This is not going to be a very funny column. Trump leads the United States the way I drive cars. I crash them. That’s why I haven’t had a driver’s license in 30 years.
Some people say, look at the stock market, look at all the new jobs. Well, you know, nothing gets a person working like bombing the heck out of a country. There have to be more bombs to be made. More planes to deliver them. So if you like the economy the way it is now, you’re going to love it when the Korean War resumes. At least until we’re all dead.
When Trump said he was going to make America great again, a lot of people wanted to know, as great as it was when? What period of greatness are we talking about here?
It is becoming increasingly clear Trump considers the greatest time coincided with the Korean War in the 1950s, or what in the future will be called KWI in order to not confuse it with KWII. If I had to guess which time during KWI Trump liked America the best, it would be some time in mid-autumn 1950.
That was a great time. The war had just started less than two weeks after Trump’s fourth birthday in June.
By mid-October it looked as though it was all over except for mopping up and some tidying here and there. And it was all done without all this nonsense that we have today, such as Medicaid and civil rights for minorities, women and hippies.
Sure, Truman had ordered the desegregation of the military, but that had not actually started yet. Sure, there were beatniks already, but they were still fun.
Of course the Korean War wasn’t really over in mid-October 1950, because that was when the People’s Republic of China entered North Korea and prepared an assault that would drag the war out so much that it never really ended. They called it a “stalemate,” but that’s not right. A stalemate in chess is an actual end of a game in a draw. This was no draw, just an abeyance of hostilities behind a long face-off.
As I’m writing this on Aug. 11, Trump has told North Korea to beware, our military is “locked and loaded.” China has told them that if the United States attacks them, North Korea shouldn’t expect China to come to their aid. They will be on their own.
Does that mean that KWII won’t see a Chinese entrance like the one in KWI, that put an end to America’s awesome great period? No, it means the opposite. It means everything will go down exactly the same way. It means that China will let us wear ourselves thin crushing the North Koreans and then intervene. No help for North Korea, yes. But that doesn’t mean staying out of it and letting us take Korea over completely.
As I see it Trump is poised to make America become the kind of great that it was between his fourth birthday and the following October, and in doing so he will set into motion the same chain of events that happened the last time we had that kind of greatness: A newly restarted Korean War will be a success until victory over the North Koreans is again in view, and then a Chinese intervention will again smash the illusion of an unchallengeable conquest. A now-you-have-it-now-you-don’t period of greatness.
This time it will all have to happen faster because the weapons have changed. We won’t have four months of glory. We’ll be lucky to get four weeks.
The good news for us here in Seattle is that North Korean ICBMs can now hit not only Guam, Anchorage and Seattle, but also San Francisco, Boston and New York City, so we’re not the only target anymore. Yay.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un’s threat to attack Guam makes a scary kind of sense, because the military forces based at Guam would definitely be used in any retaliation if any place else were hit instead.
The fact that Kim Jong-un can make that much sense compels me to think that if North Korea strikes first it will be a coordinated attack on multiple targets.
But we should get to be great again the way we were in 1950 for a few weeks, one last time — for those of us left to see it. Good luck to one and all and have a happy time if it comes to that.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor and three times homeless. He has been involved with Real Change since he supplied the art for the first cover in November of 1994. Adventures in Irony is his regular humor column.
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