On the Brink

Hmmm:

North Korea’s military is “examining the operational plan” to strike areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles, state-run news agency KCNA said early Wednesday local time.

Specifically, the statement mentioned a potential strike on “Andersen Air Force Base in which the US strategic bombers, which get on the nerves of the DPRK and threaten and blackmail it through their frequent visits to the sky above south Korea, are stationed and to send a serious warning signal to the US.”
Guam’s Office of Civil Defense issued a statement Wednesday saying there was no imminent threat to the safety of the US territory’s residents and visitors. Around 160,000 people live on Guam, including thousands of US troops.

The immediate cause of this appears to have been Trump’s statement that if the Norks continued to threaten the US, they would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

There are several things to unroll here in the building tension with North Korea. North Korea has nukes, but it’s not clear that they can mate them to missiles (yet). If a conventional military engagement occurred, we could easily beat them. But the cost would be catastrophic — most likely Seoul bombarded with one of the largest artillery actions in history. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands dead and one of the world’s economic powerhouses reduced to rubble. Not to mention the potential of an engagement with China.

The X-factor, of course, is our own nuclear weapons which Trump has single and unconstrained control over. And Trump is showing, every day, that everything we feared about his temperament is correct. Rick Wilson:

Some presidents meet crisis with resolve and discipline. Some have a team of serious, capable advisers who bring knowledge, focus, and insight into complex regions and actors. Some have guts. Some have intellectual horsepower and mental bandwidth. Some understand people and power.

What we know of Donald Trump is that he lacks all of these characteristics, and while some of his advisers have shining parts, he ignores those who offer him counsel on how to behave, govern, and lead as a president. The Scaramucci sideshow was one more example of how deeply unready Trump is for a real crisis and how at risk our nation is because the president is temperamentally (and, let’s be real, mentally) unfit to serve. Donald Trump the television character—decisive, worldly, smart, and always in control—is precisely the opposite of Donald Trump the man. The real Donald Trump is moody, needy, shallow, and impulsive.

This is something we forget. The Trump Administration is under siege during a time of peace and reasonable prosperity. But a real crisis is coming. Even if cooler heads prevail in Korea, it could be something else: a terrorist attack, an attack on an ally, a stock market crash, something. Has anything Trump has done so far made you think he’s capable of dealing with it?

For what it’s worth, I don’t know that there is a solution to the North Korean situation. But if there is one, I am not confident that we have the leadership in place to achieve it.

Comments are closed.

  1. repmom

    Thanks for the post, Hal. I commented to stogy before seeing it. And I haven’t checked Twitter this morning. Rick Wilson is someone I also follow.

    Now I’m not so comfortable.

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  2. richtaylor365

    Gee, more Trump bashing (and by extension more GOP bashing), and you wonder why most of the right leaning commentators have left what was originally a right leaning blog [hence, the name].

    I really hate being put in a position to defend a guy I find repulsive, and this Rick Wilson sounds like a big dufus to me, but in an effort to put forth some balance in a sea of hysteria;

    What we know of Donald Trump is that he lacks all of these characteristics

    I guess if you listen to the MSM, that would be your take. So, Trump has no guts, has no intellectual horsepower, and does not know people or power?

     The Scaramucci sideshow was one more example of how deeply unready Trump is for a real crisis and how at risk our nation is because the president is temperamentally (and, let’s be real, mentally) unfit to serve.

    Yes, Trump is mentally ill, where have I heard that before? A guy who built a hundred plus million dollar business empire, a guy who beat 16 top GOP contenders, a guy who beat the most singularly qualified candidate in the history of history, but he is mentally retarded.

    And it was Kelly who wanted Scaramucci gone, you (and this clown Wilson) have no fricking clue how effective he would have been in that role. But, given his success, I suppose Scaramucci is mentally retarded as well.

     The real Donald Trump is moody, needy, shallow, and impulsive.

