For those living in the northern climes of our great country, the season is just beginning to change.  Summer has lost its worst heat.  The air smells and tastes different ... like Spring except that unlike Spring, instead of freshness ... there is an undertone of decay.

At the end of the American century, her voice has become as shrill as those listening to it are few.  And Kim Jong-un is thumbing his nose.  Following a missile fired across the bow of an ally, he has had the audacity to explode a nuclear device an order of magnitude more powerful than the last.  It is unquestionably thermonuclear, in other words a hydrogen bomb, which from released photos appears to be of a size not difficult to position atop a missile.

Under these circumstances, rationality would dictate bringing allies and those with influence over North Korea closer.  The President, instead, is fighting a trade war with South Korea, China and anyone else he can sniff out.

Meanwhile, inane military threats continue to make nonsense out of sense, leading South Korea's President Moon Jae-in to assure his people it will be up to his government to decide whether their country goes to war with North Korea or not.

President Putin was asked a few days ago what he thought of Mr. Trump as President.  Without a trace of irony, he replied he as President of Russia must do the best for it, and President Trump has to do the same for his country.  Seemed like code for ... I am quite happy with Trump as president.   He should be.  He has a free hand in Syria, and the U.S. is at loggerheads with almost every major world power.  World leaders have taken Trump's measure and decided that, as a president, he is a nincompoop.

How did a businessman and TV reality show star with absolutely no political experience, who was manifestly a diplomatic zero, get elected in the first place?  As they say in the press, he was good copy -- "... damn good for CBS," said CEO Leslie Moonves.  The coverage Trump attracted and received gratis from U.S. media was worth $5 billion according to mediaQuant.  Trump has a knack for it, and the media are happy to go along -- it generates ad revenues.

But then think of the alternative.  Hillary the Hawk could have taken us to war with Russia over Ukraine.  After all, it was her State Department that initiated the Ukraine coup.  On December 13, 2013, Victoria Nuland, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, boasted of 'investing $5 billion' and 'five years worth of work and preparation.'

Everyone knows what the North Koreans want.  They want a formal peace treaty, acceptance of their government, and more trade and economic links.  Enough of the latter and it increases leverage, so why not give it to them.

Unfortunately for us, we have the Donald.  The Russians have had their Ivan the Terrible.  Never to be outdone, the U.S. now has Trump the Terrible.  If the word is the same, the meaning ... well, that's the beauty of the English language.  Worth noting, they were not quite so ambivalent in the Middle Ages and had he been a Plantagenet, we all know what he would have been called.

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US.  Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research.  Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited.  He has for several decades also written for the press:  These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others.  On the internet, he has written for Antiwar.com, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many.  His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record. 

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