Donald Trump: International Terrorist, Lunatic & Hypocrite

Trump @ UN

On Tuesday, (September 19th), Donald Trump delivered his first address to the United Nations. As we all know, the 42-minute speech included an unprecedented denunciation of North Korea. The president’s words were clearly aimed at intimidating not only the leadership of that country, but its impoverished population as well.

Besides blatant terrorism, there are two words for such intimidation.  One of them is absolute lunacy. The other is shameless hypocrisy.

But take terrorism first and foremost. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s definition terrorism is a federal crime embracing any act “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct.” By his own admission, that was the very raison d’etre of Mr. Trump’s threats: to get North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and to retaliate for its weapons’ testing.

In his terroristic diatribe, the president claimed the right to “completely destroy” North Korea, a tiny country of 25 million on the edge of starvation. Such genocide would accomplish in an instant a holocaust at least four times as great as that perpetrated by Adolf Hitler.

Imagine being a citizen of North Korea and hearing the U.S. president’s bombast. Would you be terrified? Imagine if you were living in South Korea, as 35,000 U.S. military personnel do. Imagine if you were living in nearby Japan, where more than 40,000 U.S troops and their families are stationed. You’d be terrified.

And none of this is to mention Japanese and South Korean populations themselves, who happen to live in a region that is home to half the world’s population as well as to its largest militaries and most prosperous economies. The entire world should be petrified.

However, from the North Korean perspective, the speech represents only the latest in an endless line of such provocations long resisted by Pyongyang. The first, of course, was the Korean War itself which between 1950 and 1953 flattened the country and took nearly two million Korean lives. After that, North Korea has been the subject of endless sanctions and the target of annual war games that rehearse the country’s invasion, the decapitation of its leadership, and that actually drop dummy nuclear bombs.

Nevertheless, the Kim Jong Un regime has gone through the process of non-violent resistance. It has repeatedly presented its case to the U.N., but to no avail. Moreover, the country’s leadership has expressed a willingness to consider freezing its nuclear weapons program in exchange for a freeze on such military maneuvers on its border. The response of the United States has been complete rebuff.

No wonder Mr. Kim has defaulted to developing his nuclear weapons program. He needs no reminder of the fate of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi who terminated their similar projects under U.S. threat.

In other words, though claiming that “all options are on the table,” dialog about Mr. Kim’s non-violent alternatives to nuclear war apparently is not. Rather than talk, Mr. Trump evidently prefers bombing – even nuclear bombing – in an area of the world that hosts 83 U.S. bases, and where authorities estimate that even a conventional artillery barrage from the North would kill 64,000 in the first three hours.

Besides terrorism, there are only those other two words for describing such violence –absolute lunacy and shameless hypocrisy. The lunacy is easy to see, and needs no elaboration. The evidence increasingly shows that we are currently governed by a madman. There is no other description for someone willing to kill 25 million people rather than dialog or compromise.

As for the hypocrisy . . . how can the only country ever to use nuclear weapons, and which is in the process of completely modernizing its nuclear arsenal demand that another country discontinue its nuclear program? Even a child can understand the contradiction of demanding that others do what the demanders themselves refuse to accomplish.

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

8 thoughts on “Donald Trump: International Terrorist, Lunatic & Hypocrite”

  1. Hi Mike,

    The “non-violent” description does not really apply well to a tyrant who uses anti-aircraft guns to kill those who displease him.

    That said, Trump has played right into the propaganda fed to the North Koreans: that the U.S. intends to destroy North Korea because the North is doing so much better than the rest of the world.

    North Korea’s history gives no reasonable expectation either that a) they will stop nuclear development or b) they will initiate a first strike.

    And, of course, our country’s history of attempted regime change gives Kim a reason to be worried.

    But, “non-violent” doesn’t apply to Kim except in the most superficial manner. The history of his actions lies on the path of “survival by saying or doing anything,” not on the path of non-violence.

    In peace,



    1. Something to consider — how people near the China/Korea border feel about the nuclear testing
      Shanghai protests of North Korean nuclear testing

      “SHANGHAI, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — A group of citizens in a northeastern Chinese city bordering North Korea have taken to the streets protesting the North’s latest nuclear test as concerns over radioactive contamination are mounting there….No country conducts a nuclear test in border areas, but North Korea poses a grave threat to China by enforcing the nuclear test in a place very close to China,” rights activist Yu Yunfeng, who led the protest, was cited as saying.

      “He underlined that the test triggering a 5.8 magnitude earthquake can affect China’s air pollution as the test site, Punggye-ri in the North’s Hamkyong Province, is just 36 kilometers from the border between the two nations….”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Of course, you’re right, Hank. None of these heads of state is non-violent. I was merely referring to the nature of Kim’s openness to a freeze for a freeze. That particular strategy is non-violent. Watch this week. There’ll be another North Korean missile test as the United States and South Korea stage more naval exercises off the coast of North Korea. It’s crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent essay. All of Kim Jong Un’s actions have been defensive rather than offensive. He saw what happened to Saddam and Gaddafi and, quite rationally, believes that – without nuclear weapons – North Korea will undergo the same fate. They have already experienced this once. In the early 50s the United States completely destroyed every city, town, and village in his country. As Mike said, North Korea has offered to stop it’s nuclear weapons program if the United States will withdraw its military presence in South Korea.

    Trump accused Kim Jong Un of starving his people, but Trump himself is starving the people of North Korea with his sanctions.

    While I was not happy with many things Obama and Samantha Power said at the UN, Trump and Nikki Haley have been far worse. They are dangerous and incompetent. If they push North Korea too far, ten million people in Seoul, South Korea will likely be exterminated. Meanwhile Russia is meeting with North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and China to try to work out mutually beneficial trade deals. Are we more dangerous than the Russians?

    Trump’s statements about Iran and Venezuela were every bit as outrageous.

    Where is the anti-war movement in the Democratic Party??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Larry, there never was a real anti-war movement in the democratic party, and there are quite opposite signs in it’s behavior now – such as it’s stoking animosity towards Russia. Any real peace movement will have to come from outside Washington politics, which is governed by the military industrial complex and Israel. It would be nice if large numbers of Catholics would vigorously respond to Pope Francis’s
    leadership, but that is not happening. Catholics by and large are just as sound asleep to our escalating world crisis and the US role in it as the rest of the population.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike, I totally agree with your reply comment here. However, I would like to see the RCC clean its own House first and practice what they preach, and have been preaching almost from the beginning….

    Liked by 1 person

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