With all of the hyperventilated talk about war with North Korea, the annihilation of an entire nation as if it were a Hollywood blockbuster, perhaps we should first hear from Vipin Narang, an expert on nuclear proliferation and “city buster” bombs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
“Now,” Narang told the Washington Post, “with even relatively inaccurate intercontinental ballistic missile technology, they can destroy a better part of a city with this yield.”
It is like a scene out of “Dr. Strangelove,” except it is real.
Increasing the horror is that it is happening at a time when there is an unpredictable man in the White House, not an Eisenhower or a Kennedy or even a Truman. What we have is our own mad man facing down another mad man with his fat fingers on a panel of red buttons in the backwoods of North Korea at a place called Punggye, 60 miles north of 50 million people in South Korea.
Compounding the problem of conflicting relationships is that President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are so much alike: Both were born to rich, dictator fathers — one a racist realtor, the other a racist killer; both grew up in private schools, having been driven there in their parents limousines. Both like sports, Kim favors basketball, Trump likes wrestling CNN. Both like pretty young girls, certainly their better halves, who walk a step behind lest they say something credible.
Trump has surrounded himself with the most moderate and stable military minds of our generation, generals who know war and hate the thought of it. The future of America as we know it are left in these most disciplined hands. They are not Gen. Douglas MacArthurs who after WWII proposed dropping seven nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union and occupying a country 100 times the size of ours.
The most sensible idea I have heard to prevent all-out war is cutting off North Korea from any business from our allies. That would mean putting sanctions on our own country’s economic machines, such as stopping any company we have any control over from sending any product to North Korea. Conservatives who have lucrative contracts with North Korea through a Chinese middle corporation would have to shut it down.
If this means powdered milk for babies, textiles to keep North Koreans warm, so be it; they are starving anyway under their mindless support of Kim.
Anything — threatening endless starvation, closing economic doors of allies now making money off Kim’s regime — is preferable to war. Who knows, deep down his closest advisers, his nuclear scientists (who must be world class), every professor and student with any level of independent thought might agree that he has to go.
Trump still relies on the Chinese to help, probably hoping he can build a Trump Great Wall Tower in Beijing. But, being among the most aggressive capitalists on Earth, they will not close profitable doors to North Korea’s needs for millions.
My greatest fear is that Trump, not unlike George W Bush, would see a great victory in war as the ultimate subject changer, stopping and backing up his dreadful loss in public-opinion polls and situate him in the ranks of presidents Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Iraq will always be political strategist Karl Rove’s war, conjured up to keep Bush’s rising poll numbers after 9/11 and to ensure his reelection,which it did.
Certainly, Bush did not suffer from Trump’s hyper-inflated view of himself, but the Iraq war goes on. We already know Trump thinks his likeness would greatly benefit Mount Rushmore, particularly if there were a nearby Trump Rushmore resort to handle all the new business the opening would bring.
If there is anything about all of this that makes you uncomfortable with your vote and continued support for Trump? Are you concerned that North Korea might land a nuke on your neighborhood with seven times the strength of our bomb that destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima?
If so, call Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Andy Barr or your faith leader because there is not much else any of the rest of us can do.