The commentariat in the United States is not connecting the dots between a narcissistic POTUS having the UN Security Council come to him one day, and making the Senate come to him a few days later. The Trump Administration has turned a recalcitrant North Korea into a “slow-motion Cuban Missile Crisis.”
As I write, the US government is laying the groundwork in the Security Council for war. Secretary of State Tillerson told the UN Security Council: “Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences.” That’s not a warning; it’s a threat.
There aren’t enough people of decency and goodwill in the United States to prevent war, just as there weren’t enough people of decency and goodwill to prevent a shameless, soulless egomaniac from becoming President of the United States.
As Trump demonstrated in speaking before the extremist National Rifle Association today, he’s incapable of realizing he’s President, but remains stuck in campaign mode. Again he bragged like a juvenile boy about winning the states he wasn’t expected to win on November 8th—Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania.
He even used the same vicious epithet toward Elizabeth Warren that he repeated ad nauseum at his campaign rallies, calling her “Pocahontas.” That’s not only a misogynistic slur; it’s a racist slur against all Native Americans, which the United States decimated.
There was another telling moment on CNN today when Wolf Blitzer asked one of the innumerable military experts trundled onto the continuous loop of cable news what he thought the risks of war were. When the fellow started to say something about “this unstable, egotistical, irrational person,” Blitzer, with intended slyness or unintended irony, interjected, “are you speaking of Kim Jong-un?”
That’s right Wolf, Trump and Jong-un are so much alike that you have to specify which egomaniac you’re talking about when using descriptors that fit both. The risk of miscalculation with these pathologically rudderless twins is extremely high.
Two trajectories are on a collision course. When the Donald realizes that his poll numbers will never rise above his fanatical base, and when the Pentagon and CIA determine that North Korea will soon have ICBM capability, Trump will provoke Kim Jong-un into war.
I can’t shake an experience I had the day after 9.11. In shock and sorrow like people all over the world, I went for a long walk under a cloudless California sky. I kept asking, where will this lead? Nearing home after walking for an hour, I looked to the east and was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a perfect mushroom cloud, the only cloud in the entire sky.
What do you do if you know what’s going to happen? Do you try to prevent what feels inevitable, or work to prepare oneself and others for the aftermath?
I’m not even sure I believe in prophecy. But I am sure that if there is such a thing, prophecy is one part prediction, and nine parts preparation. And without people questioning and thinking together at all levels, there can be no preparation.
History is partly unwritten, and partly pre-written. The shadow of the past doesn’t completely eclipse the future, even when it completely eclipses the present.
We are where we are. We have the leaders we have. Can we view things that are almost certain to happen as if they have already occurred, rather than have the knee-jerk reaction, “I hope that doesn’t happen?” That’s the only way to be prepared, and it goes far beyond “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
Backed into a corner of his own and the media’s making, the leader of the so-called free world will almost certainly make a desperate attempt to unify America and raise his poll numbers by provoking North Korea into war.
How bad will it be? What will China do? Remember that China halted MacArthur’s foolhardy advance beyond the 38th parallel in late 1950 by pouring hundreds of thousands of troops into North Korea.
Jong-un has been bluffing, but he will use the bomb. Trump has been bluffing, but he will use the bomb. If that happens, hundreds of thousands, even millions will die. The international order will collapse onto its rotten foundation.
As difficult as it is to prepare and plan for the aftermath now, it will be impossible to adequately respond if the unthinkable happens without psychological, emotional and philosophical preparation.
What can we as individuals do? End every shred of tribalism/nationalism within one now. Then we’ll be ready, and provide the new foundation for humankind changing course.