Objects in the “Apadana” reliefs at Persepolis: armlets, bowls, and amphorae with griffin handles are given as tribute. (from here)

“Tribute” is a complicated word. Why? Well, tribute is generally collected by the ruling class, and when our rulers are doing something inglorious they don’t want us to know it.

Here is the origin of the term.

tribute (n.)Look up tribute at Dictionary.commid-14c., “stated sum of money or other valuable consideration paid by one ruler or country to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of peace or protection,” from Anglo-French tribute, Old French tribut and directly from Latin tributum “tribute, a stated payment, a thing contributed or paid,” noun use of neuter of tributus, past participle of tribuere “to pay, assign, grant,” also “allot among the tribes or to a tribe,” from tribus (see tribe). Sense of “offering, gift, token” is first recorded 1580s.

What have politicians done to the word “tribute”? Here is today’s primary definition.

tribute (n) a gift, testimonial, compliment, or the like, given as due or in acknowledgment of gratitude or esteem.

“Tribute” is now a good thing? Is it not remarkable how our leaders can fool with our heads?

Of course, when politicians are at their best they don’t call paying tribute to the terrorists who demand money and other valuables tribute. Nope! For the sake of peace, they just made a great deal. Unfortunately, lots of otherwise intelligent people accept this malarkey as wisdom. Consider how Doug (FPS/ proposes to solve WMD problem posed by the evil dictator of North Korea.

Bottom line… we need to solve this issue NOW… and forget all the speculation as to “when” he might get the technology.  Just assume he will… and start now to induce him into not wanting to use it.  Do what America does best…. give him the respect he wants… and… BUY HIM OUT!  I am sure once the Chinese realize we are willing to put on the table an American withdrawal from the South they will suddenly get involved in helping us solve the problem. (from here)

BUY HIM OUT? Sounds like a powerful statement, but it is a euphemism for paying tribute (an act of weakness) to an evil and dangerous thug. To top it off thinks it makes sense to allow ourselves to be intimidated and withdraw support for an ally. Hence, we would withdraw our troops from South Korea.

Is there any reason to believe ‘s idea could work? No. We have tried to buy out previous North Korean dictators. In 1994 the Clinton administration tried to buy out the North Korean dictator (see Agreed Framework and The Clinton Nuclear Deal with Pyongyang: Road Map to Progress or Dead End Street?). Of course, the Clinton administration avoided characterizing the goodies that they gave the thug running North Korea as paying tribute, but that is what they did. They paid tribute to a thug. Ultimately, they got nothing in return. Thugs don’t give up anything to people they deem weak.

Just how gullible are our leaders? When it comes to paying tribute to thugs, just how gullible are we? Well, here is a more blatant example. The United States and the Israelis help to finance The Palestinian Authority (PLA). Instead of tribute, we call what we give these thugs foreign aid. How do PLA thugs spend “their” money?

The Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, gives financial rewards for terror attacks. The more people killed in an attack, the higher the financial reward. Families of terrorists receive a pension for life which is triple the average salary in the West Bank, free tuition and health insurance, a clothing allowance, and a monthly stipend.

In 2016, the PA paid $135 million to terrorists jailed in Israel, and $183 million to families of terrorists. That adds up to more than $300 million to reward and incentivize acts of murder — in one year alone. (from here)

Fortunately, Doug Lamborn, the Republican U.S. representative from Colorado, and Elazar Stern a member of Israel’s  Knesset, are sponsoring bills to stop funding the PLA until they stop compensating terrorism. However, the fact remains our leaders don’t seem to have much trouble giving our money to evil thugs. Given what we know of the character and motives of the people who run North Korea and the PLA, why are we giving them any money at all? Why, with the most powerful military forces in the world, do we to pay tribute to evil men?

Matthew 7:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Why don’t our leaders have trouble paying tribute to evil men? Perhaps it is because they do it all the time. When they redistribute our wealth, they pay tribute. They pay off the voters whose votes they bought, and they pay off the donors who contributed to their campaigns.

14 thoughts on “PAYING TRIBUTE FOR “PEACE”

  1. Hmmm…paying tribute for peace sounds just like piracy.

    Reminds me of when the US was paying tribute to the Barbary pirates to the sum of millions of dollars back in the 1790’s. Then, when Thomas Jefferson became president, he used the money to build a military force and put an end to the piracy (which became our Marine Corp.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know what the solution is to North Korea, but I do know you cannot properly negotiate with a mad man by assuming their actions will be reasonable as compared to how a “normal” person would respond. Any strategic discussions must bear this in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What we would be negotiating is whether North Korea can build nuclear-tipped ICBMs so that a bunch of gangsters can blackmail is with them. That’s negotiable? The amazing thing is that some people think it s.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll tell you why but you may not like what I will say about the USA keeping 20,000 troops in NK.

