The war between North Korea and the USA has been mostly one of words, but even that is a frightening prospect. Instead of de-escalating tensions and offering solutions, Trump has decided that the best way to deal with North Korea is to threaten them and rattle the sabres.
Such a caliviar attitude is worrying, particularly since Kim Jong-Un’s response is to threaten an invasion of Guam. It is here that we see the real issue with Trump’s boasts and brags: he has no concept of saving innocent lives. Trump seems to be wholly ignorant of the lesson that history teaches us: war’s deadliest impact is on those who cannot defend themselves.
A war with North Korea would be devastating for all involved. Even if North Korea were defeated, it would take many years and millions of dollars to repair the damage. Thousands of lives would be lost, thousands more would be irreproachably damaged. Both sides would suffer huge casualties and diplomatic relations would take generations to recover. America would be dragged into another foreign conflict, hundreds of miles away, and hundreds of US soldiers might lose their lives because their president didn’t have the sense to keep his mouth shut.
It’s worth remembering that Trump ran on a platform which, amongst other things, declared that America would not be dragged into senseless and wasteful wars overseas.
No one wants North Korea to have a nuclear weapon, but we mustn’t jump to conclusions or over-react to the situation. If Trump had any sense, he would use Twitter for official announcements or to make peace overtures to North Korea. It sounds unbelievable, but at least then the USA could claim the moral high ground. If North Korea reacted, they would be seen as the aggressors, as mad dogs off the leash.
Sadly, America has its own mad dog in charge, one that is willing to provoke a deadly enemy and put thousands of lives at risk for…what exactly? Good press coverage? I’m sure the USMC will appreciate the fact that their men fought and died just so the president can look good on television. I’m equally sure that thousands of South Koreans will easily forgive the fact that their capitol was pounded into the dust because of Trump’s Twitter outbursts.
Trump wants America to be strong, to be great again. What he doesn’t realise is that sabre-rattling, overt threats and stirring up fear and hatred is not the sign of strength, but of arrogance (see WWI for more details). From the outside, America looks like it’s picking a fight and North Korea seems happy to oblige, nuclear weapons or no.
Even worse, Trump’s threats help Kim to shore up his position. After all, what better proof does he need to convince his people that they need to keep him in power than ramblings on Twitter? If Western media takes them so seriously, why shouldn’t he? It can be used to silence discontent and inspire love for the leader.
The irony is that Kim and Trump have so much in common; unsuited to lead, unpredictable, wanting to silence dissent and inspire love for themselves, willing to risk lives for their own selfish gains. They also seem blissfully unaware of the fact that they are putting thousands of lives at risk or perhaps, more likely, they simply don’t care.
Such contempt for the lives of ordinary citizens will doom us all, one way or another.