Richard Widmark, as Jim Bowie talking to John Wayne, as David Crockett in Wayne's production of, "The Alamo."
Unfortunately for both characters we all know how it turned out for the defenders of the Alamo. Despite Wayne's alternative facts in the film it took the Mexican army a single infantry assault to wipe out the entire garrison.
Of course if you pit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea against the United States in an all out war, Donald Trump won't have to play the part of either man. No, a quaint skirmish in San Antonio is minor stuff compared to what we're looking at right now. Especially since El Don increasingly looks and sounds like the deranged, General Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove."
But let's not get lost in movie trivia and lore when armageddon lurks so close by.
On Tuesday, after learning North Korea was successfully miniaturizing their nukes so they'd fit on missiles--not from U.S. Intel, but a report in the Washington Post--Trump decided he would out crazy Kim Jong-un. In an improvised television statement he told us and his stunned advisers, "North Korea best not make any further threats to the United States. They will be met by fire and fury like the world has never seen."
To make sure the North Koreans understood his message, Mr. Trump then narrowed his eyes and went on to say, "He (Kim) has been very threatening beyond a normal state. As I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen."
Later, because he simply can't stop being an amoral carnival midway barker, Trump took to Twitter and wrote, "My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before." A follow up tweet read, "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"
As we should have expected the tweets were just so much self aggrandizing bullshit. No one has done anything to, "renovate and modernize," America's nuclear arsenal during Donald Trump's first seven months in office. But then no tweet from Don Trump is complete without a bald faced lie.
In response and to prove their guy really is more nuts than ours, the North Korean military immediately threatened to plunk four missiles into the ocean within 30, or 40 miles of Guam, an American territory. The plan is set, they said, they're just waiting on Kim to stop swilling imported brandy long enough to give the okay.
Earlier today, The Big Orange Guy, shot back, so to speak, by saying, if North Korea does "anything to the U.S, or an ally things will happen to them like they never thought possible." In addition Bloomberg reports he refused to rule out a preemptive strike, by answering a question about it with, "We'll see what happens."
And there we have it, at least so far. Nuclear war now appears closer to reality than it has since October, 1962. The major difference being the two primary players then, Jack Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev, weren't idiots, or in the throes of some apocalyptic delusion. Indeed, they knew when enough was enough and how to back away from the abyss.
Such is not the case now. Today we are saddled with two run amok ego maniacs who seem willing to kill millions, if not billions of human beings, not over ideology, or religion, but just so they can prove who has the biggest set of balls.
Sweet Jesus, what a world.
Ladies and gentlemen, the bar is most definitely open.