    Sounds to me like describing both Obama and Hillary to a tee. Yes, Trump is all those things (I suspect many politicians are) But I’m still waiting to see the corollary between these and effective governing,  since none of these bar anyone from being a good president. And no, he has not been a good president yet (maybe never will be), but the unfounded conclusions reached, driven by personal bias (He never listens to his advisers, can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes, is mentally retarded, is too dumb to understand power, has too short of a fuse and will incinerate anyone at the drop of a hat, and [my favorite] does not understand people) is just, how did Malkin put it?, Yeah, “unhinged”.

     

     

     

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  3. repmom

    Gee, more Trump bashing (and by extension more GOP bashing), and you wonder why most of the right leaning commentators have left what was originally a right leaning blog [hence, the name].

    So, Rich, if you believe Hal is destroying this blog, why are you — a contributing writer — not offering Conservative posts to counter his in an effort to save it?

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  4. repmom

    If I had the option of editing my last comment, I would put the word Conservative in quotes. I know plenty of Conservatives, including myself, who feel pretty much the same as Hal when it comes to Donald Trump. Including Rick Wilson. But obviously he (Wilson) is bad, and Malkin (a Fox News contributor assuming Rich is referring to Michelle Malkin) is good.

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  5. stogy

    So, Rich, if you believe Hal is destroying this blog, why are you — a contributing writer — not offering Conservative posts to counter his in an effort to save it?

    Because it’s all about supporting the team, Repmom. Even when the quarterback keeps dropping the ball.  “Whatever Trump does, the Dems would be worse” is a pathetic defense of poor government. The Republicans have control of all three branches of government but cannot get themselves together to pass basic election promises. The WH team can’t even stay on message for 24 hours.

    But gotta support the team.

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  6. richtaylor365

    So, Rich, if you believe Hal is destroying this blog

    But that’s not what I said [CM, did you high jack repmom’s account?)

    Hal is not destroying the blog, hell, he is the only one writing on it. No, it was damaged beyond repair when all the conservatives left. Now it is only Hal, (hardly a conservative) writing anti Trump screeds with abandon as the triad of progressives give each other reach arounds with thumbs up and chanting ,”here, here”.

    why are you — a contributing writer — not offering Conservative posts to counter his in an effort to save it?

    A fair question, and the short answer is why bother given that  of the 4 or 5 members that still read it, 3 of them are not even close to right thinking. TBH, if we had the readership of say even a few years back, I would still write for this blog. But we don’t and now it is all a matter of time management, spending my time on other endeavors. My answer probably won’t please you but my time is my time.

     I know plenty of Conservatives, including myself, who feel pretty much the same as Hal when it comes to Donald Trump.

    And so do I, most of the time, hence all my anti Trump screeds but at least I try to be an honest broker, praising him when he does something good and criticizing him when he does something bad. But crickey, take this post for example, a post about NK and look how quickly it devolved into yet another anti Trump pasting, it gets tiring real fast.

    Including Rick Wilson

    Look, I don’t know this Rick Wilson guy but if this factless polemic is any indication of the thoroughness or honesty in his other writings, then yeah, I’m not a fan.

    As far as Malkin, I haven’t seen her on Fox in years, so no, I don’t think she is a regular. But describing the level at which Trump resides rent free in the heads of the MSM as “unhinged”,  spot on.

     

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  7. repmom

    But that’s not what I said [CM, did you high jack repmom’s account?)

    Nobody high-jacked my account, Rich. I quoted you, word for word. Not sure how you can deny it.

    And yes, Hal is doing his damnedest to keep this blog alive, with no help from fellow contributors, only criticism from them. You blamed him in your comments for running all the conservatives away. And now you deny it?  Really?

    A fair question, and the short answer is why bother given that  of the 4 or 5 members that still read it, 3 of them are not even close to right thinking. 

    You have no idea who still reads this blog. Not everyone who reads comments. That’s a cop-out on your part, imo.

    As far as Malkin, I haven’t seen her on Fox in years, so no, I don’t think she is a regular. But describing the level at which Trump resides rent free in the heads of the MSM as “unhinged”,  spot on.

