Trump’s nuke tweet was a stroke of ‘stable genius’

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionWhen the president suggested that he could envision a limited nuclear war with our communist adversary, critics were “horrified” and “appalled” while the regime called his remarks “dangerous madness.” This does not mean nuclear war.If North Korea persists in testing, it could involve a targeted military strike taking out Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear facilities. To the contrary, it was part of an intentional campaign designed to get North Korea to understand that Trump, unlike his predecessors, is willing to use force to stop Pyongyang from threatening American cities. For decades, the North Koreans have believed that they are untouchable because they can incinerate Seoul with conventional weapons.Now, they are on a crash course to develop and deploy the capability to incinerate U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.They think the pursuit of these weapons is making them even safer.Trump is trying to convince them that the opposite is true.The best chance to prevent such a use of force is if North Korea receives and believes this message.So we’d all better hope that Trump succeeds. Furthermore, as my American Enterprise Institute colleague Oriana Skylar Mastro recently pointed out, “Kim understands that a second Korean War would end with his demise, and therefore he has incentives to avoid such escalation.“Assuming Kim is rational then, it is possible that the United States could conduct a limited surgical strike and North Korea’s response would be minimal.”Trump’s tweets are intended to prevent us from getting to that point.They are not only entirely rational but also strategically smart.Let’s hope his critics keep questioning his sanity, because it can only help convince Kim that Trump is serious.Marc A. Thiessen is a columnist with The Washington Post who writes from a conservative perspective. He is the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census On “Fox News Sunday,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo underscored Trump’s message, declaring that “We want the regime to understand that, unlike before, we are intent on resolving this and it is our firm conviction that resolving this diplomatically is the correct answer but that this administration is prepared to do what it takes to assure that people in Los Angeles, in Denver, in New York are not held at risk from Kim Jong Un having a nuclear weapon.”All those in the perpetual outrage machine who are calling Trump a “madman” for his tweet are also inadvertently helping him send that message to Pyongyang — just as Reagan’s critics helped convince Moscow that he was a madman.Are Trump’s threats of military action a bluff? No.As national security adviser H.R. McMaster recently explained, Trump is “not going to allow this murderous, rogue regime to threaten the United States with the most destructive weapons on the planet.”Trump tweeted in August: Two years later, Margaret Thatcher shared intelligence from KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky (who was working for the British) that Russian officials were increasingly convinced Reagan was getting ready for a nuclear first strike and was running drills to prepare for it.Indeed, NATO did carry out an exercise for a nuclear exchange — “Able Archer 83” — which included planes taxiing onto runways with realistic dummy nuclear warheads.Again, Reagan did not disabuse the Soviets of the notion.Quite the opposite: The next year he joked when testing his microphone before his weekly radio address “We begin bombing in five minutes.”The belief of Soviet leaders that Reagan might just be crazy enough to push the nuclear button constrained Soviet behavior and helped make possible a peaceful end to the Cold War.Now Trump is trying to send a similar message to the North Korean regime.His recent tweet telling Pyongyang that his nuclear button is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s was neither unstable nor stupid. The president in question was not Donald Trump.It was Ronald Reagan, who in his first year in office raised the possibility that the United States and the Soviet Union could survive an exchange of tactical nuclear weapons.That same year Richard Pipes, Reagan’s director of East European and Soviet affairs on the National Security Council, told The Post he thought the probability of nuclear war was about 40 percent.These remarks sent a signal to Moscow that Reagan was not like those who came before him.He did not want war, but he would not shy from one if provoked. That message was received.In 1981, then-KGB chief and future Soviet leader Yuri Andropov declared at a major KGB conference that Reagan “was actively preparing for war and that a nuclear first strike was possible.”last_img read more

Two MLS matches postponed as league takes precautions against coronavirus

first_img“Following Santa Clara County’s legal order banning all gatherings of 1,000 people or more and the state of Washington’s decision to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people in King County, Major League Soccer matches in San Jose and Seattle on March 21 are postponed. The league and its clubs are evaluating the options for rescheduling the matches at a later date,” a league statement read.”MLS clubs and stadium operators have implemented procedures to ensure the safety of fans and communities by increasing cleaning staff, disinfecting high-traffic areas, sanitizing the facilities before and after each match, and making hand sanitizer available throughout venues. MLS stadiums are also allowing guests to bring in their own bottles of hand sanitizer and encouraging fans who feel sick or are in vulnerable populations to enjoy the match at home. Clubs also will communicate with fans in advance of matches and post in-stadium signage to further educate about everyday preventative actions advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).”In addition, the league has restricted locker room access, postponed player appearances and limited fan experiences during team warmups. Players, coaches and team staff will also be mandated to fly on charter flights for the foreseeable future.”Providing a safe and healthy environment for our fans, players and everyone at MLS matches is our top priority,” MLS stated. “During this rapidly changing issue, MLS remains in direct contact with the relevant governmental agencies including the CDC and PHAC, and is also coordinating with other sporting organizations regarding COVID-19. In addition, every MLS club is in continuous dialogue with local and regional health authorities. “We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide any updates at the appropriate time.”The Sounders had announced earlier on Wednesday that their upcoming match against FC Dallas has been postponed after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee banned large gatherings.Inslee stated that the ban runs through March, but the governor said it is “likely” that the precaution will be extended beyond that point.As a result, the Sounders’ March 21 match against FC Dallas has been postponed, while the club’s USL team, the Tacoma Defiance, have also seen a match delayed.”As the developments surrounding COVID-19 in our region evolve, Seattle Sounders FC has been working in real time with regional health authorities and government officials to do our part in combating this public health crisis,” the Sounders said in a statement. “Our organization must remain flexible in these efforts, and at this time, that includes heeding Governor Inslee’s call to postpone our home match on March 21 versus FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field. “Throughout this process, Sounders FC has stated that nothing is more important than public safety and the wellbeing of our fans. With that in mind, we respect the difficult decision that has been made today, and our club will continue following the guidelines set forth by our public health authorities and government agencies. MLS has announced that upcoming matches in Seattle and San Jose have been postponed due to recent government rulings regarding coronavirus.The San Jose Earthquakes’ match against Sporting KC and the Seattle Sounders’ upcoming clash with FC Dallas have been officially postponed while MLS has announced further precautions following the recent outbreak. “We will maintain our consistent dialogue with elected leadership, public health officials and Major League Soccer, and as more information becomes available, the club will continue to provide public updates. This includes details about rescheduling the FC Dallas match for a later date.”The Earthquakes, meanwhile, made their announcement after the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department’s mandate barring gatherings of 1,000 or more people through the end of March.“We’re very supportive of the mandate by the County’s Public Health Department,” said Earthquakes Chief Operating Officer Jared Shawlee. “We’d like to thank all of our community partners, including the City of San Jose and the County of Santa Clara, for their assistance and we would also like to thank our fans, players and staff for their patience and understanding throughout this unprecedented time. We will continue to work with local agencies and league officials and provide updates as available.”last_img read more