There is no pre-emptive military option against North Korea. None. No first strike, no Syria-style “surgical” message, no Israeli-style Osirak bombast, no special-ops bravura. Not unless we’re prepared for immediately triggering war and causing hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of deaths. The only justifiable attack would be in response to a North Korean first strike. And that’s not about to happen. A missile test in the area of Guam is a provocation, not an attack, and no more and no less of a provocation than a nuclear-armed U.S. sub periscoping North Korean shores from the Sea of Japan. It doesn’t count. Contrary to our president’s hallucinations, the Pacific is not an elementary school playground.
Kim Jong-un may be delusional. But he’s not suicidal. No regime devoted first and last to its own survival ever is. He could fire first. He could drop a nuclear bomb on Guam or even conventional missiles on Seoul. If he did, he would invite the sort of destruction that would assure his and his country’s end. Retaliation for a North Korean first strike would be justified, even if it went nuclear. It would have the entire world’s backing, Russia’s and China’s included. But we’re not there. We’re nowhere near. Or were nowhere near, until our own deranged president started acting like a Kim Jong-un doppelganger. Donald Trump is arming the warheads, not the other guy with the weird hair.
That doesn’t change the military option. It emphasizes the fact that there isn’t one. There is only diplomacy, and if the Korean leader isn’t interested, there is containment. There is living with risk. We lived with far worse for far longer with far more at stake during the Cold War, when we lived with the certainty of complete obliteration from Alaska to South Florida from thousands of Soviet warheads, including warheads a few miles from Flagler County’s shore, in Soviet subs. A pre-emptive strike was never considered past the demented frothings of Gen. Curtis LeMay, whose tenure as head of the Strategic Air Command gave us “Dr. Strangelove,” or the equally demented pleas by Douglas MacArthur to nuke China during the Korean War. A pre-emptive strike should not be considered against North Korea for the same reason, even if the damage may be contained to the Korean peninsula. That would not be much containment on a peninsula inhabited by 75 million people.
Unfortunately Dr. Strangelove in this case is not just a rogue commander but a president, and I’m not referring to Kim Jong-un. The threatening language Trump is using is identical to the projectile rhetoric of people like Kim Jong-un, Saddam Hussein and Nikita Khrushchev of shoe-banging fame. To ratchet down the tensions, he could start by doing something more effective than all the military power at his disposal. He could shut up.
Assuming he can be contained–a foolish assumption–that still leaves his administration wanting of a clear strategy toward North Korea. But the administration is at war internally. It is managing to look more ridiculous than Kim Jong-un’s toy-soldier dictatorship and letting Kim sneer at Trump as he calls his bluff. Deflecting blame from Trump by pretending that his “locked-and-loaded” bluster is more Trump being Trump, that it’s not to be taken literally, isn’t reassurance. To the contrary. It legitimizes what got us to this dangerous point. Words, his words, matter, whether he intends them literally or not. They’re no less dangerous if he doesn’t intend them literally. The end result is the same: they heighten the risk of miscalculation by sending the wrong signals and setting things in motion he can’t control. “We’re just operating in this world where you cannot believe the things he says,” Eliot Cohen, a former official with the State Department in the George W. Bush administration told Michiko Kakutani in a piece she wrote on Trump’s use of language, soon after his inauguration. “It will have large consequences for our allies and our adversaries, and it’s going to greatly magnify the danger of miscalculation by all kinds of people.”
That, after all, is how World War I started, from miscalculations, stupid assumptions, dogmatic posturing, as Barbara Tuchman’s “Guns of August” reminds us–the book that had just come out before the Cuban Missile Crisis, and that John Kennedy had fortunately just read when he confronted Khrushchev. He knew of what Tuchman described as “the inevitable phrase when military plans dictate policy—’and once settled it cannot be altered.’” He altered what would otherwise have been a fatal course. He blinked, cautiously, resisting a mob of advisers’ pressure to bomb Cuba, Curtis LeMay among them.
