Winds of War and Communication

Trump’s tweet about North Korea had a close resemblance to Truman’s warning to Japan towards the end of WW II. That warning was not heeded, and we all know the result. Truman aside, it is probably unprecedented for a President to use such strong and allusive words especially against one of the worst thugs in the world. In high stakes diplomacy words are weighed umpteen times before being uttered, and usually a president doesn’t say hello to reporters without his remarks being carefully scripted. The problem, or the opportunity, with Trump is that nobody knows if he means what he says, says what he means, says what he doesn’t mean, etc. What’s good about is that sometime unpredictability can be helpful in negotiations. If the other side thinks you might really push the button, it may make them think twice before provoking. However, here we have two statesmen that could very well precipitate a crisis by mistake. Maybe, actually probably, a crisis with North Korea is the right thing to do, shame that Obama didn’t have the guts or will to do it with Iran. What we need to avoid though, is a mistake…as that will be immensely costly.