After the volatile dictator of North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons against American warships, President Trump raised the ante by promising to send “the best military people on earth” against him. Trump then dispatched American warships into the waters off the Korean peninsula.
Trump’s saber rattling was music to the ears of North Korean President Kim Jong-un. Trump’s overreaction toward the tiny nation played right into the constant stream of propaganda Jong-un uses to keep his people under his brutal thumb.
His justification for spending heavily on a huge army of over 1.2 million soldiers while millions of his people are starving is justified by his claims that the United States is about to attack.
“Intense focus on the military in a cripplingly poor country like North Korea can cause much hardship,” CNN reports, “but Pyongyang justifies its policies based on a narrative of imminent threat from foreign forces.”
“That narrative was on clear display this week,” continues CNN, “with North Korean state media – which usually tightly controls information about the outside world – going big on the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson and Trump’s surprise strike in Syria.”
A North Korean told CNN: “We’re at the brink of war, but if that happens, we’ll all go to the front lines to fight the Americans.”
Trump could not have done Kim Jong-un a bigger favor. Just as Trump used the Syria attack to get people to rally around him as a war President, the North Korean dictator does the same thing all the time, and now the American President has given him credibility in his own country that makes him even more powerful.
Once again Trump’s amateur approach to foreign policy, his confused messages about his plans on the international stage and his jingoist paranoia moves us closer to war instead of making us safer – and actually, strengthens the enemy we most want to weaken.