Has The World Gone Nuts?

By

Leonard Zwelling

This is now a legitimately reasonable question to ask.

The President of the United States is going toe-to-toe with a rogue regime in North Korea in a very dangerous game of chicken in which one miscalculation could be very fatal. (I am not really sure if anything can be VERY fatal. Fatal seems final enough.)

What are clearly needed in the Korea situation are a cool head and a slow, lengthy fuse. Instead, what we have is the North Korean dictator acting rationally and Trump acting like a child.

North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons for anything the west can offer as long as China supports Kim Jong Un. Why should it? Kim saw what happened in Iraq and Libya when the US killed their leaders over nuclear threats and Kim is no fool. Furthermore, the weapons are the only cards he has to play. So the right posture for the US is to do nothing and say nothing until and unless Kim actually does something truly provocative. What the US may do should also be kept a secret. Don’t be drawing any red lines that when crossed require either a military strike or a kowtow. Now it appears that a four-pronged North Korean missile test into international waters around Guam may constitute the opening salvo in a nuclear war. How smart is that?

I believe that both North Korea and China are well aware of the United States’ nuclear capabilities. There was never a need to threaten “fire and fury” especially when North Korea may have fire and fury of its own and may be more apt to use it if backed into a corner.

Then there is the latest in the culture wars unleashed by the Trump Presidency itself, fostered in a campaign of hate and divisiveness and nurtured by the alt-right dwellers in the West Wing. Again, I do not approve or condone any Nazi-like thought or speech, but it is still legal to think it and speak it in the United States. Acting on it with a car is not OK. The president must condemn what occurred in Charlottesville this past weekend in the strongest of terms and not give the offenders succor by saying there was bad behavior on many sides. Only one side showed up with guns and only one side used a vehicle as a murder weapon. Early reports from Virginia indicate that the alt-right protesters did not live up to the bargain of keeping away from the counter demonstrators as they had agreed to do.

Anyone could be excused for wondering if the world is spinning askew on its axis at this point in time. (Please don’t misconstrue the pending solar eclipse. It’s not a sign of the apocalypse.)

It is time for cooler heads to prevail and you won’t be finding these cooler heads talking on the cable news outlets. It is up to our elected leaders to show the way, first by articulating some good old American values of pluralism and tolerance, and then by working across the aisle to pass some legislation that improves the lives of Americans.

I know. What a concept!

If you want to be a leader—LEAD! Mr. Trump is not doing so and neither are those around him. The executive branch is speaking with too many voices and most of them make little sense.

If the president cannot rise to the occasion and lead the country at a time of external threats and internal strife, please resign and let someone else try. And if that doesn’t work, impeach him before he gets us into a shooting war with North Korea and a circular firing squad here at home.

Leonard Zwelling