So it has come down to this: international relations to be carried out by way of trash talk. U.S. President Donald Trump refers to the North Korean leader as “Rocket Man” and in turn Kim Jong Un calls Trump a dotard (mentally feeble old man).
And just as Trump attempted to belittle his adversary as a crazy man threatening with rockets (the name obviously taken from an Elton John song, by the same name), The North Korean leader in a personal statement likened Trump to a “scared barking dog”.
And to make matters worse, North Korea is now threatening to explode I guess a test nuclear bomb in the ocean (not that we never did that, except that was then and not a direct threat to anyone I suppose, except maybe the USSR, and it was way down in the South Pacific — not good for Pacific islanders though.)
Both men are wacky in their own way.
Kim Jong Un seems to be employing trash talk as done in sports — he is a basketball fan we know through his personal friendship with an American player, Dennis Rodman. And Trump is too and is stuck in the so-called “reality TV” mode where it is all just for show and ratings — except this is for real.
(Maybe Trump is like the Alzheimer’s Reagan and mixes make-believe with reality.)
I actually like Trump’s message that we would retaliate in a massive fashion or even perhaps pull off a pre-emptive strike to curb North Korea’s threatened nuclear aggression (I think that has been alluded to). I just don’t like the way it was delivered, like trash talk from one side against the other in a sporting game or prize fight.
I think the same message could be delivered in a more indirect and diplomatic but quite understandable way.
And by constantly reacting to the North Korean leader’s trash talk we are sucked into his game. I say let our position be known (and keep up the practice missions of ground and air forces as a signal we are ready) and then ignore Kim Jong Un until or if he tries something — and if we can know in advance and pull off a pre-emptive strike, then we may just have to do it. I would hope our military would have a strategy that would combine an attack on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and one directly at the leadership — cut off the head of the snake.
But let’s not get sucked into trash talk so far that we rule out a diplomatic solution.
And as much as we depend on trade with China, if that nation cannot bring its wayward ally under control then perhaps we need to isolate ourselves from the China trade. It seems we ought to have leverage with China. China as I understand it could bring North Korea to its knees by cutting off oil supplies to and trade with North Korea. But then it does not want refugees flooding into China. So they are reluctant to go too far. But even though we have a trade deficit with China, I think the loss of our market would really hurt China as much or more than us. We need to convince that nation to help us out — we have actually had good relations with it since Richard Nixon visited there.
At any rate, Trump had his say about North Korea. If he were wise (and I doubt that he is) he would leave it at that. North Korea cannot really imagine we would stand by and do nothing if they dropped the bomb.
Once upon a long time ago now a nation pulled a devastating surprise attack on us (I’m not talking 9/11 for that was not a nation as such) and we retaliated and we retaliated with more force than the world had ever seen.
In this type of situation Hillary Clinton would have been more diplomatic and yet everyone would know that like any American president she would do what had to be done to defend our nation. While a woman, she was no dove on foreign policy.
OK, so I am satisfied Trump made his case but I hope he does not blow it all and us up with it by flapping his yap or twittering — good luck to us and the world on all of that.