Trump Pours Gasoline on the Flames He Fanned

First: Donald Trump decided to up the ante with Kim Jong Un by saying that maybe his "fire and fury" threat wasn't "tough enough."

"Frankly the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn't tough enough,” he said to reporters today. "They've been doing this to our country for a long time, many years. It's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough."

And when he was asked what would be tougher than fire and fury, he replied, "Well, you'll see. You'll see."

As I said on Twitter, he's such a fumblefuckmouth that it's difficult to reconcile the gravity of the sentiment there with the absurdity of the actual words.

Which is part of what's difficult about Trump: He is so terribly ridiculous while simultaneously so unfathomably dangerous.

Anyway. This is another grave escalation, which the New York Times, the paper of record, filed under the absurd headline: "Trump Toughens Warning on North Korea, Despite Bipartisan Criticism."

And buried at the very bottom of the piece, literally the last two paragraphs, was news that Trump is using the threat of a nuclear war with North Korea as a cudgel to bully China on trade.
In his comments to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Trump again suggested he would make a bargain with China by backing down from his planned trade war if Beijing does more to resolve the North Korea impasse.

"I think China can do a lot more, yes, China can," he said. "And I think China will do a lot more. Look, we have trade with China. We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel. It's not going to continue like that. But if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade, a lot differently toward trade."
That's important for a few reasons, including and especially that it's a signal Trump wants a way out of this, but sees no way out except to appeal to China to step in. But instead of asking for help privately — what's generally known as practicing diplomacy — he is publicly threatening China in what appears to be an attempt to coerce them into taking action (What action? Who knows.) against North Korea, in a desperate bid to avoid being obliged to do something unthinkably grotesque if and when Kim Jong Un calls his bluff. Which he will.

Trump has no idea what he's doing and sees no way out of this incredibly perilous situation into which he's recklessly plunged us.

He hates failing and he hates admitting he was wrong and he will do just about anything to avoid either. Which, given the options with North Korea, should terrify us all.

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