Under the Radar

Sound Off: Will Trump Launch War in North Korea via Twitter?

Let's go back to those President Trump tweets from yesterday. Buried in a Buzzfeed News article about the policy change on transgender service, we get this alarming report:

At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.
Relive the experience now. Imagine that you're sitting at your desk at the Pentagon, monitoring the internet and keeping the world safe for democracy.

1. Read the first tweet.

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2. Count to 540 very slowly. (60 seconds in a minute times 9 equals 540.)

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What's going through your mind?

"will not accept or allow...North Korea to continue its nuclear weapons program?"

"will not accept or allow...Bashar al-Assad to rule in Syria?"

"will not accept or allow...Iran to continue to violate the terms of our nuclear deal?"

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There are so many options.

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Finally the second tweet comes. (Did you count slowly to 540?)

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Whew. That's not what you expected.

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OK. Today's not the day we start a thermonuclear war.

Of course, the White House could issue more coherent statements if it had more than 140 characters at its disposal. Or maybe President Trump could take a lesson from someone like Modern Family's Ariel Winter and start using Instagram to shut down the haters via a photograph of a paragraph of words.

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See? A complete thought captured in one place, no confusion.

What do you think? Should President Trump be more careful with his tweets? Do more traditional means of government communication serve a valuable purpose? Sound off!

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