The Financial Times reminds readers of something that has occurred numerous times throughout history when leaders lose the support of their people… “The president may exploit an overseas conflict to distract from problems at home…”
The claim that America is a “threat to world peace” has been a staple of Russian and Iranian propaganda for many years. For believers in the western alliance, it is painful to acknowledge that there is now some truth to this idea. Under Donald Trump, America looks like a dangerous nation. Over the past week, Mr Trump has indulged in nuclear brinkmanship in North Korea, issued vague threats of military action in Venezuela and flirted with white supremacists at home. He is offering the very opposite of the steady, predictable and calm leadership that American allies seek from Washington.
Mr Trump’s swiftly notorious threats that North Korea risks “fire and fury” from a “locked and loaded” America were particularly irresponsible. Even if the threat is a bluff, it puts American credibility on the line and risks triggering escalation from the Kim Jong Un regime, which is threatening to fire missiles near the US territory of Guam. Even more alarming, the Trump administration is openly flirting with the idea of a pre-emptive strike on North Korea — arguing that a nuclear-armed Mr Kim cannot be deterred. But if America could rely on deterrence to contain the nuclear threat from Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China — it can certainly do the same with Mr Kim’s North Korea. All previous presidents have rejected the idea of pre-emptive attacks on nuclear-armed states — for obvious reasons.
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