by William Teach | August 10, 2017 8:06 am
We shouldn’t be surprised that the Editorial Board of the NY Times has chimed in on President Trump’s bellicose comments on North Korea threats, and come down on the side of finding fault. They were very enthused by many of Obama’s bellicose statements, such as against Osama bib Laden, al Qaeda, and setting the “red line” for Syria (they were much less enthused when Obama failed to uphold said red line). They also had zero problem with Obama making pretty much everything about himself. But, hey, they have to #Resist Trump
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Fears of Missiles, and Words
On some emotional level, one might be able to see why Donald Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangered the United States. The North’s nuclear program is a growing menace, its warmongering tirades are unquestionably unnerving, and peaceful solutions to the threat it poses have been maddeningly elusive over many years and many American administrations.
But Mr. Trump is president of the United States, and if prudent, disciplined leadership was ever required, it is now. Rhetorically stomping his feet, as he did on Tuesday, is not just irresponsible; it is dangerous. He is no longer a businessman trying to browbeat someone into a deal. He commands the most powerful nuclear and conventional arsenal in the world, and any miscalculation could be catastrophic.
You can see where this is going: all blame. God forbid the NY Times stand behind the president, as you know they would had it been Hillary or Obama making the statement.
Mr. Trump and his aides must have anticipated that he would be asked by reporters about North Korea after the United Nations Security Council tightened sanctions on Saturday after the North’s latest missile tests. Why, then, didn’t his team of generals — John Kelly, the new chief of staff; Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser; and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, who know well the perils of war — caution him about the role of nuclear weapons in national security strategy, about better ways to signal toughness and about the dangers of idle threats?
Except, Mr. Trump made no mention of using nuclear weapons. It might be implied, but, the U.S. is quite able to reign “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” with conventional weapons.
Since Truman, presidents have largely avoided the kind of militaristic threats issued by Mr. Trump because they feared such language could escalate a crisis.
It worked well in Reagan’s case, where the Soviet Union started disintegrating under his watch. How’s it worked out in North Korea’s case? How have those sanctions worked? Anyhow, here’s where it gets funny
Mr. Trump has again made himself the focus of attention, when it should be Kim Jong-un, the ruthless North Korean leader, and his accelerating nuclear program that, The Washington Post reported, may have succeeded in miniaturizing a warhead to fit on a missile and may have accumulated as many as 60 nuclear weapons. Mr. Trump’s threats have also diverted attention from a genuine accomplishment, the new Security Council sanctions.
There was never this concern when Obama made everything about himself. Always talking about “I”, including himself in photos of things. And Democrats, including the editorial board of the NY Times, screamed like girls at a Beatles concert. Of course, the “making it about himself” thing is only a thought in the martini sipping boardrooms of Liberal Land, while the rest are saying “good job, Mr. President, stand tough for the United States.” The NYTEB would have surely said the same thing if it was President Trump threatening Adolph Hitler in this manner pre-WWII.
Tougher sanctions, coupled with Mr. Tillerson’s continued efforts at a diplomatic solution, are the best path to a peaceful end to this conflict. That is what Mr. Trump should also be focused on. Engaging in a war of words with North Korea only makes it harder for both sides to de-escalate.
Again, how have those calm words coupled with sanctions worked out? No one wants war. It would be devastating. The U.S. would be pretty much fine, but, millions to tens of millions could be killed, what with Seoul, South Korea, being 30 miles south of the DMZ, with over 25 million in range of regular, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Perhaps it’s time to try the forceful tact.
Of course, this is the same paper that allowed Susan Rice, who lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi, and failed spectacularly when it comes to North Korea, to write an op-ed on North Korea.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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