    I haven’t watched Fox News in at least a year, but I do remember Malkin as a contributor, and when I googled her, it described her as such. And we aren’t talking about the MSM here, are we? We’re talking about individual’s opinions, here on this blog. You condemned Wilson, and quoted Malkin, therefore picking one Republican commentator over another, based on your own beliefs.

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  8. stogy

    My answer probably won’t please you but my time is my time.

    That’s unfortunate, Rich. I enjoyed our discussions earlier in the year. I was sorry that I had to disappear for a while when things were getting interesting.

    a post about NK and look how quickly it devolved into yet another anti Trump pasting, it gets tiring real fast.

    There are plenty of other people in the Republican Party – including elected members – who are saying the same thing as Hal here. Hal may not be conservative in your sense of the word, but he’s still right wing.

     

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  9. richtaylor365

    Rich. I quoted you, word for word

    Ah, no you didn’t, and to prove it please cut and paste my comment where it say’s ,”I believe Hal is ruining this blog”, not your interpretation or your inference, you said word for word, that is what I want, i’ll wait.

    You blamed him in your comments for running all the conservatives away. 

    Nope, wrong again. Please cut and paste where I said, “Hal is running all the conservatives away”.

    This is what I said;

    Gee, more Trump bashing (and by extension more GOP bashing), and you wonder why most of the right leaning commentators have left what was originally a right leaning blog [hence, the name].

    Since I’ve brought this up before and maybe you did not read the  other comments, I will try to clarify. A constant stream of Trump bashing and GOP bashing as exhibited here, where conservatism is not represented anymore, but where the MSM talking points are, it this atmosphere that has resulted in many conservatives bailing.

    Yes, I could have been more artful but this is just an extension of previous comments made by me on this subject. Nowhere anywhere did I say that Hal alone is the mover, it is always posts and comments to that post, I thought that was obvious and did not need emphasis.

    You have no idea who still reads this blog. Not everyone who reads comments.

    Sure, but if we are going to be honest, who spends the time to craft a post where comments are not expected? The whole purpose of blogs is an exchange, an exchange of ideas, to maybe learn something from someone who has a different take. Without comments a fair indication is that no one is reading, so unless you are writing for therapy, what’s the point?

     That’s a cop-out on your part, imo.

    And you certainly are entitled to that opinion, but instead of criticizing me for lack of participation for the reasons already enumerated, why don’t you step up? I hereby nominate repmom as a contributing author. Hal has admin rights so if he reads this he can set you up, easy peasy.

     

     

     

     

     

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  10. richtaylor365

    That’s unfortunate, Rich. I enjoyed our discussions earlier in the year.

    Ditto. You at least try, most of the time :). As to your snarky ,”It’s all about supporting the team”, I don’t think I have a team, no team that is honestly representing my interests. The GOP has let me down more times than I can count. But what they do or what they say in no way changes what I believe. Too bad I, and like minded individuals as a collective, have such little sway over them.

    There are plenty of other people in the Republican Party – including elected members – who are saying the same thing as Hal here.

    It’s like you missed the point on purpose. As I said before, more times than I can count, it’s not the Trump criticism’s, I do it to and many times it is warranted. It is the ability (laziness) to turn any topic into yet another anti Trump screed. On a dime, a post on NK turns to bashing Trump, not even an honest bash where legitimate questions can be raised about his abilities in handling this crises. No, its Trump is a mental defective, has no people skills, never listens to anyone, has no guts, and lacks intellectual horsepower. The same nonsense parroted on all the left leaning blogs, parroted right here as well.

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  11. stogy

    On a dime, a post on NK turns to bashing Trump, not even an honest bash where legitimate questions can be raised about his abilities in handling this crises. No, its Trump is a mental defective, has no people skills, never listens to anyone, has no guts, and lacks intellectual horsepower. 

