Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Loose Cannons

Via the Washington Post:

Trump used his harshest language yet to warn North Korea on Tuesday that it will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” if it does not stop threatening the United States.

“North Korea best not make any more threats,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is vacationing. Saying that the threats had gone “beyond a normal state,” he twice repeated the “fire and fury” warning.

It was not immediately clear what Trump was responding to. A North Korean military spokesman said Tuesday that Pyongyang was considering a plan to fire missiles at Guam and that it would carry out a preemptive strike if there were any signs of U.S. provocation, Reuters reported, quoting state media.

Earlier in the day, North Korea said it would “ruthlessly take strategic measures involving physical actions,” in the wake of new economic sanctions approved Saturday by the U.N. Security Council. On Monday, Pyongyang threatened retaliation against the United States “thousands of times.”

Trump’s statement also followed a report in The Washington Post that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its ballistic missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power. The report quoted a confidential assessment by U.S. intelligence officials.

Talk about “fire and fury” is the stuff of dictators shouting from a balcony to carefully-marshaled rallies in soccer stadiums, not a hastily-called news conference at a golf club in New Jersey.  Once that kind of threat is made, there is no backing down.

If the hope here is to convince North Korea that our leader is just as much of a warmonger as they are, there’s not much of a chance that either side will decide to discuss it rationally.  The only hope for peace after this kind of crazy talk is for an ally of both sides — China or Russia — to try to calm everyone down.  And that’s where “Dr. Stranglove or: How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” becomes a documentary.

One bark on “Loose Cannons

  1. We used to think North Korea’s leader was a nut with nukes. Now we have our own nuke/nut. Fortunately Tillerson has tried to calm us all saying he’s got this and is moving forward with diplomacy. He’d better . . .

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