One has to hand it to President Donald Trump. He knows something about motivating terrorists and tyrants. The latest assessment of the butcher’s bill as a result of the MOAB bombing of the ISIS tunnel complex has now risen to about 100 including four commanders. No one will be surprised if the eventual number of jihadis whose mortal remains reside underground thanks to cave-ins and suffocation will be much higher. The action may have had some effects thousands of miles away, in North Korea.
#Kim Jong-un had been hinting for the past week that he was going to do something particularly spectacular for the birthday celebration of his grandfather, the founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Il-sung.
Most Western observers judged that thing to be either a missile test of an ICBM or a nuclear test or perhaps both.
The Trump administration sent out hints to the effect that Kim had better not try either one or the United States military would stop him. Threats were exchanged. Hands were wrung that this time Trump had gone too far and was going to touch off a Second Korean War that would kill millions. He was needlessly antagonizing the fat kid with his finger on the button.
However, when the great birthday celebration arrived, lots of North Korean soldiers goose-stepped Nazi style, Kim gave a speech, and fireworks lit the skies over Pyongyang. But nothing more explosive than that was touched off. The message, perhaps with some Chinese concurrence, was received and listened to.
Of course, there is always tomorrow or next week. For right now, Kim, the peevish fat kid who likes to blow people who annoy him apart with antiaircraft guns, is beginning to suspect that someone who might be crazier than he resides in the #White House.
No doubt Trump, who is proving so far to be a master of diplomacy by intimidation, wants him to think that.
Most students of history agree that appeasement, of the sort practiced by Barack Obama, doesn’t work. Tyrants will take what is offered and then always come back for more. Hitler proved that in the 1930s as did the Soviets during the Carter malaise seventies. Reagan, both Bushes to some extent, and now Trump have shown that slapping the hands of greedy despots can have a marvelous effect. Even Bill Clinton knew the salutary results of bombs and cruise missiles on Balkan and Middle Eastern tyrants, at least within some limits.
In any case, the world has changed. The enemies of peace and freedom had best get used to it. #MOAB