Delegation calls on Trump to lead US out of missile showdown

Vermont’s congressional delegation raised strong concerns Wednesday about President Donald Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” should North Korea continue to threaten to attack with a nuclear weapon.

Sen. Patrick Leahy alluded to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, saying Trump needed to ratchet down the rhetoric and follow the example of President John F. Kennedy.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaks in Laconia, N.H., in July 2016. File photo by Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

“This is a time to look at what President Kennedy did and bring together the leaders of the government and (find) a way out,” Leahy said at an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of IBM/GlobalFoundries being in Vermont.

The senator asserted that Trump’s rhetoric had put South Korea and other allies in the region in danger.

“There are no quick, surgical military solutions to the North Korea threat, and this is no time for reckless, provocative tweets,” Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement. “This is not something that will be solved by loud impulsive rhetoric issued from a golfing resort. This is a time for the president to bring in the military and congressional leadership as well as our intelligence agencies and give a clear response.”

American intelligence officials believe North Korea has made a nuclear weapon that can fit inside a long-range missile, according to The Washington Post. And the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has threatened to attack Guam, a U.S. territory in the western Pacific.

Recently, the U.N. Security Council laid down economic sanctions against North Korea because of the continuing development of the nuclear program.

“This is a time for the United States to act like the clear-eyed, resolute leader the world needs,” Leahy said.

Trump said earlier this week that if North Korea continues to threaten the United States it will “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., condemned Trump’s rhetoric too.

“President Trump’s bombastic rhetoric is not appropriate when we are dealing with the possibility of a nuclear war that could kill millions of people,” Sanders said in a statement. “North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missile capability is an enormously serious issue, and we need serious people at the State Department dealing with it. Our job now is to work with China and our allies in the region and around the world on a comprehensive diplomatic strategy to address this problem.”

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said Trump “is being very provocative, and what he should be doing is trying to de-escalate, not ratchet this up and basically be at the same level as the North Korean dictator.”

At the GlobalFoundries event, Welch added: “This is not complicated militarily. The U.S. has overwhelming force. This is a question of diplomatic skill.”

The two goals, Welch said, are to stop North Korea from fully developing a nuclear weapons program while also avoiding taking a military action that could trigger a response from North Korea that could lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent people in the region.

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  • Paul Richards

    If “the delegation” could see the color of Trumps socks they would have something derogatory to say about it. This is getting old and people are tired of the never ending attacks. Time to get over it and offer some support rather than continue to bash at all cost. These people would be happy to see harm inflicted on our nation if it meant that they could somehow blame it on Trump. This is sick.
    And what’s with the unflattering file photo of President Trump that Digger continues to use? They don’t use such photos of any of “the delegation”. The campaign is over, time to update the file.

    • Mike McNally

      How is it VT Digger’s Fault that Trump looks oafish in every picture?

  • Gary Murdock

    Barely mentioned is the fact that we witnessed a historical event a few days ago: A UN Security Council resolution that was not vetoed by Russia and China. The only part of government not united is the democrats, the part of the world that matters is united on this, and our delegation will be exposed as being on the wrong side of history when this is over. This article is just another installment of the democrats new reality show: The Swamp Fights Back! Our delegation is part of the swamp, and they refuse to be drained.

    • Mike McNally

      The UN passed tough sanctions, that has nothing to do with the Democrats, it also does not justify Trump blabbing about a first strike on NK as if he was bragging about the size of his “huge” hands. Trump is a fool trying to play tough and it could get people killed.

      I forget that it doesn’t matter what Trump says or fails to do, so long as he is not PC or a Democrat. My bad.

      • Gary Murdock

        “The UN passed tough sanctions, that has nothing to do with the Democrats,”
        Your right, the democrats had nothing to do with it. If they had Russia and China would have vetoed it.

  • Edward Letourneau

    Really? First, there is no SAC. Second, Trump has not said anything other presidents have not said in the same situation.

    • Mike McNally

      Presidents have made aggressive statements towards enemies, after thinking them through and choosing their words carefully. Trump shot his mouth off about Korea, completely off the cuff as he always does. That’s stupid and dangerous. And people keep apologizing for him having no filter! It’s insane that certain Americans have been reduced to defending someone who can’t speak a coherent sentence.