To now say that Trump is a different kind of president who “tells it like it is” masks recklessness with failed marketing in hopes of covering up what we knew going in the moment he declared himself a candidate: the man is not only not fit to be president (never was), he is not capable of being president. We’ve had conventional proof by the day so far. We now have radioactive proof. He can’t even keep his secretary of state and secretary of defense on his page. He has no page. He has no idea. He blusters, he sniffs and growls, he tweets, he improvises. And he hurtles us toward war. “There was an aura about 1914 that caused those who sensed it to shiver for mankind,” Shiver for 2017.
But we have to assume–we have no choice–that if reason still has a chance in this administration, if Trump is to be reined in, if both these idiots are to be reined in, the only viable strategy remains containment.
So the immediate and obvious question is: should we be willing to sit idle and risk an attack from North Korea? The answer is: of course. It is a million times safer, wiser and more morally defensible to risk an attack that would be very unlikely anyway, than to pre-empt an attack that would replace the remote risk of a cataclysm caused by North Korea with the absolute certainty of a cataclysm caused by us. Put another way, attacking North Korea first will certainly result in a slaughter on both sides anyway, even if we “win.” The slaughter will be much worse than anything North Korea can pull off with a first strike. So risking that first strike is worth the wait, because if it comes, we’re getting our slaughter anyway. There’s no sense inviting it. Pre-emption is not self-defense. It’s an invitation to mass murder.
Retaliation for a North Korean first strike makes us the heroes. Pre-emption, no matter what the reasons are–and no rhetoric, no missile test, no threats would justify a first strike–would make us the aggressors. We would be the war criminals. We would be the instigators of genocide. We would start something we could not finish nor control, nor would want to own even if we could finish and control it: if you think a broken Iraq was impossible to rebuild after the 2003 invasion, North Korea would call for the sort of commitment that ends empires at a time when our own is already teetering thanks to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of course China is sitting all this out. It’s the spectator to what would be America’s spectacular downfall, as this military “win” against North Korea would be–economically, politically, morally. All because of what one military analyst yesterday on CNN described as a pimple on America’s ass. He was referring to North Korea, though the description looks tragically appropriate for the man with America’s nuclear codes.
Trump wants his war. He wants something to pull him out of that 38 percent approval cellar no president in history has known in his first year. His election may have been legitimate. His presidency no longer is. The crime clotting his motives is that he’s willing to go this far, to risk a catastrophe on an inhuman scale to salve his unpopularity, to stroke his bruised ego while masking the bruises as an affront to American pride.
But not even the generals see North Korea’s taunts as an affront. Nor does Congress. Nor does the mass of Americans.No one does, because Kim Jung-un is a zero, a never been, a mascot with nukes. Only an equal could elevate his status to something seemingly–not truly–threatening. Trump has. Let’s hope the generals have the moral sense to disobey his orders to strike, should he tweet them.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.
Poll: Should President Trump take military action against North Korea?
· Yes 2229 (59%)
· No 946 (25%)
· Not sure 572 (15%)
It’s not possible for tiny parts to keep his mouth shut. He has to keep using lies, swagger and blaming everyone else to keep his dwindling support from sinking further because of his historic failure as a president.
In Pierre Tristan’s world, Hilter should only be remembered as a mild agitator & would have went away on his own if only the world just chose to ignore him . I wasn’t alive, but history tells me that when Japan was bombed in Hiroshima & Nagasaki ….. they surrendered ~ saving AMERICAN lives .
N Korea should not be practicing brinksmanship, they should not even have nuclear weapons let alone delivery vehicles for those weapons.unfortunately over the past several decades previous administrations have sat on the situation or inflamed it by signing agreements that the N Koreans have not kept. So here we are on a slippery slope. Of all people to be President, Trump has no experience in foreign policy. I hope he listens to his advisors. The N Koreans are reminding me of the aliens in Independence Day. If they fire off a salvo at Guam, we’ll destroy the missiles, we have to shoot them down. Chances are this will not end well.
Wrong Pierre. If NK lobs some missiles close to Guam Trump will not drop bombs. Assuming you’ve never been in the military, you don’t know there are ways to take them out without firing a shot. Just wait and see.
GWOT Veteran says
Mr. Tristam please elaborate on your background that afford you such insights into military strategic analysis.
Trump does not want a war he only promised retaliation if we or one of our allies were attacked and hoped that he would reconsider his actions, Kim Jong-un has been trying to pick a fight ever since he took over power and his father played the same game before that, the only difference is that now there is a real risk of the little lunatic actually unleashing nuclear weapons on random targets in order to prove to the world that he can.
