The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Monday, October 30, 2006

More on North Korean Nuclear Weapons

Here is a draft of my conclusion to an article on North Korea's nuclear weapons that will appear in this week's issue of Strategy Gazette. The article draws from my recent post on the topic.

In reality, there is only so much that the United States could do, on its own or even in combination with Japan, Russia and China, to permanently disarm North Korea of nuclear weapons. Now possessed with an atomic deterrent, North Korea is one step beyond the type of fast-moving, low-cost military operation of the kind that actually changed the regime in Iraq during March and April 2003. Frankly, the time to use a military solution to solve the outstanding Cold War hangover of the Korean peninsula was in the early 1990s, before the 1994 Agreed Framework that ended the first crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons development. Then, diplomatic stars and military correlations aligned for regime change. Even in 2002, regime change could have been feasible, but that was before North Korea, by best estimates, had a functioning nuclear weapon. The war in Iraq has taken the option of a military solution away from U.S. policymakers.

The solution to all outstanding Korea political issues depends on the Koreans themselves. South Korea is the key to preventing nuclear brinkmanship or even nuclear war on the peninsula. North or south, they are after all, all Koreans. Prior to sixty years ago, all Koreans had the same heritage, the same historical experience, a homogenous culture, a common language, similar national dreams, and ambitions for independence and prosperity. The division created by differences of political opinion, and even more, the rule of intensely unbalanced, deranged leaders both north and south, created the line of division across the middle of Korea. Yet, the two Korean nations have a common destiny. They will either live together in peace or destroy each other in war.

If the problem in Korea is personalities and politics, then the solution required is principle and policy. South Korea is the more attractive country under all Koreans would want to live. North Korea is entrenched in a totalitarian nightmare of Orwellian and Kafka-esque proportions. Yet, South Korea, not the Six Party Talks, not Japan, China, Russia, or the U.S., is the only true solution the problem of North Korea, particularly the problem of its nuclear weapons. Would it be far-fetched if South Korea could bribe North Korea’s military leadership to overthrow Kim Jong-Il, and then let them quietly expatriate themselves to some island paradise as multi-millionaire exiles? Would such a policy work? Would a few billion dollars in kick-backs, and trillions of dollars in investment in north Korea be worth saving two or three million lives? In saving lives, it would be worth it. Is such a blatant political buy off feasible? Would it work? Perhaps both answers are: yes, it would work. The solution to this particular problem of proliferation will be unique to its own logic and circumstance. There must be creative, political ways to solve the larger issue of North Korea. The solution that does work may not work elsewhere. The U.S. cannot afford to have only the choice of military prevention or preemption. Russia and China would not approve of one. Japan may not be patient enough to wait for anything except that. It is time for the Korean war to end. It is time to end the last, unresolved hot battle of the Cold War. It is time for Korea, north and south, to confront its reality, accept the consequences of past and future actions, and begin to recover from its bitter, senseless conflict.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A 2003 Essay on Iraq and Afghanistan

Here is an August 22, 2003 Letter to the Editor of mine that was published in several western Wisconsin newspapers in early Sept. 2003. I think we've come to see several things become reality. Instead of where I talk about President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, just insert the Republicans majority in Congress in the 2006 mid-term elections. I'm not trying to "tell anyone so" post facto, but I put it here to show that the problems this letter and other Club documents pointed out, some now 5 years ago, have not been resolved. The questions and problems pointed out then should show us what? That the leadership has consistently failed, are still failing for the same reasons? That they need to be replaced? Or that we have been dealing with timeless problems of the political and military policy of this war, problems that need resolution. I hope people will comment on this entry.

22 August 2003
Dear Editor,
America has not yet won the global war against terrorism. Most citizens realize that much struggle remains between our country and the enemy who seeks our total destruction. But how would we define a victory? Can we win with the current foreign policy?

