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Hegemonic Masculinity

Apparently, this is a thing.

Robin Wright, the journalist at The New Yorker, not the fictional First Lady, wrote about the different diplomatic approaches that we can explore with North Korea. She interviewed James Winnefield, former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who said:

James Winnefeld, a retired Navy admiral and a former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered a more sanguine prognosis. “Grin and bear it,” he told me. “Let them stew in their own juices.” Negotiations are worth a try, but “we could end up negotiating with ourselves as they cross their arms and stick to their position. The North Koreans will never give up their program. This is an impoverished, authoritarian country, and this is their insurance policy. At same time, they will never use it. They know it will be the end. And they’re not suicidal.”

The United States, he said, can fortify its deterrent capabilities—for instance, by strengthening its missile defenses. It can exert greater economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime, or mobilize allies in joint actions. “But it’s a fool’s errand to expect China to solve this for us,” he noted. If North Korea shows signs of proliferating—that is, trying to export—its nuclear technology, the U.S. should be prepared to impose a blockade, complete with search and seizure of ships, to inspect everything that goes in or out of the country. “We Americans tend to want closure, an endgame,” Winnefeld said. “But it’s not going to happen with North Korea. So you should put yourself in the best possible position—and go on living.”

Sounds rational.

No sooner had I finished reading that piece in the New Yorker when a CNN notification popped up to tell me that Trump want to revise his statement from a couple days ago about raining "fire and fury" on North Korea.

Oh, good, I thought. He's going to say he got a little overwrought. It was undiplomatic and dangerous. He didn't really mean it.


From CNN:

Bridgewater, New Jersey (CNN)President Donald Trump reiterated his bellicose warning to North Korea from earlier in the week, telling reporters at his golf club in New Jersey on Thursday that his threat to bring "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States may not have gone far enough.

"Maybe it wasn't tough enough," Trump said during a lengthy exchange with reporters.

Trump said that past administrations had not done enough to take on North Korea and that it is time a President "stuck up for the country."


Ok, here's what I think is going on. Trump is trying to shore up his base. He's been taking on a lot of issues that his base really wanted, like affirmative action, transgendered people in the military, voting fraud, climate change and healthcare. That last one was a misfire but he promised his base something better than Obamacare.

I'm sure Steve Bannon is behind some of this. He knows what hard core Trump voters want.

Then there are the voters who may have been drifting away from Trump for rational reasons but who are easy to provoke with thoughts of their own mortality to rushing back to Fearless Leader.

Yep, there's nothing like making everyone believe that a small Asian country halfway around the world with a nascent nuclear arms program is a genuine threat to the US. TRUMP is a threat to the US, North Korea is not.

It happened with the run up to the Iraq war too. Remember how George W. Bush was always confusing Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden? Yeah, I'm guessing that wasn't a senior moment. He did that on purpose. Because we associate bin Laden with 9/11 and that scares the crap out of people.

So now people are scared silly about North Korea. They're wondering if they'll make it to the next Christmas. They worry about their grandchildren. They're looking for a tough guy to protect them, not that wimp Obama. Hey, I was no Obama fan for completely different reasons but I'm not sure he's the one who made this situation what it is right now. I'm pretty sure that's on Trump's watch.

But the desired effect is to bolster Trump's poll numbers when the fearful come running back to him for his protection. That Russia investigation must be hitting pay dirt.

Anyway, I'm not getting all bent out of shape about North Korea. We and they have always known we can pulverize them in a retaliatory strike. It doesn't need to be said out loud.

This is just a big fat ugly guy swinging his dick around and promising to keep us all safe. Like someone who practices hegemonic masculinity.

Next week, we'll discuss Affinity Fraud.

I'm blowing this pop stand.

Saunter: I love the country


2 Responses

  1. Yeah, I agree with you. The concern rattling around in my head is what NK will do if they decide DT, in his insanity, may genuinely lose it and attack them first. Hawaii is rolling out its nuclear preparedness plan as of this morning.

    The Google Memo, and especially the national press response to it, is more of the same of this hypermasculine (AKA sexist) sh*t. In my liberal town, there was an editorial today which went on about the “important” “free speech” points made in the article, how poor “conservatives” (how insulting to true conservatives) never get to express their sexist views, and shouldn’t they have the right to bully women if they want to? I can’t help but wonder about the response to that memo had ‘woman’ been replaced with ‘Black.’ The author looks like an angry/sad little boy. My husband is so pissed off about the memo and the tolerant response to its intolerance he’s muttering in the garden, cursing, writing an op-ed.

    We knew–we all knew–that Rump’s election would mean an open season on women, and it is. It’s open season on anything that doesn’t look like a gun or a missile, really.

    I read Trump has an aide who has his twitter password and is the one tweeting the more reasonable tweets and blocking followers who disagree with him, so he gets the continuous sense everyone is with him and he is fabulous.

  2. I actually don’t think the NK situation is going to do anything more than just maybe bring his Republican numbers back up. The rest of the country I think looks at Trump as inept and not someone they would want running a war against NK.

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