I’ve been trying to not talk about politics. Both the ideologues on the right and the left drive me nuts, in which case there’s barely any wiggle room for sanity between those bookends. But Donald just took the cake, and I’d rather America were overrun with screeching SJW ideologues than Donald irradiate a population of 25,000,000 everyday people who share the misfortune of being born in North Korea. I have a lot of problems with the far left (censoring art and firing people who dare question the party line), and the far right (Ebenezer Scrooge on steroids), but Trump has veered into the zone of absolute monstrosity.
There are some things you just can’t say, publicly, as a president, and ever live them down. And here is where the ctrl-left (opposite of alt-right) make an enormous blunder and think it’s “grab ’em by the pussy” and NOT, well, this:
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” ~ Donald Trump
We know that Donald isn’t much better with English than his Republican presidential predecessor, the linguist George Dubya (Donald didn’t say Nucular), but one or another kind of stupidity is not a defense for someone
shitting sitting in the Oval Office. To savor the full impact of his pronouncement, and it’s import, there is another brief expostulation by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that needs to be combined with the two sentences above.
“The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” ~ Jim Mattis
Mattis also said any military solution would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.”
It kinda’ makes me wanna’ sing this song in a very sarcastic way:
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
Often I use a very useful mental trick to test the validity of a statement. I just turn it around and see how that looks. Sometimes the opposite of what is stated is the real truth. Operation Iraqi Freedom was really Operation Takeover Iraq. The Clear Skies Initiative, or some such thing, was a department dedicated to minimizing corporate accountability for air pollution. So, the first proposition is:
- USA needs to rain fire and fury the likes of which humankind has not known upon 25,000,000 people because Kim Jong-un might have a missile in just one year that can hit the furthest reaches of the U.S.: Guam.
- North Korea needs to produce a missile that can hit America in less than a year as a nuclear deterrent against fire and fury from the skies and the destruction of the North Korean people.
Oh shit. If you didn’t know the players and weren’t, y’know, Hooray for out side!, #2 seems far more plausible. It’s someone needing to stand up to a bully, and yet the bully himself will say the same thing. We really need to figure out for sure who the bully is. Maybe they both are. But who’s the bigger bully? Well, the only thing we can be absolutely sure of is who is bigger, stronger, and can’t possibly lose. If I were really, really cynical, I’d speculate this is a War of Opportunity to boost Trump’s support. If he takes out a bad guy, he must be a good guy. Rally behind the flag. Create an evil other.
It worked in the past.
Or, maybe Kim Jong-un is a completely evil and cracked, suicidal lunatic. Goddamn it, either scenario is the stuff of comic books. If this were a fictional novel written in 2005 I’d put down the book because it wasn’t believable. I’d argue that the scenario is too stupid and reductionist to be convincing. Trump is president? Pah! Never happen! We wants to NUKE North Korea? Did your kid write that script on his or her Smartphone? Show some subtlety.
I don’t know anything for sure except that it’s wrong to threaten any people with nuclear attack and annihilation. We call that a crime against humanity. Are you kidding? You don’t think we could take out Kim Jong-un with conventional weapons? Our airforce isn’t good enough? I did not know that.
To make that sort of threat, whether one intends to make good on it or not, is already so heinous that it is unacceptable for humanity. Incidentally, here, the ONLY thing Trump had going for him in my book, before his tragi-comic election, was that he was against war and meddling overseas. And, yes, I am well aware of Hillary threatening to annihilate Iran, if it attacked Israel, and that was also where she completely lost me.
“We would be able to totally obliterate them. That’s a terrible thing to say, but those people who run Iran need to understand that.” ~ Hillary Clinton
It’s the same sort of nasty, inhumane rhetoric, but at least Hillary has a much better command of language, and probably THOUGHT, in which case she was self-aware that what she was saying was terrible, and she had the decency to single out those who run Iran as separate from the 81,000,000 regular folk who populate the country. Nevertheless, someone who makes such a threat should be disqualified from holding office. You don’t just threaten the worst horror ever inflicted on humanity and that’s OK. Of course Bernie never said anything like that. Dude was too human, had a solid moral compass, knew that two wrongs don’t make a right, and the lesser evil does not justify the greater.
And, yeah, even Dubya used as his final rational for unleashing shock and awe on Iraq that he was liberating the Iraqi people, hence Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now we just skip the excuses and kill everyone, I guess.
By the way, who’s going to take in the millions of refugees, assuming there are some North Koreans left surviving? America?
