Sure, if the North Koreans wanted to deploy it, whether atop of one of their inchoate ICBMs or with a big sling shot, that would be worrisome. But doing so would mean the end of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
While the DPRK is given to a brand of lunacy so villainous and vile it strains credulity, they've yet to cross the line into suicidal.
No, what has me worried is President Trump who responded to another in a long line of threats from an unhinged dictator by using the language of...wait for it...
an unhinged dictator.
Of course, the DPRK called Trump's bluff with... wait for it ... more threats against the United States, in particular missile strikes on the U.S. territory of Guam and other attacks that would "hasten the demise" of America.
To recap, Trump says, "If they threaten us again, we're going to do this!" DPRK responds by threatening the U.S. again and Trump does nothing.
In uttering the now oft-repeated "fire and fury" line, Trump drew an unnecessary red line and was made to look foolish on the world stage – again. In the process, he escalated tensions across the globe, my rosy, "not-scared" outlook notwithstanding.
Donald Trump just demonstrated to our planet that he clearly doesn't know what just about every kid who's ever been in a fight on the playground learns: to be effective, threats have to be believable.
What we're looking at now – a president who's word is worth little and who lowered himself to the level of his terrorist-state adversary – is the best-case result of this incident.
It could have been worse and, indeed, Trump's threat and subsequent lack of follow through sets the stage for just such an outcome with bad actors across the globe emboldened by a President's empty rhetoric.
Trump took one step toward nuclear brinksmanship ala the Cuban Missile Crisis for no good reason. It's no stretch to suggest neither of these two leaders bears resemblance to JFK and Nikita Khrushchev and that fact is plenty scary.
North Korea is led by a micro-man who's sole talent is being the son of the previous micro man who led the country. Along with his dad's height, taste for $2,000 bottles of liquor and complete lack of conscience, Kim Jong Un inherited the family propensity for cartoonish craziness. This includes killing adversaries by such means as siccing dogs upon them or, using an anti-aircraft gun.
The DPRK imprisons hundreds of thousands of its citizens in forced labor camps without justification. About one-tenth of the country's population died in a preventable famine in the mid-nineties and the U.N World Food Program estimates that 70 percent of North Korean citizens were malnourished in 2015 while 25 percent of the children are physically stunted.
Tight international sanctions have forced the DPRK to fund themselves through a variety of illegal enterprises from counterfeiting U.S. currency to illegally trafficking ivory (yes, they're evil enough to kill elephants).
|Donald Trump Jr. pictured with the severed |
tail of an elephant he killed. Just sayin'.
Every once in a while they remind the outside world they're crazy and they're nuclear and the world responds with more sanctions which ultimately aren't enough to dissuade leadership from acting out, because the pattern repeats itself.
As they have so often, Trump loyalists stepped forward to let the world know – yet again – that the President who got elected for "saying exactly what he means" didn't mean what he said.
All of which leaves the rest of the world wondering just who the hell should they be listening to?
Former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, Abraham Denmark (how's that for a name?) told CNN the mixed messages are dangerous because they "could create confusion for both allies and adversaries."
"Our adversaries and our allies are getting very mixed messages from the Trump administration, and this is why you need to have experienced people in government," he said. "This is why diplomacy requires more than a Twitter account and some bravado."