Most of us want to be right. Who wouldn’t? We form opinions and make assertions based on our experiences and the best information available to us. Sometimes we rely on our gut instincts, without extensive information to back up our stances, but still we want to be right, even when “right” is often nuanced.
There was one recent instance, though, when I desperately hoped to be wrong: On November 9, just after learning that Trump had been elected, I said that it would not be long before he got us into a worldwide conflagration. Oh, how I want to be wrong.
Last night, though, in an interview with Reuters, after speculating about the sanity of the “supreme leader” of North Korean, Kim Jong-un, Trump dropped this bombshell: “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”
This morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (how it hurts to say those words together), met with the United Nations Security Council. While stating that the goal of the United States is not to pursue regime change in North Korea, he called on member nations to pressure North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
VP Pence says, “Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response.”
While Tillerson is seeking the support of the United Nations to use sanctions to pressure North Korea, the president is making an undisguised threat that yes, we could end up having a “major, major conflict” with one of the most dangerous nations on earth. Pence is echoing his sentiments.
This president’s lack of discretion and need to say too much about far too many things may just get us into that worldwide conflagration that I expressed fear about on November 9. Rather than jumping into a “major conflict” as a response, we should be pursuing all diplomatic channels of action with allies and imposing sanctions as our response to North Korea’s increasing militarization. This could actually be one instance when our interests and China’s are very similar and we should pursue that as a possibility.
I have to wonder if the Blabber in Chief might have thought twice, or maybe even more, before rattling this particular sword.