinational) Interdiction Force in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf which looks for illegal shipments in and out of Iraq violating sanctions, and which has undertaken since 9/11 to look for terrorist persons, money, and equipment.
posted by dhartung at 11:10 PM on December 10, 2002


According to the Washington Times, a ship bearing missiles and assorted components set out for Yemen from Nampo, North Korea in November (sounds like a Sondheim show). No word on whether or not this is related.
posted by apostasy at 11:25 PM on December 10, 2002


Meanwhile, in South Korea: Korean vote swayed by anti-US mood
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on December 10, 2002


i attended " The EU's Future Relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea " - A High level Seminar at the European Parliament recently and the subject of missile sales was discussed, with some force.

the DPRK were open about the fact that they:

1, Were desperately short of cash
2, Missile sales were pretty much their only way of generating hard currency income
3, They would halt missile sales if they were compensated for the shortfall in income.

May I suggest there is a potential solution here.

apostasy, this is the same ship.
posted by quarsan at 11:32 PM on December 10, 2002


How come people ignore the fact that one in seven Iraqis have fled the country in the last 15 years? How come people ignore the fact that Korea signed a treaty proscribing certain actions and has admitted to violating that treaty, and somehow this spells American misdeeds? Gulf of Tonkin? Cripes.

I would suggest that if people actually thought the U.S. was going to war with Iraq to do the humanitarian thing and help save thousands upon thousands of oppressed people, there wouldn't be much complaint. The complaints lie in the fact that the United States foreign interests (oil) dictate who is attacked and humanitarianism or what's "right" has very little to do with it.

This started out as a War on Terrorism that was turned into a War on Iraq this fall when the War on Terrorism lost its hot-off-the-press feel. Whether it's true or not, it seems like the Republicans were just looking for a catchy marketing theme to win the fall elections, or maybe they just thought they'd strike while the iron was hot. Who knows, really, it could be both or neither.

I think the point is, at least from my perspective, it's hard to get all yay-yay go team when the motives behind doing the right thing have nothing to do with being right and everything to do with oil interests, elections, and good old fashioned family rivalry. Kant would have a field day! Sorry, I just thought I'd throw in a little sophmoric university referencing to keep in line with your broad, far-reaching stereotype. ;)
posted by The God Complex at 12:41 AM on December 11, 2002


Yeah, the anti-American mood is pretty hardcore over there right now. My friend John who is stationed there related the situation following the death of those two girls who were run over; apparently, there were flag burnings and riots....he got hit in the head with a beer bottle. The US army was also not allowing soldiers to ride the public transportation at times due to fear of physical violence.

Pretty crazy stuff.

Dhoyt:I am a freshman in college, thank you. The fact that you may be older than me does not automatically lend you some air of unassailable infallabilty. You don't have some magical adult diapers armor. So shut the fuck up. Read Lear or something. It's not a difficult concept. Old=Old, and Young=Young. In today's age of nearly infinite media and information distribution, your antiquated ideals are just that. Go to hell.

Honestly, at a certain point, you have to relenquish the Kantian "it's hard to get all yay-yay go team when the motives behind doing the right thing have nothing to do with being right and everything to do with oil interests, elections, and good old fashioned family rivalry. Kant would have a field day" bullshit, God Complex. Yes, I agree that motives are important in a foreign and domestic policy. Yes, I do not want to see innocents punished for crimes they had nothing to do with.

That said, if North Korea wants to blow my loved ones and I up, then I hope Bush takes them out. Regardless of his motive.

I just hope we take time to make sure they do.

Ahh. It's late here. My level of articualtion is directly proportionate to the number of hours it is past midnight.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:52 AM on December 11, 2002


I'll chalk you up for ends justify the means then.
posted by The God Complex at 1:11 AM on December 11, 2002


Oh shut up. It's not that simple. Get out of Philosophy 101. Not everything is kant or mill. sheesh.

the world's not so easily categorized and solved. if it was, shit would be great.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:52 AM on December 11, 2002


So shut the fuck up....bullshit
Oh shut up. It's not that simple.


Welcome to Metafilter, lazaruslong. You may want to tone that attitude down a bit, though... so far we know two things about you - that you're young and that's you're insulting to those attempting to have a reasonable discussion.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:43 AM on December 11, 2002


To clarify : the first one doesn't matter, the second one does.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:44 AM on December 11, 2002


The Kant thing was a joke, but the idea that we should let the American government run amok while they throw shit against the wall and see what the public will buy is hard to stomach.