The war with and occupation of Iraq gives some useful insight on these questions. We were told before the war started that the arrest or death of Saddam Hussein and his sons, the destruction of the Republican Guard, the end of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities, and the capture of Baghdad and Tikrit were the primary military objectives. Complete regime change was the ultimate political objective, apparently to result in a democratic government and the economic reconstruction of Iraq. As far as the military objectives, only the arrest or death of Saddam Hussein remains unresolved. All other goals were met. (The end of Iraq's mass destructive weapons came by default)

Over one hundred days after President Bush declared "mission accomplished" the reports of dead and wounded continue on a daily basis. The American Government denies the existence of a guerilla war, saying the attacks on our armed forces come from "uncoordinated" "terrorist." That's how guerillas fight No matter what word play the United States' policy makers try for public relations effect, another national war of liberation is in the process of exploding in the Middle East.

Afghanistan presents another example of the problem of defining victory in the multi-front war against terrorism. The Taliban government fell in December 2001, retreated, and regrouped. Now the Taliban make ever bolder attacks against the transition government's authority. The Taliban attacks aim to show the Afghani population that only they can provide stability.
The worst-case scenarios for both Iraq and Afghanistan would take the form of mass, organized or spontaneous, attacks against coalition and NATO forces Such an offensive, if successful, might have an effect similar to the 1968 Communist Tet Offensive in Vietnam. How would Americans react to 100 American deaths over a three day period? What would happen in terms of popular support for the occupation of Iraq? What about Bush's re-election campaign? God, protect our troops from this probability

Evil men brought upon us the war with terrorism. We must understand why we seem to be failing now, and correct the mistakes. The foreign policy elite in charge of our grand strategy have a well-documented record, before taking office and since then, of wanting to militarily dominate the Middle East. Only a shameless apologist would deny the role the special oil interest plays in our policies so far in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a two-party problem that must change. Too many lives have been sacrificed already because America has not implemented a policy of positive economic and cultural growth with others. Unless we devise a political policy other than the complete destruction of the Muslim religion we will fight this war forever. We must change our leadership.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Club Report–Oct. 18, 2006

Things are going well in The Cepia Club. As everyone can see by reading this blog, we have been busy the last month posting current events commentary and analysis on the Clublog. We hope people find it enlightening and useful. In July, Club Friend Smitty suggested we might put more “interesting” things on the Clublog instead of the dreary minutia of our activities. So far, I know of only two people who have been reading the blog, Smitty and one of my political friends. They both thought it was becoming a better blog. They especially liked the movie and book postings. Yet, we still need to do Club Reports such as this current posting from time to time.

The past year I have been volunteering for a non-profit corporation and serving on the actual board of directors since early August. This entire 12 and a half months of work as a member of the host committee and the board of directors has been devoted to putting on an annual convention for 500 people. Well, two days from now is D-Day. It has consumed a lot of time and energy, especially the last three months. In serving this worthy non-profit, I have learned invaluable skills, about working with others as a team, what I’m capable of doing, and about event planning and execution in particular. I look forward to a future time when the Club can put on its own “big show.” We had mini-conventions in 1998 and 1999. I think four people showed up both years. They were relative successes for where were at and for what we were trying to do. The Cepia Club and I have grown in many ways since then. A Club convention may be in the works two or three years in the future.

The Club is publishing Pi Kielty’s collection of writings, “The Mad Tales.” The book is in post-production and finalization. We have a target release date of Halloween. We may have to miss that by a week until Nov. 7th. We are taking pre-orders. Email us at if you are interested in ordering “The Mad Tales.” The Club will also be selling a new T-shirt in time for Christmas with an image and quote of Edmund Burke. Details of the T-shirt can be found in a couple of weeks on the website, , on the Store page.

The Club website is still largely under reconstruction. We are actually now calling it “under procrastination.” There just hasn’t been much time or expertise on my part to get the job done the last three months (with my non-profit work a major reason for the limited time). Beginning next week, we will be working on site, beginning with the Publications page.

The third issue of “Strategy Gazette” is in production. We have a target date set for Nov. 1st, which we should have no problem meeting. We are always looking for advertisers who conform to “The Cepia Club’s Family Standard” to help us finance production of this and future issues of the Gazette. Please let us know. Again, check the website once it is completely updated for more info on advertising in the Gazette and in other Club publications.