    Or it could be that Trump’s speech was a poorly considered response to NK’s sabre-rattling. And rightly deserved to be criticized. Here’s one:

    Incendiary rhetoric is the last thing that the U.S. needs in its dealings with North Korea. Making a threat like this is irresponsible in several ways. It is intentionally provocative, and that will make it more difficult to reduce tensions. It is needlessly alarming to allies and gives them reason to fear that the U.S. might act recklessly at their expense. It seems to commit the U.S. to taking drastic actions in response to North Korean rhetoric, which puts the U.S. in the absurd position of either backing up the president’s mindless bluster or climbing down publicly. Despite repeatedly criticizing Obama’s “red line” in Syria, Trump has drawn a much bigger, more consequential line and dared North Korea to cross it. Knowing the North Korean leadership’s track record, it is almost certain that they will call what we have to hope is nothing more than Trump’s bluff.

    The source? The American Conservative (which I read almost daily, btw)

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  12. Iconoclast

    “Whatever Trump does, the Dems would be worse” is a pathetic defense of poor government.

    I didn’t say that, but that obviously doesn’t matter; it’s still a convenient straw man for you and CM to mentally masturbate over.

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  13. richtaylor365

    Or it could be that Trump’s speech was a poorly considered response to NK’s sabre-rattling. And rightly deserved to be criticized.

    Except that Hal and Wilson were not talking about Trump’s speech, once again taking “missing the point” to an art form.

    Hal;

     And Trump is showing, every day, that everything we feared about his temperament is correct

    Wilson;

    The way Trump governs himself when America isn’t under overt attack should sober you. The prospect of how he’ll respond when we are should terrify us all.

    Neither was referencing the speech, but a general every day evaluation in to Trump’s demeanor  in dealing with crisis.

    BTW, I agree with that TAC statement.

     

     

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  14. CM

    Ah, no you didn’t, and to prove it please cut and paste my comment where it say’s ,”I believe Hal is ruining this blog”, not your interpretation or your inference, you said word for word, that is what I want, i’ll wait.

    Likewise, where did anyone say Trump was “mentally retarded”?

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  15. CM

    I didn’t say that, but that obviously doesn’t matter; it’s still a convenient straw man for you and CM to mentally masturbate over.

    You’ve written plenty of times that appointing the ‘right’ SCOTUS judge and avoiding WW3 was enough to make Trump preferable to Hillary, irrespective of what damage he does.

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  16. repmom

     

    Gee, more Trump bashing (and by extension more GOP bashing), and you wonder why most of the right leaning commentators have left what was originally a right leaning blog [hence, the name].
     Hal is not destroying the blog, hell, he is the only one writing on it. No, it was damaged beyond repair when all the conservatives left. Now it is only Hal, (hardly a conservative) writing anti Trump screeds with abandon as the triad of progressives give each other reach arounds with thumbs up and chanting ,”here, here”.

    Your words, Rich. If they are not the equivalent of saying “this blog is no longer what it used to because of your constant Trump bashing”, I don’t know what is. Yes, I said “destroying”. Is there any difference?

    I hereby nominate repmom as a contributing author

    No, thanks. I have no desire to be a contributing author. If I did, I would have offered a long time ago, like you obviously did. If you feel it would be a waste of your time at this point, fine. Understandable.

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  17. richtaylor365

    Your words, Rich.

    Yes, they are, no where does it say ,”I believe Hal is ruining this blog”, like you claimed.

    My clarification in above comment covered where I thought you went off the rails. My statement said Trump bashing AND GOP bashing, remember? Also, where you are getting tripped up (partially my fault because I did not spell out what I thought was implicit,  and partially yours for not either reading or remembering my earlier forays concerning this topic) is that is was a combination of Hal’s posts and the progressive regulars all high fiving each other, effusively proclaiming ,”You go, girl”, the common exchanges we see every day on the leftest blogs. Geez, you just posted a quote from me explaining this very thing, did you read my quote that you posted?

    No, thanks. I have no desire to be a contributing author.

    OK, well, if you change your mind, I think you would be an asset.