    Our troops presence is supposed to be a deterrent warning that if NK invades SK, the USA will become involved in the conflict.

    However, the real truth is the USA believes that 20,000 American soldiers lives are worth sacrificing in order to prevent NK from invading SK. It does not seem to bother USA politicians that if NK invades SK with their million man army that the 20,000 American soldiers will be easily out manned and probably many will die or be captured as ransom.

    At least the Romans who occupied a country to keep the peace were paid a tribute by the country they policed.

    However, the USA thinks nothing of borrowing money to pay for USA troops expense.

    Wise of foolish? You decide.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, yeah.. that’s the official reason we have 20,000 troops there.. as some deterant if the North invades. But that threat vanished long ago when the South built up their own military and can easily muster over a million because the population in the South is greater. Man-for-man our 20,000 there is by far greater at its combat effectiveness over the North on technology alone. According to Wiki there’s 600,000+ active and 3 million in reserve… and also technologically more superior than the North. Given the weaponry on both sides, it’s not like the Korean War where truckloads of hordes of commies crossed the border in massive frontal assaults. The North has no tactical battlefield nukes (yet) so the South could decimate invading hordes pretty effectively… while the North is concentrating on knocking down pretty skyscrapers in Seoul using artillery that’s exposing their positions. For sure lots of people will die and Seoul will be a mess… but the South would win.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sounds good. Almost as good as President Busth assured everyone that his Iraq invasion was victorious on the ship.

        In my opinion, the USA troops presence in SK can be compared to an ancient rite called a “sacrificial offering.”

        We are policing the world for some “noble” reason and being both applauded and laughed at for borrowing money to pay for it by the countries our troops are stationed.

        Wise of foolish, You decide. I already have and consider it to be the term King Solomon used. Madness and Folly.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.


        Liked by 1 person

    2. Don’t disagree. I would just observe that we are dealing with a problem we did not create.

      As a practical matter, we cannot afford to maintain a larger force in South Korea. So we are dependent upon South Korea defending itself. I doubt the South Korean army would be easily overrun, especially after South Korea and the USA established air superiority and started bombing runs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Actually, I appreciate your disagreement. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage… Hold your friends close, but your enemies closer. By bringing NK to the table with the adults.. open trade and full relations.. you expose them to becoming more dependent on the trading partners. You also, over time, will be making that brain-washed populace aware of the outside world and thusly force change in government from within. And… having diplomatic offices we are finally given a direct presence within the country to monitor things. You have it kinda very wrong if you presume my suggestion is anything like some surrender or appeasement or paying Kim homage. We are doing what it takes to keep him from pushing the button by overwhelming him with participating with the world. It doesn’t matter one tinker’s damn what he wants to tell his own people.. he can tell them the great America surrendered to the Dear Leader for all we care. They will wake up soon enough and force change from within.

    Now… the other option, if you feel my suggestion is not practical… is just invade NK once and for all and remove the guy, solve the problem, screw any limited casualties on the South and our own casualties under the idea that freedom costs. Then we can pick up the pieces as usual for decades to come.

    But i still ask the questions….
    1. Why the hell are there 20,000 U.S. military in South Korea when they have a great world economy and total ability to defend themselves that far exceeds the North?
    2. Why the hell are there 50,000 U.S. military in Japan… when they, also, are more than capable of handling themselves?


    1. @Doug

      Thanks for taking disagreement so well. Lots of people don’t.

      Whether or not North Korea wants to open up to the rest of the world is not something we can control. The tyrant running the place and the Chinese government are the only people who can open up that isolated place.

      Look at China. To enrich themselves, the leaders of that country finally invited the rest of the world into the place. Their choice; not our choice. Now the rulers have more trouble controlling the populace. Ignorant slaves may not be as useful, but they are easier to dominate. Therefore, North Korea’s tyrant may choose to keep his slaves ignorant.

      Our immediate problem is to keep the tyrant running North Korea from lobbing nukes at us. Paying him tribute of any sort will most likely encourage more of the bad behavior that caused us to pay him tribute. The logic of that is airtight.

      I don’t have an easy solution. There isn’t one. I think our best solution is to use trade policy to force China to rein in North Korea. We basically have to accept the fact that North Korea is a province of China. I doubt that will please either China or North Korea, but there is nothing to be gained to by talking to North Korea.

      Why do we have troops in South Korea and Japan. Neither of these nations have nukes. The presence of our troops has been a guarantee we will protect these two nations from Russia and China, two nations with nukes. Now it looks like we can add North Korea to that list.

      Trump suggested we ought to get South Korea and Japan to pay the cost of keeping our troops in their countries. Maybe we should, but we also benefit by having our forces in theater. There is something to be said for fighting our battles OUTSIDE our own borders.


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