The Cepia Club’s business plan is in advanced review and revision stage. We have been working on it frequently since late June. It is now 41 pages of text. We are currently working on the production and incorporation of graphics, diagrams, and charts. Later, we will add a financial annex dealing with projections and statements. The current “Club 21" paper we consider a more permanent strategic guidance. The financial annex will be left a separate part of the business plan for updating and revision once we’ve finalize the heart of the game plan for our initial 3 years of operation. We may do some additions to the current main text for things like personnel, sales strategies, and appendices for things like Club applications and sample contracts. As always, we are obsessed by our own imperfection and are trying to do a perfect job. By the time the project ends, we will all be ready to be “just good enough for now.”

The Club has been building and revising our databases for different activities. Slowly, we are building detailed information to use in our activities.

Well, as you can see, all is going fairly steady here at The Cepia Club. 2006 has been a year of considerable growth, in all aspects, particularly in gaining experience. We will go into 2007 expecting even better things to happen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea and Nuclear Weapons

[The posting that follows is an extract from an article that will appear in the next issue of The Cepia Club's "Strategy Gazette" on Nov. 1, 2006]

If the Oct. 8, 2006 test of a nuclear weapon by North Korea did indeed happen, then we need to look at some facts concerning nuclear weapons, their politics, and the military policy behind them.

Thus far, only highly advanced, “third generation” industrial societies have had the technology and skills to create a combination of multiple hydrogen weapons small enough to fit on the end of a ballistic missile or into an artillery shell. China is perhaps the poor partner in this type of capability enjoyed by five other existing nuclear powers–the U.S., Great Britain, France, Russia, and Israel. India and Pakistan are reported to have fission weapons, most of which are deliverable by high performance jet aircraft.

It is reasonable to conclude that the North Koreans tested a normal fission weapon, of rather large size, using a shaped conventional explosive charge, in the 20 kiloton range. The North Koreans may not yet have the technology or skills to miniaturize their weapons for delivery on missiles, or possibly even high performance aircraft. They could easily use what they’ve got as a atomic land-mine. Furthermore, after the July 4, 2006, missile test failures, North Korea may not even have a missile capable of delivering a weapon, at least to the United States’ western seaboard. North Korea, if it could miniaturize a warhead for a missile, could conceivably place it on a missile of the proven and rugged SCUD variety which could reach the central areas of Japan (including Hiroshima), and South Korea, China or Russia.

The key questions is: Is North Korea a rational actor who can calculate that self-survival depends on not using nuclear weapons? That is a question that has caused and will cause great debate. The Six Party talks on North Korean nuclear weapons composing the nations of North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States seemed to give North Korea the opportunity to stall a resolution until they had a fully functioning and tested nuclear device. While one nation, South Africa, actually gave up nuclear weapons 15 years ago, no other nation that achieved nuclear capability ever disarmed itself. With Iran following much the same suspected, though not confirmed, formula in its nuclear research, the balance of interest in the world of politics has shifted.

First, the U.S. and Japan must continue their collaboration on ballistic missile defenses. Second, the U.S. should fully deploy its own BMD infrastructure and system on an accelerated schedule. Third, there must be a complete quarantine of North Korea–nothing but food goes in, nothing comes out. This includes both a land- and sea-blockade. This option is only possible with the full consent of Russia and China, something that won’t be easy to get. Perhaps the U.S. and NATO could barter time and talks on Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for immediate, powerful, effective action on North Korea. All things being equal, Iran is, hopefully, far away from obtaining weapons, if it indeed desires them. North Korea is also less rational and less sophisticated a society than Iran: Iran could be trusted with a rational calculation of self-survival, whereas Korea’s rationality is doubtful. Fourth, there must be a blanket guarantee by the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France in a perfect union of agreement that a nuclear device used aggressively by any nation against a second nation is an attack on all humanity. That declaration would contain retaliation by these permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Fifth, North Korea’s communist leadership and its military must be undermined by covert political means, which includes not-yet-devised methods of espionage, public relations, sanctions, etc.–generally anything that would discredit the communist leadership and alienate it from the world and its own citizens. And, finally, sixth, South Korea must immediately enter into “urgent” talks with North Korea, with the aims of permanently ending the 1950-53 war by treaty, complete demilitarization of both countries, and a feasible, full unification.

These are the first steps to resolution. Many more would probably be needed or feasible.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Not Publicized Regarding Latest Terrorism Bill

It is not publicized, but the new terrorism bill regarding interrogations, etc. engineered by McCain, et al., apparently has a leaping loophole against liberty. In the Mon., Oct. 2, 2006, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Yale law and political science professor, Bruce Ackerman, said in an op-ed article (written for the L.A. Times): “The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into MILITARY PRISON [emphasis added], they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights” (p. 12B).

