Let’s be honest about what’s going on.
Trump saw a slight bump to his abysmal approval ratings after the tomahawk strike on Syria. He’s still got basement-level approval ratings, but at least he’s made it up to the basement, so that’s improvement, and it was just the boost his ego needed.
If 59 tomahawk missiles taking out a cafeteria and a fuel shed could give him that kind of boost, waging war on several fronts – this time North Korea, Russia, and China – should surely blow up his numbers.
That “blow up” thing is what should concern us.
President Trump puffed up on Twitter Tuesday morning, antagonizing both North Korea and China… because that’s what passes as leadership, these days.
I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
Those tweets play out great for Trump’s unhinged base, but the rest of us see the bigger problem.
A Reuters report states that North Korea has received Trump’s message and they have a message of their own.
Not content to let the dust settle from last week’s strike on Syria, Trump has diverted an aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula, in order to flex his muscle.
Endless war and threats of war. All it took was a handful of praise and he has decided that we will challenge the world. His ego must be fed, daily.
“We are sending an Armada. Very powerful,” Trump told Fox Business Network, adding: “We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you.”
Referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump said: “He is doing the wrong thing.” Asked if he thought Kim was mentally fit, Trump replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know him.”
North Korea’s response:
“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,” its official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.
From what we’ve seen of North Korea’s efforts to develop weapons with any real power, they usually fall a bit short.
That doesn’t mean we should take them lightly or think we can use them for a punching bag. That likely won’t gain us any friends.
In spite of the military rhetoric, U.S. officials have previously stressed that stronger sanctions are the most likely U.S. course to press North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. At the same time, Washington has said all options – including military ones – are on the table and that a U.S. strike last week against Syria should serve as a warning to Pyongyang.
Like I said, Trump saw what would get him praise and now he’s addicted to the rush.
The strike group heading toward Korea includes the nuclear-powered flagship aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, two destroyers and a cruiser. Such a strike group is generally accompanied by submarines, although the Pentagon does not normally publicize this.
Not normally, but we don’t have a normal president.
He doesn’t know what he’s doing.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer blew off the threats from North Korea. They make those threats all the time and no one believes they have the technology to back any of it up.
Again, that’s no reason to bully them, if that’s the case.
Increased sanctions and keep a tight watch on them, as their neighbors, South Korea, have vowed to do, along with keeping Washington in the loop.
North Korea remains technically at war with the United States and its ally South Korea after the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. It regularly threatens to destroy both countries.
However, North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, two of them last year, and is working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States, presenting Trump with perhaps his most pressing security headache.
South Korea’s acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn warned of “greater provocations” by North Korea, including a possible nuclear test, given a meeting of the country’s Supreme People’s Assembly and upcoming national anniversaries.
China and South Korea have both agreed to tougher sanctions on North Korea.
Meanwhile, Russia is looking at the behavior of the U.S. as that of bullies.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry, ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said it was concerned about many aspects of U.S. foreign policy, particularly North Korea.
“We are really worried about what Washington has in mind for North Korea after it hinted at the possibility of a unilateral military scenario,” the ministry said in a statement.
And then Trump sends out this “armada.”
I can’t feel good about this. I think it’s reckless and ignorant.
North Korea may not have the capability to do any real damage to us, but having a president so power-crazed that he wants to prod and provoke them until they’re forced to strike back or somebody is forced to stand up for them is probably one of the dumbest foreign policy moves in our nation’s history.
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