Fire and fury

Honestly, I do not understand why so many people have their panties in a wad over Trump’s statement regarding what the US would do if Li’l Kimmy fired a nuke at us.  (Or more likely, at Guam, or even more likely, at the little fishies in the sea since his missiles aren’t always successful.  But I digress.)

As has been reported elsewhere, such statements have clear precedent in US history.  It’s not as if measured, diplomatic statements have had any particular affect on the fat boy, in any case.  Let me tell a story in that wise.

Years ago, when I was but a tad, I used to go with my dad up to my granddad’s place in a tiny-ass, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town up between Peru and Wabash, Indiana.  Granddad had about a quarter-acre lot on which he’d parked an old 40′ travel trailer next to a fair-sized shed.  (Or maybe he bought the lot with the trailer already on it; I don’t honestly remember, that was damn near 50 years ago.)  I could go on and on about this little pied-à-terre of his, but suffice it to say that it was not a place where I would have wanted to live, or even spend the night.  For the first year he was there, all he had was an outhouse, and as I recall, no running water at all in the trailer.  And this was in either 1969 or 1970.

Granddad also had about 14 little yap dogs, and I am not bullshitting about the number.  They were all miniature terriers of some sort and technically I think he was breeding them for sale.  In the winter, we’d get there and all the dogs would be in the trailer with him.  This was sub-optimal because Granddad had big-time emphysema and could barely breathe when the air was clean, let alone stunk up to high heaven and full of hair from all those dogs.  So Dad and my uncles would give Granddad hell and take the dogs out to the shed — which had a little oil heater, so it wasn’t like they’d freeze to death — and the dogs could run around in the little fenced yard next to the shed and come back in when they got cold.

We’d go up the next weekend and all the fucking dogs would be back in the trailer.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Finally, my dad — who had a bit of a temper — unloaded on Granddad, and used some fairly shocking language (remember, I was only about 10 at the time) in the process of doing so.  I don’t recall him escalating to the “F” word, but there was a lot of “goddamnit” and “hell” in there.

On the way home, I asked my dad why he had talked to his dad that way.  He was quiet for a moment, then he said, “Because sometimes, that’s the only language he understands.”

It’s the same thing with diplomacy, which is, after all, the art of saying “Nice doggy” while you hunt around behind you for a big stick.  Kim Jong Un doesn’t understand that when we talk nicely but firmly about how he needs to back the fuck down, we mean that if he doesn’t, we’ll eventually get around to doing something about it.

Donald Trump has decided that after 25 years of saying “Nice doggy” to Kim and his daddy, it’s time to drive home the point that the US has a very large stick with which we’re going to start beating him if he doesn’t back the hell off, and that soon.  In this, he is operating very much in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt and Harry S Truman, and I don’t really understand why any real American would have a problem with that.

Of course, I’m still not sure why we aren’t actively shooting down his missile tests, since we have THAAD.  But there is that whole thing about allowing him enough rope to hang himself.  And he’s certainly got the South Koreans and the Japanese upset enough at this point to let us start talking about kicking the chair out from under him without causing much more than a few raised eyebrows in the affected nations.  Raised eyebrows signifying, in this case, “Well, it’s about goddamned time; we didn’t think the Americans had it in them anymore.”

MAGA, baby.  MAGA.