The elephant in the room

One Man's Opinion
By Doug Collins
April 18, 2017 - 5:00am

World tensions probably haven’t been this great in a while. While North Korea is sending out coded transmission signals to their troops, and trying hard to show us they have the strength to be a nuclear force, we have President Trump sending aircraft carriers closer to North Korea’s shores, ostensibly to protect South Korea, and we have Vladimir Putin rattling sabres in the Middle East, trying hard to get his dibs in on the action as well. Most of this has happened before, but right now we have three power-hungry forces waving their flags and their threats, all trying to be the next big thing. And they are all capable of throwing the switch to start the next world war. And we all know what that would bring. Wouldn’t be much left for future generations. Kim Jong-un is theoretically part of a triumvirate that runs North Korea, but he is the leader, not much question about it. He looks like he is about five, but he is actually in his mid-thirties, and he seems to be all about power. Considering he has a degree in army studies, that shouldn’t be surprising. But Kim also has a degree in physics, earned in Switzerland, so he’s no dummy, despite the cartoon characters that often show him as a witless child. So if he’s no dummy, you would assume he knows that if he crosses the line, his country is going to be wiped out, as could much of the world, in a nuclear war. Despite President Trump’s blustery show of strength, his comments that North Korea has to “behave”, he too is well aware of what will happen if he steps too far. Russia’s Putin has seen firsthand in Chernobyl what will happen in the case of nuclear war, and anything that happened in Chernobyl would pale in comparison to what would happen if a real outbreak occurred. But with three huge egos in play here, can we assume that saner heads will prevail? Not really. Either one of those egos could let loose at any second. You would think over time that leaders would understand the need for better decision-making, but as we’ve seen recently in Syria, that’s just not happening. I believe that we are closer now to serious conflict than we were during the Cuban missile crisis, because both President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev were both more aware of the consequences than our current leaders seem to be. I thought I would never say it, but could China be the one saving grace in this whole affair? Can they be the ones to make something happen to achieve some sort of lasting détente? Could they be the big elephant in the room to bring some power to bear that will make the others see sense? Or are they playing their own games behind the scenes to take control when the others fail? World politics is a dangerous game, and one wrong move can lead to disastrous consequences. Question is-can we stifle the egos before they get so big that there is no going back? That’s what we’ll be watching in the weeks and months to come.