President Trump brought our nation to the brink of thermonuclear war with the rogue regime of North Korea by sending the USS Carl Vinson carrier group to the Korean peninsula and threatening a pre-emptive strike.
Except the carrier group was in fact off the coast of Australia at the time preparing to take part in joint exercises. Somehow, the Trump administration and James Mattis’ Department of Defense thought they could get away with pretending to send an aircraft carrier battle group to the Sea of Japan and that nobody would notice.
Our South Korean allies were not pleased by this development, rightfully criticizing Trump for not taking their national security seriously. The leading candidate for the Saenuri political party, Hong Joon-pyo, blasted Trump in a recent interview, saying that:
“What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of South Korea. If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”
Hong Joon-pyo could very well be the next leader of South Korea as the country prepares to hold elections on May 9th and determine the successor to the recently impeached Park Guen-hye.
Chinese and North Korean media had a field day over the incident, mocking Trump’s “major screw-up.” Chinese news portal Guancha.cn laughed that the “media around the entire world have been duped by Trump again!” as North Korean state-run media incredulously called out Trump’s “warning act” as nothing but a hollow bluff.
What kind of message does Trump’s appalling gaffe send to our allies around the world? We have stood by the Republic of South Korea for over half a century, but now our relationship is being called into question because Trump is refusing to take the matter of thermonuclear war seriously enough.
Trump’s rudeness towards the leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany have already put major strains on our national relationships with our closest international allies. Trump seems to be going out of his way to offend everyone close to the United States – but has nothing but praise for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
It seems that rust-belt voters aren’t the only ones learning the hard way that Trump never keeps his promises.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.