Reliable Security Information

Cult of EMP Crazy in the Koreas plus a few notes on weapons and China

The western press always inflates stories of electromagnetic pulse rays and bombs. They are the fabulous weapons that are always coming -- almost twenty years now -- but never quite arriving. This is in accordance with the rule of law.

A four paragraph newspaper story in a Korean newspaper story earlier in the week triggered the latest round of promises. South Korea, said one SK military man, had an electromagnetic pulse bomb. And I have a Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster. (Well, one of these actually exists.)

Here's the piece, from the Chosun Ilbo.

Keep in mind that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (except in the case of the Iraq war or statements to the effect that "we're broke").

In electromagnetic pulse bomb stories, just the opposite holds true.

Since the early Nineties, any and all claims can be aired in the western press about the existence of non-nuclear EMP bombs. And none of them have to be true. It's a free-fly zone for fictions.

The collateral result: Tons of fun computers games, some big budget movies, countless telemovies and loads of tv adventure shows, some airing this season, using electromagnetic pulse bombs as plot devices.

For example, if you're a script writer and are asked to make all electronic devices fail at once so something bad or good can be allowed to proceed, you take the literary EMP bomb out of the writer's toolbox.

But none exist in the real world unless you count the ridiculous homemade things on YouTube. Sure, the military has conducted tests of such 'bombs.' And they don't work in any interesting manner. They fizzle when they get beyond the warm care of their creator's press releases and hopes.

However, when that happens reality only gets more twisted. Failure was long ago redefined as success.

The Chosun Ilbo newspaper story took a couple days to get noticed. However, now the electromagnetic pulse bomb stories are starting to roll in courtesy of the rest of the western press.

"North Korea Nears Completion of Electromagnetic Pulse Bomb," reads a story from ABC news today, one with no significant evidence.

"North Kores appears to be protesting the joint U.S. and South Korean military maneuvers by jamming Global Positioning Devices in the south, which is a nuisance for cell phone and computers users -- but is a hint of the looming menace for the military," reads the lede, rather lamely.

Nuisance jamming, in the context of the story, means electromagnetic pulse bombs are on the way.

"The scope of the damage has been minimal, putting some mobile phones and certain military equipment that use GPS signals on the fritz." it continues.

On the fritz. Sounds serious.

Then, voila, we go from nuisance jamming to using an undefined as such atmospheric atomic explosion:

The North is believed to be nearing completion of an electromagnetic pulse bomb that, if exploded 25 miles above ground would cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, radio and radar, experts say.

Then the echo from the four paragraph South Korean news story is heard, one confirming the EMP weapon arms race. We have one, too, claims a South Korean military man. Keep in mind South Korean defense high-ups have made a decades-long habit of claiming lots of rubbish in SK newspapers:

Park Chang-kyu of the Agency for Defense Development ... confirmed that South Korea has also developed an advanced electronic device that can be deployed in times of war.

"S. Korea behind North in electronic warfare," warns a related Korean news article.

"We can, and will, use EMP bomb, says South Korea," reads a menacing Australian news article.

"News of EMP attacks has increased of late, on the heels of a documentary called Iranium, which discusses the possibility and fallout of Iran detonating a nuclear device 400km above the USA," it observes.

"News of [electromagnetic pulse attacks] has increased of late, on the heels of a documentary called Iranium, which discusses the possibility and fallout of Iran detonating a nuclear device 400km above the USA," it adds.

At Dick Destiny blog, Iranium was reviewed.

It's "the movie aimed at getting the bombers and cruise missiles flying toward Iran," I wrote. A devastating Iranian atomic electromagnetic pulse bomb attack would end US civilization if they're not stopped, the movie explained. Nine out of ten Americans dead within a year if it happens.

Moving along to more threat and fear-mongering, the US press continues to massage stories on China's alleged rising military and how it poses a so-called regional threat to the biggest armed force in world history -- ours. It doesn't really matter that any ways to war, given the state of the world economy and relationships between the two nations, are implausible.

