You know it’s bad when the verbal tussle between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Donald Trump becomes the subject of an online quiz.
The Guardian put up a story inviting readers to click on Kim’s or Trump’s photo depending on who they thought made a given controversial statement.
“He is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire.”
“They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
“[The] bastards would be not very happy with this gift.”
“People are saying: ‘Is he sane?’ I have no idea.”
“A frightened dog barks louder.”
“Our nuclear arsenal…is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before…” “There will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world.”
“Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”
“I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him.”
“[He is] mentally deranged.”
It is easy to take comfort in the fact that other people are doing a fine job making at fools of themselves. We do not have a monopoly of it, after all.
We rant about our daily inconveniences or betray our biases, or worse, our cluelessness, but we are ordinary people. These, two, however, are national leaders, responsible for the lives and futures of millions of their constituents. So it is quite amusing that they should behave, instead, like children in the school yard at recess.
Reacting to Mr. Trump’s speech at the United Nations where he called him “Rocket Man” and vowed to “totally destroy” his adversaries, Mr. Kim advised his counterpart to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.
He would have been remotely convincing until he said: “Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.”
A dotard is one in dotage, which the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines as a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.
When it dawns on us that they are talking about mutually assured destruction, everything ceases to be amusing. We are then overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness, that our fate rests on the whims of individuals such as these.
We are curious about seeing whether it’s all noise. Under other circumstances we would challenge them to show the world it’s not all bravado.
But because the stakes are just so high, we would prefer them to just be stupid, than stupid and dangerous. We would tolerate all the talk in the world just as long as it does not cross over into action.
ASEAN NEWSPAPER OPINIONS AND EDITORIALS
6.1. Get spicy, or die crying – for Myanmar Times
7.1. Encyclopedia of Noynoying – for D.Tribune
7.2.- for M.Bulletin.
7.3. War of the words – for M.Standard.
7.4.USA VS NORTH KOREA- for M.Times.
7.5. Weird (but well played?) – for P.D. Inquirer.
7.6. Salalima’s lament – for Philstar.
8.1. David Skilling
The future of small economies in a changed world – David Skilling / Straits Times of Singapore.
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