Friday, April 14, 2017

His Is Bigger Than Yours

Donald Trump has just dropped the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan. And a naval task force -- aircraft carrier, destroyers and missiles -- will soon drop anchor off the coast of North Korea. Michael Harris writes:

If Kim Jong Un decides to conduct a sixth nuclear test to celebrate Korea’s birthday, Donald Trump’s bluff will be called. It will then come down to a single question: What will the guy driving the Big Winnebago without a roadmap do?

Trump could, of course, flatten North Korea like a cardboard treehouse. But the teeming killing grounds of Seoul and Tokyo are within the reach of Kim’s own missiles; he already has  said he would launch a nuclear strike of his own if attacked. Even North Korea’s conventional weapons are more than enough to flatten Seoul, population 10 million. Would the president take that chance in order to win a swinging dick contest between two egos that could only fit into the Rogers Centre one at a time?

It's impossible to conclude what Trump would say. But, then, words don't mean anything to Trump:

Trump is proving with each passing hour of his First Hundred Days that nothing could possibly mean less to him than words.

Take his tweet on International Women’s Day, which begins with this phrase: “I have tremendous respect for women …” The words are clear, concise — and disingenuous enough to make a dog weep.

While running for the Republican nomination, Trump ridiculed fellow candidate Carly Fiorina’s looks. He fat-shamed a former Miss Universe (particularly galling, given how the man himself needs a sturdy girdle, better hair implants and corrective surgery for a bad case of Mussolini mouth). And then there was the whole “grab ’em by the pussy” thing, airily dismissed by his handlers as “locker room talk.” Just words, in other words.
But it's even more impossible to predict what Trump will do:

Any notion of a Trump Doctrine is oxymoronic. There is no policy. There are no campaign promises that matter. There is no strategy. There are no congressional checks and balances.

And there is no Rasputin in the Oval Office, no guiding genius, good or evil — just angleworms in a jar trying to saw each other in two, and a fashion maven advising on missile strikes. Mostly, there’s just Donald Trump, bouncing off the walls of the White House like a kid on a sugar high.

Happy Easter -- maybe.

Image: We Are Change


Toby said...

Is there any chance the acronym on the big pencil in your picture have any reference to the Biblical Moab? If so, what? Or is it just a coincidence.

Owen, if I remember correctly, your son is in China. What's his take on this? My contact in Seoul reports that South Koreans see Trump as far less stable than Kim which says a lot. In spite of what we see in the Western press, Kim knows the rules; Trump doesn't. There is an iron-clad agreement between South Korea and the US that makes it very clear that the US may not make any military moves against North Korea without the South's consent. The assumption is that Trump can't act unilaterally. The fear is that Trump couldn't care less.

The Mound of Sound said...

I read one analysis suggesting that Trump may now be deferring to his in-house generals. His reversal on NATO and China are said to evidence the switch away from the alt-right cabal, Bannon et al.

The MOAB business was a one-off thing. You can't use that weapon except in rare places like the spot it was dropped yesterday. It's all but pointless. At least he didn't go with the FAE (fuel/air explosive) arsenal. That's the really nasty, non-nuclear weaponry. MOAB is the world's biggest firecracker.

Could Trump attack North Korea? I'd like to think his generals would lock him in a closet first.

Owen Gray said...

I hope you're right, Mound. But I read earlier today that the Pentagon has conceded that there may have to be a pre-emptive strike.

Owen Gray said...

I talked to my son today, Toby. At the moment, he said, they don't seem too perturbed. They're used to wild rhetoric from the North. But he really can't predict how they'll react to Trump.

Toby said...

Yes, Owen, Trump is the wild card.

Owen Gray said...

Trump enjoys being unpredictable, Toby. It pumps up his ego.

Anonymous said...

Blogger The Mound of Sound said...

I read one analysis suggesting that Trump may now be deferring to his in-house generals.

On the used of the big bomb.
A general said it was the right weapon at the right time.
Im sure Trump will find enough generals that love the smell of napalm in the morning.

There was an article in the Washington Post that said; Trump has found the keys to the gun cabinet!!

Given the man likes a spectacle ; big shrug..


Owen Gray said...

When General Curtis Lemay wanted to bomb Cuba back into the Stone Age, John Kennedy rejected his advice, TB. Unfortunately, in Vietnam, LBJ and Nixon followed his advice. It's pretty clear how that worked out.