They are repellent pieces, flying in the face of common sense and evidence as plain as the nose on your face, stocked conveniently in US stores everywhere.

Here's Associated Press, earlier this week, delivering the customary script:

When China launched threatening war games off Taiwan 15 years ago on the eve of an election on the self-governing island, the U.S. deployed two aircraft carriers, and China quickly backed down.

Things don't seem so one-sided any more.

China's military has been on a spending spree at a time that the debt-ridden U.S. government is looking to cut defense costs ...

That trend has triggered worries in Congress and among security analysts about whether the United States can maintain its decades-long military predominance in the economically crucial Asia-Pacific.

While the U.S. military has been drained by 10 years of costly conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, China has developed air, naval and missile capabilities that could undercut U.S. superiority in China's backyard.

There certainly are two places where things are one-sided. One is the growth of the missile, drone, tank and jet aircraft factories of the United States.

The other is all the stores the middle and lower classes shop in where the durable goods are exclusively made in China or some other east Asian nation with equivalently cheap labor. You get one-sided choice.

Now I'm going to ask readers to come along with a little exercise in critical thinking taken from the real world, not the one where "military experts" and generals are sending up smoke signals for more money in the stenographic mainstream press.

Not so long ago I went to a Guitar Center chain store to buy a Line 6 Pocket POD. The Pocket POD is a cheap palm-sized computer that produces studio ready guitar amplifier tones virtually. Line 6 is a US company. However, all its kit, like anything having to do with computers, is made in China.

The first two Pocket PODs were dead right out of the box, one with an obviously defective display, the other with a non-functioning power source. Guitar Center had to eat both of them before the third box I opened had an actual working model in it.

That's Chinese quality control. Most Americans will have already noted that doesn't mean so much in consumer goods when there are no other options. When there are no choices except the sub-standard, flimsy and broke on arrival, they are the new standarda.

Since American labor makes things ten times as expensive as Chinese goods, you can have a well over fifty percent failure rate with the latter, still have a business and turn a profit.

However, this is not a state-of-affairs ready for prime-time in any modern big military, which -- most people have also noticed, are all highly digital and networked in their command and control functions.

Two out of three advanced fighter aircraft with parts of their innards dead even before action are OK when it's all just for show and making news. However, when it's time to meet the enemy for real it might be better to hope you don't have to go into action anytime in the next twenty years.

Since US arms manufacturing is a protected example of socialism for the private sector in which the American government uses the taxpayer to guarantee any and all labor costs. So the ten times cheaper labor thing doesn't have an effect on quality.

Now, if this example of socialism and special protection were ended and magic and innovation of offshoring or die was allowed to hold sway as it does for everyone else, there would be change. We would have to rely on Chinese labor to sustain our current levels of 'sophisticated' weaponry. It's called sarcasm.

Good news, lads! Good news! Chinese military kit is really made in China!

Since all this is broadly about threat and fearmongering, before I leave you today I'll point to a piece on the same matter by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone magazine.

Taibbi has put together a 'Supreme Court' for the determination of whether or not people or things are ass----s.

And last week the court adjudicated fearmongering, in its case relating to the lobbyists and lobbying used to sell a big contract for Rapiscan full-body scanners to the TSA.

The questions before the Rolling Stone blog court and subsequent definition of fearmongering are broadly applicable, as you will see.

The entire piece is here.

The salient content reads:

Court was asked:

1) If you lobby the government to force taxpayers to buy a useless product at great expense, are you automatically an ass----?

2) If you take advantage of and/or stoke widespread cultural fears to make money via government contracting, are you an ass----?


The court voted 7-2 in favor ... [on] the first question ...

On the second question, the court voted 8-1 [in favor, too] ...

Of course, it's only humor. Right?

This content was originally published at Dick Destiny blog.

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