He is a problem the world has ignored for far too long and now he has become potentially dangerous and he must be stopped one way or another, sanctions do not have any effect on him so that leaves a few military options in the event of an imminent attack, take out missiles on the launch pad with a cruise missile strike, their launchers are primarily mobile and that requires very precise intelligence on a moments notice. Rely on THAAD to hit the missile in flight, however if that should miss as it has in some tests it would be a bad day for the people in the path of the missile. Another option would be an all out invasion of NK, this would require a massive mobilization and there is no indication that this is happening.
One option that it will NOT come to is a nuclear first strike, this would open up the door for other nations to do the same, which is something no one outside of maybe China, Pakistan and Russia would be interested in.
As for my background, I’m just a grunt who had my boots on the ground enough times to know that sometimes violence is not only the right answer, it can be the only answer.
If a missile starts heading for Guam you are going to guarantee to the people of Guam that it is not a nuclear weapon? You are obviously the smartest man in the world!
Spoken like a true supporter of the pussy Obama. When Ojamba talked tough, it was like Barney Fife telling you he had his bullet in his pocket. Like most world leaders have said – AMERICA IS BACK.
Seems as though once again, as in several wars past, we have uncertain information and have to figure out tactics and strategy based on educated guesses. A Google search uncovers nothing in Un’s public statements to indicate North Korea will put nukes on its four display missiles pointed toward open waters toward Guam. So do we trust Un not to arm the missiles, or do we try to intercept them in case Un is lying or the chance that one of them could go off course and hit the island, or even hit Japan? If we do intercept the missiles successfully, how will Un, and more importantly, China, react? When are we allowed to intercept them, the minute they are launched, or five minutes later as they get closer to Guam? If we have generals who defy a Trump order for a preemptive strike, that could lead to civil war within the military, pitting anti-Trump generals against the Trump loyalists and creating much more uncertainty within our own borders.
This crazy North Korean kid has been threatening with the same weapons since 2013, just need to avoid a nuclear conflict and instead keep our lips tight and quietly prepare strategically located our Patriot missile interceptors in that area for when if he shoots one with a mini nuclear head aimed at any of our territories or allies we shoot it down right on top of this nut’s very wide head, a good target!
But Nope instead POTUS is trying hard to worsen the conflict on his benefit distracting of his very poor approval rate and his Russia ties steaming ahead investigation.
That leader of North Korea is a Guppy out of water. His are in fear of their lives if they don’t honor him. He’s all talk and threats.
Trump Derangement Syndrome……
AND, This poll from CNN says:
Q2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling the situation in North Korea
Approve 37% Disapprove 50% No Opinion 13%
August 3-6, 2017*
The CBS Poll says much the same thing: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-poll-americans-lack-confidence-in-trumps-ability-to-handle-north-korea/
AND. . . trumps job approval rating is still hovering around 39% in several polls: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/
John F Pollinger says
Ok, each has amped the threat to a new level. What’s next? If somebody pulls the trigger, hundreds of thousands of South Koreans and US soldiers and families will die in the South. Anybody find that acceptable? What’s the next move? It’s easy to type “deal with them” or take a poll. But what’s the cost in lives? What does Trump say next? “I really, really, really mean it!” Or does he take us to nuclear war…….
Concerned Observer says
In a perfect world, populated by reasonable and rational people, I would agree with I would agree with Mr. Tristam. Unfortunately, you cannot fight a dog under the Marquess of Queensberry rules. The dog will always win that fight. So what is more important, to be politically correct, fair and polite or to live? Kim Jong-un is a sociopathic despot and must be dealt with accordingly. Like the rabid dog that he has proven so often to be, he should be put down. If his own people are unwilling or incapable of doing so, someone else must. Society must be rid of his shadow.
Quail Hollow denizen says
The two loons. Kim Jung Trump and the donald. Brothers from a different mother. Their temperament is identical. Those who voted for him (minority) and still support him are gullible, brainwashed rubes, with a healthy dose of racism thrown in. Thanks faux news, thanks rush thanlks right wing/alt right websites.Muller can’t move fast enough!
