A dan­ger­ous war of words

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

When the pres­i­dent this week warned North Korea to stop mak­ing nu­clear threats, declar­ing it would be “met with fire and fury” like the world has never seen, dozens of Times read­ers of­fered choice words of their own.

A dis­mayed ma­jor­ity slammed Trump’s “heated rhetoric,” call­ing it un­help­ful or an­other dis­trac­tion. Most strongly urged diplo­macy, while a few backed the tough talk ap­proach. Here is a sam­pling of the re­sponses. — Sara Less­ley, let­ters to the edi­tor de­part­ment

David N. Hart­man in Santa Ana asks:

Doesn’t our pres­i­dent re­al­ize that when he threat­ens any na­tion with such apoc­a­lyp­tic lan­guage that the scene he en­vi­sions could end up here in Amer­ica? Has Trump ever con­sid­ered he has the abil­ity to sit down with any na­tional leader and ne­go­ti­ate peace treaties that en­dure?

Com­ments David Woody in Bishop:

A pos­si­ble goal of Trump’s out­ra­geous rhetoric

is to goad North Korea to “fire the first shot,” which Trump would use to jus­tify an over­whelm­ing re­sponse. This would re­sult in a war that would de­stroy North Korea and much of South Korea with lit­tle risk to the U.S. main­land.

Richard Merel in Her­mosa Beach of­fers:

Ev­ery psy­chi­a­trist-in­train­ing learns, very early, that in deal­ing with an ag­i­tated, fright­ened, threat­en­ing and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous pa­tient, one should speak firmly and calmly. Trump is not a psy­chi­a­trist, and there is no train­ing pro­gram for the pres­i­dency. But some­one should help him un­der­stand that our tense re­la­tion­ship with fright­ened, angry bul­lies in North Korea will not be im­proved by be­hav­ing as if this is a play­ground feud.

Says Phil Kirk in Encini­tas:

When I read the head­line of threats of fire and fury like the world has never seen, I thought im­me­di­ately that it was a state­ment from the ir­ra­tional Kim Jong Un. No, it was from the un­sta­ble and bom­bas­tic per­son we laugh­ingly call the pres­i­dent of the United States. Al­though, it’s not much of a laugh­ing matter any­more.

Robert S. Henry in San Gabriel dif­fers:

Quite can­didly, as a Trump hater, the one thing Trump has done with which I whole­heart­edly agree is his threat to North Korea. Kim Jong Un is a mad­man and Trump's state­ment sends a mes­sage to those top mil­i­tary men around him that it is time for him to go.

Chet Che­be­gia in San Mar­cos sec­onds that:

Well, I'm a Demo­crat, voted against Trump, but I think he is right to stand up to this two-bit punk in North Korea.

Some­times the only thing an en­emy un­der­stands is power.

Dan Linn in La Jolla thinks it’s a Trump tac­tic:

The bom­bas­tic rhetoric from the pres­i­dent is con­sis­tent with his ever-present M.O. when fac­ing a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion. Bingo, it's time for a dis­trac­tion. Congress and the peo­ple need to step up and make it very clear that diplo­macy is the only al­low­able route for this (or any) ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ni­cholas Kamm AFP/Getty Im­ages

TRUMP warned North Korea on nu­clear threats, declar­ing it would be “met with fire and fury.”

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