And Doomsday Is Delayed For A Lark
We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. We have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: he (North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un) is doing the wrong thing.
– President Donald Trump to the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, April 12, 2017
In the case of our super-mighty pre-emptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes.
– Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper for North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party, April 20, 2017
Take a moment from your latest freak-out about something nonsensical and pay attention to the following paragraphs that detail one of the most dangerous and egregious fuck-ups our federal government has perpetuated on us since 9/11. Luckily this time thousands weren’t killed and buildings didn’t disappear in our greatest and richest city.
At the outset I must admit that after nearly 100 days, I am starting to get a handle on this President Trump thing. Rightly accused of lying his ass off nearly every time he opens his mouth is kind of missing a more pressing point. I think it is not so much lying as it is making stuff up that he thinks of on the spot with little to no actual factoids or tangible premise involved. It’s like talking to a four-year-old about space men without the cute voice or some imaginative asides. Trump just plain makes stuff up. And this is nothing new. He has been doing this for decades and did so at an alarmingly hilarious rate when he presented himself for the job of President of the United States and then won the right to perform it. Now he has taken this art form or mentally damaged tick (you choose) to new levels.
I do not have the time or the inclination to recount the entirety of Trump’s craziness here—we shall “try” and review the obligatory First 100 Days metric next week. Right now we will concentrate on one spectacular doozey, then move onto something seriously flawed in our Democracy, which has nothing to do with Donald J. Trump.
Before the president employed his “make shit up on the spot” stylings to this monumental screw-up, let us go back to April 8 of this “foul year of Our Lord” 2017, when Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., the head of the military’s Pacific Command, publicly announced the diversion of an aircraft carrier called the Carl Vinson, its wing of fighter jets and three guided-missile destroyers and cruisers from a planned series of exercises and port calls in Australia to complete a new mission in the Western Pacific, more specifically the Sea of Japan, and far more essentially, the Korean Peninsula.
This was fairly important (okay, I will suspend sarcasm for a moment) fucking gigantically pertinent information for the American public and the world, mainly due to North Korea being run by a murderously wild-child monarch by the name of Kim Jong-un, who has recently upped his usual saber-rattling about launching nuclear missiles towards the United States because daddy didn’t love him.
Seeing how the current commander-in-chief, also riddled with daddy issues, is embroiled in several scandals and wants to appear like the tough-guy he “made up” during the campaign, it appeared from that announcement that conflict was nigh—and not just any conflict; nuclear war level conflagration or millions-die-in-an-instant kind of level.
Summarily, all the news outlets, even the real ones, reported this maneuver. And when asked about this in the ensuing days, the ninth, tenth, eleventh and especially April 12, the president, vice president, White House press secretary, defense secretary, the Pentagon, and the guy who played the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Easter Bunny (damn it, it is so hard to abandon sarcasm completely here) confirmed and even detailed a show of military force heading to what could easily be framed as a war zone, and has been since the Korean Conflict of the early 1950s “ended” without an official treaty.
The government and the press told us the United States was basically calling the bluff of a loon with nuclear weapons with its own barrel of severe weaponry over and over and over for 11 days.
Then it wasn’t happening.
It never happened.
Totally made up.
All of it.
Not one iota of this potential major, world-changing event happened or was happening.
We found out about all of this more or less on April 18.
Do I have to write What the Fuck? Or should I merely go with the more accepted acronym WTF? Or maybe I should just move this whole operation down to Australia and bid the rest of you suckers adieu.
Then, for the purposes of perspective, whatever the hell that is, we’ll fast forward to the fallout, which enjoyed the predictable political spin-doctoring acrobatics perfected by more worthy semi-truth tellers on military schemes from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama.
But I expect presidents and the Pentagon to lie. Part of it is strategic, some parts are to keep people alive, still other parts include a heavy rotation of “Can’t help it, man.” However, I am trying to figure out why we even have a press corps. Is it to show us funny cat videos; because I have YouTube for that. Is it to have six boxes of talking heads yelling about who sucks less, Democrats or Republicans? Is it to better position one’s self to sexually stalk fellow employees? I need something on this, because I would like to know how nearly two weeks go by with notions of nuclear holocaust dancing in our heads with no one in the government, the military or the national press knowing what the hell is going on with our war ships?
I know it’s too much to ask for competent chief executives or basic legislation or even anything approaching sane decorum, but maybe if we are fixing to turn islands into cinder on our dime and maybe brace ourselves for retribution it might be okay to give us the head’s up? Or if this is not too much to hope for, not make all of it up.
But then again…
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.