The Oracle says
President Trump is a Strong leader. Shame on us for allowing 60 years of brutality and a huge military buildup in North Korea. Clinton, Bush and Obama did something between enabling or doing nothing, while North Korea built a sizable military. The previous President’s left a big deadly mess, that President Trump is now dealing with. Pray for our country and military.
Alphonso Zeimers says
Pierre, I am a right wing conservative and much to my surprise while reading your piece I found myself in total agreement with you. Dam good piece.
“We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals”
“[North Korea] would pay a price so great that the nation would probably not survive as it is known today.”
– President Clinton
Sorry Pierre I think we all missed your editorials when the previous kings were in office. Oh end then Billybob handed North Korea the keys to get to where they are today. Thanks Bill.
I agree with you that even the Tubby Little boy in Korea is not foolish enough to actually do something. He wants to sit at the big boy table. He will cry and scream until someone listens to him. And even I know, you understand that all the talk from both sides is part of the game and the deals are going on behind the scenes. The world would be better off to ignore the tubby one but he gets used like a pawn by China to keep poking the rest of the world in the chest. The Chinese sit back and laugh, just like the Russians sit back and laugh at the liberals continue to bitch and moan that it’s the Russians fault Trump was elected. It the liberals own fault we ended up with the Donald, we could move on and do what is right for the country.
our media is like the North Korean media Whereby the media is in lockstep with the government in North Korea And our media is in lockstep with the Dems to belittle Trump as much as they can , Including this article By the way, trumps approval rating just moved up six points
Watching Closely says
The ONLY thing that moronic 45 is good at is distraction; much the same as a slimy snake oil salesman. He is very good at waving a shiny thing over to the right while he is drawing attention away from something else. That something else that 45 is attempting to distract us from is the whole mess with Russia. What is happening with NK is all more distraction. Doubtless today’s event in Charlottesville VA is more of the same. A pre planned distraction as the lock in step lawyers get ever closer to 45 and his ilk.
The drip drip drip is slowly becoming amplified as Mueller gears up…to the extent this will become a flood that will end up affecting much of the GOP in office in DC. Ask yourself this, brilliant children of the corn: .Why would these brilliant successful top notch lawyers ALL leave hugely successful careers to take down Trump? Answer: They wouldn’t unless there was VERY good reason that each and every one of them will go down in the history books as the heros in the White Hats.
William Moya says
In nuclear war parlance first strike capability means means neutering the enemy making impossible to retaliate in any meaningful way. It is precisely this concept that lead to the triad concept and to the Russian been adamantly oppose to a ballistic “defense” system.
As to your faith in the generals to be Trump’s trump card, keep in mind that these are people that in their core are steep in authoritarian, pyramidical thinking, it won’t take much for them to fold into Trump’s final solution.
I know is hard to adjust to a new paradigm, as crazy as the one we are creating, but here we are.
Edith Campins says
We would never allow another country to tell us what weapons we can or cannot have. However, some Americans feel we have the right to tell others exactly that, NK, Iran, Pakistan, etc., because we disagree with their politics.
Those of us who lost friends and family in Vietnam, Kore and WW2 know the real toll of war falls on us not just on the enemy. When I see the crude, childish rhetoric from our draft dodger president I am terrified. These two arrogant bullies could start a nuclear war just because their egos are threatened. Regardless of our politics we should all be worried that in six months the situation has escalated this far.
Thank You William Moya , Edith Campins and Watching Closely. . . excellent comments to an excellent article.
These are the times that display the depth of knowledgeable, wise communication, and decision making from the president of our country. Unfortunately, the thin skinned, narcissistic megalomaniac in our White House is reacting “in kind” to a clinically “insane” child in North Korea. One bully trying to “out bully” the other. Never mind that thousands. . . maybe even hundreds of thousands. . . of lives are at stake in this game of “chicken”.
Hopefully the child in North Korea will prove to be something that is not difficult at all. Kim Jung-un needs to show that he is much wiser and reasonable than trump. Kim hopefully will find a way to save face while “blinking first” .
I say “Power to the Women” of the world! We most certainly could not F&%$ it up any worse than men like trump have done!
