by JP Sottile P
September 29, 2017
Antiwar.com

Americans are really counting on President Trump’s vaunted team of generals who are widely regarded as “the adults in the room.” Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis make up the much-touted troika that stands between Trump’s itchy Twitter finger and the big red nuclear button.

This ring of rationality around the President has become paramount as Donald “The Dotard” Trump has engaged in an ever-escalating missile-size contest with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Trump originally dubbed the unusually-coiffed leader “Rocket Man” before realizing that he’d better qualify the size of Kim’s projectile by rechristening him as “Little Rocket Man” … perhaps out of fear that someone might confuse Trump’s campy criticism with rocket envy.

These latest, nerve-wracking salvos came after Trump went to the United Nations General Assembly to drop some Bannon-armed bombs on the global gathering. After telling the world how great his presidency has already been and how wonderful a world of fervent nationalism could be if we only tried, Trump went on to warn to Kim Jung UN that the United States is prepared to “totally destroy North Korea.”

It was an unusual approach. It might even have violated the UN Charter. But he blew past all that when he weaponized his Twitter account to warn North Korea’s Foreign Minister that North Korea’s leadership “won’t be around much longer!”

That, and some macho goading of the North Koreans with flybys by U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, led to North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s declaration at a U.N.-adjacent presser that the North Koreans regard Trump threats as a “declaration of war.” This “tit-for-tat” back and forth would be much funnier if the stakes weren’t so damn high and the road to a possible conflict wasn’t so damn low.

On the bright side, a well-known economist and head of Columbia University’s Earth Institute just tried to reassure us all that in spite of Trump’s “crude bravado” some real “progress is being made across the world and what is happening in the United States won’t stop that” from continuing. Writing for the Observer (U.K.), Jeffrey Sachs said he sees America losing its grip on the title of “indispensable” nation and also sees the world taking advantage of the space created by Trump’s histrionics. Some might even say that America seems to be “losing its grip” altogether.

Perhaps that’s why one of the “safe and sane” generals just issued a stark warning of his own. It got lost in the wild week of Trump’s temerity that ended up with the ultimate misdirection play when he blew his dog whistle on black athletes in the NBA and the NFL for protesting police shooting unarmed African-Americans. But make no mistake, one of the generals is keeping his eye on the ball. And sorry, Roger Goodell … but there’s no doubt that this ball is filled with a lot of hot air.

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