Are We Edging Closer to Nuclear War?

Life almost seems normal. We discount what Trump says as bluster. But what if he means it? What if this reality show celebrity needs to prove his manhood? What if he sees his performance as a performance, nothing more?

First he warned North Korea with “fire and fury,” the likes of which the world has never seen. Today, he said our military power was “locked and loaded.” That’s NRA talk for ready to fire.

Is he really ready to launch a nuclear war? We pretend he doesn’t. We go about our daily lives. We shop. We vacation. We read. We watch TV. He doesn’t meant it, does he?

Then today, he warned that he was prepared to use “the military option” in Venezuela.

Maybe all this is bluster. Maybe he is “wagging the dog,” invoking a military crisis to bolster his poll numbers.

Barbara Tuchman taught us in her history “Guns of August” that catastrophic war can happen by blundering.

Last night, I found it impossible to sleep because I saw Trump on the news thanking Putin for expelling 755 staff members of the U.S. Embassy in Russia. Trump said we need to cut payroll, and Putin did it for us.

I was stunned. Did Trump really think that Putin had just reduced our staff by 60% and fired 755 people? Doesn’t he know that American foreign staff are not “fired” when they are expelled? Does he know they are still on payroll, with the possible exception of Russians who worked for the Embassy?

We know he plans to slash the budget of the State Department. Is he hoping that our personnel at embassies around the world will be similarly “fired” by the leader of the host country?

The depth of his ignorance and the size of his ego make for a dangerous combination. If nothing else, his bizarre combination of bellicosity towards North Korea and his appeasement of Russia suggests the influence of Steve Bannon, who wants to “deconstruct the administrative state.”

These are strange and dangerous times indeed. A megalomaniac who is entirely ignorant of history or policy is running the country.

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2vvuS0S

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