First it's the connection to Bin Laden. Then, when that didn't pan out, it's the gassing of innocent people (in the 80's, when the American government didn't seem to care all that much, mind you), and now we find out that the Saudis had these ties to the Sept 11th attacks but it gets brushed off because of vested oil interests.

The Iraq issue is an old agenda that probably should have been taken care of. That said, watching Bush and Co. using the terrorist attacks a shield to start a war on Iraq while resorting to petty you-don't-love-America-because-you-won't-defend-the-homeland name calling when somebody tries to question them on it is disconcerting.

As for Korea, my guess would be the information was leaked to open up some sort of dialogue with the United States. Maybe they'll try to swing some foreign aid like they did when they originally said they wouldn't build up to nuclear capabilities.

the world's not so easily categorized and solved.

Hey, you're the one that seems happy to boil this whole thing down to what amounts to if they're going to blow me and my loved ones up, we should get them, when no such intent has been shown.
posted by The God Complex at 2:46 AM on December 11, 2002


I for one, am glad that the true intentions and activities of North Korea are at last becoming widespread knowledge. Unfortunately, in South Korea, (if you go by the goofy headlines and underhanded bids for the presidential election) the North Korean internet psy-ops anti-US war is gaining far too much irrational momentum via the proliferating leftoid non-government organizations and press. For what that's worth.
posted by hama7 at 3:09 AM on December 11, 2002


You just totally convinced me of A "Possible" (Hopefully, fingers-crossed-WORLD) War hama7. I know I'm off to bed here momentarily. But thanks for that. Those fuckin' idiotic goofy anti american minds. If only the goofy Koreans knew what you knew. I for one can sleep better tonight knowing that you've called them on it. At least somebody's doing it. God bless Korea for summing up all that is right with American hegemony by protesting against it. Thank god you're there too to report that differences of opinion exist. God bless you too.

Goofy leftoid motherfuckers.
posted by crasspastor at 3:24 AM on December 11, 2002


May I suggest there is a potential solution here.

What would that solution be quarsan? Paying the Koreans not to sell missiles?

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation
To puff and look important and to say:-
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
Thet if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

posted by grahamwell at 3:27 AM on December 11, 2002


Kipling?
posted by alumshubby at 4:17 AM on December 11, 2002


Yes, apologies for not crediting R Kipling. The full poem is here
posted by grahamwell at 4:25 AM on December 11, 2002


The fact that you may be older than me does not automatically lend you some air of unassailable infallabilty. You don't have some magical adult diapers armor. So shut the fuck up.

No. Absolutely not. I felt the same way six or seven years ago, but you misunderstand. It's not intelligence that you gain with age, but perspective. Either way, next time you try to make that point, just go with Thoreau's "Grey hair does not confer wisdom." It's less likely to sound shrill and infantile.
posted by yerfatma at 4:43 AM on December 11, 2002


"True intentions of North Korea".

And what would those be? To actually have some cash inflow into the country?

I'm surprised they can afford to get all the materials, let alone afford to build the scuds, in the first place.

The funny thing is that now that Bush has proclaimed North Korea a part of his little evil axis, anything they do can be framed in a way to look like they're plotting against the United States.

Because *everything* every country does *must* have something to do with us. Right?

Fucking Bush.. I hope we can survive the next two years. I don't think anyone has made a country this paraniod and anti-american values as much as Bush has since McCarthyism.
posted by rich at 6:48 AM on December 11, 2002


Hate to spoil the party, but the missles have been released, there was no legal reason to hold them, apparently. So as Swerdloff said, this spade is a spade. Problem is, it's a legal spade.
posted by cell divide at 9:59 AM on December 11, 2002


"True intentions of North Korea".

And what would those be? To actually have some cash inflow into the country?


Yes, to bring in cash so the elite can continue to live in comfort and the rest of the people can continue to starve.

The funny thing is that now that Bush has proclaimed North Korea a part of his little evil axis, anything they do can be framed in a way to look like they're plotting against the United States.

Calling North Korea what it actually is and that is a problem?

North Korea continues to cause unprovoked conflicts with us in the South. They have been a sponsor of terrorism. They starve their people. They treat their people like slaves.

But what the hell. Let's make sure they can stay in power. Sell all their fucking missiles to whereever and whoever they want. I guess we shouldn't worry too much. We all know if they ever decided to nuke someplace it will be Japan and not us in the South.
posted by Baesen at 10:20 AM on December 11, 2002


"F*cking Bush.. I hope we can survive the next two years. I don't think anyone has made a country this paraniod and anti-american values as much as Bush has since McCarthyism."

