Trump goes too far

Boston Herald - - NEWS -

It’s OK for Michael Gra­ham to en­gage in name-call­ing and bom­bast in his commentary (“Don­ald Trump takes the gloves off,” Sept. 21). Ju­ve­nile per­haps, and sim­plis­tic, but it’s his right.

But it’s not OK for the U.S. pres­i­dent to threaten to de­stroy an­other coun­try from the podium at the U.N., or to tweet off-hand com­ments like “they won’t be around much longer” in ref­er­ence to for­eign lead­ers. That’s reck­less. And we can see the re­sults: North Korea now main­tains the pres­i­dent’s words con­sti­tuted a dec­la­ra­tion of war and gives it the right to down U.S. air­craft.

Now I’m not say­ing that’s likely to hap­pen, but this es­ca­lat­ing war of words only moves us closer to the kind of mis­cal­cu­la­tion or con­fronta­tion no one wants. And it serves to heighten Kim Jong Un’s stature as he goes tit-for-tat with the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent.

But one thing Gra­ham was right about: The height­ened ten­sions do raise a ques­tion of moral­ity. There are mil­lions of lives at stake here, Amer­i­can as well as Korean. We should think about that very care­fully. — Jerry Ross, Chelms­ford

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