With his poll numbers sinking, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation ramping up, and a stalled domestic legislative agenda, President Donald J. Trump may have only one way to save his presidency — war with North Korea.
“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. He has been very threatening … and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Despite the fact that North Korea has not attacked the United States and has only threatened to do so as a defensive measure in the face of U.S. threats to destroy the hermit kingdom, it seems Donald Trump is considering a preemptive strike against the communist nation.
Despite Trump’s supposed ‘realist’ foreign policy promises during the campaign, he has already learned that when a U.S. president bombs a supposed adversary, presidential standing tends to go up. He learned this after bombing Syria after an alleged gas attack, which garnered praise even from some of Trump’s most dogged detractors. As Fareed Zakaria, for example, said the day after the Tomahawks flew into Syria, “Donald Trump became president of the United States last night.”
Assad wasn’t even threatening the American people in this episode. Can you imagine the praise Trump would receive from the mainstream press if he were to actually unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” against a nation that has been locked in a cold war with the U.S. since the 1950s? Do you think any sitting Democrats or Republicans would really speak up against a president who ‘saved’ the West coast from a potential North Korean nuclear missile? Do you think the American people will be outraged at all at the massive death toll or the geopolitical ramifications of war on the Korean peninsula regarding China and Russia?
No, I suspect that though some Americans will be horrified, most will cheer any such actions by the sitting president. I suspect even those who are now advocating a policy of mutually assured destruction in regards to North Korea’s nuclear arsenal would not dare criticize the president for such ‘decisive’ action.
Remember, folks, war is the health of the state. It is also the health of presidents and their popularity in the present and future. Remember that war-time presidents are usually ranked as some of the greatest in American history — Lincoln, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson come to mind.
I only hope millions of North Koreans, who are hostages and slaves of their own government, do not die for over perceived threats to the American people. And good lord, let us hope millions do not die for the sake of Trump’s own poll numbers and place in history. It is terrible even to think of it, but that is the world we have inherited — one that allows an American president to promise “fire and fury” as the crowds cheer out of fear or pride, a world that tempts dictators to think pursuing that same ability to inflict fire and fury will bring them security.
The issue of North Korean nukes has long been argued, but there is an even older argument: Should these weapons have been created in the first place?