On the 9th of August, Code Pink began a 24 hour emergency protest/vigil in front of the White House against the reckless, escalating threats of war between Trump and the North Korean regime.
The Washington Post has run a cartoon comparing Trump and North Korea’s dictator to a pair of toddlers in a fight, showing two high-chairs pushed together and claiming negotiations are pointless. Code Pink and many from South Korea disagree with the latter part of that, preferring the “freeze for a freeze” plan in which North Korea stops their missile and bomb tests, and the US suspends their military exercises on the Korean Penninsula. Even the North Korean regime has already said that would be acceptable to them, but Trump seems to prefer war.
There is suspicion in many circles that Trump wants an external war to distract the US population from problems with his own regime. The US is said by many to be the most divided it has been since the 1865 Civil War, and the menacing rise of the alt-right has provoked a powerful reaction from progressive forces. Some fear another civil war in the US as white racists openly call for genocide and others decide they have no choice but to prepare to defend themselves. A potential domestic flash point is coming on August 12th, as thousands of KKK and Nazi sympathisers gather in Charlottesville, VA opposed by probably a greater number of anti-Fascist and community activists.
Against this backdrop Trump could be seeking the ultimate distraction, one used by kings, dictators and presidents for centuries to get themselves out of trouble. Trump could be hoping war in North Korea will do for him what 9-11 temporarily did for George W Bush-unite the US behind him. More likely it would just feed the flames of conflict at home, in the way the Vietnam War did. There is also the risk that the conflict could go nuclear, as both sides are nuclear-armed. Mostly likely North Korean weapons would be delivered rather in the manner of vehicle-borned IEDs rather than as missile warheads, simply because the North Korean missile system is too new. Also, the US claim that North Korea has miniaturized a warhead so it can be mounted on a missile at all may be as big a lie as the claim that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.
Video from the opening rally of Code Pink’s 24 hour peace vigil–Speakers remind the viewer that Trump is “out of control” and that the US deals all the time with nuclear proliferating rogue states such as Israel and human rights violators like Saudi Arabia.