  • Gary Murdock

    I often find that the BBC is a decent source for unfiltered news on happenings in the US. Brace yourself democrats…this one is going to give you heartburn: Al Gore commended Trumps handling of North Korea in a BBC interview today. The climate change issue aside, he said he is doing a good job with North Korea.

  • Donna Boutin

    During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. In a TV address on October 22, 1962, President John Kennedy (1917-63) notified Americans about the presence of the missiles, explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba and made it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. Following this news, many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war. However, disaster was avoided when the U.S. agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s (1894-1971) offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for the U.S. promising not to invade Cuba. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.
    It was on October 27 1962, an American reconnaissance plane was shot down over Cuba, and a U.S. invasion force was readied in Florida. (The 35-year-old pilot of the downed plane, Major Rudolf Anderson, is considered the sole U.S. combat casualty of the Cuban missile crisis.)

  • Edward Letourneau

    So are you going to be happy if NK uses a nuclear weapon on US territory?

    • Mike McNally

      They won’t. But Trump might attack NK to make himself look good.

  • rosemariejackowski

    In a better world, we would not have to worry about a president destroying the planet. We would have an educational system that taught all potential members of the military that it would be their duty to refuse to obey an illegal order from the Commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, our schools teach the opposite. We are a nation of war criminals.

    By threatening nuclear war, Trump has already crossed the line. Impeachment is too good for him. He should be arrested and Tried for war crimes.

    • Steve Baker

      Who threatened what? Please, you’re starting to sound like CNN now. They’ve become Pro North Korea over the past 3 days. We’re you and others complaining or using the “I” word when Bill Clinton give North Korea $5 billion dollars and 2 nuclear reactors in 1994?
      Nuclear nonproliferation experts (liberals) agree: Obama is responsible for the failure to prevent North Korea from
      expanding its nuclear program. Our strategy on North Korea in the
      first years of Obama was led by the White House and
      National Security Council.

      Obama administration concept of ‘strategic patience’ emerged early on
      in the administration after the scathing experience of North Korea’s
      2009 nuclear test.
      “It was the White House that was pushing it, because they felt that the
      North Koreans dissed them by conducting a nuclear test in 2009,” said
      Joel Wit, who worked in the Clinton administration to resolve the North
      Korean nuclear weapons crisis in the 1990s

  • rosemariejackowski

    Dave… I agree. Trump is playing the media He outsmarts them at every turn.

  • rosemariejackowski

    Just two questions: When was the last time Korea invaded and bombed the US?

    When was the last time the US invaded and bombed Korea?

    Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950.

    Principle VI

    The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

    (a) Crimes against peace:
    (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
    (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

    (b) War crimes:
    Violations of the laws or customs of war include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave-labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war, of persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

    (c) Crimes against humanity:
    Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connexion with any crime against peace or any war crime.

  • Edward Letourneau

    You are over blowing what he said. We have already had everything except over flights of NK, as a show of force. And we got talk of of where they would send their rockets, inlcuding the CONUS if they feel like it. I think part of the trump message was intended to make Russia and China aware of what can happen if their problem child isn’t contained.

  • rosemariejackowski

    Wars by Republicans are not much different than wars by Democrats. In both, innocent unarmed civilians die.
    “…When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America’s longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings – murder – by drones.

    In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the “reluctant liberal warrior”, dropped 26,171 bombs – three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Having pledged to help “rid the world” of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

    Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama – with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side – who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the “deporter-in-chief”.

    One of Obama’s last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this….”. JOHN PILGER

  • Homer sulham

    There were nuclear bomb racks in B-52’s long before 1969. I served in SAC, planes were loaded and ready to go parked on the tarmac.

  • David Bell

    “So you want to be kind to a mad man who threatens to launch rockets with nuclear warheads.”

    I did not say that, I said I wanted him to make calm, deliberative statements after discussing them with experts. But if, after consulting with his team, they reached the conclusion that being kind meant he was less likely to launch rockets with nuclear warheads, yes I would prefer that. Sorry you would not.

    Whether he is a madman or not, and I think he is, a mad man almost by definition does not think rationally. A rational man would be more likely to bow down to this kind of threat, a mad man might just decide to go for it, or believe since our so-called President will attack either way, might as well take down some Americans too.

  • David Bell

    We are not safer for a so-called President deliberately antagonizing a nuclear power in a childish and poorly thought out manner.