I'm no fan of the current regime, but it takes more than a single person to effect this kind of totalitarian creepiness (referring to a number of changes, not just this incident)
posted by mecran01 at 10:23 AM on December 11, 2002


But what the hell. Let's make sure they can stay in power. Sell all their fucking missiles to whereever and whoever they want

since the ship's been released and Yemen will get the scuds and there ain't no law against it nohow, I guess that's what they get to do, eh?
posted by zoopraxiscope at 10:28 AM on December 11, 2002


The rule of law prevailed and the United States didn't get its way. Just pointing that out.
posted by Holden at 10:48 AM on December 11, 2002


Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get along together in peace and harmony.

Metafilter that is. The world would be a bit too much to ask.
posted by devon at 10:58 AM on December 11, 2002


since the ship's been released and Yemen will get the scuds and there ain't no law against it nohow, I guess that's what they get to do, eh?

Sangnom like you who seem happy about it; I'm glad to hear someone is. Just wonder how many more of my brothers and sisters in the North will starve tonight while you and those in power sit fat and happy.

The rule of law prevailed and the United States didn't get its way. Just pointing that out.

The Spainish intercepted the ship. The Spainish took the ship over. God bless them.

When explosives and missiles were found, the called the US.

The ship was held; then the ship was released. I'm trying to understand your statement. Can you help?
posted by Baesen at 11:15 AM on December 11, 2002


Baesen, it's more complicated than that. The US apparently had intelligence that the ship was carrying something, and the Spanish were the lucky ones to intercept it. Chance, or politics, who knows? The Yemeni government took a little while, but they came clean that this was their kaboodle. Since the Yemenis have been working pretty closely with us over the last year, that was apparently mollifying enough to the US. The missiles aren't going to Iraq, they're not going to Palestine, they're not going to al-Qaeda elements in the Arabian interior, but to a recognized national military which has agreed to safeguard them.

If there was any behind-the-scenes diplomatic puppetry at work, it's probably that the US has not been happy with the Yemeni cooperation, cf. the need (as we saw it) for a Hellfire missile strike on their territory; and this interception may well have been a little message sent their way that we can futz with their arms supply-lines anytime we feel like it. There maybe was also some hanging-out-to-dry in their being forced to publicly claim the missiles. A little lesson in Western-style transparency, perhaps, or just a chance to make them squirm.

It was also much more probably intended as a demonstration to the freakazoid DPRK that we know what they're shipping and where.

Even if that wasn't the intent, the capability was demonstrated regardless, so it's a win-win as regards US policy toward both Yemen and DPRK.

And we're certainly not going to be sitting at the table with them and some little piles of cash for quite a while to come, given the way they put their last agreement with the US into a blender. They'll still get their food, but they won't get any more heating oil, and they're certainly not getting their non-proliferation-certified reactor built on our dime. They can sit there and look at the pretty concrete foundation for a few more years, see if it suits them.
posted by dhartung at 11:43 AM on December 11, 2002


I think the words you're looking for are 'piracy on the high seas'. Armed men commandeered a vessel which had been under close observation by the CIA. They knew what was on board, and that the cargo was legal.

North Korea could start boarding US or Spanish transport ships - the only difference would be that they wouldn't get away with that shit, while the US clearly can.
posted by tripitaka at 11:44 AM on December 11, 2002


Tripitaka: My understanding is that the ship was not sailing under a flag, and was therefore not afforded any sovereign protection under international maritime law. Anyone sailing in such a condition into an area which is already under a low-scale international blockade, and obviously on the brink of war, can hardly complain about "piracy".

Care to try again?
posted by jammer at 12:04 PM on December 11, 2002


Sangnom like you who seem happy about it

hmmm, pal I think I just stated the facts; don't believe I indicated in any way that I was "happy" about it.

But thanks for the Korean name calling. Nothing brings the world together like universal insults. Plus, it's such an excellent way to make your argument.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 12:19 PM on December 11, 2002


Sorry to go a bit off topic, but as regards the word 'evil', the problem with it is that, outside of a religious context, it doesn't actually mean anything. It's like calling someone a wanker or a c*nt. All it means is that the person using the phrase doesn't like you.
posted by Summer at 12:41 PM on December 11, 2002


zoopraxiscope: That's just stating the facts, yeah, right. Keep telling yourself that.
posted by Baesen at 1:14 PM on December 11, 2002


it doesn't actually mean anything. It's like calling someone a wanker or a c*nt

That's funny, if the word "evil" doesn't really mean anything then, why not just call them the "Axis of Wankers"? It's much funnier, and it doesn't really mean anything, right? How about the "Axis of Doss C*nts", sounds a little snotty, but all in good fun, no?

