Trump’s ironic North Korea threat, Two key reasons many Trump threats have fallen flat, White House chief of staff’s Mexico comments: ‘fake news’?, Follow Australia and Indonesia to tackle modern slavery, Sanitized Caribbean cruises: At what cost?

A roundup of global commentary for the Oct. 2, 2017 weekly magazine.

Brynn Anderson/AP
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, in Huntsville, Ala. Asia is getting used to living with Trump’s broadsides, though it can’t shrug them off completely. Many people are unnerved, but not panicked, by his recent exchange of threats with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The US president dialed up the rhetoric at the United Nations, saying his country would have “to totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies.

The Scotsman / Edinburgh, Scotland

Trump’s threat to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea is ironic

“There is an unmissable irony in Donald Trump ... addressing the United Nations, set-up after the Second world War to promote global peace and co-operation, with the bluntest of threats to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea,” states an editorial. “The only moot point is whether Trump intends to achieve that objective with ... conventional weapons, or by nuclear strike.... A strike ... would almost certainly prompt counter-attacks on every territory within range of Kim Jong-un’s armoury.... If we are unsure of what Trump’s ... strategy is, we have no idea what his counterpart is thinking.... Trump’s ... way of dealing with conflict is to ... growl threats.... No-one will back him, but can anyone stop him?”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

Two key reasons many of Trump’s threats have fallen flat

“When U.S. President Donald Trump spouts nuclear-annihilation threats on North Korea’s ‘rocket man’ at the United Nations, bear in mind that who you are listening to is ‘bluster man,’ ” writes Lawrence Martin. “Bluster man loves the ratings.... But what the record shows is that [he] rarely follows through.... Two things have happened since Mr. Trump came to power to help prevent his worst instincts from overtaking him. One was the appointment of a seasoned national-security team…. The other ... is that some order and discipline has been brought [by his replacing] of Reince Priebus ... with general John Kelly.... [However], just because Mr. Trump has cried wolf again and again doesn’t mean he will back off all the time.”

The News / Mexico City

Were Mexico comments by White House chief of staff ‘fake news’?

“The fact that the White House has deployed a permanent terror campaign against Mexico is not a secret...,” writes Ricardo Castillo. “The latest onslaught came from a news article in The New York Times ... Sept. 14 quoting White House Chief of Staff General John. K. Kelly comparing Mexico to Venezuela as a failed state.... [I]n Mexico it was a splash still making waves.... [In a meeting with Democrats about unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children,] Mexico, Kelly allegedly said ‘is on the verge of collapse’.... But over the weekend ... the Mexican Embassy in Washington ... received assurances from the White House that Kelly never said such a thing.... [K]nowing how serious [The New York Times] is, perhaps the best course to follow is the middle-of-the-road – half truth, half fake news.”

The Jakarta Post / Jakarta, Indonesia

Follow Australia and Indonesia to tackle modern slavery

“As business leaders gather in New York [the week of Sept. 18] to discuss tackling the scourge of modern slavery, they could do well to follow the example set by the Indo-Pacific, led by Australia and Indonesia,” write Andrew Forrest and Eddy Sariaatmadja. “Our two nations ... [led] the Bali Process Government and Business Forum ... [culminating] in ... companies from across the 45 member countries [adopting] ... law ... aimed at preventing and eradicating modern slavery in global supply chains.... The scale of this issue demands a regional solution.... [I]t is the responsibility of business leaders to [keep] their supply-chains ... free.... [T]he responsibility also rests on [the public] to provide the critical eye....”

The Nassau Guardian / Nassau, Bahamas

Sanitized Caribbean cruises: At what cost?

“In an age when most in the business of tourism are seeking to increase their income by selling authenticity to millennials and baby boomers, it is perhaps puzzling that another rapidly growing industry segment now wants to deliver just the opposite...,” writes David Jessop. “The concept involves large cruise lines ... buying or leasing small islands ... and developing facilities on them which they control.... [I]f the companies ... [create] their own sanitized pastiche..., governments and the rest of the industry need to think ... about the implications. This is particularly the case following ... Hurricane Irma..., and the need for populated, authentic islands ... to earn as much revenue from tourism as rapidly as possible to support recovery.”

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