Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Albert R. Hunt: President Donald Trump is a reckless bully with authoritarian leanings and a craving for attention. Kim Jong-un is a reckless bully with dictatorial powers and a craving for attention. Oh yes, and both have fingers on nuclear triggers. That's why so many national security experts of both political parties struggle to think of a scarier pair. It's not just that Kim's outlaw North Korean regime has accelerated its nuclear weapons capacity and delivery capability, or that Kim sees nuclear weapons as his insurance policy against adversaries. It's also that Trump has displayed little appreciation of history or knowledge and a compulsion to show that he's tough. Trump has called Kim a "madman," one of the few things he has gotten right about North Korea. Dealing with him, though, requires measured patience and smart diplomacy -- not Trump's forte -- and a reliance on alliances and relationships that he has dismissed.

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A fear expressed by some experts is that Trump, who fancies himself a masterful negotiator, would agree to offer less resistance to China's ambitions in the South China Sea in exchange for a promise by Xi to bring more pressure on North Korea.

The other fear is that the megalomaniac North Korean dictator could goad Trump into a mano-a-mano exchange that starts on Twitter and ends who-knows-where.

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This is a very realistic and scary possibility. I do not trust the maturity nor bigness-of-heart of either Trump or Kim. They both are ----------- narcissistic dictators or (in Trump's case) a wanna-be dictator. A milion dead to them would mean NOTHING. Not so long as it made them look strong or made them more popular, even if just for a moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have never felt in my lifetime that renewed military combat on a grand scale between the US and N. Korea has been more likely than now. It's like a perfect storm of egomaniacal proportions.

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-03-19 05:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I see it as saber rattling. China wouldn't stand for it. The hawks are probing for weak spots and I doubt they will find any.

There's still a strong chance of a hot war with the Russian/China axis. But not yet.

#2 | Posted by Ray at 2017-03-19 05:39 PM | Reply

Ray, you are naive. If you don't think Trump sees himself as the grandiose military/economic savior of the US, then you haven't been paying any attention. For him there would be no prouder accomplishment than to be the scourge who liberated the N. Korean people from their "nasty" dictator and from the clutches of Chinese quasi-control. An attack on North Korea that would remove Kim is something right up Trump's alley on so many different levels. The ego/narcissism pay-off of such an endeavor seems custom designed to appeal to him. Reagan, Clinton and Obama were saber rattlers. Trump, like GWB before, views war against an evil despot as a free ticket to greater popularity.

#3 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-03-19 05:44 PM | Reply

If you don't think Trump sees himself as the grandiose military/economic savior of the US, then you haven't been paying any attention.

He doesn't hide his intention to increase military spending at the expense of other departments. In a recent post, I called him Bibi's puppet.

You are looking at North Korea in isolation from its benefactor, China.

Trump, like GWB before, views war against an evil despot as a free ticket to greater popularity.

Agree.

It's a question of when the US and NATO think they are ready to take on the Russia/China axis in a hot war. I don't know when that day is going to come.

#4 | Posted by Ray at 2017-03-19 06:33 PM | Reply

Looking forward to what SecDef Mattis has planned on this matter. We could get into some exciting things during President Donald J. Trump's second term.

#5 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-03-19 07:58 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

The first term is all foreplay, and as Obama once said to Putin's benchwarmer, "I'll have more flexibility after the election [as a lame duck President]."

#6 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-03-19 08:00 PM | Reply

There won't be a war. No attention span for it; Trump can't work more than five days before going on vacation and spend it tweeting. Sad!

#7 | Posted by e1g1 at 2017-03-19 08:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

#5 Mattis doesn't need to have a plan. The plans have been drawn up for years and are continuously tweaked.

None of this is about Trump. Jong-Un has been like this since the day he took over, and Obama even knew this was an escalating problem that Trump was going to be saddled with (and told him so). This is all about the psycho running North Korea who believes he can bluff the world into giving him what he wants. He's like the fat kid at a high school who brags that he knows karate and could "kick your ass": the fact that nobody ever punches him in the face reinforces his delusion of being a badass. The truth is that he just isn't worth it, and ignoring him just makes him get louder and more obnoxious. At some point, he'll escalate the situation, and someone (almost certainly South Korea) is going to punch him in the face and he'll go back to his mom's basement for awhile.

#8 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-03-20 07:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Trump and lil' Kim should go into a room with a ruler (that is in centimeters) and have a Peter measuring contest. Winner gets a gift card at Red Robin and gets bragging rights on Twitter.

#9 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2017-03-20 09:17 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

All that might be true about Kim Jong-Un but still thousands of S. Koreans and N. Koreans are going to die if a war starts. As ridiculous as Kim Jong-Un is he is still very dangerous and war with him is a very bad idea.
We need to work harder and find some way to keep the peace. It's just childish to pretend otherwise. War should not even be a consideration, people die in wars, lots of people.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2017-03-20 09:50 AM | Reply

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We should not be paying North Korea bribes and tribute. It only encourages their aggressive behavior. A sensible approach would be less deferential than how our leaders have behaved towards N Korea in the past. Trump recognizes that we've been too deferential but he's simply too much of an idiot to be trusted to come up with something more reasonable.

It is disturbing that Trump said something about how we "need to win a war" a few weeks ago. Sounds like he wants to start a war just so he can take credit for "winning". He's definitely stupid and amoral enough to do this. North Korea seems like as good a candidate as any for Trump's war "because I want to win a war".

#11 | Posted by Sully at 2017-03-20 10:10 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The issue is whether Trump will continue to escalate it.

