Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trump's speech "warning" North Korea evokes coming perils which Trump may not fully understand (hint: Milo)


NBC News has published Donald Trump’s first United Nations speech here. Trump also slammed Iran (the object of the movie "American Assassin" which I saw today) and Venezuela. The North Korean delegation walked out. 
   
Everybody is talking about the “Rocket Man” threat.  I guess we don’t need to run it further into the ground.  CNN calls this global Trumpism, shattering international norms.  Every country is for itself.  Remember history class in high school?  Remember that essay question on explaining mercantilism?  (I got 15 points off out of 20 in 11th grade on that.)

CNN reports that the "Rocket Man" metaphor has been added to the teleprompter, and that the phrase had come from the British periodical "The Economist". There is also a song by Elton John.
  
To put things bluntly, there are advanced “bunker buster” tactical weapons (including nuclear 4th Generation) that could take out most or all of Un’s missile silos very quickly.  The biggest danger to the US sounds like a level 1 EMP from a missile or maybe a satellite. South Korea could be bombarded with conventional artillery (for a few hours at least) and another level 1 EMP.  Does the US evacuate the South first? Maybe its own citizens? 
  

I think it pays to tweet “@realDonaldTrump” and urge caution.  He actually reads individual people even if he hates the establishment media.



We want diplomacy to work. But down the road (despite Fareed Zakaria’s claims about Un’s “rationality”) we could face the dominoes – demands that the US pull out of defending South Korea completely.  A grave sign would be a missile launch (or even a satellite) that actually does detonate something.  That would ratchet up the immediate risk to the continental U.S. very suddenly. The 2014 Sony hack shows that Un can lose his temper (as can Trump)  -- remember Google’s joke about defending free speech in Seth Rogen (and James Franco) movies?  What if Milo Yiannopoulos fat-shames Kim Jong Un on Breitbart or on his own site.  It sounds so perverse: Un actually gained weight to look like his grandfather, as if this would make his people worship him.  It seemed to work, more fully than any domestic religious cult here (even James Jones).  The idea of doing this sounds unthinkable in the West.  

Update: Sept. 21

In addition to the dotard remarks, North Korea has threatened to detonate a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific, the first nuclear test outside its boundaries.  And it it detonated from a satellite or missile, that would cross a new threshold for Trump, Guardian story.

Update: Oct. 8

There's a lot of attention to Trump's tweets, about the "calm before the storm" and "only one thing will work", Washington Post story.   UK and Russian sources claim that DPRK will probably fire a major ICBM test by Oct. 10 (a Communist holiday) but it is unclear if it can detonate from a missile.  Atlantic has a major piece by Mark Bowden on four strategies for dealing with North Korea here. 

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