Seoul Man

Every once in a while, people proclaim that the president* is NOT stupid and that there’s some grand scheme to what he does. Here’s a reminder that Donald Trump is an idiot:

Donald Trump called for the population of Seoul to be moved during an Oval Office meeting when tensions between the US and North Korea were at their height, according to a new book about the president’s relations with the US military.

In Trump and his Generals: The Cost of Chaos, the national security and counter-terrorism expert Peter Bergen also gives new details of Trump’s demands that the families of US service members in South Korea be evacuated, which the North Korean regime would have interpreted as a clear move towards war. In both cases, Trump’s impetuous diktats were ignored by his top officials.


According to Bergen, Trump was also shown a satellite image of the Korean peninsula at night, showing the lights of China and South Korea and the blackness of North Korea in between. Trump initially mistook the void for an ocean. When he was shown the bright lights of Seoul just 30 miles south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, the president asked: “Why is Seoul so close to the North Korean border?”

Trump had been repeatedly told that US freedom of action against North Korea was constrained by the fact that the regime’s artillery could demolish the South Korean capital in retaliation for any attack, inflicting mass casualties on its population of 25 million.

“They have to move,” Trump said, according to Bergen, who adds that his officials were initially unsure if the president was joking. But Trump then repeated the line. “They have to move!”

I guess President* Pennywise has never seen MASH. Seoul got overrun once a season in the teevee series. That would  have schooled him on the location of Seoul, Korea. Pass the soju. I need some.

The last word goes to Sam & Dave and the Blues Brothers:

2 thoughts on “Seoul Man

  1. He`s not stoopid – but he *acts* stoopid so he`ll be sent to the Funny Farm and not prison .

  2. Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.

    With Trump, so far we’ve been partly lucky, partly saved by the fact that he can only do anything through handlers who won’t cooperate with many of the atrocities he may think are a good idea, and partly by the fact that deep inside his demented mind, there is a core of good instincts.

    Trump seems to be more of a pacifist and a protectionist than is at all within the recent scope of the conventional wisdom, and that’s good. But he’s also demented, so he hasn’t been able to even budge that conventional wisdom. Yes, he fired Bolton rather than go to war with Iran, which is good, but he hired Bolton in the first place, which a competent person would have understood made no sense unless he wanted war with Iran. Good instincts are fine, but a president needs to have some understanding of the world on top of those good instincts.

    We have seen some of his more dangerous impulses frustrated by his immediate handlers or the bureaucracy, and no doubt there are many more cases we will never hear about, or only become aware of after he’s no longer president. But where his destructive delusions and bad instincts happen to align with handlers like Miller, and a bureaucracy like ICE’s that share his bad instincts and rotten ideological commitments, we have seen some atrocities, we have seen kids in cages.

    Eventually our luck will run out. We will face some military crisis that doesn’t allow our armed forces to slow-walk Trump’s delusional response into inaction, but instead faces them with the choice between carrying out a mass atrocity or mutiny. Or handlers like Miller will solidify their grip on him to the point that they can carry out a complete program of ethnic cleansing that will make what we seen up to now seem like a walk in the park.

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