Singapore (GPA) – Following a week of extremely high tensions in Southeast Asia, culminating in Trump supposedly sending “an armada” to the Korean Peninsula, the US Navy released photos this week showing their ships were thousands of miles away.
Since North Korea held their Day of the Sun celebrations last Friday, the world has been on edge following promises from US President Donald Trump to order a strike on Pyongyang if there were any new nuclear tests on the peninsula. Trump claimed that he had sent a Navy battle group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, towards North Korea as the main option, should he make good on his promise.
The Vinson was last seen on April 8th, refueling in Singapore, before Trump told several media outlets it departed to barrel down to be within striking distance of Pyongyang. This led reporters on a search for the fleet’s location in relation to the Korean peninsula, with no luck.
To many people’s surprise, the answer didn’t come until yesterday when the Navy quietly released a photo of the Vinson. The twist was, the ship wasn’t near Korea. In fact it was actually located south of Singapore…in the Indian Ocean, around 3,000 miles – or essentially the width of the United States – away.
Not only did the carrier turn out to be in an unexpected area, it was actively engaged in a noticeably non-combat role of participating in military drills with Australian naval forces. It was also noted that the picture was taken on Saturday, as further US warnings were being issued about the Navy forces just waiting for North Korea to make a mistake.
These threats by Trump predictably caused high levels of tension in both Southeast Asia and among all people across the globe who oppose nuclear war. Trump’s bluffing and blustering along with the likelihood that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would retaliate to an US action with a nuclear strike obviously put a good portion of the world’s population on edge.
Apparently now that Trump’s hand has been shown, the carrier is now (supposedly) actually heading towards Korea and is expected there next week. Yet now that the Vinson was located and is heading to where the public were already told it was, this leaves a lot of questions as to why we were misled.
Average people worldwide spent all weekend terrified that we could have seen the first nuclear exchange since the end of World War Two based on blatant lies from the White House and the top echelons of the military. This further adds to the concern voiced by many foreign policy analysts that the danger of Trump foreign policy is how unpredictable it is.
While we don’t know if this was some type of “business man” bluff bullshit, or the establishment being forced to back off the cuff comments made by Trump, either way this is a concerning development. This incident wasn’t even a form of spinning the truth; it was a blatant lie, and the lie could’ve lead to a potential nuclear disaster.
After a week filled with an illegal tomahawk strike on a Syrian military airfield, and the dropping of the United States’ second largest conventional bomb on former CIA asset tunnels in Afghanistan, many observers were afraid that these were test runs for possible attacks on North Korea. While now it seems likely that both of these moves were actually ridiculous and ineffective publicity stunts, people were genuinely concerned that they were new signs of a more reckless and aggressive US foreign policy.
Presumably, nobody but Trump’s inner circle knows what the reasoning behind this blatant lie and why they’re willing to lead the world dangerously close to the brink of disaster, we should be opposed to it. There were possibly millions of lives hanging in the balance this weekend, and somehow we’re just supposed to accept that “this is foreign policy now.” If this was a deliberate move by Trump and a preview of what’s to come in the next four years, we should all be extremely concerned.