Much of this week’s news dealt with President Trump’s feud with the NFL over peaceful protests during the national anthem at football games. This dominated his tweets, a fair indicator of where most of his attention has been focused.
Note the misordering of priorities: He has been more concerned about football players taking a knee than a nuclear war that quite possibly is about to happen with North Korea or the 100 percent destruction of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — a situation largely unaddressed more than a week after Hurricane Maria passed. Some 97 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents are still in the dark. Half of residents lack running water. Food is scarce.
Worse, White House advisers and Congress appear complicit in the lack of attention given these urgent priorities. These two matters are more important than health care, tax reform or anything else before Congress.
My question: Why weren’t ships brimming with relief and labor already moving toward the ravaged Caribbean as the storm hit? It was a slow-motion storm with fairly predictable outcomes. Three or four carriers and 20,000 Seabees and Army transportation and engineer troops landing as the winds died down could have helped ensure power, water, shelter, food and basic supplies to the bulk of those islands by now.
Trump is commander in chief. He must accelerate relief work, something the military has done many times before. We knew such relief was going to be essential. Since Puerto Rico is wrecked, there’s nothing left for locals to do: Relief must come from the mainland. With U.S. subjects now reduced to drinking water from streams and building fires come nightfall, this situation is about to become a bona fide humanitarian crisis on our own soil. No justifiable reason for this exists.
Instead President Trump tweets madly about the NFL, an indication that he’s already running for re-election. Worse yet, many of his followers so dedicated to “making America great again” rally to his words, ignoring fellow Americans who have been thrown in harm’s way and now require assistance. Dereliction of duty!
War with North Korea is no longer avoidable in any practical sense. Because this renegade Pacific nation has rockets and bombs, any conflict can erupt into nuclear war with casualties like we haven’t seen since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It will start when they attack our territories, allies or island bases. There’s a strong risk it could start if they attack our forces in the area, whatever the reason. And attack they will, sooner or later. So where’s the war plan? Will this be a knee-jerk response — or will there be a goal of firm and studied resolve? How many must die?
Yet all we see is name-calling tweets, mostly about NFL football players and the flag. This only raises the risk involving a clearly distracted commander in chief. Dereliction of duty!
It’s not just political figures who anger me. Many in the news media have been swallowed up in the mounting fury over NFL patriotism. TV news media only late this week finally picked up on the disparity between what the governor of Puerto Rico, mayor of San Juan and reporters on the ground say versus what the president has said in news conferences and tweets
If you think there should be stern consequences for all this, wait. It’s coming, just not in the form we might expect. And unfortunately many of the innocent will pay the price.