Oh, yes, I know, I know, Kim Jong-un is a monster who represses his own people in labor camps, and HE is threatening to nuke Guam. My understanding of America’s current military capacity is not much beyond knowing it’s overkill many times over, but, even if Big Baby Kim launched one of his 4 nuclear missiles our way (we have 6,800 warheads), couldn’t we knock that poisoned puppy out of the sky somewhere over the ocean, if it didn’t fizzle out on its own?
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Let’s look at how Trump lumps all of North Korea together, as if the 25,000,000 average Joes and Jodies – OK, Seungs and Sangs – are indestinguishable from the tyrant who lords his lard over them.
A reporter asked the T-1000 Trump “what would be tougher than fire and fury” (he forgot to add like the world has never seen), as the T-1000 ramped up his own threat. To this Trump replied:
Well, you’ll see. You’ll see.
Maybe not, T-1000. Maybe we can stop your monstrosity. He continues:
And I will tell you this: If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous. I’ll tell you why. And they should be very nervous. Because things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?
North Korea better get their act together, or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble, OK?
I would wonder if someone had performed a lobotomy on Trump since he was elected so that he’d stop being a faux-populist and get on the far right, war-mongering bandwagon, like W, only with more and oranger furious wrath, but, he wasn’t firing on all cylinders to begin with.
Whose going to save the lives and treat those who weren’t killed by nuclear blasts, but are sick or dying from exposure to it? How about cancer treatment for all the survivors? Phsychological help for millions with PTSD? Help for those who lost members of their families and are slowly dying in agony from radiation exposurre? America?
If it isn’t blazingly obvious what’s wrong here, notice that the T-1000 Trump threatened North Korea with hell fire the world has never seen, backed by Mattis’ specifying the end of Kim Jong-un’s regime and the destruction of its people. This is on the condition that Kimg Jong-un even THINK about attacking us.
There’s the question of “who hit who first”, but what we have here is a schoolyard bully in a red tie who isolates some puny-but-pudgy Korean kid on the playground and then threatens that if he so much as touches his glorious hair, he’ll eviscerate his whole family and eat their hearts.
Notice that we aren’t talking about a surgical strike, or taking out the leader, but eradicating the people as a whole. And that means school children, grandmas, families, lovers, their pets, the wildlife, and the vegetation.
Perhaps I’ve lived in Asia too long. It’s been over a decade. I’ve lived in Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Cambodia, plus additionally travelled in Burma and Laos. Probably the most profound experience was living in two average, mostly rural cities in the middle of China, which were like living decades in the past. The drab concrete buildings and oppressive smog looked, when I arrived, like maybe 1970, and the plumbing was not on my lived radar. A lot of people villainize China and Chinese citizens, but I’ve taught the little kiddies in a language school and the young adults in a university. Those cats are just like you and me.
Before I moved to China, which I did out of desperation because I’d moved back to America at the peak of the recession and unemployment –after travelling for a year – and in months of looking I only got a half-day of work. Significantly, at this time I more or less imagined China in B&W, and I mean visually as well as metaphorically. My friend who offered me the teaching job in China (we’d had a TEFL course together in Chiangmai, and now he was the foreign manager of a language school), had taught in what was once the most polluted city in China. I have a strange hunger to live overseas, and I was willing to go anyway, but, yeah, I imagined it without color. And this is how we sort of imagine North Korea.
I know China and North Korea are not the same thing, but when I see footage of daily life in North Korea, it’s eerily familiar, and mabye seeing China in full color for nearly 5 years helps me understand that North Korea is also not in B&W.
The idea of a nuclear strike on China is for me as unconscionable as the same attack on America. It’s a tale of countless ordinary people being slaughtered en mass, and the same goes for North Korea.
It doesn’t make a difference whether the people are American, Iranian, or North Korean. Wholesale slaughter of millions of people is a monstrosity, a crime against humanity, and as shitty and low as our species can slither. Yes, Kim Jong-un is threatening the same thing on a much smaller scale and probably would never be able to accomplish it, but Trump is threatening the greatest horror ever perpetuated on humanity, he has the military capacity at his disposal to easily achieve his goal, and if he decides to do so the only thing that can stop him is us.
[Shhhhh. I’ll tell ya’ a secret. There’s no Us Vs. Them. There’s no THEM. It’s just us. It’s US vs. US. We are talking about fire and fury like the world has never seen dropped on us. Time to grow a soul, T-1000, and then it will be obvious even to you.]