Wednesday, August 09, 2017

What an incredibly stupid thing to say

Yesterday Donald Trump threatened in no uncertain terms to use military force against North Korea:
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said at an event at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”  The president then repeated that North Korea “will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” if it continued with this behavior.
Like just about everything the president says, he clearly has not thought this through.  North Korea's justification for its nuclear program is that it is necessary to defend itself against a militarily aggressive United States.  Our main claim to the moral high ground has been that North Korea's fears are unfounded: despite the fact that we could nuke Pyongyang back into the stone age any time we want, we won't because, well, we're the Good Guys, and the Good Guys don't do things like that.

Well, guess what.  Donald Trump just torpedoed that narrative and confirmed North Korea's fears are not paranoid delusions, they are in fact fully justified and grounded in reality: the United States is indeed willing to use military force "the likes of which this world has never seen before" against the DPRK if they don't fall into line and start taking orders from Washington.

Worse, the behavior that Trump says he wants the DPRK to stop is exactly the same behavior that he himself was engaging in when he made his threat.
Given the high stakes, it was unusually aggressive language from a U.S. president. Stranger still, this language has clear echoes to threats made by North Korea to the United States and its allies.  [Emphasis added.]
Why, exactly, is it OK for us to threaten to attack them, and not OK for them to threaten to attack us?

Trump's rhetoric and behavior is becoming indistinguishable from Kim Jong Un's.  Let us pray that both men's threats are empty.  If not, don't say I didn't warn you.

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