By Jason Simpkins
Back in June, I wrote an article called “Donald Trump Will Drop The Bomb – 3 Reasons Why.”
In it, I made a case as to why I believe Donald Trump will launch the country’s first nuclear attack since WWII.
That case boiled down to the following points:
1) Donald Trump has, on multiple occasions, explicitly threatened to use nuclear weapons.
2) Donald Trump possesses personal qualities — aggressiveness, impulsiveness, egotism — that make such a decision more likely.
3) A rogue state such as Iran or North Korea was bound to test Trump’s resolve.
Now, here we are, two months later and we find ourselves in a game of nuclear chicken with North Korea.
After more missile tests in July, the country that’s repeatedly threatened to turn the United States into “ash” now says it’s capable of hitting the U.S. mainland with a nuclear bomb.
In response, Donald Trump made some off-the-cuff remarks from his golf club in Bedminster, NJ.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” he said. “They will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
And now, I’m doubling down.
I’m going to give you three more reasons Donald Trump will nuke North Korea…
Point #1: Donald Trump Would Love A Distraction
Let’s be real. Donald Trump’s presidency is not off to a good start.
Cabinet members have come and gone with the wind. The effort to repeal Obamacare crashed and burned in a high-profile failure. And the ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia continues to hound his administration.
Depending on what poll you look at, Trump’s approval rating is anywhere from 36%-45%, with the majority of the country disapproving in any case.
This would be bad for any president, but for one who’s notoriously obsessed with publicity, it’s a disaster.
A distraction that pushes Russia and Congressional dysfunction off newspaper pages and cable news chyrons would certainly be welcome. That makes this North Korea situation something of a blessing for an embattled administration.
Better still, the one thing Trump actually gained universal plaudits for was his decision to bomb Syria.
The media’s response to that decision was positively glowing.
Now, is it reckless and petty to engage a dangerous state like North Korea just to change the conversation?
Is this administration above it?
No. Absolutely not.
If Donald Trump nukes North Korea, we’re going to have a conflict that dominates national discourse. There won’t be any room to discuss Congress’ failures, Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, or anything else.
Meanwhile, as I said in June, Trump would have a field day playing tough guy. His supporters would laud him as bold and decisive. They’d argue that it should have been done sooner, but Barack Obama was too weak. His approval ratings might even rise.
Indeed, Donald Trump is desperate for a win. And obliterating a hostile foreign country most Americans can’t even find on a map would give him a chance to declare victory.
Point #2: North Korea Is A Rabid Dog
I don’t, by any means, want to undersell North Korea’s role in this mess.
There are few regimes in the world as brutal and oppressive as North Korea’s and none as estranged from reality.
No one even really knows how old Kim Jong-Un is. He could be 33, 34, or 35. Accounts of his character suggest he’s lazy, awkward, unintelligent, and obsessed with basketball.
His rule, like his father’s and grandfather’s, relies on executions, purges, imprisonment, and propaganda to maintain order.
The iron fist of the ruling Kim family and a lifeline from China are the only things that have kept this country afloat for decades.
But now, even China is losing patience with its meddlesome neighbor, signing on to new sanctions that will cost North Korea a third of its annual export revenue. Its military is already massing on North Korea’s northern border anticipating U.S. intervention.
And in response, North Korea is getting even more reclusive and more belligerent. The leadership has no clear goal or endgame beyond survival, and that survival is increasingly at risk.
Threats from the United States aren’t luring North Korea to the bargaining table, but instead causing the country to lash out. It’s flaunting a plan to hit the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missile strikes — an act that would draw an immediate and decisive response.
Isolated and cornered, North Korea remains feral.
No economic sanctions and no amount of dialogue are going to stop the country from pursuing its nuclear program and threatening the United States and its allies.
That threat is unacceptable.
So now we’re in a Mexican standoff — one in which both parties are considering pre-emptive strikes.
Eventually one side is going to break and pull the trigger.
It could be North Korea, or it could be Trump. But this isn’t going to end well.
Point #3: Donald Trump Can’t Find a Reason NOT to Go Nuclear
Prior to Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. policy toward North Korea was “strategic patience.”
The belief for decades was that we could ignore North Korea, trusting that sanctions and diplomacy would be enough to solve the problem.
It’s clear now that they’re not.
We’re finally past the point of peaceful solutions.
And that’s a shame.
While there’s a lot of talk about the fecklessness of previous administrations in solving the North Korea situation, it’s not ineptitude that got us here; it’s compassion.
The reality is armed conflict with North Korea is going to bring about a humanitarian disaster. A lot of innocent people are going to get hurt.
The regard for civilian life has long kept the United States from taking drastic action.
Well, I’m telling you right here and now Donald Trump doesn’t care about that.
Since taking office, Donald Trump’s war on ISIS has killed more than 2,200 civilians. That seven-month total is equal to the number of civilians killed by the Obama administration in two years.
Approximately 360 civilians per month are being killed by the Trump administration, compared to 80 civilians per month under Obama.
This is in line with a promise Trump made during his campaign to “bomb the shit out of ISIS,” regardless of the civilian death toll.
It’s also compliant with Trump’s embrace of nuclear weapons — again, something I highlighted in June.
Three times he asked a foreign policy expert on his transition team why we can’t use nuclear weapons.
Three times he asked: “If we have them, why can’t we use them?”
The reality is this: Donald Trump does not care about the devastating effect of nuclear weapons.
And if that’s the case, what then is to stop him from using them?
In Donald Trump’s mind, there’s no reason not to use nuclear weapons — especially on a country like North Korea.
It could come as a pre-emptive strike, or it could be retaliatory, but it’s going to happen.