A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted August 10th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
“War is the unfolding of miscalculations.” – The late American historian and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, ‘The Guns of August’
As has been told by more than a few of America’s contemporary historians in recent days, the one book U.S. President John F. Kennedy urged everyone working around him to read during the height of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 – the first time the world seemed on the brink of nuclear war – was Barbara Tuchman’s ‘Guns of August’, which made its debut that very same year.
The book brilliantly tells the story of how a series of miscalculations, marinated in bellicose rhetoric spewing from the mouths of a handful of adversaries, set the wheels turning irrevocably to a First World War that destroyed millions of lives and set the stage for so much of the suffering and unrest that plagued the rest of the 20th century and that continues to haunt us to this day.
It is hard to know how much the lessons in Barbara Tuchman’s book may have helped temper the hawkish factions in Kennedy’s cabinet and pulled the world back from nuclear catastrophe in 1962 but contrary to the wish of some of those contemporary historians, there is likely no book or lesson of history that is going to make Donald Trump stop and think before he pushes the red button.
In the first place, there is no evidence that Trump has ever read a book – not even his own ‘Art of the Deal’, which was ghost written by someone else who reportedly had an almost impossible time keeping him focused for more than two minutes at a time to work on the project..
And he there are no signs for any of us who have paid close attention to his reality show of a life over the past couple of years that he has any sense of history beyond whatever mad thing he says or does in response to whatever is happening in that nanosecond.
So all you need is that nut job in North Korea ranting on with all the over-the-top rhetoric he and his recently departed psycho dad have become infamous for over years, and have him goading a guy like Trump, who has to look tough in front of his fan base, with lines like; ‘nonsense, he’s just bluffing’, and we have a recipe for possible disaster.
So you’ve got Trump tweeting out lines of his own about “fire and fury” and “military solutions now fully in place, and locked and loaded” – all well that scary looking oil baron Rex Tillerson, who he picked to be secretary of state, is saying, in so many words; ‘Don’t worry about what my boss is saying. You can sleep well at night. He (meaning Trump) is just trying to talk to the other kook in language he understands.’
There’s a great strategy. Ape the over-boiled rhetoric of the other nut because it is language he understands. It’s like a teacher saying ‘I’m going to start calling this student a dick head because he called me a douchebag.’
Where are the adults in the room? Answer? They all left last January with Barack Obama.
So now we have one foreign policy expert after another coming on the cable news networks saying that any miscalculations that are made in the middle of all this boiled over rhetoric could potentially lead to catastrophe.
What kind of catastrophe? Well, what kind of catastrophe do we think they could be talking about when we have two crazy, egomaniacs who are out to show whose boss of the world.
But none of this seems to bother Trump’s fan base. If you’ve spent any time watching those rallies, you must have noticed how angry those people are and how loudly they scream and cheer when Trump starts talking about locking up Hillary or some thugs in the crowd drag out black person or a Latino or someone who looks like they might be an Arab or Muslim.
It reminds me of some of the mostly older, conservative people back during years of the Vietnam War getting red in the face over peaceniks like me and yelling that what we really ought to do is ‘nuke those gooks (north Vietnamese people) back to the stone age.’
Don’t be too surprised if members of Trump’s base are cheering on his ‘locked and loaded’ for military action rants now, just so long as the missiles he is toying with firing off are aimed at people who are mostly yellow and brown.
The evangelical Christians in Trump’s base may be getting all jacked up over this too. They’ve been obsessed with the idea of an end-of-the-world apocalypse for quite some time now and a nuclear war would certainly help speed things up .
Climate change takes too long and it may be a hoax anyway. There is nothing bogus about fire and fury, and here’s the good party. After it is over, they will be with Jesus.
As for the rest of us, including most peace-loving people in Canada and the United States and other regions of the world –
I hope all of my worst fears are wrong, but if they are not, we might want to get ready and brace ourselves for a reality show like nothing the world has ever before seen.
Like Trump would say; ‘Just wait and see what happens.’
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.
A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.
For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .
“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders