This What I Was Afraid Of

In Politics Plus

By Michael Gomez
Aug. 9, 2017 at 12:15 p.m.

Most Americans vote according to their party allegiance and who they think will be better for the economy. Yes, I’m a democrat but my candidate must fully understand foreign policy. I learned enough from high school civics that 535 members of Congress pretty much control the domestic policies. A commander-in-chief’s powers under Article II, Section I, Clause I of our constitution has the power to take us to war.

In 2008, I decided to go with Obama over Clinton because Hillary would not say her vote to give President Bush the authority to preemptively invade Iraq was a mistake. She has since admitted her mistake. I also saw that Obama was consulting with Colin Powell and was brave enough to say that he would negotiate with Iran and that he would have no trouble entering a sovereign nation like Pakistan, if he thought Osama bin Laden was in that country. President Obama made good on those two campaign promises.

Hillary Clinton’s applause line from the 2016 DNC, rings through, when she said, "A man you can bait w/ a tweet is not a man we can trust w/ the nuclear codes." A commander -in-chief with 1,500 warheads at the ready does not need to use bluster. Secretary of State Tillerson quickly put out a statement that we are in no imminent threat from North Korea to calm down the situation until cooler heads prevail.

Our attempts to tamp down North Korea’s aggressiveness has failed for decades under previous administrations, so I can understand why some think that we need to give bluster a chance. It’s unreasonable to think that North Korea will disarm or freeze their nuclear ambition because Kim Jung-un is a paranoid leader who sincerely thinks that we will invade his country and remove him from office. Kim Jung-un will not give up his leverage but I don’t think he has a death wish. It doesn’t seem like our satellites will give us ample warning, because we only learn of another one of his missile launches; after-the-fact.

There is no iron- clad solution, but the best I’ve heard will require us not to solely rely on China, because they have their own self-interest to protect. China does not want to impose more sanctions on North Korea, fearing that would cause thousands, if not millions of refugees at their doorstep. China, like North Korea, does not like our joint military exercises with Japan and South Korea in their part of the world. China does not want North Korea to be invaded because that would leave South Korean/American forces just outside the Great Wall of China. One of the concessions we might make, is to suspend joint military exercises for a year or so, as an opening negotiating offer. We must boost and test our anti- ballistic missiles, regardless of the deals we might agree to.   

Don’t fool yourself, North Korea is a worthy adversary because they could still unleash their cyber weapons; remember Sony? North Korea also cyber robbed the central bank of Bangladesh, a Filipino casino, and broke into the British health care system. They are self-funded.

I heard that the threats coming from an unknown president like Trump is different and that it might resonate with a person who also uses bluster to get his point across. Did the president run his fiery rhetoric through his security team? The president doesn’t have to and that’s what worries me. That might be a good point but it wouldn’t hurt if the State Department was fully staffed and prepared for Plan B. Think about how you would feel if your loved one was stationed in Guam, Japan or South Korea. Remember nuclear fallout does not discriminate, and it has a range of hundreds of miles; depending on which way the wind is blowing. Senator Lindsey Graham should go to the DMZ and shout his threats toward Kim Jung-un. There has never been a war that the senator didn’t think we belonged in.

A lot of people did not heed the words of 50 former senior Republican national security officials who warned that Donald Trump would put our nation’s security at risk…. NYT David Sanger and Maggie Haberman August 8.2016. President Trump asked a foreign policy adviser multiple times, as to why the U.S. can’t use its nuclear weapons. If you got to ask!

President Trump is surrounded by some good military advisors including the Joint Chiefs of Staff but unfortunately the ultimate decision will come from him after he runs it through Jared, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Ivanka.Then there is Trump's Evangelical adviser,Robert Jeffress,of Texas of course,who said that God would be totally cool nuking North Korea.

 Some GOP surrogates are comparing this incident to JFK’s Cuban Missile Crisis. Gosh I hope not because we don’t have anything that even mildly resembles President Kennedy.

I had a hunch the moment of truth would come and I hope it hasn’t but that’s what worries me. The North Korean threat is real and it is not part of a “wag the dog” strategy to divert attention from the Russian probe. I do give a lot of credit to the administration for convincing the U.N. to impose the strongest sanctions ever put on North Korea. I would think twice before imposing sanctions on China for not being more aggressive on North Korea.

Let’s give diplomacy a chance.



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