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Life is not just a bowl of cherries, nor is life necessarily a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. However, both life and politics can benefit from advice and warnings provided by tales and fiction. This is certainly relevant to the present political and military predicament, as the U.S. Trump administration has to consider options to confront the challenging behavior of North Korea.
In 1935, the French playwright Jean Giraudoux wrote The Trojan War Will Not Take Place, a work implicitly critical of the diplomacy that brought on World War I and could lead to World War II. There were options in the drama. Hector, the Trojan military commander, considered that the pursuit of Helen by his brother Paris would lead to war and destruction and therefore was undesirable. For other Trojans, war would be an opportunity for glory. At the extreme end was fatalism, if not apathy: the cynical Cassandra predicted that war could not be avoided.
US - World - Options - Pursuit - Weapons
The U.S. and the world now are confronted with these options and the pursuit of nuclear weapons as the realistic incarnation of the fictional Helen, the center of the drama. For the United States, the stark issues are whether and in what way the ambitions, activities, and threats of Kim Jong-un, the dictator and military leader of North Korea (N.K.), can be countered or if, fatally, the extent of his ambitions means that war with the U.S. is unavoidable.
The danger is evident. N.K. successfully carried out two nuclear bomb tests in 2016 and two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July 2017. It is considering, "carefully examining plans" for a missile strike on Guam, for an "environmental fire" around it. Guam is a missile target – a small, remote island, 2,100 miles from N.K. and 1,600 from Japan and the...
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