Thursday, August 10, 2017
Where America's Day Begins
If nothing else, Donald Trump now has everyone talking about Guam. No sooner did our immenseness threaten North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen," than his alter ego fired back by saying he would now target Guam with his next missile. This all may turn out to be just the latest "pissing contest" Trump has engaged in, but Guam is none too happy about the attention it is now getting.
It is doubtful a North Korean missile could actually hit Guam, but one has to wonder why Trump would even launch this kind of hyperbole given the active missile testing going on in North Korea. Just recently the country fired a ballistic missile 2800 kilometers into space to see if it had the range to hit the US, which has long been Kim's mission ever since he inherited the country from his father. Kim now has a new goal -- can he hit a remote island in the Pacific Ocean? I would think Alaska to be a much easier target.
Rather than quell Trump's incendiary rhetoric, Gen. Mattis chose to echo his commander's off-the-cuff comment. I would think the last thing the "Warrior Monk" wants is another war on his hands. His track record hasn't been very good since 2002 with Iraq and Afghanistan still torn by civil strife and the situation in Syria even worse. Does he really want to get into another hornet's nest in Northeast Asia where China and Russia have deeply vested interests?
What bothers me most about the general's message is how ignorant it sounds for a man considered to have one of the sharpest intellects in the military. North Korea doesn't need to match our arsenal to wreak havoc on the world. It has more than enough firepower to engulf the region in flames if it so chooses. Why provoke an incident that could have extremely dire consequences?
Part of it seems to be that this administration takes Kim Jong-Un to be a petty man-child who is only capable of understanding these kinds of threats. Of course, Trump talks this way with everyone so it is easy for him to play the role. But, what good does it do? North Korea is already feeling deeply hurt by the latest set of UN sanctions, calling it a "hostile policy." At what point does Little Kim just say, "fuck it," and decides to take a pot shot at the US, his archnemesis?
One would like to think clearer heads will prevail, showing that you can communicate with Pyongyang in less blunt terms. After all, this is what our Secretary of State has said for months, but has yet to make any such overture. I don't think anyone will "sleep well at night" given the current rhetoric, especially the folks in Guam.