On the surface, this provision, explains Ackerman, is to prevent U.S. citizens, natural-born or naturalized, and resident aliens, from donating money to terrorist or terrorist-linked organizations. It has been reported widely that the bill also allows the government to hold legal non-citizen residents without a writ of habeas corpus.

Is it a wise move to grant the executive branch the power to designate an American citizen on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” subject to military justice? No, because it is not in the interest of liberty, freedom, or truth to establish the power to arbitrarily deprive anyone, especially native-born citizens, the rights and protections of the U.S. Constitution. In my opinion, this is power granted to political leaders who have the potential to arrest and detain without due process actual or potential critics of their leadership. The bill language (which I have not read) may not have intended this scenario, but there are always unintended consequences of delegating unchecked authority to any human beings. If Ackerman’s interpretation is correct, this opens our entire society to the “king’s Law” as it existed before 1215 and the Magna Carta.

There are examples of granting such unlimited authority. The power to arrest is the power to crush–crush dissent, criticism, opposition, even moral disobedience. Our own Alien and Sedition acts in the 1790s, the Espionage Act in World War I, Stalin’s writ to try and execute his enemies, “emergency” powers granted to Hitler after the Reichstag fire, and the detention of Americans of Japanese dissent are examples of such consequences.

Is America in danger of tyranny? Yes, if we continue to act on fear and not on reason. The terrorism bill, however intended, for this one reason alone, is why we have a Constitution and the Bill of Rights–to protect our natural, god-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Only a due process of law, on an individual, not aggregate basis, is the only way to determine guilt and assign punishment. The U.S. Constitution and the Amendments define due process. If we have traitors among us, then let us be equal to our expectations for ourselves. If we are good, right, unified, and strong, we will prevail against anyone. We do not need to abandon the rules god gave us to live with each other.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More on Recent Afghanistan War News

[Refer to the Clublog postings on Mon., Sept. 25th and Tue., Sept. 26th, 2006 for details related to this posting.]

On Fri., Sept. 29, 2006, the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press reported that on Thur. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld agreed to put U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan under NATO command. This announcement occurred at last week’s NATO Defense Ministers meeting. A question in the two previous Clublog postings mentioned above is clarified by Rumsfeld’s announcement. The Pioneer Press article says 10,000 U.S. troops in the country, “including Special Operations units” would remain under “exclusive U.S. control.” As we pointed out Mon. the 25th, U.S. Special Operations Command, a U.S. military joint force command (similar to Central Command as one of nine unified commands in world, but a functional, not geographical area command) has been the U.S. lead agency in fighting the war on terror. Meanwhile, 11,000 other U.S. troops currently deployed in the Afghan theater of operations will be under the day-to-day control of a U.S. major general but under the ultimate command of British Lt. General David J. Richards, the designated NATO commander in Afghanistan. Finally, the article reports that the U.S. four-star general, Daniel F. McNeil, who was nominated by President Bush as the NATO joint force commander in Afghanistan to replace Lt. Gen. Richards, will not assume his duties until Feb.

While these developments are progress, our earlier concerns about U.S. special operating forces is a large gaping question, more apparent now after the news on Fri. Are keeping these forces separate from the command and control of the theater commander a wise decision? We are not qualified to answer that question, but it will be an important factor in fighting the latest offensives of the Taliban-al Qaeda forces in south and eastern Afghanistan. Principles are principles for a reason. As doctrine, they are proven to work in almost every situation.

We here at The Cepia Club have no qualms about USSOCCOM being the lead agency in the world-wide war against the terrorists. That makes perfect sense. But will violating one of the cardinal principles of American military doctrine, the unity of command, in a hot war in Afghanistan, be a benefit or a detriment? Another question that bugs me, particularly: Why hasn’t anyone in the mainstream media ever questioned this before we did in early August (a month before we publicized it) when we noticed that “NATO forces” and the “U.S.-led coalition” in Afghanistan were always talked about as separate entities? The Cepia Club is a rather amateur observer. If we noticed it and the problems it creates, shouldn’t it be obvious to smarter people?