Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fire and Fury

Churchill, Truman and Stalin at Potsdam, July 26, 1945
(first published in North State Journal 8/16/17)

"They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Has any American President before President Trump ever issued such direct and descriptive terms to a foreign adversary? Or has every other President turned the other cheek when the United States has been threatened by a madman, dictator, Emperor, King or power-mad maniac and let them do what they wanted to do?

Consider the excerpts below from the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945 which was signed by
President Harry S Truman, Chiang Kai-shek, the President of China and Winston Churchill, PM of Great Britain and issued to the Emperor of Japan as the ultimate ultimatum to end the bloodiest war the world has ever known, World War II:

  1. 'The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.
  2. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.
  3. We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.'

Other US Presidents have ‘rattled the saber’ when it came to identifying the threat to American and free world interests and spoken directly about the danger at hand.

Ronald Reagan called Libyan strong man Muammar Kaddafi ‘a mad dog of the Middle East (who) has a goal of a world revolution’ (1986)

Thomas Jefferson responded to the tribute demands of the Bey of Tripoli with this short, direct answer: ‘I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean.’ (1801)

Teddy Roosevelt didn’t say ‘Speak softly but carry a big stick’ because he was inviting foreign adversaries to a tea party at the White House.

Perhaps if President Trump had cribbed the above language from the Potsdam Declaration and had Chinese President Xi Jinping sign it along with every ally America has around the world, his threats to North Korea might have been considered less alarming to the mainstream media and his political opponents.

No one really knows what is going on inside the head of Supreme Leader of DPRK Kim Jong-Un. He and his father and grandfather have been bewildering outside observers since 1946 like evil villains in a bad James Bond movie series.

Perhaps he is jockeying for more concessions as he exacted from Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Perhaps he is appearing to stand up to ‘evil America’ to prolong his regime amidst fears his life will end in similar fashion to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife who were overthrown and publicly executed on Christmas Day, 1989.

In 1981, Israel grew so concerned about Saddam Hussein in Iraq developing a nuclear reactor they instigated an air strike and destroyed it before it was fully operational.  If China can not or will not force North Korea back into the world of reason, what choice would the free world have left other than to destroy any nuclear missile before it left its launchpad?

The one thing the world has to agree on is that the Supreme Leader of North Korea must never be allowed to push the button that launches a nuclear-tipped missile anywhere in the world.


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