Trump’s Gambit   3 comments

Okay, I could choose to be embarrassed that the President of the United States responded in kind to threats from North Korea’s petulant child of a tinpot dictator. Promising “fire and fury” really does sound like a schoolyard threat.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/09/north-korea-us-airbase-guam-trump-fire-fury

And, maybe if I’d voted for Hillary Clinton, I’d surmise on how much better she would handle it … choosing to ignore that the Obama administration expanded two wars and got involved in at least four others while she was Secretary of State. For the record, in case you are unfamiliar with the cabinet secretary functions, the role of the Secretary of State is to, as far as possible, keep us out of war. Negotiation is a key part of the job. Since the US war footing expanded greatly during her tenure as Secretary of State, we can rightfully say she was a failure as Secretary of State.

Image result for image of north korea threatening guamYes, she would have issued a statement along the same lines as Barack Obama’s lukewarm admonitions to Kim Jong-Un, something like:

“You shouldn’t threaten other countries. We’re going to get tough and refuse to trade with you so your people can be even more starved than they are now, but you can continue getting more portly. Be a good little dictator now and run along. Go back to playing with your nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and leave the adults alone.”

You get my point? Past presidents at least since as far back as Bush 1 have treated Pyongyang like wayward children and the paternalism is probably one reason why Kim acts up. The other BIG reason is that he is the leader of a starving nation with a lot of enemies and he feels threatened, so he threatens loudly and talks big about what little he can do against us.

He can’t hit the US with a nuclear payload. His missiles can’t carry a payload … at all … yet. He could hit Alaska with an unarmed missile, but nobody would notice the difference in the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. It’s already been devastated by volcanoes, so there’s no risk to a national treasure. So why are we acting like the 4-pound cat is a danger to us? They aren’t even really a danger to Guam (which the Guam governor acknowledges”, although an unarmed missile would do some damage, assuming that THAAD battery in Guam didn’t take it down before it hit.

I’ve said before, the best thing we could do is get off North Korea’s back and let the organic movement toward reunification with South Korea slowly work itself out. The more the US interferes in the internal workings of Pyongyang, the more likely we are to cause a reaction with negative consequences. Puffing himself up and threatening something he hasn’t got the means to do is not an actual reaction that we should arm up for.

Frankly, when I hear US Presidents deliver their worn-out, “don’t threat us, we might starve your people some more” speech, I’m frankly embarrassed by the ineffectiveness of a powerful nation like the US tut-tutting an insignificant little country. It’s kind of like how I feel about our military getting our asses handed to us in Afganistan and Iraq … or for that matter, Vietnam. Are we stupid? Clearly it’s not that we can’t win these conflicts … it’s that we don’t try to win them … so why do we even get into them?

I’m also embarrassed that the government of the United States has used its sanction power to starve the people of North Korea. Really, you don’t think that works in Kim’s favor? Of course it does.

So President Trump threatened “fury and fire”. He gave Kim the same basketball trashtalk that the North Korean dictator has been spouting for years. It’s a little embarrassing that our President isn’t more grown up than that, but again … what is the real difference between that and the ineffectual pronouncements of Barack Obama and his predecessors? If we’re talking about outcome, there isn’t any. Pyongyang will continue to bristle and threaten until we back off and give them some breathing space and maybe allow some food shipments into the country. If Kim’s subjects weren’t starving, maybe they’d have the energy to plot a coup and take care of their own problem.

Just a thought. And, for all you Trump supporters out there who are so excited that your President is finally talking tough with the child-man of Pyongyang … President Trump appears to be making threats that he’d have to be a crazy man to actually do, so … yeah, not really very effective … anymore than Hillary Clinton would have been. So, there you have it … balanced analysis.

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3 responses to “Trump’s Gambit

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  1. You make a valid point. However it only addresses the surface or the apparent. The real goal is against China. Economic sanctions aimed at Pyongyang will lead to increasing sanctions against Beijing when they break their agreement according to their own vote in the UN. A trade war with China just may slow their expansionism in S. Asia and other places. About the tweets or any tweets at all — boy, I don’t know. These are just my thoughts.

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  2. On that tweet…
    [Transcript] QUESTION: “Mr. Secretary, President Trump said that North Korea’s threats against the United States, if they continue, will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen before. Is this part of a diplomatic strategy or did you find those remarks to be unhelpful?”

    SECRETARY TILLERSON: [skip]…

    “And so I think in response to that, North Korea’s rhetoric has just ratcheted up louder and louder and more threatening. So I think the President – what the President is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language. I think the President just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S. unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part.”

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  3. Kim is probably familiar with basketball trash talk. Maybe if we respond in kind, he’ll think we’re talking him seriously now. I don’t know. He really is a childish fool and I doubt his generals are going to let him start a real war with the US … anymore than I think the Joint Chiefs would allow Trump to start a war that might set off China.

    I take your meaning about this being a proxy conflict, but I think we need to be aware that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on. I’m really beginning to believe that all the governments are in collusion to make us afraid so we will keep them in power. It’s like 1984 – shifting enemies to keep people from seeing the truth. It’s not in China’s best interest to get into a shooting war with us anymore than it is in our best interest to get into a shooting war with China. We have a better chance of winning a trade war, but with a $21 trillion monkey on our collective backs, maybe not. Got to wonder if we were maneuvered by our last two presidents into a position where we are essentially the British Empire post-World War 2. We can’t afford to continue as we have. We need to find better ways than bullying the rest of the world before the rest of the world realizes that we don’t have the economic capacity to back up our threats.

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