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Politics

The worst is yet to come

Kathleen Parker on

"We'll handle North Korea. We'll be able to handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything."

Whew, that.

As further insult to reason, this isn't even a conflict over something at least historically rational such as the now nearly charming contest between communism and Americanism. No battle of wits, the U.S.-North Korea stare-down is more accurately a battle of nitwits who seem to think that threatening nuclear holocaust and mutual destruction is a contest to see who has bigger hands.

No one would suggest that Trump is responsible for all the nail-biting these past few months or that Kim's missile and nuclear aren't deadly serious. But Trump surely has exacerbated matters with his "fire and fury" rhetoric. The goading language of ultimatum, more than a bluffing tactic, is an inflammatory agent so that the possible moves inexorably toward the inevitable. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the president's toughest-talking Cabinet member, recently said: "We have kicked the can down the road long enough. There is no more road left."

Perhaps, Kim might argue the same. Meanwhile, a can-kicking strategy (i.e., containment and diplomacy) seems a not-irrational substitute for mutual annihilation. Have we reached a point of no return? Will the president of the United States fire Kim, or will he invent some new distraction (staffers: watch your backs) while he becomes a stealth, wartime leader?

Stay tuned. But first: What will Melania wear to the presidential bunker?

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Kathleen Parker's email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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