While Kim Jong-Un threatens the world with fallout from a nuclear device, global leaders are still grappling with the fallout from Donald Trump’s address to the United Nation’s General Assembly on Tuesday. In an aggressive hate-laced speech, Trump labelled the North Korean leader again as “Rocket Man” and taunted his younger dictator counterpart.
Threatening the total destruction of North Korea if the nation continues its nuclear program, Trump abused his platform at the United Nations in a manner that no U.S. leader has. Even President George W. Bush — not a fan of the U.N. to begin with — tempered his words against the “axis of evil” to avoid violating the U.N. Charter in 2002.
Trump, however, is an adolescent playground bully with no regard for protocol, rules of procedure, or domestic and international law. He ignored decades of tradition and the ire of 191 nations and, like a spoiled child, did whatever little Donny wanted to.
In threatening the annihilation of an entire nation and its 25 million civilian residents, Trump crossed a very bold line. Chapter 1, Article 2 of the United Nation’s Charter mandates that member nations and their representatives refrain from “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”
An exception to the Charter exists when a nation is acting in self-defense. Given the proximity of North Korea to the United States, the infancy of its nuclear program, and that no imminent threat has been made, the self-defense clause leaves Trump’s statement as nothing more than bully talk. He broke the rules and in doing so, once again reduced the United States’ position in the worldview.
The total destruction of a nation is a morally repugnant proposition, especially in response to the childish back-and-forth exchanges between Trump and Kim. Trump has expanded his typical personal and business practices to his responses as a representative of America. He blasts his enemies with the harshest, but least enforceable threats.
For years, Trump has earned a reputation for threatening colleagues, business partners, and competitors with inane lawsuits — most of which his legal teams never file. Any person facing off with Trump can look at his history and understand that when he shoots off at the mouth, it is usually nothing but blanks. None-the-less, his words do have a tendency to escalate rather than calm relations, and playing verbal chicken with a fellow lunatic merely demonstrates Trump’s lack of intelligence and experience in the “art of the deal.”
Trump consistently shirks the obligations he accepted and swore to back in January. As one of the original signatories to the U.N. Charter, the United States has a duty to honor every provision. Our own Constitution includes a clause that “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” Regardless of his feelings about the United Nations, Trump had a duty to respect the charter and refrain from his hotheaded threats.
Yesterday, Kim Jong-Un laughed off the United States and called Trump a “barking dog.” Across the globe, leaders and analysts are criticizing Trump for sinking to his North Korean counterpart’s level with name-calling and pre-pubescent posturing. Many found his speech inappropriate and inflammatory, and contrary to the mission of the United Nations.
As the world watches and waits for Trump and Kim to settle their playground differences, tensions between America and North Korea remain high. In each instance, people closer to the potential battlefield can only hope that in each case of Rocket Mouth and Rocket Man, they will both turn out to be harmless duds.
■ Update: On Tuesday, the Idea Dogs initiated the hashtag #RocketMouth. Yesterday, Metro New York featured ‘Rocket Mouth’ on the front page and NY1 picked it up in a later broadcast. We encourage all Twitter followers and readers to make #RocketMouth go viral and adopt it as Trump’s new official Twitter nickname. Tweet and re-Tweet often and thank you for helping us reach our goal of 100,000 #RocketMouths!