Pierre is so far out of his element its noticeable. 160 k people live on Guam along with 6000 plus US military personal. PS this is a US territory. And since you Pierre appear to have some insight on if Kim Jong wouldn’t use a nuke, I say will you bet your life and your families life on it if you were writing their piece from your home if you lived in Guam. No I don’t think so. I don’t think anyone knows whats in a war head, expect the people launching the missile. I also believe Jim Jong isn’t suicidal but his advisors could be. If there is a first strike it will come from NK. And if that missile is riding a trajectory towards US territory the US at all cost will attempt to shoot it down. I hope it never comes to that. Let Kim jong rattle his sabers and let Trump talk, right now nobody is dying. Now if we can just get Bozo to STFU we might have some peace,.
It is unfortunate that liberals cannot discuss politics without name calling and insults. Never even a faux effort to sound reasonable, just slurs, vitriol, hatred. Read the main article here. as much as you can stomach, which stands as my proof. Any valid substantive point is lost in the hatred of Pres. Trump. Why bother reading that tripe, just think to yourself, “the writer hates Trump”, and go to the comic section of your local news paper for similar articles with more substance and art too!
Then of course there are the honest fair minded people that post here. For example, the “conservative republican” that supports the main article in it’s entirety. Right, sure thing, very believable.
One post refers to “our draft dodging president”,which, while arguably true, is a status occupied by both Pres. Clinton and Pres. Obama, Democrats, along with many other presidents. That comment was unnecessary. Pres.Trump has more respected military personnel advising him than any other President in modern times, advice he takes aside from his rhetoric, unlike Pres. Obama consistently acting against military advice, withdrawing from Iraq and the resultant influx of radical Islamic terrorists, the Red Line for Syria followed by inaction, Lybia involvement resulting in total internal disaster and the deaths of Americans including our Ambassador whose repeated calls for help went unnoticed, reducing troop numbers in Afghanistan, bowing to Arab leaders, promising Putin he could be more flexible regarding nuclear limitations after the election all heard on a hot microphone, etc. etc, etc.. . Weakness personified.
I agree that Pres. Trump should tone down the rhetoric, but he has done nothing militarily to start a conflict aside from displaying our military defense capabilities, along with Japan and S. Korea. He is not the one testing nuclear bombs, firing rockets in close proximity to other nations while threatening to destroy them, constantly testing rocket performance to improve attack capabilites, NK is. The US must take defensive measures, and it is, although less ado would be helpful. Walk softly and carry a big stick, comes to mind, via Roosevelt,. Teddy. Initiating war is also not a well reasoned option at this point, regardless of how tempting it may be, reaction is our only move, for now..
We can all thank Pres. Clinton for the arrangement which has put NK where it is today, coupled with years of complacency by his successors. Thanks to Pres. Obama, we will be facing the same issues with Iran, or should I say Israel will initially, potentially the USA. The Liberals believe EVERYBODY should have military nuclear power, and the world will be safer. That should be their campaign slogan, see how many voters find that attractive, outside of our article author, California and New York, three Democratic bastions of Trump hatred and Hillary election votes..
Then of course it is claimed that the US tells which countries can and cannot have nuclear military powers, when in fact the entire United Nations security council has unanimously supported a ban on NK nuclear military power. Why is the USA so involved, well, because the USA is the one being threatened daily, yet the entire council agrees with it. .What other countries are you speaking of? Pakistan has nuclear military power, and Iran will shortly, if it does not already, thanks again to Pres. Obama, who secretly gave Iran hundreds of millions of dollars to use on whatever. Guess what Iran used it for? . Both N. Korea and Iran have/will have nuclear powers thanks to US agreement.
Pres. Trump is further characterized as “crude”, a “childish bully”, ‘arrogant” etc. Instead of insults,why not post some facts? Why not? Because facts don’t matter, degradation is the goal. Disparagement is the MO. Rather than working together towards a common goal, one party works constantly for the destruction of the other party. Imagine a world run by liberal Democrats and RINOS. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, John McCain and on and on, like minded thinkers all.
Why should election voting require identification when the dead, convicted felons, multiple vote frauds and illegal aliens won’t be able to vote and that is unfair. Of course you will need an ID to get into the Democratic National convention. One must have priorities. One small example of Democrat intellectual elite reasoning. What’s right is right, or is it, whats left is right?
