As President Trump taunts North Korea’s leader with schoolyard insults, the terrifying possibility is that his threat to “totally destroy” a country of 25 million people could involve the U.S. in another genocide, warns David Marks.
By David Marks
The level of insult and hostile name-calling between world leaders was taken to a new extreme by Donald Trump in his speech before the U.N. General Assembly. In his preferred rhetoric replete with saber rattling, Trump’s comments included, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Are we becoming numb to the tirades of the President? His apologists claim his words don’t necessarily reflect U.S. policy, however the threat to destroy an entire nation of 25 million people reveals a further willingness to embrace nuclear war. There are many Americans who protest his vision, but the United States seems relatively complacent considering his belligerence.
In the same speech, rather than envisioning an improvement in U.S.-Iranian relations, Trump condemned their leadership without any room for diplomacy: “The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in addition to responding specifically to Trump’s threats to scrap the 2015 nuclear agreement, added, “Mr. Trump was offensive to Iran, and we are waiting for Mr. Trump to apologize to the people of Iran.”
Behind Trump’s words is a drumbeat that is all too familiar to anyone who has read, studied or lived through war; and seen how threats and hostility can turn into madness and violence. When it comes to war there is an irrepressible and repetitive pattern where self-righteousness and nationalism mix to make a poisonous, explosive cocktail, blinding opponents to the…