President Trump appears to be the modern-day version of Nero, the Roman emperor who, according to legend, played the fiddle while Rome burned. Actually, Nero didn’t play the fiddle during that deadly fire because the violin had not yet been invented. The reference to fiddling was meant to point out that he was an ineffectual leader in a time of great crisis.
That’s why Trump is the reincarnation of Nero; he is proving that he is most certainly an ineffectual leader in a time of crisis. He is fiddling around in Washington, engaging in petty confrontations, tweeting out insults and threats against the media, trying to shame Republican politicians who refuse to bend to his will, and lashing out at anyone that anger s him.
While Trump fiddles we have the supposedly crazy, but actually very clever, leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, accelerating that nation’s nuclear development program. While Trump tweets, North Korea successfully completes another test of an ICBM. While Trump and his family and close associates dig in and construct defenses against accusations of collusions with Russia, Kim’s scientists and engineers work on the process of joining a nuclear warhead with an ICBM missile.
As we watch the situation in that region of the world approach a boiling point, this president continues to prod his Republican hatchet men to destroy Obamacare and replace it with – nothing. We see Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski being placed on the list of Republicans not to be trusted. We see a president obsessed with the Mueller investigation delving into his possible involvement with Russian interference into America’s election process.
In the midst of the great danger that the North Korean situation poses, Trump says, not to worry! ‘”We will handle North Korea. We handle everything.” Well, he can’t even carry out the functions of the office of the presidency, so how is he going to handle North Korea that, based on all the evidence at hand, appears to have the upper hand in this confrontation.
Individuals who have done nothing wrong, that are not the least bit guilty of anything, would not be the least bit worried about such accusations and would not waste a massive amount of time trying to stifle an investigation. But not Mr. Trump who, by his words and actions, is giving the distinct impression that he is hiding the truth as well as doing all he can to obstruct the investigative process.
At this most critical point in time, which of these leaders of the opposing countries, Kim Jong-un or Donald J. Trump looks like the strongest, most effective leader? Well, I don’t like the idea of saying that it’s Km, but one thing for sure, it’s certainly not Trump.
What needs to happen to resolve this great dilemma? Retired U.S. Army colonel, Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colin Powell, recently appeared on cable news outlets and made some very pertinent remarks about what the U.S. strategies should be.
He emphasized the use of “strategic patience”, meaning that the U.S. government must be patient, not overreact; stop making threats and work on ways to use diplomacy and negotiations to defuse the tensions and hostility. He stressed that this regime greatly fears the power of the U.S. and will never forget the Korean War and the destruction that was done to its country. That fear is magnified by the fact that the U.S. has roughly 28,000 troops deployed in South Korea and there have been continuous joint military exercises between the U.S and South Korea.
He also made clear that, because of this intense paranoia, North Korea would never agree to stop its nuclear development program, no matter what. He said that if the U.S. made any kind of attack on the North Korea the regime would immediately launch a massive artillery attack on the city of Seoul which would be catastrophic.
He was adamant that the best option would be to engage in ongoing negotiations. The U.S., with no real way to stop this nuclear development program, must accept the fact that it is almost inevitable that North Korea will become a nuclear power and join the other nine nations who currently have that capability; and then what will follow is a form of détente, the meaning of which is, “An easing of hostility and relaxing of tensions between countries by the continued use of diplomacy and negotiations.”
Well, such a détente worked well between the U.S. and Russia for a long period of time and it may work again here; and it may be the only way out of this dilemma. But, then again, there may be another way by which that nuclear program just might be ended; granted it’s a long shot.
What Trump’s advisers should do, for once, is to think out of the box and do something different, offer some concession that will give North Korea something in return if it agrees to either end, or at least put a hold, on its nuclear initiative
That concession would entail the withdrawal of the 28,000 troops from the South and also include the discontinuation of joint military exercises. Doing this would have a minimal effect on the overall military power in that region of the world because the U.S. has bases in Okinawa and Japan, nearby airfields and a plethora of ships and submarines that could swiftly react to any dangerous situation involving South Korea.
Now, what are chances that we will hear this option of removing troops and ceasing joint military exercises put forward by anyone in the Trump administration or hear it discussed in the American mainstream media? Very little to none. The idea of doing this would be anathema to the Washington war establishment. It would be called a terrible idea. That’s because it would go against all the principles that say that we must never give up any part of the U.S. military empire.
Do we see or hear such a strategy being discussed? Do we see any highly respected military strategists such as Wilkerson or William Perry, former Secretary of Defense in the President Clinton administration, being named as members of a negotiating team? We hear nothing of the kind.
This crisis is not going to dissipate anytime soon, it will only exacerbate. Something of substance must be done – and very soon. It’s time for Mr. Trump to stop the fiddling and do something positive before some small spark ignites a massive inferno in the Korean Peninsula.
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