This game of chicken is ‘bereft of reason’

Michael Ramirez cartoon

OK, here’s what we plan to do: On a day in the near future we are going to do target practice in the direction of your house, but we don’t plan to hit you or it, so you should not fire back. Got it?

That’s pretty much what that North Korea military officer said, according to The Associated Press account:

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. If carried out, it would be the North’s most provocative missile launch to date.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is finalizing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 U.S. military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000.

Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

It said the plan, which involves the missiles hitting waters 19 to 25 miles from the island, could be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval within a week or so. It would be up to Kim whether the move is actually carried out.

We know North Korea has test fired a number of missiles, but we have no idea how accurate their aim has been. After all, so far they have able to hit an ocean.

The insane announcement came after Trump said of North Korea’s continued provocations: “it faces retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before.”

A North Korean general replied by saying: “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”

It would take 18 minutes for the missiles to reach Guam once fired from their mobile launchers. Not a lot of time to decide how to react.

Bereft of reason?

A news broadcast in Seoul shows the distance between North Korea and Guam. (Getty Images pix)

 

 

Contrasting behavior today with this day in history

Washington at the Battle of Trenton

On this day in 1776 in freezing weather the Continental Army overwhelmed Hessian forces — still groggy from their Christmas imbibing — and captured the town Of Trenton, New Jersey.

The This Day in History website recounts:

Although the victory was minor from a strategic perspective, it bore tremendous significance for the future of the Continental Army. Washington needed a success before his solders’ enlistments expired on December 31 — without a dramatic upswing in morale, he was likely to lose the soldiers under his command and be unable to recruit new men to replace them. The victories at Trenton and a few days later at Princeton proved to the American public that their army was indeed capable of victory and worthy of support.

The image of ragged farm-boy Patriots defeating drunken foreign mercenaries has become ingrained in the American imagination. Then as now, Washington’s crossing and the Battle of Trenton were emblematic of the American Patriots’ surprising ability to overcome the tremendous odds they faced in challenging the wealthy and powerful British empire.

Today we celebrate the bravery of Mesquite theater goers who faced down the threat of having their iPhones hacked by a North Korean dictator in order to view a slapstick, l0w-brow comic movie, while million-dollar jet fighters bomb 13th century lunatics from 30,000 feet in the Middle East and our economic sanctions drive up the cost of bread in Moscow and our president unilaterally normalizes relations with a totalitarian regime in the Caribbean.