    Understandable

    So now understandable and not a cop out? I appreciate that. Just to be clear, I never said it would be a waste of my time, certainly don’t feel that way, just syncing the hierarchy of time to those activities with requisite importance in my life. I’ll pop in from time to time.

     

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  18. repmom

    Our President has thanked Putin for expelling US diplomats.

    That’s all good. Right?

    As a contributing author of a “Conservative” blog, how would one spin this?  Just curious.

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  19. repmom

    Rich, on writing here, you used the words “why bother” and “what’s the point”.

    But that’s not the same as saying “a waste of my time”. Got it.

     

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  20. richtaylor365

    But that’s not the same as saying “a waste of my time”. Got it.

    No, I don’t think it is, but I can see that you want to remain combative so I won’t provide a more nuanced explanation, that would be a waste of my time :)

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  21. stogy

    Rich, all due respect, but I think the difficulties you are experiencing here derive from the fact that you seem to be arguing two quite different positions at the same time.

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  22. Iconoclast

    You’ve written plenty of times that appointing the ‘right’ SCOTUS judge and avoiding WW3 was enough to make Trump preferable to Hillary, irrespective of what damage he does.

    And those are enough to disqualify the “Whatever Trump does, the Dems would be worse” nonsense, whether you like it or not.  Obviously, if Trump starts WWIII (which you and stogy seem to think is the case right now), then obviously the Dems would be unable to do worse.

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  23. repmom

    Horrible happenings in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. And while our last President couldn’t seem to utter the words “Islamic Terrorism”, this one can’t seem to utter the words “White supremists” , “neo nazis”.

    I condemn both, as we all should. Disgusting.

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  24. stogy

    Obviously, if Trump starts WWIII (which you and stogy seem to think is the case right now), 

    Er… actually, I have been arguing that this is very unlikely.

    then obviously the Dems would be unable to do worse.

    I would hope that they wouldn’t have walked right into the trap that the NK government set for Trump, that left him looking less than adequate as a world leader. But as they aren’t in power, it is really pretty irrelevant.

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  25. Iconoclast

    I love that Iconoclast thinks he’s ‘won’ the argument on a technicality.

    Apparently, you still haven’t learned that words have meanings — either you’re unable or unwilling to learn.

    I simply never said, “Whatever Trump does, the Dems would be worse”, and you’re continued attempts at forcing those words into my mouth only reveal your unrelenting intellectual dishonesty. Misrepresenting what I actually did say in those terms, likewise.

    Saying that Trump is preferable to Hillary is not saying that anything he does, she would be worse. It simply isn’t.

    What I have said is that Trump is preferable to Hillary in terms of domestic policy. I also said that Hillary wouldn’t necessarily be any better than Trump in certain contexts (such as being a pathological liar).  I simply never said anything so unqualified and universal as what you keep trying to attribute to me.

    If calling it a “technicality” takes some of the sting out of being wrong, if it help you save face, then have at it. But it is revealing that you would double down on your intellectual dishonesty, nonetheless.

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  26. Iconoclast

    I would hope that they wouldn’t have walked right into the trap that the NK government set for Trump, that left him looking less than adequate as a world leader. But as they aren’t in power, it is really pretty irrelevant.

    Yes, it’s irrelevant, but it still managed to get two thumbs up. Par for the course.

    And all you have is hope. Obama allowed the NK situation to get to where it is now, and there is no real reason to believe Hillary would fare any better, other than your anti-Trump bias. Or TDS. Whichever.

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  27. Iconoclast

    …..there is no real reason to believe Hillary would fare any better…..

    And, for the love of Marx, try to get it into your thick head that that does not mean, “whatever Trump does, Hillary would be worse”.

    If you’re intellectually capable, which I’m beginning to doubt.

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  28. Iconoclast

    I would hope that they wouldn’t have walked right into the trap that the NK government set for Trump, that left him looking less than adequate as a world leader.

    Well, it appears that NK has backed down, so, at this point, I fail to see how this was a “trap” for Trump, one that Clinton would have so easily avoided, allegedly.

    I’m confident that Trump still looks “less than adequate”, regardless.

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