Authoring an article using factual information devoid of opinionated insults would result in a more effective presentation as your article makes some valid points.
Stanley Wolak says
We still have to many snow flakes in our nation,please stop acting like spineless Obama did.
Yet more name calling and insults about Pres. Trump. Seems to be a pattern with the left.
Why would all these”brilliant” lawyers leave their lucrative private practices to go after Pres. Trump? To begin with they are all life long liberal Democrats, financial contributors to the Democratic party, Hillary backers,(one is a former Clinton attorney). Mr. Mueller picked people he knew would do whatever was necessary to get to the goal he wants, whether that is the truth remains to be seen. You should read the bios of some of the lawyers he hired. Very interesting people.
He sought and had empaneled a Grand Jury in a liberal judicial jurisdiction before a leftist Democrat judge. More fairness?
Enjoy it though, if you pay taxes, you are paying for the entire Mueller investigation so hope he gets the lynching you obviously want.
The Russian connection has been investigated for many months by multiple sources. Of course intimidation and threats often get results a fain minded investigation never gets and we are already seeing those things in action.
His very good friend James Comey had to leak information to a friendly reporter, who of course published it, and Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mr. Mueller. Why be fair when you can pick Comey’s best friend? You connect the dots on that one.
Regarding the unfortunate Va. clash, resulting in deaths, you view that as a diversion favoring Pres. Trump or do you think he planned that? One can only wonder what Pres. Trump’s next diversion tactic will consist of.
Why don’t we all just wait and see what Mr.Mueller comes up with and what is ultimately provable. If there were crimes committed then justice will take it’s course.
Next, we should have an independent attorney investigate the Clinton foundation, Hillary’s email issue, Benghazi, the transfer of 20% of our Uranium reserves to Russia and all the rest of it. You would obviously agree that those things need to be investigated too, or is it just Trump you are interested in.
Pierre Tristam says
We’ve never had a more vulgar, more name-calling, more vile, more serially slandering president than Trump, who manages in almost every tweet or public appearance to trash someone, delighting his supporters with the filth of his language, yet this guy claims name-calling as a “pattern with the left.” Plebes know better than to fall for that old Nixonian deflection trick.
Does trump know that a total solar eclipse isn’t an enemy attack? Just sayin’…
Don’t worry – trump has the best words – and the best people.
You’re in good hands:
Edith Campins says
Plebian, you should really do some fact checking before posting. I made a statement of fact, Trump is a draft dodger. He has admitted it. As for his being advised by experienced military personnel…the problem is that he doesn’t listen to advice. His announcement of a transgender ban, without informing the Joint Chiefs, is a prime example of that. Not to mention that it is going back on a campaign promise yet again.
As for Pre. Clinton being a draft dodger, you are factually incorrect.
“Clinton’s lottery number for his birthday was high enough to keep him out of the Army.”
Very well written comment Plebian. People complaining about what Trump says or tweets. LOL.The article didn’t need to have insults.
Dan Potter says
Most comments by Pierre are based on absolutely nothing, but he is entitled to bash his president. I also wonder where is his background that helped form these lines of wisdom. I served 24 years in the Army with 8 in South Korea.
We can do whatever the mission requires without deploying nuclear weapons. The MOAH use in Syria had nothing to do with Syria. Syria was only a testing site with intended use being NOKO. America is in the process of escalating manufacturing of this giant bomb to destroy deep underground nuclear test sites.
Disarm N. Korea this way. Target those missile sites as accurately as possible. Include airfields that are used by military planes. This is purely a defensive move. Allowing N. Korea to strike first with nuclear bomb is too late. This move will also prevent the U.S. from countering in kind with a nuclear bomb.
This needs very accurate intelligence gathering.
I don’t think China would suddenly attack the U.S. and allies as a retaliation if N. Korea is disarmed this way.
It’s very sad that people like you have such warped outlook on the president we finally have someone in office that wants to help america go forward and be strong like we used to be and not take the office just to line his pockets. Trump is about as far from political correctness as you can get and I think that’s great he tells it like it is and he’s not worried about hurting people’s feelings. Everyone said the economy would cash under Trump guess what it’s booming this man has done more for america in less than a year then Obama did in 8 years.
Wake up stop bitching and get behind your president!