Trump Is Floundering As Commander In Chief In Dealing with North Korea

Donald Trump has once again proven through his social media tantrums that he lacks the poise and temperament to lead the United States through any kind of national security crisis. The American people deserve a President who can mitigate this kind of incident with North Korea with collaboration, diplomacy, and dialogue.

Here is a roundup of what editorials across the country are saying about Trump’s behavior:

Las Vegas Sun: By stooping to N. Korea’s level, Trump proves he’s a risk to the world

“By responding in kind, Trump showed he was dangerously incompetent in addressing U.S.-North Korea tensions.

“In a situation that screamed for a measured, deliberate response, Trump instead chose to stoop to Kim’s level and up the ante. Predictably, North Korea played right along, turning up the heat a notch by threatening to launch a pre-emptive strike on Guam.

“The exchange came off as a deranged version of an after-school playground fight, which might have been funny in other circumstances but was shocking considering that nukes were involved.”


 The Mercury News: Who is crazier, Donald Trump or North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un?

“Where are the grownups?

“We’ve come to expect childish behavior from Donald Trump, the bully-in-chief who attacks and belittles anyone who challenges him. But this week’s game of nuclear roulette with equally egocentric and pathologically defensive Kim Jong-Un goes magnitudes beyond the norm.

“Where was Chief of Staff John Kelly Tuesday when Trump was threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea? Where were Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and the rest when news broke that North Korea might have a miniaturized nuclear weapon that could fit on its missiles? Surely these smart men should have seen what was coming from their own fearless leader?”


Richmond TimesDispatch: On North Korea, the U.S. has no good options

“On Tuesday President Trump took things up another notch with a rhetorical clusterbomb, insisting that North Korea never threaten the U.S. again and warning that if it does, it will be met with ‘fire and fury … the likes of which the world has never seen.’ That was stupid.”


The Guardian: The Guardian view on North Korea: careless talk costs credibility, and perhaps lives

“It is not reassuring when the US secretary of state has to reassure his country that it is not on the brink of war. ‘I think Americans should sleep well at night,’ Rex Tillerson told reporters on Wednesday. He was playing down the incendiary words of his president, who had promised ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ in response not to an attack but to mere threats from North Korea. It was ‘language designed to send a strong message’ to Pyongyang, Mr Tillerson said.”


Boston Globe: Trump’s reckless rhetoric on North Korea

“President Trump’s reckless words directed at North Korea on Tuesday risk inflaming one of the world’s worst headaches. Speaking at his golf club in New Jersey, Trump said: ‘North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. . . . They will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.’ Left unclear was whether the president was demanding a halt to the North’s nuclear program, or simply an end to the stream of hyperbolic threats Pyongyang is known for.

“It would understate Trump’s rhetoric to call it saber-rattling, and it would defy all past experience to imagine his tirade will persuade North Korea to change course. On the contrary, Trump’s words risk spooking American allies in the region and undermining recent steps toward stopping the North’s nuclear program.”


Chicago Tribune: An alarming North Korea report and an explosive exchange

“North Korea and President Donald Trump have dialed up the incendiary rhetoric. North Korea's news service said earlier this week, ‘There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean.’ It threatened retaliation for new sanctions ‘thousands of times’ over.

“Trump responded Tuesday with his own harsh words. If North Korea continues to threaten the U.S. ‘they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,’ Trump said.”


Greensboro News & Record: Our Opinion: The unthinkable?

“The United States has avoided the use of nuclear weapons since dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago this week to force Japan’s surrender and end World War II. Through the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, even through the harrowing Cuban Missile Crisis, wise leaders stood back from the brink of nuclear destruction.

“Everyone knew what was at stake and understood the devastating capabilities of these weapons. They didn’t brag about it or engage in blustery rhetoric and threats.”


Charleston Post & Courier: So far, a war of words

“Scary doesn’t begin to define the naked nuclear threats uttered on Tuesday by President Donald Trump against North Korea. Americans are not used to such verbal excess from their presidents. […]

“Consider it done. There should be no necessity for Mr. Trump to follow with an escalation of verbal threats in response to those of North Korea. The U.S. should continue to pursue its strategy of diplomacy backed by economic sanctions and military resolve.”


Sacramento Bee: President Trump talks as crazy as North Korea’s dictator, escalates nuclear crisis

“By escalating unnecessarily, our hothead commander-in-chief has worsened the most serious foreign policy crisis of his young presidency. That’s one big problem.

“The other is that Trump doesn’t have the trust of the American people for the possibly life-and-death decisions ahead. Because this president and his top aides have lied and misled so much, Trump’s credibility is at a low point. Only 24 percent of Americans say they trust all or most of what comes out of the White House. In another poll out this week, only 35 percent express confidence in Trump to handle North Korea.”


Lexington Herald Leader: Trump must not bluster or blunder into war

“The president of the United States got himself into a tit-for-tat with the heir to a rogue dynasty that brutally rules one of the world’s poorest nations — and didn’t even get in the last chest-thump.

“Meanwhile, the resolve and unity that Ambassador Nikki Haley had achieved at the United Nations evaporated into dismay and heightened tensions. Experts warned that the escalating rhetoric makes war, perhaps based on miscalculation, more likely.”


Florence, AL Times Daily: Trump must cool North Korea rhetoric

“Conjuring apocalyptic images, Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday, ‘North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.’

“That is a strong statement for a world that has seen the likes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the only nuclear weapons used in war were dropped 72 years ago this week.”