#12 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-03-20 10:15 AM | Reply

NK is "allegedly" close to having an ICBM that could reach the US.
Do we wait for it or take steps to stop it?
Knowing that no matter what Trump does, the haters will call it wrong.

#13 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2017-03-20 10:59 AM | Reply

#10 I totally agree. Unfortunately, I don't know if Jong-Un is even aware of the implications. Because the rest of the world has such limited visibility into the political mechanics in North Korea, we have no idea if he's bought into his own propaganda and actually believes what he says.

#14 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-03-20 11:03 AM | Reply

The fact that you are ignoring is that we are still at war with the PDRK. There was never a peace treaty signed, only a truce. Secondly the Kim regime does not have to deal with reality very often. They, in their little world create their own reality. Such as, Little Kim's father shot a 37 in his first round of golf, including eight holes in one. As far as a war getting hot in Korea, we have war gamed that to hell and back. Best estimates I've seen is around 600,000 South Korean causalities and around one million+ on the north's side. American causalities would run around 30 to 50 thousand, with the deployment of five divisions over two years. The saber rattling from the north could be from the frosty relationship that has developed with China over the last few years. China has recently stopped coal shipments into the north. That is a big deal, as the north has very little capital to buy anything abroad. The PDRK is more isolated and weaker than it has been in decades. The only real security the North has ever had is the promise of intervention by the Chinese
The division between south and north has gone on for 70 years, and the South does not want the North, the cost of bringing the north into the 21st century would be astronomical. The Chinese have better relations with South Korea, and the south does not cost them a dime. The south does not have thousands of illegal aliens entering their country as they do from the north. The Russians would have serious problems supporting the north, access is tenuous at best. And they have little reason to do so. The bellicose rhetoric from the north is a sign of their very real desperation. Nuclear weapons don't feed people.

#15 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-03-20 11:08 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#11 I watched one installment of a series on History Channel this weekend that was covering the initial expansion of Nazi Germany and the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain, who naively believed he could bribe Hitler into non-aggression - not realizing that every time he appeased Hitler, it was emboldening him.

en.wikipedia.org

It seems reasonable that Jong-Un is much of the same mind as Hitler, and that he is emboldened every time his saber-rattling is rewarded by shipments of cookies.

On a side note, you don't have to be the brightest bulb in the box to read the Wiki entry in the link and see a parallel between the Nazi "repatriation" of ethnically German Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and the Russian "liberation" of ethnically Russian Crimea.

#16 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-03-20 12:07 PM | Reply

NK is "allegedly" close to having an ICBM that could reach the US.

#13 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE AT 2017-03-20 10:59 AM | REPLY

NK is far from having a solid fuel, road mobile ICBM with intercontinental range AND a warhead that can survive atmosphere reentry at the hypersonic speeds that entails.

#17 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-03-20 05:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The fact that you are ignoring is that we are still at war with the PDRK. There was never a peace treaty signed, only a truce.

#15 | POSTED BY DOCNJO AT 2017-03-20 11:08 AM | FLAG:

We never declared war on the DPRK. It was a "police action". South Korea is at war with them, we are not.

#18 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-03-20 05:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Little d's approval rating is plummeting. He needs a war. Sucks to be Korean.

#19 | Posted by bored at 2017-03-20 10:21 PM | Reply

it's a real bitch when you really wanta' see punk-ass kim bitch slap "president" trump. i would imagine the whole world would embrace
a scenario where they take each other out and leave the rest of us alone

#20 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-03-21 03:24 AM | Reply

We need to work harder and find some way to keep the peace.

Sometimes, war is the only way to keep a "peace".

I'm sometimes amazed at how you think peace is achieved. There is no such thing as peace through negotiation. Peace is always achieved for one of two reasons:

1. You are stronger than who you are negotiating with.
2. You are weaker than who you are negotiating with and you want the best deal possible.

Post #8 is spot on...

#21 | Posted by boaz at 2017-03-21 08:06 AM | Reply

War should not even be a consideration

Only two things can come of this statement:

1. Your enemy is considering war, so you should too..
2. You are so afraid of war, your enemy bullies you into his point of view. And then you don't have your "peace".

#22 | Posted by boaz at 2017-03-21 08:08 AM | Reply

#18 | Posted by sitzkrieg, Ask the people who fought there. It was a war. Police Action is just political BS terminology invented by Truman.
#21 | Posted by boaz negotiating with the insane is impossible. If insanity is a departure from reality, the PDRK is the best example of mass insanity on the planet. Reality is what the state says it is, and what the state says is all they can hear. People get executed for having a radio that can pick up more than the state run broadcast or watching South Korean CDs,(a big black market item).

#23 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-03-21 09:41 AM | Reply

18 | Posted by sitzkrieg, Ask the people who fought there. It was a war. Police Action is just political BS terminology invented by Truman.

#23 | POSTED BY DOCNJO AT 2017-03-21 09:41 AM | REPLY

I've been fortunate to sit in on panels and listen to veterans, including one where the only guy without a purple heart crossed the parallel 5 times. 2 times crawling forward with his face in the mud, and 3 times running away at full speed.

but it's still not legally a war. A police action is BS terminology, but it's also an important legal point. Legal wars require congressional approval.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-03-21 10:07 AM | Reply

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg, Maybe Congress should review the War Powers Act,(1974?) and take away the Chief Executive's power to get us into a war. As it stands now he has 90 days to start one. A declaration would be academic after that. Maybe take away the power to support a side in a civil war. The result is many times worse for us afterward. Libya for example. Remember, I am a libertarian.

#25 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-03-21 01:44 PM | Reply

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