Thursday, August 10, 2017

The one benefit of Trump's fire and fury

President's Trump's threat to deliver "fire and fury" to North Korea does have one benefit for Guam. Namely, people are learning a few things about the island.

Many of the news stories point out that, yes, Guam is a part of the United States, its people are U.S. citizens, and some even note that a high percentage of them have served in the military.

Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo is making the best of it.

Calvo was on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox. He voiced support for Trump's fire and fury comment, but also took this as an opportunity to point out that Guam is no different than Honolulu or the West Coast, according to a report in The Hill.

People in the states are largely uninformed about Guam. Many don't realize that it's part of the U.S., and few are aware of Guam's status as a territory.

Most do not know that Guam is a legacy of American colonization. Guam never had a choice in this decision to become part of the U.S.

America needs to know more about Guam. It's people can't vote for a president and it's representative in Congress is non-voting. The island -- because of its status -- fights to be heard in Washington.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The number one fear people have about Trump, Guam edition

It isn't North Korea that Guam should worry about, but President Donald Trump.

Trump is the unknown. His warning to deliver to North Korea "fire and fury like the world has never seen" is scary. We don't know what Trump will actually do.

The threat makes Trump look weak because he is unlikely to carry it out. North Korea knows this, hence its response to threaten Guam.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived at Guam shortly after to explain Trump's comment. He characterized it as Trump's way of "sending a strong message to North Korea in language Kim Jong Un would understand," reported the Washington Post.

Try as he might, Tillerson can't blunt Trump's words.

Trump is forcing Guam's leaders to respond.  The island's non-voting representative in Congress, Madeleine Bordallo, urged Trump and other leaders "to de-escalate these tensions."

This tension is also with the people on Guam.

Trump's words -- "fire and fury" -- raises anxiety for everyone, but I believe it's more acute on Guam. There's no place to go.

The U.S. has to find non-military ways of dealing with North Korea. There's no choice in the matter. The alternative is too frightening. But is Trump capable of true leadership?

Trump seems to lack self-restraint. The fact that Tillerson stopped on Guam to dampen Trump's fire and fury comment tells you that Trump went too far. What we don't know is how far Trump is willing to go with North Korea.