…and now, Nuclear War

Hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, super malaria. This is today’s Google News feed. Proof that the end-days are upon us. Evidence that God, or the gods, are pissed. Yes, there are a million ways to die, and natural catastrophes seem to be trending right now.

For the past month, I’ve found reading the news to be exceptionally depressing. When people are flooded from their homes, it’s easy to put yourself in their shoes. I have a home. What if it was filled with five feet of water? I’m feeling their sodden pain. How can you recover when everything you own: house, car, furniture, clothes, personal keepsakes are all ruined in a flood?

Earthquakes. Your very foundation is shaken. Is anything surer than the ground beneath your feet? Not any more in Mexico City. I envision an epidemic of PTSD.

Asia, facing a likely volcanic eruption in Bali, people are fleeing their homes. Displaced into a world where mosquitoes are carrying drug-resistant malaria. Quick death or slow; that’s a difficult choice.

Perils at every turn. Strangely, these disasters are of secondary concern. The dotard in the White House is scaring the crap out of me.

How many of you are reading that word as doe-tard? Like re-tard or fuck-tard or any other tard? I did this for days. It’s an old word. I’m an old guy. I suddenly remembered hearing people use it when I was a child. The proper pronunciation is /dōdərd/ (doe-dird).

I’ve lived for more than five decades. Half a century. I don’t remember any foreign leaders mocking one another. Resorting to name calling like a couple of kids fighting on the playground. Rocket-man! Sheesh. I’ve started reading analyses by North Korea experts. The general consensus seems to be that Kim Jong-un won’t back down. He’s revered as a god in his country and gods can’t be seen as weak.

And we all know Donald Trump’s need to one-up every perceived insult or slight. A playground brawl is on its way. Trump and Jong-un will continue to antagonize one another until one of them does something really stupid. And then we’ll see what it looks like to have a nuclear war.

Last year, I was at a Veterans’ Day luncheon where a Korean War vet related a post-war story that took place in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. There was to be a pass off of information. An American officer was handing a binder of data to a North Korean officer. As the hand-off took place, the American pretended to lose grip of the binder and the North Korean instinctively lunged forward to catch it.

The photos of the exchange showed a composed American facing what appeared to be a submissive bowing North Korean. According to the veteran who told the story, that was a battle we won. In my opinion, an irrelevant battle, an unnecessary battle that, if anything, did yet more damage to our relationship. This was fifty years ago. After a half a century, we’re still trying to one-up each another with words and symbolic actions.

I have the sovereign right to launch yet another missile test.

I will totally destroy North Korea.

Trump will pay dearly for that UN speech.

And so on.

One of my favorite quotes is “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist” (Indira Gandhi). The United States and North Korea have been trying to embarrass one another, to get the upper-hand in our relationship for my entire life. This strategy clearly hasn’t worked. Neither has name calling, idle and not-so-idle threats. Relations between the two countries are at a fifty year low. Experts are seriously concerned about a nuclear exchange.

It’s time for the U.S. and North Korea to rethink their strategies. The only way to peace is through communication and understanding. Not through intimidation and threats. It’s time for these two bombastic, immature leaders to shake hands and start to talk.

 

14 thoughts on “…and now, Nuclear War

  1. But only if idiots had the common sense or decency to understand their idiocy. This habits of one-uping each other, it’s not unique or world leaders but a basic Instinct for every human. That’s what makes me sad.

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  2. Terrifying indeed. Rethinking strategy a good idea. Problem: neither of these “leaders” is in their right mind, e.g.;able to think. They are both driven by their survival (trauma) brain, with the point of view of scarcity, inadequacy, fear, which lead to the terrifying ridiculousness we are now enduring, and may in fact die of. I feel so sad about this. It doesn’t have to go this way, and yet it might. Way more challenging to keep opening my heart in this place than I ever imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its interesting to me how few people are even talking about North Korea in the U.S. (at least around my redneck town…). I’m not a huge fan of Trump, but I do think a large part of the world has been seeking diplomatic solutions with North Korea for several decades without success. Trump might be about the only president we’ve had willing to push the point until something changes. I’m not pro-war, but I do see a North Korea that keeps becoming more dangerous with every passing year despite repeated attempts at peaceful solutions. Diplomacy has continuously failed with the current N. Korean regime and I do see a level of calculation behind the seeming nutball twitter posts and outlandish statements Trump has been using. Watching it all escalate over the last few months is certainly concerning though… I guess time will tell where this goes.

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      • I think most of us (myself included) are more than a little in the dark these days – it’s hard to know what sources to trust anymore 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your views on the world. And you’re absolutely right in your post, this is a scary time to be alive.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, while “sanctions” fall under the heading of a diplomatic solution, they are hardly diplomacy. I realize that Jong-un is a nutter, but the only way to become friends with another nation is to act friendly – not overbearing and “in charge”. I’m glad you see strategy in Trumps action, because to me, it seems like a reactive man on the edge of control who can’t help but hurl insults which ever direction he feels pressure. I agree, not enough people are talking about this. Seems more important than kneeling during the national anthem. But that’s the battle that everyone has chosen to focus on.

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    • I have the feeling Trump was planning this from a number of months ago when he visited China and told them to get North Korea in line before we did. He then followed up in the same weekend by authorizing a non-lethal missile strike on another country in response to terrorism. That was the moment where I began to suspect there was a little more thought behind this president than he lets on. — it’s also possible I’m trying to hard to read a pattern in chaos though…. Trump’s a scary man either way 😀

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