The actual reason that the "E"-word was used is that these are nasty, dangerous thugs whose acts (were you to hear descriptions of them) of ugliness and atrocity would make your blood run cold. These aren't "just some guys Shrubya doesn't like", and they certainly aren't the "Axis of Teletubbies".

'Evil' is a strong and explicit word which applies in this case.
posted by hama7 at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2002


"Axis of Wankers"

How about "Axis of Dongs"?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:40 PM on December 11, 2002


Stavros: I apologize if my comments seemed disrespectful to MeFi. It's just that when someone comes out and blatantly criticizes young people as being inherently stupid, it gets me a bit riled up. Flapped. Disgruntled. What have you.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:27 PM on December 11, 2002


they certainly aren't the "Axis of Teletubbies".
I thought Teletubbies were the epitomy of "evil."
posted by Baesen at 8:07 PM on December 11, 2002


It's just that when someone comes out and blatantly criticizes young people as being inherently stupid, it gets me a bit riled up.

No, I just said MeFi was abundant with a certain *type* of naive young folk, the likes of which I never said were inherently stupid. Maybe the comments hit home? By the way, I'm 27, and therefore "old" and possess "antiquated ideals"--the likes of which you know nothing.
posted by dhoyt at 8:15 PM on December 11, 2002


Only Tinkywinky, Baesen. Laa-Laa, Po, and Dipsy are pretty cool.
posted by alumshubby at 8:15 PM on December 11, 2002


tripitaka: Care to read the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, ss. 101-107, and get back to us on that definition of "piracy"?

As for the missiles, any type of arms falls under the definition of "absolute contraband" and is assumed subject to seizure on the high seas, by longstanding practice (although the 1909 Declaration of London would have codified this, it was never adopted). As the United States is in a declared war against Al Qaeda et al., and NATO countries, by Article 5, are joining us in that war, any arms presumably bound for al Qaeda are subject to seizure. Yemen, however, is not a belligerent state, and thus the statement by Ari Fleischer that nothing in international law allowed holding the weaponry. A right of seizure implies a right of inspection and detention. Especially since the ship was flying no flag at all, it should not have expected to pass an interdiction zone unmolested: note FDR's speech regarding Lend-Lease shipping to assist Britain, where he explicitly invokes the risk to the US, as a then-neutral, in shipping contraband. Though there are differing points of view today, consensus favors selective interdiction, especially when enforcing sanctions under Chapter VII, Articles 41 and 42, of the UN Charter. This, of course, is the organizing purpose of the Maritime Interdiction Force.
posted by dhartung at 9:37 PM on December 11, 2002


Dhoyt: Actually, this was your statement:

"A: Because Metafilter is abundant with insecure, self-loathing contrarians who are (either literally or emotionally) still sophomores in college?"

Which says several things:

Sophomores in college are emotionally stupid, whereas stupid means insecure and self-loathing contrarians, and an overall negative connotation associated with their intelligence, articulation, and so on.

Someone who is literally a sophomore in college posseses the above qualities.

If your intent was to rather make a statistical suggestion about the probablity of insecure and self-loathing contrarians on MeFi to be sophomores, then by all means, do the research and prove it.

Otherwise, use a different qualifier, or leave off sophomores in college altogether. Younger people don't appreciate any more than gay people like their lifestyle being used as an insult. (i.e., "You're gay!" as an insult)

If you want to say that you are "old" at 27, and that you possesss "antiquated ideas", then by all means, self-incriminate. I for one refuse to make assumptions about intelligence or verbosity based on age. But you are more than welcome to expose yourself as being possessed of said qualities.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:51 PM on December 11, 2002


That's funny, if the word "evil" doesn't really mean anything then, why not just call them the "Axis of Wankers"? It's much funnier, and it doesn't really mean anything, right? How about the "Axis of Doss C*nts", sounds a little snotty, but all in good fun, no?

Exactly. Well done for getting my point hama7.
posted by Summer at 3:06 AM on December 12, 2002


If you want to say that you are "old" at 27, and that you possesss "antiquated ideas", then by all means, self-incriminate. I for one refuse to make assumptions about intelligence...

What the hell are you talking about? Your peurile ranting is where I got the quotes from!

And to think my comment was basically, initially a rib, until you came along and confirmed all of it.
posted by dhoyt at 6:17 AM on December 12, 2002


Evil! Good! Black! White! Huzzah!
posted by digiboy at 6:21 AM on December 12, 2002


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