The headline this afternoon reads:
U.S. Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on ISIS Caves in Afghanistan
And my first thoughts are:
- Why? Has Donnie, having gotten a taste of the power of his office, simply decided to play war?
- How many civilians did we kill this time?
- How many people could have eaten for a week on what this cost?
- What ramifications can we expect?
The bomb was allegedly dropped on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan. According to New York Times writer Helene Cooper, “It was unclear whether any civilians were killed. The military insisted that it took every precaution to avoid such casualties. But the Pentagon has come under increasing criticism that as it has intensified the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the civilian death toll has risen sharply.”
Forgive my cynicism, but last week the U.S. released 59 Tomahawk missiles on an air base in Syria that did minimal damage, and the air base was operating again within hours. Then on Tuesday, an airstrike by the American-led coalition killed 18 of our Syrian allies. This was the third time in a month that American-led airstrikes have killed civilians and/or allies. Is anybody looking where we are lobbing all these expensive weapons? Is killing members of Daesh more important than all other lives? And even earlier on in the Trump regime, there was Yemen …
In his first military operation, just over a week after taking office, Trump ordered an attack on Yemen which killed civilians, as well as one U.S. soldier. President Obama’s aides had proposed this operation, but President Obama did not act, fearing the risk of costing innocent lives was too great. Trump, however, had no such compunctions.
So, we have a little boy in a man’s body in the White House who has discovered the toys in his new toy box and is using them, willy-nilly, to cause unrest around the world. But perhaps the most dangerous situation lies in North Korea, where an unstable dictator, Kim Jong-un, may well be preparing to rise to the occasion of Trump’s poorly considered speech.
“North Korean state media warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific – a force U.S. President Donald Trump described as an “armada””. – Reuters, 12 April 2017
Trump, trying to be either funny or mysterious, when questioned about his intent toward North Korea, said, “You never know, do you? You never know.” This is the answer I would expect from a five year old who was asked if he needed to go potty, not a 70+-year-old man who is the leader of a nation of 330 million people!
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with Trump by phone and urged a ‘peaceful resolution’ on Wednesday, as the aircraft carrier strike group steamed toward the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “We hope that the relevant parties do not adopt irresponsible actions. Under the current circumstances, this is very dangerous.”
Trump tweeted the following two tweets:
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.
I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!
“What is clear from this posturing is that the White House is focused on North Korea, and likely attempting to deter North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from testing a weapon on April 15, the 105th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung. What’s not clear is exactly what U.S. policy toward North Korea is right now. Deterrence is not going to work. Kim Jong Un is extremely likely to call the U.S. bluff. Then what?” – Foreign Policy, 13 April 2017
One possibility that I have heard posited and argued in the last few hours is that Trump may have sent the “armada” as he calls it into the Korean Peninsula in hopes that Kim Jong-un will fire at the ships, thus giving Trump an excuse for further military action. I certainly cannot deny that possibility, but hope it is not the case and that the more rational, intelligent minds of McMaster and Mattis are calling the shots.
I have said since long before the election that Donald Trump is nothing more than a large playground bully, and the past 83 days have borne this out. However this aggression toward a nation with nuclear capacity AND a madman at the helm, is irresponsible, at best.
Everything I have read indicates that North Korea does not likely have the capability at this time of hitting a major U.S. city with a nuclear warhead, and that such capability remains a few years into the future. While this is reassuring, what is not reassuring is the temperaments of the two leaders in question here, and the current tensions do not bode well for the future of, not only the U.S. and North Korea, but the entire human race. Somebody needs to take little Donnie’s toys away from him before he plunges the world into disaster.