On CNN on this, the Wednesday morning after the end of the world began, there were smorgasbord of anchors, reporters, and guests who pondered and dissected the many ways in which President Trump’s “fire and fury” quotable line for the ages was, is, or will be responsible for a fairly imminent nuclear catastrophe.
On Tuesday, a day which will live in stridency, the story was the same on social media and everywhere else. People were tweeting about the proper amount of concrete for a fallout shelter and sharing their emotional turbulence over what Trump hath wrought. His remarks escalated everything, they said, and Guam is under threat because of it. He’s endangering the world, and so. We have chosen the form of the destructor: Orange Stay-Puft man.
Excuse me, but come on.
It should be no secret that I don’t care for Donald Trump. But another thing I also hate is when people say things like “this is a recruitment tool for terror” or “the shooter didn’t have a voice” or “Trump is provoking North Korea.” It’s mostly nonsense. Not all of it, but mostly.
Some people can’t be provoked. Some people can’t be deterred from terror. Not because the former are unflappable or the latter or unstoppable, but because they are already at maximum jerk. North Korea is exactly as much of a threat before you tell them to screw off as after. Terror groups don’t need your disapproval of their murder sprees to recruit. These threats are known knowns. They exist apart from your or our participation.
Normally I agree that Trump and his Tweets and his mouth are nothing but trouble, and in this case, he could have said something diplomatic and calming for the sake of, say, American democrats or other foreign powers or people who live in proximity to North Korea to feel better and safer and more secure about. He could have avoided the perception of a grand conflict. Sure. But that is not the same thing as saying he’s the cause of the fears people are now experiencing about a nuclear threat to the world. North Korea did that. They’ve been doing that. And make no mistake, that is precisely the message from the mainstream press. This is his doing, somehow.
The threat in and from North Korea to the rest of the world is very real, and dangerous. It has to be dealt with. China and Japan and South Korea and the United States have to do something. They can’t launch a strike today (so chill about that) but intel does confirm their belief that miniaturization is now a reality for North Korea. This is a real thing, a serious problem.
But THEY did this. They escalated. They had every intention of continuing to escalate when they woke up Monday morning, they have the same intention as they go to sleep Wednesday night. Irrespective of the Trump quote.
And serious talk from the President must be something he can back up, also true. Who wants to suggest the United States military can’t bring the fire and fury without a nuke? Who wants to? Speak up, please, and tell us about how you think the threat of American military might isn’t something that can be backed up. We’ll wait.
No? Okay then. We can bring fire and fury even without a nuclear bomb. Settled.
By the way, if you really want to talk about irresponsible language, why not ask CNN why they are already asking generals what options the military has to disobey the President when he orders the nuclear strike that he hasn’t yet actually even mentioned. I think that’s a pretty good place to start.
Yesterday, “bomb, bomb Iran” John McCain said that the President’s remarks were not helpful. Why not ask him what helpful means? Doesn’t that seem like a good use of a reporter’s time? Rather than, say, suborning dereliction of duty? I’m just saying, if we’re going to talk about being careful with what you say …